Is it possible to Go Green and Save Green?
In fact, I think it's sometimes easier to Save Green by Going Green at the barn!! It's fairly easy to do - and it helps if you have some good storage space and some good planning.
-Combine shipments of hay with a neighbor if you can't take a full truck. Some savvy barn owners get hay from the grower, or a broker. This will get you better pricing, and if you can take a whole truck, yeehaw!! If you can't, see if they can give you good pricing on half a truck. You can always split with a neigbor, also. Sharing with your neighbor is also great for shavings, which also can be purchased directly if you have the space for a full truckload.
-Have a community list of tack shop and feed shop needs. Alternate who from your barn goes, and this way you won't be tempted to overspend and buy those cute fuzzy pink polo wraps to go along with the 76 other pairs of polos you own. Some feed and tack shops give barn discounts. Ask!! You never know!!
-Limit the number of times you have the feed store deliver grain because you don't have time to pick it up....delivery charges add up!! If you can, arrange for very infrequent deliveries if you have the space to store.
-Organize, organize, organize. I love VERTICAL storage. Smaller footprint in the tack room or feed room, easier to find items on shelves, and no more hunting through layers of *stuff* in a trunk. Also, this system lets you know when you are low on something, before you run out, so you can better plan your trips to the store.
-Curry instead of rinse if you can. Use a damp rag if you need to get sweat spots.
-Dry in the sunshine or breeze!!
-If you can, and have the Barn Owner's or Trainers' blessing - start a CO-OP program at your farm. Maybe your Trainer would like a piece of this action to cut down on operating costs!! See if someone who always rides in the am can come a few minutes early and feed grain. Or someone who rides after work can do blankets. Lots of possibilites here!!
-Time for a tack sale at your farm?? Or perhaps consignment? Or donation to a local therapeutic riding center? Ebay anyone??
-Coordinate the Veterinarian and Farrier to come for a large group of ponies at the same time. You can share the ranch call! Same thing if you think you are running low on meds or Veterinarian supplied supplements....make one trip and ask everyone else what they need!
-All that poop? Find a nice corner of the farm and plant carrots. No more plastic bags of non-organic treats.
What other tips do you have for saving money??