Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Penny-Pinching Days

Lately, all I think about are apartments and money. Apartments because the boyfriend and I are moving in together in October (please don't tell my Granny). Money because I'm saving for all the costs of moving (hiring movers, security deposit, etc.).

While I've been living paycheck to paycheck since I started working, I haven't been frugal by any means. If I saw a shirt I liked, I'd buy it. If I was far away from home and lazy, I'd take a cab. If I was out to dinner, I'd have a glass of wine (or 4).

All along the way, I've been saving what I can. Saving is important but I also strongly believe that living is important too. Especially here in New York. I don't pay a ridiculous amount for rent to sit in my apartment and watch TV.

These days, I'm keeping track of my money like it's my job. I've been making lunches (and breakfasts and snacks) to bring to work. Renting movies On Demand instead of going to the theater. When I do go out to eat it's for some cheap eats. I'm clipping coupons (and turning into my mother). I'm saving a lot more than I used to.

Since everything here is expensive I've been shopping around when it comes to where I shop. My two new favorites: Whole Foods and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Whole Foods can be pricey. Very pricey. But not when you buy the Whole Foods brand 365 Everyday Value. For example, brand name yogurt at the average New York grocery story is $1.09. Whole Foods yogurt $0.79. Buying 365 Everyday Value cheese crackers is cheaper than buying Cheez-Its.

Bed, Bath & Beyond really does go beyond. Once my go-to for home needs, Bed, Bath & Beyond is now my go-to for all my drugstore needs. There is an entire drugstore within Bed, Bath & Beyond! Earlier this week, I went to Duane Reade to purchase a new hair brush (I'm pretty sure my little sister stole mine when I was visiting her last weekend). The brush I wanted was $10.99! For a Conair hairbrush! At Bed, Bath & Beyond a very similar and also Conair brush was $4.99.

Hopefully my savings at Whole Foods and Bed, Bath & Beyond, along with cutting back on shopping and dining out, will help me move with out going totally broke.

33 comments:

Erica said...

While I already live with my boyfriend, we just moved again and I forgot how expensive it was the first time. I just discovered that home goods at Bed, Bath & Beyond as well, and it's awesome!

My PB&J sandwiches aren't as awesome as going out for lunch with my co-workers, but being able to save for vacations and not have a panic attack when we realized we needed 3 more gallons of "Sea Rover Blue" is definitely worth it.

Foreign said...

If theres one thing that really stresses me outtt it's not having enough money. I love to budget. I'll actually not buy a shirt, but usually I never say no to going out with friends. And I save at dinners by not geting a drink etc. I still have just as much fun, but on a budget!

It's fun, one you get into it.
Good luck :)

Dollface said...

I totally hear you... right now I have 93 cents in my checking account.. this has been a rough month!!! and I just moved in as well, it will get better, xxxoo

L.A. Daze said...

Isn't moving just a big pain in the butt? I always end up spending more than what I have budgeted for. How come your BF isn't helping out with the moving costs?

Sockit2me said...

I will be sure that my cousin, who is a biggie at Duane Reade, doesnt see your blog post!!!! btw....BB&Beyond also owns Harmon Discount ...which is your Drugstore within BB&B! BBB coupons work at both stores!

Becca Christensen said...

Saving in the early part of your career is so hard isn't it? There's just so many fun options to spend your money on. If you're looking long term to be smart with your money, etc I recommend Suze Orman's 'The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke'. She understands wanting to live it up - but she also helps you prioritize so you can get somewhere financially. I'm taken some of her advice and I'm not debt free and still having a blast. : ]

Marcia said...

A little effort can do so much. Good luck with saving up!

golublog said...

All the fun stores are pricey. Except Target. That's why I love it so.

Lauren Jade said...

I feel y a girl..I just order a Michael Kors tote...I justified it saying that I'm moving to Australia...so I needed it.

Lindsay said...

Whole Foods can be pricey, but you're right, their brand is way cheaper than others at regular grocerty stores. Plus, they have awesome smoothies so it's a win-win.

Magchunk said...

My man and I are also moving in together in October (congrats, btw), and we're in the same money crunch. Although we're just getting a UHaul and bribing his friends to lug it all into the new place. But I'm saving for decorating!

Amanda said...

I'm right there with you! After moving to LA, I learned very quickly that money goes fast. It's hard to live paycheck to paycheck, and I've just recently made a budget that I'm trying my hardest to stick to. Just last night I found electronic coupons that can be loaded onto my supermarket shopper card, I was elated!!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Great ideas for saving money. I have been constantly saving/penny-pinching since I started school four years ago! I completely agree that saving money is a great thing but when you save almost every penny you earn it can be annoying!!

Good luck with the move - moving can be SO expensive!

christinamg said...

I am totally with you! I have been using rewards cards for my groceries, buying non name brand groceries, coupons, etc. I buy certain groceries at Target (very good prices!), certain at Trader Joes, etc.

I am always calculating and recalculating my bills. I earn free movie passes at work and refuse to go to a movie unless I have one. Or I will splurge on our $2 theatre. They show movies that are about to go to DVD. Awesome find!

Unfortunately, that is life right now. But I think it will all do us some good in the long run. We are all becoming more aware of our financial situations and that is a great tool!

