Extra Cash and Savings
Budgets are fine until something goes wrong, like an appliance repair, water heater replacement, car repair, etc. This happens to all of us. The question is, where do you come up with the extra cash? How do you have a little extra saved for these interruptions to life?
Here are some suggestions to help you save money on a regular basis without taking a lot of time, energy or feeling deprived.
We all know that it is cheaper to bring a lunch if you work outside the home or to make a coffee at home instead of buying one. Here are some tips to show you other areas to make changes, not necessarily “cut backs” to your life style.
Everyone knows something. If you have a talent or specialty, why not share it (at a price) with others?
If you bake, meal plan, or are handy with making crafts, you can make a podcast. Just set up your camera and video tape yourself creating something easy. Post it on You Tube. Make sure you leave a separate public email address (not your personal one).
Many people may contact you asking for more information. Be sure to tell them on your podcast that you do one-on-one instruction and to contact you for pricing. You set the price. It does not have to be person-to-person. You can video chat with a person to help them learn a craft or bake a pie from scratch!
Shop at Discount Stores
I make several trips to Aldi’s for great food at discount prices. If you really need a name brand, check out the discount stores like Marshalls or Home Goods.
Dry Clean At Home
Unless it is a $500 blouse, skip the dry cleaner (disclaimer: I have never in my life paid that much for any article of clothing). You can get a dry cleaning kit and do it in your dryer at home for 1/3 the price. You can also opt to make future clothing purchases that are washable and wrinkle free items. These cost more up front, but save hundreds in dry cleaning costs.
Shop After Holidays
Whether it is New Years Eve, Easter or Thanksgiving, all of these decorations, candy and gifts go on sale after that holiday. I load up on matching paper plates, bowls and napkins for future get-togethers. You can get discounts on invitations as well.
The biggest discounts are when the seasons change and all the previous season’s clothing is all marked down. Everyone knows to shop the after-Christmas sales. I usually don’t go the day after, but wait a week to really get the deep cuts.
Keep Aging Fruits and Vegetables
Don’t throw out old fruits and vegetables, freeze them. If your banana skins are turning brown, take off the skin and freeze the bananas. These and other fresh fruits can be frozen and used in pies, breads and smoothies.
Vegetables that were cooked and you’re not eating the leftovers? Put them into a container in the freezer. When the container is full, thaw it and add 8 cups of water and cook on stove for 2 hours (simmer on low). Strain out the vegetable pieces and freeze the broth. You just made your own vegetable broth (can do this in a crockpot for 8 hours too). Full recipe here. Make your own cleaners using inexpensive products you probably already have around the house. See my blog on DIY Broth.
When something breaks down, you don’t always need to call a repair person. Check the internet for instructions and videos on your specific repairs. I don’t encourage anyone to do a major electrical or plumbing project. I am talking about replacing the plunger in your toilet tank; getting a small doo-dad for your washing machine that easily screws on and off to fix the heat setting; hooking up a new modem to your computer. All of these things and more can be found on the Internet. Once you find one that sounds good, be sure to check other places, videos and instructions to see if they all coincide. You don’t want to follow someone who just set up their instructions but really don’t know what they are doing. Also this is a good place for someone to set up a “click this link” and give your computer a virus. Check referenced, BBB, etc.
Get It Free
If you have to replace something, but really don’t have the cash for a brand new one, check out FreeCycle. Here you can sign up and find people in your town that may be giving away just what you need. Craigslist sometimes has free items, but I prefer FreeCycle because I can find local people. I have them meet me in the parking lot of our local Sheriff’s office. That usually deters frauds and questionable people. If it is a big item, I hook up my trailer to the truck and meet them. If you need something to be delivered directly to your home (used large appliance), just get some information about the person you are dealing with before you give them your address. Yes, I am very careful when I deal with people I do business with on the Internet.
Cut Back on Quantity
If you use moist towelettes for anything, cut them in half. No one needs that big of a towelette. When I open up the container (the one that is flat, not the roll), I take out all of the towels and cut them in half. I put them back into the container and it lasts me twice as long. Great for baby wipes and makeup remover towelettes.
This is also true on any personal care product you use. When they tell you to use a quarter size dollop of shampoo, conditioner or body wash, use less. Unless you have extremely long hair, a nickle size dollop is enough to clean your hair. All that lather and money just goes down the drain when you use more. Never load your toothbrush like they do on commercials. Use half that amount and your teeth will be just as clean as if you used the whole brush load.
Hope this helps you save without feeling like you are sacrificing anything!