We've done the grocery tips, how about general money saving tips....

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by minnie1928, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. minnie1928

    minnie1928 WDW addict

    Feb 16, 2004
    I loved the thread on money saving tips for the grocery store and I thought why not take it one step further (or maybe a few steps!). What's been your best money saving tip? I like to think that I'm smart with my money, but I also admit that I don't know everything. The boards have been such a help to me to in the past and I thought this might be a good thread to get going to help others as well as myself.

    Here's some of mine:
    1. Cancel your line maintenance on your phone bill, odds are that you will never need it and the phone company knows this!

    2. Sign up to have your bills automatically paid from your checking account. Not only does this save postage it also cuts down on the number of checks you write. This will save you from having to order checks as often and more importantly it saves you TIME!

    I look forward to seeing what else people do to save some money...

  2. mrsbornkuntry

    mrsbornkuntry <font color=FF6666>I'm worried about raccoons<br><

    Jul 8, 2004
    I can't wait to hear what everyone else has to add to this! I'm always looking for tips to save money. I tried to check Miserly Moms out of the library, but it was out. Anyway here's my 2 cents:

    - my husband is in the Army and has to have his uniforms pressed so I iron them myself instead of taking them to a drycleaner, he also packs his lunch (usually leftovers) instead of buying

    -make my own baby food

    -check books out of the library instead of buying them and return them (and videos, dvds, etc) on time so no late fees

    -reuse plastic kids' hangers from the store for my kids' clothes

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  4. kimbac3

    kimbac3 <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/image

    Jul 29, 2003
    #1 Stay out of Walmart!!!! Seriously it's amazing how I can go in for dog food (which of course I need a cart for:rolleyes: ) and come out $50 poorer! I try to go shopping only when it's absolutely necessary.

    #2 Make a budget and read it often. I like having a map, so to speak of where and how I'll spend my money. Make sure you include Christmas and Vacations in your budget. I like including them because if I find a great Christmas present for someone in July, I know I have money in the budget.

    #3 I try to pay all my bills online or over the phone. This saves with postage and late fees. I seem to always wait to the last min to mail a bill even though I have the money:crazy: . This way I can just hop on the web site while I'm thinking about it and pay the bill. I pay my home loan via the telephone. They don't charge me for that but beware because some companies charge for phone payments.

    #4 I hang my clothes out to dry on warm/hot days. And I always do a whole load.

    #5 When making my vacation budget I tried to look for the least expensive most enjoyable option. For example we chose a rental home for our upcoming trip. We are a family of 5 and this was an enjoyable(DH and I will have our own bedroom;) , a private pool,home has everything including play station for the kids) and budget($79 per night) smart decision. The cost for a hotel room for 5 would be too much $$$ for the amount of space we'd get.

    That's all I can think of for now. I can't wait to read other people's tips.

  5. Belle0101

    Belle0101 Nothing to see here.

    Feb 11, 2002
    *Shop around at different banks and the services they offer*

    We just found a bank in town that has service free checking accounts if you have your mortgage through them, which we do. You could also have a service free account if you had direct deposit of your payroll check.

    The free checking also has free overdraft protection. Our last bank offered OD protection but it came with a service fee. Not that we OD our accounts but if you have a DH like mine and uses the ATM / Debit card without letting you know :mad: it's nice to have just in case.

    And that same account has free online bill pay.

    I found out last week that they pay you 10 cents for each debit card transaction you make instead of writing a check!

    It can really pay to shop around before you settle on a financial institution to do your banking with.
  6. Carrie772

    Carrie772 Resolve to Recycle!

    Jul 21, 2004
    Coupons for everything! Even out to eat nights at restaurants. We rarely eat out but if we do, we always use a coupon. Also, we do a babysitting swap club with our church friends.
  7. powellrj

    powellrj DIS Veteran

    Mar 2, 2003
    2nd run movies save us a fortune. We went to the 2nd run theater last night and saw The Village for $2.00 each. Even the kids and their friends now plan movie nights around the $2.00 theater.

    Use loyalty cards. My DH makes fun of my keychain because of all the little cards I have hanging from it, but hey I got $10 back from CVS last month and $4.00 back from Hallmark.
  8. enchantedpixiedust

    enchantedpixiedust <font color=green>I always need a rest from vacati

    Apr 28, 2004
    *My biggest thing is fighting the urge to eat out! I've been trying to do that at lunch & brining food, it saves a TON of money. I just put my $5 in the Disney pig everyday that I'd spend on fast food.

