28 Frugal Money Saving Tips to Budget Better

1. At the end of the day, put your change into a jar to save. Then hide it from yourself. You will find that this can add up to a substantial amount quickly. Call this your “Savings For a Rainy Day Money Fund.” It’s a great way to save for a vacation, gifts, etc.

2. By far the easier way to save money in any house is to simply turn off the lights that are not being used. When you leave a room, even if you are going back, turn off the lights as you leave out.

3. Are you watching TV? If not, why is it on? Turn it off unless someone is watching it! I have had friends that actually leave their home to go to town and leave their lights and TV running. Every little bit helps!

4. Before making ANY special purchase, no matter how small the cost, think about it first. Do you REALLY need this item? Is it worth the money? Is there any other way I can do the same thing this item will, without spending this amount of money on it? Impulse buying can quickly eat into your savings, so always think before you buy.

5. Disposable diapers are nice, but they run into a lot of expense. Use cloth diapers at home in the day, and save the disposable ones for going places and night time. With the average cost for a package of disposable diapers, you can save a good deal of money in the two year’s baby is in diapers.

6. After Baby has passed the first baby food stages, feed Baby what the rest of the family eats. You can grind or mush foods for Baby. Remember nothing spicy! Babies can eat veggies, fruits, and a lot that you prepare at home for a fraction of the cost.

7. Buy clothes at yard sales or second hand for the baby or small child. As fast as babies and toddlers grow, why buy new clothes they won’t even wear out before they’ve outgrown them? I have found practically brand new clothes for pennies in this way.

8. Don’t spend the money on small trash bags. Save the ones you get from the grocery store. They work well and are free, and hold trash just as well as those store-bought ones. If you shop in different stores, you can even get different colored ones.

9. Save on your power bill in the summer by cooking early in the morning and late at night, having only to heat foods up during the day. The less you can use the oven during the hot part of the summer, the better on your finances.

10. Use a clothesline to dry your clothes. If no clothes line is available, only run your dryer early in the morning or late at night, to keep from heating up the house even more. The heat these two appliances put off will make your air units run more, so using them during the coolest times possible will help a lot.

11. The opposite is true for the winter months. Cooking, using the oven, and drying clothes during the coldest part of the winter can help keep your heating costs lower. Since you have to cook anyway, why not let the heat of the stove help heat the home at the same time?

12. Use your dryer sheets more than once. I use mine three times or more, and they still work just as well. This saves money, and your clothes are just as soft and static free. More so, try dryer balls. For about $10 for a pack of two, this is a great frugal value.

13. Learn to do basic mending. Don’t throw away a piece of clothing just because it has a hem undone, a hole, or lost button. The price of clothing has become so ridiculously high that one wonders how anyone can afford to throw something out just because it needs a tiny bit of mending.

14. Most have heard the old saying, “Waste not, want not.” Save leftovers and have later, rather than throw them out. Pass on outgrown clothing to other children or thrift stores. Don’t just leave the water running if not in use.

15. Turn off the lights when no one needs them. Don’t make unnecessary trips, and save on gas. If something can be used again, use it again.

16. Buy your holiday items on clearance the day after a major holiday and save them until the next year. For example, I often find Christmas wrapping paper and decorations at about 75% off the retail price the two days after Christmas.

17. If you enjoy sewing or are interested in learning how you can save tons of money on blankets. Use those old clothes that have become worn, cut them into patterns, and make a quilt! Besides saving money, these quilts make a wonderful heirloom and bring back fond memories. Save old shirt sleeves and pants legs from alterations for the quilt also.

18. Don’t buy rags from a store just to use them as rags. Cut those worn towels and hand towels into smaller pieces. These are wonderful for dish rags, dusting rags, bathroom cleaning rags, and washing the vehicle.

19. Buttons on old clothing can be reused again and again. They can be sewn onto new clothes, used for counting practice for small children, and used for various craft projects.

