My Top 10 Money Saving Tips

#1

Make out your menu for the week in advance. Then go to the grocery store with a list of all the ingredients you need for those meals. You save money by only going to the grocery store once in the week (therefore greatly reducing the amount of impulse purchases you make), plus you won’t end up buying a bunch of random food that doesn’t amount to 7 good meals.

#2

Plan your week’s meals based on what’s on sale at the grocery store or what coupons you have.

#3

Copycat. If you see something in a store or a magazine that you like, try to copy it. I’ve done this with my a multitude of things in my house including the stump table I featured this week. Cost in a store? Around $300. My price? $40.

#4

Don’t wash your clothes every time you wear them.  Unless you’re peeing in your pants, there’s no reason to wash them every time you wear them.  You can get at least 5 wears out of a pair of jeans.  You save on the hydro/gas for washing and drying, plus you save on laundry detergent AND your clothes last longer.  Washing clothing wears them out.

#5

Don’t go places where they sell things. Seriously. Just don’t leave the house.

#6

Sleep standing up.  If you sleep standing up your hair won’t mess up and you won’t need to wash it in the morning, saving on water consumption and hydro for your hairdryer.  Plus your mattress and sheets will last an indefinite number of years.

#7

Place all your unopened bills in a neighbour’s mailbox. You’d be surprised at the amount of times they’ll pay them without even noticing.

#8

Brush your cat or dog regularly. With the saved up pet fur insulate your spring coat so you don’t need to buy a new winter one. If you have a large enough breed you might also have enough to knit a fur business suit.

#9

Create your own artwork for your walls by smearing colourful leftovers onto paperplates.

Hang them on the wall in a pleasing manner until they start to gather mold or smell unpleasant.  When this happens you can take them down and  feed the plates to your pets. This may result in their fur falling out in patches, therefore blessing you with extra coat insulation.

#10

Save money by cancelling  your television cable.  Entertain each other by trying to act out television episodes from the 80’s and 90’s from memory.  Marble Rye.  We were on a break.  Did I do that?

I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me and my family.

Sincerely,

P.S.!  Keeping with the money saving tips, I’d like to introduce you to my very first advertiser, Nancy Zimmerman!  Money coach extraordinaire.  She’s not a financial planner, she teaches you how to make the most of your money in everyday life.  You can find her button at the bottom of this post and on the top right of my sidebar, Your Money by Design.  Please welcome her!

49 Comments

  1. Sharon Woo says:

    Seinfeld, Friends, Family Matters
    Nice!

  2. Laura says:

    I love the one that says “don’t go places they sell stuff”. That really works!!! Thanks for all the great tips.

  3. Alisha says:

    *snorffle* So really you have 4 money saving tips and the rest are just to keep us entertained. You know, because not going to places they sell things might be boring. Love it.

    • Karen says:

      Alisha – Heh heh. So here’s the funny part. Tip #5, not going places where they sell things is a real tip. LOL. A lot of people go out and shop when they’re bored. Or they browse. They go to a shopping plaza, or wander through their favourite bookstore. DON’T. If you’re bored or looking for something to do take a walk. And not around a mall. 🙂 ~ karen

      • coralie says:

        My husband and I went down to one car when I became a stay at home mom and it saved us money not just in gas and insurance. I don’t have the car to go out whenever I want to and it was amazing how I was just hanging out at retail outlets (Barnes and Noble! My checkbook curses you!) for entertainment.

      • sera says:

        Seriously. Of course that counts as a tip! Another good one is when you are shopping online, just close out of the window before purchasing things. Not only did you save money by not purchasing that thing, but sometimes the online retailer that you closed out of, then sends you a coupon or a sale email to try to get you to buy it for cheaper! Of course then your inbox is flooded with junk mail for things you aren’t supposed to know that you want and then…

  4. There used to be an annoying habit on popular blogs where commenters would rush to be the first commenter, and just post the word “First”.
    I’m too late to do that but absolutely delighted to be your first advertiser!

    Dear Diary, January 7, 2011,….
    and the rest was history!

