Thursday, November 18, 2010

Last minute savings plan



In April I wrote a great post about 25 ways to save money that can be put to great use right about now. Christmas is only a month away and money is tight for everyone now days. So please try these out and hopefully you will stick to them from now on and save yourself money each month.  Its not only good for your wallet but good for the earth. Ive added a few more things so enjoy!

Could you use some extra cash after the bills are paid?  Maybe you need to save up for a birthday or holiday? I'm sure you all can and even if you don't need anything, saving money is always a good thing. About every 6 months I try to come up with a good list of things you can do to save money. Lets see how many of you do these things or will do these things.

1.  Stop buying plastic sandwich bags/storage bags. For lunches use fabric sandwich bags. Now days you can find these in all natural stores. If not try online at reusablebagssnacktaxi, or look for them at Etsy.
Added note:If you don't have the money to invest in these right now just get creative and use things around your home. Maybe use a cut up brown paper bag to wrap food, cut up a liner from cereal? Just get creative.

2.  Stop buying aluminum foil. Start saving the stuff you have now and reuse it as many times as you can. Or try just using metal lids from pots. Its going on 2 years since I have purchased any.

3.  No more air fresheners, plug in's or automatic fresheners. Just open up your windows or burn a candle. Biggest waste of money plus those things are filled with toxic synthetic oils.
Added note:Those essential oils you use to make soap? Simply reuse a spray bottle by adding water and a couple of drops of essential oils. Bamm! You have room spray or linen spray.

4.  No more prepackaged food or spice packets. Try looking up these at Recipezaar . You will save money and save yourself from preservatives, sodium and excess fat.  Remember you control it when you make it. You don't have to stick to the recipe exactly.

5. Stop buying laundry soap and make your own. A $5 investment will get you started. But if you don't have that $5 extra bucks just cut your regular soap in half and stretch it further.

6.  No more dryer sheets. Just make 2 balls from aluminum foil and toss those in the dryer. Or do what I do and use nothing.  And no I don't miss the smell of those synthetic fragrances.

7.  No plastic trash bags.  Yes you read this right. If you recycle everything possible and compost everything possible, you will need no trash bags. I take my trash out once a week and we never fill it up. Since there is no liquids or food in our trash there is no need for a bag. I just take the trash out and rinse it out with water once in a while.

8.  Stop buying cleaners. Simply use vinegar and water and that will clean up anything. And no your home won't smell like vinegar.

9.  No more cable or dish network. Have it shut off and love your family time. Now days you can watch movies on Hulu, watch favorite tv shows on their network websites, or rent movies for as low as $1 from places like Redbox. Regular TV is much better now then when you were little. You get a 24 hour kids channel and about a dozen others.

10.  No more eating out. This one alone will save you a ton of money. And this includes fast food joints. Yes it only cost you a dollar or so but you will pay for it through your health.

11.  Walk anywhere possible whenever possible within 1 mile from home. Less gas used means less money to buy gas. Try walking or biking. Yes you were born with legs for a reason!

12.  Hang dry your clothes. Got string and a nail? You have a easy clothes line! Put a loop at the end of the string so you can take it down anytime you want. Out of sight out of mind! This will save you up to $20 a month.

13.  Turn the thermostat down!!! 55 at night and completely off during the day. Put on a sweatshirt, socks and slippers. Plus gives you reason to snuggle. You will thank me later when you get your heating bill.

14.  No more new stuff. Try to find anything you need in a thrift store or garage sale before you buy it new.

15.  Get rid of disposables. No more paper towels, paper plates, paper cups, or to go anything! Just use your own and wash them. Yes even for birthday parties!

16.  Never refuse anything given. I always accept clothing, household goods, etc from friends or family. I rarely have to buy clothes because of this. In return I give away all our clothes and anything else I want to get rid of. Helps out in more ways than one. I have a friend who gives me extra organic produce that she cannot eat. Thanks Theresa!!! This saves me money each month and gets us eating things I normally wouldn't buy.

