Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Best of Reader Tips

I asked my readers on Facebook to give me some of their best money saving tips.  Here they are:

Tips on Household Chores

From Sarah Magnon Bentley -
I strung up a clothesline in my screened-in back porch and I also have a line under the eaves that I use whe...n I know it's not going to I hang up all my clothes, even in winter, and I only use the dryer to fluff them up for like 5 minutes before I fold them...I do a load or two a day so it doesn't pile up either in the laundry or on the line...and you can also put lines in the basement, too, for those rainy days...I have no idea how much this saves per year at all but I know I don't hardly use my dryer so it must, as well as saving on not wearing out the clothes in the dryer.
Also I love how the fresh air makes the clothes smell and the sun bleaches out many a stain that the laundry didn't get out and makes the whites whiter...I love putting my sheets out in the sun, too...

From Suzie Casey -
 I rinse my dishes in Clorox due to the smell our well water leaves on them. To not waste the Clorox, I wipe everything down with the rinse water instead of a separate cleaner. I also soak my kitchen hand towels and "rags" in that water to avoid using it in the wash! Anything that needs a little bleach gets it after the dishes are done!

From Marcella Fridley -
This tip is for a power and or water outage: I fill my empty Vinegar bottles with water for cleaning. When the power or the water is off I have some water to clean with. This can be used for washing hands also. I use a sharpie to write on the bottle *CLEANING WATER ONLY* so no one drinks it.
From Denise Robinson Burton
I also hang laundry. I just refuse to fluff in dryer. I don't run it at all.
From Dawn Lisinski -
I also line dry and fluff only. Making all my own cleaning supplies has saved a ton AND lessened some breathing problems to boot. All clothing that can be sold when outgrown is repurposed into differnet uses (cleaning rags, homemade diaper wipes and such) then I have a bucket with a plunger through the lid with some water and a spoon of my homemade laundry soap for a homemade washing machine, these are plunged, rinsed, plunged, rinsed and hung out to dry.
From Suz Mears Ness -
I make my own laundry soap and I TRY to convince the kids that it is MUCH easier to put clean clothes away than it is to rewash them! Not quite there yet though! UGH!
From Becca Marshall -
I make my own furniture polish, multipurpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, mopping solution, carpet powder, & windex. I dont hang clothes, yet, we don't have a place for that where we currently live. I do 1 or 2 loads a day so I'm not using the washer/dryer all day long.
From Heather Ashley Senter -
I use apple cider vinegar for all my household cleaning except the toilet. It's great for windows and mirrors. I also don't really use my washer and dryer because they're pieces of crap that need to be replaced, I hand wash small stuff and do a load or two at the laundromat every couple of months. I'm really bad about just buying new stuff instead of washing stuff but according to my accountant husband we're still coming out much cheaper.
From Carodactyl Harrell -
instead of using the swiffer cloths i used flannel squares from an old flannel pillowcase. i made them so they would pop up like tissues in an old baby wipes box for easy access. if they are damp they pick up more than the swiffer cloths do

From LG Guillion -
I hang my towels out on my closed in balconey but I do not dry my clothes this way.. Doc told me to make sure I run my clothes through the dryer, but oh my how good my towels smell.

From Carodactyl Harrell -
I also get all my cleaning supplies at dollar tree, they work just as good as name brand

From Blythe Walker -
I also hang up my clothes all year long. For winter I have 3 wooden folding racks in my upstairs and of course I use clothes lines in the nice weather. Also, with bright or dark colored clothes, I hang them inside out with the necks of shirts facing away from the sun to keep them from getting sun faded. That way they only get faded on the inside.
Money Saving Beauty Tips:
From Becca Marshall -
 Homemades!! Homemade laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, make up remover, cleaner, furniture polish, face scrubs, dog food & treats (HUGE saver!!) cream of _____ soups, seasonings (even though a packet of taco or ranch is cheap, they add up over time and these last quite a while!) making everything I can from scratch seems to help too!!
From Heather Ashley Senter -
I use my son's wet wipes to take off my eye make up. I grind up fruit pits, nut shells and oatmeal to make a scrub which I like a lot better than the store bought stuff. I buy shampoos and conditioners that are also safe for my sheep, dogs, rabbits and son so we can share and one bottle lasts us a year
I used apple cider vinegar on my hair for a while but then I went no shampoo for a year and I liked that better.
From Grace Garmon -
 I like getting our shampoo at the dollar tree. They have some good stuff. However on special occasion then I would treat us to a nice shampoo from Walmart.
From Melanie Theisen -
I use a homemade baking soda based shampoo (though when I'm lazy, I just use the baking soda!) and apple cider vinegar instead of conditioner. Only 'real' shampoo I use are the samples from hotels or what you can request samples of online. For beauty savings, I stopped using most makeup - all I use is a light powder foundation and occasional eye liner. At first I felt 'naked' but eventually got used to it and am pretty happy with my look now.
From ZaneyMay -
my beauty tip is manicures & pedicures. I do all the hard work at home, then go in and have them painted. It's half the cost and my nails look great!

