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Pinching Pennies

So lately I've been trying to save up more money. I have my lovely wife to thank for that, as she has told me that I really ought to save more.

So I have been making some cuts.

No longer do I drive with the air conditioning on, to save on gas.

Starting tomorrow, I am going to try to walk or bike to work when it's not raining to further save on gas.

I have given up beer and all beer substitutes. (That was tough, and I do have occassional slipups. Shhh!)

I am trying to cook more and eat out / buy bento less often.

I have changed calling plans to the cheapest possible one I qualify for on my mobile phone.

I am avoiding conbinis whenever possible!

I am brewing my own mugicha rather than buying tea from the store.

I spend all my free time at home rather than somewhere else where I might be tempted to spend money.

To that end, I am actually studying the Japanese language again after a long hiatus.

I unplug most electronics when I don't use them now, like the AC unit, computer, denki pot, etc.

Any other ideas?


That's married life for you, Mikawa-san! LOL

I think you're doing quite well. Too bad the start of your married life coincided with the state of the economy today.

In my case, penny-pinching also started in the first year of my marriage because I got pregnant and was hospitalized for some time for possibility of miscarriage--meaning I had to quit my job and we had to survive on a single income.

I just hope all the penny-pinching pays off and gives you a sense of satisfaction and happiness that I feel now after 25 years with my husband.
It reminds me of my childhood, to be honest. My parents were great penny pinchers. I only wish I could still do some of the things I could when I was young, like eat butter sandwiches for a snack!
go shopping every 2 weeks instead of every day, or twice a week. If you buy everything at a not to expensive supermarket you can save a lot... My wife and I use about 25.000 for food every month (including a pack of beer, and 10.kilo rice... )

sorry.. I think we are using more than 25.000 now because of the diapers.... ;)
Ahhh I feel your pain ><

I've been saving all my pennies to travel next year which meant a lot of sacrifices had to be made...It didnt help I decided to go to sydney for a small vacation I suppose huh? lol. But you jump back onto the bandwagon I guess.

I eat nothing but 1 dollar tinned tuna and crispbread for lunch and rarely go out to eat unless its a special occasion like a birthday.

Good luck with your penny pinching! I hope it all pays off.
Grocery shopping! Yes! I now walk to the local gorcery store rather than drive to the grocery store I used to go to. I don'T know how much money that saves me (if at all), but it'S good because it makes me buy less! 25,000 yen a month for food for two people and a baby is pretty darn good! You'll have to teach me some of your guys' recipes!

Vacations have a way of eating up money, don't they? I'm still a little upset over how much my trip to Korea cost me in January!
Try to buy cheap.... and don't buy to much cheese... (bah from 10 slices to 8 slices for the same price... bastards)
I have no idea about prices in Japan at this very moment...but when I shop I try to buy in bulk when possible. Like for things such as toilet paper and detergent if there are big specials I tend to load up a few weeks or months worth. So I keep my eye on the catalogues.

I switched to just plain rolled oats for breakfast instead of pricier cereal (1kg of oats lasts me weeks and only costs about $5 a kilo). But I guess in Japan you'll be eating a lot more rice instead huh? Of course dont buy anything in bulk thats very perishable like fish, meat or milk.

I also find listing is a good way for me to keep under budget so I dont wander down the confectionary aisle going starry eyed at all the chocolate...

Also...on the back of receipts in Australia they show heaps of discounts for things like movie tickets or discount movie rentals...so I tend to keep an eye on those as well...

Wow...I really am quite stingy ><;;
Looks like you're doing fine. But don't just sit around your house all the time, either, though. That's not good for people.
Today I got a notice from the post office saying that I had some registered mail to pick up, so I decided to save some gas and bike it out. I hadn't used my bike for a while, so I dusted it off, filled the tires with air, and ran out to the post office.

As soon as I arrived to the post office, I realized something.

I had forgotten my wallet with my photo I.D. inside (needed to pick up the mail).

Long story short: I biked back home, got my wallet, and DROVE back to the post office.

Hey, at least I tried, right?
OK, that is JUST far enough to make you ditch the bike and drive instead. Happened to me, too. I was on my way to work on my bike, about half way there, realized I left my cell phone at home, rode back to get it, then drove in to work. The weather makes it even harder to ride the bike during the summer, too.
Another trick that I instituted last month was to only fill up the fuel tank on my car to about halfway.

The reasoning behind this is that less fuel in the tank means less weight to carry around. Less weight to carry around means better gas mileage (even if it is only a slight gain, it's better than nothing.)
Does that really work? I've never driven in my life because of my eye problem, but it doesn't look too effective to me. :?

I've heard that Aichi-ken is a place where roads are wide and very easy to drive (probably thanks to Toyota), and many families have two or more cars? Are shops and public facilities located quite far from each other?

I'm glad everything in my area is within 5 to 10 minutes on my mama-chari.
I don't know how well it works, but I figure that if you add a lot of little changes for the better, the aggregate effect should be noticeable. I have also fundamentally changed the way I drive, for example.

The roads here are pretty good, and indeed a lot of families do own two or more cars. How far apart things are located from each other depends a lot where you live, even within the same city, but I can't complain about where I live. Most everything I need is pretty close.

Just for your information, the post office I went to was not the closest post office, but the main post office for my city, which is where they hold mail when necessary.

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Mikawa Ossan
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