Saturday, October 28, 2017

Cutting the Cable Cord!

As time goes on, I find myself more likely to stay in than I am to go out.  Partially, this has to do with the fact that I get up at roughly 5 AM in order to get ready for work.  Staying in also saves me a fair amount of money.  I come home, make dinner, and sit down to watch some "mind candy" on television.  When I first moved into my apartment, I got a great deal on a cable subscription.  Eventually, that went away.  We all know those "great deals" are usually for a limited time only.  When they inevitably go away, suddenly the cable bill skyrockets.

I've been hesitant to pull the plug on our cable package even though we've got a Netflix and Hulu subscription.    I had been feeling like there were gaps that I would really be missing.  For example, we watch the news every morning before going to work, and didn't really care to alter that habit.    We bought an antenna but the results were patchy...

Well, I'm pleased to say that we finally got a divorce from cable, and haven't given up any of the things we love most!  Here's how we did it.

We kept our Netflix subscription the same.  Then we made an amazing discovery.  Hulu is trying out a new service package (a trial run to be exact).  This new package allows you to stream a number of stations in real time.  I was able to get the major stations: ABC, CBS, etc.  Additionally, I was thrilled to discover that I could get some of my favorites including HGTV and Food Network! What's even better is that it only costs me $40 a month!    This is way better than a cable subscription if you ask me!  It's also saving us over $50 a month too!  As far as I'm concerned this is a win-win situation.  We get a lot of the channels we love, and freedom from the cable company!

Have you had success cutting cable?  What was your strategy, and how is it going?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

4 things I DON'T spend money on!

I ran into some friends in my neighborhood on my way to running some errands. I was about to head downtown to do my primary grocery shopping at Trader Joe's.  I explained to them that our neighborhood grocery is the one I use to "fill in the gaps."  Being somewhat a health food nut, I do a lot of grocery shopping at Trader Joe's because I get a lot of the "health food" I prefer at a must less expensive price.  Of course, I can't manage to get literally everything I need there, so I usually end up at my neighborhood store for a few items. These friends of mine had just finished doing some grocery shopping, and made a comment they they too use the neighborhood store to "fill in the gaps", but those "gaps" just set them back FIFTY BUCKS!  I nodded my head to commiserate as I  glanced at their shopping bags.  I couldn't help but notice a package of paper towels...  So, without further ado:

4 things I don't spend money on:

1.  Napkins/Paper Towels

These items are expensive to buy at the grocery store so, unless I have to do some massive cleaning that requires these disposables, I don't bother to buy them.  Whenever I buy a coffee out, or order takeout, they give me a zillion napkins (which I don't really need).  I stash them in my bag, and they go into the napkin holder once I get home.  That has kept me with enough napkins to meet my needs for almost as long as I can remember.  Seriously, I think maybe two years ago I bought one roll of paper towels.  Maybe, this sounds super cheap, or cheesy...  Or perhaps you've got kids and need a ton of paper towels, and this won't work for you, but it's working for me..And saving me money.

2.  Expensive Cleaners

Along with being a health food nut, I am also all about natural products where possible.  This definitely bleeds over to the category of "cleaners."  I have plenty of books on natural methods of cleaning and disinfecting things, and have found that what has worked for our grandparents FOREVER still works today for me.  I have spray bottles and such at home with mixtures of things that are cheap, effective, and living in my pantry.  It's amazing what you can do with lemon, vinegar, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, etc.  In fact, you can make your own laundry detergent (which I did for years, but now I use drop off service since moving to NYC) for much cheaper than what you buy in a store.  I will leave you to your own research, but I am suggesting, you can save a bundle, and keep a very clean house...just like grandma did.

3.  Veggie Stock

You can spend a ton of money on this stuff.  I make my own.  I keep a baggie in my freezer for the ends of veggies that are ready to be discarded.  Once the baggie is full, I boil the veggie ends into stock and freeze it.  My home made stock tastes way better than what is in the store, I know what's in it, and it's much cheaper.  It also doesn't really take me time.  I just let it simmer when I am doing other things at home.

4.  Haircuts for my cat...

If you love your pet groomer, continue on!  Otherwise, I have my own electric clippers.  My partner and I trim our long haired cat ourselves when needed.  We spend plenty of money buying her the healthiest food, and the litter with the least chemicals, but kitty hair cuts?  We've got that one covered!

How about you?  What are some things that other people are paying for that you aren't?  We'd love to hear your tips!