May 30, 2012

45 Ways to Save Serious Cash

great ways to save cash

I think that I have complained about this before, but all of those "50 ways to save $500!" lists are kind of worthless.  They includes such things on them as "Do your own pedicures!"  or "Go to the library!"  Really?
If you are serious about saving some cash, those weren't even on the list to start with.  So, in an effort to offset the ridiculous lists, I thought I would make one of stuff that I do to actually make a difference in a normal person's budget.

  1.  Use a thermostat and keep it really warm in the summer and cool in the winter.  (I'm really good at this in the winter. . . )
  2.  Open your windows at night in the summer, but shut them by 10:00 in the morning. It lets in the cool night air, and keeps the AC off longer. 
  3. Turn down the temp even lower in the winter when it's dinner time. The oven will heat up the house so the heater doesn't have to.  
  4. Hang your clothes to dry, or at least the heavy ones like jeans and sweatshirts, to use the dryer less. To cut down on wrinkles, throw them in the dryer for 10 minutes and then hang them up. Get a retractable clothesline to make it easier. 
  5. Keep your blinds shut during the hottest part of the day.  Especially west facing windows. 
  6. Stop using baggies, ziploc, etc., for school lunches.  Pack everything in plastic containers in a lunch box. 
  7. Stop using plastic wrap, just use reclosable containers to store food in.  Plastic wrap always leaks anyway.
  8. Don't buy single serving snacks.  Break them up yourself. This includes cheese sticks.  
  9. Take your own bags when shopping. This isn't huge, but a lot of stores will give you a refund per bag. 
  10. Keep you checking account balanced so you don't overdraw and end up paying fees.  
  11. Set up your bills to be automatically deducted so you avoid late fees, or if this isn't an option, set an alarm on your phone or calendar to remind you. (This might seem obvious, but my memory stinks!)
  12. Go over your cell phone bill and make sure that there aren't any extras.  Companies tend to throw stuff on there that is totally unnecessary knowing that most people won't call about it.
  13. Do the same for the rest of your bills. Especially medical ones.  
  14. Go green. There are a surprising amount of ways that this will save you money. Reusable rather than disposable. (Dishes, storage, etc.)
  15. Use rags instead of paper towels. 
  16. Make your own baby wipes. 
  17. Make your own laundry detergent
  18. Make reusable dryer sheets
  19. Make your own fabric softener.
  20. Make your own yogurt
  21. Make your own pancake mix.
  22. Make your own Bisquick. 
  23. Make your own maple syrup.
  24. Make your own cleaning supplies.
  25. Use vinegar for as much as you possibly can.
  26. Make as much as possible from scratch
  27. If there is a food co-op in your area like Bountiful Baskets, USE IT!  For heaven sakes!
  28. Stop buying your kids cute pajamas.  I know, it's totally a bummer, but yard sale sweat pants and t-shirts or hideous hand-me-downs you won't let them wear in public work GREAT to sleep in.
  29. Make your kids some pajamas from old t-shirts.
  30. Walk as much as you can. If you have to run something 3 houses down, don't drive.  Well, unless it's pouring.  But you get the idea. 
  31. Ride a bike. 
  32. Turn your car off. I know it's hot, so if your going to have to wait, park in the shade and roll down the windows.  Unless you live in Arizona. 
  33. Revamp leftovers.  Make them into something new for an entirely different meal.  Much less will go to waste. 
  34. Eat less meat.  
  35. Drink water.  Make your kids drink water.  I'm such a mean mom.  
  36. Put together a kids clothing swap. 
  37. Swap babysitting.  This doesn't work great at night so much, but a Saturday lunch date is just as fun.  
  38. Go on Free or super cheap dates. Dollar theatre anyone?
  39. The next time you really want to paint, check the landfill first.  
  40. Shop at the Dollar Store. Carefully
  41. Shop garage sales for things you need.  Like winter coats and snow pants.  Or furniture.  It's cheaper at yard sales than it will be on KSL. Mostly.  
  42. Haunt the grocery store for "manager's special" items that are about to expire.  If it's seriously marked down and you can eat it quickly or freeze it, do it.  I once walked out of Kmart with 6 boxes of Triscuits for 0.16 a piece. It was awesome.
  43. Wrap presents in newspaper or other found paper around your house. 
  44. Put together a neighborhood co-op of sorts. Someone teaches dance, someone teaches art, someone teaches piano.  And trade.  
  45. Offer your services for trade, rather than payment.  If you need something, put an ad up on KSL asking for it, or call people that you know who perform such services and straight out ask them if they would be willing to trade. You'd be surprised how many hairdressers will trade haircuts for dance lessons.  
What do you think? Did I miss any?  Let me know if there are any ways that work great for you, I would love to know!


Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Great list! I ALWAYS get so irritated by those lists claiming ways to save money. They're all things I cut out ages ago anyway!

TheOneTrueSue said...

Yeah, good list. I would add: DON'T GO TO COSTCO. You will buy things you don't need, in large quantities.

Mother Goose said...

"unless you live in Arizona." LOL
I would get arrested if I turned our car off in the summer!

Mandy said...

AWESOME tips! here's a few off the top of my head:
shop in the bulk section for spices, (instead of committing to a whole jar of garam massala- only to use 1 tsp and throw it out) and for baking nuts (pecans! super expensive in those little baggies in the baking section), dried fruits (like "crazins")and novel grains and rices there (like Quinoa, wild rice, polenta...) you can get what your recipe calls for w/o committing to a whole bag of it.

and meat looks like a lot more and stretches farther when it's all cut up- I try to make my grocery list/ menu list with "transforming meals"- taking left over pot roast and turning it into lettuce wraps the next day.

and yes do be careful at the dollar store- lots of things you can actually find a lot cheaper at the regular grocery store

Caroline said...

I like this list. I trade crap all the time.

spot on white pants said...

Finally, practical list of ways to save money for people who already don't buy Starbucks every day. I currently live in an apartment and during the Winter it's hard to get the temp below 70, good thing I don't pay heat. At another place I kept it at 60 and people thought I was nuts. Just last week I made my own fabric softener (water, vinegar and hair conditioner) and now I don't need to use the dryers at the laundromat. I wash on Wednesdays because it's $1 for the double load washers. I paid $2 today to wash 4 loads of laundry.

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