From Melissa Steilberger -
Don't wear makeup be naturally beautiful!

From Kelley Walters Brown -
Swap services with your hair stylist!!

From Blythe Walker -
Use witch hazel for cleaning astringent on your face and grapeseed oil for a moisturizer.
Some may think it's gross but, I haven't used antiperspirant in years. I think having aluminum blocking your pores is a bad thing and I've heard that it could be related to breast cancer( although I don't think it has been confirmed) I just wash frequently and use a soft scrub brush.

From Carodactyl Harrell -
I dont wear makeup so that takes care of that, i buy my shampoo at dollar tree, they have name brands

From Purposely Frugal -
 This week I'm planning on calling the local beauty school to see if I can get my hair highlighted for cheap. I've heard of other people doing that with good results, and it's supposedly cheaper, any of you ever do it?


Money Saving Kitchen Tips:

From Melissa Federer -
Vinegar! Cook with it,clean with it and keep bugs away too :)

From Rachel Anderson Patrick -
freeze left overs, my kids will not eat left overs however if I freeze them and make them into boil bags then on busy days I have "free" tv dinners.

From Dawn Lisinski -
Simple - USE seriously for a large part of my adult life my kitchen was simply someplace to enjoy coffee and store quick grab-n-go crap, now I USE my kitchen, I cook real food, I can food, and make all my homemade cleaners in it. Now I rarely sit and enjoy coffee in my kitchen anymore but it is used all the time and the savings are HUGE

From Joan Johnson -
Keep a ziploc bag in the freezer for all those little bits of veggies left over after a meal. A tablespoon here, a tablespoon there -- pretty soon you have enough veggies to add to a pot of homemade soup!
And -
Get to know your favorite store's bread schedule. On Monday and Thursday mornings at 9am at my store, they discount the older breads to .49 -- even English muffins, bagels, and the hearty rye breads! I stock up and put them in the freezer.
From Aunt B's Kitchen -
If you need to buy produce, buy half of what you think you need. Most of us overestimate how much we will use. That leads to wasted food, and wasted money!.

From Betty A Gonzoles -
Baking soda; cleaner , deodorizer, laundry aid.

From Claudia Savich -
never cook just a meal, cook a bulk meal so you can freeze for another day.........when turkeys on sale have meat dept. cut them in half..2meals for price of 1

From Laura Lyon-Mackiewicz -
Use straight distilled vinegar as your dishwasher detergent. I see a lot of people asking for receipies for dishwasher soap. The only ingredient needed is distilled vinegar. Start your diswasher and let it fill up with water then add one cup of vinegar to the water. I have never had a dirty dish, and my glass items come out sparkly every time. No need for borax or washing soda. It also keeps the dishwasher clear of lime build up.

From Heather Ashley Senter -
 I use vinegar for the floor, the counters, the windows, the dishwasher, to clean the fridge. I also keep my bread in the fridge and it lasts twice as long for me.

From Denise Boyle Sadecki -
Feeding a family of five can be pricey so most everything goes over rice or pasta or egg noodles no plain chili stew etc here everything over something gotta stretch

I have never opened a can of chic noodle soup that I haven't added a couple of cups of broth added extra pasta veggies etc if I dont have any on hand I will add a can of mixed veggies gotta stretch

From Amber Perez -
rotisserie chicken cheaper than raw. i use it then save the carcasses for a vegi/poultry stock that i use in place of water. yum

From Laura Blair -
‎1 chicken, 3 meals. day 1 - chicken and veggies. day 2 - chicken salad. day 3 - vegetable soup in chicken stock

From Jennifer Benson -
Cook a big meal or two, eat a meal, & individually package leftovers into meals & freeze. Shop the grocery store sales & use membership card to save extra $, & the Dollar Stores have lots of canned foods & a little frozen foods + fresh bread.

From Esther Martin -
Never wet an S.O.S steel wool pad. Wet the pan you're scouring. When finished store the pad in the freezer until the next use. It won't rust and will still have plenty of soap for many uses for months and months.

From Purposely Frugal -
Cook with basic ingredients instead of prepackaged things. Think, dry beans, potatoes, rice, pasta, oatmeal, etc... You'll end up not only eating cheaper, but healthier too!

