Cutting Costs in 2009: Part 1

With a recession underway and holiday bills coming due, many families are feeling the pinch this month.  But even if you’re feeling comfortable financially, January is a great time to evaluate spending and consumption in 2008 and set new goals for the year to come. 

In my family we look through our bank statements and think about how they line up with our priorities. 

1. Did we spend too much on a few things we didn’t need? 

We’re making far too many quick trips to the market that result in rash purchases.  Our goal for 2009 is to plan our meals each week and try to limit our shopping to one major trip.  Also, we tent to go a bit crazy in Grocery Outlet at times, buying some organic processed foods to stock our pantry that we sometimes don’t like in the end.

2. Are we shopping more at secondhand shops or big box stores?

The answer is pretty clear to us.  We need to be sure to hit thrift stores first and patiently wait for things to appear.  When time is a factor, we might need to pick up certain items but we can frequent secondhand shops more this year.

Next week I’ll continue the budget review by focusing on our family’s thrifty green victories of 2008 and our goals for the year to come.  We hope you’ll join us again next week for  more eco-friendly, budget friendly tips. 

If you’d like to add a link to your blog below, go here to get directions.  We’d love to have you help us make 2009 a wonderful Thrifty Green Thursday year!


  1. I did do a Thrifty Green Thursday post here:
    I will check back again though to see if Mr. Linky is working for you. 🙂

  2. i did a tft post, too. I’ll check back later. We’re really trying get rid of credit card debt this year and eat less take out.

  3. You will definitely save lots more money if you plan meals ahead of time. In fact, we just did our bi-weekly grocery shopping on Tuesday. Before thinking about going to the grocery store we pick out meals we want to eat from a magazine or cookbook (we have a few on hand). Once we’ve picked out 5-7 meals I write down each meal and the ingredients needed. That helps when the time comes to cook (I like having it all in one place). I normally make a list according to items that would be grouped together so I can take it to the grocery store and find things easier. Then once we get home I write all the possible dinners down on a checklist and slap it on the fridge so that throughout the week we can take a quick glimpse to see what we may be in the mood for. This method probably doesn’t work for everyone, but maybe it will help you figure out the best way to do yours!?

    I have a TGT post up at Wayfaring Wanderer about CSA’s:
    Ready for a CSA

  4. I also have a tgt post:

    We really work hard at managing our money well. Part of that is doing our grocery shopping bi-weekly. I plan out the menu for the coming weeks, and make a list from that. If an item is not on the list, then we don’t buy it. This really helps control those impulse purchases…

    I’ll check back later to see if Mr. Linky is up and working.

  5. Hi, so excited to find your savings tips! I post about green and organic savings all the time, so this is a great fit. I also noticed that I know a few of your regular posters – Hi Alana!

    I think you’re right about secondhand stores. There is one in my town that is a bit upscale and so when I buy something there, I get much better quality than I would normally buy at a fraction of the cost of new “regular” stuff!

    This week I’d like to share a post I wrote about a special deal at SuperTarget where if you buy four organic Mom Made Meals or Munchies by January 18th, Mom Made Foods will send you a $9 SuperTarget gift card plus discount codes for bebe au lait and gdiapers. See:

    The actual offer is here:

  6. I have a TGT post up too. I make my own dairy free Pumpernickel bread!

  7. Meal planning is an absolute must for me! And, I love the goal of shopping more at secondhand stores.

  8. Americans have spent too much, borrowed too much, consumed too much.

    That’s all coming to an end.

    Americans will be forced into a lifestyle of frugality whether they like it or not.

    I welcome the change.

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