50 Ways to Save Money

It’s amazing to me how so many people think that they can just spend, spend, spend and not be accountable for their decisions.  What drives our economy is what you and me and Joe & Suzy next door do with our money–not the government, not the banks, and not the millionaires …. we affect how this financial world moves around.

Here’s some things that can make a difference for your wallet that you maybe didn’t think about.

  1. budget (obviously!!)
  2. cut up the credit cards
  3. turn off the lights when you’re out
  4. double your recipes so you have leftovers
  5. pack your lunch (maybe from those leftovers)
  6. turn off the water when you brush your teeth or wash your hands
  7. use curtains to block the light instead of turning up the AC
  8. wear extra layers instead of turning up the heater
  9. use cold water to wash the laundry
  10. keep your AC set high in the summer (like upwards of 76-78 degrees)
  11. don’t buy bottled water
  12. air dry your clothing
  13. cancel your cable
  14. or if you can’t live without it, ask for certain loyal customer benefits like withdrawing the cable box rental charge
  15. tuck your extra change into a shoe box
  16. join Netflix or get movies through Redbox instead of going to the theatre
  17. watch TV online
  18. don’t pay for music, borrow CDs from the library and burn them for free
  19. skip satellite radio and use online radio like Pandora or Jango
  20. cancel that gym membership and use Mother Nature instead
  21. workout with friends using workout DVDs instead of local municipals that charge
  22. practice yoga, many studios have programs where you can practice for free for just cleaning up the studio each week
  23. try at-home antacids with baking soda
  24. if you have to use the gym, don’t join one with a contract
  25. have spa days at home, you can make a facial mask just with oats and honey
  26. use sites like Groupon to save off restaurants and movie tickets
  27. use at-home beauty remedies, like cucumbers to reduce inflammation
  28. visit farmer’s markets
  29. ditch delivery foods
  30. skip the ice cream shop
  31. buy the large containers of yogurt instead of individual servings
  32. use Dryel instead of taking your clothing to a dry cleaner
  33. make your own house cleaning products, such as vinegar and rubbing alcohol mixed with water
  34. don’t go to the nail salon
  35. forget waxing
  36. clothes swap with friends and neighbors
  37. visit discount retailers for clothes, such as Deseret Industries or Salvation Army
  38. clip coupons
  39. clean up your cell phone plan
  40. try a prepaid cell phone plan
  41. carpool to work
  42. ride the bus
  43. cut your cab costs by walking more or using apps like Gobicab so you can find people in your area with similar trips to share the cost with
  44. have potluck parties
  45. use your talents for gifts or simple maintenance
  46. color your own hair instead of going to the salon, or just appreciate your natural hair color altogether
  47. volunteer at the beauty schools for free hair and skin workups
  48. subscribe to publications instead of buying it at the checkout stand
  49. brew your coffee at home
  50. can’t give up Starbucks?  well, go less often or buy a smaller cup

There’s a saying that goes:  “Use it up, wear it out.  Make do, do without.”  Almost everything we think we ‘need’ can really be done without.


Getting Ready for Your Day

Cease to be aidle; cease to be bunclean; cease to cfind fault one with another; cease to dsleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be einvigorated.  –Doctrine & Covenants 124: 88

Getting things done in the morning creates so much more time in your day because things are already done when you or the kids get home from work or school or play.  Have you ever risen just before sunrise and gone outside to listen to the world?  There’s more of a peaceful silence in the hours just before the world fully awakens.  The Lord promises us health and bounty when we awake early to work hard in our day.

Invigorate means ‘to impart vigor, strength, or vitality to.’  Could you use more strength and vitality?  Certainly.  Here’s a few ways you can do so.

  • put your clothes out for the next day before you retire, it saves time that is wasted trying to decide in the morning when your brain is foggy
  • if you want to hop out of bed to exercise, sleep in your workout clothes; they’re pretty comfortable anyway
  • set your alarm for at least 15 to 30 minutes before your children wakeup, take care of yourself first
  • stretching is one of the best things we can do to iron out the kinks from sleeping
  • have your lunches and snacks already made the night before so you’re not hurrying through the morning trying to make them
  • keep your makeup and/or toiletries at work or in your bag so you can put them on at work during a restroom stop, you’ll do it quicker than at home
  • listen to your favorite speaker or book as you drive, it freshens the mind
  • ALWAYS eat breakfast at home, it’s healthier, you can visit with the kids before school, or catch up on your scripture study
  • tidy up before you leave, then you’re less likely to come home to as big a mess

What helps you in the morning?

EFFICIENT — What does that even mean?

Wiki says:  in general describes the extent to which time, effort or cost is well used for the intended task or purpose.

My immediate thought:  “well used?”  What or who determines “well used?”  What is the value and well use of your time, effort or cost in doing something?  Well, it’s up to you, and doesn’t really matter in the end, as long as it works for you.

Each week I will post a note or tip on things we can do to be efficient, but also effective in our effort of those ‘things,’ for their purposes vary a lot in the context of the “well use” of our effort.