  5. Karen says:

    Thank YOU Nancy! ~ karen

  6. mimi says:

    or you could take a walk around your blog?
    The first clip i saw here, of the wine bottle opening, is entertainment enough for anyone when they get back from that walk!
    And, delighted to see your first advertiser, she had a brilliant link to a bbc explanation of gdp.

  7. Amy Schmucker says:

    Well there is one more money saving tip. ‘If its brown flush it down, if its yellow, let it mellow. Meaning, saving water and your water bill and sewer is don’t flush the toilet every time. YUCK YUCK YUCK. I don’t care, flush every time no matter what the color. But hey, you can save money that way if you like. Just thought I would let you know.

    The other big one that is very real is you don’t have to have two phones. Either a home line or a cell but not both.

    • Jacque says:

      That doesn’t ALWAYS work tho. We have cell phones, and never intended on having a home phone. Our son got a little older and he would every once in a while come home a little before I would get home from errands. Being 12, I’m not worried about him being home for a little while by himself, but, not enough so to not have him call me when he gets home 🙂

  8. Melody Madden says:

    Great tip on NOT washing your clothes too often. I have teenagers and they seem to think wearing a pair of jeans for half an hour constitutes a washing. I just fold them up and stick them back in their drawer.

    • Cathy says:

      Tip: If you make them wash their own clothes, you’d be surprised how often they don’t/won’t wash them.

      • Shauna Rudy says:

        So true! My boys would throw their clothes in the hamper because it was easier than putting them away. When I started making them help me with laundry as a consequence, it cut way down on that problem. Plus, they learned a new life skill.

      • Pam'a says:

        Unfortunately, my child, when made to wash his own clothes, just selects some other dirty, wadded up thing from his “closet” (i.e., the floor). ::sigh::

  9. jason says:

    tips 1 and 2. I suggest you try http://www.e-mealz.com

  10. shirley huang says:

    lol… #5 is the best tip out of all. As for #6, sleeping while stand up, is that for real? =P

  11. Jen A says:

    When I feel the need to shop, I go to the Sally Anne and buy books. There was a sale on last month, 2 for a dollar. Saved a zoodle of cash plus it gave me HOURS of entertainment back home.

  12. Jenn says:

    We do lots of these things. Here are a few more:

    1. When you dish out your dinner, grab some plastic containers and portion out the next day’s lunches, too. You won’t eat seconds AND lunch is ready for tomorrow… which also saves you money.

    2. You’d be surprised what you can watch online. My hubbie hooked a computer up to our TV and we watch more Hulu & Netflix than anything else. Ditch cable! We pay for our cable 1 year at a time and it’s just $30/month.

    3. Screw the gym. Walk the dog instead. You’ll both be happier.

    4. Stop drooling over the expensive coffee machine and stop buying lattes. A $4 coffe each day comes to nearly $1000/year, and that’s if you don’t buy a pastry. Get a French press at IKEA, make some homemade hot cocoa mix (equal parts powdered milk, cocoa, sugar + 1 tsp salt), and make yourself a mocha at home. I’m sipping mine right now.

    5. Explore the bulk food section at your grocery store. I recently discovered hummus mix (yet to be tried) at mine. If it’s good it’ll be a buttload cheaper than the ones in the refridgerated case!

    6. Get over keeping up with the Joneses. Don’t be afraid to say “I can’t afford to ___ (go out to dinner / go on vacation / buy that / get my hair cut there / contribute to the office gift to Sally for her 5th baby)”.

    Challenge yourself to be cheap. You’ll be surprised at how little you really need and how much farther you can stretch a dollar.

    • Melissa says:

      Hummus is really easy (and really good) AND cheap if you have a blender,a little lemon juice, salt and garlic. Get the canned chick peas on sale (49 cents, often!)and just do it yourself (takes about four minutes from opening the can to tasting!). Bonus – if you add enough garlic you’ll be banned from all public places after consumption, making #5 much easier!

