Friday, May 31, 2013

151. Discontinue Services

If there are services for which you pay regularly and do not use, discontinue them. I have met a number of people who have some sort of service that is charged directly to their credit card every month and they no longer use the service. Often, people get use to seeing these fees and simply allow the charges to continue. If you want to gain control of your finances, you have to know where all of the money is going. Some services may still be used occasionally, these need to have their cost to usefulness reevaluated. Make sure that they are still worth it.

Happy Examining!

Until Tomorrow!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

150. Drink Water

I know it sounds crazy, but water from your faucet is probably the easiest way to save money. I know that bottled water companies tell us that tap water is contaminated; however, the tap water is no more contaminated than the tap water that is put into those expensive plastic bottles. If you have concerns get a home water filter. Drinking the water that is already pumping into your house can save you a bundle when compared to purchasing soda or bottled water.

Happy Hydrating!

Until Tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

149. Charging Rent

If you have adult children boarding with you, charge them rent. You can set an amount that works for everyone, but they should have to pay their own way. The added expense of having another person living with you will be offset by what they are paying which will keep your expenses down. Helping someone out does not mean that you should be covering all of their expenses or causing you to be burdened.

Happy Boarding!

Until Tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

148. Couch Cover

If you have a couch that looks as though it has seen better days, yet it is still sturdy and comfortable, try using a couch cover instead of purchasing a new couch. A fitted cover can be purchased for around $100, which is cheaper than buying a new couch. If that seems out of your reach, try a quilt or blanket to cover the seating area. Measure the size of the seating area and use a blanket that matches. You might even be able to cover the back area as well.

Happy Covering!

Until Tomorrow!

Monday, May 27, 2013

147. Pay Attention to Price

Cheaper is not always better. When I was younger, I would always seek out the cheapest version of an item because I was broke and that was what I could afford at the time; however, this actually ended up costing me more money in the long run. Generally, the least expensive item is also the cheapest item (cheapest made using the cheapest materials) and needs to be replaced soon. When you are shopping for a specific item, find something that is the best quality item at the most reasonable price, do your investigating before laying out the cash. If an item is too expensive, figure out if you can make do with something else until you save up enough cash to pay for it.

Happy Shopping!

Until Tomorrow!

146. Yard Sale

If you are trying to get rid of stuff that you no longer have a use for, try holding a Yard Sale. Yard Sales can be especially effective if you can get multiple people in your area to hold one at the same time or to combine with yours. Multi-family sales generally generate more traffic. Set things up in an organized fashion and please do not have just clothes. Having some larger items can draw people in to your sale. After the sale, anything remaining can be donated to charity.

Happy Selling!

Until Tomorrow!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

145. Down Size

Down sizing is a choice that can be made to save money. Having a smaller home and less stuff can save on utilities, maintenance, and cleaning time. The savings in cost of the property can also be substantial.

Happy Down-Sizing!

Until Tomorrow!

Friday, May 24, 2013

144. Haggle

Don't be afraid to haggle over the price of products. The worst thing that can happen is that you pay full price, or don't purchase the item. On the best side, you could save some money. Speaking up when you think that something is overpriced. Be polite, though; otherwise hurt feelings could make things uncomfortable.

Happy Shopping!

Until Tomorrow!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

143. Buy Multi-Purpose Items

When you are purchasing new items, make sure to evaluate all of the possible uses. For example when buying a printer, if you would also use a scanner and a fax machine; then buy the multipurpose model. There are multiple items that could be purchased with a variety of uses in mind. Make sure that you consider all of the possibilities before you shell out that money!

Happy Multipurpose!

Until Tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

142. Buy Bulk non-packaged food products

Some grocery stores sell bulk un-packaged dry food items, these can be a huge savings. As long as you have somewhere to store the products, you can see savings. The bulk items usually are purchased in very thin plastic bags, so they need to be stored or used quickly. The cost savings from not having all of the packaging is passed on to you, which is how the costs are kept low. This is especially good for dry goods and unique products (where you only need a little).

Happy Cooking!

Until Tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

141. Create a Bulk Buying Group

Get together with neighbors or family to create a bulk buying group. This can allow you to get the cheaper bulk purchase pricing without sticking you with a year's worth of products. The group can share the costs of membership, travel, and storage. Working with a group can give you access to more products than you could comfortably store on your own.

Happy Shopping!

Until Tomorrow!

Monday, May 20, 2013

140. Print with Caution

Printing can become extremely expensive. If you can get away with keeping something electronically, then do not print it. Saving the cost of paper and ink can save you a bundle. If there is a possibility that you not need a printed record of the document, then wait to find out if print is necessary. Of course, this means that you will need to back-up your documents to ensure that they are always available for you.