    *I agree with Kimbac3 about Walmart - same thing for Costco, Sams, Target, etc for me. It's a big money pit for me.

    *I'd easily spend over $20 a month in rentals/DVD purchases so Netflix works great for us.

    *As much I hate it, use the store loyalty cards - it's ridiculous prices otherwise.

    *I'd say coupons - but I'm notorious for clipping them and forgetting. :(

    *Half Price Books if you're a reader - I save a ton if I do this instead of spending $7 for a paperback. I did the library a while but am horrible on getting them back in time. Better yet garage sales if you can find what you like.

  9. nuts4wdw

    nuts4wdw Have a disney day!!!

    Sep 12, 1999
    Two things that as a child I used to despise were thrift stores and yard sales, but these two things save a ton of money and satisfy the urge to shop!!:bounce: :tongue:
  10. imsayin

    imsayin DIS Veteran

    May 27, 2004
    I've been married 13 years, and we have never paid interest on a credit card - don't charge if you can't pay it off every month.

    Buy used cars, you save a ton of money.

    Don't loan the government money. By this I mean, reduce the amount of taxes withheld from your check so that you don't get a big refund. Instead, save the difference each month (try an automatic investment plan) - invest it and earn money. This is actually a pet peeve of mine - people who think their tax refund is a savings account. It isn't. It is an interest free loan to Uncle Sam.

    Contribute the maximum allowed to your 401k plan, Simple plan, etc. If your company matches, you get free money from work and the tax savings is also "free" money.
  11. grlpwrd

    grlpwrd <font color="orange">I'm here for the mouse more t

    Jul 28, 2000
    * Yes, pay your bills on time. I use my bank's online payment service, too. It's fast, secure, and has saved me lots of heartache and late fees.

    * Barter or swap. Find someone who can trade services or products with you.

    * Make appliances your friend....Use your crockpot and pressure cooker regularly for cheaper, more nutritious meals. Also, try to do batch or freezer cooking (freeze extra food). I tried OAMC (once a month cooking), but it was too much for me so I take it on a smaller scale....Get a thermostat timer for more energy savings. ... If you like espresso and gourmet coffee make it yourself... Get a big freezer to freeze and stockpile food.

    Yes, they are $$$ on the onset, but in the long run they are a good investment.

    * Invest in some good reference books, like cookbooks, financial books, and repair books. Again, an investment in the long run.

    * Lower your energy costs. Use a drying rack or hangers for drying clothes (or line-dry outdoors, of course), use reflective film on your windows, grow shade/deciduous trees around your home, use meat styrofoam trays to insulate around your outlets, use a thermostat timer, lower your thermostat, use ceiling fans, etc.

  12. mrsbornkuntry

    mrsbornkuntry <font color=FF6666>I'm worried about raccoons<br><

    Jul 8, 2004
    I think most people do this, but maybe not so I thought I'd share...

    I reuse/recycle plastic grocery store bags. They come in handy for tons of things, a couple of examples would be small trash can liners (I use them in the bathrooms and bedrooms, and to dispose of stinky diapers right away). I've used them for trash in my van, to carry library books, gifts, as packing material...

    There's probably a million uses for them.
  13. revrob

    revrob Guest

    I so TOTALLY agree with the "no interest free loan to uncle Sam" post. This is such a pet peave of mine. I just hate it when people think they've done such a great financial thing when they get their tax return. Don't be silly.
  14. travelbug

    travelbug DIS Veteran

    Mar 4, 2001
    Great thread! I love reading everyone's ideas. Here are a few more:

    1. If you don't have your homeowner's insurance and car insurance with the same company, look into it. Most companies give a good discount for having both kinds of insurance with them.

    2. I cancelled my long distance service about 2 years ago, so I don't spend a monthly fee on that anymore. I use calling cards for all my long distance calling. I only buy calling cards when I find them on sale for .03 per minute (usually at Target). I always have more than enough cards stashed away so I won't run out while waiting for the next sale to roll around. :D I know that lots of people have free long distance minutes with their cell phone plans, but I have a bare bones cell phone plan (12.99 per month) since I only use it for emergencies.

