Saturday, March 5, 2011

Money Saving Ways to Move Onward

The past few weeks gas prices have risen in dramatic amounts in our already struggling economy!  According to the latest news, gas prices will not quit climbing anytime soon.  Many households have suffered job losses or are trying to get back on their feet with new employment. Listed below are a few ways to save money and resources in order to move onward through this latest economic crisis.

1.  Instead of buying new furniture make do with the furniture you already have by painting it or putting a new stain on it.  Experiment all you want with bright colors or different paint techniques!

2.  Don't spend money buying wrapping paper for gifts as you can "make" your own wrapping paper with materials already  in the house such as the Sunday comics from the newspaper, old maps, Chinese takeout menus, tin foil, etc.

3.  Save on entertainment costs by bringing home old magazines from work that you haven't read.  Another source for free reading materials are magazines provided at church. 

4.  To save on the health and beauty aid budgets send away for free samples listed on the Internet.  Many companies give away samples of new products such as lotion, shampoo, makeup, cologne, tampons, medicine, etc.  The samples to sign up for are easy to find on magazine and/or freebie websites.

5.  Bring snacks and drinks from home to work instead of  feeding money into vending machines for the same products.  For example a soft drink from a vending machine can cost one dollar or more, while the same product bought at a grocery store can be thirty-three cents to fifty cents.  Over a period of one month, bringing food from home to work can add up to significant savings!

6.  Twice a week prepare meals that do not have meat featured in them.  Instead put items like grilled cheese, pancakes, pasta, and vegetables on the menu.

7.  Use cell phones only and don't maintain a land line phone at home.  Also take advantage of family plans cell phone service providers offer.

8.  Buy books to read at places such as thrift stores for fifty cents to one dollar.  It has been my experience that books at thrift shops can be found in good condition .  There are books to be found at thrift shops that are older classics as well as books that are current best sellers.

9.  Find a bank where there are checking accounts that do not have monthly service charges but that provide checking accounts free of charge.  The savings in doing this may be as little as five dollars , however there is no need to be charged five dollars a month if it can be avoided otherwise!

10.  Instead of buying new athletic shoes wash ones currently owned in the washer and then wear them like they are new.

11.  Instead of buying new clothes for a special occasion such as a dance or a wedding, borrow or trade dresses and suits from friends and family.  Doing this will save money as well not wasting resources by buying an outfit to be used for one special occasion only.

12.  Quit eating out at restaurants or buying takeout food.  Eating food prepared at home saves a family money as well as providing more food for the same amount of money. 

13.  Do not buy anything at all, including food, unless the item is on sale or at already rock bottom prices.  Not anything!

14.  Use plastic bags from the grocery or retail stores to line small trashcans in the house.  The bags can be doubled up to then dispose of the trash without having to use or buy a traditional trash bag.  Doing this also makes full use of the plastic bags from the store by having a second use for them.

15.  Save money and energy by not drying laundry in the dryer. Instead hang clothes and laundry up in the house to dry.  Small items like washcloths or underwear dry surprisingly quick on their own without help from a clothes dryer.

16.  Take advantage of buy one get one free offers or buy one get one half off offers.  Use one product for yourself while putting up the second product as a gift for someone else.

17.  Share any extra resources with others such as coupons, old books, movies, clothes, phones, extra food, unused toys, household furniture, household decorating items, dishes, etc.  This helps reduce clutter as well as helping other people who may also have other extra resources to help other people with.

18.  Make lists and notes on scrap paper from magazine adds, newspapers and used envelopes instead of using paper from a new notebook or new package.

19.  Save money by going to a local beauty college for haircuts, perms, hair color, deep conditioning, facials, and manicures.  The savings obtained by doing this may be around  ten dollars or even in the range of hundreds of dollars.

20.  Get free haircuts and beauty treatments from a talented friend or family member.  Or consider skipping a few haircuts and then experiment with new hairstyles on your own.

21.  Getting vaccinations or flu shots at a local health department will be cheaper then the same vaccinations at a doctor's office or pharmacy.

22.  Have family portraits and special occasion photos taken by a talented non-professional photographer
who enjoys the work as an hobby or who may want more experience.  Photos for special occasions can then be obtained merely for the price of supplies or a small gift or tip.

23.  Do as many errands as possible at one time instead of making more then one trip. This will save time as well as money on gas!

24.  Ditch the cost of extra cable channels for movies or sports as there are enough of those type resources to enjoy online for free.

25.  Save up the money for purchases instead of having purchases heavily financed and instead of making monthly payments on purchases.  In these tough economic times who needs to create another bill?

26.  Use items for yourself that are
 no longer being used or worn by other family members such as jewelry, shoes, coats, and purses.

Th bottom line is to remember two rules of thumb:

1.  Be creative in providing for your families wants and needs.

2.  Remember the old saying, "waste not, want not"!

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