$$$

You have to love the wisdom behind this Bad Boy classic.

Like I’ve mentioned before, ST and I have cut back on a few things to financially prepare our lives for you. By professional-level, extreme-couponing standards, the changes might not be much but we’re proud of our 4 months of progress thus far.

How Los Tacos Save $$$

We stopped eating out and buying lunch frequently. This has saved us so much money! ST and I spend about $250 in groceries per month (that includes household supplies). We stretch that out to Saturday breakfasts, lunch every week, and dinner every weeknight for a month! We typically eat out 2-3 times per weekend. It also helps that your dad is an amazing cook – I’ve never had better grilled pork chops anywhere – and I don’t desire to eat out. You already know about my preference for cheap dates.

A mere sampling of your dad’s cooking repertoire…

Fried chicken:

Valentine’s Day chicken enchiladas with refried beans (the BEST!) and homemade tomatillo sauce:

I cut down on shopping for clothes, shoes, and bags. When I was a junior in high school, I got a paid internship at what used to be Salomon Smith Barney (now it’s just Smith Barney). They really didn’t have anything for me to do, so I just went online shopping and read blogs for $8 an hour (pretty decent for 2001). Since I was earning money on my own and working in Manhattan, I allowed myself designer indulgences. Then, when I turned 18 I got my own credit card. And, I’ve been a shopaholic ever since. Until recently, I just bought whatever I liked – for 10 years, I wasted money on countless items.

About a month ago, after buying a new car and making new savings goals, I decided I needed to put an end to my wastefulness. I clicked around the Internet and learned about shopping in my own closet. Smart women have been doing this for a while, but I just discovered this strategy and so far, it has been awesome. I found a dress I bought with the tags still on it and wore it to a wedding recently. I’d bought it more than 5 years ago!

Here it is – plum chiffon, empire-waist, halter top. I paired it with a cheap-o H&M ring that I’ve had forever and never wore, earrings that were gifted, and pumps I already had. An outfit that cost $0 feels good! Side note – tía Mel’s dress is mine too. She is a most inspiring frugalista.

Anyway, I’ve recently began sifting through old clothes that I’d tossed into bags designated for Housing Works donations. I’ve taken out skirts and dresses and tailored them for a few dollars and they’re good as new. I’ve also tailored pants to shorts. This cute skirt was unflattering until I tailored it to this cute length. Side note: This was in a Forever21 fitting room. I bought $10 sandals that tía Kim thought cost $50. Score!

Focus on goals and stick with them. For 12 years, I drove a 1999 silver Honda CRV. After we got married, ST and I decided the ol’ CRV might not be safe for a wee one – brakes were on the fritz and auto-locks didn’t always work. So, we sold the CRV on Craigslist for a sweet down payment on a 2011 Nissan Rogue that has a great safety rating and XM radio to boot (it’s free for 3 months).

Out with the old…

…in with the new!

We want to take you on lots of road trips in this fun car. Our other long term goal is to buy our own place in within the next two years. This will require lots of money saving. Reminding myself of our long-term goals have helped me put down random items that I want to buy on a whim.

Cutting out non-essentials. A few months ago, I tabulated every expense that we had. I categorized each expense as “Essential” (such as food, rent, and car payments) and “Non-essential” (HBO, Netflix, and shopping). Everything on the “Non-essential” side was cut. It was painful for ST at first, since he was losing HBO, Showtime, and his sports package, but we’re not suffering because of it. When my old Dell laptop dies, we won’t replace it since our work provides us with Mac Books.

Shopping around for the best deals. I have a B.S. in Biology so I have done a fair amount of research in my time. I enjoy doing research. Before buying something, I now do research on the best deal. Take my Matt Bernson Bo Peep Espadrilles, for example. They retail for $189 and are on sale for $80-99. I purchased them new on eBay for $70, shipped. I made sure to buy from someone with 100% positive feedback. There was a glitch in shipping and it took a long time to get them to me. To compensate, the seller sent me the Matt Bernson The Love Stud Sandals for FREE!

My beautiful, fraction-of-the-cost Bo Peeps

The Love Stud sandals (I’ve already worn them and they are super comfy):

So thanks to a bit of shopping around and choosing a reliable eBay seller, I got my Bo Peeps for $35. WOOHOO!

Ultimately, we want to be responsible spenders that pass on financially-sound knowledge to you and set a good example for you. Your grandparents and Abuelos are financial role models for us and we want to be that for you as well.

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About elbrooklyntaco

I'm a lover of urban living, thriftiness, and blogs! The concept behind this blog is to document the growth of our family and our adventures living in the concrete jungle of Brooklyn.

10 responses to “$$$

  1. Pingback: $$$, Dos « El Taco

  2. Joyce Cohen

    I love your blog…and I love the shoes!!!!

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