07 September 2013

Little ways we save big

I've been hunting for more ways to save money and it seems like there are a number of people sharing on Pinterest and blogs. I love to read these, even if I just pick up 1 tip, it's worth it. Thought I would share ours all in one place, just in case it helps a couple people. Most of these are not going to be new but might be different.
1. Homemade Cleaning Products/Laundry Soap
We use the Homemade Laundry soap
~Inexpensive bathroom cleaner, amazing on soap scum
(equal parts blue Dawn and vinegar in a spray bottle)
~I clean everything with vinegar or baking soda

I think I probably spend a total of $5 a month on cleaning products. Vinegar in bulk one month, Swiffer pack a few months later and some magic erasers in between.
2. Buying in Bulk. We don't buy everything in bulk, just stuff we know we will for sure use and if it's a good deal.
~ We buy our chicken and hamburger from Zaycon Foods. Feels weird to pickup food out of the back of a truck in a random parking lot but the deal is great and we have been happy with the quality.
~We are taking advantage of our Costco Card for fruits/veggies and cheese a little more often, especially now that our Costco card is a work benefit.
 3. No prepackaged snacks.
~We just buy a big bag and make our own snack size, I try to get the kids to keep their snack bags so I can refill them.
Paying $4.00 for 16 bags of crackers seems insane to me when a box is $2.00 and it has 16 servings.
I don't mind buying an extra box of snack bags, although I would love to score a deal on reusable ones.
~And rarely drinks. The exception is from Grocery Outlet, no way will I turn down shelf stable organic individual milk for $0.20!
4. We skip the disposable stuff! No paper towels, napkins (unless they are leftover from a party)
Paper plates and cups are just expensive garbage.
5. We don't buy bottled water (very often) but we do have some filtered water bottles and drink from the tap, scored the kids filtered bottles on clearance, even better.
6. I always check the clearance section and marked down meat to see if I can make a couple meals.
It might not save much but that 30-50% difference in 1 meal will still add up over time.
7. Don't turn on the air/heater
It has to be really hot or really cold for me to use the paid for air.
~We use blankets and sweatshirts (and quick dance parties) to warm up when it's cool.
~To help warm things up, I do dishes in the dishwasher, and put the stuff in the dryer first thing in the morning. Since I need to use those anyway it's not using any additional energy.
 ~I open the house up at 4:45 when I get up to let the cool air in, ceiling fans help keep it cool when it's hot.

8. Less Driving
OK, I admit, this is the one I struggle with the most!
I TRY to make just 1 trip into town to work and do all my errands during the week so we don't have to go into town on the weekends. Rarely does that happen. Still working on it though. I know for sure 2 days a week we will be driving to town twice for football practice and every Saturday for the next 8 weeks. So I should be able to manage all our errands and in town stuff around those, that is my goal for Sept/October  NO more extra trips to town!

Anyone else have their own list, or a list they have seen and loved?


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