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A reader told us she had better tips on frugality than did the mom who wrote the Confessions of a Frugal Mom (April/May). Well, we're always open to learning more ways to save money. :)
What are you doing to save money these days? Not just in the kitchen, but all through your home, yard, life?
I tear dryer sheets in half. They still work well and cost 1/2 the price.
I don't know if it saves money but I have just recently leaned that a dryer sheet that you put in your dryers (unused) works as a very good air freshner if tucked under pillows or in non conspicous place - better than and easier, more long lasting than a can of spray. There are several different brands that I like, each seems to have a different fragrence. That way you don't have to spray to freshen the room.
I usually skimp on laundry soap when doing a regular load of thick bath towels -- they hold soap from wash to wash.
I recently heard about a new research study that asked people which items they consider to be a "necessity" and which a "luxury." In the following list, what are your top two necessities and your top two luxuries? Cell Phone, television, home computer, dishwasher, land phone, air conditioning, microwave, Ipod, cable/satellite, high-speed Internet, clothes dryer, car.
Thanks for the tip on the bath towels.
I do what Belinda does with dryer sheets, cut them in half. Instead of 80 in a package, I get 160. I also use the old dry sheets to dust my furniture.
I also split my laundry softner in half (save the jug from the last time) and fill the container up with water.
I also use coupons like crazy. There is 4 in my family, so I make sure to get 4 papers on Saturday (thats when coupons come in our paper) so I can double my savings.
On ground beef recipes that call for 1 lb of meat, I've been cutting it to 3/4 lb and using some cooked brown recipe to fill in the gap. My DH doesn't know that so I have to be really sneeky.
My favorite is to only use 1/2 as much dishwasher soap inthe dishwasher, and to use white vinegar instead of the stuff you pour in beside the soap to cut down on spots (I read that as a TOH post few months ago and it works very well- but when I first open the dw door I get a light scent of vinegar but that goes away quickly) great tips-- I 'm curious to hear what else I can do to be frugal
"Practice random acts of kindness"
we do alot of things to save money here.
1. we cancelled our trash service. It was 40.00 a month. I recycle plastics, sell my metals, and burn my cardboard/paper. we have a barrel burner in the basement with copper coils with water in them. burning the cardboard/paper makes hot water for my dishes/bath/laundry.
2. kinda goes along with 1. we have shut off our electric hot water heater and only turn it on if we are going to use it. It takes about 15 min for the water to get hot (if we don't have a fire going) and this alone has made our electric bill go from 130.00 to 65.00!!
3. i reuse the dryer sheets as well, hanging them in with the towels, drawers, etc and well as using them to quick dust with.
4. i wear certain clothes 2 or 3 times before washing them. i have a water softener so i only use 1/4 of what the detergent calls to use, 1/4 of the color safe bleach, and then 1 cup of ammonia. I always hang clothes on the line to dry, (inside if it's bad weather outside) then 5 min in the dryer with a fabric sheet to soften.
5. We have shut off our satallite TV service and get our shows from HULU.com.
6. we got the magicjack phone thing for 20.00 a year and got rid of two cell phones. So now one phone goes with whoever is leaving the house and one phone at the house.
All in all we have cut our monthly budget in half. Like my mom in law says. 'it isn't what you make, it's what you keep"
Hope these tips help. I find the whole recycling thing not only better for the environment but also more economical as well as creates jobs. Think about it, trash removal is one guy or two guys guys, picks up trash, takes it to the dump. Recycling is one or two guys, picking up the stuff. then it goes to the place where more people sort it, then another guy has a job of hauling it to where it will be used.. then a whole factory of people make it into something else... so it's a win win win!
Car and land line phone neccessities
Satelite and computer luxuries.
I reuse plastic water bottles by washing them and filling with iced tea then I freeze them to put in my husband's lunch. (I know you can't do that too many times for the germ factor but I do it once or twice)
when we get down to just a little bit of juice in a jug I mix a few together and call it fruit punch. I do that with cereal too, I make sure they are all still fresh then I take the last of each and mix them together for a snack mix.
this sounds like a waste of money but with 6 people in the family we use paper plates at breakfast and lunch because it saves more money on dishwasher cost (not to mention I don't have to hear as much fussing from the kids of who has to unload the dishwasher more)
My family loves to go out to eat alot. I am talking fast food, sit down, everything. Now, we only go out once a month, at lunch time, and to celebrate a special occassion. For example, in June, we have Father's Day and my oldest son's birthday. We will be going out the weekend before to celebrate both occassions.
As for the rest of the month, I fix a wide variety of foods to keep things interesting. For example, when I make tacos, I include soft and hard shells, refried beans, corn with zesty tomotoes mixed in, sour cream, mexican cheese, lettuce, salsa, chicken strips, red and green peppers, brown rice and of course, the dessert Flan. Just like the resturant, but costing a lot less.
Our family has been watching our expenses. Here are a few things we do:
1. The men go five to six weeks, instead of four, for their hair cuts.
2. We have two dogs, so I learn to cut their nails, instead of a groomer. This saves us $30 a month for both dogs.
3. I put our indoor and outdoor lights on timers. Who needs to see our yard past mid-night anyway?
4. We cancel our local newspaper, saving us $48 every three months. We read the paper on line. This also saves trees.
5. We also cancel our trash pick up. We recycle glass, cardboard, plastic, magazines and metal. Then we compose any kitchen scraps, for example vegetable peelings. The rest we haul ourselves to the local landfill. This saves us $30 a month.
6. I make my oven do triple duty when I cook. For example, if I am preparing meat loaf, I will also bake off about a dozen baking pototoes, for pototo skins as a snack, a dessert and boneless chicken for another meal. And because my oven is electric, the back burner is were the extra heat escapes, so I place a oven proof glass bowl with a lid on there to help cook vegetables.
7. My husband loves to garden, so he plants a vegetable garden every spring. He cans and freezes as much as we will eat, then he will donate the extra to the local food pantry.
8. Our family gave up soda pop and now we drink milk, juices, tea and water. Besides, I do not miss taking back the empty containers for their deposit.
These are just a few things we do. I hope they help others. Have a good day.
Are all of you familiar with the Coupons section of this recipe site?
If you go to www.tasteofhome.com/coupons you can choose and print coupons that might help save money not only on your favorite recipes ingredients, but on other household essentails as well.
Simply choose the coupons you'd like, then download the free Coupon Printer (which basically prints the coupons in a secure manner so retailers will accept them ... (i.e. with the bar code)), then print away! Currently, there are 103 coupons available for printing.
I hope this helps with your cost-saving measures.
If you have air-conditioning and heating vents, you can also put your favorite dryer sheet fragance on your filters very month, when you change your filters. I use three sheets to last for a month.
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