Month: August 2009

Ways To Stretch That Dollar! Part Three

Part Three… Even More Ways To Save

  • MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING SUPPLIES. This is cheap and so easy. There are several good recipes on the net but I will post my own soon. You probably already have these things in your pantry: vinegar, salt, baking soda, olive oil, and lemon to name a few! OK, so you are not into “home made,” go to the dollar store. Supplies are much less there than at the market.
  • CREATE A PATIO GARDEN. Even if you do not have a large yard you can still enjoy fresh vegetables from container planting. Tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs do well in tight places. Healthy and thrifty – what could be better?
  • MINIMIZE DINNING OUT. Brown bagging lunch saves a TREMENDOUS amount of money over the course of a year. So does cooking and eating your evening meals at home. Enjoy your family time at the table. Face it, you can not get COMFORT food at a fast food joint. When you do go out, train the kids to pick from the dollar menu. You will be amazed at the amount of money that is suddenly available in your budget.
  • While you are cooking, MAKE ENOUGH TO FREEZE FOR LATER. I also buy the family packs of meat when they are on sale. It only takes a few minutes to break them down into smaller portions and it saves a bundle! My freezer and zip baggies keep my kitchen going!
  • CUT ENTERTAINMENT EXPENSE by going to the morning or mid-day show instead of the evening movie. Eat before you go to avoid killer prices on snacks at the concession stand. Rent a few a month instead and you will save even more. FAMILY GAME NIGHTS are more fun for us than movies and the games are things we have already purchased for the kids.

Ways To Stretch That Dollar! Part Two

    Part Two Contains Ways I Save Around The House
  • Use a DIGITAL THERMOSTAT that you can program. I cut my electric bill in half and my house is comfortable all year long. We spent $25 and approximately 30 minutes installing and programming the digital thermostat. It was so easy and the savings have been HUGE!
  • CAULK WINDOWS & DOORS. I don’t mean seal them shut – just around the facings where all the cracks are. If you see daylight – you are throwing money away. You may need a rubber or foam threshold at the bottom of your doors. Can you hear your father yelling “shut the door, we are not cooling the whole neighborhood!”? It is the same thing. Keep your warm/cool air inside and the bugs outside. It costs around ten bucks and could take a couple of hours depending on how many doors and windows you have.
  • AVOID IMPULSE BUYING. Do you absolutely have to get that blouse? Sleep on it a few days. Most of the time I decide I really don’t want or need whatever it was that SEEMED so important at the time.
  • Better yet – DO NOT GO shopping unless you have a list. Hitting the stores when you are bored is a bad, bad, bad idea. If you know you have a problem with sticking to a budget, do not invite unnecessary temptation.
  • UTILIZE THE PUBLIC LIBRARY for entertainment. It is not just for books – you can check out videos too. Many libraries have reading/craft programs for young children and “how-to” workshops for adults. Super cheap fun!

Ways To Stretch That Dollar! Part One

Part One Contains Ways I Save On Groceries

  • CLIP COUPONS. I do not have time to search the endless internet for all coupons. I use only three online sources: P&G ESaver http://www.pgesaver.com/Sites/PG_eSAVER/Page/HomePage , Shortcuts http://shortcuts.com/ , and CellFire http://www.cellfire.com/ . These are great because I can download them directly to my Kroger card – SUPER EASY. I get the rest from the Sunday edition of my local paper. At first, clipping coupons was very time consuming. Once I got the hang of it, I streamlined the process. Now, I never spend more than 30 minutes a week on clipping and organizing my coupons. Considering what I save it is absolutely worth my time.
  • PLAN AHEAD. I make a list and I stick to it. I meal plan two weeks ahead of time so I can make a list according to my coupons and the weekly sale paper. My list helps me avoid impulse buying and the meal plan helps me avoid wasting food.
  • STORE REWARDS CARDS. Sign up for a saver or reward card at your market. Many items on sale give an extra discount only to card holders. My local Kroger has a gas station. I save on food and an average of ten cents per gallon on fuel.
  • SKIMP ON CONVENIENCE ITEMS & JUNK FOOD. It costs a fortune & is soooo unhealthy.
  • DOLLAR STORES are a great place to save on toiletries, food storage items, and cleaning supplies. I rarely purchase non-food items at the grocery store.

These five things alone save me $20-$75 each trip plus I get the bonus of saving at the gas pump too!