From Melissa Bush -
Store things according to their needs... tomatoes go on the counter, apples go someplace cool and dry away from other produce because they release a chemical that causes others to go bad, potatoes near apples because that same chemical keeps them from sprouting, and there are many others that I can't think of right now. :)

From Denise Mcconkey -
i try to make other meals from my leftovers so they seem new


Money Saving Tips For Grocery Shopping:

From North Pole Savings -
Grocery cycles are about ever 6-8 weeks depending on where you live. So when you see a grocery item at it's LOWEST point stock up for 6 weeks worth of use. Usually this does not require buying many. For example, I only go through 1 box of trash bags every couple months. So in this case I would just buy 1, maybe two, in case I miss the next low point. Now if it is applesauce I buy 6! lol

From Paula Barfield Green -
I use alot of off-brand things-and for name brand things i use I try to find coupons for that product

From Shona Botes -
Here in South Africa, we don't get any form of coupons, so we have to wait for sales to buy stuff at good prices. We also stick to a planned shopping list and have reduced spending on a lot of junk and convenience foods...

From Lina Keyes -
 Do not take children or husbands with you =D

From Anna-Danny Wehunt -
Eat before you go or you will be tempted to buy alot you don't really need.

From Dawn Lisinski -
Price matching - Wal mart will match grocery prices from all local stores (even generics and store brands). In our area the 1st week of the month is the meat specials so I plan a once a month shopping list, get online and make the "shopping list" from all the local store ads and print them off and take them to wally world. I am able to shop for a full month for $200.00 for a family of 4 this way My price matching usually saves me about $100.00 on meat alone. We are actually eating far healthier (and still have the extras like lots of chocolate syrup) than we did spending 200.00 a week.

From Heather Smith -
Buy basic ingredients instead of convenience foods.

From Judy Friend Wirkkala -
Stop buying nutrient deficient processed foods and learn to cook and can from scratch! bake your own breads...raise your own eggs...grow a garden!

From Tina Kraja Was Nul -
I buy my vegetable like brocoli and qualiflower on a sunday market then steam and freeze. much cheaper than frozen veg and reduces wastage of rotten veg. i even cut up apples and pears in slices and freeze for my baby's snacks i can get a month worth of food in freezer for her at a low price and its all fresh(frozen)

From Purposely Frugal -
Cook with lots of cheap ingredients like dry beans, whole potatoes, rice, pasta, big canisters of oatmeal, etc..

From Suz Mears Ness -
Start with the cheapest of everything....if you don't like the quality of the brand, then move up to the next most until you get to your "minimum". Don't be swayed by brand names. Many generics are just as good or better and TONS cheaper!

From The Happy Hippy -
Grocery shop for essentials on-line with a pre-set shopping list. You still get all the specials and price savings but none of the temptations to "I'll just try this" and "those look tasty treats", plus they deliver so you save on gas. Plus fruit and veg from the farmers market - only buy what is in season and local.

From Marcella Fridley -
Stay home is the only thing running through my mind about this. I have to spend a fortune on food. I shop local b'c it is cheaper and easier for me and it helps my community. I do not use coupons often b'c most are not for things I buy.

From A Bit Of Color -
Eating before you go, making a list and sticking to it, buy what you need. I do like to cook from scratch too, and it is a lot cheaper and better for you than the quick convenient foods that you're never really sure what all of the ingredients could be. If the "best by" date is months away, how long has it already been processed!?!? Buy smart...

From Claudia Savich -
I always bought in family packs, and when I cook anything I make enough for hubby for lunch at work and of course enough for the freezer for another meal........might as well make it count

From Tina Crawford-Shellkopf -
Know where the store keeps the discount buggy. At one store there is always a buggy full of produce,I always try to stop in and check it out,fresh fruit and veggies for pennies. They also have a discount meat and dairy section.

From Heather Ashley Senter -
 I just put all the junk food my husband picks out back on the shelves before we check out.

From Becca Marshall -
Store brands, cook from scratch, coupons, find when your store puts their meat on sale!

From Judy Bridges -
Go to the store early. I find many things priced lower this way. If you wait to long, they are all gone. Yesterday I got milk for $2 a gallon that way. Many meats are reduced, buy, take home and freeze or use within a couple days. I often find eggs for 99 cents this way too. The early bird catches the...well, you know, lol.

From Eco Friendly baby/family products MADE in the USA -
 I volunteer 8 hrs./month @ my food co-op & receive a 20% discount on everything I buy. Makes it affordable to buy the organic food I want to feed my family! Not all co-ops have this option, but many do & it's worth looking into. Plus, it's a great way to connect with like-minded folks!