20. Do kids have holes in the knees of their pants? What kid doesn’t sooner or later? Don’t throw the pants out, make the pants into shorts or sew colorful patches over both knees. This adds more life to the piece of clothing.

21. You can save at least $10 per head if you cut hair at home. I save $40 a month by cutting hair at home. I paid $25 for a home barber set, which paid for itself the first month. No, the kids don’t have the latest fad haircut, but they are nice looking and look cool too.

22. Are you paying too much for your prescription medicines? Try getting a generic brand next time. Every generic medicine I have ever used is just as good as the nationally known brand but costs much less. For those that need a lot of different medications on a regular basis, the cost can run into a hefty amount.

23. Prepare meals at home. Eating out gobbles up your money! Buy foods that you have to cook, rather than already boxed or made. Save the boxed and frozen meals to make on those sick days or when you absolutely cannot cook a meal. Set yourself up a time to eat out, once a week, once a month, or just when you are gone all day and must eat out. Make eating out a special occasion, not something you do just because you don’t want to cook.

24. Don’t shop for groceries when you’re hungry. You end up buying more than you intended. Make a grocery list before leaving the house. Then stick to it!

25. If you must buy name brand items, search for items you have coupons for or that are on sale. You can save more if your store has double and triple coupon days. Sales and coupons combined with a prepared shopping list add up to great savings.

26. Eat less meat at a meal. Use “stretcher” meats like ground beef, tuna, and chicken. Cook the meal with the meat added into something else, such as you own made at home “Help That Hamburger Out” concoction, soups, or stews.

27. Rent a video rather than go out to the movies. If you’d rather go to the movies, check out the theater’s bargain time and day. Resist the urge to buy expensive popcorn, candy, and drinks. We used to sneak our drinks and snacks in. It saved us tons of money!

28. Going out for the day and need a cooler for drinks or food? Use your own ice, rather than buying a bag or two of it. The day before, start emptying up those ice trays into a container. It’s an easy way to save yourself a couple of bucks.

Mone Saving Tips in a Down Economy: Elastic Living

elastic living

The term “green living” is heard frequently now that we are becoming more consciously aware of the impact our choices have on the environment and on the future.

Possibly, when considering our current economic situation, the term “elastic living” might be a good way to describe the lifestyle many of us find ourselves needing to adopt.

My definition of elastic living, which is my basic lifestyle, is living on a budget that requires stretching dollars as far as possible. I’m certain that in today’s economy there are many like me who are trying to get the most out of each dollar they earn.

Green living and elastic living can function as complimentary lifestyles. Both lifestyles discourage wastefulness and encourage resourcefulness. Both lifestyles urge us to recycle, reuse, and reinvent the purpose of an item to avoid throwing it away.

The various ways in which you can develop an elastic lifestyle depends somewhat on your individual needs but there are a few general suggestions that can help you stretch your dollar. Apply the following ideas to your way of living and shopping and add ideas of your own.

You can stretch your household expense dollars by shopping at discount and dollar stores. Paper products and personal hygiene products are usually less expensive at these stores than at specialty or grocery stores. Stock up on items when they are on sale. Make your own cleaning supplies from inexpensive products such as vinegar and baking soda.

You can find instructions for making your own products at various websites. Obviously, you will spend less if you use less. Reducing the use of paper towels and using washcloths and towels instead will help you with both green living and elastic living. Washing dishes is a better choice than using paper plates and cups that add to the accumulation of trash you have each week.

You can stretch your utility dollars by turning your thermostat up or down a few degrees, depending on the season. Dress more warmly or add an extra blanket in winter. Use a small fan to circulate air in summer. Ceiling fans are beneficial year round. Take advantage of a sunny day. Raise the blinds to let the sunshine warm a room in winter. Hang your clothes outside to dry rather than using a clothes dryer. It is best to keep the blinds closed on a sunny day in the summer so that the air conditioner doesn’t have to work so hard.