Happy Digital Reading!

Until Tomorrow!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

139. Wash Your Pillows

Washing your pillows can clean them and can extend their life. We wash our pillows about once every six months to get the dirt out and to whiten and brighten them. I wash two pillows at a time, to balance the machine, in a mixture of 1 cup laundry detergent, 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent, 1 cup lemon juice (or bleach/bleach alternative), 1/2 cup of borax in HOT water.

Happy cleaning!

Until tomorrow!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

138. Babysitting Co-Op

If you need to save money and have younger children, forming a babysitting co-op can save a bundle. The savings can be from paying for a sitter for an evening out, or just having some alone shopping time. Find a group of parents whom you trust and trade babysitting services. Try to keep things equitable, if every member feels as though they are getting and giving the same amount things will work out better. You may even want to outline "The Rules" so that everyone knows and understands the guidelines.

Happy Child Free Evening!

Until Tomorrow!

Friday, May 17, 2013

137. Employee Discounts

Take advantage of discounts offered by your employer. If you are purchasing something, make sure and check for discounts before you buy. These discounts are offered as part of your benefits package and should be used. If no one uses them, they may be discontinued. If you don't use your benefits, you are giving them away. Some employers have discounts for national companies, some offer discounts for local businesses. Take advantage of all that you can.

Happy Discounting!

Until Tomorrow!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

136. Caulking is your friend

Maintaining the caulking in your bathroom and on your windows can save you from enormous water damage problems down the road. Although this is not something from which you will see immediate savings. If caulking is done correctly, you may never actually see the savings because you will never have to put the money out to have mold removed or to have drywall replaced. Maintenance is vital to saving you money.

Happy Caulking!

Until Tomorrow! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

135. Clean Your Washing Machine

To save money by saving your large appliances, you must take care of them. Your washing machine is one of your large appliances. To clean your washing machine, run a gallon (for a large machine) of vinegar through a hot- full size wash cycle and wipe it out with a clean cloth. Generally, I do this twice a year. Although, I wipe down the washing machine and the dryer about once a week. This will also save you money on clothes maintenance.

Happy Cleaning!

Until Tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

134. Turn off Heated Dry

If you have a dishwasher, turning off the heated dry option can save energy and money. The dishes will dry on their own, or you can towel dry them. They will still be clean and heated dry does not kill any more germs than the heated wash cycle.

Happy cleaning!

Until Tomorrow!

Monday, May 13, 2013

133. When Dining Out, Save Half

Whenever you go out to eat, save half of your meal. Not only will this save you money, but as portion sizes continue to increase you also save your waist line. The left-overs then can become a second meal. Make sure that eat your left overs, otherwise you are throwing your money away.

Happy Dining!

Until Tomorrow!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

132. Netflix Streaming

Here is one monthly expense that could be worth it. If you enjoy watch TV series and are looking at purchasing sets, this one could save you a bundle. We were looking at getting three seasons of a series at $29.95 each (found one of them on sale for two days at $25.00). This cost more than made the Netflix Streaming worth it; at $8 per month, we could use the service for a year for the same price as purchasing the series. We then viewed the series we wanted and have settled in for many more. If you do not watch these series or older movies, then this probably would not save you anything. For us, it proves to be a savings.

Happy viewing!

Until Tomorrow!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

131. Clean Out Your Vacuum

If you have an upright vacuum, you may find that it looses "pick-up" power. The first step to saving your vacuum and your carpets is to clean it out. Fibers and hair gets wrapped around the beater and should be removed every few weeks (or more if you have indoor pets). There are also a variety of hoses and filters that should probably be cleaned. Check your owners' manual for more details and instructions. Making your appliances last longer can save you a bundle.

Happy Cleaning!

Until Tomorrow!

Friday, May 10, 2013

130. Use the Public Library

Using the public library can save you a bundle. They often have much more than books: movies, magazines, newspapers, internet access, etc. If you find yourself needing some inexpensive entertainment, this is the way to go. You have to monitor your due dates; but other than that, most of their services are free. (Well your tax dollars pay for them; since you have already funded this service, you should use it.)

Happy Entertaining!

Until Tomorrow!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

129. Limit Coupons

I know that there are a lot of "Coupon Queens" out there who will bristle at this post, but I must post it. Unless you are a "Coupon Queen", coupons should be used with caution. Generally, manufacturers issue coupons for "new" items as a way to get you to purchase their products. If you are in money saving mode, you usually do not have the extra money to spend on trying out their "new" products. Make sure that you only use coupons on items that you already know that you like and will use. Limit coupons to products that you are planning to purchase already.

Happy Shopping!

Until Tomorrow!

