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How do you save $100? Share your tip and possibly be featured in my book!

I’m putting the final touches on my manuscript before it heads to the publisher for edits and I’d love to have you help me out. I’m looking for specific, practical ways that you save at least $100 per year.

I’m not looking for generic tips like “we use coupons”; I’m looking for tips like “We buy our eye glasses through ZenniOptical.com for $12 per pair instead of paying at least $150 per pair to buy them locally.”

Fill out the form here to submit your tip. The more creative and well-written your tip, the better chance you have of it making it into my book!

If your tip is something I’ve not already written about in the book and I end up using it, I’ll give you credit and send you a free copy of the book when it’s published. Please note that all submissions will be subject to editing.

If I don’t end up having space to use your tip in the book, I may use it on my blog in the future.

Thanks so much for helping me out with this. I can’t wait to see what brilliant ideas you share!

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394 Comments

  • Becky says:

    Oooh, I’d love to read these. Can’t wait for your book.

    • Lori says:

      I do not buy shipping materials. I sell items on eBay and Half.com. I save old cake mix boxes, the boxes that samples arrive in, etc. and re-use them by turning them inside-out. Run your fingers along the glued seam, turn the box inside-out and tape back up. If the box is too big then it’s easy to cut them down to size. I use clear duck tape that I get once or twice per year for free with coupons. If space does need filled then I cut down paper towel rolls to size, smash them if necessary, and stick them in. Paper towel rolls are great packing material.

      • Patti says:

        I use my plastic bags from the grocery store for packing materials (even though I try to remember my tote bags, I’m not always successful). I also make boxes and reuse mailing envelopes by turning them inside out. Had not thought about cake mix boxes… great idea!!

  • Miranda Clark says:

    I have been able to save on eating out at restaurants, buying video games, and staying at hotels by becoming a secret shopper. I was able to become a secret shopper through bestmark.com. The application is a simple process and I was able to do a shop within the month of joining. I get reimbursed for the money I spend on shops within the month. This has been a fun, cheap way to try new things and have date nights with my husband while saving our own money for things we need.

  • Jan says:

    I boil a whole chicken and then remove the meat and boil the bones some more to add calcium to the broth. From the meat I can make at least three of the following quick, easy, and cheap meals: chicken with rice seasoned with dry onion soup and butter; oriental chicken, with rice and frozen Chinese vegetables; chicken enchiladas, with sour cream as the sauce; chicken salad, with plenty of chopped celery, apple, onion, and mayo; salad of greens, purple onion rings, grated cheese, and chicken bits; chicken soup with vegetables and/or noodles. I look for whole chickens on sale, buy the largest to get the best ratio of meat to bones, and boil them, freezing the meat in meal-size portions, and putting the broth in ice cube trays, then putting the cubes in a freezer bag and storing until needed.

  • Michele Leid says:

    I make my own laundry detergent. I don’t know exactly how much that saves us, but it’s way more than $100! I’d be happy to share the recipe if you’re interested!

  • Kristy says:

    I shop the local twin moms’ consignment sale twice a year for all of my childrens clothing. We save hundreds and hundreds this way.

  • Samantha says:

    We use netflix and websites like hulu for tv and movies instead of paying $100 + a month in dish or cable bills. Plus we get to watch what we want when we want and NO comercials! =]

    • Ashley C says:

      We do the same thing. No commercials and you don’t have to wait a week for the next episode in a t.v. series. I love Netflix!

      • DJ says:

        Me too! We get our local channels in a “life line” package that costs about $15 a month. That way we still get local news and weather, but then we use Netflix for everything else. Love Netflix. Haven’t had cable in about 9 years, and I haven’t missed it. I used to miss HGTV, but now I have the app on my I-pod, so I can watch House Hunters anytime I want. 🙂

        • Samantha says:

          Yea we get our local channels free with “rabbit ears” lol. It’s nice having my husbands xbox to use our netflix through on out big tv without having to spend $60 on an hdmi cable for the laptop. We would have used the library instead, but there is only about 15 movies there and they cost $1 to rent. I’d rather pay $9 a month and get netflix and watch what I want lol

          • MC says:

            If you want one of the HDMI cables, look at monoprice.com

            They are ridiculously cheap and they work. No need to pay so much for a cable. Digital ones either work or they don’t. (Analog signals are different.)

            I’ve bought a bunch of things from them with great success. You’ll be shocked at the cheap prices.

        • Kacie says:

          SO glad you mentioned the HGTV app! YAY! We don’t have fancy cable and I was missing it…but now I can watch shows without commercials. Thanks!

    • Sharon Peterson says:

      We get all of our TV shows from the library. They might be a year or two behind and there might be a bit of wait but generally, we get a whole season at a time . . . for free. We haven’t had cable in over two years and I can’t stand to watch regular TV anymore. I’ve been spoiled by watching shows commercial free and when I want.

  • Rachelle Staten says:

    There is a local group called Neighbors Helping Neighbors that a friend of mine helps run. You bring in things that you no longer need like clothes, household goods, toys etc and you can take things that you need. It’s all free! So you’re getting rid of stuff that you no longer need that’s just wasting space (and wasted space is wasted money!) and you’re getting things you need for free! Can’t beat that!

    • Samantha says:

      We have a “free store” too! I love getting my dd clothes there and bring her clothes in. Its really nice! We also got her high chair and stroller there when she got too big for her baby stroller.

  • Christie says:

    By calling our cable company and saying I wanted to reduce my services because it was too expensive, they cut $22 a month off my bill for a year, and I got to keep everything I currently had! $264 in my bank account for less than 5 minutes.

    I realized I was wasting a ton of money on stamps. So I started paying all my bills online. 10 bills per month x $0.44= 52.80 a year.
    I then realized that another place I used a lot of stamps was on birthday cards for friends, simply pieces of paper that get thrown away. So I started using the free e-cards at sites like Dayspring.com, Hallmark.com, and just googling “free e cards” when the cards at those sites didn’t fit the recipient. Now, I don’t use e-cards for Grandma, but for friends and their kids–it’s awesome! Saving money on both a card AND a stamp means I actually send more cards than I would if I actually bought them. I figure if I would normally send 3 cards a month at $0.99 (card) + 0.44 (stamp)=4.29 a month savings. So adding together my online bill paying savings with my e card savings, I save about 104.28 per year!

  • Allie says:

    I recycled an empty spice shaker and keep it filled with baking soda in my kitchen. With baking soda and standard dish soap, I clean my stove top, kitchen counters, etc. This is so much cheaper than commercially made cleaners and works just as well!

  • Miranda Clark says:

    Hair cuts, Hair dye, highlights, etc cost a lot of money at salons, yet doing it at home can become a disaster and you have to go to a salon to fix it. My family lives near a student salon. We save a lot of money going there because the students are supervised by instructors so we still get salon worthy hair styles.

  • With four teenagers, it’s so easy for them to get caught up with activities with our church’s youth program or school activities, but they all cost. Though they are all good and fun activities, we encourage our teens to make wise choices as to which activities they really want to attend for we can’t afford to have them attend all of them. Then, it saves money not having to pay for every activity and it saves us gas from driving them to the activities, as well as, promoting some family time on the weekends instead of having the kids run of to every single activity that is available.

  • Melissa Duty says:

    I have 3 kids in public school and they come home with about 5-10 worksheets that are blank on the back. I use those to print off coupons and recipes. It not only saves me money but it’s a good way to recycle.

    I pack my kids lunches and often include pudding or yogurt cups (bought with coupons of course), I have my kids bring them back home and use them to start seeds during garden season. These can be used over and over again.

    We also use old clothes cut up to use as toilet paper. It doesn’t use any extra water, detergent or electricty to wash. I wash towels twice a week and I just dump them in with those. I have a small bucket of bleach water next to the toilet that we throw them in after use. With a family of six this method saves us about $10/month.

    • Kristine says:

      I love the idea of using the kids’ worksheets for printing coupons and recipes! I have three kids in school, too, and they bring home so many papers.

    • Pookie says:

      Seriously re: the toilet paper? That is hard core! I do cloth diapering, etc., but this is next level.

    • Diane says:

      EEWWW! That is a bit too frugal for me! I hope you splurge and have the traditional TP available for guests.

      We had friends with a composting toilet in their bathroom, and while we were free to use it if we chose, they did have a traditional “flushie” available for those of us who weren’t quite as organic.

    • Angela says:

      I too use old cut up shirts for TP. I was a bit scared at first b/c I thought it might be bit a bit too extreme but I love it and save a ton of money. When guests come over I hide my TP and give them the traditional stuff.

    • RAE2 says:

      Your husband and children agree to do this, I assume… I just can’t wash the stuff with my towels…. interesting idea, but I will pass… It’s green except for the bleach part.

    • Helen says:

      I was with you until the toilet paper, lol. Thanks for the tip regarding the kids papers though 🙂

    • Jamie says:

      “I have 3 kids in public school and they come home with about 5-10 worksheets that are blank on the back. I use those to print off coupons and recipes. It not only saves me money but it’s a good way to recycle. ”

      Great Idea!!! I am going to start that immediately!

    • Emily says:

      I’m glad others commented on the TP thing. When I first read this yesterday, I thought to myself “That is one of the grossest things I’ve ever heard”.

      • Laura says:

        I have to agree to this as well. With couponing, you can save BIG on toilet paper. I rarely spend much money at all on it anymore. Plus, the bleach bucket would not be safe to have out if you have little kids.

    • Melissa Duty says:

      I know the TP thing may seem gross at first but it’s no different than using cloth diapers or washing and reusing underwear for that matter. I haven’t been successful with stocking up on good TP deals yet but when I am able to do it we will forego the cloth TP. And we do set out the “good stuff” when we have company. As for the bleach water bucket, it isn’t a good idea to leave it out where little ones can reach it. In my case my youngest is four and doesn’t bother it and the bucket is one of last years small $1 Easter buckets so there’s no danger in drowning.

  • Jackie Patterson says:

    My husband and I love to go out on dates to nicer restaurants, but we would easily spend over $100 each time between the cost of dinner and babysitting for 3 kids. We now use Groupons and restaurant.com for dinners and trade babysitting with friends.

    Also, I love having professional portraits of my children done each year, but hate the cost of them. I found a local photographer who was willing to barter with me for my family photography….I teach his children piano lessons and he photographs my family twice a year!

  • Debra says:

    Whenever I need to make a large purchase, I always ask if there is any discount they can give me if I am paying in cash. Many managers give 5-10% off just for asking. I also look for defects when I’m purchasing household items or clothing and if I spot any, I ask if they will take anything off. Again, it’s usually 10%. I am a teacher, so before I purchase a zoo membership, museum membership, insurance, etc. I always ask if there’s an educator’s discount. You’d be amazed at the discounts that are out there that are not advertised.

  • Jade says:

    As much as we all try to use coupons and samples to save on the products when we have to buy them sometimes we dont look at our product usage to make the time between shopping trips stretch. some slightly pricier products are more concentrated and more effective thus needing less and buying less often. reusing anything that we can in place of products, too. such as dog and cat food bags can make awesome huge very durable trashbags as well as any boxes (if your not recycling them), plastic shopping bags are great wet bags and trash liners. we make anything we can at home and live by the rules: if its reusable itll save us money and the environment; and usually a little extra work can save you a lot of money. so much money is wasted on convenience.

  • Denise says:

    I buy as much online as I can. When my friends all ran to Best Buy to get $50 ipad cases and $15 packs of screen covers, I went to ebay and bought a $6 ipad case and .99 screen covers. The quality of the products were the same! I also buy my college text books online and then resell them online. College book stores are WAY to expensive and what they pay you for buy-backs is even worse.

  • Brandy White says:

    When we dont have a schedule to keep like on the weekends we take the city bus. This saves on parking gas and entertainment as we can get off and on any time so we can go to the library, downtown just about anywhere ( make your last stop the one where you do you big shopping if you use it to go to walmart, that way you are not lugging your purchases all day.)
    We use our tea bags and coffee grounds in with our grass clippings for fertilizer as well as in the worm bed ( keeps down other bad insects and the family just digs them up to go fishing) This saves on worms, fertilizer and insect spray.
    used dryer sheets work as dusting clothes as well and they are the right size to attach to a swiffer no more buying dry clothes to sweep up the floor. we use eyebuydirect.com to cut down the cost of eye glasses, order medication online so we save and buy 3 -6 months at a time.

