Although many news sources keep insisting the economy is improving, most of the people I know are struggling financially. The cost of everything is going up, and most people aren't getting wage increases - some are even taking hour or pay cuts. When times are like this, it's important for the Proverbs 31 Woman to look closely at her family's finances and cut expenses wherever possible.
One way my family did that recently was by getting rid of our garbage service.
First, we priced the cost of taking garbage to our local dump. (Actually, in our case, it's a transfer station.) We learned that we could take four average-sized garbage cans there for just $10.
Then we considered how much it would cost in time and money to drive the cans to the station. Our transfer station is about 5 minutes away, so it doesn't cost much to get there.
Then we told our garbage company to take a hike.
The garbage company was charging us $37.15 a month ($445.80 a year) to take away our garbage. After an investment of about $80 for our own curbside garbage cans, we now only pay $10 every month-and-a-half to dump our garbage. That means it costs us approximately $70 a year...which is a savings of about $375 a year!
Also note that because, Lord willing, we'll be moving soon, I'm not currently composting. (There's not much of a garden to put compost in, and the composters would be too heavy to move while full.) If I were still composting, we might only dump our garbage every two months, making the savings even greater.
Another bonus: We can take recyclables to the dump and get reduced rates for dumping our garbage.
And by owning our own cans, we avoid the problems many people who make dump runs have. We don't have our garbage sitting around in bags that cats, dogs, and other critters get into, spilling the contents. And our stored garbage doesn't smell because the plastic garbage cans we use are well sealed. Plus, the cans look neat and tidy tucked into an out of the way spot.
It's a win-win for our family. Check out your local dump or transfer station rates. You might be able to save hundreds, too.