Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last day of the year, so lots of planning to do...

I want to achieve/do a number of things this year and have been thinking/planning for them.

I want to try and keep our grocery/cleaning items/personal items budget down to $75 a week for the two of us.  I plan on keeping track of that on the sidebar.  I also want to make sure I participate in the 20 x the points events at Shopper's Drug Mart to build my points up for the next Mega Redemption day, hopefully in December of 2012.  By the way there is a 20 x the points at Shopper's today.  I figure, even if I only do it ten times, with what points I already have I could end up with enough points to do two redemption's next December, which would be $500 worth of free product, if it was the same as this year.  I will put a running total of what I have spent and how many points earned this year to see what all this will cost.

I want to carry on with Swagbucks as I am getting $10 to $15 worth of Amazon gift cards per month for doing very little.  If anyone from Canada, the States or Britain wants to get gift cards for free just let me know.  I enjoy doing the Pinecone surveys and I think this year I was able to earn around $75 from them, without even leaving the house.  All that money went into the saving's account.

I want to continue reviewing books, as I love reading and I also love being able to donate the books to our local library, as they are averaging around 4 books per month from me, saving at least $60 per month.

I am participating in Carla's "No (low) spend January" to try and keep me accountable.  I am also participating in Saving To Travels THE NEW SEALED POT CHALLENGE


Well,little bits and bobs of money are squirrelled away in an assortment of SEALED POTS and the result is....A NICE CHUNK OF MONEY JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, OR TO PUT TOWARDS HOLIDAYS... OR A TREAT, OR LOTS OF FUN when we open them in DEC 2012!
Following the CHALLENGE couldn't be easier as you simply get a pot (mine is an old gravt tub but others have posher types), make a hole for cash (if not provided), make sure it's sealed so you can't open it, chuck your spare cash in it and then ON THE 3RD DEC WE WILL OPEN THEM TOGETHER! It's not a competition, we just will support each other here to keep going with ANOTHER CRAZY SCHEME TO SAVE MONEY!

My sealed pot is a plastic Quality Street container that I "artfully" stuck bits of paper tissue over it to cover the clear plastic, so I couldn't see in it.   Molly helped out by doing her Vanna White impression for me:

I have no idea what we'll do with the money, it will all depend on how much we save.  I do know though that I am only putting 5, 10 and 25 cent coins in the pot.  By the way I am saying "we" as I am hoping dh will pop the odd coin in there!!

I do want to have a full veggie garden this year and dh has offered to help me with that.  I know we will have an abundance of fruit, as I don't have to make jam for a wedding this year, so will be able to freeze a lot.

I am still putting $20 away each week for birthday's and for Christmas.  Also putting $50 a week away for "special" things, like a wedding we are going to at the end of February, that will cost $300 for the "wedding present envelope."  Then I hope to save spending money to go away on vacation later on in the year.

I will of course try and cut back on our utilities but with rising costs that is proving harder and harder and here is a prime example.

In 2010 it cost us $1,788.29 for 1922 litres of heating oil.

In 2011 it cost us $1,859.54 for 1625.3 litres of heating oil.

As you can see we used nearly 300 litres less in heating oil in 2011, but it still cost us over $71.00 more due to the rise in oil prices.

I want to put loonies ($1) and twoonies ($2) in my pot every week to save up for gardening supplies in April/May and hope to have $150 saved by then.

I plan on doing an inventory of my freezers and clean them out.  Same with the pantry need to sort out what it in there.  Do more menu planning if possible so I am more organized and not tempted to eat out.

We got four $50 restaurant gift cards from the kids for Christmas so that will be our treat for eating out.

I know I have more things I want to plan/do but this is a start.

How about you?


laura @ move to portugal said...

Good luck with all your challenges and goals in 2012 Gill.
Happy New Year!

Susan said...