From Lori's Latest - And other tales from the homestead -
 Buy all main ingredients in large quantities and stay away from buying the processed foods, waste of money. Learn to cook from scratch. Learn to grow a garden (gardens don't just happen). Learn the skills of home canning and food dehydrating and do a lot of it.

Grow your own groceries!

From Carodactyl Harrell -
buying everything on sale. if it's not on sale, i dont buy it unless it's hellman's mayonaise. i dont like other mayonnaise
From Albany's Canna Kitchen & Research, LLC -
 Watch what they ring up!! Those scanners are only as accurate as the person that programmed them!
Money Saving Tips for Vacation and Travel :

From Marlene Johnson -
if you are road tripping, take a cooler and pack your own food :)

From Linda Gregg Coleman -
Stay home???

From Claudia Savich -
go off season cheaper rates

From Erikka Lewis Wareham -

If you sign up for any kind of rewards points programs - be it flying, credit cards(!!!) or debit cards, be sure to USE THOSE POINTS! Many plans have the points expire after a certain amount of time, so even though we don't fly often, we ca...n usually rack up enough points in one or two trips to buy a free magazine subscription. We've redeemed debit and credit card points for gift cards, which we've then given as birthday/holiday gifts.
If you want to take plastic on your vacay - it's a good idea to carry some cash and a card for emergencies - DO NOT take the debit card that is linked to your main household expenses account. Use a credit card, or a debit card linked to a s...econdary account; that way, if the card is lost or stolen, you're not jeopardizing the bill money. Banks and their card issuers have all sorts perks for using their cards (car rentals, rewards programs, etc), and protections in place to absolve you of liability should the card be compromised.
For international travel - if you want to take foreign currency with you, buy at the arriving airport. You get a better rate in the country whose currency you're buying - so for example, buy some British pounds at Heathrow, instead of at home - so you get more for your money.

There are fees involved, so be sure you find out beforehand so you don't get surprised. Also, come credit and debit cards work internationally in ATMs, so find out what kind of fees you might pay at the ATM versus at the exchange counter.

From Groovin Moms -

From Kay Alexander -

For theme parks, check to see if there's a discount or coupons. Take a cooler with snacks, water, fruit, etc. While you are getting gas or just wanting to pull over at a rest stop, you have food which is a savings. Once, I was on vacation w...ith friends and I brought along a small cooler and an electric skillet. The coffee maker & microwave was already in the room. I fixed breakfast/brunch for us. We would take a snack and when we did eat later, we shared appetizers.

From Molly Werner Chapman-Garza -
 We invested in a resort property. The initial outlay was $$$ but when we travel, they have full kitchens and w/d in each unit. We prepare all of our meals at "home" and do our laundry. It has more than paid for itself with that savings.

From Laura Zechin -

From Jewel EH To Be -
Research a Lot! Take advantage of groupon deals. If hotelling, find one that includes breakfast. Picnic lunches, and get the visitor guides for wherever you're going. There is tons to see and do for cheap or free! We haven't been on a vacation yet where we've overspent. We always come home under budget

From Laura Blair -
 we sleep in our van on road trips. the middle seat folds down, the kid's radio flyer slides in on it's side and duffle bags fill the rest of the space. not the most comfortable but it's free.

From Jennifer Benson -
Stay within a 3 hour drive from home, rent a motel room that has a kitchenette, cook breakfast in + 1 other meal & eat out just 1x day. Or go camping at a State Park

From Tracy Howell Turner -
Camping in our pop-up camper and never leaving the park.

From Patti Goodwin Seawright -
 I have friends who take their crockpot w/ them and cook dinner at the hotel while there 'out' during the day

From Jessica Penwright Shivers -
Stay at hotels that offer free breakfast. It could potentially save you $20 a day.

From Joe Stika -
I travel for work and save up the points for free hotel stays on vacations.

From Blessed Beyond a Doubt -
We have a big piggy bank that we all put our change into and we divide it up amongst the 6 children and that's their spending money for a souveniron vacation.


Budgeting Tips -

From Ashley Gildea -
Pay bills on time, don't buy processed foods, buy in season, keep the electric bill down by not using your dryer, turning down the hot water tank, unplugging everything when not in use, cloth diaper, make your own cleaning supplies, don't use paper products except toilet paper, wash with cold water....ah, I love being frugal and could go on and on.

