1.30.2012

50 Things we do to save money

In this new year, I've been trying to assess what we do to save money in our household and where there's still room for change. 

I'd like to find a few new ways to save money this year.  I'd also like to step it up a little bit on a few things we're already doing, but maybe slacking on a little bit, like couponing.

In order to figure all this out, I first wanted to make a list of things that we are already doing to save cash on a regular basis.  I've also linked to some of my past blog posts that relate to each item, if you're interested.

  1.  Use cloth napkins for meals- Hubby and I
  2.  Kids use wet baby washcloths for their hands/faces during & after meals
  3.  Use real plates & silverware - hardly ever use paper or plastic
  4.  Turn off lights in unused rooms
  5.  Cut coupons & print some from internet
  6.  Lower thermostat at night and when away for a few hours
  7.  Sign up for freebie offers online
  8.  Pay all bills on time to avoid late fees, etc.
  9.  Pay credit cards off monthly to avoid interest
10.  Only use our bank's ATMs to avoid fees
11.  Hang dry most clothes
12.  Use old towels as cleaning rags instead of paper towels
13.  Combine sales & coupons (need to get back into this more)
14.  Blank sides of unneeded paper becomes scrap paper for the kids
15.  Shop at yard sales & occasionally Goodwill (but only for needed items)
16.  Use containers for lunches, etc. instead of disposable baggies
17.  Create a stockpile of food/toiletry/ household items when they are cheap
18.  Use half the detergent that is recommended for laundry & dishes
19.  Use a half dryer sheet for each load
20.  Wear some things more than once before washing
21.  Search for free Kindle books on Amazon
22.  Use Bookmooch & PaperBackSwap for cheap book swapping
23.  Eat dinner leftovers for most of my lunches
24.  Look for free local family activities
25.  Take books out of the library
26.  Use CFL bulbs in most lighting fixtures
27.  Canceled cable tv & use an antenna instead
28.  Water down juice 50% (my kiddos don't need the sugar anyay!)
29.  Use a bagless vacuum
30.  Use a reusable, washable Swiffer cloth cover instead of the refills
31.  Take our dogs to Petco's clinics for vaccines instead of the pricey vet
32.  Make some of our own snacks from scratch
33.  Cook dinner from home more often (room for improvement)
34.  In summer, use fans & reduce need for AC
35.  Use Ebates, Mr Rebates or Shop At Home when shopping online
36.  Wrap presents with newspaper comics
37.  Reuse ribbon, bows, boxes, bags & tissue paper from gifts
38.  Use reusable shopping totes at Target for the 5 cents per bag discount
39.  Use a filtered water pitcher & reusable water bottle instead of bottled water
40.  Daughter uses a water bottle instead of box drinks at school
41.  Reuse glass jars from fruit, jelly, etc to store small craft pieces, hamster food, etc.
42.  Reuse glass baby food jars for storing push pins, rubber bands, etc.
43.  Wash most laundry in cold water
44.  Pay bills online to avoid cost of envelopes, stamps & driving to mailbox
45.  Canceled home phone service & use cell phones
46.  Save broken crayons to melt into new crayon molds
47.  Save bottle caps, toilet paper tubes, etc. to use for crafts
48.  Prepare our own tax returns (Hubby is an accountant, so that helps!)
49.  Open windows & use fresh air instead of air fresheners
50.  Repurpose shoe boxes as storage containers/organizers in closets, etc.

So that's what we do now.  Of course, there are other things here and there, but the list can't go on forever. 

Now I want to take some time to be conscious of our spending habits, our routines and expenses.  I'd like to find a few new ways to save more money this year.  And I'd also like to improve upon a few of the items mentioned above.  Any money saved will be a great help to paying off our car loan and credit card debt!

What are some of the key ways you save money?