I found this fun pic of the baby in the sink with the dishes, a little scary to think about, but fun to see.  However, I DO NOT support giving the baby their bath while you wash the dishes; not a safe idea.  But it makes you think of the things we try to do that may seem logical, but not really the best option.

Here’s some safe, effective tips to start:

  1. Start the laundry first on your list of chores, but don’t forget to go back and move the loads.
  2. Freeze what food you know won’t get eaten right away, especially fully cooked meals; then you have easy reheats for a busy day.
  3. Put the dirty dishes directly into the dish washer after you no longer need them as you cook.  Don’t put them in the sink; it saves so much time.  I usually have my dishwasher open as I cook or work in the kitchen.
  4. Arrange your grass clippings on the soil underneath your garden plants to stop weeds from growing.
  5. Read your scriptures as you eat breakfast.

Feel free to comment on things you do to be more efficient and effective with your efforts.

Spring cleaning: 13 things to replace right now

We’ve all reached that time of year when the weather is iffy and if you’re not in college, there’s nothing much to do.  So I think somebody down the line got just bored enough to clean out their house and called it – the dreaded – Spring Cleaning.  But at the same time when the snow is melting and you can finally see the grass desperately trying to come back to life, you can also see the muck and the grime and the dirt that the snow plow heaved into your yard and that the wind and rain are now spreading everywhere.  Yes…I want to go out and clean it all up too. Or at least pay the nice neighbor boy to do it.  But like any wife, the inside of the home comes first (because the weather’s iffy, remember?)

So here we have a list I found of what to replace:

Spring cleaning: 13 things to replace right now – MSN Living.

 Toothbrush – This one’s easy for me because I have a free stocked up supply of toothbrushes already.  If you visit your dentist twice a year (like you should) they give you that cute little goodie bag on your way out with a new toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and maybe a sticker if you’re under age 12.  I have never bought a toothbrush simply because my dentist is neat that way.  Either way, if your bristles are frayed, toss it too.

Batteries in Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – This one I don’t care too much about either because the batteries last a whole lot longer than one year.  But it is quite annoying when they start to beep in the middle of the night and it takes you twenty minutes to figure out which one is beeping so you can angrily rip it off the ceiling and deal with it in the morning.

Eye Makeup – Ladies, I admit I hold onto makeup longer than I probably should; it’s expensive for cryin’ out loud!  But if you’re digging through your makeup bag and you find that cheap little set that Aunt Fannie gave you for Christmas eons ago, there’s probably a reason it’s lasted this long:  it’s cheap and isn’t good for your face.  If it’s cracked, dried out, or more than 6 months old, just toss it.

Foundation – Now this is more for liquid foundation.  If you wear powder (like I do) refer to the eye makeup just above.  But if you can see the layers of separation, don’t just shake it up and reuse it.

Sneakers – Now I quite disagree with replacing tennis shoes every year, especially if you have many pairs of shoes and they don’t get worn every single day in and day out.  I fully support the old adage:  use it up, wear it out, make do, do without…..especially for clothes, shoes too.  But obviously, if the sole has holes or the laces are so worn they can’t hold together, get a new pair.

Kitchen Sponge – When I hear these two words I immediately think, “Eww, gross!”  I don’t advocate sponges at all because they literally spread bacteria across every surface you’re cleaning.  Toss it now!  Use a fabric washcloth that you launder at the very least once a week.  And before you use it, soak it in water, lay it flat in the microwave, and nuke for a minute or so; that will ensure you’re not growing your own personalized culture in your sink.

Baking Soda in Fridge/Freezer – sure, easy.

Pillows – if your wallet can take it.

Water Filter – Now this one….if you haven’t already followed the filter replacement specs for your water purifier (it’s usually every 3 months like mine), please get a new one.  Think about the air filter in your home’s circulation system, or the oil filter in your car–if you don’t change those often enough what happens?  Now what happens to the water you drink if you don’t replace it’s filter?  Hmmm….

Sunscreen – I never thought about replacing my sunscreen, I usually just use it until it’s gone.  But like your makeup, it can separate and not work as effectively over than length of time.  Probably best to replace it.

Cedar in your Closets – What?!  I almost laughed out loud when I heard this one.  I’ve only been in one home, ever, that had cedar lined closets and it was built in the 60’s.  Now I agree, it’s nice to keep things fresh–I have a cedar hope chest.  But home reconstruction?  Not sure if I agree.

Toilet Brush – Makes sense; who wants that disgusting thing sitting there even though we have to have it?  But at the same time, who wants to invest in something that will always be mucky anyway?  You’re choice, I guess.

Canned Goods and Bottled Water in Your Emergency Kit – I completely support this notion.  In fact, if you have more food storage as well, you should be constantly revolving it’s inventory, using up the old and continually replacing it with the new.  You’ll get much more out of your money and effort if you gradually rotate through things.  If you prefer to just purchase things yearly in a lump sum, go ahead.  But if you’re going to have it sit there and not get used, you’ll have to eventually replace it and it will be money down the drain in the long run.