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25 Ways I Save Money

Inspired by a bunch of posts out there, I decided to come up with my own list.

1) I pay for insurance up-front instead of the monthly plans.
2) I turn off the lights when leaving a room (thanks Dad!)
3) I unplug "vampire electronics" when going on long trips (but not daily as I do not wish to reset my clocks every day).
4) I utilize exclusive deals and offers on items that I am planning on buying (I got a $25 newspaper subscription, $18 back on my first 3 months of netflix, and great deals on cameras and other electronics this way).
5) I don't buy stuff JUST BECAUSE it is a good deal. My apartment would be completely full if I did.
6) I take the miss-printed pages from work, cut them in quarters, and use them as scrap paper at work and at home.
7) I utilize the Sunday newspaper inserts - I go through all the circulars looking for excellent deals. Then I cut out the good coupons (yes, there are BAD coupons!), then I match up the coupons I have with the week's deals. Coupons + Sales = awesome. (I got deodorant $3 for $0.75 this week and toothpaste for free.)
8) I keep base ingredients for most of my favorite meals on hand so that I can whip up a meal at a moments notice.
9) I pack my lunch EVERY DAY (except, when my boss takes us out to lunch).
10) When I eat out, I order a meal that I know I can take half of it home for leftovers and reheat easily. Portions are usually too large at restaurants anyway. I managed to get 3 meals out of one menu item once!
11) I keep my refrigerator and freezer full. When they are full, they don't need to cycle as much and they don't use as much electricity. Sometimes I just stick a fridge pack of soda in there to take up space.
12) I use rechargeable batteries. I don't have quite as many electronics anymore that use AAs, but it is definitely a life saver not to have to run to the store if I need them. They are there in a nice pile and if they die, I can have them charged again in 3-4hr.
13) I make lists. This helps me to plan my errands to save gasoline and also helps me stay away from convenience stores because I rarely forget something that I needed.
14) I frequent craigslist, salvation army, and goodwill looking for items that are on my "need eventually" list. This includes bookshelves and other home accessories that I don't NEED, but would like to have some day at a lower cost.
15) I download music from spirlfrog. It's somewhat hit-or-miss when I am looking for something specific, but it keeps me from buying single songs from iTunes all the time.
16) I buy in bulk. I only buy nonperishables (or things that will not expire before I consume them) and I only buy things that I use alot. My recent bulk purchases included a TON of crackers ($1.50 -$2 a box) and about 20 cases of soda (@ $2 each). When I need to buy those again, the prices will have either doubled or gone down. :-P
17) I use Debbie Meyer Green Bags. Everything they claim to be is true. My mom got me a pack for my birthday and I have not had a single piece of lettuce or a single peach go rotten since I started using them. It's amazing. I don't have to be afraid of my produce going bad before I get to eat it.
18) I make my own jams and jellies. So far I have only tried strawberry, but peaches are in season now, so that is next! This time, I am going to make an attempt at canning.
19) I do a lot of research before I make any purchases. The more the purchase is going to cost me, the more research I do.
20) I haggle. I haven't gotten to the point where I feel comfortable haggling at the grocery store (but apparently, it works sometimes!), but I do haggle for items on craigslist, at local fruit stands, and at farmers markets. I even helped my dad haggle over $2k off the price of my soon-to-be-new-to-me car.
21) I use plastic grocery bags as trash bags. I haven't bought a box of trash bags since I needed them to cover my car window that stopped working (and that was a year ago this week!). I have tons of plastic grocery bags anyway. The ones that I don't use as trashbags, go to the recycling bin once a month or so.
22) I only buy movies on DVD that have a significance of some sort to me. If I'm not sure if I want to add a movie to my collection, I rent it through netflix/blockbuster/the library first before I make my decision.
23) I purchase movies, books, and CDs through the amazon marketplace. A lot of times, the items will be like-new and even including shipping costs, will be less expensive than buying new straight from amazon.
24) I replace burnt-out light bulbs in my car all by myself. Bulbs are cheaper at Walmart than they will charge you and there are no labor costs! Read your car's manual for specific instructions and if they don't make sense, check the internet.
25) I use google calendar to remind me of reoccuring bills that I need to pay. Since I started doing that, I haven't been charged a single late fee!

Wow, I just barely thought of 25 things. See if you can come up with 25 things that you do to save money (you, know, so that you can afford to drive you car to work!). Feel free to steal from the lists I linked to. :-P



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)
20) I haggle. I haven't gotten to the point where I feel comfortable haggling at the grocery store (but apparently, it works sometimes!)

O.o really? Having worked at Giant, the only way this works is if customers get irate enough that the head of the front end doesn't feel like dealing with the customer, so they just say "Whatever" and let it slide. Maybe at non-chain groceries, like farmers markets and such? My suggestion to you is not to try it at the grocery market, as you'll likely confuse the poor cashier and frustrate the rest of the workers. Mind you, there are a few people there that I would LOVE to annoy the bejezus out of, but ahahaha. Personal vendettas are not something that I need to share. (Unless they are relevent)

Oh man I am having Giant flashbacks. *shudder* God that job. . . had it's moments but all in all I am SO GLAD I got the hell away from there.
Jul. 31st, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't remember the details, but one of the bloggers I read is able to do this. Maybe they only do it on dented stuff or something? I don't remember. I'm not about to try it anytime soon.
Jul. 31st, 2008 05:05 am (UTC)
1) I pay for insurance up-front instead of the monthly plans.

Word! This one saves me some $50-60 on my car insurance! It just takes a little planning ahead and is a great way to save money. I'll post my own list in a bit :)
Jul. 31st, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
It is a good one! Also, spending a little while getting quotes from a bunch of different companies saved me like $200! I couldn't believe it.
Jul. 31st, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
Does #11 really work? I can see how having more stuff in the freezer would make it cycle less often (more mass takes longer to warm up), but when it does it should take more energy to cool it down again. Maybe it's because less air escapes when you open the door?
Jul. 31st, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
It seems like it works. When my refrigerator is full, it cycles less and for a shorter amount of time (which is great because it is LOUD), and when it's not as full it cycles for a longer amount of time. I also try not to stand with the door open, so having it full and organized is the key.
Jul. 31st, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
I wish I could take home our discarded paper. But that's probably not going to be seen as okay here in our office. Instead, I recently implemented a recycling program. At least some of our stuff can now be recycled.

Good for you in all you do.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )



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