It's Thrifty Thursday and while many people want to be frugal and save money, much of the reason it doesn't happen is they don't plan ahead. I am just as guilty of this and often, things fall apart in the financial department because 1) I didn't have a plan or 2) I didn't work my plan.
For me, it's a constant battle, because my personality is such that I can be impulsive or want to act on how I feel at the moment. Don't feel like making dinner; eat out. Don't feel like packing a lunch on a road trip; eat on the highway. Don't feel like making a shopping list; over-purchase. Don't feel like waiting until something is on sale; overspend. It never ends, does it?
You have to plan ahead in order to save money! Here are some different ways to plan ahead.
♥ Either making a menu for the week or at least plan for the next day. So take whatever you need out of the freezer. Have a plan in place of what needs to get done when so 6 p.m. doesn't roll around with your head in the refrigerator, wondering what's for dinner.
I was at a friend's house on Saturday for a craft fair and she had a house full of vendors, all kinds of food she had prepared for the event, and yet, when I looked over at her kitchen counter, her dinner was in the crockpot! I can't even tell you how many events I host where I've been so overwhelmed with getting ready and haven't even thought about the evening meal. So we end up spending hard earned money on fast food.
♥ Wait until something goes on sale before you purchase it. I try to follow this principle with fabric. I know our local craft store has sales after the holidays. I try to wait to buy fabric until after the holiday when the fabric is priced to go. Then I'll use a coupon so I'm spending pennies for what was very expensive fabric.
♥ Keep a running grocery list and when you are running low on something, add it to the list. I generally have a back up of things I know I use up quickly. For example, I always have 1 extra bottle of dish soap, 1 extra tube of toothpaste, shampoo, etc. This way I'm never out and stuck paying extra because I'm in a pinch.
♥ Don't be lazy! I can get this way. Last night was a perfect example. I didn't follow my own strategy. I had planned on making calzones for dinner but got busy sewing and didn't pay attention to the time. When I came out of the sewing room, it was 4:30 and I hadn't started the dough. So my first response was, "Let's order pizza." But then I started realizing that we could eat by six if I would just get up and get moving. So I did.
Then I went to make salad and realized I was out of dressing. I make my own and it literally only takes a few minutes, but I didn't "feel" like it, so was tempted to have Dan buy some when he was out picking up Emily from the library. But I made myself do it anyway. In fact, we got our wires crossed and Dan did buy some at the local convenience store and ended up spending, $2.59 for a tiny bottle when I was able to make my own large bottle for about $ .75.
♥ Don't buy on credit UNLESS you know without a doubt that you will pay the bill in full when you get it. Credit card debt is the worst kind because it literally makes you a slave.
These are just a few examples. I know you can think of hundreds of other ways to plan ahead. Times are tough and I'd rather hang onto my money than throw it away and I'm sure you feel the same way.
I love being able to do these Thrifty Thursday posts because I love gleaning new ideas from others. What are some ways you plan ahead in the financial department?
Don't forget to leave a comment on my Passing it On post by tomorrow evening to enter the blog drawing.