“A penny saved is a penny earned.” “Look after the pennies, and the dollars will look after themselves”. I think we all grew up learning those phrases! It just means take care of the pennies (watch those small amounts you spend) and they’ll add up to big savings overall with time. Here are some easy money saving tips that I do and some that were shared by readers of my blog. All you frugal homemakers out there, please feel free to add to the tips in the comments.
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Hope you find some easy ways to save money that you haven’t tried before!
Easy Money Saving Tips
1. Save your change. Above is a picture of my “egg money” (Do you know where that phrase came from? I’ll explain at the end of this post). Jen mentioned that she has a jar where she puts her change and that’s what she uses for decorating money. I use it for that too and more. Just last week I scooped out a handful into a baggy and took it to Kroger with me to deposit in those Coinstar machines. I had a little over $18 when I was through. Went to Goodwill and found this dog picture below to add to my dog collection ($3). Went to Barnes & Nobles later in the week and had a lovely Pumpkin Spice Latte while looking at the latest magazines, bought one and still had some “blow” money leftover! I have also used it for grocery money when times have been really tight!
2. Make your own. You can basically make your anything! Laundry detergent (The Prairie Homestead has a good simple laundry soap recipe here), liquid dish soap, homemade dishwater tablets, and more! You can make your own cleaning products (I’ll share some recipes I use in another post), your own tooth powder, you can make your own mixed seasonings (like taco season mix recipe, fajita, Italian etc), your own cream of ….soup, make your own granola (it’s so easy!). You can make practically anything from scratch! The Internet is a great resource – lots of people have been making their own stuff for years and years so it’s almost certain that you’ll find what you’re looking for.
3. Conserve water. Glenda said that when she was growing up if you took a bath that water was then used to flush toilets. Don’t let the water run when you brush your teeth and wash your face. We collect water in our rain barrels to use for a variety of things. Linda’s husband fixed her washer so they can use the grey water to water their yard. Collect your “warm up” water when you take a shower and use it to water your plants. We also save water from steaming or boiling food to water plants.
4. Don’t waste. Clarice keeps a bag in her freezer to hold leftover bits of bread. When she gets enough she cubes them and makes bread pudding out of them. You can also make your own breadcrumbs. Keep those little bits of veggies that don’t get eaten in the freezer and add to soups. I also reuse the other side of printer paper (you know when something you didn’t want to print does or if you’re finished with it). Rhonda in OK likes to use casserole dishes with lids so she doesn’t have to even use foil. I re-wash my foil and use over and over.
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5. Use White Vinegar. Phyllis said that her Mom used to use vinegar on her hair instead of conditioner (I don’t know if hair color plays a factor in whether you can do this). Lots of people use white vinegar in their washer instead of fabric softener. 1/2 cup for top loaders and a 1 tablespoon for front loaders (I would experiment with that as I’m sure all washers are different). I cut dryer sheets in half and use those when we don’t line dry. I use vinegar and water to wash my laminate floors and I also use it to clean the inside of my fridge. Here’s an article from Reader’s Digest that gives you 150 Uses For Vinegar.
6. Do it yourself. I cut my husbands hair about every 10 days. He bought one of those hair cutting kits with the different blade attachments for about $40. It costs him $10 to get it cut at the barbershop (not including tip). So we save at least $30 a month on that. I trim my own bangs and my daughter’s. I cut my own grass (which I hate doing btw because it takes me about an hour just to do the front yard). That saves me $100 a month (lawn service was $50 every two weeks just for the front). I of course paint my own everything (believe me I’d rather pay to have someone paint walls – that I don’t enjoy).
7. Don’t get take out. Another easy money saving tips is to swap frozen pizza for delivered or make your own. Get those frozen Chinese food mixes instead of take out. Actually buying frozen pre-made food saves money over take out. Of course making it from scratch would be the healthiest and biggest money saver, but sometimes you just can’t!
8. Use a broom if you can (or carpet sweeper). I use a broom instead of my vacuum most of the time on my hardwoods, to save on electricity.
9. Try freezer cooking. I cook extra and freeze for those days when I don’t feel like cooking so I’m not tempted to get take out. Research batch cook or freezer cooking or just make more of your own recipe. Here are 15 Time Saving Freezer Meal Recipes to get your started!
10. Check the dollar stores for bargains in everything from food to home decor! I just found out the my Big Lots has bread considerably cheaper than Kroger. I bought a loaf of Arnold Healthy Multi-grain for $1.79. Kroger had a similar bread on sale for $3! I bought 2 loaves btw, one to use now and one to put in the freezer. Big Lots even has organic food at times. Plus they have gotten really better with their home decor stuff. The Dollar Tree is a fabulous place to get little seasonal decorating items, craft supplies and organizing items! Plus they have some good inexpensive cleaning products if you don’t want to make your own.
11. Be organized about your bill payments! There’s nothing worse than getting hit with a late charge or increased interest rate because you misplaced or forgot about a bill and pay it late. Do call and try to get the charge dropped if you’re just a day or two late. It doesn’t hurt to ask! I mark the date due on the outside of the bill envelope and keep them in chronological order on my desk. Some people like to mark due dates on a calendar. Of course you can always set up auto payments as long as you know you will always have the money in your account.
These are all simple and easy to do tips for saving money!
***The term egg money comes from when women would sell their extra chicken eggs for money that would be set aside for saving or for special splurges. A early side hustle!***