June 10, 2008


With the cost of everything from gas to grapes soaring high into the sky, Jimmy and I are making efforts to creatively conserve. Though our budget isn’t as tight as it was when we first got married, everyone’s beginning to feel the crunch one way or another. We are no different.

In times like these I am glad we weren’t raised with a silver spoon in our mouths, because now we have something to fall back on; penny pinching habits we practiced in our younger days.  Here are a few.

Turn Off the Fans and Lights When Not in the Room
Now, this is tough for me. Especially when it come to lighting.  I like a lot of light and often keep lamps on in rooms I'm not inhabiting.  (After all, I might go back.) I also never clean after the sun goes down and prefer not to do it on a cloudy day, because I don’t feel I can see the dust as well. It's a weird little fetish, but it's who I am.

When we all get to heaven it will indeed be heaven to me since there will be no shadow or night. God's glory will give it light! (Revelation 21:23) We won’t need fans either for the coolness of God’s Holy Spirit will prevail. Oh come Lord Jesus. Come!

Consolidate and Coast
Last week I planned out all my trips so they would take me in one big circle. I thought I’d done a good job, only to discover I had to get out again the next day. I gave it an honest try though, and that’s all that matters.   

On both voyages I tried to see how often I could “coast.” If the road angled downward, I would let off the gas and cruise to the signal light or turn. Theoretically this saves a penny or two and it was actually kind of fun to scout out the terrain and calculate whether I could do this without impeding traffic. (Of course this method will go out the window when I’m in a hurry, but it'll be good on the other days.)

Ask God to Curb Your “Wants”
I love Zappos shoes online, Talbots, and Chico’s. I used to shop if I was hungry, full, happy, or sad. I also discovered that I often shop to cope with my husband’s full-time travel. (I'm always a little sad when he leaves town.) He’s been traveling for ten years, so you can imagine how many stores I’ve frequented!

Lately, however, I haven’t been shopping as much because I’ve been asking God to curtail my “wants.” John says, "...ask and you will receive..." (John 16:24) These are great words of wisdom, but believe it or not, they work in reverse too! We can actually ask God to help us not perpetually be in want for things. For me, when it come to the frills in life, this prayer does me a world of good.  You might want to give it a try too.

What are you doing to make ends meet? I have no doubt all my blogging friends know of some very creative and fun ways to cut corners and I'd love for you to share. Even if it's a small idea, please share it!

Isaiah 58:11 "The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."


annette said...

I can rarely get motivated to clean after dark, to me that is a daylight activity with the curtains and shutters opened wide so I can see.

I turn off the lights and fans to save if we are not in the room. I have begun to shut the computer down when it's not in use. I have switched to the mini flourescent light bulbs (yuck), and set the a/c up to 80 when my husband's gone. If he is here it's on 76.

I also hang a lot of laundry to dry now instead of using the dryer. If I use the dishwasher, I do not use the heat dry cycle at the end.

I try to do all my errands at once. I cannot practice your coast theory in southeast Texas, this is our terrain, I can draw a picture for you ________________________

I can't wait to see what others send in.

Have a blessed day.

Irritable Mother said...

Hi Nancy,
Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. My return visit has been fun!
I must say, though, while I will try your coasting practice and I would love to find time to pamper myself some day, I do not think I'll be trying the peanutbutter, bacon and pickle sandwich. LOL
Loving Jesus,

Michelle V said...


I work full time and since I live close to work (only 6 miles away), I used to always go home for lunch. It's nice to get away for that hour. But, now with gas prices being what they are, I take my lunch and take a book and stay at work and eat my lunch.

My work is also very close to Walmart, so occasionally when we need something at home, I will go at lunch because it's much farther if I go from home later.


PJ said...

We've been working on ways to cut back without major changes to lifestyle. I love the coasting downhill...I may try that -- but when I'm not in a hurry! I'm an emotional shopper too. But I have to be not TOO upset, not TOO tired, etc. It's sort of that in-between mood I soothe by shopping!! I gotta watch it.

Love your before and after pictures!!! What a wonderful day.

luvmy4sons said...

Great advice. I try to stop and ask myself-is this a need or a want! If it is a want- do I have to have it now...can it be gotten later...used as a gift idea in the future? I ask God to help me wait.

littlerad said...

I love the ideas, and I need to be better at it...
One thing I am doing is eating less, so the food goes further, plus I need to lose some weight, and so it works together... plus at the store I buy the cheaper brands, and I don't let things go to waste, we eat left overs...
Thank you for the prayers, and i'm praying that you are having a great week...

Anonymous said...

My hubby and I noticed years ago that we both spend more money when we are stressed by separation.

These days we don't 'penny pinch', but with two teens'college looming and looking toward retirement...well, showing our children to conserve spending is necessary. The oldest still gets to use the oldest car of 3 and his insurance is paid for - but he knew he had to get a job to pay for his own gas this summer. He is.

Excellent post, BTW. Barbara

Shari said...

Wow! I thought I was the only one who couldn't clean in the dark. I just feel like a slug in the dark. I need a lot of light (preferrably sunlight) and good music to keep me going. As far as cutting costs, we stopped buying ice cream, treats, we walk more places now, we only shop at the thrifty grocery store which is thirty miles away, but we can spend $200 there and it lasts 2 weeks and at the other stores we were spending that a week! Plus, to save on gas, my husband built a hydrogen generator for our van. It went from 25 miles to the gallon to over 50 mpg. Have a super day! Love reading your blog. :)

Longmeadow Mama said...

My daughter spent some great girly-girl time shopping today....at Goodwill! I can't tell you the way the Lord has blessed us through that store. He always has the best things awaiting us when we go! Like today, we found my daughter an ADORABLE summer dress from Kohl's that still had the tags on. The Kohl's price tag had it on sale for $50...we got it for $1.99. We came home with a bagful of goodies like that today! So my suggestion is to try out Goodwill or other thrift store. You may be pleasantly surprised, and save alot of money too.


Mommyluann said...

Good pointers, friend!

fragilemom said...

Well, luckily I have a lot of friends who get rid of clothes and call me up. I can't tell you the last time I spent my own money on clothes for myself. I love "new to me" clothes.

Since Ian goes to school where my husband teaches, he tries to bring him home a lot to save on getting the van out for the trip. He'll ride the bus to extended year (please pray it goes well).

We are bad, however, at taking the van when we should take the Corolla - like when we are going somewhere that we are toting the kids. Jim normally doesn't like me to take the Corolla (which is what he drives) because it's always a mess....he's right.

The food thing....well....our kids eat like teenagers, and they're only 4, 2, 1. I am seriously not joking. Ian can eat 4 pieces of pizza! We're still trying to figure that one out.

We too, crank the A/C up and shut the blinds during the day wherever the sun is shining in. I can clean light or dark. I try to wash dishes more instead of using the dishwasher as much.

I've enjoyed reading the comments!

StaceyStace said...

I gave up sodas completely. We are eating out less and I am calculating my grocery bill as I shop to keep me focused. So far we are saving at least a few bucks, and trying to find more ways.