Sunday, November 14, 2010

10 Painless Ways To Save $100 This Year

The first 7 pages of TG are the preface, giving a brief history of the Dacyczyns' life and why Amy Dacyczyn decided to start a frugality project of her own. The last half page of the preface is titled 10 Painless Ways To Save $100 This Year. Now remember that TG was started in 1990 and was completed in 1996, so prices are a bit out of date. These 10 tips are pretty easy, but do have an audience, a family with children. Tip #1: Buy ten articles of clothing at thrift stores instead of buying new. #2: Hang dry four loads of laundry per week. #3: Make pizza from scratch. #4: Write letters instead of having lengthy long distance phone calls. #5: Reduce pop intake by four cans per pack a week. #6: Bake two loaves of bread a week instead of buying two. #7: Save $50 on birthdays by making decorations, cake and a present. #8:Cut smoking by three cigarettes per day. #9: Use dry milk for baking, homemade coco and coffee creamer. #10: Pack four school lunches per week instead of buying school lunches.

Modern breakdown:
#5: A 12pack of Coke costs about $6. If you were to buy two 12packs a week that is 104 packs, 1,248 cans, $624 a year. Reducing pop intake by 1/3 is 16 cans a week, 69.333... packs a year, 832 cans a year, $416 a year. This is a yearly savings of $208!
#6: A loaf of bread cost roughly $3. This costs $936 a year, at two loaves a week. If you make your own bread, following this recipe, it cost $1.05 a loaf! Impossible you say? I'll prove it. Yeast costs $1.50 a pound which is equal to $0.03125 a tsp. or $0.125 for the recipe, Sugar is also $1.50 a pound, the same as 37.666... Tbsp, or $0.04 per loaf. Vegetable oil costs $9 per gallon, $0.56 a cup or $0.14 for the recipe. Flour is about $0.60 a pound, a pound of flour is 4.5 cups, $0.66 per loaf. Lastly we have salt, the cheapest thing in existence, $.98 for 26 ounces or 122.75 tsp, which is $.008 a tsp, less than $0.02 for the recipe. Following this recipe with the prices I have listed, for two loaves of bread a week is $2.10, $109.20 a year for yearly savings of $826.80.
#8 Cigarettes: In MA cigarettes cost about $8 a pack, which for a pack a day smoker is $2,920 a year. If you were to reduce your smoking by three cigarettes a day you would only be paying $2,482 a year, this is a yearly savings of $438.

Reducing consumption by only a few units a day or week can greatly reduce your yearly expenditures. Shortly I will be living in a house by myself. I vow to cut my Coke and cigarette consumption by 1/3. I also plan on making my own bread. As you can see these prices actually exceed the advertised $100 savings a year. Aren't you glad you had me around to do the math for you?

The recipe referenced above is absolutely delicious and easy. You should all give it a try.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A starter kit for young adulthood & Dedications

I would like to start things off right by giving thanks and dedications. To Lydia J. Will, my cousin, who gave me my first copy of The Tightwad Gazette. To Mom, thank you for everything. To Aunt Mary, you got me interested in this in the first place. Lastly, to Amy Dacyczyn, the original Frugal Zealot, who started an obsession.

Amy Dacyczyn is the author of The Tightwad Gazette (TG), a collection of tricks and tips to live a life of frugality. I will be rereading this book. While I read, I will be taking notes, updating prices and giving a review of the different tips and tricks that I try out for myself. It's going to take a couple of days before I can start the project, a new copy of TG is in the mail. As soon as it gets here I will begin. I think that this will be a very interesting take on frugality in a material world, considering my standing as a human. I am neither married, nor a parent. I am not a woman. I am a young man trying to save a little extra now, albeit in unusual ways, so I can have quite a bit extra later.

My goal for this project is to show Mrs. Dacyczyn that the generation of her children is not a lost cause... when it comes to frugality at least.

NFG (New Frugal Zealot)