Frugal Friday- Cutting Back

My husband is a saver and therefore we have been living frugally for our entire marriage. We shy away from credit card debt and don’t buy new furniture, appliances, etc unless we have the cash to do so. That can be frustrating (to me, not Mike) sometimes when I want something (to go visit my family in Florida, buy a new couch, etc) but we really don’t have the money to do it. But, in the grand scheme of things following my husband’s lead on our finances has really been a blessing to our family over the years. We have never not been able to purchase something we needed, we drive nice cars (until they sputter and die LOL), we have taken fun family vacations and we don’t live paycheck to paycheck.
But, with the current economy, coupled with the fact that due to my illness I left corporate America last year and have medical bills up the wazoo, we have found ourselves in the position of needing to cut back recently. I already menu planned, clipped coupons, purchased off season clothing for the next year, etc. so we had to look at other areas of our budget for ways to decrease our spending. Here are a few things that worked for us:
• Evaluate your phone bill. We found that by changing to VOIP (voice over internet protocol) we saved $40/month than we were spending on a landline.
• Use a mail order pharmacy. Getting prescriptions in a three month supply, but paying the co-pay for a one month supply is a huge savings. Make sure you are using the generic brand of a medication if you can and if your body tolerates it.
• Evaluate your cable/satellite plan. We had been with the same satellite company for ten years! But, through evaluating all the different options out there, we switched and ended up saving $15/mo and getting two DVR’s for free in the process.
• You can lower your electric bill by turning down the heat by a few degrees. This would bother some people more than me, but with MS I am usually hot so it doesn’t bother me at all! Also, unplug things when not in use. Make sure you turn off lights.
There are plenty of other things you can do to cut back on your spending. This is what has worked for our family so far. What has worked for your family?

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