Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Money Saving Tips

Stuff I have done and stuff I have read and plan to do.

1. Shop for clothes at sales especially at the end of a season. I have really gotten great bargains for good quality clothes. I also don’t bother with buying designer labels

2. Consider own-brand goods/ store-brand
Store Brands are often comparable in quality and nutrition to their national brand counterparts. The key difference for consumers is the notable cost savings - about 25% for many products. The Store Brands cost less because they are not as heavily marketed as national brand products.

3. Buy Christmas presents and birthday throughout the year, especially as sales come up. If possible buy in bulk. You will not only save money but also enjoy stress-free pre-Christmases and no last-minute birthday worries. I do this and it really works out well.

4. Four-day wait / Four Win. The four-day wait works. If you are about to buy something which isn't a necessity, and you have a little quiet voice somewhere whispering to you, listen to it, and wait four days before you make the purchase. It gives you time to compare prices elsewhere, or to come up with an alternative, or even to decide that you don't need or want it.

5. Use your library
The local library is a mecca for the money saver. You'll never need to buy another cookbook, guidebook or lifestyle manual again and if you can bear to wait a few weeks in the queue for the latest blockbuster, you never need to buy books again. CDs and videos are great value too.

6. Find ways to save on your calls. I use Telesavers it costs me 2p/min to call South Africa. I have also changed to a pre-paid cell phone. I am no longer working so I do not need it. My husband is still on a contract because it works out cheaper for him.

7. Keep your eyes open for specials on the things you are interested in. I love theatre. I found that on Monday nights I could get a show with dinner for less than what it cost to go to that same show on other nights (this was at the Baxter theatre in South Africa). Today I went on a Historical Bus Tour in DownPatrick for £1 and it included tea/coffee with scones. Check in the Library, free newspapers and internet.

8. For Holidays- consider exchanging homes with family or friends that live in a different are. My stayed an hour away from me – we did this and become tourist in his town – we had a great holiday. We are now living in Northern Ireland we are exchanging homes with a friend in the South of Ireland for a week over the Easter Vacation. I am really looking forward to that. Otherwise make you book your holidays early – generally plane fares are less when booked well in advance.

9. Planning a holiday or a day trip? Rather than buy a map or travel guide get one from the library.

10. Walk/cycle to places in reasonable distances instead of using the car. I have been walking 30min to daughter’s school and its another 30min back home. I sometimes walk to library. I save on petrol, get in my exercise for the say and spend quality time with my daughter. You just need bread & milk – take a backpack and cycle to the store………

11. Healthy life style choices can save you money – quit smoking, cut down on your alcohol, drink less coffee and soft drinks. Make tap water you choice drink (use a filter if necessary).

12. Winter: Pile on the Blankets. An extra blanket on your bed in the winter months is often all it takes to push back the thermostat another couple degrees. Summer: Plant trees to shade your home, and your air conditioning won't have to work as hard.

13. Use less. Whether it's shampoo, laundry detergent, or hand soap, you can usually get by with using less than the recommended amount and still get the same great results.

14. Compost.Send your compostable materials to a backyard compost pile. Not only will you be helping the environment, you'll save tons of money on yard maintenance when the compost is ready.

15. Join a group like Freecycle. When declutter your household it is an easy way to rid yourself of items with no cost to yourself, while at the same time helping someone else. You can also get things you need for free – it will just cost you the trip to pick it up. I have gotten a bicycle, study desk, foot spa and couch on Freecycle. I also got rid of an old computer and over-head projector with no cost to me or the environment.

16. Reuse. Before you throw anything away, stop and think about how you might be able to reuse it. This habit will save you money, help keep clutter at bay, and help the environment. Eg. Cereal boxes can be used as file-holders. You can cut off the top, trim the sides down at an angle, or use them turned sideways to hold files. The bags inside cereal boxes are excellent for storing breads and for using in the freezer. Wash them and use them again, unless used for poultry products.

17. Switch to sending free e-cards –save money and the environment.

18. Say no. Agreeing to take on more than you can afford or more than you have time to complete will only stress yourself, your wallet, and your family. This has been difficult for me but it has been worth it – I resent my friends less as well.

I found this on the internet –
I consider Swap-bot to be one of my hobbies:

Hobbies can provide a great outlet for many people. Learn new hobbies or expand upon old ones that can help you reduce expenses at home or even help bring in a little extra income.

Learn to cook or learn a new style of cooking. Replace the frequent meals out with much less expensive meals in that you have learned to prepare for yourself.

Learn to knit. Learn to knit, then hit the thrift stores for old sweaters that you can unravel for yarn. Reknit your yarn into scarves, mittens, hats, or virtually anything else you can imagine.

Gardening. Learn to grow your own food and you may find the benefits include better tasting food, less expenses at the grocery store, and a very therapeutic time in your garden.

Soap-making. Many people enjoy learning how to make their own soap, which you can customize with your own natural products and even barter your finished product with others.

Learn to Sew. Whether you want to make the family's clothing or want a fun skill you can also use to bring extra income to the family, sewing is an art that will serve you well in both areas.

Computer building and repair. Tinkerers will not only be able to build their own computer much cheaper than buying one, but will have a valuable skill for earning extra money as well.

Surfing the Internet. As crazy as it may sound, if you love surfing the Internet, you can discover plenty of ways to save money for yourself and your family--and maybe a few ways to make money as well--from sites like this or blogs like this.

Crafting. No matter what type of craft you want to learn or expand your knowledge of, you can probably sell it online at places like Etsy.
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