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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Frugality (Part VII): Combining Trips

Here is my seventh installment on frugality. Again, almost everything I have to say about this is nothing new. Nor are these ideas (for the most part) unique. With gas prices what they are and time being so scarce for everyone, try to plan your trips to the store to coincide with other things you need to do in that area.

For instance, I am in a town close to ours just about every Friday, the gas station where I can generally get the best price for gas is there (where we get a $0.15/gallon discount using our credit card), as is the butcher shop we patronize. So, what do you think I do on the way home? Also sort of on the way home is my milk pick up. This is a little off the highway, but much more efficient and quick to do when I'm already a ways from our home in that general direction rather than making a separate, special trip. In the past few weeks, the lady from whom we buy milk has actually been in our town earlier in the morning than I leave for my Friday outings, so I have been able to meet her with a cooler in the trunk and head out of town with our milk and a shorter trip to make home. Since we also buy our chicken feed from her, this has removed another trip from my rotation.

Our credit union is right next to our library, so when the children and I do our library day trip, I take any financial stuff that needs to be taken care of along with me. I have already told you that I don't shop all the loss leaders at all the different grocery stores in our area. I find that the savings on any particular item (unless it is huge) is generally taken up in gas and time. It is definitely worth it to me to only have to take our children on two or three stops rather than five or six. Taking up a whole day to do our grocery shopping and using all that gas is not my idea of savings.

Again, this is nothing revolutionary, just a way to set one's mind. When the children have activities, if there is time for errands, I arrange to do the things that are in the same area as their activity. If we are going to be in a particular neighborhood anyway, we make sure we have all lists and are prepared to do any shopping or activities that we want to do there. Since we live near a toll road, we definitely combine trips when we are going to get on that. These are some little ways to change how you do things that can make a difference in your monthly budget. When we first moved here, almost 10 years ago, our monthly gas budget was around the cost of what we pay for a week and a half of gas now. Saving money by not making unnecessary trips has definitely made a difference for us. It also means I'm not stuck on the road all the time, dragging the children out for more than we want or need to do.

Previous Posts:
Make it at Home
Grocery Shopping
Waste Not, Want Not
The Celery Stalks at Midnight
Use What You Have

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I love this. I will definately be back to read more.
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