Friday, July 6, 2012

Go Frugal first....and then Go Green

Go Frugal....Go Green


  • Buy things on sale, always.. 
  • Buy what's necessary, online, on sale.
  • Look at http://www.retailmenot.com/ for coupon codes, then order through http://www.ebates.com/ for cash back.
  • Keep a close record of your expenditures. Get a notebook and & write down everything you spend. It's amazing. Gives the whole picture! 
  • Sign up to get sale flyers/newsletters from your favorite vendors. 
  •  Sign up for mailing lists for free samples of laundry detergent, soaps, snacks, and coupons etc.  
  • Buy no name or in bulk where it counts. For most products, brand names really mean nothing except packaging (of course there are a few exceptions ) 
  • Meal planning is a big deal, it not only saves you money in upfront food costs, but it also forces you to know what you're going to have in advance, which cuts down on the, "Oh, there's nothing at home, let's eat out" nights, which are very expensive, and not as healthy. Make a weekly food menu - set a groceries budget (make a list) and stick to it. What you do is make a list of the dishes you like and eat frequently, with all the ingredients needed, including smaller ones like spices you normally have on the shelves anyway. Sit down once a week and jot down your meal plans ( I only plan dinners, because breakfasts and lunches are boring, and mostly the same) for each day, and then go through the ingredient list. check if you have everything needed for that dish, if there's something missing -write it on the shopping list. Then add the stuff you buy every week anyway, like milk, and take the list with you when you go shopping.
  •  Before you go grocery shopping- Plan out your meals using mostly what you have in your cupboards/fridge. Afterwards make one large list and go shopping for it, going once- rather than multiple times will save you on impulse buys.  
  •  Keep a notepad on the fridge where you write down when we run out of something (Used the last of sugar? Write sugar on the list), check it before going shopping. 
  •  Use your crock-pot more often. It reduces the “I don't know what to make for dinner” and you can usually make enough to stretch it for 2 days. 
  •  Cook in bulk and freeze leftovers  
  • A big money saver is once-a-month cooking. Once every four weeks, fill your freezer with 24 meals or the makings for meals. (That's six meals a week. ) For example - The night that you're having spaghetti,  have the meat sauce in the freezer. It's an insane day or so of cooking, but when you get home from work on an average day, it's so nice to have something thawed on the counter that only needs a few minutes of work added to it.  
  • Check out the dented can section of your supermarket. 
  • Grow your own veggies + herbs 
  • Buy frozen veggies rather than fresh produce. Studies show that frozen is just as healthy as they were harvested when the veggie was in season... in it's prime and sealed for freshness. Although, of course when a veggie is in season you can score a good deal buying it fresh too. However, in the middle of the winter when some of those fresh veggie prices seem skyrocketed.... opt for cheap frozen.
  • If you have leftover veggies and meat, etc throw it all in the crockpot and make a soup or stew. 
  • Cut your meat spending, its expensive!! 
  • Don't let food spoil in the fridge.
  • Buy apples and other fruits in the store that are on Sale of Death because they're close to going bad and dehydrate them for snacks 
  • Cook from base ingredients whenever possible, rather than using processed things 
  • Don’t buy condiments. Frequently stock up on those little packets at fast food and other restaurants. This doesn't work if you use a lot, but you can get salt, sugar, and condiments this way.
  • Drink water instead of sodas, juices etc
  • cans of frozen juice is cheaper than fresh juice 
  • No more bottled water. If your tap water tastes horrid, Buy a Brita water filter for $12!  
  • https://www.angelfoodministries.com: a company that provides you with a box full of food for a cheap price.
  • When you get home from shopping, portion out things by meal. Don't keep 5 pounds of ground beef in one package that all has to be thawed and used) at once. It encourages wasted food! 
  • Invest in exercise equipment and cancel your gym membership.use home workouts dvds instead of classes 
  • Computers are cheapest at tigerdirect.com
  • Call the 1 800 numbers on the back of your products. They are more then happy to mail you free coupons and recipes.
  •   Learn how to make your own beauty products. There is tons of articles out there specifically for shampoos & conditioners, Body and hand soap, body scrubs, lotions, etc. You can make your own shampoo with Decyl Glucoside, Cocoamidopropyl Betaine and water. Under 20 bucks for an entire years worth.
     
