Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lions and tigers and $53/mos. increases, OH, MY!

   With the mail the other day came the MOST unpleasant news that our health insurance is going up to the tune of $53 smackers a month. Yikes!
   When Hubby took an early retirement in 2009 just a couple of weeks shy of his 49th birthday, I quit work that same year, so we could travel whenever we wanted and not be held back by my job constraints. I didn't retire...I quit, meaning no lovely pension for me. Which means, we are effectively on a fixed income. Which means, getting the most out of our $$ is my full-time job.
   So, though some may laugh at my small economies, they make perfect sense to me. I spend as little money as possible on the things with short-lived value (like one-time use products, utility bills, etc.), so we will have as much money as possible to spend on the things we do value, like family and travel. I know, I know, I've said this before--it's my MANTRA!
   So, here you find me, more dedicated than ever before to frugal living. Thanks for whichever of you wonderful people recently reminded me of the value of making double, even triple batches. Here you see what's left after lunch, what was a full veggie lasagna. Previously I'd have just made half of that. Two containers of lasagna are headed for the freezer, for those "don't-feel-like-cooking-days." Gonna have to be extra cautious not to get caught without options when it comes to dinner, so no eating out because there's nothing in the house to eat.
   Now, where can I cut $53 out of the ole monthly budget and not feel it? I'll be needing all the help I can get on this one!
UPDATE: Hubby has since informed me that the $53 buck increase was for both TAXES as well as health insurance increases. Regardless, the total decrease to our take-home income is $53/month.


Tightwad Mom said...

Stink, stink, STINK! I hate that insurance can raise rates anytime they feel like it!!!! I feel your pain, because we had so many medical claims in 2010 our insurance is going up $309.00 a month in 2011. We are self employed, so we pay an outrageous premium anyway. My monthly insurance bill is know more than my mortgage payment!

Anonymous said...

Do you have cable tv service? That's always one thing you can cut out. There are so many tv shows online now that you might now miss it.


singlemama said...

hard question!
since I am single I must pay attention to every cent...

Dmarie said...

@TM, let me just say OUCH. I've no room to whine about $53 when looking at your number.
@Shorty, we've never had cable, which I think is one reason why we're able to do all we do. And you got it...we never miss it.
@Single, looking to every cent is just the ticket! I've started pasting our water bills in a notebook & playing at making it go down each mos. wish me luck!

Mary said...

With reducing your water bill, there are several things you can do.

You could buy the little screw-on caps for your water faucets (make sure you get one that fits) to the tune of $2-$10 per fitting.

You can also do things like buy a kit to change your toilets to dual flush toilets where if it's just liquids you push the button and it releases only some water, and for solids you do a full flush. I think the kits cost around $30. (You can also replace your whole toilet with a low-flow toilet, but those are pretty expensive).

Low-flow shower heads are pretty inexpensive, too, but it also depends on what you want. You can get them for $15 but if you want a really fancy one you could spend a lot!

You can use an egg timer for your showers, but that gets annoying.

Water efficient laundry and dish washers are another option, but a big initial investment.

Sorry for the long reply, just recently helped my dad research ways to save water at his house (they have a cistern) so I have lots of stuff bouncing around in my brain right now. :)


I always unplug everything. Even if items are turned off, they still suck energy if plugged in!

Dmarie said...

@Mary, have those low flow thingies in all faucets & a HE washer but will definitely look into that dual flush adapter. thx!
@Spicy, have gotten pretty good about unplugging anything with a light that stays on or a transformer (little black box that stays warm), but I'd do well to do a double check thru the house. Thx! Regret that we don't unplug our microwave, but it forces you to input time/date each time power comes back on. ugh!

Practical Parsimony said...

No paper products come into my house...big savings. I do not use tp. I use washcloths for everything unless I have napkin from somewhere. If you do not want to wash poop, consider using rags from clothing that can be tossed for heavy duty bathroom duty. These are old washcloths or bought at a thrift store for about 15 cents, I think.

It is not gross to wash my own poop from a wash cloth if I must. When IBS acts up, no way. Then, I use paper napkins from fast food, if ever I have them or a rag from clothing or old towels I have cut up for the rag bag.

Don't flush as often. Lower the thermostat one degree more. I want to be able to have a switch upstairs to turn off my hot water heater for most of the day or when I will be gone and not use hot water for an extended time. Wrap pipes. Put blanket on hot water heater.

Use coupons more diligently. Glean more. Freeze more.
My post on my blog tomorrow will be about saving money on milk.

Practical Parsimony said...

Correction--I use old washcloths and rewash for pee. I don't throw them away. I meant to use a rag from clothing for tossing after poop!

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