Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Free ways to save money

If you need to cut back and save some money then today is gonna be your day. There are several things you can do to save some cash quickly. Most are super easy and take little effort. And who doesn't love that? Imagine if you did all these all the time? You could actually save money and it will stay in the bank! Who would of thought? Every single one of these idea's are COMPLETELY FREE!

-Stop buying saran wrap, aluminum foil, zip lock bags, paper lunch bags, and disposable stuff like that. Instead cover food with a plate, use reusable containers, pack lunches in a lunch box and stop being disposable! Good for the earth and good for your wallet.

-Make your own spice combination's. No more spice packets!! It really is super easy and way cheaper. Head on over to here and type in what you need. Example:Taco Seasoning. They rate each recipe as well so make sure you read the ratings.

-Make your own broth. Learn how to here. You can freeze it for later use as well.  Best part is that you control how much sodium is in it. I leave it out completely. You can do this with any meat with bones.

-Before you make a meal take a look around your home. Look in the freezer for stuff you need to use. Have some shredded zucchini? Use it to make zucchini muffins.  Have some green beans to use up? Toss those in with dinner. Mystery meat? You get the idea. Sometimes I will only use what I have for a week so I can use it all up and it won't get frost bite. Get creative and have fun.

-Stop buying paper products. Example:Paper napkins, paper plates, and paper cups. Use those things in your cabinets called dinner ware. And those metal things you use to pick up food? Yeah eat with those. Need a napkin? Use a kitchen towel.  This will not only save you money but will cut back on your recycling and garbage. Make this a permanent  choice. 


-Stop buying dryer sheets, bleach, and whiteners. You don't really need dryer sheets and yes you will get over the fact that your clothes won't smell like fresh cut flowers. If you really need something in your dryer then make 2 aluminum balls with aluminum foil and toss those in when you put your clothes in the dryer. This should help with static.

-Hang dry your clothes. Have the space in your garage? Maybe your laundry room is big? Just use some string and nails and set yourself up a line. This saves you on your energy bill. 

-Wash all clothes in cold water. HUGE money saver. Rarely do I ever use hot water. 

-Cut your laundry soap in half. Instead of putting (example) 1 cup put in half a cup.  If your clothes are not dirt then just wash with water. Better yet make your own soap and save a ton of money. I show you how easy it is here. Were talking a penny per load people.

-Wear your clothes more than once. If its a sweatshirt, jacket, cardigan, or even a shirt. You can wear them a few times and be just fine. Jeans can be tossed in the dryer for a minute or ironed.  Again saving you on energy, laundry soap, and time.


-The best way you can save on your energy bill is to do the Freeze yur Buns Challenge. Ive been doing this for two years now and turn our thermostat lower each year. Just start wearing your sweaters, hats, thick socks and slippers. Your gonna need them!

-In the morning open up your drapes and let the sun in. This can help warm up your home. In the evening close them to keep out cold air. 

-Air dry your dishes instead of heat drying them. Seems like something little but it does help out.  Especially if you don't have a energy efficient dishwasher.

-Clean your lint trap out once a day to keep air circulation going. More air moving less energy used.

-Unplug appliances when not in use. This should become a habit of yours! Even though they are turned off they still use a tiny bit of energy.

-Keep lights off as long as possible during the day. Instead of turning on the lights how about using up those candles sitting there collecting dust? Yep, this saves on energy.

-Use a crock pot instead of your stove. Uses way less energy. Plus saves you time.

-Use blanket heaters. If you have kids this won't help. But for single people this is a huge energy saver. Why heat your home when your in bed sleeping? Blanket heaters use way less energy.

-Keep throws in your living room. If its gets a bit chilly just snuggle up with your honey and a throw.

-Have your kids run around before bedtime. This way they get all their energy out and will be nice and hot. Less fussy when they go to bed too. Your welcome!

-If you bathe daily try skipping a day. You will save so much water and energy by just showering every other day. Or if your like me take one when you need it. I can go three days with no shower and be fine. And no I don't smell. lol

-Cut your bath/shower time in half.  Less energy people!

