Five Ways We’re Saving Money

saving money

Since cutting out my salary so that I could stay home with Maggie, we’ve been trying to get creative when it comes to different ways we can save. We’re [currently] not made of money [but one day will be]. So, for now…here are a few things that we’ve done recently that are helping us big time.

1. Refinancing — My husband Colin saw that mortgage rates were at an all time low, so we decided to go for it. We used the same mortgage broker from when we bought our house. If you’re interested in doing this you could use the same broker from when you bought your house, or you could ask around for recommendations from people you trust.

This was pretty much a no brainer when we realized it would be easy to do, and that it would keep an extra $150 in our pockets each month.

150 a month

2. Cutting cable + house phone — This one was a tough one for me. I LOVE TV AND I’M NOT ASHAMED OF IT! The thing is, even if you get an awesome rate from whomever you use (we had Verizon Fios) there are still so many shitty little charges attached to your base rate. If you’re ‘triple play’ rate (or whatever you have) is $114.99 for the bundle (a land line, internet, and cable) then you still have to take into consideration the extra charges — $19.99 for the cable box/DVR, and $15.99 to have Showtime (what can I say, I love Shameless and House of Lies!).

So, we decided to get rid of Verizon altogether. First we decided to get rid of our land line and cable, then we decided to get rid of Verizon. We never really had a problem with them, but when comparing internet prices — Comcast was significantly cheaper than Verizon’s (for internet only), so we decided to switch to them and only get internet. Now we pay $29.99 a month for internet. We invested in an HD antenna in order to get basic cable (PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and a few others) and an Amazon Firestick (we have Amazon Prime as well — $99 a year — so we can access a ton of movies and TV shows through that). We also have Netflix (thanks, Mom and Dad!).

With these options we have plenty to watch, I never miss out on my shows, and we’re saving $120.98 a month.

120 a month

3. Insulating our attic — We decided to have a home energy assessment by Mass Save (we live in Massachusetts) which was a super easy process. They usually only take about 1.5-2.5 hours to do, and the specialist doing the assessment will give you a custom list of energy saving recommendations for your home in order to make it more energy efficient. (If you’d like to start the process, here is the Online Home Energy Assessment — a good place to start). The specialist recommended we insulate our attic — they set up the appointment for us with one of their contractors, and it was done in about half a day for $500. We’ve already felt the improvements in our house, and BONUS! we also got about $300 worth of free energy efficient light bulbs for our house during our assessment.

This will save us around $350-$400 a year. And since Mass Save pays 75% of any weatherization improvements to your house (with up to a $2,000 cost), we will most likely insulate our walls next year for a similar price. MORE SAVINGS, PEOPLE!

350 a year

4. Low gas rates + Cumberland Farms app — If you live anywhere near a Cumberland Farms (are they only in Massachusetts? The north east? I don’t know…) you NEED to have the Cumberland Farms Smart Pay app on your phone. We synched it up to our checking account so when I pull up to the pump I just open the app, sign in, type in what number pump I am at, and then I am ready to pump. No need to take out your credit card, or go into the store to pay in cash. Super easy. Also, ding!ding!ding! you save .10 cents a gallon when you use your app! Any little bit helps. (You can also get a Smart Pay gas card if you don’t have a smart phone).

I use my smart phone for everything else…it’s about time I start using it to save money. Especially to save $150-$200 a month on gas.

150 to 200

5. Shopping at the cheaper grocery store + meal planning — When you start seeing results from money saving changes, finding ways to save even more money basically becomes a game. It’s a challenge that lasts forever. It’s fun! (Yes, I’m a weirdo).

Anyway, we have two close grocery store options by us — Market Basket or Stop and Shop. To be honest, I like the atmosphere at Stop and Shop better than Market Basket. It’s rarely crazy in there, it’s smaller, and everyone is very friendly. However, it’s definitely more expensive than Market Basket. Market Basket is much bigger, and quite a bit busier, but the staff is always just as friendly as Stop and Shop. When we shop at Market Basket vs. Stop and Shop, we see a significant difference in our bill. So we have made a commitment to consistently shop at Market Basket which may sound like a really simple change to make, but it actually is kind of tough. I had been used to going to Stop and Shop for a while, and once I’m in a routine it is hard for me to change that routine. But ever since making a conscious decision to shop at Market Basket, I have been sticking with it for about a month now and I think it’s safe to say that it is now part of my new routine.

And part of my new routine has been to do my weekly grocery shopping on Monday mornings instead of Sunday evenings, because Market Basket is a zoo on Sunday evenings. Panic attack central.

