Friday, January 11, 2013

How to save money

    Recently, I received an email from a follower who needed some money saving ideas.  Many of them I have posted before but came up with some more and decided to post here for everyone.  If you have an idea that is not here, please leave a comment.  Let's help each other save some money.

  • Try to limit your driving. Your hubby driving to work is a necessity but if you need to drop off mail, go to the library, pay a bill, or go to the grocery store, have him do these things on the way to work or on the way home to limit your gas usage.
  • Also, NEVER buy from a convenience store. Plan ahead so you don't have to buy overpriced items there.
  • If you or your hubby buy fountain drinks, coffee, etc. stop. Pack a thermos. Buy a 2 liter of soda and fill up a cup with ice and pop from home. If you can, cut soda out of your diet. Drink iced tea, coffee, etc. A lot cheaper.
  • For snacks, instead of microwave popcorn, buy a bag of unpopped popcorn and cook it on the stove. A bag is a dollar and can make TONS of popcorn with it. 
  • Try to go to the grocery store once a month or every 2 weeks. The more you go to the grocery store, the more you end up buying. Make a list and stick to the list. Don't splurge shop. Eat before you go and look only for items on your list. 
  • Instead of buying cookies, buy some chocolate chips or peanut butter and make your own.
  • If you really are struggling, cut off the cable and cell phones. Get a straighttalk phone and plan from wal-mart. $30 for 1000 minutes or $45 a month for unlimited.
  • To lower your water bills, drink from the same glass all day long and wash it only at night (instead of using a different one all day). Some families only flush after a bowel movement and close the lid at all times. 
  • Wash clothes only when they are truly dirty. If they are a bit musty, throw them in the dryer with a dryer sheet for 15 minutes to freshen them.  Or in the warmer months, wash your laundry outside and hang on the line to dry like we do here
  • Check your dryer often. Don't overdry the clothes and waste electricity.
  • If you use a dishwasher, turn it off before the end heat cycle and let the dishes dry naturally to save electricity.
  • Make your own dishwasher soap, fabric softener and laundry soap. This saves a LOT of money.
  • Instead of buying boxed mac and cheese, rice-a-roni, etc. Buy rice or pasta and make it yourself. You get a lot more for your money and it tastes better too.
  • Make your own bread and pizza's instead of ordering out or buying frozen.  Tastes so much better!
  • Use freecyle. If you need a dresser, clothes, or whatever, post to freecycle what you need and see if you can get it free first. You'd be surprised.
  • If you have stuff to sale, take it to a consignment store or even better, post it online on Facebook at your local "garage sale" page. For example, for my area "Talihina yard sale page, or Leflore Country yard sale page". You can sell about anything. Your jeans that don't fit anymore and you get more than you would at a consignment shop or garage sale generally.
  • Buy generic. Check labels and if it is the same, buy it cheaper. Check wal-mart's 88 cent aisle for cheap meds. They have alcohol, aspirin, ibuprofen, cold meds, etc. for 88 cents. Ask pharmacy people to direct you to them.
  • Instead of your hubby buying lunch, send him a lunch to work. It doesn't have to be just a sandwich. Get creative. Most employers have a refrigerator and microwave so you can send just about anything. Add a little love note in with it to really brighten his day!
  • Buy bagged potatoes and use for side dishes instead of box items. Make french fries, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, etc. It is more work but you get a lot more for your money. Also, if potatoes or onions are on sale, put them in panty hose and put them in your closet. They can save like that for up to 9 months.

