I love to save money, don’t we all! It just makes me happy to get a good deal, or figure out a way to just save a bundle. Here are some of my favorite tips:
- Make your own pizza.
When we lived in GA we could order pizza for the university rate of $3/ each. It was wonderful! Then we moved to ID and found out the no one would even deliver pizza to our farm. Because we still liked pizza I tried frozen varieties. They were quick, but not too tasty. Next I tried making it from scratch. It was really not that hard and the results were great! We could personalize it with toppings we have on hand. And there is usually enough to have the next day for lunch.
- Buy greeting cards in boxed sets- favorite outlets: Current, Big Lots, Ross or TJ Maxx
I do like to send nice cards, but do not like to spend $3 or more for each one. I have found nice boxed sets at various stores. It saves me A LOT of time when I want to send a card to just open the box, address, and mail. I can usually find box of 12 or more for less than $5.
- Do your own mending, learn to sew
Everyone in my family is quite tall, so we do not have a problem with pants being too long, but I do quite a bit of mending. Patching holes, repairing seams, attaching buttons, etc. are all easy to do. I once had a job doing repairs for a dry cleaners. I was paid a minimum of $5 per item for must simple repairs and $1/button. It was a great part time job, but showed me how much money I saved my family by caring for our clothes.
- Make your own laundry detergent
While I have read about this for several years I also read that the home made detergent was not compatible with the front loading, high efficiency washer that I had. So I kept watching for he detergent on sale and using coupons. Then this fall I did research again, and found that many others had good success with homemade detergent in their high efficiency washers, so I tried it. The ingredients were easily purchased and the process was easy! I have almost used up my first bucket and am pleased with the results. Ready This is the recipe and instructions I used
- Play the drug store game- separate post coming
- Use the public library: books, DVD, books-on-tape, magazines
- Shop at resale stores, thrift stores, consignment sales
I do find many bargains at thrift store and resale stores. Depending on the season of life and our family’s needs determines how time I devote to shopping at these outlets. Generally it is more difficult to find a specific need, so it is easier to shop well ahead of a need. And I have had very good luck with finding dress clothes at the thrift store. I enjoy some name brands that are just out of my price range, but when I can find a pair of Eddie Bauer jeans for $7.49 at the Goodwill store that I know would retail for over $60, it is a good deal.
- Investige government sponsored programs you may be eligible for: WIC, Food Stamps, Federal and state scholarship programs, etc.
If your family situation is such that you need help, even temporarily, check into government programs that may be of use to you. For a couple of years when the kids were young we qualified for the WIC (Woman, Infants, and Children) food supplement program. We were able to get milk, cereal, peanut butter, cheese, juice and beans at no cost. There were income requirements, which to my surprise our family met, even though I thought our income was pretty high.
With 2 college students we are very thankful for every dollar of scholarship money. We file the FAFSA each year and sometimes we receive government scholarships or grants.
- Investigate services offered at the Public Health Department; including vaccinations, childhood screenings, etc.
Pediatricians recommend a series of vaccinations for babies and young children. If these are not covered by your insurance you might check out the state health department. When we lived in TX our doctor could not afford to stock the needed vaccinations and requested that all her patients go the the health department. She took her kids there. At the time is was a flat fee of $5 /child, no matter how many shots they got. Recently when one of my kids needed a vaccination to go to college, it was $13 at the health department compared to $70 at the doctor plus a $75 office visit. We did have to wait a bit at the health department, but we usually wait at the doctor’s office.
- Learn to borrow, rent, and barter
The possibilities are endless here! Think about your skills and then offer next time someone needs them. There are many items that can be rented by the hour, day or week. I was surprised that we could rent a gas powered wood splitter $75 for the whole weekend. A wood splitter costs about $1500, so it would take us $20 years to make up the cost, plus repairs, storage, etc. Consider renting items that you use occasionally, are difficult to store or just expensive. Also renting is a good option prior to buying to see if it works like you think it should and is useful for the job. Bartering: one of our friends is a very good handy-man! He can fix just about anything. I call him when I have something that needs to be repaired. In return I so sewing jobs for his wife or lend them the carpet cleaner. For really big jobs I do pay his rate of $20/hour.
Share your favorite money saving tip!