Second part of #5 is meal planning. I’ve been trying my best to stick to meal planning on Sunday afternoons or evenings. That way I have meals planned out for each night of the week, and a very specific list to adhere to at the store. This helps me stay focused, makes my trips quicker, and it makes it harder for me to stray from the list (therefore, not wasting money on unnecessary items). The app Pepperplate has been helpful for me. It’s free, and pretty straightforward. It helps you to organize your recipes whether they are originals or recipes you found online, create menus, plan meals, and make your shopping list.

Two things I REALLY love about this app are the fact that it’s super easy to share recipes with others via email or social media, and when you’re in ‘cook’ mode — the screen doesn’t dim and lock on you. I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS.

Shopping at Market Basket and meal planning has helped save us around $100 a month.

100 a monthHere’s what the Pepperplate app looks like:




When we first started to think about new ways we could save money, we decided to look at the big picture. Where are we spending unnecessary money? How can we cut back and simplify a bit? Switching to Market Basket instead of Stop and Shop was one of our first money saving decisions, and I whined about that because I thought something so small wouldn’t be a big deal.

However, like I said, every little bit helps — and when you cut out five little bits one by one, you’re saving a big chunk of money every month. That’s more money in your pocket for things you want to do with it (whether it be going on a vacation, redoing the kitchen, paying off student loans, etc.) I’m all about cutting out unnecessary spending, and I am on a mission to continue to do so. (Except cutting out my Heavenly Donuts coffees a few times a week…DON’T TAKE MY COFFEES AWAY!!!!!)

Boy, did I ‘ever save’ with Eversave

First and foremost, Easter was wonderful yesterday. We went to mass bright and early and since it was beautiful out again we hung out outside most of the day. We did come in for a delicious dinner and an amazing Celtics game (more on that in a minute…)

Some pictures from dinner and most importantly dessert…

All set for dinner!

mmm mmm good - Mrs. Temple's lemon cookies !

Ricotta pie - so good !

Another shot of the ricotta pie

Lots of extra hard boiled eggs lying around from Easter? Try some of these recipes from Women’s Health Magazine!,,20356798_1,00.html

Ok back to the Celtics… At this point I don’t even care how up and down they’ve been lately because you know why? They put Lebron in his place yesterday, which in turn put Celtics fans in their place as well – their happy place. The game was a nail biter and I honestly didn’t know if they could finish. They were up twenty points at times – they were ahead the whole game – but at the end it was thisclose! I’m pretty sure Lebron along with the rest of the Cavs thought they were going to pull through and win, but they didn’t! I’m so proud of the Celts! C’s 117, Cavs 113 :)

Yesterday was also opening day at Fenway – the Sox played the Yanks – and also won! Big day for Boston sport’s fans! Sox 9, Yankees 7. – Dr. Dre was at the game showing off some of his new ‘Beats by Dr. Dre’ Red Sox headphones. He also said that his first single off his new album Detox features Jay-Z (called ‘Under Pressure.’ Sounds intriguing…)

This little boy is amazing –

In other Red Sox news, Victoria’s Secret is now selling MLB gear to make the ladies (and the men?) happy. Check it out –

Today’s Groupon is $20 for $40 worth of Indian Cuisine and Drinks at Tantric India Bistro – 123 Stuart Street, Boston

Their side deal is $12 for $25 worth of tea and accessories from the Tea District

Redeem online here –

Today’s coupon from CoupMe is $15 for $30 worth of gourmet tea and coffee delivered to your door

Today’s deal from LivingSocial is $120 to spend on dance classes for only $30 at the Balera School of Ballroom Dance in Newton!

Rialto Restaurant offers $1 oysters on Mondays starting at 5:30pm at One Bennett Street, Harvard Square. Check it out –

The Red Rock Bistro (Swampscott) also has $1 oysters on Monday, as well as $1 Sliders, Corndogs and Grilled shrimp!

Want to ‘Find Wine on a Tight Budget’? Go to the Boston Wine School’s class this Wednesday (April 7th) from 6:30pm-8:30pm and taste affordable wines around the $10 mark.

More info here –

Purchase tickets here –

The people have spoken – Lady Gaga is most influential –

Great tips for shopping on a budget from Style Boston –

And, lastly I will leave you with this –

I *just* found out about They just launched their website and are ready to bring you the *best* deals around the Boston area. Not only are they bringing you amazing deals, you’ll be giving back to the community with each purchase. 10% of the proceeds from select ‘Saves’ will go to local schools and charities. Think about it, you’ll actually be feeling good (not guilty)about spending! It’s a *win-win-win* situation – you get an awesome gift certificate to the hottest restaurants, spas, hotels, classes, etc., you save money, and you’re giving back to those in need. Gotta love that combo! :)

Read more here –

Today’s deal at Eversave (Boston edition) is $25 for $50 worth of food and drinks at Mantra – 52 Temple Place, Boston. Sounds amazing! More information at Mantra’s website here –