Consider this is the practical version:
Saving Money in Small Ways Adds Up
We are in this crazy couponing quest to save money, right? But, sometimes we get frustrated because we don’t feel like we are saving enough. So, why not save money in more areas so we have that sense of control. Here are some ways I can think of right off the top of my head to save money without coupons:
- Pay with cash. When the cash is gone you can’t spend any more.
- Cut back on the paper plates, cups, plastic wrap, ziploc bags. Invest in some re-usable dishes and storage containers. (This is a great week to do so, Walmart has cups, plates and bowls on sale for $1 a package). Oh, and this is good for the planet too!
- Wash clothes in warm water instead of hot to cut energy costs for the load in half.
- Use your favorite detergent for clothes, sheets, towels. Use a cheap detergent for things that don’t need to smell good or feel soft like bath mats, rugs, etc.
- When doing laundry or dishes fill the soap cups only 3/4 full instead of all the way full. Your detergent will last longer.
- Scour garage sales and second-hand stores for things you need.
- Make your own cleaning supplies (Has anyone done this? I would be interested in details.)
- Make your own bread
- Give up soda (I am laughing right now as I enjoy a Diet Coke. I would rather NOT save money than give up my Diet Coke, but this might be right for someone…)
- Use grocery store bags to line trash cans
- Disconect your land line and just use cell phones
- Borrow books and movies from the library. (My mom reads a book a week and pays full price for all of them. I estmate she could save more than $500 a year just by switching to library books!)
- Invest in some quality re-usable water bottles for your family and STOP buying bottled water. My kids love their Camelbak bottles you can buy at REI. This one is good for our planet too.
- Cancel any subscriptions you pay for (other than the newspaper, of course!)
- At least once a week have a “meatless meal”. If you just cut out 1 lb of chicken a week, over a year you would save about $100. Simply replace the protein with eggs or beans.
- Use only 1/2 lb of ground beef instead of 1 lb ground beef in things like Spaghetti sauce, hamburger helper, etc.
- When making tacos, add grated potato to the mix and cut back on the meat. The potato absorbs the flavor of the meat and spices and the cost of a potato is a fraction of the cost of ground beef.
- Plant a garden. It is not too late to get one in the ground this year. You could even grow herbs or tomatoes in a pot on your patio.
- Freeze leftovers for another meal. I have Pyrex dishes that are half the size of a 9X13 pan. They even have tight-fitting lids. They are great for splitting cakes, brownies, lasagnas, casseroles, etc in half to save a treat or meal for later.
- Install a programmable thermostat to control your heating/cooling costs.
- Call the gas and electric companies and set up level or equal pay programs so you pay the same each month and will never be surprised with a gigantic heating or cooling bill.
- Trade with friends. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Trade furniture, clothes, coupons, whatever!
How do you save money in little ways? Leave a comment with what you do.