Thrifty Resolution Ideas for 2011

>> 12.30.2010

Us bloggers love creating resolutions (I’m sure you’ll be reading a slew of resolution posts in the next couple of weeks ) so I’ve come up with a short list of ideas that might just improve your life and budget over the next year…

To Lose Weight and Save Money:

*Cut back on meat- One of the main reasons why my weekly grocery budget is so low is that I don’t buy meat (and Nate eats about half of the amount a normal person might eat). Because of this habit, I don’t have the urge to go to fast food restaurants (no choices for me there) and all of my entrĂ©e choices at other restaurants are a good $2-3 cheaper than the meat choices. In addition to being better for the animals, reducing your meat consumption will also help out with the environment… I’d call this resolution a win-win-win!

yum... chik'n!

*Say goodbye to sodas- Come on, you know that leaving this habit behind in the new year will instantly cut back a huge chunk on unnecessary calories. At one can of soda a day, you’re looking at losing 1.32 pounds per month or 15.94 in a year (here’s how I calculate those numbers)!! Already switched to diet soda? Imagine cutting the costs… if you drink just a six-pack per week and one restaurant soda that adds up to about $20 per month and $240 in a year.

*Make exercise a social activity- Convert your shopping or happy hour friends into a walking partner. You won’t need to spend money in order to see each other and you might just get healthier along the way!

*Stop buying food that you don’t need- Packaged snacks, extra meals (in case of apocalypse?), and desserts are totally out for 2011. Instead of piling up your cart with brightly colored boxes, make a list (mental is fine) of meal ingredients and stick to it!

I know it looks sparse in there, but we eat as we buy: milk for cereal, fruit and yogurt for snacks, veggie soup/ pasta for dinner and leftover lunch, plus a few condiments and extras to make meals with foods from the pantry. Options are so overrated!

More Thrifty Ideas:

*Learn a new skill- Do I hear DIY? Can you imagine helping to tile your son’s bathroom in twenty years and saying, “piece of cake, I learned how to do it in 2011!” Remember there will probably be sewing, caulking, or sodding mistakes along the way, but those money saving skills will last a lifetime.

*Get bold- I promise, you can be polite and make friends AND get what you want. For 2011, try practicing using a few key phrases like, “is that the best price you can give me?,” “do you offer any discounts for x, y, or z?,” and “ Believe me, once I left behind the shy part of my personality, I never looked back!

*Explore your area- Can a few fun day trips replace an exotic vacation this year? Why not forget about your old routines once in a while and follow local coupons to new restaurants and businesses?

Are you planning any changes to save money in 2011?


Amanda@Married Life Diaries December 30, 2010 at 12:19 PM  

I am glad to see someone has a fridge that looks similar to ours! Happy 2011!

Ashley @ Florida Bungalow December 30, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

Like Amanda, I'm glad my "empty" fridge isn't alone. Guests see our fridge and say "Where's all your food?!" We only buy what we know we'll eat so we don't waste money on things going bad in the fridge.

Jennifer December 30, 2010 at 1:24 PM  

I've got the first few suggestions under my belt already (whoohoo!) but I certainly need to be a little more bold! Especially since I'm in a new town and only know a few people!

Hmm... My goals include adding a few more vegan meals to my regular rotation and trying one new recipe per week! I also need to kick the budgeting up a notch! Tips like these really help =)thanks girl!

Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

threeacres December 30, 2010 at 1:28 PM  

Great advice! Now if only I could convince my husband to stop drinking soda and juice...

Jeannine @ Small and Chic December 30, 2010 at 2:04 PM  

I'm with you on the meat...I wish the finance would give more up. I told him I'd work with chicken and turkey, but no meat or pork. If it were up to me, we'd be totally meatless.

loribethswan December 30, 2010 at 5:41 PM  

I want to lose weight too. I kind of put it off before the wedding, because my dress fit perfectly. But now that the wedding is over, I think it's time to get serious about it.

Jill December 30, 2010 at 8:07 PM  

oh I couldn't reduce meat. ya know, ALDI's has some really good meat selections for less! hmm, Aldi's is a midwest thing. not sure where you live. but not that we eat a whole lot of meat anyway. usually for breakfast, sausage or oven baked bacon, that's a yum! when we're in the mood for a steak, we go for it..... i heard cutting back on bread is good to loose weight, right??

spark! (Ada-Marie) December 30, 2010 at 8:55 PM  

Great post!! We cut our meat consumption in half last year and love eating "flexitarian". I love your day-tripping resolution. I may steal that idea! :)

Sara @ Russet Street Reno December 31, 2010 at 5:04 PM  

I love Boca chickn. I hope to save money by not buying things! HA

Melissa January 1, 2011 at 10:16 PM  

I guess I lose the argument... I'm forever telling my husband not to put our pots and pans in the fridge.

If we actually had fewer options in the fridge and finished the contents of those pots faster, maybe I'd be ok with it.

Marge Mercurio January 1, 2011 at 11:23 PM  

Thanks for these tips -- I esp liked the last two about getting bold and asking -- 'do you have a better price' or 'will that item go on sale soon' or 'is that the best you can offer'...

And exploring my area. I live in Colorado so a day trip to any place is a new adventure, close to home and affordable.

Thanks again! Marge

loribethswan January 2, 2011 at 7:08 AM  

Did you know there are added benefits to cutting out or cutting down on meat? I only cook fish or poultry, and Jim's cholesterol and sugar levels have gone down so much his doctor asked him if he had started running.

Tanja @ Postmodern Hostess January 4, 2011 at 2:42 AM  

Just curious... any secrets on finding deals on the meat replacement options out there? I like buying the Morningstar products, since they are the only meatless things my husband will eat without complaint, but they can be sooooo pricey! Almost more than actual meat sometimes. I get the few products at Trader Joe's that they carry, but otherwise the SoCal grocery stores charge in the $4-5 range for a package of four pieces. Crazy!!!

Happy new year!


Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 4, 2011 at 8:38 AM  

@Tanja~ Those meat replacements can get expensive! We usually keep on the lookout for coupons and store sales and then stock up like crazy (as much as we can fit in the freezer)!! For us, it's also worth it to check a variety of grocery stores because the sales seem to move around.

Also, we don't eat meat replacements every day. We do a lot of beans, high protein grains, eggs, and dairy products to make up the protein differences for less money. I'm always looking at food labels for high protein and high iron foods.

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode January 5, 2011 at 2:56 PM  

I stock up on the Boca buffalo chicken nuggets whenever they're on those things!
However, I've been eating a lot more meat since moving in with my boyfriend. It's definitely cause a spike in grocery bills. So this year we're moving towards more vegetarian recipes. Hopefully he'll like them!

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