Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Saving money together


We all love finding ways to cut corners on spending, at least I do. I'd like to share a few of my personal tips with you. Let's save money together! Add your tips to the comments for others to enjoy.

*Check out the "Hillbilly housewife" link on my favorite websites. Great grocery/recipe tips for tight budgets.

*Definitely use coupons when you can. Don't receive coupons? Email the companies you use and let them know whether or not you enjoy the products. They usually send a couple cents off coupons in the mail, I have even received coupons for FREE products.

*Every time you finish a bottle of liquid laundry detergent, put the bottle in a corner somewhere. Once you have 2-3 empty bottles, you can cut them open and drain the excess soap into the lid for at least 1 more full load of clean laundry.

*Sign up for any freebie/samples you can find on the Internet. Grab an empty box and add to it. You never know if you might need them in a pinch/emergency, you can donate them to others in need and you might try some new products that you'll love! Sure, your mailman might not be thrilled but, it helps! Not only are they good for situations or donations, you can try them before purchasing so that you don't waste money if you don't care for the product.

*Buy your meat in bulk and separate! Do you have a store that offers pick 5's? I'd check them out if you haven't already. A pick 5 is where you choose 5 products (Mainly meat or frozen items) and pay $19.99.

*A 'Seal a meal' or 'Food saver' is a great investment for separating meat or keeping other foods fresh. You can usually purchase various brand bags or rolls to save money as they do get expensive. Try Rival brand, I have used them and it works great. I need to purchase some more! Not only does it help with less waste, it also saves room.

*Do you love thrift stores or garage sales? I do but, they are scarce around here. Check for clothing, furniture and other items you might be needing before spending top dollar on new items. You can usually find brand names in the clothing piles or racks.

*Save on propane/gas or Electric bills-

Check your water heater, take it down a few notches and you will be surprised at how much you could save.

Burn candles during the night if you don't need the light to save. If you have scented candles, that will help save on odor fighting products.

Before getting in your fridge, try to think of what you want because, each time you open the door and stand there it costs $.

Do you have your porch light on all night? I shut mine off when I go to bed most of the time.

My kids sleep with the tv on so they put on movies that will automatically shut the tv off when done playing.

I wash all laundry in cold water, I use propane and it's really expensive.

Use energy saving bulbs, I am guilty as I haven't done this one yet.

*Down to the last drop of dish soap or shampoo? Cannot get any out by squeezing? Add a little water and shake the bottles. You can usually get 1 more use from them.

*The dollar tree is my friend, everything is $1.00 or less and you wouldn't believe what you can find there! The dollar tree carries many brand name items and great extras for the kids, yourself or the house.

*Bookmark Amazon.com and check the sales, clearance (outlet) items often. I usually do most of my shopping on there for gifts, they have great prices and free shipping for over $25.

*Want a good DVD? Try swapping, no swaps? Try ebay but, be careful and check feedback. Set a budget and don't go over. My local pawn shop has DVDs for $3 each. I recently purchased all 3 SAW movies in new condition (watched 1x) there. You can also resell the DVDs to them at a lower price but, good way to get a couple $$ towards a new movie. I also check amazon for new releases.

*Do you really need that $5 box of tea? I buy the .99 boxes at Walmart and Piggly Wiggly, to me they taste better than the more expensive boxes of tea and they have 100 bags in them. I was using 6 double bags to make tea but, I cut them back to 5 to save on tea and make them less strong.

*Want taco bell? Buy the kits at the store and make them yourself. You can buy a box to make 6 double deckers (or 6 soft/6 crunchy) tacos. It comes with cheese sauce and taco mix so all you have to do is add ground beef and toppings. The kit is $1.98 at most places. Taco bell charges over $1 for 1 double decker. El paso makes a good taco bake kit as well.

*What about pizza craving? There is a deli pizza that comes in 2 packs. They cost $4.99 and is really good but, you can't find them in the pizza section. Look in the dairy/deli meat section. I call them cardboard pizza's out of habit.

*Receive too many packets of condiments, forks or napkins with your meals? Save them! I have a large container that I add to everytime we go out. You would be amazed at what you could do with them.

*If you have a bakery outlet nearby, here's your chance to stock up on breads or cakes. They carry other items but, it's not always a deal. We don't have one here but, everytime I go out of town and find the store, I'll buy some bread. I also watch bread sales and stock up at the grocery store. You can freeze the bread and it will last beyond the expiration date.

*Check the clearance shelves at the grocery stores. I have found many items that are much cheaper due to dents or missing pieces.

*Toilet paper...my friends, I always complain about how much $ is wasted on toilet paper! I now purchase scott tissue or the Dollar General brand. Scott is normally $3.50 or more for 4 rolls of 1000 sheets each. The dollar general brand is $3 for a total of 5000 sheets.

*Paper product needs? Paper plates, cups, plastic ware, etc. can be found at local dollar stores.

*Flowers! Do you have fields nearby with wild flowers? Pick a few to create a beautiful place settings in you home (Purchase vases from the dollar tree) or if you have a loved one in the cemetery, you can leave fresh flowers there or purchase silk flowers at the dollar tree. They also carry the plastic vases you place into the ground.

As you can see, little things do add up to big savings. There are many different ways you can save money for your family, even if you don't have a tight budget. Please share your tips.

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