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Pay now to save later

14 Jun

Beans

I was thinking about all the things that sometimes cost us more up front, but end up saving us money later. It can be hard to commit to these things, because you may not have the money to put up front. It takes some very careful planning and budgeting. However, thinking ahead and spending that money in advance is a great way to save a lot! Here are some examples I came up with:

Buy in bulk or large quantities:

This is not a savings if you end up wasting some of what you buy. However, it is great to “go shopping” in our basement or bathroom pantry for items we need and having them because we stocked up when they were on sale, had coupon, or both! See my post on “Bulk discounts.”

Car maintenance:

We are not so good about this, but I know that if we were to get our oil changed more regularly and buy new tires and rotate them regularly, our car repair expenses would be much less!

Product warranties:

We have definitely saved on dishwasher repairs by purchasing the extended warranty. See my post “Service plans and warranties.”

Service plans:

When we have been able to afford it, I loved having a service plan with our heating and cooling company. I paid once a year and then the company would come out twice a year to check our system and make sure everything was in good working order. They also gave us a discount on any repairs or parts needed. The cost to come out twice just to check the system would be more than what they charge for the service plan. See the post mentioned above in product warranties for more details.

Memberships:

It is so pleasant to go to our local zoo now that we have a membership. We don’t have to shell out $12 for parking or park miles away from the entrance. Overall, we pay off our membership in a few visits (with parking alone) and get passes to things we normally wouldn’t have the extra money to do like the train, carousel, and Children’s Zoo. See my post on “Become a member” for another example of saving with a membership.

Good exercise and diet:

Think how much we would save on doctors’ bills and medicines if we all took better care of ourselves! I am not so good about this and have not found a way to fit in time to exercise. I definitely eat when I am stressed, too. I should remember my own advice and how it could save us money for me to take care of myself!

Canning:

We experimented with canning this past Chanukah/Christmas for holiday gifts. See my post “First canning experiment: Apple butter.” Had we done it just for ourselves, it would have provided a great way to stock up on various items to use for later. I would love to can our own spaghetti sauce, because it is something we use a lot of and it can be time-consuming to make our own or to doctor a premade one. Canning is a great way to make use of an overage of any kind of produce from your garden or a large purchase from Sam’s, Costco, or a co-op!

Do you have any other ideas for things you spend more upfront to save more later? Please add your experiences in the Comments section!

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