  •   Save empty shampoo, detergent, etc. bottles and as soon as you buy a new bottle, put half into an empty bottle and fill it with water. 
  •  Make your own baby wipes. Put a roll of paper towels in a solution of water, baby oil and baby soap! 
  • Lotions are expensive, I buy a big tub of 100% organic shea butter or coco butter and you only need a small amount because it is so rich, the tub lasts me a long time! 
  • The thrift Store is a great place to find clothes, kids toys, home décor, even Halloween costumes.
  • Stick to classic cut clothes made of hefty fabrics. Dont make the mistake of buying cute, flimsy, trendy clothes that looked ratty after a few cycles in the washing machine. 
  • Hand wash your delicates, you will save on utilities and they turn out better anyhow. If you pay for utilities, wash your clothes in cold water and hang them to dry. You'll save a lot of energy that way. 
  • This one may be tough for woman, but, learn how to do your own hair and nails! Seriously- Youtube is your vital line for tutorials.
  • For woman research a Diva cup!! Save $$ on feminine products.
  • paying bills online saves on stamps
  • Reduce any smartphone/cell phone plans if possible. I STILL do not have a smart phone! 
  • Never buy a car outside of your means! Drive a clunker. Even if it's in the shop every 2 months, it's still cheaper than a car payment.
  •  Learn how to mend and repair what you have instead of trashing it! 
  • Get rid of your landline – it’s a waste of money and you know it! 
  • Replace as many regular light bulbs with the compact fluorescent ones as you can
  • Use electricity only when you need to. Unplug appliances when not in use, and let the Sun do its job during the day.
  • Household cleaners can be replaced with less expensive solutions. It's far kinder to the environment and most of the time it does at least as good a job as commercial cleaning products!
  1. vinegar + water is one of the most powerful cleaners you will ever see and is a lot cheaper than Mr Clean.
  2. Use vinegar and baking soda for most of the household cleaning and as laundry softener. 
  3. add a few drops of tea tree oil for cleaning, and lavender oil in the laundry. 
  4. Glass cleaner recipe:  equal parts water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
  5. Clean bathtubs with a mix of 9 parts white vinegar to 1 part dishwashing liquid. 
  6. If a bit of scrub power is needed baking soda comes to the rescue. 
  7. Wipe your bath counters and toilet daily with glass cleaner. 
  • Use reusable containers instead of baggies and other throw away stuff. Glass Jars should never be thrown out and always get re-purposed or recycled.Margarine/Butter Containers made great containers for leftovers you want to freeze.
  • Save the water and eggshells when you boil eggs, they are for great your house plants.
  • Cut down on the booze! (this is a hard one!)Expensive and unhealthy. **takes 1 shot of vodka**
  • Utilize your library.. there are so many dvds and good books and books on cd that are free to borrow 
  • Before you buy anything BRAND NEW at the stores, check: Ebay, Craigslist, Thrift Store, Freecycle, Fleamarket, Garage Sales
  • Going out to eat is nice on special occasions, but picnics are so much more romantic.. also a picnic is less expensive. and you can snuggle while eating, you cant really do that in a restaurant..
  • Before throwing something away - check 3 things
  1. Can I sell it?
  2. Is it so worn out I can't repair it? 
  3. Can I re-purpose it into something useful?
  •  For anything over $50 you should definitely spend some time researching to make sure you're spending your money wisely. 
  • For things that are meant to last a while, buy good quality so that it really does last. Sometimes it's actually smarter to spend more on something that will last 10 times as long rather than getting the item that was half the price, but will break and need replacing quickly.
  • Never carry cash- and you will rarely have impulse buys. 
  • I get rewards for every time I spend $$ on my PNC debit card. I cash in rewards for gift certificates and either treat myself or my family to impulse buys. 
  • Use  an ING direct account for savings-- the high interest rate = more free money
  • Buy second hand when you can for the things you need, thrift stores, fleamarkets, garage sales. 
