Learning new things

I love to learn new things!  If I learn something new every single day, then my life is very good.

Here are some things I have learned that may help you out:

  • Insurance rates are much cheaper when bundled (auto & home; home & life; etc.) and for most people who have priced theirs out within the past couple of years, the savings could be $200 or more per year.
  • When you go to a dentist or doctor, you can negotiate the charges.  It is a service!!!  Many times, you can obtain a substantial discount on the amount you owe after insurance has paid its portion.  I have saved 10% twice and 6% once, each saving me $100s of dollars!
  • Use the cash envelope for spending categories that we tend to impulse on – groceries, dining out, clothing, spending money, entertainment.  We budget a set amount, pull it out in cash, and refuse to approach the bank again for the rest of the month.  When the money runs out, we're done for the month!  It ensures you will NEVER overspend your budget!
  • Buy off-brands at the grocery store.  We have saved over $200/month since going to a cash envelope for groceries and purchasing the off-brands.  Off-brand milk tastes just like name-brand milk.  Off-brand Cheerios taste just like Cheerios.  Off-brand Froot-Loops taste just like Froot Loops.  Off-brand fritos taste just like Fritos.  I'm sticking with my Heinz ketchup, however.
  • Wait overnight on any purchase greater than $200.  I have not regretted this at all.  I have waited overnight on every large purchase, and it has really cooled the jets on some deals I might have made in the past.  This is a great way to avoid buyer's remorse!  Wait.
  • Garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales, jockey lot sales, e-bay – are all great ways to find a great deal.
  • Fund some FUN with your tax refund.  I always make sure that we fund our summer vacation with our tax refund.  This ensures that I am going to follow the budget!  If my budget did not allow me to have fun, then it is quite likely that I would not be teaching this stuff!  I would certainly be less passionate about it.
  • Ask.  If you are going to spend a large sum of money on something, ask around for it first.  Somebody might have the very thing you are going to purchase and will sell it for pennies on the dollar or even give it to you!
  • Swap labor.  Help you friend or neighbor on their project and then have them help you out with yours.  No money.  Friendships are built.  Can you say WIN-WIN?

 Can someone teach me something new today?  Add a comment below!


  1. jane muir on February 14, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Joe, there isn’t a substitute for Hienz ketchup! AND if ya save money in some areas, you can “treat” yourself/your family to other spending!

    My husband is not liking that our food envelope ran short this pay period. Just this morning he asked me when we were going to grocery shop… “when is payday?” Thankfully it is tomorrow!

    Hey, I have an idea to piggyback with your getting out of debt…. there are MANY shop-a-holics around. Their debt is high, along with all the stuff in their houses. So, you work with their budgets and spending, and I will help them do a “clean house” program. They can sell the extra crap that is weighing them down; physically, spiritually, emotionally…. and then they can get on with what God really wants them to do! Pray about it and let me know what you think!

    Have a blessed day!

  2. Tina on February 14, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    Hey Joe, Next week I will call you. We have a lot to talk about. But a good way to save money is to follow recipes. My mom had given me a cook book when I got married. I go through the recipes in order to make my grocery shopping list. It adds variety to dinners around the house. Also, you don’t have to “think” about what your going to have for dinner. You already know because you have the recipe for it. At the end of the week or 2 weeks you don’t have any left over food that you don’t know what to do with or when/how to “add” to another meal. Before now, what has been a problem for us, is at the end of the 2 weeks, we have a meat or a few meats left over. That throws off the next shopping trip.(when to go shopping again and what to buy) The good news is that it has cut my shopping bill by about $10-$15. I have only done this for 2 weeks(one shopping trip) Now, this is just what I have experienced since October. I know one thing, I will continue to do this because it is fun, simple, easy and my husband can make meals too.

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