Oh Yes, I have lots of plans this year too. The top of my list is to be very frugal and save-save-save.
I'll be basically doing all the same things as you have planned, so I'll be keeping an eye on how you go.
Enjoy your night and a very happy new year to you. Susan

Valerie said...

I hope after all that you have a wonderful year. You deserve it. I don't think I've ever come across such a fastidious saver but I have to admire your efforts and your success.

Happy New Year, Gill.

stitcheranon said...

Some great ideas there....def. given me something to think about xxx Good luck with the veggies. Daughter has just bought me a polytunnel so hopefully our dreadful weather will not have the same impact this year as last xx

Boyett-Brinkley said...

Your plan sounds wonderful -- I especially like the sealed jar project. I might try it just to see how much I can save up. I am definitely getting on the meal planning bandwagon as well as I am tired of eating out. The last two times we have eaten out neither of us felt good afterward so that is my sign! You are a very good influence!

cheshire wife said...

That post has given me something to think about! Good luck with your plans and a Happy New Year to you.

Christy said...

I started yesterday by canceling voicemail on our home phone. That will save $150/year. I will keep up the Christmas savings as well as putting money away every week for cat expenses and new tires. I am also saving for a new mattress.
I was hoping to head to the 20x points day today but am not sure if I will with the freezing rain we got here. Maybe I will just have to spend $100 next time!

Jane and Chris said...

This year we are concentrating on de cluttering (things in boxes we no longer use),house maintenance, cutting up dead and fallen trees for firewood, and tightening our belts even further if possible.
Jane x
See you soon (with any luck!)
Jane xx

The Witch said...

Good luck with all your great money saving idea's. I have a few idea's also but haven't joined any challenges as yet. I'm going to start saving for my garden seeds and landscaping projects because I realized I really did spend a lot of cash of these items. Wishing you and your Hubby a Very Happy New Year all the best in 2012.
So glad to hear that Molly is ok, give her a treat for me.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

You will have alot going on in 2012, Gill. But my hat's off to you for being a super saver. It's so necessary these days. Good girl! :)

~Carla~ said...

Your goals & plans are very much in line with mine, Gill! :) I'm excited for the New Year! Good luck with your goals!

reginascottage said...

dear gill,
i have lots of plans this year,too.
i will save more money.
good luck with your goals for 2012.
happy new year!

Piece by Piece said...

My plans are to do much the same things as you, I joined SFT's Sealed Pot Challenge also. All the money I save at the grocery store, with coupon's (thanks to your previous blog re web sites for coupons) and specials is going in my sealed pot. I can't believe how much is in there already. My SP $'s willgo towards Christmas 2012, as it will be opened too late for me to use for my "bucket list" trip to Africa.
All the best for 2012.

Star said...

That's very impressive Gill. My goodness, I haven't even given a thought to all that sort of thing. You have put me to shame. Please tell me more about the Amazon gift card initiative. Thanks.

Evelyn said...

Gill i look up to you for the way you can save money. can you give me the link to reviewing books? I think I had it once but they never got back to me.

beagleAnnie said...

Your post impressed me very much. I love the blue-and-green pot!

Rose said...

I definitely want to start the Christmas savings again...I used to always do that but didn't the past couple of years and I sure missed it this year!

I already have change for quarters, one for nickles, one for dimes and one for pennies....they are slated for a new computer someday.

I have always saved loose change and have bought two or three things with went a long way towards new sofa a chair a few years ago...I think I had between $700-$800, then an exxpensive toy for my husband...can't think what else...nothing as big as those though.

Stephanie D. said...

Glad you're doing so well with your savings and such! I tried to sign up for swagbucks and surveys 2 days ago and immediately my phone and email were deluged with unwanted phone calls and tons of spam. I immediately unsubscribed from everything but am still getting swamped with as many as 30 spam emails in 10 minutes. {{shudder}} I think I'll have to go about bringing in extra income and savings just a little differently. This didn't work for me, but I'm glad it works for you.

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