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I like to reuse Ziploc bags, I just wash, air dry, and reuse. Another little trick is to save packing material that comes in the mail and reuse it. If I have none and need to ship a box, I go to the store and ask for a paper bag. I turn it inside out and reuse, it's FREE. I reuse the envelopes that come in credit card offers to resend out bills.
Cancel cable and internet - you can get free movies at the library and use the computer there. I also like to save the extra wax from a candle that is burnt through and remelt it down and make another candle. I spray paint sticks and make lovely in-home displays. Also, go to the thrift store on the days they have the entire store half off. I buy furniture, sand it down, stain it, and reuse.
By Penny Pinch from Denver, CO
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I gave up my cell phone plan & bought a cell phone for $19.00+, and purchased $20.00 worth of minutes (about 300 minutes). The minutes lasted 4 months, so I saved a bundle over the usualy $39.99 per month plan. No difference in quality, in fact I like this phone better then the old one.
My best savings ever: when I lived in Louisiana I purchased sun screens for the house. They paid for themselves in saved energy costs the first 2 years. They were wonderful. The house was so much cooler, the shades kept people from seeing in during the day, I did not find that they darkened the house at all, I think they looked better on the house then the typical wire screens. I highly recommend them to anyone who lives where it is hot. (Total cost about 15 years ago was less then $400.00 for 11 windows - 3 extra large ones & the rest extra long. They were installed for free). I know you can make these screens yourself if you are handy.
It is late June and it is still cold here at night; I watch television at night with my coat on, if I have to, just to not turn on the heat. I am on a budget plan for my heating fuel, but I will never get the winter heat bill paid off if I only add to it with a summer heat bill! I recently had a yard sale and sold so much stuff that I was able to make a mortgage payment to the bank! Which tells me that I had too much stuff, and spent too much money buying it in the first place. I refuse to buy new things for myself now, I would rather buy from yard sales at discounted prices-let them pay full price for it! Whenever I do find something in the store that I think that I just have to have, I ask myself how many hours I have to work to afford that wonderful new treasure. I usually talk myself right out of buying it when I realize how hard I have to work to earn the money for it! I menu plan my week and use the grocery sale flyer and only buy sale items. I don't buy much meat, I just can't afford it; but, if I do buy meat I only buy the marked-down meat. I have never had a bad experience with the meat yet. I also barter services a lot and I think that bartering will come back into fashion with the economy being as it is. Perhaps it has never been out of fashion? I also voice things aloud to people all the time. When I needed a gas grill I told everyone that would listen to me that I was looking for one, and if they saw one in the trash to call me and I would get it. A friend, of a friend, said that she was going to buy a new grill and that I could have her old one! I also use freecycle to find things that I need, and I would suggest to anyone to that is looking to get, or give, something to go to that site. I was told something recently about electricity, that I need to unplug all electrical items that are not in use because they all draw power and will keep your meter spinning! I never thought about all of those digital clocks in every gadget, like microwaves and VCRs, that draw constant energy to light those clocks up. If it weren't for needing my refrigerator running all night, I would just flip the whole house off at the breaker each night!!!
I am doing several things to save money. I was out not too long ago and found a bread machine with the kneader still it in at the used clothing and household goods store for 20.00 so I snatched it up as I had been searching for one for quite some time but that part was always missing. Now I bake all of my own bread with such a small amount of effort. I am looking to expand into making other things as well like pizza dough, buns and bagels.
I do my grocery shopping daily rather than weekly because I live right across from a grocery store. I find that I spend less money that way and I stick to my daily menu planner. For me, there is less waste because I don't put things away in the cupboards and forget that I have them there.
I never buy books but get them from the library, I line dry my clothing whenever possible as well. The landlord was very happy about that because I have an all inclusive rent where I live and he likes that he can save on the hydro bill when I dry outside. I try really hard not to eat out, make foods from scratch instead of purchasing prepackaged items and usually get all of our clothes at the used clothing stores.
I have a pay as you go cell phone with unlimited texting for 10.00 a month so that I can talk to my boyfriend and daughter whenever I need to, rarely make long distance phone calls but when I do I use a calling card or I chat with someone far away online. I enjoy pen pals but instead of mailing via snail mail we do so through the internet email.
I am sure that there are more things that I do but I am not thinking of them off the top of my head... I will post more as I think of them :)
We have cut off our cable tv and switched to netflix. For 29.99 we bought our kids a inflateable pool so we can stay home and play outside. Since gas where we live is 4.69 per gal we are doing everything we can do to make our house fun to stay home
I am encouraging my husband to eat fast food only with COUPONS (which I am collecting). Got a deal on an Entertainment card for the last 6 months of the year for lunch dates - I continue to collect his pocket change for my pin money - Many of these economies are old to me, but new to my husband! But he, too, is a little more vigilant nowadays.
1. Using clothes dryer less 2. Using oven to cook more than one meal at a time (freezing 2-3 meals for microwave defrost) 3. Less driving 4. Mending rather than replacing 5. Less makeup (I'm beautiful anyway!) 6. No restaurant food. 7. Less convenience and pre-packaged foods 8. Eat what we buy, buy what we eat 9. Not dieting (eat what is on sale) 10. Canceled all subscriptions.
I admit I am still wasting but trying. We get our meat at this store, 5 packs for 20 dollars. Yes I have my a/c's on, it is because I am 48 and am taking meds and am premenapause. I do unplug the toaster and stuff now, will do it with the computer. I have it hook up to a big cord and just turn off the switch. Don't go out to eat much because of autistic little girl so instead we go to fast food and try the value menu. Go to the library to get movies and books haven't been to a movie since The Passion of the Christ was on and saw that in the afternoon. Mostly get videos for daughter. Also check out goodwill store, they had a lot. Also have a prepaid cell phone which is great, don't text just use it to call hubby at work. And no credit cards. Hubby said no. I shopped too much before married and killed my credit so learning a lot.