Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday's Ten Money Saving Tips

  1. Turn off the television.  A really big way to save money is to watch less television.  financial benefits to this are: less exposure to guilt-inducing ads, more time to focus on other things in life, less electrical use, learn to communicate with your family, etc.  Watching TV is a great to unwind in the evening, but look for another hobby to do that.  Secondly, don't just turn it off,  unplug it too, as the TV continues to use electricity when off.  We put ours on a plug strip that way we just flip the switch.
  2. Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store. You can make food mixes, candles, bread, cookies, soap, jams, jellies, and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively. These make awesome gifts for others because they involve provide a personal touch.  Include a personal handwritten note with the gift. This will make it more special than anything you could possibly buy down at the store.
  3.  Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it. One should never go into a store without a list. Make a careful plan of what you’ll buy before you go, then stick strictly to that list when you go to the store. Don’t put anything in the cart that’s not on the list, no matter how tempting, and you’ll come out of the store saving a bundle.
  4. Invite friends over instead of going out. Almost every activity at home is less expensive than going out. Invite some friends over and have a cookout or a potluck meal, then play some cards or a game. Everyone will have fun, the cost will be low, and you'll have a great time.
  5.  Instead of throwing out clothing that needs repair, fix it instead. Don’t toss out a shirt because of a broken button – sew a new one on with some closely-matched thread. Don’t toss out pants because of a hole in them – put in a patch of some sort and save them for times when you’re working around the house. Simple sewing can be done by anyone – it just takes a few minutes and it saves a lot of money by keeping you from buying new clothes when you don’t really need to.
  6. Don’t spend huge amounts of money entertaining your children. Most children, especially young ones, can be entertained very cheaply. Buy them an end roll of newspaper from your local paper and let their creativity run wild. Make a game out of ordinary stuff around the house, like tossing pennies into a jar, even. Realize that what your children want most of all is your time, not your stuff, and you’ll find money in your pocket and joy in your heart.
  7.  Drink more water. Not only does drinking plenty of water have great health benefits, water drinking has financial benefits, too. Drink a big glass of water before each meal, and not only will you digest it better, you won’t eat as much, saving on the ol’ food bill. You’ll also find yourself feeling a bit better as you begin to get adequately hydrated (most Americans are perpetually somewhat dehydrated).
  8. Make a double batch of a casserole. Casseroles are nice, easy dishes to prepare, but on busy nights, it’s often still easier to just order some take-out or eat out or just plop a prepackaged meal in the oven. Instead, the next time you make a casserole, make two, three or four batches of it and put the other's in the freezer. Then, the next time you need a quick meal for the family, grab one of those batches and just heat it up – easy as can be. Even better, doing this allows you to buy the ingredients in bulk, making each casserole cheaper than it would be ordinarily – and far, far cheaper than eating out or trying a prepackaged meal. AND you'll have something ready to go when you find a friend in need.
  9. Clean your car’s air filter. A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 7%, saving you more than $100 for every 10,000 miles you drive in an average vehicle. Plus, cleaning your air filter is easy to do in just a few minutes – just follow the instructions in your automobile’s manual and you’re good to go.
  10. Do a price comparison – and find a cheaper grocery store. Most of us get in a routine of shopping at the same grocery store, even though quite often it’s not the one that offers the best deals on our most common purchases. Keep track of the things you buy most often, then shop for these items at a variety of stores.  I keep a notebook handy whenever I go shopping.  I check the notebook after I've created my menu to note where I want to shop for the best deals that week.  Don't forget to compare sale ad prices while making your shopping list.

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