From Rachel Anderson Patrick -
use cash in envelopes marked for each bill, savings, clothing etc... only spend what is in the envelopes

From Laura Blair -
who needs tp? we use squares of cut up t-shirts. :P

From Grace Garmon -
Turn off lights when not using it. Unplug microwave and toaster oven when done using. Play one song on my Mp3 player to let me know when I get in and out of shower. When bills come in, pay it right away when we have the money. Use energy saver when doing laundry. When buying groceries, we try and make it stretch to make it last longer.

From Erikka Lewis Wareham -
How about this: make a budget, and use it! Do whatever you have to, to stick to your budget. If you are sharing expenses with another person, sit down with them and write it all out.

It's an uncomfortable thing to do at first, but it's far more uncomfortable to have too much month and not enough money.

From Jennifer Herdzina-Kirschbaum -
Eating out is a treat - cook at home as often as possible and pack food in car when going on road trips - gas station trips are expensive enough w/o adding extra drinks and snacks.

From Groovin Moms -
Just read where if you put away every $5.00 bill that comes your way - you can save up to $12,000 in three years - readers digest- just stash away the fives....i like it ♥

From Melissa Bush -
 Track your spending meticulously for one month, then see where you need to cut back. Its the little things that add up.

How to Save on Utility Bills -

From Grace Garmon -
Turn off lights when not using them. Use energy saver on laundry.

From Brenda Walker -
Run fans to help keep air cond. from running so much.

From Erikka Lewis Wareham -
I always unplug the toaster and other countertop appliances I'm not using, even the coffeemaker (which I use to make tea).
Keep your AC set high during the summer (I keep mine at 78F) and low in the winter (about 68F).
Keep the vents clean - AC, fridge, freezer, computer, etc. Anything that has a vent needs to be vacuumed with the soft brush attachment regularly; I do once a month, since we have a cat.

From Erin M. Jones Wisler -
To save in the water bill I put a bottle of marbles in the toilette tank until we got a water saver tank.
In the heat of summer..I do my washing of clothes and dishes in the am hrs to save on electricity. *I put my dirty dishes in the sink the night before w water and suds and by morning they require no more water for washing I use a tub of water to rinse and let them air dry..then take the tub out to water plants. *I dry clothing outside as weather permits and idoors w/lightweight clothing in colder months to lessen the dryers load. It all adds up!
Any major oven or stove top use for supper is done in the morning w windows open to save the electric bill when rates are lower and to let heat escape. We can warm supper later later.
In the winter months...when I finish w the oven I always leave the oven cracked open to share the heat w the house...nice boost!
In the winter months I increase the humidity any chance I get in our home as it keeps your home warmer and takes your heating bill farther same in summer by decreasing the humidity!

From Patti Moyer-Townsend -
Rain barrels to water plans, cutting back on bath's for the kids/showers instead, hanging clothes out to dry instead of dryer, making sure all taps and toilets don't run after using.... So many more :D
Keeping windows open at night to cool down the house, then shut windows in am to keep house cool :D make your kids decide on food before opening the fridge, saves on hydro and the fridge won't run as much. Bbq all year round. I only bake when I can use the oven for lots of things so do one mass bake per week

From Tracey Preston -
For those who have electric water heater even gas for that matter, wash laundry in cold water and hang to dry whenever possible

From Our Eventual Homestead -
Programmable thermostat. Also, dress for the weather and be able to set the temp a little higher or lower.

From Give a Shit about Nature -
Use CFL or LED lighting, turn your water heater to 120 degrees F, reduce lighting in rooms where it's excessive (how many light bulbs are needed in a bathroom vanity?).

From Groovin Moms -
to save on water bill- Water grass early in the morning to reduce evaporation (reduces water usage up to 40%) ♥

From Laura Blair -
 one thing that DOES NOT save money is turning the a/c or heat to higher/lower temps at night. the a/c or heater will have to run full blast for a while in the morning to compensate. not money saving.
 i wash my clothes in the bathtub when i'm feeling ambitious. dump the clothes in and fill with soap and water. have the kids go crazy in there for a while. drain, repeat for rinsing. squeeze the water out and hang to dry. (almost) free laundry!

From Carodactyl Harrell -
that is the one area that we don't scrimp and save. i get sick if i get too hot, but we don't run the heat at all during the winter. for some reason our apt stays hot

From M.J. Vitelli -
In the summer months I close my blinds tightly during the heat of the day for extra insulation. In the winter I open them to gather the suns rays!:) Both save on our utility bills :)

From Leslie Cummings -
Here in Illinois we have CUB and you can choose your electricity provider. Many people don't realize this - you don't have to go through ComEd.