-Try out my 2010 Clothe Wipe Challenge. This will save you a ton of money if you have kids. Been doing this for almost a year now and I haven't looked back since. I am still only doing #1 but maybe one day my girls will be open to do #2.

-Use towels more than once. Maybe write names on tags so each person has their own towel. Think about it, your only drying off your clean body. Do you really need to wash it after every use? Less washing, less energy, less soap and less hassle.

-If its yellow let it mellow. Basically if you go #1 let it chill out until someone else needs to go potty. Only flush when you go #2. This will cut back on your water bill. 


-Stop buying anything new. Let friends and family know you are on the hunt for clothes for you or the kids. Let them know you will take anything free from anybody. I get so many free clothes and shoes from people that I rarely ever have to actually buy anything.  Be sure to return the favor.  If I do buy anything its usually from a thrift shop.  Obviously you will need to buy undergarments for the family but you can also save money by handing down them to siblings. I have 4 daughters so everything gets handed down to each other.

-Don't buy dirt, start a compost.

-Don't buy plants just tell friends and family you will take any plants from anyone.  I give plants to my neighbor and she gives me some of hers. We share seeds as well. Anything we give away we always tell each other first. Someone can always use anything.

-Accept free food. I have a friend who gets organic produce delivered to her home. Whatever she cannot use up or doesn't like, she gives to me. We eat pretty much anything so she just lets me know when to come pick it up. Theresa you have saved me some cash so a BIG THANK YOU TO YOU!  Just again tell friend and family that you will take any food anyone doesn't want.  And be sure to return the favor.

-Stop going out to eat.  Holy cow can this save you a ton of money! Instead of going out to eat just stay at home and make it yourself. Wanna spice it up? Maybe have a indoor picnic. Blanket, drinks and all.

-Don't drive unless you have to.  Gas prices are sky high so try to bike, jog or walk anywhere within a mile of your home. You would be amazed how much this saves you. Plus you get exercise. Remember exercise? It's not just a resolution. Its healthy for you and the earth.

-STAY HOME. Yes this is a simple one but its effective. Don't have the money to spend? If you don't go anywhere you won't spend any money. Well that and hide your laptop or computer. Better yet put your credit cards in water and freeze them. That should stop the spending.

-Trade work for product. Example:My husbands friend needed truck work. We needed fire wood. We traded wood for truck work. No one spent a dime. LOVELY! This can be used in any form.  Work for food, babysitting for food, etc. Get creative and barter.

-Trade daycare with friends or relatives.  This way no one pays anyone. This alone saves us so much money. Be sure to return the favor always.

-Turn off your cable. We did this to get ready for when we moved and then never turned it back on. Saves us $50 a month. Sweet deal! Now days there are so many channels on regular tv.

-Don't rent movies or do online rentals (netflix). You can find many movies online for free. Same for some of your favorite cable shows.

-Get a library card. You can check out movies, music, books, etc. And its all FREE!

Okay so I should of saved you a ton of money with all these awesome idea's. If you implement them into your everyday life, just imagine how much money you will save over a year or lifetime? And your welcome!


Anonymous said...

Thaw frozen food in the fridge. First of all, the frozen food will keep the temperature in the fridge low, and you don't give any bacteria a chance to infect your food, especially meat.

Diane said...

I loved this post, I've been doing some of this for years (ok, decades) but learned new things. About spices, I get mine from a health or natural food store for pennies compared to grocery stores. Broth: I freeze bones and vegetable trimmings until I'm ready (or my husband complains about the bags in the freezer). Electronics: ours are plugged into surge protector which can be switched off. This is much easier than unplugging a bunch of peripherals. Towels: buy different colors for family members so they don't get confused when reusing. Free food: live next door to a fisherman!

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

Great idea Anonymous!
Diane-Sounds like your already ahead of the game. One question:Does a fisherman smell like fish even on his day off? I have always wondered this....yes stupid things like that roll across my brain lol

Diane said...

The house next door has been rented to various commercial fishermen for many years (grapevine, I think) but I have never sniffed them. I suspect they are pretty ripe just off the boat (10 day trips for some) but they clean up pretty well. The best part is, when they give you fish, it's cleaned and filleted. And the one there now likes to dig clams on his day off!