Monday, October 02, 2006

25 ways I save

Dawn at Frugal For Life proposed this meme. I'm a little late, but off the top of my head, here are 25 random practices from my house:

1. Shoot and select dozens of digital photos, but develop only the best few. Or none at all.
2. Arrange free or edible "nature things" instead of buying garlands and flowers for seasonal decoration. To me, artificial defeats the purpose.
3. Oops. Frequent readers will remind me of the wooden lemons I use to bulk up my fruit bowl, thus requiring less fresh fruit.
4. Search the meat department for items reduced-for-quick-sale. It's how we meet our goal price of $1.50/lb or less.
5. Scrupulously examine supermarket receipts after checkout. Most groceries give you the item free if you discover a scanning error. Half the time, I do.
6. Continue the mom-chain of generous hand-me-downs. I am blessed to receive things as often as I give to others.
7. Assemble a yard-sale stash of spa goodies for at-home pampering. The ONE time I indulged in a pedicure (9 months pregnant), I purchased a horrible infection, too.
8. Buy and store birthday cards for ten cents each at a charity thrift store. In a pinch, 2 for $1 at Dollar General or Dollar Tree. I am never without.
9. Mail gifts in USPS Priority Mail flat rate boxes and envelopes, a lesson I learned after one too many holiday shipping surprises. Weight is no object as long as my gift fits in the free, flat rate boxes.
10. Buy Tracfone minutes on Ebay. Thanks to a tip from readers here, we routinely find them at half what Walmart charges. My occasional cell phone usage runs around $5 a month.
11. Decant cooking or rinsing water into a watering can beneath the sink. My potted plants drink what would otherwise wash down the drain.
12. Take advantage of promotional coupons by switching prescriptions from one pharmacy to another.
13. Choose hobbies which are free or money-making instead of those that require fees/equipment/tools. For me, the most fun are blogging and yard saling. And of course, blogging ABOUT yard saling : )
14. Mark my master calendar with the month's free family events. We always have frugal choices at our fingertips.
15. Use the $1.50 dry cleaners when necessary. Folks swear by Dryel, but the savings is not worth bringing those chemicals into our home. We spot clean and air wool garments to prolong time between cleanings.
16. Inspire myself with others' thrift. Forget checkout lane magazines with the same old budgeting articles. I keep a copy of the Complete Tightwad Gazette for occasional motivation and use the Internet to research how other families stretch their dollars.
17. Buy in bulk. Not from Sam's Club, but whenever an oft-used item dips to its lowest sale price. That's why my pantry holds two cases of Organic Ragu and enough peanut butter to get us through an ice storm.
18. Choose reusable over disposable. I covet single-size Tupperwares at yard sale prices and pretty cloth napkins in a variety of colors. They make everyday life a little nicer, too.
19. Invest in the tool, not in the labor. Buying a professional squeegee was cheaper than paying a window washer once.
20. Pick a bank with free internet bill pay. The more stamps rise in cost, the more I save each month.
21. Keep a bulging warranty file. We file receipts for consumer goods we buy new. Those flat pillows with the 5-year guarantee? Returned for fresh ones at year three.
22. Treat ourselves to small pleasures (a bag of nice coffee, movies from Netflix). Long-term deprivation may explode in a huge purchase later.
23. Drive older cars. I don't think we've had one newer than a '96. Cheaper to buy, cheaper to insure.
24. Love one another. (1 John 3:11) Kindness fosters contentment. Happy people spend less.
25. Ask, and it shall be given you. (Mathew 7:7). Don't forget to pray for what you need.


Anonymous said...

A big thanks to you Meredith. We hardly ever need prescriptions -- PTL -- but my husband needed some prescription nasal spray for allergies. I had the prescription at one pharmacy. But thanks to you I had saved the $30 transfer coupon and was able to use it to transfer to a grocery store. I got a $30 gift card and will get a $20 rebate. With our $10 insurance discount it brought the prescription down from $83 to $23. I wouldn't have thought about transfering if I hadn't read about it on your blog. Thanks, Joy

Anonymous said...

Great suggestions, Meredith! I had not heard of the flat rate box... I actually had the thought that you could get more into the box (clothes, etc.) if you used a large gallon zip-lock bag and sucked the air out, to compress the clothes and fit more in the box. I have some cloth diapers to mail out, I might try it. :)

Can't remember my blogger info...

Someone Beautiful said...

These are great! The last 2 were especially good reminders! Thank you for sharing and motivating as always! :)

Homekeeper Mom said...

Great reminders!! Thank you for sharing. Your home is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Oh my, it is so nice!


DonnaB said...

Your list was great. What I liked about it was that you remind us that a positive attitude can be a really great money saver.

Birdie said...

Thanks for the great tips!

Becca said...

My favorite is the last one. The Lord is just waiting to shower blessings on us, but it's our job to ask!

Dawn said...

Great list, thanks!
I have you added to the others

Anonymous said...

What a great list ... you've give me some new ideas to incorporate in my home as I'm trying to get the budget down further each month.

Scribbit said...

I love those suggestions, there are some good ones in there.

Candy said...

awesome tips!

Anonymous said...

Choose hobbies which are free or money-making - now that os a great tip that I need to do. All my hobbies are WAY too expensive.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you could correct the link back to as that would be very helpful. Thanks!


Lily said...

I found a great prescription discount card at LOW membership fee. Drug prices posted.