From Molly Werner Chapman-Garza -
Here in Texas, it gets, hot, hot and hotter so we turn the a/c up and the ceiling fans going. I use the clothesline to dry all of our clothes to save on the electricity use of a dryer. For the fridge and both freezers, I keep a checklist on the front as to what contents are inside to minimize opening and closing the doors. As things are reduced in either place, simple adjust my list on the front. I use he dishwasher for only large items and hand wash the remainder. Put soap handwashed items in the opposite since and turn the spray arm on to rinse them off. We have salad suppers more to avoid use of the electric oven/surface unit and use the crock pot most of hte time.

From Jennifer Benson -
Pretend you're an RV'er with a very limited amount of water on board. Use only when necessary. Turn off water while brushing teeth. Turn off water while soaping up in shower, or shower @ the gym. Use hand sanitizer. Use as few dishes/pans while cooking so less water will be needed for clean-up.

From Dawn Lisinski -
in the early morning I open all windows and only open the curtains on the north and west to provide lighting, then as the sun moves I close the N and W curtains and open the S and E for lighting. If the temps and humidity rise during the afternoon too much I close all windows to keep in as much of the cool morning air as I can. When the sun starts to go down and the temps drop again I open the windows until bedtime and lock in the cool temps. In winter as soon as I wake up the furnace goes off and curtains get opened. Lights stay off at all times during the day, and unless we have company over 3 of the 5 bulbs are removed from the hanging lights. We do not use enough electricity to warrant peak/off peak pricing so I do chores that require it when it is coolest and most convenient to me. Handwash as much as I can, only doing big/heavy items in the washer, line dry and only fluff jeans and towels in the dryer for a few minutes. Rainwater as much as possible for the plants. I also do once a month shopping/cooking so I usually do all the cooking in one day, this has a double savings......I am only using the stove for a long period on one day and it fills the freezer to keep it more efficient also.

From Blythe Walker -
I have the TV and all electronics plugged into power bars so when they are not being used, we can totally shut of the power instead of them still drawing it in a phantom load. I even do this with the computer.
If I have to use the oven, always try to max it out and cook as many things as I can at the same time.

From Becca Marshall -
I try to keep all lights off during the day and open curtains! I turn the air on 78 if we aren't home, 72 if we are home & use fans to keep circulated. Use energy saver on dryer, and do most dishes by hand and use energy saver if I use dishwasher

From Natalie Linder -
unplug wall chargers when not in use

From Lynnette Moore -
Unplug everything not in use, no lights in the day, hang your clothes to dry inside if cold, outside if warm, wash your dishes by hand, put those kids to work, everyone needs to do their shares, Right Mom!!

From Candi McKee -
‎1- wash laundry in cold water (except blankets to get rid of dust mites which my boys are allergic to), 2- we gave away out dryer since I hang our clothes up- even in winter, 3- since we do not own an energy efficient hot water heater and it runs constantly we flip the breaker to it at night and turn it back on about 3 pm in time to get warm water for dishes and baths. 4- we use electric skillets, griddles, etc to cook instead of the stove when we can. 5- we grill out as much as possible to avoid using the appliances and to keep the heat outta the house. It is hot here in TX!

From Cynthia O'Daniel Volk -
We have a wood stove in our house in Upstate New York. This is what we use to heat our house! With a little rerouting of the stove pipe we warm our 2 story, 2000 sq ft house! It has a large cook top, and oven, and with a little trial and error, I have learned to control the temperatures, and during cold months, cook a majority of meals as we are warming the house. We only fill our heating oil tank with the minimum required, and very rarely use it. The wood we cut and stack provides us with exercise for the whole family, and we save over $1000 in heating oil and electric bills over the first winter when we only used heating oil and cooked on the "modern" stove!

From Beth Nolan -
No interior lights on summer days, open the blinds for more light, then close them to keep house cooler. Wash a load of laundry every night, and dry early the next morning with a/c off and windows open. Hang all jeans outside to dry. Constantly remind 3 boys to keep the doors closed and to think about what they want from frig before opening it. Let dishes in dishwasher dry naturally. Will not turn on tv until nighttime (keeps boys outside where they belong!). Celing and floor fans to help a/c with "wind chill" effect. Lots of other little things that save on energy.

From Laura Blair -
i have a converter box connected to the battery on my van. it has 2 regular house plugs and a usb port. we charge cell phones, mp3 players, kindles, whatever for free. i got it for $50 at walmart.

From Deana Johnson Morris -
Call the weatherization programs in your stAte, check with the elec co., it's usually free

From Tammy Corkum -
I use the airtight wood stove for cooking instead of electric in the winter... Burning wood anyways and food tastes 10x better! That saves a lot!! Well a fair amount, I've tried baking to but that's not easy....


