Sunday, February 24, 2013

Money Saving Tips From My Readers -

Here is a collection of money saving tips that were sent in by those who read Frugal Sally on Facebook. 

From Dany-el B.
  • Money saving tips:

    Instead of using kitchen paper towel, use a tea towel as they can be washed and reused countless times. The same goes for cleaning cloths. Use old face washers instead of disposable wipes.

    Tie a ribbon to the front wire guard of pedestal fans. It will flutter when the fan is operating and serve as a visual reminder to turn it off when you leave the room.

    Before printing, ask yourself: does this need to be printed in full colour or will a black ink only setting in a draft format suffice? You can save a fortune in printer ink by only printing in colour when it is necessary.

    Buy bananas when there is a glut in the market (and they are at their cheapest) and then store them with their skin on in the freezer. They stay good for months like this. I also store bread in the freezer, only taking out a few slices as needed. A few seconds in the microwave and the slices are as soft and fresh as the day you bought it.
From  L.E.

When I finish a tube of hand lotion, face cream, facial scrub, ect, I cut it in half. You would be amazed at the amount still left inside that you can't get out. Usually enough for quit a few more days.

From  Anonymous

I volunteered at a thrift shop, and gladly took their rejects, which I could alter or mend. Because I let the ladies know I was open to broken items, they were happy to send them my way as a thank you for working there. We joke that we don't shop at thrift stores, we just take what the thrift stores won't sell .

We also used cloth wipes....pee only, so just us girls. And I use cloth menstrual pads, just not on my heaviest days. Still a big savings over time.

From Reader Julie G. G.
Go garage sale/ yard sale shopping with a list... Just like you are going to a store. Ad swap lists with friends, so you can cover more sales and keep an eye out for things each other is looking for. A friend found me bunk beds she knew I was searching for. Also be sure, if you are looking for something particular, tell people. I got a (then) $400 double stroller for $50, because a friend knew exactly what I wanted and stumbled upon someone who had one they no longer used. It was a happy accident, but saved us a lot of money. Friends are great help when it comes to being frugal!

Another big money saver for us is leaving ourselves "margin"... Spending less, pushing the envelope less, and not filling up every single minute! Leaving a time margin means you have time to pack that snack before you leave the house, or to make that stop for the really great sale, or thinking creatively about how not to spend money at all. A packed full life is a huge drain. Slow down, leave breathing's the empty space around the edges.

From Linda E. M.

Kroger stores have rewards cards. We buy restaurant gift cards for when we go out to eat and get 2X fuel points for each purchase. We buy Subway, Frisch's etc...Then 2X per year, they have 4X fuel points for all gift card purchases, that is when we buy the bulk of our holiday, birthday gift cards etc....they have a HUGE selection of gift cards and it really saves us on gas b/c you get 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 you spend and if you double or quadruple that, it's awesome!

From Laurie L.

I accept every meal invite out I can. I take with me fresh eggs from my brother, game meat or veggies from my garden.

From Beth Anne

It's not an odd trip, nor - I'm sure - unusual, but my most important money saving trip is about mind set. I "channel my grandmothers" when looking at how to manage my household more frugally. Both my grandmothers lived through the Great Depression and then the second world war. The shortages they experienced taught them to make the best of every single thing they had. Those habits stayed with them all their lives. It is because of my grandmothers that I save string and elastic bands, wash out and re-use plastic bags and containers from the grocery store, carefully fold and store brown paper bags, iron tissue paper from gifts and packing so that it can be re-used, save those last slivers from a bar of soap to be grated and used elsewhere...You get the idea. They didn't waste things and, thanks to their good teaching, I try to be less wasteful too.

It may seem counterintuitive to spend money in order to save money but, if you purchase a pressure canner, the canner will save you its cost many times over in the course of its lifetime. Make a point of canning homemade stocks and soups in order to use up bits of meat and veg left in the fridge at the end of the week - even if only working in small batches. You'll reduce the amount of food waste in your kitchen and provide yourself with a supply of convenient meals in the pantry. Those meals will save you the cost of take out on days when you're too busy to cook.

From Kay A.

I cut up frayed towels, stained clothes and old socks to use for rags. (When the maintenance men come to the apt and need a "paper towel", he then remembers: you don't use them, do you, when I hand him a rag).

 2. I also cut off the buttons if they are on the clothing.

 3. Another idea that I use is when I print coupons or whatever on the computer, I cut the remaining unused paper to use for scratch paper. I also take the envelopes that comes with the mail and cut them up to use for scrap paper as well. It saves on buying posted notes. If I need to post it, keep tape (you can get 2 rolls for $1 at Dollar Tree) on hand and use a tiny piece to post it on something.

 4. When I use to work retail, I would gather the unused seasonal envelopes that the vendor was going to trash. I would make seasonal note cards by stapling them or binding them with ribbon and give on a package in place of ribbon.

 5. I use to use old tube socks to hold up my tomato plants.

6. This is an idea that I picked up from an elderly Italian woman. She had way too many seasonal address labels. So, she would cut off her name/address and leave the remaining (snow man, Santa, reindeer, etc) and use them to place on the seal of her envelope. She said that she began that when they printed her name wrong and she didn't to throw them out since they were so pretty.