      • Laura says:

        even cheaper – and I think even better – is to get the dried chickpeas! You have to soak them over night so it takes some planning but I’ve found that either a) they just plain taste better or b) I like to think they taste better because all the soaking I had to do… 🙂

  13. Fifi says:

    Some really great tips – my husband has a ‘ten dollar rule’ if it costs more than ten bucks he doesn’t need it. He also cuts his own hair. The $10 rule is good, but sometimes it’s worth it to let a professional to cut your hair.

    • Karen says:

      Fifi – Absolutely! You can’t be cheap with everything. LOL. There are some things you should spend money on and some you shouldn’t. Trust me … I *love* having nice things, but I counterbalance it with cheaper stuff. And I definitely pay to have my hair cut. 🙂 ~ karen

  14. Evalyn says:

    Something I heard, which works for shopping: If you think you want a thing, put it in your cart. Drive it around for awhile, pretending you already own it. When you are ready to check out, stop for a moment. Look at everything again. Now that you have owned it for awhile, are you over it? Put it back. Go home.

    • Karen says:

      Evalyn! I do that *all* the time. I’ve even told other the exact same thing about putting it in your cart for the rest of your shopping trip, because then you’ll feel like you’ve owned it. LOL. Wow … I guess we’re all the same! ~ karen

      • Sharon Woo says:

        My wacky mother-in-law told me to try it out. I go to Target, I throw all the pretties in my cart as I walk around. I get through the store and I pause in an aisle to let the guilt sink in. Sometimes I unload the cart right there of the stuff I can live without/dont need/dont have a perfect spot for and sometimes I even leave the whole cart right where it is (sorry to any employees on here who have to put all that sh1t back). Twice in the last month I was blinded by the after Christmas sales, filled up the cart excitedly, realized that even though its on sale I dont need it and just walked right out. Satisfied the shopping craving too!

  15. Alisha says:

    I have a couple recipes for homemade cleaning products that cost pennies to make. I use them religiously (I used to be a cleaning product freak and couldn’t enter a cleaning aisle without buying something) These methods alone have saved me SO much money and I find I use them more because they’re non-toxic.

    • Karen says:

      Alisha! If you have a great homemade cleaning product recipe I’d love to try it! I have to say I’ve never once recommended a homemade/Green cleaning product because well … they don’t work. At least I’ve found they don’t work. Shoot it on over! ~ karen

      • shirley huang says:

        I’ll be very interested to know any good homemade/green clean products too. I have a pet and I stayed away from too much of high toxic cleaning products. You know green products = $$$$$$.

        • Alisha says:

          I’ve emailed you the recipes for Floor Cleaner, All Purpose Spray and Laundry Soap. The floor cleaner works better on my floors than pine sol but I have cheap crappy laminate floors so not much of anything gets them clean. I hope you like ’em!

          • Marika says:

            An excellent cleaning product is plain baking soda (not the baking powder but baking soda). It cleans everything sparkling clean and makes it white and shiny: kitchen sink, fridge, worktops, chopping boards, bathroom, grout…
            I just put some on the very dirty areas, like the area around the drain and scrub, or dissolve some in water to clean the fridge.
            Apparently, soda should whiten teeth as well. I tried and it did not work.
            For cleaning silver I use toothpaste. Better than any professional and smelly product.

      • sera says:

        Seventh Generation makes good laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent. I usually add some Borax or some Oxyclean to the washer for towels and super dirty stuff. Also, white vinegar in the rinse cycle helps with fabric softening. Method makes great dish soap and tile/toilet bowl cleaner. I use borax, baking soda and white vinegar to get my porcelain kitchen sink clean and it does work with some scrubbing. But I’ll tell you, nothing gets whites bright like bleach.

  16. Gayle says:

    Hi Karen,
    Have you ever heard of The Tightwad Gazette? It was this woman’s crazy frugal newsletter that they compiled into a book. The Complete Tightwad Gazette is every one of the newsletters. This woman takes her penny pinching SERIOUSLY. It says on the cover “promoting thrift as a viable alternative lifestyle”. I think you’d get a kick out of it.
    LOVE your blog, found it doing a google search and some how wound up reading about putting yogurt popsicles in unmentionable places. Thanks for the laugh!