You can stretch your grocery dollars by planning your weekly menus according to weekly sale items. Less expensive cuts of meat can be used in slow cooker recipes. Marinating meat is also a way to tenderize it. Use rice or pasta to stretch hamburger or chicken. One of the best ways to reduce your grocery bill is to grow your own vegetables. Fresh herbs in the store are rather pricey. Herbs are easy to grow and require little space to be grown in. A container garden can provide an abundant amount of fresh vegetables in the summer.

You can stretch your leisure activity dollars by seeking at local, free events such as concerts in the park. Find activities to enjoy at home. Family game time is a great leisure activity that doesn’t have to damage your budget. A family picnic or a romantic picnic for tow can be inexpensive but incredibly enjoyable. Take your dog for a walk in the neighborhood or at a dog park.

On a final note, as a work of caution, it is important that you do not neglect certain things even if you find yourself in need of adopting an elastic living lifestyle. If you stop and think about it, elastic will last longer when properly cared for. The same works for the elastic living plan. There are some things you need to properly care for, even if it pinches the budget, in order to ultimately save yourself some money.

Medical costs are high but your health is an area that you should not neglect. Explore all of the possible options for saving yourself money in this area but don’t neglect to care for your health.

Home improvements can be tough on the budget but in some circumstances, a little money spent can save you a significant amount of money over a period of time. Spending money to insulate your home is just one example of money well spent to ensure future savings.

It is also important that you properly maintain your car with regular servicing and good tires. Regular maintenance can be less expensive than major repair that might be the result of neglect.

8 Tips for Saving Time and Money on Your Garden

garden

I love to garden, and I have been gardening for years.

I love to grow everything; I have vegetables, flowers, some fruit bushes and trees, and herbs.

I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out ways of saving time and money while maintaining healthy gardens, and here is a list of 10 tips that I think you will find useful.

1. Mulch is an important part of your garden. It helps keeps the weeds out, and it helps keep the plants warm, watered, and safe. In order to make my mulch even more effective, I save old newspapers for a week or 2, and I make use of it before I mulch. I have found that laying layers of newspaper down before mulching is a great way to maximize the potential of your mulch. This means that you will not need as much to be effective. This tip is eco-friendly and good for your garden.

2. Another way to save money and maximize your growing season is by starting seeds indoors in the late winter. Many seeds can be started indoors such as tomatoes, dill, peppers, beans, snapdragons, and daisies. Seeds are much cheaper than buying already grown plants, and they can usually be found sold 5 for a dollar at your local dollar store.

3. I always start my seeds indoors in February, and I find this is fun because by the end of the Christmas season I am in desperate need of some gardening. I use empty soda and water bottles to start my seeds. I simply cut them in half and plant in the part with the cap. I will also put holes in the cap, and rest the plant in the other half of the bottle. This lower empty half can be filled with water so that the plant will water itself.

4. Another way of saving money and time on plants is by growing perennials. Perennials will constantly grow back, and they will come back bigger than the year before. Perennials are amazing, and they can be separated in the fall and planted in other areas to keep your gardens expanding. Many fruit bushes are perennials such as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Some great perennial flowers are lilies, hostas, irises, mums, and daisies. Many herbs are perennials as well, and they will grow quite large.

5. Trading plants are a great way of getting plants for cheap. If you see a plant you like approach the owner. A nice garden suggests that the person is proud of their work, and they will be open to talk about their garden. If you are growing perennials or have an abundance of seedlings started in your house you can ask for a trade. I have accumulated many plants this way. There are also many websites where you can trade plants. All you have to do is pay for shipment.

6. Another way of getting free plants is to check your local area. Different areas have different natural flowers. I have procured many daisies and tiger lilies from my area. When you are digging up these plants just remember to leave some in the area so that these perennials can grow back. I also find it useful to bring some plastic bags with wet paper towels already placed in them. This will keep the plants watered while you are transplanting them. The plants can be left in these for some time before being planted.

