Sunday Savings: Lose Some Weight

According to this USA Today article from 2005,31% of the US is obese (30+ lbs above a healthy weight).  In 2002, employers and privately insured families spent $36.5 billion on obesity linked illness.

All of that money is going to treat illness that is largely avoidable.  Seriously, we are doing this to ourselves.  If you want to know why healthcare costs so much, look in the mirror.  Are you obese?  If so, you are placing yourself at a higher risk for all sorts of nasty diseases and adding to the problem that is rising healthcare costs.

I'm sad to say that I'm in that obese category.  It sucks, but it's just the facts.  I've already expressed my feelings about obesity and how I see it.  The good news is that I'm young and that I was able to see where my lifestyle was taking me.  I have time.  We all have time.  We all just need to realize that we can do something about it and move in that direction.

I'm making an effort to improve my health.  Not only will I have a longer life for it, I'll have more money in my pockets.  Please join me, the world will be a better place for it.

If you want to follow my weight loss journey, please have a look at my other blog, geek into shape.

Sunday Savings: Eat at Home

Ashley and I used to eat out way too much.  It was more of a time thing to us.  By the time we worked 8 hours and did our hour commute home, neither of us wanted to cook a meal.  There was a point where I sat down and realized that we were spending at least $25 per meal for dinner at least 4 times a week!  For those of you counting at home, we were spending $100 or more per week eating out.  Somehow we were doing that and still spending $100/week at the grocery store.

Now we're down to spending $100 per week for groceries and eating out only once a week.  We're easily saving $75/week just by eating at home.  Over the span of a year, that's $3,900 saved!  So, eat at home and save some dough.  You'll have a fatter wallet and eat healthier, more reasonable portions.

Sunday Savings: You Get What You Pay For

One thing that I firmly believe in is buying quality things.  I tend to do this on more expensive things, particularly tools and electronics.  Quality pieces just outlast cheaper made products.  In the end you save money by not buying things twice.  As a general rule, I try to buy items made in the USA.

This Sunday is a bonus for you because I have a second Sunday saver to share.  Not only should you buy quality equipment, but you need to take care of it.  Keep your stuff clean and maintained and you will have it around for a long time.  I have tools from my grandfather that I still use.  I hope one day I can pass them on to my kids.

So, buy good stuff and take care of it.  I don't have a dollar value for you on this.  Just do your research and make your purchases wisely.  Pay a little more up front and enjoy twice the life compared to inferior products.

Sunday Savings: Drink Water

Photo courtesy of bfurnace

Health reasons made me remove beverages other than water from my diet.  The financials of that decision have solidified it's place in my lifestyle.  Water is basically free and yet most people are content paying money to replace it.  We used to drink a couple of twelve packs of coke (you northerners may call it "soda",  "pop" or something similar). I'd also order sweet tea or coke with my lunches and dinners when we went out.

Right now I eat lunch out of the office 3 times a week and we eat dinner out 2 nights a week.  I'd say on average that restaurant drinks cost $1.50 a whack.  By drinking water, I'm saving $7.50 per week on my own.  That's $390 per year!  I'd say a 12-pack of drinks runs about $3.50 each, so there is another $364 eliminated from our expenses this year.  All together, I'm saving $754 each year just by drinking water.  Think about that next time your server asks you what you'd like to drink with your meal.

Sunday Savings: Do it Yourself

I feel bad for this being my only post of this week, but I've been busy.  I've been busy putting up a chain link fence so that my dog can roam free in the back yard without me taking him out on a leash.  So, the fact that I've been busy doing this little project is fitting for this week's tip. 

I originally had a family friend in the fence business quote me to do the job.  The quote would up to be $900.  For no more fence than I was putting up, I just felt like it was too much.  After all, he had put up nearly triple that amount for us for less money only 5 years ago.  The cost of materials have just gone up that much. 

I went down the the local home improvement store and priced the materials and it turned out to be quite a bit less than his quote.  For $500, I could get everything I would need to complete the project.  Not too shabby.  I decided to take the plunge and do the fence myself.  Armed with some general direction from the Internet, I was able to complete the fence in a couple of weekends.  Not only do I get that warm, fuzzy feeling of accomplishment, but I managed to save $400!  To top it all off, I also got a good workout these past two weekends.

So, in summary:

  1. Saved $400 in labor.
  2. Built a quality fence. (no half-assing)
  3. Feel good about what I did.
  4. Got a good workout.
  5. Dog can now roam free in the back yard.

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