  • Ashlee says:

    #1- Use Amazon Mom subscribe and save for diapers and wipes. Aside from the amazing sales at CVS/Walgreens/Target once in a while there is no cheaper way to get diapers and wipes. Combine that with the occassional Amazon credit from swagbucks and viewpoints for even more savings. I used to pay about $.25 a diaper with a little sale and a coupon for size 4 pampers cruisers. I now pay no more than $.20 a diaper, usually less. At $.05 less a diaper and approximately 6 diapers a day that is a savings of $109 a year. Any Amazon credits are an additional savings.

    #2- I only participate in PineCone Research surveys. I get approximately three surveys a month for $3 each. For a total of $108 a year. For very little time its the easiest way to get $100 a year.

    #3- Sell a few items from your house each year. We recently sold a lot of books we had (many received as gifts, bought used or required purchases for school) and made $244. It took two afternoons of work. We also recently received a new iPod as a gift and sold our old one (still working) for $50.

    #4- Get rid of cable, switch to a lite internet and instead get netflix for $10 a month. Regular non digital cable is $55 here and internet is an additional $30. So $85 a month plus about $5 in taxes/fees. No cable and lite internet is $20 a month plus $10 for one disc from netflix plus unlimited streaming. So a savings of $60 a month or $720 a year.

    • Abbie says:

      Where did you sell your books?

      • Ashlee says:

        I first entered all my book ISBNs at http://bookscouter.com/ This is a website that tells you all the major online companies that will buy back your book and how much each company is willing to pay for that book. Most companies have a minimum before they will pay for your shipping ($10-$20 worth of books). So I picked the top 5 companies that offered the most money and offered money on several books. I ended up going with Amazon (they do not give cash back, but Amazon credits instead), sellbackyourbooks, moola4books, valore books, and textbooks.com. Hope that helps!

    • Casey says:

      I love pinecone research. I have gotten to try out several items which is fun and cool for the kids too!

    • Jennifer M says:

      Great tips! I’d publish you. ; )
      I’d drop the TV altogether, though. Best savings you’ll ever make.

    • Cheryl Raymond says:

      Do you have to hook up your computer to your TV? Sorry I’m not getting the Netflix thing, with there being more than one TV in the house and all….can someone explain? Thanks!

      • Ashlee says:

        We don’t hook our computer up, we just watch on the laptop. However you can hook up a computer if you have a newer TV with an HDMI cable. There might be a way to still hook it up on older tvs, but I really have no idea. We still have the old tube tvs so we don’t bother. But our neighbor’s hook up their computer and love to watch their netflix.

  • Freebies says:

    I have my two girls hair cut at the local Beauty School- This way I pay $5 a cut instead of $15- this saves us right around $100 per year!!

    BTW- I love small savings like save $100 a year strategies!! It makes saving so painless and it really adds up.

    jen penner

  • Andria says:

    We listed all of our expenses and went line by line looking for categories where we could cut back. One change we made was to change our auto insurance after shopping around and comparing prices and policies. We saved well over $100 per year by changing auto insurance. (Incidentally, the same applied to our home insurance.)

  • Heidi Raiders says:

    We use cloth diapers at least half time if not full time. Saves us a ton of money on diapers. Especially when she was little. I always hated when you got the diaper underneath them and they would pee again. It wasn’t so bad because I figured it was just one more diaper to wash. Instead of one more diaper to throw away. We don’t use them when we are out in public because it got to be a lot for me to carry around and just seemed to be more of a hassle than it was worth. When we are at home (which is most of the time) she’s in a cloth and loves it. I love that I’m saving a ton of money on diapers. Makes staying at home to watch her grow up priceless.

    • Momof2girls says:

      Heidi,
      Just curious as to if you use regular “old school” cloth diapers or if you have invested in the more popular cloth brand diapers??

      • Heidi Raiders says:

        Sorry momof2girls for taking so long to get back to you. We started out with the “old school” ones to see if we liked it before investing a lot of money in a more popular brand. I did end up buying BumGenius one-sized pocket diapers because my child grew so fast. I was buying a different size of covers and prefolds every month at first. With the amount of time we have been using them, we are making money now even using a few disposables here and there. I only bought the BG’s when they were buy 5 get one free. My parents pitched in a lot of money and I got a few as gifts also. There is nothing like seeing your child standing next to their toys with a cloth diaper on. It’s just the cutest thing ever.

  • Lindsay says:

    We usually take vacations with family and friends once or twice a year, and these trips usually involve the lake. We share the expenses of the house rental, food, and gas. It allows us to go on a nicer and longer vacation for a fraction of the cost. Plus, it is fun to spend time with the whole family!

  • Tricia H says:

    For years I have been on a medication my insurance would not cover. It was costing us about $30.00 a month. This year my doctor wrote a letter to the company explaining why he was prescribing this medication. They decided to cover my medication- it now costs me $7.00 a month. That was a $276.00 savings!

  • Erin says:

    We cut out expensive cable/satellite television. Instead, we subcribe to Netflix for the latest movies and catch up on television shows on Hulu.com. We also get the latest books, new music, and harder to find documentaries from our local library. If they don’t have it, they’ll request it from another library. Cutting out cable has saved us at least $600 a year!

    • kim stuart says:

      I do the same… exept I had a roof top antenna on a tripod installed
      for regular HD tv watching. I paid a one time installation of 270.00
      and save over 600.00 in cable costs a year.

  • Julie De Wilde says:

    1) This year when we got our tax return, we put 2/3 of it in a 10 month CD so that we would not be tempted to spend it frivolously. It’s still there if we need more than our emergency fund, but we have to think hard before pulling it out early.

    2) This is probably used by many. We found that when we started contributing to a 412K through my husband’s work, we don’t miss it.

    3) Cut out cable; go for a walk instead.

    4) Instead of running our air conditioning in the summer, we spend about $100 on a pool pass. This saves us far more than we would have spent running the air all day.

    5) Start a neighborhood car pool to the grocery store. With the cost of rising gas prices, it saves more than you think it will.

    6) Sell stuff online. We just sold a min-fridge we had sitting around not being used.

    7) Check with your city and county to see what housing upgrades they are willing to pay for or reimburse for. Many cities and counties, especially those close to a large city, will pay for upgrades. Our county pays for new attic insulation, weather stripping, a bathroom fan, etc.

    8) Find someone to whom you can donate your children’s outgrown clothes. While getting back should never be the motivation for giving, I have found that a) I receive much more joy knowing I am helping someone I know than selling them at a garage sale for pennies, and b) when you give, you always seem to get back. Every time I hand my daughter’s old clothes down, I find that within a week, someone gives us hand-me-downs for our son.

    9) If you eat canned vegetables, wait until right before Thanksgiving, and buy enough to get you through the winter. The week or two before Thanksgiving, many stores have them on sale for half to 2/3 off, and if you buy enough to get you through winter, by spring, fresh produce is cheaper again.

    10) Raise the deductibles on your insurance. That will lower your monthly premiums. Just make sure you have enough of an emergency fund that you can cover the deductible if something comes up.

    11) Have only liability insurance if your vehicle is under $3000 and paid off.

    12) Eat pasta once a week. You can get free pasta combining sales with coupons. Then if you just add sauce and some ground beef or ground turkey, your meal is fairly cheap.

    13) Assess how much it costs to have a 2 household income. If you have to pay for child care, and then factor in the cost of a second reliable vehicle, insurance, etc, work clothes, fast food b/c you are too tired to cook and clean, less coupon shopping b/c you have less time, higher income taxes, etc, you may not actually be making much money.

    14) Clean your sinks and tubs with toothpaste. It is a sufficient cleaner, AND you can get it for free matching sales with coupons. If I bought every free tube of toothpaste I could, we would have 30 tubes sitting in our closet. What could be better than free household cleaner?

  • Brandi George says:

    I do product testing for various sites. I get small things like shampoo,makeup,cleaning products,food products. I’ve even gotten a $300 vacuum to test, a $350 air purifier,video game systems. I even get paid to do some! I’m getting $60 this month to give my opinion of 7 perfumes from seven different celebrity lines (and they’re full size!). It helps me save more than $100 because I don’t have to buy these things.

  • Jessica says:

    Every year I make a list of everyone I plan to buy gifts for. Then when I’m out shopping I keep my eyes open for clearance racks and store sales. I managed to purchase an expensive tablecloth for members of my family that love to entertain, and it only cost $6.00. I also love combining the Jcpennys sales with the $10 off $10 or more Jcpennys coupons. I went to the juniors section this past December and managed to get 2 sets of earrings priced at $16 a piece for $1.00. This alone saves us hundreds of dollars each year.

    When it comes to clothes, it helps to have a consignment store account. I was able to purchase an Old Navy peacoat with store credit a couple years ago. The 50% racks are the way to go. Any item that has been there for a certain amount of time gets marked down even if it’s stylish and in good condition.

    I also found that going green saves big time. I make my own household cleaning products with mostly vinegar and baking powder. I also reuse whenever possible. We don’t purchase ziplock bags for storing leftovers in the freezer. Instead I just use empty bread bags and produce bags.

  • elle says:

    OK, my tip might not be considered so great by many but it works for my family.

    I have teenagers. Packing a brown bag for school just isn’t cool. Now I know being thrifty isn’t cool either LOL but teaching your kids the value of a dollar is. So, on Sunday afternoon I give everyone their lunch money for the week. There’s a catch to this….it has to last. If you run out, you get the brown bag.

    They each get $15 for the week. Their lunch is $2 for the regular meal. There are also items they can purchase individually that they enjoy without having to buy a “regular” meal (which almost always includes things they don’t like). They quickly figured out that they could buy a sandwich (or main dish) and drink for $1.50 and forego the slaw, mash potato, whatever is on the side which saves them .50 cents. Of course they have the extra $5 (per week) if they want to purchase something additional, you know teens eat a lot.

    Of course, they can also choose to pack their lunch a day or two and conserve the alotment. Sometimes they do because at the end of the week whatever they have left is theirs to keep and spend however this wish. They all end up with money saved at the end of the week.

    I’ve seen my kids learn to save and manage money in this way. They all have a couple of hundred dollars (or more) that they have squirreled away throughout the year through this plan. They are all planning to save it for a late summer family vacation 🙂

    Like I said, alot of people won’t think this is a great money saving idea because I’m actually paying for school lunches. But, it works for my family and it is teaching important lessons: money management & savings.

    • Kerry says:

      I’m all for teaching the value of a dollar to your children as young as possible with small strategies they can handle. When my daughter was about 5, being the only grandchild for a long time, she was spoiled rotten by the grandparents. They took her to stores for entertainment and let her have anything she wanted. Well, of course this created a small monster who didn’t understand that sort of thing doesn’t happen all the time. So when she was about 5, I gave her $5.00 when we would go to a special store for a special occasion. I told her she could get anything she wanted as long as she could pay for it. Well….she found out quickly $5 doesn’t go very far, and she had to make choices about what she wanted. That little girl learned fast, she didn’t even spend it the first time because she decided she didn’t need anything or want anything that she could get for $5. So she saved it and the next time, she had $10. All of a sudden, she realized that the more she saved, the better thing she could get. Now she’s 12. Very savvy with money, has savings, spending and charitable donations put aside. Is always looking for ways to make money and has approached me to put her savings into an interest earning account or CD so she can use it toward a car when the time comes. All from giving a 5 year old $5 and let her manage it herself. 🙂

    • Michelle says:

      You rock!! My mom did this with me, too!!
      I really am happy that she did this since I learned how to manage my money pretty well. You’re kids will appreciate this and remember it when they are adults and have their own kids.

  • Brandi George says:

    I also swap kids clothes and toys with my friends. We all have girls that are different ages so we have a lot to share. Kids outgrow clothes and toys so fast! I haven’t had to buy my 9 month old any clothes since she was born. Kids get tired of their toys so fast and they are expensive. Swap with your friends and clean them with clorox wipes and you’re good to go!

  • Kassandra Wood says:

    My husband and I found a very easy way to save around $750-$1,000 per year on our electricity bill. When washing clothes, we set the clothes to spin an extra time on the spin cycle. Then, we transfer the clothes to one of three clotheslines installed in our garage. The clotheslines are retractable and hide well, the only ones who see the lines are our family when we are using them. Once the clothes are nearly dry, I toss them in the dryer to fluff them. We wash 3 loads of laundry, daily. This allows our family to save a ton of money on our electric bill as well as have fresh, clean, soft clothes. They are line-dried, which makes them last longer, without the fading from the drier and the sun and there is not the downfall of debris from outdoors. We also only use 1/3 of the suggested laundry detergent and we use tennis balls in the drier for fluffing. In doing this and other money-saving tips, we’ve paid off $11,000 in debt in 15 months.

    • Kerry says:

      I LOVE this! I’ve been looking for retractable clothes lines….where did you get them. Never thought about using the garage but that makes it possible all year too, Excellent idea.