From Anonymous

I too use cloths instead of toilet paper. It works well! I use the old wee baby facecloths that I had lying around but it's easy to be creative in this department. it has saved us a ton of money.

From Lisa C.

We have eaten possum (actually very good! we had a predator take a chicken so we set out a trap and he had come back for seconds) and we re-heat coffee sometimes 2-3 days before we make a fresh pot. (adding fresh water if it got over-brewed. I reuse ziplock bags. Oh! and I make my own toothpaste, havent bought it in more than a year, only spent $1 for an ingredient I didnt already have on hand...

The toothpaste is very unscientific.. about 3T of baking soda, 1T of bentonite clay ( at health food stores, the only ingredient that i had to buy, its cheap) and 10drops of essential oils to taste .. I use spearmint and peppermint, sometimes add a drop or two of lavender or eucalyptus.. its very random and based on my moods... mixed up good then you dip your wet bristles in and thats it... we keep it in a little tupperware container on the sink... it is only the two of us so we dont worry about germs..

From another anonymous reader

 A GREAT idea for saving $$ for people who have problems regularly saving $$.
Some people can easily arrange to have a certain amount of their paycheck to savings each time they're paid. The "out if sight, out of mind" or "I won't miss it if it's never available" is an easy way to save. Others need tangible "evidence" to reinforce the sacrifice in their spending habits.
Every time you forego that morning latte or attend a movie matinee instead of a primetime movie screening, transfer/save the $$ or the difference in the $$ you save.
If you watch your own DVD @ home or get a freebie rental (from a friend or library), save the difference in $$ from a DVD rental or movie in the theater.
Buy a new coat? Find one @ a consignment or Thrift store & save the difference.
Multiple small savings add up to big savings- you'll be amazed & motivated by your bulging savings account!

From Cha'kwaina M. E. E.

Cloth diapers with heavy cotton or wool covers,wet wash clothes instead of baby wipes, breast feeding, laminated (therefore reusable) practice writing paper for grade school children, cloth menstrual pads and tampons, denim coverlets from old jeans.

I have the grands use china pencils or wax pencils on the laminated paper. Cheaper than wipe off owns and they don't mess up the felt ends by pressing too hard. And when they get real paper it's always their best. The mistakes are wiped away. I also laminate puzzles like word finds, mazes etc. or if a book paperclip a piece if hard plastic to it like a transparency film to it. My grands are using the same books their parents used.

From Maggie F.
One tip I was told about a long time ago, for those of you who are paid weekly, or even fortnightly is, make your weekly shop last an extra day, e.g. 8 days instead of 7, then after 7 weeks, you end up with an extra weeks pay......dont think it would work for monthly salary earners...although you never know.....

From another Anonymous reader

  I keep on using mittens, by wearing mismatched ones, especially while driving. I use mismatched sheets and pillowcases. I keep thin socks, even mismatched ones, to layer (double sock) in cold weather.

From Wendy B. and Yana

Here is a good one for those folks who get their milk in bags.
When you are done with the milk, cut the bag open at the very top and wash it out - they make awesome freezer bags.

From Sylvia T.

Short on napkins, but need a clean-ish thing to wipe your mouth on? Turn a lightly-used one inside-out.

From CiCi M.

Money saving tip; when you buy hamburger, buy it in bulk and divide it into smaller packages. Mix in quick oats before freezing. The oats absorb the meat juices and when you cook it up you cant even tell the oats have been added. Along the same line when making tuna dishes, mix the quick oats with the juice or oil off of the tuna and let it sit to absorb the juices (about 10 minutes) Mix it up and precede as normal making your tuna salad.

  I make my own tv dinners from leftovers. We saved tv dinner trays and got family and friends to save them. We wash them and reuse them over and over. We are horrible about eating leftover from the fridge so instead of letting them go bad, leftovers get put in a compartment of the tv dinner tray. It sometimes takes a while to fill all the compartments and I use frozen veggies to finish them up since we seldom have leftover veggies. If I need something in the third spot I save them until I have several that need it and open a can of pie filling and spoon it in and top it with a "crumb" topping (1 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 c butter - mix until just crumbly.) These end up being more filling than the store bought tv dinners, better for you, cheaper and just as easy to take to work and heat in the microwave.

From Melissa F.

Make my own bread, my own pizza dough, laundry detergent,clean my kitchen with vinegar and water, make my little guy homemade arrowroot cookies,i re-use freezer bags, grow my own tomatoes for pasta sauce/chilli use, cloth diaper, hang my laundry in the basement instead of using the dryer, make pore strips at home too (these things probably already mentioned...just diggin through my brain matter tryin to remember what else I do to save a few cents here and there)

 Using a freezer bag full of freezies. Who needs to buy icepacks and its re-useable. I always use mine when my heartburn comes to kick my butt

From Pati F. S.

