Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How Do You Save Money?

As I was hanging my clothes up on the clothes line yesterday, I got to thinking about the many small changes I have made over the last few years that have cut down on our expenses.  When taken individually, each small change doesn't seem very significant.  But when you add them all together, as a group they do make an impact.

I decided to start a list of all the little things I do to cut expenses.  I know there are a whole lot more than what I came up with off the top of my head, but this is a good starting point.

1. Turn off the lights when not in use.

2. Use natural sunlight as much as possible.

3. Turn off the dry cycle on the dishwasher.  Instead, pull out the racks and air dry over night.

4. Use wash clothes for napkins. (Or cloth napkins, I just prefer wash clothes because they are more absorbent and cheap)

5. Line dry laundry.  (My line is in the sunroom because we have pollen allergies.)

6. Wash most clothes in cold water.

7. Before buying something new, try to find a solution with what you have.

8. Use the library for books, movies, etc.  (Since January 2010, we have checked out 1953 books and movies for free)

 9. Buy used as much as possible.

10. Unplug appliances when not in use.  (Even if it does drive Hubby crazy)

11. Start a pantry--stockpile when things are the cheapest so you rarely have to pay full price.

12. Cook from scratch.  Find recipes for your favorite convenience foods, seasoning packets, etc.

13. Grow your own herbs indoors for year round use.  Nothing like fresh basil in the middle of winter.

14. Plant (and tend) a garden.

15. Buy things that will last--do your research before making any major purchase.  Sometimes it is worth a few extra dollars now to buy quality.  I have started buying shoes, boots and swimsuits for my kids from Lands End because of their 100% unconditional guarantee.  When David wore out his tennis shoes before he outgrew them, I took them back and got him a brand new pair for free.

What are some things that you do to save money?


  1. I try to restrict my shopping to one day/week. Sometimes if I have a lot of stops, I may do 2 days. This saves on gas and it saves on spending. Each time I enter a store is a chance to spend money so the less often I do it, the less I spend. I group my errands together and then "shoot the loop."