    • That is how you do the onions and potatoes. Tie a knot between each one and cut off one when you need it. I tie 3-4 potatoes together though instead of individually. Also, if you buy a green pepper or onion and you don't use it all, dice it up and freeze it in a baggie for next time so you have no waste.
    • Cutting down on sodas and eating out will save you the most. Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need it or if you have to eat out, do you need a $8 meal or can you buy a $1 burger from McD's to hold you over until you get home. Or hey, your kids want a bag of Doritos. They cost $4.00. Is it worth $4 or say "hey, let's buy a bag potatoes (for french fries) and a pound of hamburger meat and we can have hamburgers and french fries for the same cost". When I am out and think about buying a fountain soda, I always ask myself, what else could I use that $2 for? Makes you really reconsider purchases.
    • As far as clothes, shoes, etc. buy used when you can or get it free from freecycle. Shop 2nd hand stores, etc.
        Here are a few more posts to help you:

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    1. Those are really helpful tips!

      Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
      Have a nice day!

      1. Veronica, thank you for stopping by. Heading to your blog now!

    2. Swinging by once more to follow your lovely blog.

      Happy Tuesday!

    3. I'm also from MBC but I saw you on Veronica's blog and loved your name so I figured I'd stop by, too! :)

      I am now a follower of yours, as well! I totally look forward to reading more from you- I always love reading tips to save a buck. I read your freebie sites post and there a few good sites in there that I hadn't heard of- one that I started using is I've earned quite a few magazine subscriptions from there in a matter of minutes which is awesome because I love reading some magazines but can't always justify spending $6 on 'em while shopping!

      Anyway, have a great day! :)

      Chantal Hickey

      1. Chantel, I appreciate you dropping by and for becoming a follower. I have been to your blog (BTW, love it) and followed you back! Thanks for letting me know about Checking it out next!

    4. I didn't know that about potatoes and onions. Will try next time cause ours always sprout!

    5. Heather, great! Glad you found something useful here. Another idea is a root cellar. We made ours by burying an old deep freezer.

    6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    7. These are indeed simple or doable stuff we could do for the sake of frugality. Thanks for outlining these. A very helpful write-up to those who want to utilise their money wisely.

    8. Great money-saving ideas! Will definitely apply these soon. Thanks!

      1. So glad we could be a help and we appreciate you stopping by!

    9. I switched my toddler to cloth diapers. My husband won't use them but I do when I am home. It still saves money. Also, I line dry my clothes most of the time. The only time i run my dryer is on the weekends (this is only occasionally) during "off peak" hours. I also make my own shampoo, conditioner rinse, laundry soap, face soap/wash, cleaning products and fabric softener. We don't buy many convenience foods, just the ones my husband "can't do without" which he has narrowed down to just a few. I gave up soda and drink water, coffee, and iced tea.

      1. Sounds like you are right on track too! So glad to hear it. Keep up the great work Mandy!

    10. your site tonight, loved your tips. The economy is making all of us search to cut those corners and my husband is ready to retire so every dollar saved is huge. We live in Florida so nothing is cheap but I discovered a major trick to lower my electric bill I wanted to share. I used to average 200 to 350 a month with maybe 2 months 125 for the past 17 years in my house. I looked at my meter one day and timed the rotations it spun in a minute, went back inside unplugged everything that wasn't being used, it slowed it some. Went to my breaker box and flipped the switches off for the range, dishwasher, washer/dryer, tub jets and my den that my largest tv was in which always was in standby mode. The meter spun very slow and the final test was flipping of my ac/heat pump which made it crawl barely moving. My bill dropped under $100 the past 8 months. Its now July and gone up to $140 but last July it was $325! I use floor fans in each room and ac is at 82, I learned even if its off current still is being used so killing the power source until I need it is going to save us close to $2400 a year! Hope this helps others to save some major money in their budget. Kathy in Hot Humid Florida

    11. I always pack snacks to take with us when we leave the house because I know that I won't spent $2 to buy a soda or fast food. We only eat out or get take out once a month...usually a $5 pizza so I always compare that if getting fast food fries are almost $3-$4 then I could almost have a pizza which feeds the whole family. Great list of tips!!

      1. Alison, smart ideas you shared. Thanks. I am so glad you stopped by!

    12. Amazing tips, especially the one about burying the freezer and using it as a root cellar you left in the comments - WOW! Excited to get new ideas to save, thanks so much!


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