Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cutting Corners in a Lean Economy

This morning I had a conversation with one of my old friends about the economy. He is convinced that if things get much worse that there will be a tremendous social upheaval. Of course, one of the problems in a tight economy is that people don't have money to spend and those that do cut back. I started thinking of some measures that I have been taking lately:

1) Used a coupon and my favorite shop to get an oil change and tire rotation for $20. Quite a bargain
2) Decided to downgrade to a budget motel on my trip this weekend to Rochester, MN. Since my son and I barely spend any time at the motel and just basically need it for a place to sleep one night, I decided to make a reservation at a highly rated budget chain motel. I am sure that it will not be as nice as the one we have normally stayed at, but it also costs 40% less.
3) Making sure that I get my prescriptions through mail order rather than at the local drug store since I can get a three-month supply via mail for the cost of a one-month supply locally.
4) Although a local car dealer has a great sale on Mustang convertibles, I looked at them and thought that it might be better to instead get some body work done on my current convertible and continue to drive it. So ... I spent $800 for body work and the old car looks pretty darn good. Much better than picking up a new monthly payment.
5) Bought lettuce by the head instead of buying the more convenient but also more costly pre-packaged and pre-washed variety.
6) Bought gyros from a place that has a "buy two, get one free after 4:00 p.m." deal.
7) Searched for found a coupon code that can be used online to order large one-item pizzas from a national chain for $4.99 each.

These examples are just off the top of my head. The point is that the economy has forced me to look carefully at my spending habits and has caused me to change my behavior. The end result is that I am pumping less money into the economy. Take someone like me and multiply the same behavior by thousands or millions and you begin to wonder how this economic mess can ever be fixed. Do not fear, however, as a 900-mile automobile trip this weekend with gas currently at $4.099/gal means that I will be pumping my share of cash into the economy.


Blogger Josie said...

Ah, you fixed it. Thank you.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Shelly said...

It's pretty amazing how much you can save just paying a little attention. I was shocked last time I weeded through my spending habits. A few little changes (downgrading the cable package, making my own chai tea instead of Starbucks), and I cut almost $300/month from my expenses. It was actually a pretty nauseating revelation how much money I waste. I should probably cull through it all again; it has been a while.

2:34 PM  
Blogger The Neophyte said...

In my case, my wastage was of the plastic variety. Now I am doing everything in cash and am gradually paying off all the plastic. Of course all the OT I'm working allows me some latitude there.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Cranky said...

Well, at the macro level, economizing does slow down consumer spending. But, as a society, we haven't been saving enough so the spending craze we've been in hasn't helped out on that front. A change in one direction has effects in another.

So, economize! I've found that vendors are very open to negotiation. As an example, when I got our last annual security system monitoring bill, I called and requested a reduction equal to about one-third of the total cost. They agreed! woo hoo!

4:57 PM  
Blogger grrouchie said...

yep, it is easy to trim your spending if you put forth a little effort.

I've cut back on all the fun stuff that I normally like and now approach it more sensibly.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous NumbBono said...

8. Instead of straddling for $10 at 1/2 NL table, only straddle for $4.

9. Stop calling down donkeys with just TPTK on well connected boards.

10:23 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Buy two get one free is NOT cheaper if you eat all three instead of your usual one!!!

Numbono #8 - On a downswing ehh? ;)

9:49 AM  
Blogger PokahDave said...

10. Pay what you promised to pay people...

9:03 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Uh Waffles -- the gyros fed three people. Of course, in the good old days, they might have all gone to me!

12:17 AM  

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