Great idea, @kellyfromkeene.That’s one of the things I also want this year: a small chest freezer for the garage to store extra sales. I use the grocery flyers (I get email notices) that come out on Wednesdays. I’m usually looking for special sales, and I know when certain things will go on sale for the month. For example, I know that the third week of the month, I can usually get roasts on sale (hence, why I’d like a freezer). If you become familiar enough with your stores’ rotations, you can time those purchases.
Also, because I’m always thinking of hurricane season, I buy canned and dry goods on sale year-round, a can or two each time. If I haven’t used them up by a certain time, then I donate them. Then, I just keep repeating. After the winter storm here in Texas in 2021, I decided that it’s always “hurricane” season. I compost all my food scraps (coffee grounds, tea, eggshells, etc.), which my ligustrum shrubs love.
Don’t get me started on browsing/shopping for entertainment. I really miss Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Tuesday Morning (although I have hit TM a few times). Not going to these stores regularly helps with savings.
Utilities: I’m up late at night, so I started leaving off my exterior lights until I actually go to bed. I’ve stopped leaving the lights on in the closets in the extra bedrooms. I know, sounds crazy, but I’ve always left them on because I like to see a bit of light when I pass by or enter. In fact, lighting is a pain point. I like at least four lighting sources in any room and even more in the living areas, so I’ve been an electricity hog. Now, I just keep the room I’m in lit up (just two lights, arrgh). That savings shows up in my bill, as the provider sends me weekly notices of what I used the previous week and the current week. My dryer is gas so it’s not so bad, but I dry small washables on a wooden folding hanger I almost forgot I had. I turn the water off to brush my teeth and try not to let it run unnecessarily in the kitchen.
I’ve eliminated eating out completely since COVID, but will occasionally get takeout, and I still hit fast food places but mostly cook at home in bulk and freeze the leftovers. Really, the biggest expenses are your food and housing. Well, gasoline now.