Money Saving Entertainment Tips:

From Patti Moyer-Townsend -
You can get free movies off of the internet instead of going to them. when we go to the movies i bring an extra big purse and go to a grocery store to buy cheaper snacks and drinks, instead of at the theater. Our family takes hikes and goes to free parks/with lakes and ponds to go swimming with no cost but a picnic lunch

From Dawn Lisinski -
we take advantage of the local parks, the beach is a favorite and buy DVDs from yard sales and make our own popcorn, our TV is located so that we can easily turn it and watch/hear it on the deck so we can have mini drive in experiences on blankets outside.
Also our boys are still young enough that visiiting the local farmer markets and farms are like a field trip for them. Husband gets tickets to the amusement park once a year instead of the company picinic, also Meijer always has specials (this week is buy 2 cans of Campbells tomato soup-on sale) if you buy two of the special you can send for 2 free tickets to events (the boys will go get to see the wiggles because I stocked up on a sale item) and when there are not events we would enjoy, I still get tickets and sell them cheaply but enough that we can have an outing in town

From Groovin Moms -
check free weekly newspapers offer listings of inexpensive or free events going on in your city. - there are free tours bread/chocolate etc factory or newspaper etc business - love to walk a flea market too ♥

From Erikka Lewis Wareham -
I scour the newspaper for activities for the summer. Our town does butterfly releases, storytimes, and all sorts of free stuff the kids can do.
 I bought a summer pass for the pool; instead of $25 a visit, I payed a one-time fee and go as often as I want. After 6 visits, it will have paid for itself.

Google "Redbox coupon codes" and "Blockbuster coupon codes" before you go to the kiosk. I usually rent 2 at a time but only pay for one. (That way they'll keep giving out codes!)

  I cancelled TV. Everything we want to watch is on Hulu/Netflix, or can be rented. The kids can watch their shows without all the annoying commercials anytime they want, and we can stream them to my daughter's 3DS (which she bought used with her own chore money - so proud!), the computer, or the smartphones.

I take beverages and candy into movie theatres. We only go about once or twice a year, so I bring "the big bag" and pack something for each of us.

From Claudia Savich -
#1: any return deposit monies put in a jar towards a night out
#2: keep all your change put in jar,do a picnic/drive-in night... move furniture make a picnic area on floor, rent movies

From Erin M. Jones Wisler-
We do Mostly the Sunday afternoon movie which is less expensive and only now and then as a big treat! We go to Walgreens when they have there movie theater sized candy sale of .79 a box and stock up for these occaisions. We actually have come to love a big movie night at home w NO fighting crowds! We have a couch picnic early in the evening of vegies and fruits and that evening its a movie indoors or outside w popcorn made old style and scrumptuous and candy!
 If you do hit the theaters as we do on occaision, we do have a memnership w Regal cinnamas! After so many movies you get a freebie and free popcorn.
W the parks a rec. dept. in our City and county there is always low or NO cost activities for children, adults, and families! Everything for all four seasons both indoor and out!

From Kim Ellis Melton -
You can check out movies at our library and the towns around us have a lot of summer activities. Free movies at the park on night a week, free concerts by the river on top of the state parks have everything from hot air balloon races to arts and crafts.

From CanadianBudgetBinder -
Go to the library and take out movies for free

From Jewel EH To Be -
Groupon, 2 for 1, coupons for discounts. There's always lo cost or free activities around the city. And we have festivals galore thru the year.

From Alice O Della -
free movies from our mail order library. we call and they send us catalogs. check paper/s for free events. parade`s... picnic`s. bbq`s. fishing. camping. day time movie once a year during holidays. usually something fun. and pack our own snacks. park used to have activities every day and a free lunch for grade school and under. hm might be it.

From Karen Kay Nias Stanley -
Check your local libraries , for free & different programs for the kida during the summer ! I do this when I have my grandkids & they love it ! They learn something. & so do I !!!

From Jennifer Benson -
Buy movie tickets @ Costco. Go to matinees. Go to free or inexpensive outdoor movies in the parks in summertime. Buy 1 popcorn & share. Go on ArtWalks for free. There's free concerts in the park in summertime, too. Park the car & walk on the ferry for fun (tickets cheaper for walk-on's). Go watch a dog show or dog agility trial, for free.

From Karen Kuiper Kreutzer -
 We are not allowed to bring outside snacks into a theatre, you get caught , out you go... I abide by their rules

From Amanda Phagan -
Look for free events in the paper.

