In our quest to save money for a downpayment we have found tons of ways to save money anywhere we can. Saving is especially difficult for us as we already own our condo and are saving to upgrade to a townhouse. If we sold our condo right now, we would take a huge loss. We are basically starting from scratch but don't have the advantage of having a low rent apartment.
So our favorite way to save a few dollars is by couponing. Seriously, it's become addicting. We can't go to the grocery store and buy anything that isn't on sale or that we don't have a coupon for. It's a challenge to see how much we can get for as little money as possible. Tony called me earlier today with the exclamation "I just saved over $20 bucks at the grocery store!!!" He was so proud when the total went from $85 down to $62. We clip coupons from the Sunday paper each week. The best part is, we don't even have a paper subscription. My mom saves the coupon section for us after she takes what she needs each week.
Before we were serious about buying a bigger house, you could find us eating out 3-4 nights a week and for EVERY meal on the weekend. We would hit happy hour a couple times a week and not think twice about it. Now that grocery shopping has become a challenge to get as much for a little as possible, we are eating in 6 nights a week, cut out happy hours, and scrounge for food around the house on the weekends.
I also starting tracking our monthly spending on Mint.com. After seeing where money goes each month, it's become a challenge to shave off a few dollars from each category. I'll think twice about driving through for lunch or buying that shirt just because it's on sale. I think when saving is more of a challenge and less of a chore it's a heck of a lot easier.
How do you trim your spending and save a few dollars here and there?
This is the second work day that our main systems are down and all productivity comes to a halt. Basically just an afternoon to surf the web and recover from the weekend.
On Saturday we went on a wine tour for a friend's birthday. Living in Northern VA we are less than an hour from DOZENS of amazing vineyards. It's pretty common for people to rent a limo bus and go to three or four for tastings and a couple bottles of wine to share. This was a great afternoon spent with friends, the first time we had all been together since one couple's wedding a few weeks ago. We visited one of our favorites, Doukenie. The owners and winemakers are the nicest people and their wine are awesome. We tried to go back to Hillsborough, where Tony and I got married, but they were closing early to set up for a wedding that night. That couple made a good choice to get married there! We ended up stopping by Notaviva (new vineyard with yummy wines!!!) and Breaux (AMAZING views of the mountains) to round out our day.
Tony and I at Doukenie
Sunday was spent with my mom, 4 year old nephew, and his little BFF. We took them to see Disney On Ice. It was cool to see their little expressions when their favorite characters appeared on the ice. Oh to see the world through a child's eyes again.
Next weekend should be pretty relaxing, we don't really get into Halloween, so we are planning on hibernating and watching movies all night.
How was your weekend? Do you start making plans for the next weekend before you are even totally recovered from the last?
Gosh! I'm so sorry I've been such a slacker. Work has been busy and nights and weekends are even busier. Recent news, my sister popped out a bouncing baby boy last week. The events leading up to the birth were action packed. I was in the room when he was born and one of the nurses asked "do you have any kids?" I responded, no, then she asked "do you want any kids?" and I said "nope, that's why I'm here, birth control". Besides the fact that I nearly passed out, I would NOT want to be on the other side of this birthing experience.
On another note, my 101 in 1001 list is still ticking away, just not as fast as before. A few notable accomplishments:
#34 - I donated about 12 inches of hair to Locks of Love. I nearly had to threaten my stylist to cut it, she wasn't as ready for the change as I was.
#86 - Tony and I went to the September Richmond NASCAR race. I made my own shirt for the race that said "Brian Vickers Revs My Engine" and then met him. Who would have thought?!?! It was Tony's first race and he had a great time. I was glad to get to share this experience with him.
Some upcoming activities include a weekend trip to Pittsburgh with one of my besties and her new hubbie. We will be going to a Penguins game (Cross off #82) on Saturday night and Steelers on Sunday. If anyone has any extra tickets to the Steelers game let me know!!! Also taking suggestions for fun bars/restaurants/things to do in the Burgh.