Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This Won't Hurt, I Promise!

Everyone is talking about saving money these days.  With the economy the way it is, you can't afford not to. 

Even those that are "better" off are often times having issues making ends meet these days. 

"Too much month at the end of the money," is what I always say.

Gas, $47.25 to fill a 15 gal tank.

Groceries, $100.00 easy each week for the average family of 4.

Electricity bill, $147.23 last month.

Saving a few bucks any way I can, PRICELESS!

Because of this I came up with some fairly "painless" ways to save a few bucks.  And a few bucks multiplied by a few different things, can add up to some big savings!

Many of you may have read or heard of these ideas or similar ones already, if that is the case, let this be a refresher.

  •  To insure you are getting the best mileage on your car make sure you maintain it regularly and always check tire pressure.  Low tire pressure does make a difference in the miles per gallon.  (And gas now $3.15/gallon?  Ouch!)
  • Carpool or take mass transit.
  • Turn your thermometer down a few degrees and use an extra blanket or make sure you wear pj's/socks, etc when sitting around the house or in bed.
  • Turn your hot water heater thermometer down a few degrees.  You won't even know the difference!
  • Wash your clothes in COLD water only. 
  • Instead of using a whole scoop or cup full of detergent, use half.  Your laundry soap will last much longer.
  • When leaving home for an extended amount of time put lamps, outside lights, etc on timers rather than leaving them on the whole time.  This is also good for general security purposes as well.
  • Make your own cleaning products (I know many of my blog readers already do this).  This is not only more economical but also healthier for your family.
  • Eat out less often.
  • Brown bag your lunch (I always make extra at dinner and use left overs for next day lunches).
  • Menu plan.  Every week!  No if and ands or buts about it.  This will take you a long way on your food budget.
  • Use coupons (this is a no brainer).
  • Only buy items on sale and watch for the BOGO especially on meat.  I love Albertsons in our area, they always seem to be having a BOGO on meat.
  • Stock up on items when they are on sale, if you have the extra money/storage and know that you will use the item in the next 30 days.  (No need to stock up on items that will sit on a shelf and expire by the time you use it/eat it, etc.)
  • When having get togethers, parties, etc can you say, POT LUCK?
  • Brew your own coffee rather than making that Starbucks run every morning.  
  • Regift items.  I know many of you might not be too fond of this but remember chances are the person you give the gift to will never know.  One persons unused bath salt or picture frame is anothers treasure.  (Just make sure you do not regift to the person who originally gifted to you).
  • OR rather than regift an item, give a "coupon" to whomever for their special day, anniversary, etc such as babysitting services, house cleaning, walking dog, etc...
  • Downgrade cable tv service
  • Downgrade home phone service (if you still have it)
  • Rent movies from Redbox $1.00/night rather than $3.99-$5.99 at Blockbuster.  OR borrow videos from library.
  • When making bigger purchases evalute if it is a "need" or a "want".
  • Buy secondhand on most items.  Craigslist, resale shops...(Other Mothers .25 sale is this Friday & Saturday)
  • Barter your services for items your family needs rather than purchasing the items.

Do you have any other painless ideas that I have not listed?  Comment, please.

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