    • Jessica says:

      How are you able to do 3 loads per day? I have a clothes rack for my clothes, but sometimes it takes a day or 2 for them to be completley dry.

      • Kassandra Wood says:

        I don’t start and finish the same loads each day… For instance. Yesterday I washed a load of light cottons, a load of towels and a load of denim. I put them all on the lines yesterday morning. Last night the light cottons load was ready to be fluffed, so I fluffed them in the dryer, folded them and put them away. This morning, the jeans and the towels were ready to be fluffed, so I fluffed them consecutively which then made room for the loads I needed to wash today. I hope that helps… 🙂

  • Julie De Wilde says:

    hmmm, just submitted a bunch of ideas, and it did not post. Does it just need to be verified first?

  • When I met my husband, his “breakfast” choice each morning was a canned diet drink and a pack of sandwich crackers from the vending machine at work. This is still his favorite thing to eat for breakfast, but I buy the canned drinks and sandwich on sale and he takes them from home. So, instead of him spending $2 per work day ($520/year) purchasing these items from the vending machine, we spend at most $.50 per work day ($130/year) by buying these items when I find great sales and use coupons. This was an easy way to save big bucks each year by simply changing the routine a little and still acquiring the exact same product.

  • I couldn’t decide which frugal tip to share, so I thought I would just link my blog. I’ve listed several of the frugal things we do to save money under the “Frugal Tips” tab. The blog is “Deb’s Delights and Couponing” and the address is delightsncouponing.blogspot.com

  • Mary says:

    I shop for nearly all of my clothing at local thrift stores. Overall, I’d say I pay between $1 and $5 on average per item–for long- and short-sleeved knitted shirts, sweaters, pants, and shorts. I try to take advantage of half-off days and bag days, where you can fill a full-sized paper bag with all the clothing you can fit in the bag for a set price such as $10. I spend less than $150 for all my clothing for an entire year. I easily spent more than twice that much every year for a small batch of items, even when buying them on sale or on clearance. The unexpected thing? Most of the clothing I’m able to buy now, which is only gently used, is far nicer and better quality than I had been buying.

  • Amy Murray says:

    We grow our own veggies and herbs. We did some dumpster diving to find free wood to build raised beds – my husband grows all of our plants from seed – and we can/freeze the results. This saves us TONS of money. We also make our own laundry detergent and shop at thrift stores for clothes.

  • Julie De Wilde says:

    Trying again here.

    1) We buy a family pool pass for the summer and then leave our air conditioning off. We find we save way more than we would have spent on the air conditioning.

    2) Just sold an old mini-fridge online for $30.

    3) Check with your city and county. Many of them have programs that reduce your energy efficiency for free-attic insulation, weather stripping, bathroom fan, etc.

    4) Start a neighborhood carpool to the grocery store. With the rising cost of gas, this savings could add up quickly.

    5) Raise the deductibles on your insurance. This lowers your premiums. Just make sure you have enough emergency fund to cover the deductible if something does come up.

    6) Put only liability insurance on your vehicle if it is paid off and valued at under $3000

    7) Give. I don’t know why this works, but every time we donate our kids’ outgrown clothes to someone who needs them, someone then donates hand-me-downs to our kids. You shouldn’t give just to get, but you really can’t out-give God.

    8) Eat pasta one more night a week. Combining sales with coupons, you can get a few free boxes of pasta about once a month.

    9) Grow your hair one length and reduce the number of times per year you get it cut.

    10) Assess your out of pocket medical expenses, and put that much in a flex account. Saves quite a bit on taxes.

    11) Rent out a room of your house

    12) Barter/trade babysitting with friends

    13) Use toothpaste to clean your sinks and tubs. Combining sales with coupons, we get about 4 free tubes of toothpaste a month. We only use 1 a month. Nothing better than free cleaning products.

  • Jennifer says:

    We rent a community garden plot for $10 and start our own seeds in leftover yogurt cups for around $15 each year (variety of organic seeds + seed starter soil). We harvest hundreds of dollars of fresh, local and organic produce every summer with plenty to preserve for the winter.

  • Heather L says:

    I refuse to buy a smart phone. I strongly believe technology has gotten out of hand. Phones should be used strictly for phone calls and they shouldn’t be something you have to depend on. By not buying a smart phone that’s over $100 savings right there. My husband doesn’t buy one either. We each have basic phones with basic plans. By not having a smart phone, and not having to subscribe to that upgraded service, that’s an additional savings of at least $20 per month= at least $240 per year.

    • Kerry says:

      I’m also very conscious about the cost of cell service and phones….my two favorite plans right now are through Virgin Mobile with $25 a month…$27 after tax for unlimited texting and internet connection with 300 talk mins. So that’s great for the texter in your family.

      Also: Smart talk Verizon…tract phone: $33 a month after taxes: The phones are very inexpensive but you can get a pretty nice one with internet connection and nice keyboard for $100 and the above service price is 1000 mins of talk, 1000 texts and unlimited I believe internet.(per month)…don’t use the internet so I can’t remember that part. But very economical over all….plus you can put them on automatic payment making the service continuous and convenient….no contracts for either of these phone services.

    • Maria says:

      Well, I will say that it depends who you are and what you do with your smartphone. I have an iphone (no land line at home) and my cellphone plan allows me to talk with family members who are back in Mexico for the cost of a local call saving serious money and calling every day. I shopped around and signed up for the North American plan with AT&T which means that I can call to Canada and Mexico for the same price than calling anyone in the US. Plus, free mobile to mobile, free night and weekends and rollover! The iphone was an investment and I see your point here but it has allowed me to save $$ down the road for sure as I don’t have to invest in a GPS for the car. We live in a big city and getting from point A to point B is sometimes tricky but some free apps like mapquest have saved me money. I’m not getting lost any more or using gas like crazy. Also, if traffic is bad I can find new routes and get back home to my baby and keep saving in gas.

      There are also free apps to download electronic coupons and have use them at many stores including CVS (and I like to think that the stores are catching up and there will be more deals and coupons for smartphones). I also rely on apps like Groupon and have taken advantage of good deals so many times that not having the phone will mean no $aving$ 🙂 I have seriously scored free items or ridiculous discounts from Diapers to hair cuts and everything in between. I’m talking about things that you still need to purchase too. Plus I use apps to cook meals and to mange grocery lists (with coupons) organise our agendas, send emails, etc all in my iphone. I have never purchased an app but for 1 dollar you can even compare big ticket purchases for let’s say appliances by scanning the bar code into the phone and figure out where the item is sold for less.

      To make (or save) money you sometimes have to invest some money and I think that an iphone is worth it. I lived without one for many years but last year while pregnant I got mine and has changed my life. There is no way back, it is very useful for new or seasoned Moms.

      All of the above coming from someone who uses coupons, cleans glass jars to store foods, doesn’t pay for cable TV and goes to the library but loves an iphone and all of the apps that come along. I have saved more than what I invest in my iphone.

      One more thing, I can check this site in my iphone and use the database everywhere I go too hehe

      • Lindsey says:

        My husband and I easily make up the extra cost of having an iphone by using money-making apps. We use apps like Checkpoints, Shopkick, and Field Agent, and between the three, we average more than $30 per month, which is how much extra we spend on the phone each month. Like Maria, we have found that we definitely save money by using the phone, but being able to actually make money with it is a great advantage! My husband and I are very frugal (ok, I’m frugal; he’s just cheap), and we turn grocery shopping into entertainment by going on what we call “scan dates.” Checkpoints and Shopkick give you points for scanning items (which you can redeem for gift cards and various items), so we scan items while we’re out. It’s a bit like a scavenger hunt, and while dorky, we enjoy it.

    • I’m with you! My husband got rid of his smart phone because he got a phone free through his work. I got rid of my regualr cell phone and got a Tracfone becuase I rarely use my cell phone and don’t need and bell and whistles. We also got a Magic Jack instead of a normal landline. We’ve saved at least $100 a month since we’ve cut back on phone services.

  • Rebecca Rose says:

    I shop for Christmas and birthdays all year long, this way I don’t even up paying full price the week off the birthday or Christmas. (This is only my second year to do this, but it saved so much money and time doing it last year I pan on doing it every year.)
    For example after Christmas this year CVS had almost all of their toys on sale for 75% off. I was able to get birthday gifts for many of my nephews and nieces for the whole year and they probably averaged about $1-$2 each. If I wait until their birthdays I usually spend anywhere om $10-30.
    I keep an eye out on all sales throughout the year and have a stash of gifts I keep in my house for any occassion that comes up. It saves time, and money and I love it and can get people nicer gifts this way for less money!

    • Lindsey says:

      I do this, too. I also use the sample-sized products I get throughout the year in the mail or get with coupons as stocking stuffers.

    • jessgrtn says:

      After Christmas I stock up on the gift sets when theyre 75% off… that way I have plenty of bday party presents for when my kids get invited to a party. I also buy easter basket stuff the day fter easter and halloween costues when theyre 75% off for the next year 🙂

  • Natalie says:

    I save money by buying my baking and cooking necessities in bulk. I cook from scratch as much as possible. One pound of old fashioned oats are $.38 in the bulk section. If you were to buy those same oats in a canister you would be paying $3.48 for just over a pound. That is an incredible savings!! I also buy my flour, sugar, spices, cornmeal, nuts, ect. in the bulk section! If a recipe only calls for a pinch of a certain spice I can buy a pinch in that section. The cost is usually $.05 or less for that amount. The spice jars cost a couple bucks… over the course of a year this easily saves me $100+!!

  • My family and I saved more than $120 over a 12 month period on our car insurance. Use these tips to save you hundreds: know exactly when violations fall off your record (each company is different), low mileage discount, adjust your deductible depending on your income, don’t be afraid to switch to another company willing to offer you a better rate, and evaluate your coverage.

    I wrote a more detailed blog post, at http://thedaysofasahm.blogspot.com/2011/03/saving-money-on-car-insurance.html

  • Jessica says:

    We save over $100 a year by looking for freebies. I know that sounds a little simple, but this month alone, I’ve saved us $300 because I found out about a company giving away FREE eyeglasses. Several companies do crazy things like this as a way to get new customers. A lot of people kind of look at me funny when I tell them about promotions, but free doesn’t always mean TOO good to be true.

  • Lacey Wilcox says:

    As old fashioned as it is, I save every single penny I get from a transaction. Over the course of a year, it adds up to $100 for sure (I’ve also been known to take unwanted loose change from friends and family members :).
    Another idea: we live pretty far from a lot of our friends and family. For birthdays, I’ve stopped sending packages, and have just started sendin gift cards, either by mail or by email. Saves a TON on shipping!!!

    • Tammy says:

      I have done that lots of times.Saved all of our change and donated it to the Dance- athon at the local middle school.Money goes to cancer research.

    • Charity says:

      My papa taught me to never thow away a penny, or pass up picking a loose one off of the ground. We have a baby wipes container on a shelf in our closet that we empty all of our loose change into. When it gets full my husband empties it into a large bucket in the garage. We are always in shock at how much that bucket of change adds up to be! Sometimes the ‘old fashioned’ ways are the best! 🙂

  • Jen D says:

    We save approximately $100 a year just by paying our Progressive car insurance up front instead of paying monthly!

    • Jen D says:

      Oh, yeah… and we go to the local college to have the dental students clean our teeth for about $10 instead of the usual $100. They’ll refer you for any big procedures, but for a simply cleaning its a steal!!! Multiply that by a family of 4 going two times a year…

  • Heather L says:

    Here is another one. After looking over last years expenses (I keep an excel chart every year), we realized we were way over spending on eating out (restaurants, fast food, etc.) So this year I made an envelope system. This system already exists where you put dollar bills in it according to your budget. When you spend the cash, that’s it, no using the credit card. Well, we like getting the points on our credit cards so I had to adapt this system. I cut up pieces of paper to represent dollar bills. I also combined the categories eating out and groceries into one to represent food- so we even had the choice of what we wanted to spend on. At the beginning of each week we have a set amount of “dollar bills.” Whenever we spend on food we have to come back and take out that amount. This makes us much more of how much we are really spending unnecessarily ie. a soda at a restaurant for $2.50 when that can buy an entire 12 pack when on sale! As crazy as it sounds it really works, and typically at the end of the week we even have “dollar bills” left in the envelope which is just more savings! In total by doing this we’ve saved about $100 per month = $1200 per year which shows how VERY much we were over spending.

  • Andria says:

    Another way we saved $100+ per year was to switch from regular phone service to Vonage (VOIP). We’ve had no complaints and it doesn’t interrupt our internet service to be on the phone. Plus it’s unlimited long distance!

