Six Simple Solutions to Saving Money

I woke up at 4am this morning and for some reason my first thought was "oh, I haven't done a Frugal Friday post yet. oh well, I'll do it later since it's only Thursday." Then it hit me, no... today IS Friday!!! So then began the hour and a half long struggle of me trying to fall back asleep knowing I didn't have even the slightest idea of what to do for a post.

My mind was running, my brain was ticking. I couldn't think of anything.

Everything that I came up with ended with either "I already blogged about that" or "everyone already knows about that."

Then I came up with six simple things I do that combined together actually save a lot of money for us.

At this point I tried to fall asleep. I figured "ok, I have my idea, I can sleep now." I was wrong. I had to get out of bed and find a piece of paper and a pen to write my ideas on before I fell back asleep.

Here they are:

  1. Avoid Walmart. Actually, make that avoid all stores. I like Walmart and Kmart and Target. The list of stores I like could keep going since I really like to shop. However when we go into Walmart or Super Target because we need a gallon of milk, we come out with three bags full of stuff that we didn't need. Lately when we need milk or bread we've been going to the grocery store instead of a store that carries other things. It's kept a lot of dollars in our pocket and out of the cash registers. Believe it or not, milk is actually a couple cents cheaper at Food Lion and gas stations than it is at Walmart.
  2. Keep the Change. If you have a Bank of America in your area you're probably familiar with that saying. When we moved here we switched to them and signed up for their keep the change program. What happens is every time you use your debit card Bank of America rounds it up to the next dollar putting all the change into your savings account. We have been here for 2 months and if we wouldn't have spent any of that we would have over $50 in there by now. Just from change. If you use cash make sure you put all your pennies (nickels dimes and quarters too) in a jar or something at the end of the day. You'll be surprised at how fast change adds up
  3. Share. This one is my favorite I think. Not only does it save money it helps out other people and keeps the amount of boxes being stored to a minimum. If you have something that you're not using right now, let someone who needs it borrow it! Right now I have 2 boxes of maternity clothes at my sister-in-laws house. I also have one box of size 2 clothes at Beth's for her daughter. And when my sister-in-law has her baby, half my baby stuff will be gone too! It's great. Make sure you only share with people you trust if you want it back though. The great thing is other people will share with you! (Beth is sending the box back full of clothes for Lexi!!)
  4. Recycle/Reuse. I'm not talking about bags, newspapers or aluminum. I'm talking about everything. Clothes especially. If you have a pair of jeans that has a hole in the knee, cut them off into shorts. If the whole is higher you can make all sorts of things out of old pants including aprons, purses, and skirts. If the straps on your tank top are too long resulting in a VERY immodest shirt, use your handy dandy sewing machine (or needle and thread) to make them shorter. If you've out grown it completely, give it to someone else.
  5. Make it yourself. It's so easy to go out and buy things isn't it? I've realized lately just how easy it is to make things that other people are selling. Laundry detergent, as an example is very over priced in the store and it's very easy to make following a recipe. The other thing I've noticed lately that is way over priced is girls hair bows. I found some I loved at a site and they were between $6-$8 for one!! That's a bit high for a frugal homemaker like me.
  6. Avoid Disposables. I could write a whole blog here, but I think Beth is going to take care of that for me. I'll keep it simple. Many things that you think you need can be replaced by reusable stuff. We have not had paper towels or napkins in our house for almost a year. (We have one roll of paper towels hidden for when I want to clean glass, I haven't found a rag that works good yet). I've discovered that rags and "cloth napkins" can replace these very easily and cheaply! Plastic baggies are another thing that we don't keep in the house too often, I have a jumbo roll of plastic wrap that I use in their place. Plastic wrap is a lot cheaper. When we do use plastic bags I wash them out and reuse them. The next two things wont affect you if you are male, they might even embarrass you so I apologize if you're a male reader. Disposable nursing pads can be replaced with cloth ones, or lilypadz. I found this product after I stopped needing nursing pads, so I haven't tried it yet. Maybe with #2. Another product I found but haven't gotten yet is the Diva Cup. This can replace all the tampons and pads you have to buy- that would save a lot of money.
Just a side note, we do use disposable Toilet paper, I'm not that desperate to save money yet.

These six steps together have saved us a lot of money in the past and will continue to do so in the future. As I read more Frugal Friday posts I'll probably find more solutions to saving money too.


Beth @ The Natural Mommy said...

Haha, you did my entire "Disposable" post in your #6. :-) Mine was unnecessary!

Good steps, though. I think I do all of them... :-)

Joanna said...

My vice isn't Walmart- I avoid that store for different reasons. The place I always leave with more than what's on my list is Costco- which is worse, because the packages are bigger, so I end up spending more unplanned money!

Lady Why said...

OH, I so know what you mean about Walmart!! I go in there for dog food and come out with a cart full of this and that and a receipt with a total in the three digit range!

Every time I tell myself I'm not going to let that happen but something about the air in Walmart... it just MAKES me buy stuff! ~wink~

Michelle Peacock said...

You are so right about staying out of Walmart! And I reuse many things, too. Thanks for the great ideas!

Molly said...

Hi. I found your blog through Ashley's. I just wanted to add my two cents to the getting rid of the girly items that are disposable. I have never tried the Diva Cup, but I have used cloth washable pads for about 3 years now. I love them. I have never bought them from a company, but made my own. They are so simple and work great. I love not having to go into the store and buy Always pads and I don't feel weird wearing the cloth ones.