Friday, January 1, 2010

Money saved during Summer/Fall/Winter 2009

I started blogging about money I have saved since 2007 (offline since 2002). For reasons having to do with working full-time, keeping up with house, hubby and extra-curricular activities, I was simply unable to maintain the blog Summer/Fall/Winter 2009. Further, I tried Tweeting (papermeshae) instances where I saved money, and had to protect my tweets because it was attracting unsavory followers. Finally, I can't seem to get "2007" deleted from the blog title so it doesn't seem so dated, but to no avail. Therefore, this is the decision I have arrived at: this will be the last blog entry posted onto BlogSpot per se. You may continue following this very same blog on my website at Perhaps this one (BlogSpot) will be exported to WordPress in the future.

Having said all of this, here is a summary of the hundreds of dollars I am positive I have saved during summer/fall/winter 2009:

Routine, obligatory actions:

* Calling the credit card company to request a rate reduction on our credit card(s) and receiving it--simply by asking--even in this economic recession
* Taking advantage of Sales, Discounts and Clearances
* Making sure our frequency cards are swiped at CVS, local grocery stores, and office supply stores
* Using our Sam's Club or BJ's membership card to take advantage of lower gas prices
* Making sure our home is purged of old stuff before bringing in new stuff (i.e., clothes).
* Making tea and coffee at work; and making lunch for work unless I wanted to pay for it. I work in an academic environment, so there is always food around; it also helps that I am an event planner! Out grocery bills were higher than normal, though; but I guess I'd rather take this over eating out all of the time.


* My "baby" sister, a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature, gave me two free article edits/review--valued at $40--as my birthday gift.
* My toll-free vanity number costs me 10 bucks a month, even if there are no incoming calls; I called the phone company to see how can I reduce my cost while retaining the number, and the CSR offered to put it in suspension for $5 a month. Until my profile increases, it's a done deal. Saved $60/year
* NYS Fair admission tickets cost $10 pp. Purchased (3) tickets in advance at $6 each at my local supermarket. Saved $12.
* In my job capacity, I make sure vendors we're doing business with are provided the university's tax exempt form.
* We went to Wal-Mart to stock the fridge with food while on vacation and saved tons of money by not eating out, unless we wanted to.
* We also saved money on our vacation rental car by filling-up the tank before returning the vehicle.
* This year we finally bought furniture. I window-shopped for over a year, and zoned in on the furniture stores/types of furniture/sales reps I wanted to patronize before bringing my husband in to make the final decision/purchase. I do not like being followed around while shopping, so sales reps who respected my space--while being available, of course--received the sales commission.
* Did I already tell you the one about receiving a whopping $432 refund on a patio furniture set from Home Depot because we purchased the furniture, came back with our U-Haul truck to load the furniture, and got the heftiest refund I've ever received because the item went on sale in the interim due to the 4th of July holiday?
* Purchased a leather sectional during a furniture store's going-out-of-business clearance sale (and we still negotiated the final price successfully), thereby saving hundreds of dollars.
* Further, we utilized balance transfer checks, good for 0% interest for the full year; paid the 3% fee; and we have a pay-off plan in place.
* To accessorize, I bought inexpensive, quality-looking decor and accessories vs. going to a florist or interior designer.
* The Living Room looks fab and we won't have the debt to go along with it! Despite our "microwave" society, delayed gratification and patience is not out-of-style.
* Received a GPS as a gift this fall!


* Using regular coupons from Sacred Melody and Factory Card Outlet, where the cards are already generally less than $1.50 anyway
* Requesting discounts on vehicle repairs
* Redeeming "Kohl's Kash", coupons toward the next shopping trip after making a minimum purchase amount generating a $10 coupon, at least in my case. I have used this three times to purchase gifts during the holiday season, and have saved $30 (off of items I was going to purchase anyway).
* Purchased a Syracuse coupon book for $20; but the savings far outweigh the price of the book; for instance, there are numerous restaurant coupons such as buy one entree, get another for free!
* Booking certain purchases in advance (i.e., airfare tickets)
* Calling our Phone/Internet/Cable carrier upon notification of a rate increase and being granted exemption from the bundled increase--simply by asking--even in this economic recession
* Questioning an automatic overcharge on our credit card by $50 and getting it corrected/credited


* Gotta watch that parking downtown!