Posted April 25, 2012 by admin in Finance

Plan ahead to save

saving money
saving money

We bought our current house four years ago. We chose to buy an older home that needed a facelift: 1) to save money and 2) to inject our own character into the decor. Each year we budget and plan for one major project (e.g. painting the kitchen cabinets, regrading the front lawn, planting our flower garden, painting the fence, etc). The list is long but we maintain sanity and cash flow by tackling our home improvements one small step at a time.

This year’s project is planting a cedar hedge along the back fence to guarantee some privacy as the trees mature. The planning phase of this project started last autumn when researching cedar species and making inquiries to local nurseries. Father Miser and I were both interested in the Degroot cedars because they grow in height more than in width. Unfortunately, each one cost $150 at our local nursery. Given that we needed a minimum of 15 cedars, it was turning into quite a hefty financial investment. So we shelved the project over winter to consider the alternatives.

I continued to research and discovered that emerald cedars also grow in height more than width (therefore requiring less maintenance) but cost $60 per tree instead. Excited by the promised savings, we realized we could afford to install our hedge this year after all. Then last Saturday morning as we sat eating breakfast, perusing the weekly flyers, we noticed a sale for emerald cedars: one day only, while quantities last, $15 per tree! SCORE!!!

We literally gulped down our breakfast and ran out to buy them. We were able to buy 25 cedars, instead of 15 because of the significant savings. We hauled them all home in a $20 truck rental from the store and now have beautiful emerald cedars waiting to be planted as a hedge.

Planning our project allowed for thousands in savings. Instead of spending $2,300 on 15 cedars, we spent less than $400!!! No matter what improvements you want to  make at home, researching and planning can allow for more savings because you can keep an eye out for what you need in featured sales, instead of rushing to buy and paying full price. By mauling over plans and projects, you also have time to evaluate exactly what you want and identify the best way to attain your goals.

What was the biggest home improvement you have undertaken? What was your saving strategy?