17.  No more medicines unless its really needed. Simple colds can be taken care of with vitamins, honey, tea, and eating healthy. There are always natural ways to take care of any ailment at Earthclinic.  Its my go to site for everything! Even if you have the best insurance you will save a ton of money. I save $20 (my co pay)each time I don't go to the doctor just because I have a cold.  Of course go to the doctor if its something serious or you just can't shake the cold off. Eat healthy and live healthy and you will not need to go to the doctor. I have been to my doctor only twice in the last 7 years and only because I found a lump in my breast. It was nothing serious after all but you just cannot chance something like that.

18.  No more papers! Each week you will get a free paper on your door step. Now days they even come with coupons! Plus your local stores ad's will be in there too. You can also go on any brands website and print out coupons. There's always a way to get around everything!

19.  Share a garbage service with your neighbor. This saves us $13 each month. My neighbor and I split the bill. We each recycle so much and compost everything that we just split our service. Never thought of that did you!

20.  Take a shower when needed instead of daily. No were not dirty people! I just wash when I need it. If my hair gets dingy or dirty I take a shower.This is the rule for our whole family. We do not roll around in the dirty, have dirty jobs, or sweat on a regular basis so we do not need to shower daily.  Just think about how much water and hair products you will save! Also when you do take a shower, put a limit on it!

21.  No more specialty coffee's! From now on make your own and take your own! This alone will save you a ton of money. Now days you can find organic coffee in bulk just about anywhere. Its way cheaper than buying your coffee from your local coffee shop. If you do need to grab a coffee, take your own mug and most places give a discount if you do bring your own mug.

22.  No more babysitters. Try switching with a friend/family member/neighbor. I do this with many people and have yet to pay any babysitters. Just remember to babysit in return. This alone saves a ton of money for people with many kids.

23.  Keep the lights off as much as possible. Open up drapes and let the sunshine in!

24.  Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.

25.  Take my clothe wipe challenge and save a bundle on toilet paper each month.

Bonus

-Avoid all plastic!  I won't buy any plastic toys, food products, clothing, or anything else for that matter.  This rule has help cut clutter out of my home as well.  Look for food in glass so you can reuse or recycle it when your done.  You can use many large glass items for storing food in the pantry, fridge and even the freezer.  Apple sauce glass jars are great for storing food.

-Fix it, make do or ditch it. Anything that gets broken and can be fixed will be fixed. Anything that I can make do with we do.  Anything we don't need we donate or give to someone who needs it. This has saved us a ton of money. And now when we do need to buy something new we are very picky about our purchase. We look for no plastic items and stuff that can be easily fixed.  Most products these days are meant for single use or to be disposable. Even household items like scales.

-Borrow or barter.  Why buy something when your only going to use it once? Ask around if your looking for something in particular. Most the time someone has it and will let you borrow it. But know that if they need something you have then you need to let them borrow it.  Barter for daycare. You watch my kids and in return I will watch yours. My neighbor borrowed my dehydrator to dry some herbs I let her pick from my garden. In return she gave me lots of mint for making tea. Get creative!

-Buy seasonal food. Because my favorite produce stand is closed for the season I have to be creative. I cannot afford to buy anything I want organic so I buy whats on sale and in season.  Last week it was kale on sale so we ate kale. Organic pinto beans were $1 per pound so we had chili one night.  Instead of making a meal plan at home try buying whats in season and planning around that.  Also this rule can be used for meats.  Nitrate free pork sausage was on sale for $2.99 per pound so thats what were eating this week. 8 links for $5.99. Thats cheap!

-Buy in bulk. Less packaging means you pay less.  Also means less packaging to recycle.

-Make gifts and cards. Sometimes I make bath salts, soaps or things like that and give them as gifts. My girls love making their own cards which saves us money.  You can make a pie and give it to a girlfriend for her birthday.  Get creative and use what you have.  These are my favorite kinds of gifts to get.  It shows that you took the time for the person which means the world to them.


Now's the fun part. Watch your money stay in your wallet.  You can thank me later.

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3 comments:

Kellie said...

Great tips! Last night as I was folding laundry (cloth napkins and wash cloth rags) I wondered how much I've saved over the past 5 years by not buying napkins or paper towels. It adds up!

Lisa Sharp said...

Thanks for joining in on the carnival.

Rashell said...

Even though I wonder how much of an impact my 'greenish' tendencies have on the environment, I do know that it has helped save us money overall.

I am appalled at how much excess trash we throw away, so one new goal I have is to commit to recycling/composting more consistently.

Thank you for your post!