With each task I perform during the course of a day, I think of ways that I can save. Small amounts saved each day add up to large savings at the end of the year. I have listed a few very simple things that can keep more money in your pockets. Just some food for thought.
By Cathy Heller from Californina
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I have a few additions or alterations to your suggestions.
1. Depending on the weather, I hang my clothes out to dry. No electricity needed and they smell oh! so fresh!
2. Shopping for books at garage sales is great, but joining the library is even better!
3. My husband is a long haul trucker so is only home one weekend a month. The rest of the time it's just me to cook for. So I cook up casseroles or any other meals and split them into individual sizes and freeze them. In the fall I cook up huge pots of basic recipe soups and freeze into individual serving containers. Then I add this or that to make it different each time I bring one out to eat.
4. I don't even carry my credit cards, debit cards or even cash (I don 't carry more than $5.00) with me. I leave it all at home. If I find something that I want bad enough to go home and get the card or cash, then OK, I get it. Otherwise it saves me from impulse buying.
5. Every week (if at all possible) I buy a money order for $25.00 and make it out to myself. Then I put it in my fire safe box, which holds my important papers & such. Then once a month or so I take all the accumulated money orders and deposit them into a savings account set up specifically for them. At Christmas time, I take out no more than 10% of what's in there. I'm building quite a nest egg by doing this.
6. I love piggy banks. I have several in my bedroom. One is labeled "pennies only". The second gets all other change. When it gets full, I dump it out and divide the change from that one into 3 other piggy banks, labeled "nickels only", "dimes only" and "quarters only". At this point I put the new 3 into a drawer (out of sight, out of mind) and start filling up the old one again. Only when all 5 are full do I take them to the bank for deposit and start all over again.
With the coin shortage I would suggest you open a savings account with a bank that has a coin counting machine. Deposit it weekly or monthly when you do your other banking.
Instead of rolling up coins or taking them to the bank, I take them to our local Coinstar. I don't get a store coupon, because they charge a fee per dollar. I have the money deposited to my Amazon account which costs nothing. I buy from Amazon almost every week, because it has products I can't buy locally.
For example, I only use unwaxed dental floss and I haven't been able to find it locally anymore. Also, I use one credit card to pay, and Amazon will automatically tell me if I have any gold points I can use. We bought a TV stand/electric fireplace recently and I saved about $35 doing that. That card is paid off monthly, so we don't pay interest.
Several years ago, we re-evaluated what we were doing for Christmas. My husband and I, and our in-laws and friends, don't really need much anymore. Most of the people we know are like that, and we don't need more "stuff." (What we need is to get rid of stuff.) It ruffled a few feathers, but they got over it. I'd rather give somebody something thoughtful, that they really need and can use, than a "have to" Christmas or birthday gift.
So, we all agreed not to exchange gifts, except with our son and daughter-in-law. We get together and have my special Christmas Day lasagna (posted elsewhere on Thrifty Fun), watch our favorite Christmas movies, go to a candlelight service, listen to Christmas music--whatever we like.
We do donate to our church's special Christmas charities, and if possible give our son and DIL things they need. For example, they just bought a small farm and are thinking of having beehives and farm animals, so they got books about that.
We're in our 70s now, and we watch a lot of TV. We love movies, so we make good use of our Netflix account, both DVDs and streaming. Recently, we decided to watch a movie at the theater, and by the time we paid for our tickets and some snacks, we paid about as much as we do for a month of Netflix.
I know some people will recommend getting movies from the library, but the choices are so limited. Back before Netflix, we'd get videos from the library, and I ruined a VCR with a dirty tape. We watch at least 15-20 movies or series every month.
Instead of gifts, I've started asking my husband to do things for me. Putting up an extra shelf one year, repairing an inherited buffet so I could chalk paint it another. (My husband is the type who will put off doing things, and making them a gift can get them done!)
When I see something I want, like a book, I'll use the internet to check for a cheaper price. I've seen books for $25-30, and then found them someplace like Thriftbooks for less than $5. These would be books we need to keep for my husband's business, usually, so the library is not an option. For my own reading, I'll check our library on-line to make sure the books are available before making a trip (7 miles round).
I'll also use the internet to compare the prices at different local stores when I need something new--usually a replacement for something we've worn out, like a new appliance. And some on-line places will give rebates with Rakuten. So far, woo-hoo! I've made about $20 on Rakuten.
I've always been a bit of a tightwad, so impulse buying has never been much of a problem for me. Now, if I could just get my husband to stop spending money impulsively....
That's a great tip. My local credit union has a coin machine that we can use free of charge but it's not at the branch nearest to us so Coinstar/Amazon would be a good option.
If you get promotional or rewards cards from your credit card, you can add those to Amazon too. It will store the balance left so this is a great alternative for those random cards that you don't remember what is left.
Here's your lasagna recipe. :)
Thanks, Jess! That was nice of you to look it up.
I used to make that a lot, but as we've gotten older, it's had to be a once or twice a year treat. Sometimes I'll make it for my husband's birthday.
My pleasure. :)
My oldest son is moving out of the house soon and asked me to show him how to make my lasagna version. I found my old hand-written card that I wrote when I first was out of the house. Brings back memories. It's always a favorite when I make it for the family but, like you say, I don't make it too often.
I remember joking with some frugalist friends about squeezing out the last bit of toothpase and turning shampoo and conditioner bottles upside down to get every last bit. (Yes, I do that.)
I told my friends I probably save at least $1 a year by doing that.
Jodi, I have you beaten on that one. I cut the tube and can get out at least 3 more brushings out of it before throwing it in the trash. I just can't see it go to waste. I probably save at least 25 cents a year.
Be very, VERY careful about renting out a room. We had our house built with a nice guestroom/bath, and we've had 3 people live with us over the last 20 years. Our niece was an angel, though her boyfriend/fiance/husband/now ex was over here and underfoot all the time.
My son's BF needed a place to stay, but we had to hound him for the little bit of rent he paid. He seemed to think it should come out at the end of the month, not the beginning. He thought I was rather fanatical about washing sheets occasionally, and didn't see much reason to clean the bathroom.
I thought some of his family might come up to us at the graduation and thank us for taking him in, but nobody bothered. When he walked across the stage a whole row of people stood up and cheered. My best friend was sitting next to me and she said, "Why weren't some of them taking care of him?"
When he moved out (Hallelujah!) he was throwing things haphazardly into his car and saying he couldn't make things fit. I went out and showed him how (like Tetris) to put this here and that there. I'd have unpacked and repacked the whole car if I'd had to. I was SO glad he moved away.
Then there was my husband's business partner, who never paid us anything, but graciously and quietly in the middle of the night helped us get rid of about $200 worth of old liquor, putting the empty bottles back in the liquor cabinet. (I guess he thought I wanted them for crafts.)
When we kindly told him it was time to leave, NOW, as he drove away, I told my husband "Let's make a pact to never let anybody else move in with us."
I've heard horror stories about people refusing to leave and some states have squatters' rights, so BE careful.
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