More ideas on things we can take control of and save a little of our hard to come by funds. Whether you are employed or retired - you want your money to stretch as far as possible. There is absolutely no sense in wasting things or money. We all need to be the best stewards of what we have - and be the best we can be!!!!!
- Keep track of where your funds go. Pay attention to bills and frivolous spending. A notebook and pen will work - just keep track for a while and you may be amazed at how much you waste
- Unplug appliances that are not being used. I never leave small appliances plugged in - I guess that comes from the many stories I have heard over the years of sudden fires. It may not save a ton of money on electric - but it all adds up. If it saves you from a fire - well that could be a savings of life!
- Stop using so many paper products. Use rags for cleaning. Use cloth napkins instead of paper. Only use paper plates when having outdoor meals. Paper costs a lot and then you just throw it away!
- Turn off lights when not using or not in a room. It all adds up
- DECLUTTER - how does that save? Well, you can sell your stuff and make extra money. OR you can donate and get a receipt for taxes. OR you can give away stuff - just having less clutter makes for a calmer home - this a calmer you! That can be worth a lot!!!
- Make your own cleaners or use natural products. I mainly use alcohol, peroxide, vinegar, (not all at once) and baking soda and of course HOT WATER. Keep it natural. Soak your citrus peels in vinegar to make a great citrus cleaner. Not only does it save - it is better for the earth
- Make your own bread crumbs. Stale bread/crackers/chips - use them all. You can grind up stuffing type bread and make your own. I never buy bread crumbs any more. I use what I have. Can mix in corn meal or flour as well when breading items
- Line dry laundry when possible. I know not everyone can hang clothes outdoors (not allowed). You can hang up in the basement over a tub or on a rack. Hang in the garage. IF there is a will there is a way! Dryers use a lot of energy
- Make extra meals to freeze for another day. Leftovers? Or just cook ahead. There will always be a day that you don't feel like cooking - so resist temptation of eating out by having meals frozen ahead. It can be as simple as soup or casseroles - precooked meat - you name it.
- Contact companies whether you love or hate their products. You may get free product or coupons if you LOVE something. You could possibly get a replacement or a refund if you HATE something. It is worth a try. Most products have a phone number or email listed on the package
- Keep nice jars (from store bought stuff) to use for dry storage. Many items last a lot longer is stored in glass - it prevents moisture and buggers!
- Water things down. Use less. You can water just about anything down and it will still be effective or taste good. I always add an extra can of water to frozen OJ. I water all soap products down - shampoo, dish soap, laundry detergent, body wash, etc. No one need all that detergent to clean something.
- Keep up on vehicle maintenance. A good running vehicle is a cheaper vehicle. Maintenance is very important.
- Take care of yourself - good HEALTH saves a fortune!!!!!! Eating right and taking vitamins and herbs is a lot cheaper than tons of doctor visits and hospital stays!!
- Grow and dry your own herbs. Use them for seasoning or for teas
- Keep old clothes for rags or for remaking into something new. Remake into a new clothing item, craft items, quilts, etc.
- Check around on pricing. Call your utilities like cable and internet or cell phone call your insurance companies to see if you can get a lower rate. All the can say is no - but they may say YES
- Learn to make your own seasoning mixes - they are so easy to do and no extra chemicals. You can make to reflect your tastes.
- Take care of your home and do maintenance when necessary. If you take care of things - hopefully you won't have a major expense down the road. Maintenance is so important in ALL areas of our lives!!!!!!!!!!!
- Think about alternative places to shop. There are lots of places that sell groceries now. Grocery stores, ethnic stores and even home improvement stores! Yep they literally do sell anything from soup to nuts and bolts! Goodness, if you have a place like Menard's near you - they often have the greatest deals on grocery items. They also have good deals on t-shirts, hats, socks, gloves, etc. great deals on animal/critter feed. Look at Big Lots/Odd Lots, Ollies, discount groceries, Amish stores, The Christmas Tree Shoppe, Rural King or other farm stores, bulk stores............................many, many choices.
- Have an extended pantry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, this is probably one of the most important money savers. Buy cheap, sales, clearance and stock-up. Buying at a cheaper price now is truly 100% money in the bank!!!! WHY pay more when you can spend less now and be prepared for anything that comes your way?
- Keep cash on hand at home. You never know what may happen in this old world - so always be prepared with cash on hand. At least you are able to maybe make purchases or you can barter or buy second hand. Keep it - hide it - and be prepared.
I know most of these things just sound like common sense - but little things DO add up. Get creative and RETHINK everything.
There are just so many things we can do to save our dollars. As prices go up on may things - we need to be more vigil on how we spend. No one thing will probably save you a fortune - but small changes can end up making us all save more.
I am not trying to say you need to have a huge amount of money in the bank - I mean you do have a life to live. BUT you need a good emergency fund, you need to be prepared for losses in life that can affect income and you need to save in one area so that maybe you can enjoy a little more in another area.
Live your life and enjoy - just be SMART!
Be prepared for whatever may come your way. You never know what can happen in a flash.