    • Teresa says:

      We switched from Vonage to Ooma. We got and even better savings. You need internet to run it, but it does not effect your internet usage.

      • Dona says:

        We switched from Vonage at $34.00 a month to Voipo for $135 a YEAR….for a savings of $273! We have had no issues with it and have had it for over a year.

  • SarahD says:

    I play the prescription transfer game about 3-4 times a year.

    My husband has about seven prescriptions he takes each month, and every three months or so, I’ll transfer some to another pharmacy and use a ‘FREE $25 gift card when you transfer any prescription’ coupon. Then after a month, I’ll transfer them back to CVS (who accepts competitor’s prescription coupons), using the same coupons and get a $25 gift card again. For each prescription that I do this for, I’ll get a $25 gift card for transferring it, and a $25 gift card for transferring it back.

    Depending on what coupon is available when I do it, I may be able to do up to four prescriptions like this, netting $200 in gift cards. It’s a pain, and it takes some time and effort, which is why I only do it every few months, but it’s a great way to get some money back for those expensive prescriptions we have to buy every month and I can use the gift cards for Christmas presents or to keep from paying out of pocket at the drugstore.

    I also save the ‘$10 gift card with any new prescription’ coupons in my car for the last-minute trip to the doctor for a round of antibiotics occasions. We don’t usually PLAN for anyone getting sick, so they’re nice to have in place when it happens.

  • Jessica C. says:

    I submitted two tips by form, and forgot to put my website address on the first one, but I’d love if you could share it if you post my tip. 🙂 This is a great idea, by the way! Looking forward to seeing lots of these ideas!

  • I use the library for getting alot of reading books for our school curriculum, instead of buying them as well as for reading pleasure! I save at least $100 or more this way. I also have signed up for review programs, so I review books for authors and that way I get many of my books for free and that saves me a ton of money as I love to read, and at the same time, I love talking about books, so it gives me an outlet, promotes the books for the authors, and saves me money!

    Another way that we have saved alot of money is by living in town. We are able when it is warm enough, to walk those short distances that we normally would drive and are able to cut out a whole tank of gas every month almost this way. Those short distances really add up and walking and biking can really save money, it also saves money that could have been spent on a gym membership or gym equipment.

  • Hannah says:

    1. I cut my husband’s hair at home which saves us anywhere from $100 – $150 a year.

    2. I use home-made, re-usable flannel baby wipes which saves anywhere from $100 – $150 a year.

    • Samantha says:

      We use reusable baby wipes too, but my daughter is allergic to regular baby wipes. Its so nice not having to buy them anymore! =]

  • Melissa says:

    We are a single income family with an income of $60,000 but my husband drives one hour each way to work and we have to pay for our own health insurance. Just insurance and gas alone cost us around $800 per month. I would love to know how to lower our health insurance bill. I have the kids on CHIP (state program) that I pay $130/month for and my husband & I pay $300/month for our insurance.

    • Kerry says:

      I’m a young widow and have had to pay for Cobra insurance the last 20 months. Which for three of us is $685 a month. Yeah, Yikes. I just found out that if I itemize I can deduct this, plus the deductible, plus whatever I’ve paid for doctor visits for the year, plus my child’s braces which I paid in full for a discount but still came to over $3000. So now, instead of paying in this year, looks like I’ll be getting a refund.

    • Teresa says:

      Have your husband ask his employer about setting up a flex account for your medical expenses; I believe it can also be used for childcare. A flex account can help you on your taxes. Talk to your tax accountant about it too. My husband drives 170 miles to work. To keep down cost, he joined a carpool. Now he drives every fourth week. Another option is possibly joining a shuttle service to work.

      • kim says:

        I am single too! But I dont itemize because my standard deduction is more. I am self employed and I have a high insurance deductable and have a HSA account with a bank. You deposit your money and get 1% interest and when you go to your doctors you can pay out of this account. If you deposit 500.00 for medical expense you can write off all of it or what ever you deposit.

        • B says:

          If you are self employed either schedule c or s-corp you should look into paying the insurance through the company you could be entitled to an above the line deduction in addition to your standard deduction.

  • Roxanne says:

    I JUST recently graduated college. Here are my easy tips!

    1) Cut cable and get basic internet. You can find everything you need online!
    2) When my roommates and I would leave our apartment for the weekend, we would unplug everything from the power outlets.
    3) Use public transportation as much as possible. We saved money by taking the bus instead of wasting money parking on campus (which could easily be $4/day) and gas. This all in itself saves $1,000+
    4) Take advantage of student discounts baby! A lot of “college cities” offer discounts to local college students.
    5) Sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, Tippr are great for saving lots of money on fun stuff. My friends and I would always coordinate buying something to use together. There was recently a deal for $9 movie for 2. Worth up to $15 each in value. Saves so much!
    6) Selling old books on Amazon makes more money than reselling them to your school.
    7) Open a bank account through Chase! Upon opening they usually give you $$$. That’s an easy $125.
    8) Recycle everything.
    9) I recently got glasses. If insurance doesn’t cover your new pair of glasses, obtain your prescription, and go to Costco to get them.

    I hope this helps, I would love to be featured in your book!

  • L says:

    We use the library for books and DVDs. We never buy books and only buy the kids a DVD for a Christmas gift. (It is nice to have a few DVDs on hand when they have a friend sleep over.)

    My husband and I also rent the latest DVDs by adding our name to the library’s waiting list. We also like to go to the movie theater to watch movies, but this doesn’t happen as much as we would like with the kids’ busy schedules right now.

    At a minimum, our family saves $2 cost of DVD rental/week =$104 savings per year.

  • Rhonda R. says:

    My husband works with a man who buys truck loads of pet food & donates it to local shelters. My husband assists him in unloading the food from the tractor-trailer, and it turn he gives my husband enough dog food to feed our 3 dogs. We haven’t purchased dog food in years.

  • Rhonda R. says:

    I earn points on Swagbucks by using their search bar, watching videos, sending them used cell phones, etc. I’ve used my points to purchase Christmas gifts for this coming year. I have 5 people done & spent less than $6.00.

    • Amy Jackson says:

      Find a club that supports a particular hobby that you enjoy. My husband and I are members of an antique car club. Each member works a required set of hours for a major event the club hosts, but in return, our family gets to go on 3 and 4 day trips at no cost, at least twice a year! We get to go places we wouldn’t normally see, as well as enjoy the company of other enthusiasts! Not to mention the fact that my two-year old son is in heaven, getting to check out those old cars!

  • April says:

    1 – I love spring time and having beautiful plants in my yard but they can cost a fortune at the home improvement store or plant nursery. So, I check with friends who have plants that have multiplied or plants that are doing well but they don’t want, and plants their flowers in my yard. The plants continue to grow and multiply and I paid nothing for them. Beats spending over $100 for flowers that could possibly die!

    2 – Babysitting swap!! We have friends who also have young kids with bedtimes and instead of paying $30+ a month for babysitters, we take turns watching each others’ kids while the other couple goes on a date. This makes date night so much more fun when you don’t have to break the bank on a babysitter.

    • kim says:

      I love swapping plants with friend… but beware or know your plants,
      because I have some pretty invasive plants!

  • Rhonda R. says:

    We use SwapaDVD.com. We had a couple of DVD’s we wanted & I noticed on PaperbackSwap.com they also had SwapaDVD. We went through our stash of DVD’s & quickly found 10 we owned but probably wouldn’t watch again. Just by posting 10 we earned a credit to choose a DVD from another member. Since then, we’ve earned 5 more credits for more DVD’s. We were able to get the DVD’s we really wanted & all it cost was the postage (generally $1.91) to ship the ones we posted out. Now we are working on our CD’s as they have a program for those as well.

  • Rhonda R. says:

    I wash our car the old fashioned way…..with a bucket & sponge. People pay $8.00 or more a week to go through those automatic car washes. While it may take me a lot longer, I do a better job & get in some fun exercise as well.

    • Brittany says:

      I have a local car wash where I can wash my car for $1.25. You just use the wash, rinse, and wax functions in a power-sprayer-like wand, and get about 4 minutes of time, which is plenty, as long as you keep moving around the car. This is totally worth it to me not to have to pay for my own water, car rags, sponges, soap, wax, etc. It’s faster, really thorough, and has a nice amount of pressure to knock the crud off, too! The time savings is substantial, too (5 minutes versus 30 or more), which is great, especially for a chore I don’t like 🙂

  • Traci says:

    Recycling Cans & Bottles (California), I get my coupons from friends and families papers that don’t use them. I take drinks and snacks in the car for the kids on road trips or just when we run errands. I barter (babysit once a week for my cousins son & in turn she cuts all of my families hair) I sign up for freebies, I plan my menu according to sale ads and I buy produce that is in season along with garden. Buy clothes at yard sales and thrift stores. I have a gift closet that I stock up on throughout the year. Switched to energy efficient bulbs. RARELY eat out. Take my lunch to work. Spend my free time home with the kids rather than going out. Hang dry my clothes. Pay cash for cars and carry liability only or carry high deductibles. TREAT myself and the kids once in a while. Sell things on Ebay or Craigslist. Get creative. Surveys.

    • Traci says:

      All these have saved me thousands since I started reading MSM in 2006 when I was pregnant with my son. I have had an Emergency Fund for years because of this.

  • Julie says:

    Instead of paying a monthly fee for cable service, we decided to spend an initial $200 on a Boxee. The Boxee is a computer that allows you to store your own movies, or watch any movies or TV shows that are available online right on your own TV. You can also rent movies online to watch if you would like. There is no monthly fee, so it pays for itself in just a few months and we don’t feel deprived by not having cable, since we can watch most of our favorite shows on demand!

  • Rhonda R. says:

    Soon after our marriage we purchased a used (but nearly new as it was barely used) wood furnace. It is outside of our home in a metal building for safety & pumps heat into our home through our regular propane furnace. The only time we use propane is when the wood gets low & it doesn’t keep up with our desired temperature setting (which only happened once the whole winter). My husband gets wood from downed trees on our property & from others wanting trees removed. It is then cut & stacked for the winter. Cost of wood to us = $0. Huge savings to us in the winter. The wood furnace paid for itself in just a few short years.

  • Sandra Lee says:

    Brilliant topic! I have learned of 2 things, which easily save me $100.

    Number 1. I learned this while working at a hospital which is home to the Midwest Regional Burn Center. I learned to add baby oil to my lotion. It can be the least expensive lotion you can find, it doesn’t matter. Use 3-4 drops of baby oil to a quarter-size amount of lotion, mix in your hands and apply. Works best right out of the shower. They say baby oil retains 10x the moisture and believe me, it works! No expensive lotions for me.

    The other thing I use is Argan oil for my face and next. It is about $25 a bottle, but the bottle will last you a year. Seriously! I wash my face and apply the Argan oil immediately after patting my skin dry. Leaves your skin with a slight glow, like I had naturally when I was younger. Just a few drops each day. I don’t use any other creams or lotions, just the Argan oil and I never, ever have dry skin, even facing the cold Wisconsin winters. Best investment you can make, not only for your skin, but for your wallet as well. Think about how much you could save a year with using the Argan oil rather than moisturizer, eye cream, day cream, night cream, etc.

    Would love to hear of others’ substitutions.

    Looking forward to reading all which is posted!

    Again Crystal, brilliant topic!

    • Sandra Lee says:

      I meant face and neck when I wrote about where I apply the Argan Oil.

      By the way, it is only produced in Morroco and Morrocan women have the most beautiful skin!

  • Janey L. says:

    My husband works in law enforcement and has to keep his hair cut short. He was paying $8 every 3 weeks or so for a haircut for total of approximately $136 per year. The cost of a nice set of hair clippers is around $30. This produces net savings of a little over $100. I have been cutting his hair for over 5 years and just recently purchased our second set of clippers! In that amount of time, we have saved approximately $680 and spent $60 on clippers. Cutting his hair only takes me about 10 minutes. This is a good return on my time!

    • Rae says:

      I wish I could do that for my husband because he has to get his haircut EVERY week (occasionally more if a special event is coming up like an inspection or the ball) being in the Marines. But he has very difficult hair to deal with (most barbers even think this) so I can’t do it 🙁 I do my boys and I don’t pay for haircuts for myself which does help a lot but dang it really does add up.

  • Rhonda R. says:

    I signed up to be a BzzAgent. I received nice packages of products to try & then share my finding with family, friends & acquaintances. The last campaign I took part in was for lipstick. I received two regular sized tubes of Covergirl Lip Perfection to try. They also send you coupons to share with others. You also earn points on MyPoints.com to earn gift cards. My points sends you emails from companies trying to get your business. You click through the email and earn points. The points I earn I use to purchase gift cards for restaurants. This is what we use to go out to eat. Then if you can combine the gift card with a coupon….it can add up to alot of savings.

  • L says:

    We use coupons as much as possible, although I don’t “go crazy” with them. I only buy things we use. I don’t keep a “crazy stockpile” either. If my bathroom linen closet doesn’t hold any more toilet paper, soap or toothpaste, then I don’t purchase any more. If my laundry cabinet doesn’t hold any more laundry detergent or other cleaning supplies, then I don’t purchase any more. We have a fairly large pantry, but again, excess is just excess. We buy the weekend newspaper and I get coupons from thecouponclippers.com. The goal is to save at least $100 per month on coupons and additional savings buying what’s on sale.

    We also buy generic or the store brand whenever possible. This works well for over the counter medicines, some cleaning supplies, suntan lotion, paper plates, toilet paper, copy paper, etc. Haven’t noticed a difference. This is a huge savings over time, often $2 per item.

    We also do as many things as possible ourselves. We clean our own house, cut our lawn, wash our cars, do our own maintenance when things break (as much as possible), do our own painting and staining, cut the kids’ hair, etc. Over a year’s time, this is a huge savings.

    We also limit any “on the go meals” to once per week, which is our treat. We eliminate any drinks except water to keep that cost down as well.

  • Michele Travis says:

    Order water instead of soda when eating out. If my husband and I eat out even just once a week, we save about $3 per meal ordering water. $3 times 52 weeks = an easy savings of $156. You could even buy a 2L of your favorite soda each week for $1 and still come out $100 ahead at the end of the year. ($156 saved minus $52 on 2L = $104 saved). Get your soda craving fulfilled and still save $100!

  • Darlene says:

    Plant a garden.

    Grow it organic to increase the value even more both in health and financial savings.

    Add on the value of the education that your children get out of your efforts

    … and the work ethic

    … and the health benefits …

    The value of this savings tip is huge!

  • Kelley says:

    We grow a garden in the summertime full of tomatoes and herbs. That way I can cut up the tomatoes and throw some basil and garlic in the bag with them and freeze it. I also dry the herbs and put them in containers instead of buying store bought spices. In the winter months I use those tomatoes in sauces and other quick dishes. Saves a ton of money because I never have to buy canned tomatoes or herbs.

  • Amanda Tyman says:

    We buy all our bread (sandwich bread, rolls, hot dog buns, etc.) at a bread outlet. A loaf of good name-brand bread costs only a dollar, so we stock up whenever we go and fill up the freezer. Our outlet also occasionally has other things like snacks and deserts for much less than you pay at the grocery store or even Costco or Sam’s.

    • Helene says:

      I agree Amanda! I have a Sara Lee outlet within walking distance and another near my work and love it. I cringe at the cost in the regular stores. We also have Holsum Bread and Entenmann’s outlets nearby.

  • Michele K says:

    I changed the day I grocery shop. If I grocery shop on Thursday or Friday, we are less likely to go out to eat on the weekends since the fridge is full of food and “fresh” choices. I used to grocery shop on Sunday night, then come the next Thursday/ Friday we were so sick of leftovers that we would go out and easily spend $30 per meal.

  • Alex says:

    Despite all my couponging-the best way to save money on groceries is to cook at home. Casseroles are especially good because they use less meat without making you feel cheated or deprived! I also buy the Entertainment book for our area after it comes out and is on sale (March). That way I get it cheaper and I can view it at most Walgreens drug stores to see if I really want it this year 🙂

  • Shari B says:

    My top money savers are:
    Make a monthly menu for dinners. Sounds like a lot of work, but by the second month things get easier. I check out Women’s Day Month of Menus for great ideas and help making balanced meals.
    Make our own bread. I check the library and internet for new recipes that use whole grain. Allrecipes.com is my go to site.
    Second Amazon Moms. I have easily saved over $200 this year on diapers, wipes and baby/toddler items. Free shipping makes live so much easier with small kids.
    My husband wears a suit each day, which means they get some serious wear and tear. We now buy his suites at Men’s Warehoue where alternations or in his case repairs are dramatically cheaper than the dry cleaners.
    To send hard copies of baby prints, I have Walgreens print our latest images at their local store I pay for it online and they get to pick up a surprise in store with no shipping!
    Needed a new infant car seat for the next baby. BabyDepot is the clearance house for Graco. So we waited until April when the new models come out and scored a 2011 Graco SnugRide for $90 down from $180 with free shipping!

  • Jody says:

    Good question …

    Very concrete: I buy all items with cash and never use the change in my purse. That change all goes into a jar, to be counted whenever. All that change every day adds up fast and I never miss it, because it’s just small change. 🙂 That money goes into my emergency fund.

    Two other simple ways to save:
    If you must eat out do a restaurant that doesn’t require a tip (like Moe’s or Cici’s Pizza, or something like that). That tip ups your bill by 20%. And take advantage of kids eat free nights … why not get a free meal if you’re going to go to the place anyway?

    Garage sale shop. Keep a simple “looking for” list and pull it out when you happen upon a garage sale. While there look for hidden treasures (I always look for old Little People) to sell on eBay.

    • Diane says:

      I think anywhere you eat, including a buffet, requires at least some tip. The wait staff at Cici’s is NOT earning minimum wage.

  • Marlene Goldschmidt says:

    When my family goes to the doctor and we need a prescription, I take lists of $4.00 generic drugs from Walmart and other stores. I make sure that the doctor picks one from that list. If we need an antibiotic I know that Martin’s Grocery store will give you a 10 day supply for free of generic ones so I make sure the doctor picks one of those. I also ask the doctors for free samples and coupons. Once the doctor gave me almost a years supply of samples of an expensive drug I needed for free. Also if I can find prescription coupons that give you back a giftcard when you fill a prescription I make sure to redeem them. I save a lot of money on drugs this way.

    • Suzy says:

      GREAT IDEA about bring the list of $4 prescriptions! I WILL BE DOING THIS!

      Last med’s the dr. prescribed was $180 and our insurance didn’t cover it.

      Thank you!!!!!!!

  • Megan Hess says:

    I have to work to help our family out. I save THOUSANDS a year in child care for my two little boys through our neighborhood babysitting co-op. A group of neighbors got together and came up with a calendar where there is someone available each day to watch kids. So, I watch the neighbors’ kids and they watch mine when I have to go into the office. It works out great and we save a ton of money! Other moms use the babysitting hours to go to the grocery store, library or just have time to get stuff done. We have a ticket system to make sure that it is fair. I love it!

  • Jennifer says:

    We also used to do the RX transfer game but I found that it was too time consuming and I really like having all of my prescriptions at one pharmacy. Instead I started collecting the coupons for “new or transfer” prescriptions (for example, Target puts a $10 one in the paper ever 2 weeks or so). In my area I can take them to Target, CVS, or Kroger since my CVS and Kroger match competitor’s coupons (I choose Kroger most often since I can use the credit for groceries and get my coupons doubled or tripled). I keep the RX coupons in my purse so that they are with me whenever I may need them. With a family of 4 (including 2 in preschool) we go through our fair share of prescriptions, this save us way more than $100 a year.

  • Bethany says:

    I cut my husbands and childrens hair for them. A few years ago we bought a pair of good scissors and a hair clipper and I’ve been cutting it ever since. I have done some research on how to cut hair, watched others cut hair and practiced to where now I have people asking me where my son gets his hair cut! My husband was paying around $10 every 2 weeks – that’s a savings of $260 for just him alone.

  • Sharon Peterson says:

    1. I am a waffle machine! Literally, I have three growing boys that love waffles so once a month I make around 100 waffles and freeze them. I did the math and they work about to be about 3 cents each versus 25 cents.

    2. I hate wasting milk so at the end of each meal, whichever child hasn’t finished their milk, their cup goes back in the fridge for the next meal. Saves on milk AND on dishwashing since they get the same cup on the next meal.

    3. We drink milk at meals and water in between. Period. My boys don’t know juice even exists and that’s just fine with me. (Saves a lot on juice buying and dental problems. Our dentist loves us)!

    4. We don’t have a landline phone. We gave that up years ago and only use our cell phones. That saved a good deal of money and makes more sense. My cell phone is always with me.

    5. I use freecycle.org like a mad woman. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out (www.freecycle.org) then you should. Through the generosity of this group, I’ve gotten a bunk bed for my boys, an entertainment center, clothes for the kiddos and me, a bread maker, and other things. The best part is that it’s all for FREE. I’ve also been able to help people that need help and pass on things to someone that needs them. Win-win-win.

    6. I cut my husband and one of the boys’ hair at home with clippers. It’s painless and fast and save $10 a pop at a barber shop or salon (although I think I need to start demanding tips)!

    7. When someone I know has a baby or has been sick, I make brown bag burritos. I at least double the recipe so that I can free a 3 dozen for our family and pass on a dozen to the family in need. This makes for an extremely inexpensive meal for the family and they love them!

    • Momof2girls says:

      What are brown bag burritos??

      • Sharon Peterson says:

        I got the recipe on this site. At the top of the page, go to “IN THE KITCHEN” and then recipes. One of the pastor’s at our church has notoriously picky kids but they LOVED these burritos. I can also get almost all the ingredients at the 99 Cent Store which makes it even cheaper.

  • Kimberly says:

    One way that we have saved money over the past year is ordering my husband’s glasses through coastal contacts online; for years he got his glasses through Lens Crafters and paid nearly $500 for just 1 pair. (He has really bad astigmatism, so his prescription is usually more expensive.) The last pair we ordered through Coastal Contacts was only $66…including shipping 🙂 They frequently have Free Glasses giveaways through Facebook and you can get some awesome deals!

    Another way I have saved a lot of money is by taking online surveys thru Pinecone Research or Ipsos I-Say and using the money I get from taking the surveys to buy very *Hot* coupons through Ebay or other coupon clipping sites….this allows me to stock up on the really great deals. For example..the Electrasol deal a few months ago…I purchased (40) $2.25 Electrasol coupons and took advantage of a sale at CVS and I now have enough to last me a year or more.

    We have also adopted a “less is more” type attitude toward furniture, clothes, toys. I once believed that having a lot of possessions (fancy cars, nice clothes, and furniture) was necessary to be happy…..how wrong I was. We de-cluttered our lives and have learned to happy with less and this change has saved us the most money 🙂

  • Stephanie says:

    A few ways I save $100 a year is each child has a few “yucky” outfits I don’t care about for playing in mud, painting, etc… This make their nice clothes stay nicer longer and means using less stain remover.
    I buy fewer toys but better quality toys. With two children less than two years apart the toys get heavy use and I hate throwing away flimsy broken toys. Plastic tends to not last long in our house…
    A huge part is everything having a place. If we already have 10 wooden peg puzzles do we really need another one and where would it live? When the shelves are full then they are full. Not spending money can be good and this also makes cleaning so much easier. The kids are happier when they are not overwhelmed with stuff, know where everything belongs and can help put it away themselves.
    Shopping ahead for birthdays and holidays saves a lot of money.
    Buying used whenever feasible can save a ton and usually I end up with higher quality items then if I bought new for the same money.
    Eating ALL the leftovers before they go bad and not enriching the compost heap has saved us a huge amount of money. Last night’s dinner is usually today’s lunch and we usually has a smorgasbord dinner night as needed.
    The single biggest way I save money is by asking myself if the item is something I really need. More often than not, it gets put back.

  • kriswithmany says:

    Our electric bill wasn’t huge, but we decided to put in a programmable thermostat and participate in our electric company’s time-of-use program they do during the summer. It took some planning for large appliance use, but we saved $100 that summer compared to the regular cost of the electricity.

  • Christine says:

    I negotiated our rent. Our 3bed/2bath condo was published for $700/month with a 12-month lease and I negotiated for $650/month with a 6-month lease and the owner agreed!!! It’s only $50/month we are saving but in the course of almost two years we are living here, we have saved $1,200!!!

  • Katharine W says:

    ~ Plan shopping trip routes and limit trips. Gas is nearly $4.00 a gallon and the savings is huge.

    ~ Plan menus around what is on sale and seasonal produce.

    ~ Purchase in bulk items that you use regularly when they are on sale, with the goal being to have enough to last until the next sale.

    ~ Pick produce yourself from local farms in season, and can your own jam. Freeze blanched vegetables. Spread fruit on a jelly roll pan and freeze, then store in freezer bags.

    ~ Pay off your credit cards. The interest savings is huge.

    ~ Don’t buy on credit. If you can’t afford to pay for it, you can’t afford it.

    ~ Don’t run the dishwasher, washer or dryer with partial loads.

    ~ Write down everything you spend for a month. Every.single.thing. Look for the leaks. Plug the holes in your spending and save a fortune.

    ~ If your bank charges monthly fees switch to one that doesn’t.

    ~ Put your savings in the highest earning institution available. ING is great.

    ~ Have a $1000.00 emergency fund so you aren’t tempted to use credit.

    ~ Buy a Papa Murphy’s pizza and eat at home instead of going out for pizza.

    ~ Research pharmacies and find one that you can get 3 months of your regular medications for one copay. This saves 2 copays each time you use it.

    • Marla says:

      We use rewards credit cards to purchase only items that we can afford and pay off the entire balance when the bill comes. We build a strong credit score this way and cash the rewards in trips and other items too. The trick is to pay off the balance each and every time and just purchasing things that you can afford in cash.

      A friend of mine purchased a sailing boat with his credit card, paid off the bill with his savings and traveled around the world with the rewards…lesson learned, make your credit card work for you!

    • Lynn says:

      I would love to learn more about freezing/canning vegetables and fruits, and how to make and store jams, apple butter, past sauce, homemade ice cream etc. I’ve searched around online and different web sites seem to have different opinions for what is “safe.” Does anyone have a credible source to reccommend?

      • Heidi says:

        I took a class last spring through the MSU. We were instructed that the most credible sources are any Univeristy (Horticulture Dept), the USDA or Ball canning book – they have researched the recipies/procedures they post so you know when you follow the instructions they are safe from bacteria etc. Here’s a link to MSU http://www.migarden.msu.edu/migarden/preservation

  • Becky G says:

    I buy my pants at Goodwill. I purchased 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of khakis, and a pair of capris that all look brand new for $23. One pair of pants was Michael Kors! Even if all the pants were $25/pair (which is on SALE for pants), I would save $100. I probably saved closer to $200.

    I also cut my husband’s hair, like Bethany mentioned. A $20 pair of clippers lasts us 3+ years. 3+ years of hair cuts is a lot of savings!

  • Lori says:

    1) We have a checking account that is interest bearing. Each month when they post the interest we pretend it is not there, at the end of the year we transfer the interest to savings.

    2) We have a credit card that earns a good amount of cash back. We use this for several purchases (fuel, dining, kid classes, costco trips etc) each month. WE PAY THIS CARD IN FULL EACH MONTH. In other words we use it as if it were a debt card, we have the money to pay for the purchase set aside, we only use the credit card to earn points. At the end of the year they send us a check which goes into savings.

    3) We set aside money each month for annual and bi annual bills. For example: We only pay car insurance twice a year, but we figure out the per month charge and set that aside. We round the amount we need up to an even number. If we have a bi annual bill that averages $61.00 per month we would set aside $65.00 or $70.00. When the bill comes due we pay the bill and put the extra in savings.

    4) We try to put any check re receive outside of pay checks directly into savings. Things like rebates, medical insurance reimbursements , refunds etc go into savings.

    5) and yes this is generic, but important. PAY YOURSELF FIRST. Put money into savings as if it were a mandatory bill. Start small, even$5.oo per month will get you into the habit.

  • DJ says:

    Just wondering if we are supposed to be posting our tips here or using the link provided above. I used the link, but don’t see my tips here.

  • Koree says:

    Okay, so all these tips are wonderful. Can anyone shout out some ideas for me since A) I don’t have kids B) I don’t have a husband and C) I don’t have a house (which a lot of these tips are applicable to.) I am living paycheck to paycheck and it is so stressful. Plus I just found out the apartment complex will be forcing residents who renew their lease to get cable (which adds 40 bucks to my rent).

    • DJ says:

      Sign up for every rewards program you can -Coke Rewards, Swagbucks, Office Depot, etc. -any product that you frequently buy or a store that you frequently visit. Ask if they have a rewards program or google it online.
      Also, most places have a survey you can complete on your receipt and you either get a discount or a free item on your next purchase.
      If you order anything online and see a spot for a “promo code”, go to retailmenot.com and search that vendor to see if there are promo codes available. Some work, some don’t but it’s worth a try.

    • Kristen says:

      When you’re buying groceries, bread, for example, after finding the brand of your choosing…check the expiration date, and then take a moment to dig around and see if you can find any with a longer expiration date. It may not seem like much, but it means less product that you’re likely to toss out.

  • sunny says:

    We pay for our car insurance every 6 months instead of every month paying a bill. Doing this saves us 60 dollars a year. We also pay our motorcycle insurance this way and save another 60 dollars a year.

    • Suzy says:

      Check Progressive for Motorcycle ins. We found it to be the least expensive anywhere $75 a year with FULL coverage.

  • Jennifer says:

    I submitted this on the form already, but I thought I would share it here too. So many ways I try to shave a little off here and a little off there, but one that I do once a year every year is call the phone company and negotiate a better rate. They have an introductory rate of 14.95 on their dsl service, but it expires after one year. Our cable company does the same thing on their internet service, great introductory rate, then jack up the rates to 2X after the first year. We started with the DSL service from the phone company along with our home phone. I called them this year, considering turning off my home phone (and picking up an extra line on our cell phone plan) and going with the cable intro rate to save on my internet that had gone up to $30 plus a month. They were so eager to keep me as a customer that they knocked my DSL down to the intro rate of $14.95 (which actually included a speed upgrade!) and gave me $5 off a month on my home phone bill for the next year. I did have to agree to a 12 month contract, but for $42 a month including tax for home phone and DSL, I was glad to! I did have to get to the retention department to get those rates, but it was definitely worth 45 minutes of my time.

    On another note, in order to save on my cell phone, I go in on a plan with some other family members. By several of us splitting it, we can max out the plan on five lines and all get a better deal than if we had our own individual plans.

  • Tammy says:

    pack my son’s lunch for school.Brings his own drink,sandwich and fruit everday.

  • Lynette says:

    We cancelled our dish network subscription (which was just basic anyway and didn’t have that many shows that we could watch). It was about $25 per month. We then signed up for Netflix at $10 per month. We are able to watch lots of classic TV shows (and they are on whenever we want) and movies. We are saving at least $15 per month on the regular bill plus we don’t have to rent movies anymore which saves another $5 month.

  • Gina M says:

    My husband started the habit of saving his one dollar bills every day, the way most people save their change in a change jar. It’s an easy way for him to save a great deal of money. We use that money for one thing…. Christmas. Every year before the holiday shopping season begins, he takes his collection of one’s to the bank and brings me back larger bills to make all gift purchases. We have a limit on how much we are willing to spend on gifts so we always have more money to use while out of town visiting family. It’s been an amazing blessing to do this one simple habit because I no longer dread the approaching holidays and worry about how much it’s going to cost, it’s already covered. I now look forward to this wonderful time of year and have zero stress.

    • Gina M says:

      one more thing…. I just realized my above post wasnt exactly how to save $100, although it does save me the worries. I do have another habit that has saved me hundreds of dollars. Where we live in California our power company has installed what is called a smart meter. Now we are charged by the amount of electricity and also what time of day we use that electricity. Since I’m home all day I was using the power at peak hours, 8:00-6:30. Our power bill skyrocketed when we got our smart meter installed. Now I set the timer on my laundry to begin it’s load after 2:00 am (the cheapest time for power usage), and when I awake at 6 I swap the load to the dryer. I also don’t turn the dishwasher on till I go to bed (it doesnt have a timer like the clothes washer) so all my major appliances run off peak hours. It has cut our power bill in half. It actually save our family literaly thousands (remember I’m in California!) last year. Also, my holiday lights are LED energy saving that I purchased 75% off after the holidays one year.

  • Heather says:

    I have learned how to cut my 4 sons and my husband’s hair. This saves us from numerous trips to the barber. For $15 or less per year I purchase a hair clippers (between coupons and rebates they are a great deal). I love that we can customize their styles and touch up their looks at any time – a huge time and money saver.

  • Stephanie says:

    For years, I faithfully used Tide laundry detergent and Downy fabric softener as I thought they were ‘the best’. After growing up with these products and being inundated with the commercials my entire life, I didn’t even think to consider other brands. Until now.

    A 32-day supply of Tide is about $6, and I’ve been able to buy other brands, with coupons and sales, for $2 (and less). Plus, I only use half of the recommended amount to stretch it out another 32 days. I’ve followed the same philosophy with fabric softener. This will save us over $100 annually.

    Also, we try to wear some clothes more than once before washing, pajamas and jeans in particular. This saves on the electric and water bills, and, most importantly, my time. It also makes your clothes last longer!

  • Susan says:

    I started line-drying my laundry in an effort to become more “green” and I was amazed at the $20-$25 savings in our electric bill every month. We have an electric dryer and I do about 6 loads of laundry a week. After I wash a load I tumble it in the dryer for 10 min to soften and hang it to dry. I hang all the laundry in our laundry room which is right by the furnace, so I can use it in the winter, too. The other added bonus is that I don’t have to wait for the long dryer cycle–I do all the laundry on Sat AM and hang it to dry for the day and it is done for the week. I’m always amazed that the “green” strategies we use always end up saving us money.

  • Mindy says:

    By budgeting for house/car insurance payments and paying them in full when the bill arrives (instead of paying them in monthly/bi-monthly increments), you can save yourself a HUGE amount of money. We are saving ourselves $115 a year on car insurance AND $575 a year on house insurance!!!! I can think of a lot of things I can do w/almost $700 a year in savings!

  • Robin says:

    A few months ago I decided to start hanging all of our clothing except underwear & socks, to air dry. It is less wear & tear on our clothing & it saved $117 on last months electric bill as well 🙂
    I also use coupons, have lowered our cable, internet, cell phone & insurance packages. I cut my husbands hair, bathe our dogs (versus taking them to the groomer), hand wash our vehicles, cut dryer sheets in half for use, keep thermostat set at same temp year round (if we are cold in winter, we grab a blankie), Subscribed to an online download service for movies, music & tv shows. I shop craigslist, groupon & daily deal piggy. Plus many, many other things that have just become part of our lives.

  • jjoiner says:

    I’m in a babysitting co-op. I have 3 kids 5 years old and under and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to pay for a babysitter. I probably save $100 a month using the co-op instead of hiring a sitter. My kids get to have play dates when I watch other kids and my husband and I also get to have frequent date nights without breaking the bank!

  • We save over $600 each year by choosing not to have cable in our home. We installed a high-definition antenna in our attic and are able to receive at least 5 network channels using this.

    Even though we don’t have cable, we still have our moments when TV acts as a much-needed break or a sanity-saver with the kids (though we don’t want very much). My husband received a Blu-Ray player for a gift that can stream movies instantly from Netflix (which is $10 a month). With Netflix, my children can watch high-quality educational television shows without commercials. And I can watch a few movies every now and then as well!

  • Judy says:

    Each year, my three kids come home with school pictures to buy. They usually take the pictures at school and then send home the order form afterwards. First of all, my kids don’t take good pictures at school – nobody is helping with their hair, clothes or smiles. The packages usually start at $25+. (I’m only looking for 5×7 pictures but you can’t just buy that size). Instead, I take each child to Sears or a comparable photo studio to take ‘school’ pictures. I usually spend $4.99 with a coupon to get a complete package (with lots of different sizes). I get to pick between a lot of different shots and I pay A LOT less.

  • Marla says:

    I buy end of the season cards like Christmas, Thanksgiving etc Plus constantly look out for great deals throughout the year to have nice Christmas gifts before the holidays arrive. Last year I gave designer necklaces worth 150 dls that I scored for 25 dls to two family members who like nice stuff. They were beautiful and they loved them!

    I clean glass jars and storage leftovers in those instead of using so many zipploc bags or keep adding more plastic containers to my kitchen.

    I make my own organic baby food. I make 1 month worth of baby food in about 45 minutes and spend less (I run less times to the store and always know what’s in the food that my baby eats). I shop frozen organic veggies when they are on sell and this way I always have something good to cook for my baby.

    I try to use rags instead of paper towels and wash them along with some laundry load.

    I walk as much as possible and watch netflix at home, don’t pay for cable TV, use the library, sign up for every groupon like site and for sales alerts.

    We eat at home and I cook about 3 times a week. I use leftovers in creative ways so we don’t get sick of eating the same stuff. Plus, I freeze food and then rotate our weekly meals.

    I also buy end of the season stuff like coats, boots, sandals, bikinis, and get quality stuff for less this way. I love good quality stuff.

    I use a listserv in my neighborhood to buy used toys or baby gear and before purchasing anything like the bumbo chair I ask around if someone is willing to part with one and currently we are using one as a loan. For the things that I purchase from other families or buy new (with promotions, coupons, etc) I plan to resell after my baby has outgrown them. I go to a lovely consigment store and sell our baby clothes and get gently used every day clothes or shoes for my baby. I also like to feel like we are helping the planet a little by reusing baby stuff. I also use Totsy and sites for deals on kiddos.

    I get “free stuff” at CVS using ECB’s on items that pay back with more ECB’s so I always have at least 10 dls to “spend.” I only stock up in products that we like and that we will use and never purchase anything just because it’s cheap. DH says that your money is always better at the bank 🙂

    I dress nicely and use good clothes and shoes. I plan to sell in the fall those really pretty dresses to a second hand store and get cash back to keep rotating my clothes for new ones.

    Thanks to God my husband has a good job and complaints of me wanting to save up in almost everything but I was raised differently and I love to score deals and save money but ALWAYS donate to share our blessings 😉

    PS A friend told me to look for Estate sales in afluent areas of the city to buy nice furniture but there is something about it that is just not for me…

    • Caitlin says:

      You would be really surprised at the things you can find at estate sales. I found an old box of about six pair of vintage eyeglasses at one right before it was ending. The person working the table sold them to me for ten cents a pair and I turned around and sold them all for $40 a pair on Etsy! You have no idea how much awesome things you can find for yourself AND nice little money-makers.

      • Rae says:

        I know I LOVE estates sales! Real estate sales anyway (I hate when people put estate sale just to get people there and then it turns out to really only be a yard/garage sale :/ ). I once went to one where the estate sale company had marked a lot of things by the box (like office supplies, holiday decor, etc). I bought a box of gift wrap supplies for $5. It was a large box full of good condition gift bags of all sizes, shapes, and occasions as well as gift tags, bows, rolls of ribbon, and unopened (as well as opened) packs of Hallmark wrapping paper. That wrapping paper alone sells for a few dollars per pack (very thick good quality paper) and there were several packs so the box was a fantastic deal (I am still using those supplies 7 years later!). But when I got home I found some small giftboxes that had some snowflakes in them… cool. Did a bit of research and found out that they were Gorham (sp?) snowflakes which I had never heard of before but they are very collectible. I found 6 I think? (and 2 were the same) and was able to make over $120 on ebay selling them after fees. I was soooo excited 😀

  • Amanda says:

    Oh so many ways! We are a single income family focused on living beneath our means so that we can give more and save more. Here are some of the actions we have taken.
    1. We use Netflix instead of paying for cable. Not only has this saved us hundreds of dollars over the year versus paying for the satellite company we previously had, but it has also drastically cut down on the amount of time our family spends in front of the TV. It is so much easier to just say “Well, that’s the end of that DVD. Now it’s time to play,” than it was to pull the kids away from cartoons when the commercials were always showing what was “coming up next”.
    2. We canceled our home phone and just use our cell phones. We get a great discount through the military and when we accumulate a lot of rollover minutes, we reduce our plan to use those for a few months and save even more.
    3. We borrow movies and books from the local library. It is a great way to encourage our kids to read by giving them a wide variety of options every week without spending a penny.
    4. I shop second hand stores and clearance racks for clothes. As each season changes, I hit the stores to buy next year’s wardrobe entirely on clearance. This saves a TON on winter jackets and snow pants. When I find shoes on clearance, I buy the next size up (or couple sizes up) that my kids will need and store them in the closet. It also saves the hassle of sudden shoe shopping when you realize the kids have outgrown their shoes! Just head to the closet and get the next pair in line! I don’t have to deal with kids crying for a certain pair they see on the shelf that has their favorite super hero on it but costs and arm and a leg. They’ve never really had a choice and don’t know the difference!
    5. We have a Christmas budget. Now this may not seem like it would save much money, but we found if we had a specific budget for how much we would spend on each person, then we didn’t end up overspending ourselves each year. When the money for that person was gone, we didn’t buy anymore. If we saw something we thought we wanted to get but didn’t fit in the budget, we looked for something else. We save all year for Christmas and make sure to include things in our budget like buying gifts for a needy family and miscellaneous things like secret santas and ornament parties, etc.

  • Chris says:

    With the high price of gas, just to go to town costs me approximately $7, not including the miles running errands. My son drives to school in town every day since his school doesn’t have bus service, and I have been riding to school with my son once a week and running errands while he is in school. This will save me close to $30 a month.
    I am making his graduation announcements. This will save me between $100 and $125.
    For my husband and my birthdays, we have signed up for the free burger at Ruby Tuesday’s. You can order it to go and order a salad to go with it for just a few dollars more. They let you fill up your salad to go box. We have taken it to the park, split it, and both enjoyed a nice meal. I think it was less than $4 total.

  • Ericka Lewis says:

    I save money on a gym membership by working in the child center there for about 7 hours a week. Not only do I get paid a little bit for working, I get to bring my children with me. I also get discounts on all of the kids activities and other services I choose to use (they have a spa as well) , including my daughter’s preschool–saving about $40 a month over 9 months for that is well over $100 a year, plus the gym membership which would be over $60 a month for me and the kids it’s a huge savings. Although I could probably exercise at home, I find I am a lot more motivated if I go somewhere and I love taking group fitness classes. They also have an outdoor pool which is great during the summer as we don’t have a community pool in our subdivision.

  • Beth says:

    In an effort to drink more water and save money spent on juice, we purchased a very inexpensive pitcher. We fill half of it with water and the rest with juice. No one can ever tell that it’s been diluted. Our juice lasts twice as long (saving us a lot more) and the kids are getting less sugar. It’s a win-win for everyone.

  • Caitlin says:

    I’ve always been blessed with an “eye” for things that cost a lot. I have to admit, I’m a bit of a denim snob, so I am always on the look-out for nice jeans when I go to Goodwill or other thrift stores. In the past year I’ve found about seven pairs of designer jeans (ones that retail $120-$200 per pair, new) and buy them, even if they aren’t my size. The ones that I either don’t care for or don’t fit me, I photograph them and sell them on eBay. I found a pair of Seven for All Mankind jeans for $4 at my local Goodwill and immediately listed them on eBay; they sold in a week and I turned that $4 into $60 with only about 15 minutes worth of work for the listing. That’s just one example of the things I often buy and “flip”.

  • Jill says:

    One of the things I did for Christmas this past year was to get our prescriptions filled for the entire family at Target, and we saved about $100 worth of Target gift cards specifically for the holiday. Since I shop there regularly anyway, I was able to purchase gifts for some of the kids in the family and pair them with store and manufacturer’s coupons, stretching our $$ even farther! I was even able to splurge and use some of the gift cards to buy a new, simple-to-use digital camera for my mom-something we wouldn’t be able to get on our budget normally. Between this plan and Swagbucks, we were able to stay well within our budget, get thoughtful gifts for those we loved, share with others we didn’t know, and spend much less out of pocket. We are already padding our Christmas envelope with gift cards from this year, planning ahead!

  • Jackie says:

    I substitute in childcare at a local gym with an indoor/outdoor pool. I receive a free membership in return. It saves our family $89 a month! It doesn’t hurt to inquire about free or reduced rates for employees.

    We buy ahead by at least one size for our four children at garage sales and separate clothing by sizes and seasons. During “garage sale “off season” we have clothes and shoes at rock bottom prices without having to go to the mall.

  • Katherine says:

    This is a great post! I love all the comments, even though I haven’t been able to read all of them yet. My husband and I just paid cash for a house. Here are a couple ways we save money:

    1) Elimination Communication and Early Potty Training. We potty trained our first daughter at 20 months from disposable diapers. We never thought much about kids using diapers. But, our second daughter has been using a potty since 7 months. I bought a book and read about it on the internet; it’s been very easy. We are not perfect with it and have not devoted a ton of time to it, and still use diapers on the baby, but you really reduce your need for diapers (cloth or disposable) if you have a baby using the potty even some of the time. (And having a baby poop on the potty is a much less gross way to do cloth diapers, IMHO…)

    2) I am a vegetarian, and my husband is a vegetarian 6 out of 7 days a week. Saves a ton of money if you are willing to cook at home! Beans, rice, etc= super cheap filling food.

    • Caitlin says:

      That’s awesome! My son peed in the toilet like three months ago (he is 16 months old) and I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I was soooo excited, so I have no idea how exciting it must be to have a tiny one doing it on a regular basis! LOL!

  • Melanie Lewis says:

    I hang out my clothes whenever I can on a portable clothesline. Clothesline cost about $30.00 (Home Depot) and I save about $30.00 per month not using our energy efficient dryer. Even if I do this a few months out of the year, or a few times a year, I really save a lot of money! PS: Clothesline is easy to fold up in winter or when mowing the grass.

  • Stephanie says:

    I resell my previous year homeschooling curriculum and any that has been given to me or I have picked up at yard sales on Ebay and reuse the money to buy next years curriculum. I haven’t had to “pay” for homeschool books for the past five years. I save well over $100 with this (and sometimes get extra when my stuff sells well to get some fun stuff too!).

    In addition to that, I take inventory each school year of what we need for supplies and hit the back to school sales. Since I have been able to stock up so well for pennies, each year there is very little I have to buy to give us plenty of paper, crayons, pencils, watercolors etc for the upcoming year.

  • Lee says:

    We own 2 Mastiffs that each weigh 180 lbs. After forking out a ton of money each month for heartworm preventative, our vet recommended switching to heartworm preventative paste for horses. After laughing, he explained that it is the same ingredients, you just give the dog a fraction of the total amount used on a horse. We went from paying roughly 75 a month to 12 dollars a year thanks to the advice from our vet!

  • Dana says:

    I cruise the ‘free’ and ‘for sale’ sections of Craigslist regularly, with a running list in my mind of what big ticket items I could use that I can’t afford to buy… In the last few years I have scored a large patio table for free, vertical blinds for my sliding glass door for free, a sofa for my business office for $60, a small desk for $30, and best of all, a 4 piece micro fiber living room set (couch, love seat, chair, and ottoman) for FREE!!!

    It all needed a little cleaning but was totally worth it! And, know the neighborhoods in your region that are higher income as they are usually giving away really good free stuff! You just have to be able to round up a truck and a posse to help lift things on short notice.

  • Elizabeth says:

    We buy gift cards at our grocery store with my American Express Card. The amex card saves us 1.5% on each purchase, and the gift cards earn us $.20/$50 spent. So, recently, I bought a new vacuum with $400 worth of gift cards and earned $1.60/gallon. We can get 30 gallons at a time, which saved us $48 (or 12%). I was also able to use a 20% off Coupon at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which means we saved 31% or $124 for the vacuum.

    Even without the 20% coupon, buying gift cards with my Amex saves us 13.5% on everything we buy. Of course, it isn’t a deal if you buy things you don’t need, but for the things we do need or want, it is a great way to get a sale on eating out , home repair, clothes, or household stuff!

  • Shannon L says:

    I love the suggestions on here.

    My biggest money saver is the library. If I want a book or movie, instead of running out to the bookstore, I look on the library website to see if they have it. We live in a rural area so the closest bookstore is around a 30 min drive plus the cost of the book. I can go to our local library and check it out for a month and renew it for another month. If I don’t like it, I’ll take it back and have saved the cost of the book, and the gas to get to the store. Plus I can request a book or movie to be delivered to my library for free. If it is a popular item, I will be put on a waiting list, but I usually don’t have to wait long.

    Another way I save money is to check product reviews before larger purchases. My go to site is Amazon. I have saved myself from many bad purchases by reading reviews from previous owners.

    We cut our cable and just use an antenna plus digital convertor box. We watch mostly pbs anyway. And we still get our local channels.

    I hope this isn’t going to gross anyone out. I wear my clothes more than once. Now, I only hang my “dressy” clothes back in the closet. But everyday clothes I will hang on shower hooks and wear them a day or two later.

    When doing laundry, we only use cold water except towels and whites. Plus, using Crystal’s suggestion, only use half the recommended scoop of detergent. I only wash when I hve a full load. In addition, I use white vinegar in my Downy ball instead of fabric softener. My daughters have eczema so the vinegar not only rinses the perfume out of the clothes, it also is a fabric softener.

    I also use vinegar in my dishwasher instead of JetDry. And, again, I only wash when I have a full load.

    When buying clothes, I stick with basics. Shoes, pants and skirts must match at least two other items. Even dressy sweaters and shoes are basic black or white. Of course I start with consignment or thrift stores and then move up to clearance racks if I can’t find what I need. Also, ALL socks are white and the same brand. No losing one and having to toss the other,or a drawer of mismatches.