From Kathy Hesseling -
You can also go to and get tons of freebies. I get free samples in the mail a few times a week for the last couple of years. They also give redbox codes and even magazine subscriptions for free. This is my go to sight for samples.

From Sandra L. Moore -
SO many. free exercise classes through martinvills activate a diff. location each nite n post them n paper
parks and rec have cheap classes. i learned to knit for $10 -8 wk class
park & recs does movie nite at a local park for free n sim to drive-nmentality
our city turned anold train track into a walking path and bike trail. you can "check-out" a bike for free
we have TGIFs once a mo. at cheap prices
state parks, library (ours have done WII bowling nites,etc), cruise-ins to see old cars...etc
lots out there if u look

From Blessed Beyond A Doubt -
Have a 3 week rotations on meals!

From Purposely Frugal -
LIBRARY! You can get books, magazines, DVDs, programs for the kids, internet, plus most libraries have a toy area that my daughter loves to play in! All for FREE!!

Tips For Saving for a Rainy Day:

From LG Gullion -
I save all my coins, wrap them and trade them in for paper money.. that money goes into savings for a mini vacation.

From Mused -
I am trying to learn more about savings plans... I can't wait to hear what everyone has to say. I just opened an interest earning account and wanted to look into ROTH IRAs.

From Sandra L. Moore -
i do a few....1 is like LG w/ the coins. I am a crafter so i sell some things, after taking out cost to make, put the profit in svings. Theres also when i pay off a bille, will try to put that amnt (im not used to it as extra anyway) into an account (or towards another bill since paying bills off early -aka c.c., or house- helps to save money on interest payments. I shop around (ex. Gas. This wknd, gas ranged from3.16 up to 3.26 a gal and that can add up. Make errand i need to go out? Where and what order to run them would be most economical?
I check dollar store 1st for many items
usu i try to make at home and pack my lunch (been bad the past couple of wks)
a local store, food lion walmart and sometime krogers have clearance items. Recently bought $80 worthof chicken (boneless n skinless) for $40. Would have bought more but no rm n freezer. I mostly drink water, rarely soda etc

From Erikka Lewis Wareham -
I have money direct deposited from each paycheck into a savings account. It isn't much, but it helps keep that little cushion for emergencies. When we both worked, I had money going into a savings account for each of the kids to use," but now I use that money to buy their gifts, and they earn money for chores.
I also round up purchases to the next dollar when I write them in my checkbook, to keep a cushion in the checking account.

From Suz Mears Ness -
Because I don't have a traditional job, I drive for the amish in our area, I often get checks that are not huge. Every check I get I cash at the credit union where I ONLY have a savings account. I automatically put 1/4 of the checks into the savings account. The rest is gas money for my hubby and I. That money is only used in extreme emergencies and for Christmas gifts.

From Cynthia O'Daniel Volk -
We have a money jar that everyone contributes their change to. This is our "mad money" these funds are used for movies, pizza nights, ect. It teaches the children to carefully think before they spend. Example, we can go out to a movie, with the cost of 4 tickets, and refreshments, and easily spend $50 for one outing, or we can make our own individual pizzas and rent Redbox, pop popcorn and have several nights of entertainment! They get to choose, but when the funds are depleted, that's it until its built back up.

From Carodactyl Harrell -
I try to save my change, but since even change is valuable to me, i am saving just pennies. i imagine they will all add up

From Elly Elham Konjkav-Kaboudian -
I keep all my change. And we never touch it till it really adds up! (like every 3-4 months) it does help alot cuz you suddenly have $200-300! Its because singapore has $1 coins.. So its great. Also, singapore is extremely humid (with humidity sometimes going to 120%!) and very hot! So if u leave clothes to dry out, they will mould. And if u dint turn on the air conditioning, your house and even hardwood floors will mould!! But since electrical bill is so high here, it can get hard. I have 3 large jars at home. 1 for coins. 1 for electricity bill and 1 for emergency funds. Each day we empty our pockets into the coin jar and deposit $10 each into the other 2 jars. So when the bill comes in, we dont have to panic!! Also, we eat at home most of the time. I work as a pastry chef in an Italian restaurant and as part of my job offer, i asked that my husband and i get free food everyday, whether i work or not. And he agreed. This has saved us a ton every month! But i take that money and put it away in a savings account.
I know this has been said a million times BUT it really does save u hundreds if u PlAN ur meals and shop weekly accordingly and STICKING to the plan. I shop weekly and cook once -twice a week and freeze them so when we are both back home and hungry, we just pop it in the slow cooker or oven or microwave (depending on the food)