  • I will never buy a house. I'm sorry. But whether you rent for 10 years or own for 70 years, this whole life's a lease anyways. My personal opinion.
  • Dissolve-It, is an oily stain remover. salvaged that cute Tee that you got grease on in the kitchen. 
  • Go thru your jewellery box for scrap silver and gold, take to a dealer and scrap for money!
  • Make your kitchen sponges go months longer using your microwave. Scientists did a study and proved that 1 minute on high in the microwave is better at disinfecting sponges than soaking in bleach! 
  • When your sponge is just no longer "kitchen OK," you know it's a "dirty" sponge and use it for gross cleanups only, like the toilet.
  • Downsize all personal products to the bare minimum. Figure out exactly what you have to have to be happy and hygienic and stick with that and not any more. If you see a GREAT sale on something you know you use,  Stock up! 
  • Join Freecycle in your area and give away your old stuff instead of throwing it away.
  • Shop for cheaper car insurance, there are always better rates! 
  • Grab a handful of free newspapers when leaving the grocery store. Wonderful for lining pet cages (we have lizards) or using to clean windows. 
  • When your cell phone contract switch cell companies to whoever has a cheaper plan. 
  • Get rid of cable, watch Netflix. It's much cheaper than cable, there are no ads, and there is a LOT available on there. I personally haven’t done this yet, but it sounds like a great way to save! 
  • Do your taxes yourself. Turbo Tax walks you right thru it, it’s a very easy process. 
  • Groom your own dogs. 
  • Trade books with friends.
  • Trade clothes with friends! (or family) 
  • Learn how to sew, and Sew your own clothes. To save on sewing costs... look through thrift stores for material that you can use... sheets, curtains, large clothing that will be enough for your pattern.
    Also, make your own patterns. Use a very loved style you already have or a piece that is worn out that you can disassemble and then copy the pieces onto paper to use as the pattern. 
  • Buy the clothes that have h holes made in them or damaged in a similar way from the stores. You get them at serious discounts and it's often only two minutes of hand sewing to fix it
  • Wash and vacuum your own car! 
  • If you have less stuff you can live in a smaller home.
  • Use Bronners soap for everything in your household. Laundry, cleaning, people, dogs, cats (provided you are using the unscented/baby mile formula), cars, dishes, etc. It's dirt cheap by the gallon.
  • Get rid of your excess crap. De-cluttering is so hard that you will think twice before bringing in more junk you will just want to get rid of later.
  • Buy holiday decorations after the holiday is over and you can get them for almost nothing.
    Excess popular Christmas toys also can be had at a HUGE discount (put aside for a birthday or next Christmas) 
  • Get the plastic bags from the grocery stores and keep them, they make great trash bags for the mini trash cans that way you don't have to waste money on buying the specially made trash bags.
  • Keep some of the lowest grade olive oil for cleaning wood
  • Car Repairs : Buy your own parts!!! I used http://www.partsgeek.com. Find a local honest mechanic to install or self teach yourself how to do it if it is minor (Like windshield wipers) 
  • Buy used tires!! They are half the price then new ones. There are a lot of people out there who buy 4 new tires every year and throw away perfectly good ones that have lots of mileage left!
  • Buy antique wooden furniture instead of cheap particle board versions.You will save money in the long run. Antiques are built to LAST!
  • Research storage utility auctions and try to attend one!
  • Research antiques in general and you may be able to resell an odd collectable you found for cheap at a garage sale.
Excellent resources

Recommend books
  1.  Tightwad Gazette books 
  2.  "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey


Excellent resources

 http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/how_to/579688/cashfree_living_how_to_survive_and_thrive_without_money.html

www.thebuildingbrows.com
http://www.newdream.org
http://www.pioneerthinking.com/
www.moneysavingexpert.com
www.freecycle.com
www.mint.com
http://depressioncooking.blogspot.com/

2 comments:

  1. Are you sure you are the same person that grew up in my house? Where did you get so wise?

    ReplyDelete