7. There are many things found in the garbage or around the home that can be used in your garden. I use old pieces of lattice or wood for my beans to grow on. Old chair frames are also good for this purpose and they can be tied and staked to the ground.

8. Another money-saving device is using old barrels and garbage cans to water your garden. Set them up on the highest elevation of your garden, and cut a small hole on the top of the garbage can.

Invert it and rest it on the garbage pail. This will allow for maximum rain gathering and storing potential. This water can be transferred into pails, or it can be transferred to the garden by attaching spickets to the bottom of the pail and hoses that run along your garden.

The spicket can then be turned on and the garden will be watered from the pressure of the elevated garbage can.

Gardens are a lot of fun, and they provide beauty and nourishment, but they can be costly and time-consuming.

These tips will help you maintain a lovely and productive garden in a timely and inexpensive manner.

Money Saving Tips for a Young Couple’s First Christmas

christmas

One of the most exciting periods, of your first year together, is the holiday season. It can also be the costliest.

You want to share the holiday spirit with each other and your friends, but you have little or nothing to use.

This article will give you some ideas for having a great holiday season, without breaking your bank.

Step 1. Establish a budget. This is for decorations, greetings, snacks, and gifts. Determine that the two of you will not exceed it at any cost. Keep a written ledger, of what you spend and a running total.

Step 2. Think simple. You don’t need the extra lights on your home. Those will come with time. You can still show off your house decorations, by using the lights that are already there. If you have outdoor lights, center some outdoor decorations in front of these lights. Place your tree in the center of the front window of your home for display.

Step 3. Think Natural for decorations. Take your spouse and head for the woods. Make sure that you aren’t trespassing. You can get pine cones, acorns, and fir tree limbs to garnish your home. Pine cones and acorns look fantastic with a coat of lacquer on them. The smell from fresh cut evergreen adds to the home decorations.
Evergreen looks great on bookshelves or on a mantle or countertop.

Step 4. Rearrange the furniture in your home. Balance your furniture with small holiday decorations. Small decorations on a table, shelf or mantle goes along with the simple idea above.

Step 5. Look for coupons and even exchange them with a friend for baking and cooking supplies. Magazines and newspapers are loaded with coupons for the holidays. Clip them out and talk with other couples about making a few trades. However, be careful. Sometimes generic items are still cheaper than popular brand names.

Step 6. Gift exchanges. Take advantage of these. If you make out a list, place tree decorations as an item. This makes it simple shopping for you and it serves a good purpose. Always try to be as specific as possible about what you need.

Step 7. The value of the wrapped candy cane. These can be used on a tree. They are ideal for snacks and other unique decorations, too. They can even be used with a Gingerbread House. The same can be said about using popcorn strings on your tree.

Step 8. Wrapping paper. Instead of buying expensive paper, use the newspaper funnies. Use boxes that are furnished from department stores. Don’t worry about the store’s name or logo. It is probably on your gift anyway.

Step 9. Potluck. If you are having friends over, always ask them to bring something along to share for the meal. This will reduce your grocery bill. You could even do the same with beverages.

Step 10. Christmas Cards. Since postage has gone up, we only mail to those at a distance. The others are hand given. Keep a list of who sends you cards for the next year. that will determine who you give them to. Speaking of cards, they are great for adding to your holiday decorations. I display them in groups of three or four at strategic locations throughout our home.

Step 11. Buying for each other. Keep gifts to a reasonable amount for yourselves. You are in this together. Don’t try to outdo each other. That will only cause a guilty feeling and add to your holiday stress. You don’t need that.

Step 12. Buy an ornament that has the year on it. Try to add one each year. It is a great way to reminisce about holidays past.

Finally, always turn off electrical decorations at a set time each night. Leaving them on all night can run up your electric bill. Young couples want to have a great first-holiday experience. They can do so by sticking to their budget and relying on each other for support.