I know we have all looked at our check book on occasion and said "Oh my god, what am I going to do?!" Well I know I do EVERY week. Since my husband makes the majority of the money and my pay is next to nothing, especially this time of year, I figure it is my other job to help save money around the house. So for the past year or so I have been trying to come up with ways to do a better job at it, and here are a few solutions I have come up with from the obvious to the not so obvious.
1. When you leave a room turn off the light! I know many of us do this already but occasionally we forget. As is the case with my husband and the "Curse of the bedroom light!" Unplug battery chargers when not in use, that includes cell phone chargers, these and other small appliances my still bleed electricity even when not being used.
2. Buy in bulk. A few years ago mu hubby bought me a Food Saver Vacuum Saver, I LOVE IT! We generally buy in bulk and freeze the extras but still spent a lot on food. Until the food saver, now I even take one of my free days and cook large quantity foods like Chili, Lasagna, etc separate them out and freeze them. I know not everyone can run right out and get a food saver but these days there are so many cheep versions even the one the Ziploc just came out with. Give them a try.
3. Walk when you can. Do you really NEED to DRIVE a block to the store to pick up a gallon of milk? If not walk. That does two things, one your out in the fresh air getting exercise and saving gas. For work see if you can arrange a car pool. Chances are you have other co-workers in your office in the same pickle. See if any of them would like to get together and arrange something. To make it a little more fair you could even take turns driving!
4. DIY. There are so many ways that Do It Yourself can help but I will only start with a few.
A) Small home repairs. Something as small as a leaky sink or shower head can easily be fixed without calling the plumber. There are MANY resources to help: Internet, books or go to your local hardware or home improvement center and ask. They are trained to help show you have to DIY.
B) Make it yourself. See a blouse you like but can't afford. Go buy a the pattern and the fabric you like and make it. Many fabric stores have just about ANY pattern you can think of and if you don't know how to sew they can teach you, usualy cheap.
A healthier way to clean and save money, make your own cleaning supplies, there are so many EASY recipes online just look a few up and give then a try. Try sites like Discoverynetwork.com, use key words like homemade cleaning supplies. You'll love what you find. And the best part is if you try one and it doesn't work out as well for you try another and your not spending $5 or $6 a bottle to do it. Chances are you have MANY of the ingredients right in your own kitchen.
C) Shop at grocery stores such as Aldi or Save-a-Lot. Their prices are lower because their overhead is lower. ex: quarter for your cart return your cart get you quarter back: No cart guys, Bring or buy your own bags: no extra cost there. If you don't like or don't have that type of store near you look around your neighborhood and check their policies. Some grocery stores offer a percentage off if you bring your own reusable bags.
D) Finally the one you ALL knew was coming right?? BUY HANDMADE. Yes even buying handmade can save you money sometimes.
But always remember if you CAN'T afford it DON"T spend it!
There are many more ideas I'm sure, if you have any please feel free to post them in the comments. I'm always looking for new ways! Maybe I'll even post them next time!