    3. If you attend professional sports events regularly, ask if they have a designated driver program. I attend about 20-25 Detroit Tigers games each year. Whenever I go, I stop by guest relations and sign up as a designated driver which means I promise not to drink alcohol at the game. In return, I get a free medium soda. Saves me about $60-75 over the course of the season.

    4. "Cash in" on your birthday! Lots of businesses offer free meals, free carwashes, etc. on your birthday. Recently I'm finding that a few offer a free meal anytime during the month of your birthday. Some businesses advertise their birthday perks quite a bit, while others don't say much unless you ask what specials they have for a customer's birthday.

    Looking forward to reading more ideas from others. :D
  15. mom2alix

    mom2alix <font color=teal>I know he is always on my side<br

    Sep 27, 2003
    Raise the deductible on your car insurance.

    It is amazing how much this will save you. Let's face it, if you have an accident and have $600 worth of damage and a $500 deductible, are you really going to file a claim and face having your rates potentially go up? Raise your deductible to $1000 and keep that amount in your savings (where it can earn you interest) just in case you need it. We saved about $100 a year this way.
  16. ceecee

    ceecee DIS Veteran

    Apr 6, 2001
    If you buy a morning coffee, make it at home and save the $.
    Staying out of stores definately saves me $.
    Have a garage sale and make some money on things you no longer need.
    Packing lunch instead of buying (usually healthier and cheaper) if I could only convince DH to do this occassionally.
  17. Lyn-CA

    Lyn-CA DIS Veteran

    Sep 9, 1999
    Going from grlpwrd's suggestion of investing in good financial books, I highly suggest reading, "Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence" by Joe Dominguez.

    What an eye-opener. One of the basic premises is how to control our money, instead of thinking that money controls/dominates us.
  18. Missy1961

    Missy1961 Knows who did it and why

    Jul 19, 2000
    My biggest money saver is bringing my breakfast & lunch to work. I easily save $10 a day. (I work in NYC)

    I try not to buy dry clean only clothes. I'm lucky, the dress code in my office is office casual, so all my work clothes can be washed & dried by me! Again, big savings.

    I do my nails myself. Again, saving a bit of money. Also color my own hair. If there was a way of cutting my own hair, I'd do that!
  19. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Sep 29, 2002
    I'll throw in one of those little tips that people don't think about.

    Ignore all the products that tell you how much of the item you need to use. I'm referring to things like laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, etc. Just because the Tide comes with a scoop with a little line on it doesn't mean you need that much to get your clothes clean. That's just what they want you to think. We use half or less most of the time and the clothes come out just fine. So the box that says it gets you 50 loads, gets us over 100!

    We buy dryer sheets and cut them in thirds. They work just fine.

    Same theory works when baking from scratch. You can often use less sugar or flour or whatever without a noticeable difference in the final product.

    All those little cut backs can gradually add up to some real savings over time.
  20. EeyoreJMH

    EeyoreJMH DIS Veteran

    Jan 7, 2004
    DH and I, if we go out, always spilt an entree and have salads, rather than ordering two entrees. With the portion sizes at many restaurants these days, we always have more than enough.

    I also sometimes order off the kid's menu (usually take out only). The portion size is much more managable and the cost is certainly lower.

    I'll also ask restaurants for recipies of favorite dishes and recreate them at home for less $$$. Sometimes they won't offer them, so I just sort of work it out.

    I find many store brands are as good as (sometimes better) than the "name brands," especially for household cleaners, paper products, and basics. We've also switched from Tide detergent to Arm & Hammer: the cost is about 50% less than Tide here and our local grocery store often has buy 1 get 1 sales. The clothes feel/smell just as clean if not a little fresher.
  21. Pink Flamingo

    Pink Flamingo <font color=FF66FF>Think Pink!!!<br><font color=CC

    May 9, 2001
    Great thread! Keep the ideas coming. Here are a few more to add.

    Keep your freezer full - it will run more efficiently. If you don't have food to fill it, just fill some plastic bottles with water & stick them in.

    If you use the individual onion soup mix packets when cooking, make your own. It's a lot cheaper. Here's the recipe:
    3/4 cup dried minced onion
    1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
    1/4 cup onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon sugar
    Combine ingredients & store in an air tight container.
    5 tablespoons = 1 onion soup mix packet; makes 4 batches

    No cabel TV :earseek:
    Dial up internet :earseek:

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