I've been making my homemade laundry detergent for over a year!
It costs less than $20 and lasts about 4-6 months.
Super easy too and all ingredients are at the grocery store
4 lbs baking soda
4 lb box borax
4lb box arm and hammer washing soda
1 tub oxy clean ( get the store brand) it's about 4 lbs
3 bars fels naptha laundry bar soap ( grated)
I use my food processor or enlist your kids with the box grater
You need a large container with a lid to mix all the ingredients ( a large bucket works well- we've asked our grocery bakery to save leftover large buckets with lids for many projects!)
I've also made homemade hand creams
Shower cleaners
And frebreeze!

I've made homemade hand creams for gifts for coworkers and teachers and just put them in clean jars with pretty ribbons tied on top!

To keep spiders out of your house to mix coconut oil and vinegar equal amts and spray along baseboard and in corners.

From Faith B. K.

 Unplug everything I'm not using.washer,dryer,'s at night,shut off all neon clocks you don't need in the kitchen...... if you ever notice when you plug something in it will make a spark when that item is plugged in it is drawing ghost electricity, SO UNPLUG...the only things that stay plugged in are my fridge,stove and clock bed radio.............for 3 years now my electric bill for a 6 bedroom, 2 bath home has been in the eighties....and put up hot water heater timer....

From Christy P.R.

Save money on prescription medications by contacting local pharmacies and asking for their $4 or discount list. Take it to your doctor and say is there anything on here that can replace a high dollar med I'm currently on?
Walmart and Walgreens I know used to have a discount list.
You might be able to find one online.
I nearly forgot one of the most important ways to save for college! All you do is register your credit, debit, and grocery cards, then shop! Hundreds of online retailers participate, including Walmart and Avon (both are for online purchases only though) A lot of larger grocery store chains have cards you can pick up and register. I use a lot of Avon, so whenever I need some, I go to, then go to my rep's website and place my order...not only do I get a percentage of my purchase back, but my rep gets her website fee waived for the month! And then, since Walmart has free site to store, whenever I'm going to make a bigger purchase, I order it online, then go pick it up and get a percentage back that way. I think you can make withdrawals straight from Upromise, but I haven't done that. I have my accounts linked to both my personal student loan account AND a 529 plan for my kids (I recommend money does not have to be used at Missouri school though you might have to be a resident. Other states have 529 plans, too, I believe)

From Crystal W.
Only shopping the end caps at target, cutting dryer sheets in half, double up with a swiffer pad, first to dust, and then using it to swiffer the floor.

 From Roberta K.

I make my laundry detergent except I have tweaked the recipe.... I use 2 parts washing soda, 1 part borax and 1/2 part baking soda and if using cups for parts then 1/2 bar finely shredded Fels Naptha soap... Love it and it gets the ink out of the front of my work shirt that gets accidentally hit with the pen from time to time..... I love your fabric softener too.... I make it thicker with 2x the vinegar to the water...... I think the last batch was 1-1/3 cup suave conditioner, 2 cups warm water and 4 cups vinegar and I use about 1 to 1-1/2 tbsp per load. Oh and about the same amount of the soap.... I also put vinegar in the bleach dispenser for disinfecting of those things that I prefer that being done to.... socks, underwear, towels & wash cloths..... The clothes come out soft fluffy and the towels are still so absorbent.... and CLEAN -- cleaner than any thing else I have ever used.

From Daphne M.

I roll my plastic store bags into fist-size balls and use them for package fillers when I ship things. They weigh less than newspaper. Newspaper sleeves work well, too.

From Jenny S.

My best tip is reusing my left overs i repurpose non eaten food into gourmet cusine.

From Karly Y.

 We switched to prepaid cell phones because that way we can budget every month for exactly the same amount and we can keep our costs down. I went from $180 to $80 per month by switching to Virgin Mobile and we got better phones and more services! Also - I signed up for the budget plan from the utility company so my bill is the same amount every month.
We were paying between 120-180 a month (not including any data plan) and it was just too much. Since my daughter almost exclusively texts (used 8 minutes of talk time one month) we got her the 300 minute plan with unlimited texting and unlimited data for $35 a month! I talk more so I got unlimited talk, text, and data for $55 a month. More service - less money!

From Holly M.

When the grocery store gives my kids round stickers at the checkout, they always give a bunch, so I use a couple to do my eyebrows!

From Donna Z. J.

My husband likes his coffee pretty strong while I prefer mine weaker. So instead of having him make more that I water down or having me use a second filter and more grounds by making my own pot, I simply run more water through the grounds after his coffee is gone. So essentially, I get my daily caffeine for "free."

 From Lydia L. F.

Money saving tips - Keep a pitcher next to your kitchen sink. When you are needing hot water and running the water waiting for the water to warm up catch the cold water in the pitcher, use this water to water house plants, freshen up the pets water bowls ect... Install a gray water system for water from the washing machine and bath tub to water the flower beds outside.. Check with local codes... Save your egg shells, crush and add to your tomato and pepper plants for calcium... Hope this helps.

From Deb B.
  I buy large inexpensive bags of the same color and type of socks. Should one get a hole in it I keep it until another sock gets a hole in it and then wear the two holeless socks.

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