Monday, April 28, 2008

Introducing...Money Monday!

Catchy, right? Jim and I have lived on an assortment of incomes, starting out our married life still in college, and gradually changing from there. The amount of children we have has steadily increased as well, so the pinch has basically stayed the same. No matter what kind of bacon Jim's brought home, it's all good provision from God and, I believe, He's given us many creative ways to be responsible with it. Because I've asked Him to, many, many times. As a result, over the years we've come up with tons of little ways to make the green stretch, and Praise the Lord, it has. We are never in need for any needs, and I feel like we live really, really well. Sometimes I forget how differently we live from other people, because it's, well, just how we live. Jim reminded me last week that I do have some ideas that maybe one or two of you hadn't thought of. And so is born, Money Monday. Click the Living Well for Less tab below for a couple of other tips.

And the topic for this very first Money Monday is: The 25% Less Rule.

Think of the many, many things you use every single day. Shampoo, toothpaste, hair products, favorite foods, drinks, cleaning products, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and the list goes on. I think we all get in a rut with these things, and use the same amount we've always used, without question. One day, three or so years ago, it occurred to me that I could try to use a little less, and see if the house came crashing down. I decided on 25%. If I didn't notice the difference, then great! I'm automatically now saving 25% on _____. If I do notice a difference, that's fine. I'll just go back to the standard. But if it works, it's a new standard! (And I'll have more money for other stuff).
I've lived by this rule all over the house, from my shampoo, the dishwasher and laundry detergent, and a few standard foods- like how much chive and onion cream cheese I put on a triscuit and how much hamburger I use. Think of it- when you get home with a huge package of hamburger, portioned in to one lb. sizes, just trim 1/4 of each pound off and bam, four lbs equals five meals. For things like hot dishes, etc, when there's lots of ingredients, we never notice the difference.
Most recently, I tried this with my blessed coffee. (Yes, you see where my allegiance lies. It took me years to finally try this with my sweet sweet coffee.) Well. One day I felt sassy and I trimmed my Starbucks beans down 50%. You know what? When the automatic timer went off the next morning and I drunk up the sun and my most-precious caffeine, I could not tell any difference. Seriously. I used to follow the package directions, but, I'm now enjoying 50% less House Blend and couldn't be happier. I noticed the change in my budget right away- I didn't have to buy coffee last time I went to the store, when I normally would have been out. That saved me in the neighborhood of $8. Ca-Ching!


Andrea@Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

Megan- you're so smart! What a great idea! Now, if I can just remember to do this! That would be most effective! :)


Kimberly said...

This is great! Thanks for the tip. I will be looking forward to these every Monday. I'm always looking for ways to be a better stewart and feel like I often fall short. So, I will be anxious to try this one out this week.

Thanks for sharing!

About Brandon said...

Awesome Megan!

I'll also look forward to these Monday posts. Keep 'em coming!


Ris said...

Great post! Makes sense too.

B said...

Great idea. I am definately looking forward to more "Money Monday" tips.

Don Mills Diva said...

This is an awesome idea - we really do use more than we need of just about everything - I'm going to try it!

Jenn Boerger said...

I read your blog this morning, and tried your idea while doing my laundry. I just used a little less laundry detergent and fabric softener, and the clothes still turned out great! They're clean, smell good, and better yet, my supplies will last longer and save me money! THANKS for sharing your great ideas!

Megan said...

wow! i am so glad you guys are excited about this! and, some of you have even tried it out! i'll be sure to be back with another one next week! long live the extra money in our pockets!


Lisa said...

You are a smart lady, Megan! I will be checking out Money Mondays for sure ;)