I would love to share some different ways that we save money. We are not always super thrifty, like some, but here is how we try:
1. Recycle Aluminum cans and scrap metal
It is so simple to just have a separate bin for aluminum cans. After we have several bags full, David takes them to the recycling center and they pay him for them. Even if you don’t want to fool with taking them to a recycling center, maybe you know someone who will and collect the cans for them. My mom and dad collect cans for us.
2. We use an antenna for TV signal
We can’t really get cable television out where we live, but we have had several different satellite services in the past. We really don’t watch much television, but it always seemed like most shows we did watch were on network TV anyway, so when all of our local stations went to a digital signal, the picture is just as good as satellite signal. We ditched the satellite and now watch television for free!
3. Pay as you go cell phone cards
We have had contracts many times with several different companies in the past. It always seemed like there would be some surprise charge on there every month that we didn’t expect. It would be like, “Oh you were roaming last month outside of our network. We charge for that.” Or “You went over your limit on texting and data. We charge extra for that.” And if you want out of your contract…. Look out! They charge for that!
With the pay as you go phone card, there are no surprises. We pay a set amount every month for each phone. If something comes up and we are short on cash, we may wait a few days to renew. And that’s ok on a pay as you go plan. It works for us.
4. No credit cards
By now, I know you are starting to see a trend. The reason we do a lot of these things to save money is because we have tried it other ways in the past that did not work. This is not an exception. We have had credit cards. Several. Oh, we would pay them off and make a pact to never use them again unless it was an emergency! They were just too convenient. I know some people are disciplined enough to pay theirs off each month, but this didn’t work well for us. We have been without credit cards for 7 years now and you know what? I really don’t miss them at all. It is just one less bill to worry about.
5. Use coupons whenever possible
I have found that for the most part, at Aldi’s or other grocery stores, the store brand is just as good as the name brand… most of the time. So that is what I mainly buy, but there are those few items like laundry detergent or deodorant that we have a certain brand we really like. I specifically look for those coupons and sales on those items and stock up when I can. Also, whenever we eat out, we first look and see what restaurant coupons I happen to have.
6. I wash and reuse plastic baggies and bread bags
First, let me just say I do not reuse a plastic baggie if it has had raw meat in it. That would just be gross! But if it has had crackers, or rolls, or raw veggies I definitely think it can be reused. I wash it in the sink along with my other dishes and drape it up to dry.
I mentioned this at work to my coworkers one day and I got that look. You know the one. The one where you think, “Oh no, they’re gonna talk about me later.” Lol I guess we all have our quirks.
The bread bags also work well if I am making a banana nut bread or a zucchini bread and I am giving it away… works great! I used to know a lady who knew how to make braided rugs from bread bags! I now wish I had asked her to show me how.
7. Service our vehicles, home maintenance ourselves.
Now technically, I don’t do this one. My husband does. And I am so grateful that he has the knowledge to take care of these things. If we have a plumbing issue or whatever, first he will attempt to fix the problem himself and he usually can. If he can’t fix it many times he will read about how to fix something or even watch a You-tube video. If you can do it yourself, you save the service fees.
Do not get me wrong here. I truly appreciate the professionals who provide these services for people who cannot do these things themselves. I remember totally botching up my son’s hair when he was small and was so grateful for the hairdresser who uncomplainingly made things right! I am just saying if it is something simple that you can do yourself, it does save money.
8. Use the clothesline
In our house we have had bad luck with clothes dryers, so there have been times I have had to hang clothes to dry out of necessity. Even in the wintertime, I draped clothes and sheets all along our handrail and over doors to dry. Now that we do have a dryer that seems to be working at the moment, I still try to utilize the clothesline when I can. On a nice warm day the clothes actually dry just as fast as if I had put them in the dryer. One thing I do try to do is use fabric softener if I am going to hang a load on the line so that the fabric doesn’t dry as stiff.
9. Stock up when items are on sale or at Sam’s club
I most always pick up a copy of the local Sunday paper so I can catch all the sales going on in town. If there is something on sale that we use regularly, I may pick up several and stock up. If I happen to have a coupon for something on sale that I know we will use, again, stock up. My husband has always loved buying in bulk. We do this a lot with paper items. Every once in a while, we make a trip to Sam’s and stock up and you know… He’s right! It is good not having to worry about certain items when you do your weekly shopping.
10. Pack a lunch for work, or take coffee from home in a to go cup
As much as my hubby and I love to eat out, we can’t afford to do this all the time. So one of the ways we save on money is by packing our lunches for work. Fortunately, for me working in a school, if I do get a lunch from the cafeteria it is pretty inexpensive, but packing a lunch for me also saves time. If I have my go cup of coffee, I don’t need to take time to stop and purchase one. I can just go to work. But for my husband, a truck driver can spend lots of money and waste a lot of time stopping to eat. He takes several items (mainly fruit) with him on his truck and he can stop and eat while he is waiting to load or unload and doesn’t need to make any extra trips to the truck stops. Doing this makes the times that we do eat out together more meaningful.
As I was writing this, I was also thinking there are lots of areas where we really waste money and need definite improvement. Maybe my next post should be 10 ways we waste money. Lol
How about you?
Would love to hear some ways your family saves money.
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