128. Fasten Hooks & Eyes (etc.)

When you are doing the laundry, before putting your clothing in the machine, make sure that you fasten any hook & eye closures, any zippers, buttons, etc. These can all become attached to the machine and can cause your clothing to become torn or the fastener to become misshapen or broken. Ladies with braziers, those bras are a huge expense and saving them could be as simple as fastening the hooks & eyes before washing, if you machine wash.

Happy Washing!

Until Tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

127. Clean Your Oven Regularly

Save money by cleaning??? Crazy, I know. However, cleaning your oven regularly can save you from a fire and can keep you from spending an inordinate amount of time deep cleaning once it gets really bad. If you have a self cleaning oven, then the process of cleaning is simple enough. If you do not have that option on your oven, then you may have to resort to old fashioned methods. You can find multiple methods of cleaning your oven. One of the cheapest, most environmentally friendly methods is to use baking soda and vinegar and a whole lot of elbow grease, a grill scrubbing brush works well. You can spend more and pick up a can oven cleaner and open your windows.

Happy cleaning!

Until tomorrow!

Monday, May 6, 2013

126. Managing Your Auto Insurance Costs

Contact your Insurance Company and make sure that you are getting all of the discounts available to you. Safe driving can save you a bundle and, sometimes, taking a safe driving course can reduce your rates (check on the cost of a course - vs - the savings). Make sure that you are paying the correct rate for the number of miles you drive; if you do not drive a lot, make sure that your rates reflect that. Make sure that you do not have coverage that you do not need, this can be a huge savings.

Happy saving!

Until Tomorrow!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

125. Saving and Eating Left-overs

If your family is like mine, then you end up with left-overs following family meals. Saving them in single serving containers and eating them is imperative to saving money. We often use these as lunches for the days following, this saves us from purchasing special lunch food and usually works as take-to-work/school meals. When you save the food quickly and in individual sizes, they are much easier to use up.

Happy left-overs!

Until Tomorrow!

124. Check the Cost of Medical Procedures

Unless you have 100% coverage on your medical expenses, you may want to stay on top of those. If there is some service that you have to have done and it is pre-planned, call and find out your costs up front. Taking a proactive approach can save you a bundle in unexpected expenses. I had an experience once where I needed routine lab work done at a location I had previously been to and they had changed their policies. They were now part of the hospital where they were located and charged me "hospital" rates instead of the regular rates for lab work. The difference was astronomical. I learned from that experience that I need to ask questions up front. If the medical facility won't tell you, then find a different facility. It is not okay for them to surprise you with fees.

Happy researching!

Until Tomorrow!

123. Sweater Care

Sweater care is very important to extending their lives. Sweaters should not be hung at all, the weight of the sweater will stretch out the fibers and will make the sweater misshapen. When storing sweaters, make certain that they are laying down. How you decide to fold them doesn't really matter, but how you store them does. Also, do not hand sweaters to dry, lay them flat on a drying rack.
Happy sweaters!

Until Tomorrow!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

122. Clean Your Dishwasher

I have previously mentioned that in order to make your stuff last longer, you must take care of it. This applies to your dishwasher, also. Fill a cup or bowl with 2 cups of vinegar; place it on the bottom rack and run a complete cycle. This should help with any water and food deposits and leave the dish cleaner actually clean.

Happy cleaning!

Until Tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

121. Scratch Waffles

My family loves waffles with fresh strawberries; however, this can become a pricey endeavor. We began using those box mixes to create our waffle breakfast, but we have moved on from that "just add water" recipe. We have figured out how to make waffles from scratch:


2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk (we use milk with vinegar added - 2 TBSP vinegar per cup of milk)
2 cups all-purpose flour (you can experiment with different types of flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP shortening

Beat eggs; beat in remaining ingredients with rotary beater until smooth.

**Update: if you do not use dairy products you can substitute 2 cups of Almond Milk, omit baking soda, and only use the egg whites (whip these until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the beaten remaining ingredients).

Pour onto heated waffle iron. Bake until steaming stops, or time goes.
(You could add in other things, i.e. chocolate chips, blueberries, etc.)

Fresh strawberries sliced for topping.

You can even add fresh whipped cream
                heavy whipping cream
                powdered sugar
Putt whipping cream in bowl; beat in powdered sugar until stiff peaks form (add powdered sugar a little at a time).

Homemade is definitely better and often cheaper.

Happy Breakfast!

Until Tomorrow!

120. Manage Your Money

One sure way to save yourself some money is to maintain your checking account. Make sure that you do not spend more than you have and avoid bank fees. Watching your balance and staying on top of your spending can save you a bundle. Anyone who has ever paid an overdraft charge knows that the cost is outrageous and should be avoided at all costs.

Happy Spending!

Until Tomorrow!