If you're like me then you know how important it is to save money. Sometimes, trying to save money is a full time job. I've got four kids under 10, a loving husband, and two dogs. I need as many things in my life as possible to be easy. I find that when it comes to saving money there are many many easy ways to save. The downside is that the easy ways sometimes don't save you a lot. However, I have learned in my frugal adventures that it's the little things that really add up. In the long run, it's the small things that are the easiest to stick with, easiest to do, and eventually add up to big savings.
1. Turn down the brightness on your cell phone. Unless you use your phone in the bright sunlight during the day, you can probably get away with turning your brightness down to the lowest level. This uses less battery power and in turn you need to charge it less often, saving you electricity.
2. Turn off your porch lights as soon as you get up. I know some of you probably don't leave yours on all night but we do, for safety reasons. (My husbands truck was broken into one night as some dope heads did a string of break-ins to feed their habit!) If you're not leaving your house in the dark of early morning then you probably don't need your porch light. How many times do you get ready to leave the house after lunch only to find that your porch light is still on? That has happened to me one too many times. I am trying to be more careful to turn them off as soon as I get up.
3. Sign up for and use free samples. All kinds of companies offer all kinds of samples these days. From shampoo to dishwashing detergent to feminine care products. This picture shows just a few of the samples I've received lately.
4. This next one might be hard for some of you. I'm also not promising this will help you make friends or help the driver behind you control his/her road rage. Whenever you see a red light or a stop sign coming up, take your foot off the gas pedal. Even if you are far away. The less you press the gas, the less gas you use. The earlier you get your foot off and start slowing down, the less wear you put on your brakes. Essentially you are saving gas and breaks. Double duty savings!! Cha-ching!
5. I don't use my oven as often as I would like but I do like to maximize it when I do use it. Especially in the winter time. Lets start at the beginning. A lot of recipes call for pre-heating. While I do believe this is important in baking I don't think think you have to do it for everything. Most casseroles will still cook fine if you put them in a cold oven then turn it on. Another way to save is to turn it off early. If you peek in at your rolls and see that they only need a couple more minutes then go ahead and shut it off. It still has enough heat in it to finish cooking. Or perhaps you have a dish that needs cheese sprinkled on top at the end. There should be enough heat left to melt cheese too.
6. This should go without saying, but drinking water is not only healthier for you, it is way cheaper too! I'm sure I don't even have to go into the details of the costs on your pocket book and your health when it comes to sodas. Just drink water. :)
7. Re-use the plastic bags you get at the store. I try to bring re-usable bags to the store as often as I can but sometimes I purposefully leave them at home so I can replenish my stock of plastic bags.
- Use them to line bathroom and bedroom trash cans.
- Use it on your hand as a glove to pick up your dogs poop.
- Keep a few in your car to fill with trash or other things that need to come in.
- I have used them on my hands as gloves when cutting hot peppers.
- Keep them in the diaper bag so you'll have somewhere to put those dirty diapers.
- If you recycle plastics then you can fill one of these bags up and toss the whole thing into the bin.
- Make a kite. My girls have tied the handles together with a long piece of yarn and took them outside on a windy day. Cheap fun!
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