greenbackgrazers


Seven Ways to Save

1.  Save money with the library

Normal = Pay for things that the library offers for free

If you can get past the frequently outdated décor, public libraries are home to a wealth of resources. Of course you can borrow books instead of buying them, but they also often have subscriptions to high cost services or publications like Hoovers or Valueline. Our local library has grown a huge collection of popular CDs and DVDs over the last few years. So, it can be a cheap (free) ways to catch a few good movies. If you must be “Normal” and buy used at least.

2. Simplify your wardrobe

Normal = Buying clothes that you like without looking at the wardrobe as a whole

Don’t buy clothes that will only work as one outfit. Look for clothes that you will be able to wear with many other things, creating multiple outfits. Instead of buying that green and purple striped coat that will only go with one or two outfits, you could get a solid color gray that will work most of what you wear. Spend less money on the trendy items that won’t be in style long, and spend more on quality items. You really can do this and still be stylish at the same time. Simplifying your wardrobe is just one way you can save money on clothes.

3.  Make money with your clutter

Normal = Garage sale or throw away clutter

It is easier than you may think. eBay and Amazon.com make the process a breeze. Sign up for an account, take a few digital pictures, post it, and watch the buyers come to you. HINT: The biggest key I have noticed is selling brand name items and taking a few seconds to think, “If I wanted to buy this item, how would I search for it?” If you do this, you will be much more successful.  Of course, some of your junk won’t be worth the effort of selling it online. For that stuff – maybe garage sale, maybe just save yourself the hassle and give it to the thrift store.

4. Maintain stuff

Normal = Buy new, don’t maintain, it breaks, then buy new as cycle repeats again and again.

Even if you buy the best stuff, if you don’t maintain it you will not save you as much money as it could. You’ll then spend less on buying new stuff. When you buy something worth maintaining, take a few minutes to read the maintenance manual, and create a maintenance checklist that you can attach to the item. For important things like your car’s oil changes or tune-ups, put them in your calendar. To make it even easier schedule most of your maintenance all on one day with a Car Day.

5.   Saving energy = Saving money

Normal = wasting energy

Even though, “Being green is so IN right now,” the “normal” thing to do is waste energy. So not only will everyone think you are cool, ;) but you can save money as well. Check out these 10 Energy saving tips.

  • Use compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of traditional bulbs. Kiplinger’s mentions that, “if every U.S. household replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL, the emissions savings would be comparable to taking three million cars off the road for a year.” Supposedly the bulbs pay for themselves (from the energy savings) over the course of a year or so.
  • Add extra insulation to your water heater. If you have a water heater built before 2004, you can wrap it with an insulating jacket and save about $30 a year on your water heating bill.
  • Have your furnace tuned every two years and you will, “save about 1250 lbs of carbon dioxide and 10% on your heating bills.”
  • Lower the temperature on your thermostat. For every degree that you lower your home’s temperature during the cooler months, you can subtract about 5% from your bill.
  • Use cold water to wash your clothes and you can save 50% of the energy that you would use if you used hot water. I honestly don’t know what effect this has on the clothes themselves, so I will have to check with my wife on that one :)
  • Get a programmable thermostat. This wonderful tool allows you to program the temperature of your house on an hour by hour basis. So, it can be cooler when you are gone or asleep and warmer when you are around.
  • Use a weatherstrip around your front and back door and you can save about $30 a year on energy costs.
  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees (Fahrenheit for the international folks). Even if you don’t have a temperature gauge on your water heater, they suggest turning it down, “until the water feels hot, not scalding.” My husband always says this to me all the time.
  • Adjust your lawnmower to the 3-inch setting. They say that longer grass holds moisture longer, so you will not have to water as much.
  •  Wash your own car.  This saves you gas to the wash and money paying for something you can do yourself.  Unless you live in a place with no outside hose.  In this case take it to a friend’s house or if you must pay someone, this time of year lots of kids hold car washes to raise money for sports or trips.  Plus it makes you feel good and encourages the kids to work for the money and help.

6. Buying used stuff always saves money

Normal = Buy new

This is one of my favorite creative ways to save money. I wish we had this when I was in college, I have discovered that you could get textbooks for free, by buying and selling them at Amazon.  Send out an email to family or friends, or just ask around. You might be surprised. I was about to buy a printer, and then found out my mom just bought a laser printer and didn’t need her old inkjet.  Freecycle.org and craigslist.org are also good places to look. And of course, you can always check out garage sales and thrift shops.

7.  Go out to dinner for half price

Normal = Go to the same few restaurants all the time and pay full price

I love to try new restaurants, but since it is quite an expensive hobby – it is nice when you can save a few bucks. Enter the Entertainment Book. This wonderful tool costs about $25, but will pay for itself quickly if you use it a couple of times. It is available for most large U.S. cities and has thousands of coupons to participating restaurants – most of which are buy-one-get-one-free. This is one of my favorites ways to find new places to eat and save money in the process. Also consider Groupon.com or Restaurant.com and www.livingsocial.com who sells $25 gift certificates (with restrictions) for $10 to thousands of restaurants across the country.  Also check your mailers in the Val-pac and local mailers.  You can find lots of new places you haven’t tried yet!

Advertisements

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: