I'm so enjoying writing this series on ways we've saved over the past six years of our marriage–and especially during those early law school days. It's been good to review various ideas which have worked well for us and I'm hopeful you're being inspired at the same time. If you've missed the previous two installments of this series, you can read them here and here.
13) Switch to Basic H for household cleaning. Those who have known me for some time have already heard me sign the praises of Basic H.
It's an all-purpose, all-natural, non-toxic cleaner which you can use
in place of pretty much every other cleaner in your home.
it not only because it is all-natural and doesn't contain the harmful
chemicals most cleaners do, but it's also incredibly frugal. One 16-oz.
bottle of concentrate costs around $12 and makes 48 gallons of
cleaner–enough to last us for at least 3-4 years. That's quite a deal!
I don't sell this product, nor do I make a penny off promoting it. I
just personally really like it and highly recommend it. If you are
interested in reading more about it or purchasing it, go here.
14) Utilize Craigslist. Over the years, we've saved hundreds of dollars by purchasing big tickets items off of Craigslist for pennies on the dollar. Among other things, we've purchased exercise equipment, a living room set, and our kitchen table through Craigslist.
As always, if you don't need the items in the first place and can't afford them, don't even begin looking at Craigslist. But if you're in the market for something and have the cash set aside for it, definitely check out Craigslist. If you're patient, you'll likely be able to score quite a bargain!
If you're new to Craigslist, Carrie has a great post here with tips for buying on Craigslist.
15) Use Skype for long-distance phone calls. If you have a headset and a high speed internet connection, you can use Skype and drastically reduce your long-distance phone bills.
You can make Skype-to-Skype phone calls completely free of charge to anywhere in the world. If you want to call from your computer to a landline, you can use the pay-as-you-go plan and it's only about $0.02/minute for phone calls to 35 different countries. Or, you can sign up for an unlimited monthly plan for $2.95-$9.95 per month.
When my husband was in law school, my sister and her husband were living in Taiwan, so Skype was wonderful! Not only could my sister and I talk anytime–so long as we were both on the computer–but it was free of charge!
Skype does have its drawbacks: sometimes the reception isn't that great or there's a delay, but for free, who can complain?
16) Barter! One of my favorite ways to save money and help others out in the process is to use the old-fashioned bartering system. From hair cuts to babysitting to car maintenance, we've bartered just about everything under the sun over the years.
Bartering works especially well when you're friends with other frugal folks who would rather swap time or expertise instead of spending money. Not only is it a great way to save money, it also fosters camaraderie and community among friends.
So think about what areas you are gifted in and what areas some of your friends might be gifted in and then see if they'd be up for swapping services or other things.
To be continued…
photo by Refracted Moments