- Personal Finance
How to save money during the winter
Picture this scenario…
You wake up to a whopping 6 degrees out, realize that it will take you 30 minutes to scrap off the snow your car, so you put on your long johns followed by a pair of jeans, two turtle necks, a sweater, winter coat, gloves, hat, scarf, extra pair of socks, and boots, and as you step outside and enter the bitter, freezing cold, you realize that you really do not need that cup of coffee and newspaper. So you end up making coffee at home and reading the news online.
Sound familiar? If you live in the Northeast like I do, or are experiencing the cold where you live, then you can relate. If you cannot relate, welcome to my world - this hell called the never-ending winter of 2010 / 2011.
Thinking Positive – I am saving money!
I realize as I approach the 3rd straight month of winter, that I am actually saving money. How can I spend it when it is too cold outside to go anywhere? There are so many ways I am saving, let me explain.
Ways I am Saving Money
GroceriesInstead of making frequent trips to the grocery store, I will stock up on sale items. When spaghetti sauce is in sale BOGO (Buy one get one) free, I will buy 5 and get 5 free.
The same goes for everything else that goes on sale - pasta, crackers, canned soup (excellent food for when you are freezing). When soup was on sale for a dollar, I bought 10! I end up spending less money overall because I am saving gas and cheaper priced food now, instead of using more gas and buying soup full-priced in a week or two.
Outside ActivitiesThere is no reason to go out to an outside bar or restaurant for the ambiance - there is none when it is near sub-zero temperatures. Miniature golf is closed and skiing if far too expensive. I stay in, and save $20.00 a month or more.
We have been playing Scrabble a lot this winter and loving it. Board games are a great way to save money. We also cook more frequently and rarely venture out for dinner, especially on the holidays like Valentine's Day. A neighbor of mine went to Olive Garden and had to wait outside for 10 minutes because the lobby was full. No thanks.
I usually do not mind doing errands and love finding sales. In the winter, I will group my errands and run to the stores far less often. The less I have to be in the cold, the better. I also learn to make due with what I have - if I am out of cream for my coffee, I will use milk. No time to be fussy when there is ice to scrape off the car. As I drink my coffee with milk, I look out the window and hope the sun melts the ice.
Winter can be very daunting, but when you realize that by staying inside, you may be spending less and saving more. You realize that you can make the best of it, and pray for Spring.
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