On the plus side...most of my friends are in the same situation. So at least I can be poor with friends! And maybe one day we'll get to be financially stable together too! :-)

Good luck!

Melanie's Randomness said...

Hi! I'm working girl in Rockland County, NY 20 minutes outside of NYC & Im trying to move out as well. If you give your email at some stores, I think Bed, Bath, & beyond does it too, you can get emailed coupons!! It really saves money! =)

Michelle said...

You shouldn't be ashamed of clipping coupons, I do and I don't mind. Groceries shouldn't be damned expensive anyway so if a coupon comes a long for a product you use all the time, then go for it!

I too rent movies on Demand; Blockbuster is cheaper by $2 but if I'm too lazy to get to the store, I'll use on Demand.

I have Air Miles and when I have enough I cash them in for dinner gift cards or entertainment gift cards.

I also shop at the grocery stores where there are deals. I used to shop at Safeway all the time, but that became so ridiculously expensive I found a great store where every thing is cheap and the veggies and fruit are fresh. I always shop around.

Pinching pennies isn't being cheap or frugal. Gas isn't 20 cents a gallon anymore, you cannot get a ton of groceries for under $100 (when I travel into the US by car I always bring extra money with me and shop at Super Target. My cousin prints out coupons from coupons.com and I use them while I'm there!) and cost of living is going up. You need to be able to afford and if you have to pinch pennies, then be it. :)

Amy said...

Just don't get sucked into happy hours you think will be cheap - after 3 hrs of all-you-can-drink you start thinking it's a good idea to drop $50 on a round of jag bombs :-/

Ms. Salti said...

I hear ya, sister! I'm trying to buy a house right now and I'm realizing that the days of going out and having fun are OVER! Time to grow up and be frugal. I'm thinking it will all pay off in the end!

Jean said...

Congratulations on moving in with your boyfriend.

I hear ya on the saving money part. My student loan repayments began in June, and I'm feeling the crunch. Money is such a bother.

Ashley said...

I know how it feels. Moving is extremely expensive and finding places where you can save is very important. On the other hand, you might find that you save money once you have two incomes in the same apartment. Hope everything goes well for you. Congratulations.

Cait said...

Wow, I'm surprised about the Bed, Bath & Beyond drug store - for some reason I would assume that the prices would be higher than drugstores. That's a great tip, though!

Working Girl One said...

Thanks for all the additional saving tips and the congrats on moving with the bf!!! And don't worry girls, he's contributing to the moving costs too!

Cheong Hao said...

Bed, Bath and beyond really does give out good deals..I still remember my mum cutting out those coupons which givesher a 20% discount off..How lucky...I hope to buy more cheap stuffs during thanks giving...

u really save a lot with foods when u buy their own brands...i have no idea how they make it, but it is just awesome...

Indy Real Estate Girl said...

at least you'll be saving a little on the rent once you move in together! i am more of a visual person, so i like to use mint.com which helps keep track of where you spend your money. it has cute pie charts and stuff.

Bustie McGoo said...

Congrats on being frugal-it's tough. I love Whole Foods, especially their 365 brand. And, don't forget to bring your BB&B coupons, the stores around us even take the expired ones! Oh, and we live right next to the public library in our town, so we just rent our movies from there...for free!

Irwin Esq said...

Good luck with the saving up!! I'm in the process of doing that too to get as much debt paid off as quickly as possible so I can purchase a home. The little things really do add up quickly. Like I've stopped getting a diet coke every morning on the way to work. Thats $10 a week right there!

Devorah said...

It's good and important to learn how to save - and I think making homemade lunches is the way to do it! Especially since I work right near a bakery and many restaurants and take outs, that's when it's a challenge! I try to make sandwiches for lunch - it's much cheaper than buying them ready-made! And I keep some juice in the fridge at work so I can have a healthy drink while working hard - that saves $$$ cuz instead of buying small juices, I have a 64oz. bottle here...
Two ways to save $$$$:
Ebates - you get cash back on online purchases. Click here to read more: Ebates – cash back

Swagbucks - search and win! It's another way of doing google searches (you'll get the same great results) but you get points/swagbucks for some of the searches you do and then you can redeem your "bucks" for different prizes/gift cards.
Plus, you'll get 3 swagbucks just for signing up!!

yours truly dear said...

are you on the mailing list for bed bath and beyond? you get 20% off a single item coupons alllll the time, and you can save them up and use 1 coupon for every item you are purchasing if you want.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

I am in love with couponing!!! It's amazing how much stuff you can get for little or sometimes free. But I do wonder, when did I become a 20 something that got excited over Kmart double coupons week??

Kerry Anne said...

I didn't steal your hairbrush!!

cacey.chavonne said...

I just moved in with my BF at well. Although we have lived together, this is our first time on our own living together. its something new and different. but i already feel like im turning into my mom, haha! but yes, whole foods is a really good place when buying their store line. also, alot of stores like target and walmart are moving on up in the clothes area and surprisingly, theres alot more cute and quality things you can find for less! dont be ashamed, as long as you can work it and make it look good, thats all that matters!

FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com said...

Whole foods is my crack

I can't stop going in there and ogling their bath & beauty section

Lose That Girl said...

The initial payout to move will be a pain but once you're settled, moving in with your guy will save you tons of money. Good luck!