    You can probably get the Complete Tightwad Gazette from the library to save the $19.99!

    Gayle

    • Karen says:

      Gayle – Thanks! No I’ve never heard of the Tightwad Gazette! LOL. You wanna know the funny thing? One of the things I *do* spend money on is books. I hate borrowing them from the library knowing there’s a time limit on when I have to get them back, plus … sometimes library books have unidentifiable stains on the pages which creeps me out! LOL. I’ll watch for the book! ~ karen

  17. Amy says:

    I loved this!

    If you need an ongoing supply of dog fur insulation, I’m your gal. My dog sheds more than ten dogs combined. I could send you enough for that snazzy business suit in a matter of weeks. 🙂

  18. Mike says:

    Ok. You are right. We have watched Seinfeld enough times that we really could reenact nearly every episode from memory. So why am I paying the cable company to keep showing them to me??

  19. susie says:

    I never buy anything just because it’s on sale. “SALE” makes things more attractive. Then you start saying things to yourself like, “Well, I’ve kind of always wanted a mirrored side table, and this one is marked down a little bit. There’s a crack in it, but I can cover that up with – oh look! A wax owl with an iPod dock in it! Two dollars off! That would look so cool in my-”

    Just walk away.

  20. Shauna says:

    Cheers…. Here’s to advertising!! Congrats on the first spot! Now when will we be able to buy T-shirts?

  21. Marika says:

    Hello,
    I have one tip that requires initial investment but long term, it will pay off. Buy a freezer, if you don’t have one. I mean proper, big thing, not one shelf that comes with a fridge.
    Then when you see something good on sale or at good price, because in season, buy some more and freeze it. I do it with fruit and veggies which are in season. You can freeze them separately or prepare mixes, ready to be used, like vegetable soup mix, or mushroom-courgette mix for risotto or whatever. One advise on freezing: prepare everything prior to freezing so that it can be used staright away (as in, it’s difficult to peel the carrot, once it’s been thawed)
    I also make my own herb mixes- if you freeze fresh herbs, they will taste exactly the same once thawed. Besides I never managed to use up a pot of basil, before it died.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marika! I do all kinds of freezing! I even have a post on here somewhere about all the odd things you can freeze. And I just upgraded from a chest freezer to an upright last year. Definitely a good investment! The advice about preparing your foods prior to freezing is a good one! Cutting a frozen bagel to toast is almost impossible! Thanks! ~ karen

  22. nancy says:

    Ahhahaha!! Stop it! “If you have a large enough breed you might also have enough to knit a fur business suit.”

  23. Jessy says:

    I know I am late to the party, but I have a true story to share. My 7th grade teacher had show dogs and everytime she would brush them she would save their hair and had a friend who raised sheep or lambs or whatever for their wool make her a sweater out of her dog’s hair. She wore it once to school and made me “pet” it. I am scarred for life and that is the only thing I remember about 7th grade.

  24. Yoona Lextae says:

    Put your unopened bills in your neighbor’s mailbox lmfao… what a fucking nutjob

  25. Laureen O' (@ViBarkley) says:

    LOL@ #5! I would like to add, just don’t spend money. Even though I don’t leave the house, I tend to Internet shop (oh, the evils of drugstore.com, Land’s End and Amazon!). I had some unexpected medical expenses, and I was falling behind, but found how easy it was to catch up if I just didn’t buy anything. Oh, and I had my Discover card account number changed. I had my old number and expiration date memorized, but I’m too lazy to go get my purse to look up my new number … ka-ching! Money in my bank account!

  26. Nur Costa says:

    “Sleep standing up”.. this made me laugh!
    I would include in the list: don’t go to a gym. The business of gyms is made of the people who don’t go. And that’s a real smart business: people paying a fee, and not using it.
    Another thing: borrow anything you can from your friends, and lend them your stuff too. Books, clothes you won’t wear again, furniture… Let’s trade things and have some fun!

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