There are many things we have been doing for a long, long time. It is always hard to break a habit, but we have decided to make a few changes to increase our savings.
Bottled water is fairly inexpensive at under $4 a case of 36 at Costco. We have been always keeping a case or two around the house. It is mostly for convenience. We do have a filter system, so most of the drinking water comes from that. We use bottle water mostly when travelling or leaving one by the night stand.
But one dollar is one dollar. A dollar not spent is instead going to the bank, and it will all add up. To be more green and to save, we decided not to buy bottled water any more. We are looking at a savings of $4 every two months. $24 a year, in ten years that is $240. I know it is really not a lot of money, but hey, a dollar is a dollar.
We have been working on this for a fairly long time now, but there is room to eliminate more. Processed foods are easier to prepare but they are more expensive and less healthy. One of the things we always do is to read the food label. Understanding and knowing all the man-made chemicals in processed foods really helped us stop buying them. I have a friend who told me that if the food label contains any word you can't pronounce, then you shouldn't buy it. That 2-second glance at the food label saves you money and improves your health. That $10 bag of chicken nuggets can be translated to 5 lbs of raw chicken that can be made into a better dish for dinner. This might not help us save that much money, but it will keep us healthier. The Y household has been on organic milk for a while now, and we have been only buying beef from Whole Food. It might be soon that we will switch to organic chicken as well. Less processed, more organic.
We used to eat out a lot when we lived walking distance from restaurants. That translated to $$$ spent. Then we moved to an area that requires a car to get to places. And being us (very lazy), we end up cooking more at home. We now eat out about once or twice a month, sometimes even less. Eating out can be fairly expensive, and it is not too great for your health. There has to be a reason why that steak tasted so much better (very likely it was cooked in more butter than you can possible use at home).
Work Out at Home
At the beginning of this year, we made two big purchases: a treadmill and some Blowflex weights. We made the promise to work out more at home. Yes, Mr. Y has been kept up with that fairly well, but Mrs. Y on the other hand has been slacking off. Very, very bad. As I will have more time at home, I will start utilizing the treadmill more. Again, keeping ourselves healthier is a good investment. I am sure it will save thousands of dollars later from the doctors' visits. :)
So these are the few things I want to start changing for a better and healthier us. Of course, the main goal is saving more for an early retirement. Small steps...baby steps.