10 by 10 by 10

Hi Dime Savers!

My name is Jesse. Usually I write over at the Best Interest, but today A Dime Saved generously let me write here. And in honor of “dimes,” I’m going to outline a little investing plan today called 10 by 10 by 10. I think just about anybody could implement this plan, especially if you follow some of the awesome savings ideas offered here on A Dime Saved.

The Basics of 10 by 10 by 10

If one can save $10 on each of 10 separate purchases in a given month, and then repeat that behavior for 10 months out of the year, then my mathematical prowess suggests that this person would save $1000 a year. @BestInterest_JC Click To TweetOr you can mix up the numbers as you see fit. But 10 by 10 by 10 is catchy, like those TV lawyers and their easy phone numbers.

In the following 10 minutes (hey!), I’m going to break this plan down step by step:

  • First, what are some simple ways that a person could save those $10?
  • And, which of these opportunities for saving are repeatable, or frequent enough to accomplish multiple times in a given year?
  • Then, we’ll cover some ideas about sticking to the saving habit
  • Finally, what do we do with the savings? And what kind of long-term profits can we hope to reap?

10 Ideas for Saving 100 Dimes

10 ideas for saving 100 dimes

Saving $10 is easier said than done. But that said, it’s still pretty easy!

If I can quickly come up with the following 10 ideas in one session, then I know you all could double my list twice as fast!
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Shopping for Clothing on a Dime

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How I Shop for Clothing On a Very Tight Budget

I try not to pay full price. I can’t say never but I really spend a lot of time looking for the best possible deals.

Working with an Extremely Limited Budget

I have an extremely limited budget to buy the things I need. I set aside 10% of my paycheck every month for clothing, shoes, toys, household items etc and that amount is all I am able to spend. You may be thinking that I have quite a large budget but then again you have no clue how small my paycheck is:) With 2 kids who are constantly needing new things and stuff that keeps breaking (why?!?) its a constant challenge to get the things we need with the money we have.

Take shoes. I always heard and read about mother complaining about “keeping kids in shoes” but I had NO IDEA how many shoes my kids would ACTUALLY go through! Shoes get ruined and kids outgrow them faster than you can blink. And that’s not including any boots or slippers or dress shoes!

I wish I had Hand-me-downs

I also don’t have any friends or relatives with kids who are a year older than mine so hand-me-downs are few and far between!

Sometimes I feel like all I do is shop. But I don’t actually spend any money- I just keep on looking and looking for things that I need at a price point I can afford.

“Stocking-up” on Clothes and Shoes

Since I do have an “envelope” for these items, I always have “some” money to spend on sales and stocking-up. For example, I was recently at Target and they had boy’s sneakers for ridiculously cheap. Since I already have the cash set aside I was able to buy each kid a pair in the next size up. This saves me money and the stress of not being able to find anything affordable when they will need new shoes.

But I don’t just stock-up or buy things for the next season- I have a system that I follow.

My System

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No More Meal Planning!

Using Building Blocks Instead of Meal Planning

A Twist on Meal Planning

So I seem to use the word “twist” a lot:) probably because there are so many great ideas and concepts out there that ALMOST work for me and my family but not quite. And it’s the not quite part that makes it hard to implement or basically pointless to do.

I have talked before about going grocery shopping BEFORE planning for the week because it easier to stay in budget when you are shopping for sales, not shopping for specific items. Then you can plan your meals around what you bought. The problem is that I never get around to the actual planning of the meals part. Or the remembering to prepare it part. Even when I do plan it by the time I finish work I am usually exhausted and my kids are home and need FULL ATTENTION so its not really the time to start cooking dinner with all my healthy ingredients that I purchased. I could plan and defrost the night before but that rarely happens because, you know, life.

Meal Planning


Its basically meal prep for the week. But not. I don’t make a week’s worth of dinners for my family or lunches for me in advance. What I do is I take a few hours and create the building blocks of a few meals. I don’t need to decided in advance what dishes I will be making- I just prepare ingredients. Than I can decide every day what I am in the mood of and what works for me time-wise.

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