Tuesday, November 1, 2011

31 Days: Day 31- Smart Strip & Wrap-up

If this is your first visit I welcome you to my little corner of the world! You might want to start at the introduction of this series. It explains what 31 Days of Change is, and has links to each day's post as they occur. Just click on the 31 Days to Slash Your Budget Painlessly button at the top of my sidebar on the right.

I have one last budget busting tip for you, but before I share that, I want to wrap up this series with some parting thoughts.

This final post in my 31 Days to Slash Your Budget Painlessly is written with a sense of achievement as well as a bit of relief. It has been a huge stretch for me to post about one subject for 31 days straight...well almost straight. I did have to double up a few days here at the end for some missed days. I was also running out of ideas! It will be a relief not to have that pressure anymore, but it was also a hugely beneficial to me. It forced me to look at 31 areas of spending habits that I didn't realize, or at least hadn't run the numbers on to see if I could save some money.

Some things I thought would save me a lot, really didn't, like making my own cake mixes, or making jam from bottled or frozen juice. It might taste better, which alone is reason enough to make them, but neither really saved much money. Those posts never made it past the chopping block.

Other things shocked me, that I had been wasting so much for so long, like my first three posts about laundry room savings. Just by using cold water to wash, hanging clothes instead of using the dryer and making a very simple homemade laundry soap (which I am still loving...and my mom, who was a died in the wool Tide user for years, is now also using and loving), I am saving about $30 a month. That amounts to $360 a year!

I far surpassed my goal of saving $200 a month. Even factoring out savings on things I've already been doing for some time, like buying bone-in chicken breast, buying grated cheese in bulk at Gordon Foods, making my own laminate floor cleaner, or cutting my guys hair myself, I still managed to find enough areas to save almost $300 a month! 

My last savings tip is buy yourself at least one of these:

It is the Smart Strip energy saving power strip with surge protector. It isn't just any old surge protector, which won't really save you any money. It powers off the peripheral devices connected to your computer, gaming systems and TV, like your computer monitor, printer and keyboard. These devices use energy even when the main source (TV, computer tower, etc.) are turned off. You can read more about the Smart Strip and how it works here.

The only way you can know for sure just what you are saving is to use a mini electric meter, which you may be able to  borrow for free from your electric company.  Based on the figures at  Five Percent: Conserve Energy I believe just buying one for  our desktop computer should pay for itself within 6 months, thereafter, saving me about $4.20 per month or $50.40 per year.  I'll try one and later may buy one for our TV, which has a Roku box, DVD player, and Wii player hooked up. 

It's been a great, although busy, month.  I hope you can take one, two or a few of my ideas and save yourself some money.  If you have other ideas, I'm all ears...just leave me a comment.   Now it's back to my regular programming ;) 

My tally so far:


  1. Wow over $400 for the month! Nice job! I'm a brand new follower (found you from Take it on Tuesday), but I think I'll be looking back through all of your ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  2. You did amazing my friend!! That is a huge savings over the month and year. I loved your ideas and will have to go back and re-read and pick up those posts that I missed. :) Whew! :)
    I hope you enjoyed your Halloween and happy November to you!!

  3. We have smart strips at each of our computer stations, in the sewing room and throughout the house.

  4. That's great Jackie! Have you noticed a reduction in your electric bill? I have to order mine yet, but thought I would wait until we get our next bill to be able to compare with and without the smart strips.

  5. Well, you did it Debbie!!! I admire your dedication to stick it out to the end.
    I'm looking forward to more posts about your projects, and decorating your home.
    Enjoy your weekend, my friend.

  6. WOW!! I am very impressed too! I also have to go back and pick up some of those missed posts, I am all fired up to that right now! After seeing your savings, who wouldn't?


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