29 March 2010

new place, new strategies

although i've not used this blog as a vehicle to update the world on my every move, here's an update: henry and i moved to a new apt 2 weeks ago and we absolutely love it. we're not entirely unpacked yet, but it's a lot newer, cleaner, and well... everything's more level. it's true.

we've done a few new things that we're proud of since we've been here that have enriched our lives and/or saved us money.

1. putting up bird feeders. this is more strictly an "enriching our lives" endeavor (but quite honestly, it's not very costly. only $3.96/each for bird feeders and ~$7 for a 15lb. bag of bird seed at Home Depot). we put the two bird feeders up on friday and within a few hours we had a variety of birds already munching. our cats have been glued to the windows, too.

2. combing the publix ads. henry and i are self-proclaimed couponers, anyways, but before the two weekly shopping trips we've taken since living at the new apartment, we've sat down with the weekly publix ad and circled/made a list of the specific things on sale we would get. we also went through coupons. we usually spend ~$100/week for groceries before coupons. these past two weeks, our bills have come up to ~$60, with a bold "you saved ~$40" declared at the bottom of the receipt. MONEY. literally.

3. living cable-less. when we moved, henry made the bold suggestion that we drop our cable tv. *gasp* as an avid watcher of food network, HGTV, and discovery channel (just to name a few), i was a little resistant at first. i came around, though. the fact is, henry and i don't really watch much tv. neither of us follow any shows regularly. we figured if there are any shows we want to watch, there's always hulu.com. and, on top of that, we bought an HD antenna (~$30 from Walmart) with which we can pick up all of the local networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, etc) through the free digital HD signals over the airwaves. so march madness? yup, we get that for free on CBS. in HD. huzzah. and honestly, i don't really miss cable. in fact, i'm watching "APT Create" right now, APT's version of an HGTV/food network hybrid. it's lower budget, but it's totally up my alley... and guys? it's FREE. (anybody backpacking in europe ever get the rick steves books? right now i'm watching "rick steves europe: venice." it's awesome. it's like an awesomer version of samantha brown's "passport to europe" from the travel channel.)

moving to the new apartment has given henry and i the opportunity to reevaluate the way we do a number of things in our daily lives - it's funny how moving every single thing you own and having to find new places for each of them will do that. the experience of doing something like dropping cable has been a huge encouragement to find other ways to save and re-shuffle our budget. here's hoping we'll continue this 'spring-cleaning' of sorts. cheers!


Jessica Chen said...

When I backpacked through Europe for a month last summer with my Mom, I used the Rick Steve's book for pretty much everything. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to do something like that (I saw almost every American tourist carrying one as well :P. Backpacker or not haha).

April said...

We never got cable when we moved back to Birmingham - it was the best financial decision we've made in a long time. Not only are we saving a ton of money each month, it's keeping Mark more focused on school - and really, the shows I would watch, I can watch on my computer anyway.