I've been noticing lately a few small things I've changed that seem to be saving us at least a little bit of money every month.
1. I stopped buying Maple Syrup. At first my kids, the addicts, were ready to stage a coup and find a new mother, but I've slowly convinced them that jelly or brown sugar is an acceptable toping for waffles. Maple Syrup had a bad crop or something this year and we were buying two bottles a month at Trader Joe's, not even Grade A and they were still $16.99 EACH. Total savings $30 a month.
2. I made two small changes to my beauty regiment that seem to be saving me BIG money. Ever since we moved to Washington, my skin has been more prone to breakouts (I blame AGE more than climate, but whatever). I'd been using Neutrogena's line of Rapid Clear anti-acne products, which magically and immediately cleared up my bumpy skin. (Like magic, seriously.)
But the cleanser is around $8. The cleansing pads are around $6 and I was mixing two lotions, the anti-acne lotion ($7) and Neutrogena's Visibly Even SPF 15 lotion ($14). So my total average monthly cost for everything was around $30. (Most of the items last slightly longer than a month, but not much).
Recently I decided to see if I could go back to using Neutrogena's original bar of soap, the soap my high school Dermatologist recommended when I had real teenage acne. And it worked GREAT. I could spend $1.49 a month instead of the $8 I had been spending on the cleanser.
After I confirmed that my soap substitution was working, I switched lotions, substituting TWO expensive Neutrogena lotions for a bottle of Target brand salictic acid lotion (same active ingredient) that I found on sale for $3.45. Again, it's working fine and my skin looks exactly the same as it used to.
Total beauty savings: $25 a month.
3. Next I was planning to brag that I haven't had a Wyder's Pear cider in over a month, but I caved tonight after swimming class and bought myself a six pack. For some reason it just doesn't taste as good when it's cold and rainy outside, so I definitely see myself drinking less. That could save us another $10 a month if I cut my habit in half.
So, overall these three nearly imperceptible changes are saving us $65 a month. Not a TON, but again, these changes were easy and have mostly gone unnoticed (the syrup did take a little getting used to, but kids are easy to brainwash).
And gas? I filled up my SUV for $40 this week. SHOCKING but true. It's a 2005 and I don't think I've ever paid less than $50 for a fill up. At times it has cost me over $80. (Please don't feel the need to chastise me for my SUV ownership, it was one of my biggest mistakes EVER. I LUST after your mini van and wish I'd been smart enough to buy one. Of course, my car is paid for, so the chances of me getting a mini van any time soon are basically slim to none.)
Have you made any small changes that are saving you big?