Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thursday’s thirteen: how to save money.

In these hard economic times it nice to know that there are ways to save money. Some of my advice is probably stuff you already know, but I hope some of it will surprise or encourage you to figure out ways to save on your household budget.
1. Shop at dollar tree. This is what I do, but I leave hubby behind. He gets in there and he’s over whelmed. “Look at this and it’s only a dollar.” Yes dear, I know. Take deep breaths and calm down. He comes and the bill goes from $20-40 dollars to $80-90 dollars. Yeah, leave hubby at home and save $40 dollars.
2. Buy an economical car. If you’re paying bukoo bucks at the tank, to fill your oversized tank it’s time to down size. We traded in our Cad for a Camry. Savings at fill-up was about half what it cost to fill-up the old car with premium unleaded. And the Camry uses regular. Another plus when the Cadillac broke down it usually cost us @ $400 to fix the darn thing. The Camry we still don’t know, we’re been driving with the “service soon” light on for four or five months now.
3. Dump the gas powered mower and get electric. I did. Its lighter and no annoying trips to the gas station, and no argument with hubby about who got that smelly job. Cost: Priceless.
4. Hire the neighbor kid to mow. The advantage here is you’re saving not only a trip to the gas station, but using the kid’s parent’s gas. .
5. Experiment with off brands, you might find one you like. I’m a diehard Producers customer for all my dairy products, but found Lucerne taste exactly the same and cost about a dollar or so less. That’s a dollar that I can spend at dollar tree, lol.
6. Recycle. This should go without saying, but so many people ignore the obvious so I’ll spell it out in dollar signs. Cha-ching $$. Recycling helps the environment and puts money in your pocket. Yes it does. Have you ever taken in your recyclables to sell? You get paid to recycle, isn’t that fabulous? More dollar for dollar tree.
7. Buy second hand clothes. I shop Salvation Army mostly, but don’t ignore the smaller places. I sometimes find stuff with the original tags still on them. That’s brand new never worn clothes a third to a quarter of the original cost. Mostly I get jeans for four to eight dollars, and that same pair at a department store can cost up to thirty and forty dollars, that’s up to a thirty dollar savings right there. You think your teen won’t go for it? I’ve taught my teenage daughter to shop at thrift stores, and she’s proud of the clothes she gets that doesn’t look like everyone else’s.
8. Shop at Wal-mart. I know a lot of people do, but some still don’t. Yes, the customer service sucks and the lines are long, but you save money when you go there.
9. Use coupons. I stopped a while back because when I got around to using them they were expired. But I found coupons in the flyers that come free to my house for some local restaurants, and they're good for a couple of months. A coupon that pays for one full meal is worth its weight in gold. Well, its paper it isn’t going to weight much.
10. Learn to cook bulk rice. San Francisco treat or not, pound for pound white or brown rice is cheaper than rice-a-ronie. If you want more flavor drop in a bullion cube.
11. Join the shopping clubs. They are popping up everywhere, and I don’t mean Costco and Sam’s club. Though I heard you can save a lot of money, but you have to buy in to be a member. Sorry but I’m cheap. I mean the free ones, the ones that cost you nothing to join. I’m a proud member of Safeway, Office depot, Petco, Boarders and longs drugs.
12. Say no to pets. I know Fido and fluffy are adorable and you can’t live without them, but how many pets do you really need? How about thinning the herd? Or how about downsizing your pets. Smaller dogs eat less, a lot less. I use to have a Cocker spaniel it took her a month or longer to eat a fifty pound bag of dog food. Small breeds eat less than that. Cats are cheaper to keep especially if they are outside, they can catch their own food.
13. Say no to exotic pets. Yes, they are interesting, but they can cost you with frequent runs to the pet store for their equally exotic tastes in food. Exotic also mean delicate as in if they sneeze they die, and there goes the wad you just spend on buying and feeding them. And what are you going to do with fifty live crickets or whatever? Release them into the neighborhood? Yeah, your neighbors are going to love you.
How do you save money? Do you have any tricks you’d like to share?


Megan Rose said...

Great tips!! I love buying second hand stuff. You can end up with really unusual pieces and still look very fashionable.

Adelle Laudan said...

Great tips. I think many will disagree with the pet issue lol
Happy T13!

Cambria Dillon said...

Great list! I don't know what I would do without Costco and BJ's!

Alice Audrey said...

I'd love to downsize from our van, but my dh won't hear of it. Ironic, since I'm the one driving it and I'm the one paying the gas.

Lucy Woodhull said...

Oh, thrift stores - how I love thee! Great list~

Paige Tyler said...

Great TT!


My TT is at

Inez Kelley said...

Very cool. I started a change jar and am loving the speed it is filling up!!

Christina DeLorenzo said...

Wonderful list of tips!

Ella Drake said...

Great tips. In general, we don't do a lot of shopping to begin with, but if I go to Target... uh-oh! So, my bit to save money has been to keep myself from going to Target more than once a month.

Janice said...

Hi Megan,

My daughter feels the same way, I just buy what I'm comfortable wearing and don't care if its fashionable or not. My sister rolls her eyes at what I wear but my daughter tell me I dress better than her class mates. I love her, she makes me feel good, *grin*

Hi Adelle,

Well the pets are just my opinion but you can't say it isn't true, more pets more cost. And I should know I have four cats.

Hi Cambria,

A lot of people tell me that *grin*

Hi Alice,

That's too bad. Funny but it was my hubby who decided to down size to our Camry.

Hi Lucy,

Oh I agree. I have saved so much on mine and my daughter wardrobe from Thrift stores, I highly recommended them.

Hi Paige,

Thank you.

Hi Inez,

That's a great idea, we use to have one we should start it up again.

Hi Christina,

Thank you very much.

Hi Ella,

That's a good idea, that's why I have to keep an eye on hubby especially at Dollar tree and Wal-mart.

Happy TT everyone and thanks for leaving a comment.


Lauren Murphy said...

I'm all over number's five and ten. Half the time the generic brands taste just as good or better... and we're having rice to go along with dinner tonight.

Just sayin... ;)

Janice said...

Hi Lauren,

White rice has become a stable of many of my dinner too. As for the off brands I having some good luck there too.

Thanks for comments and happy TT.