I know you all remember Precious’s money saving challenge that I was following in July. Well, although I stopped posting the daily challenge lists, I have still be challenging myself to save as much as possible in many ways. Even when it came to getting our new place. Yes, we are moving! I am so excited but so overwhelmed at the same time. We only have 30 some odd days to pack up everything, and only 3 days after we move into the new place, I have to go down to the base for our big inspection. Thats going to take me away for at least 7 days. So, I have to plan a move, plan 7 days away from my new place, plan meals for the boys to eat in the new place, and continue with the rest of life in the process. Because of this, i’ve been doing some different things to offset the stress of moving and the expense of it, as well.
1. When we started looking for a new place, we made sure to pay attention to the listings that were offering a free month(even 2 or 3!) of rent. We knew this would offset our moving costs and put us a month ahead for rent. We plan on “paying” rent during our free month by putting the amount in our ING sub-account, so it’s ready and waiting to be given the first month we have to pay.
2. We also decided to find a place with lots of room and a washer and dryer. After keeping track of how much we pay to use the laundromats around our current complex, we realized that we were spending at least 120 dollars a month just to wash and dry(we aren’t allowed to have a clothesline on our patio). If that money is put towards rent every month, that gave us enough to afford a much bigger apartment in our area. Go figure.
3. We have been whittling down the stockpile. If you look to the bottom right of the blog, you’ll see that my inventory list isn’t has long as it used to be. I don’t want to have to move too much to the new place plus it will be fun to fill up the big pantry we have there.
4. We’ve been paying attention to deals on EVERYTHING. I recently posted about my great facebook find when my good friend put up all of her furniture for sale or free. We got her 700 dollar, 6 month old sectional couch(pictured above) for 150 dollars plus the price to rent a UHAUL. I’m sitting on it right now and I think this is the best find we’ve gotten in a while. Besides the couch, we also got, for free, a set of mugs, a beautiful set of plates, 2 wardrobe boxes for moving and a toaster oven. She was happy to be rid of them! I plan to keep my eyes open for other items we need for the new place.
5. I’m going to put Craigslist and Ebay to work. Now that I’ve seen the place, and know what we need to keep and what we can sell, I’m going to put a good amount of items to the side to sell. We have a ridiculous amount of camcorders, cameras, movies, and other items that we just dont need to waste time moving. I’ll also check out gazelle.com and see if I can get a good amount for some of the electronics.
6. I’ve been making dough. Bread dough and pizza dough, that is. I figured if I can make a few bags of dough on off-peak hours for the next few weeks, I can pack up the bread machine early. I also plan on making a few easy to freeze desserts too, so the kitchenaid mixer can be packed too.
7. Books are being packed up as well. I’m going to go through our books, pack up our favorites, and give away the rest to the local library. I did this last year when we THOUGHT we were moving,(see posts here, here, and here for the full story) but I know I can shave down the collection even more.
8. We’re cutting down on towels. And washclothes and bed spreads. We had a lot of them because we knew that it cost us to wash, so the more we had, the less times we had to wash. Now that the washer and dryer will be right in the apartment, I can get rid of a good amount of towels and such and save us some room in the new place. These will be donated to the lupus foundation.
9. Our meal plans are already made for the next few weeks. Since I have to do a lot in such a small amount of time, I decided yesterday to create my meal plan monday posts for the next 3 weeks. Once I see what the deals are for upcoming weeks, I can always go back and edit them, or even create a few more weeks of meal plans. This has immediately saved me a headache I was anticipating.
10. I’m stocking up on gift cards. Mostly, amazon.com online gift cards from swag bucks. Since they have great deals that pop up on just about anything, including household items, I want to be prepared to leap on them. I missed out on a great deal on a vaccum cleaner a few months ago because I didn’t know if we were moving or not. Now that I know what our future entails, I wanna be able to get items (for cheap) that we needed but didn’t have room for.
11.We are paying everything else a month ahead. Since rent will be “free” for a month, I want to make sure that all the rest of our bills are paid a month ahead as well. This will help offset the stress of moving along with getting bills right away. If we can focus on unpacking for a least a few weeks, I think that will save our sanity.
12. I’ve been quitely researching prices for small deep freezers! Since we will finally have proper space for me to really stockpile and space for a small extra freezer, I want to take advantage of that. Although I have been doing well stockpiling, I still get very upset when I just don’t have room to stockpile frozen items or protein when they are at rock bottom prices. I’m hoping to find a great price on a deep freezer that we can keep in the corner of the dining room.
13. Sonny Boy may be on his way to school…for free. I recently found out where the Head Start program is for my area, and sent in an application to get sonny boy into school for free. Since it is so close to the new place, I see this as not only a money saver, but as a great way to boost income for our household. If he gets in, I will be able to do more days down at my base, for weeks at a time, even. I have also been slowing down on posts here because now that he’s 4, he really wants to do everything with Mom. I can get back to posting(and do some posts that have been requested on other sites) and bring in some more income.
14. Mama will also be going back to school…and getting paid for it. Besides starting back up with my blogging and doing more days down at the base, I can finally do full time hours towards my degree. Since sonny will have his own space(and hopefully a new school) and hubby will have a sectioned space in our bedroom, I can schedule actual time to sit and do my classes uninterrupted. By going back to school full time, the military will pay me at least 700 dollars a month to do so. It’s amazing how having your own time and space can increase so much in your household, even financially.
I’m sure there are a few other things that I am doing or will be doing for the move, but these are the ones that come to mind right now. How do you all prepare for big moves without increasing any expenses? Any advice for me? :o)