  • Stephanie says:

    We’re restoring our “new” house. It’s 100 years old, and was most recently a half way house. It needs lots of work and we have a very small budget. We buy building materials at Habitat for Humanity’s Re-Store instead of big box stores when possible. For example, wood interior doors run $20-45 each at Habitat and $90 at the big box building store. We also salvage free lumber and beadboard paneling from old houses being torn down in the area (well, free minus the sweat)! This saves lots of money on new drywall and labor, though I can’t really tally up how much per square foot. I do know it makes us very proud to save these great resources as well as helps the bottom line.

  • heather harris says:

    a bunch of my girlfriends and I have organized a quarterly “swap” where we exchange clothes, (kids and adults) purses, coats, toys, and the like. My favorite is where we also trade appliances and “share” some of the big ticket items, like a stand mixer or a garden tiller!
    Once a month, we also get together and trade recipes, and we are working on a baking/cooking swap monthly as well…

  • Laura Smith says:

    We have a couple ones that work great for us….
    1. We use Freecycle (everything is free)
    for things we need or even want……clothing, furniture, books, and even plants for the garden….you can get anything and contributing greatly reduces clutter.

    2. We pack our lunches for work….but not just the typical sandwich. I generally cook a bit more than needed for dinner, and pick up produce and other items on sale. The lunches can be some strange combinations, but it saves us hundreds, since we used to eat out twice or three times a week, packing deli sandwiches with chips, cookies, and fruit other days. Those things, when not on sale, can be expensive.

    3. When we take a vacation with the kids, we stay at home and go on many local trips. This saves money on lodging and transportation alone. However, we save money on our local trips too. For example, we may plan a week when we go to the zoo, museums, hiking, swimming, local parks, and a dinner out. The zoo is paid for with an inexpensive family pass we use all year and we let each child pack their own lunch with what we have (with guidance of course). The same strategy is done for the state museums and the local state park (with swimming, hiking, and a play ground) which are free. The kids love picnics. To battle the gift shop drama, we give each child a small amount (~$15) at the beginning of the week; they can use it at any gift shop they want, but they have to make it last. For a dinner out, we use restaurant.com and order a lot of food to share, instead of each child an individual meal. We save money this way too, with leftovers!

    4. Cooking! We used to go out to dinner every friday. Now, we buy ingredients for a nicer meal based on sales. We have a nicer meal every friday for 20% of the price of going out, which is $20-$50 per meal instead of cooking for less than $10 per meal.

  • We buy 2 copies of the Chick Fil A calendar each year and then only go on Tuesdays, which is their kids night (free kids meal with purchase of adult meal). We use the coupons to fill out anything more than the 2 kids and 2 adults meal. If we go every two to three weeks, that’s about $100 per year ($3 per kids meal + coupon savings= at least $5 per visit)

  • ashley says:

    I cut my husband and two young son’s hair. I’ve cut my husband’s hair since we started dating (9 years ago), so I figure that has save us $1,080 (1 haircut a month at $10). Add in my two sons, and that’s got to be at least $1500 in savings.

  • Lindsey says:

    I have a few friends that have kids a little older than mine, and also a few that are a little younger. We swap, sort of in rotation, clothes, shoes, and toys every few months. We make sure to keep everything in pretty good condition. I fall right into the middle so I have only had to buy my daughter a handful of ‘new’ outfits for special occasions, and the same for my son.

    I also sew a lot of their pajama pants myself, anytime that i get a really cheap deal on fabric. I know that I save WAY more than $100 a year doing this.

    Kids grow so quickly out of clothes and toys, that there is no sense in constantly ‘paying’ to replace things.

  • Megan says:

    We order water when we go out to eat. It’s a simple, healthy, easy way to save 3$-6$ each time we go out for lunch or dinner.

  • Amanda Fry says:

    Use the “Subscribe & Save” feature when making purchases on Amazon.com. You save 15%, which can really add up! The “Subscribe & Save” feature is offered for so many household products! I just shaved $4 off a beauty product I just purchsed, plus it makes the shipping free!

  • Amanda Fry says:

    Use the “Subscribe & Save” feature when making purchases on Amazon.com. You save 15%, which can really add up! The “Subscribe & Save” feature is offered for so many household products! I just shaved $4 off a beauty product I just purchased, plus it makes the shipping free!

  • Jennifer says:

    I’ve started buying magazines as Mother’s Day/Father’s Day and birthday gifts for my (3) God children. I used to spend about $20 per occasion, adding up to at least $140 per year. Now I watch magazines.com and bestdealmagazines.com for great prices. They rotate what they have on specials. Last year I spent $7.50 combined for a one year subscription to Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day. They all love getting the magazines, no gas to shop for a gift, and it saves a bundle! Everyone wins:)

  • Maria says:

    This past winter, in our little mobile home, we kept the thermostat set at 60-65 during the day, letting it get down to sometimes 55 at night! I wore lots of extra layers every day and exercised or used a heating pad or small space heater to really get warm occasionally. In the summer we set the thermostat at 80.

    I chose not to buy a nice new Bosch mixer like I wanted. It would have cost over $450. We’ve been married a little more than 4 years, and I have made do with a cheap hand mixer and my husband’s strong arms. (He enjoys making bread by hand.) That’s a savings of about $100 per year.

  • I am a firm believer in being an empowered consumer. If there is something wrong with a product or if I am dissatisfied with the taste/feel or whatever with a product, I make sure to contact the company. I call the number on the product and have the item handy. I have always had good experiences with this- with the service and result. Instead of moping or complaining to friends and family, inform the company! They truly want to have a good product and keep their customers. Now- I NEVER make up an issue, I only make contact on real problems. For example, I bought Cascade Gel, and it left a film on my dishes. They suggested I try the Action Pacs, and sent me a full value coupon for any size-I bought the biggest! Then, after a few loads, the Pacs weren’t opening. I called them, they made a suggestion and sent me 2 MORE full value coupons. I haven’t bought dish detergent in 6 months. I’ve had success with other companies, and they are always happy to hear what you have to say and to have the opportunity to make it right. Just by my estimate, I have received over $200 in coupons for issues in the past year.

  • Chiara says:

    Every Saturday or Sunday, take 1 hour to “prep” for next week’s meals. I prechop vegetables and store them in a reusable container (to separate from non-processed vegetables). Before using, I just rinse the vegetables. This makes sure I don’t spend money buying pre-chopped items or be too lazy to spend time “prep”ing the veggies. The time and money saved each week can easily add up to $100 per year 🙂

  • penny says:

    My kids love lunchables, but they are expensive and quite frankly, I really question the quality of meat and cheese in those things! You can go to the Dollar General and find a round container that is divided into 3 sections. Place cheese slices in one section and crackers in another. Using a small circle cutter, cut out pieces of deli meat of your choice. Viola! The kids are happy, you’ve saved money, and the quality and taste is much better!

  • Wow, I am so glad you posted this question! It’s really made me think about how I’ve managed to save as much as I have, especially with just recently becoming a one income family! I already posted some responses via the link, I hope it worked!

  • Rhonda says:

    I use cloth diapers and make my own baby wipes. Use old baby wash cloths or cut up old t-shirts for soft baby wipes. I fold them and put them in a used baby wipes box. Then boil 1 1/2 cups of water and stir in 1 tbs spoon baby wash and 1/2 tbs baby oil. Poor water over wipes. Let cool before using. I throw these in my diaper pail and wash with my diapers.

    Also, we save on heating and cooling our house by closing off rooms we use very little and shutting the vents in that room.(Guest bedroom, family room in basement) We turn down the heat to 60 deg at night and use a small electric heater in the children’s rm set at 65 deg. Our heating bills for a year have stayed around $600 a year for a 1200 sq ft home.

    I rarely use my dryer. Except to fluff good clothes before hanging them up on hangers, so I don’t need to iron them. I use a clothes line outside and plan my laundry days around nice weather. My husband built me a wash line for under $50. In the winter or on rainy days, I hang my clothes on drying racks in my basement. We are a family of four and I have two drying racks. You can get large ones that will hold a lot of laundry. I have a clothes rod in my laundry room which I hang a lot of clothes on hangers to dry. It takes planning to get all your laundry washed and dried, but its well worth the savings in dryer use. I even use the racks for my cloth diapers.

    • Bethany says:

      If anyone is interested Walmart sells indoor clothes-lines cheep. I bought one a year and a half ago for $12.

  • Jan says:

    Barter. I like the idea of “paying” my own way. I am a great couponer while my neighbors who respect my skills just cannot do it themselves. Many have had outgrown boys clothes, soccer shoes and shin guards etc. and while they offered to give them to me outright, I prefer to trade what the price of the items would sell for at consignment with equal value extra food and health and beauty aids from my stockpile. A fair trade and also they neighbors were always sure to call me first. My newspaper delivery man leaves me all his extra Sunday inserts and every 3 months or so, he gets a big box of my stockpile. I made sure to get to know him so I know his daughters age and dog size to personalize the trade.

  • Stephanie Moody says:

    1) Mystery shopping! 2) I love ebates.com 3) Trade coupons with friends 4) When family comes to visit I use ebates when I can and I price compare every website I can. This week the lowest I could find a local hotel we wanted to use was $96’s per night, so before taking that offer I called and spoke with a manager and scored it for just $80s and it includes breakfast and cocktail hour! 5) I reuse our garbage bags for taking out stinky diapers 6) We both buy and sell on craigslist.com 7) I changed our homes’ pest control services from every other month to four times a year; This small change saved us $90/year and we can have them re-treat anytime still for no additional cost.

  • Rhonda says:

    My husband and I got 3 friends and went together and signed up for a cell ph plan(5 phones total). We now pay a total of $90 a month and have two cell phones with unlimited internet and texting on them, plus we can use the phone to access internet for our computer.(Sprint is our provider). We have no home phone, so the $90 covers all ph and internet usage.

  • shannon says:

    If I understood it correctly, for your idea to be listed in the book, you had to follow the link – not post them in the comments section. Makes sense, you don’t want to include something in a book that everyone else has already read.

  • Maine Mummy says:

    My husband set up an Amazon Seller account. We raid local booksales at churches and libraries when we can fill a bag for a dollar and we sell our books when we are done with them. It’s exceptionally east to set up, involves very limited time and has done so many small things for us. It bought a phone, it paid for groceries on a tight week, it bought Chinese food when we were having a bad day. $100 builds up surprisingly quickly.

  • Heidi says:

    My family will only drink 2% milk. I stretch it by pouring water into jug when it’s half full (I add about a quart of water). Nobody notices a thing. I also bought small steel water bottles for my kid’s school lunches and buy a large jug of Hawaiian Punch or other things and fill the bottle half-full and then fill the rest with water. My kids actually like it because they think its too sweet otherwise.

  • Wendy says:

    In my state we have the deposit law. If you know someone or you yourself drink a lot of pop or beer you could save the money. I have seen some people going through garbage cans and search on the side of the roads for bottles and cans also.

  • jordan penrod says:

    We don’t use paper towels, instead we buy cute dish towels(have a whole set), and they are used for each meal and messes, and then I can wash them and reuse over and over.

    I also use giftcardgranny.com, and buy discounted gift cards to places I know we will go and spend money at. Depending on the gift card and store, you can really rack up the savings!

  • Monica O. says:

    Save on ink and paper when printing coupons:
    – I buy my generic cartridge on ebay and a kit to refill them. Cost: about $24 a year.
    – I cut 3 the 8 1/2×11 regular printing paper. This saves on paper and ink that prints many of the advertisements that come with printing just one coupon.

  • P. Lawson says:

    We use wood to heat our home. We’re able to get a good deal of wood from friends or our own yard so it costs us very little. Wood keeps our house warmer than it would be if we had to pay for the gas or electricity and saves us more than $100 a year.

  • DeAnna says:

    We don’t have kids, but we do have 6 special needs pets that rack up the bills! To save on our beagle’s prescription heart pills, we asked our vet to order us the human equivalent, get the generic form, and cut the pill in half for proper dosage. Instead of paying $70 for 2 months of the vet formula, we pay $4 for 2 months of the same thing, just the human generic version 🙂 This saves us $816 dollars a year! We also bake homemade bread (he’s on a no salt diet) to roll his pills into instead of buying those pill pocket treats that cost over $3 a pack. Another big tip is that we get their high quality kibble at the local farm and feed store instead of a pet store and save anywhere from $5-$10 a bag plus can shop for other things while we are there.

  • Becky says:

    I buy an ink cartridge refill kit, instead of new ink cartridges each time. I bought the last one on Ebay. I can easily refill my ink cartridges 10 times with it, which is a huge savings because our printers ink cartridges cost $14-17 each, (I have to buy a black on and a color one) and they don’t last long! I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who prints things for a living, but for me, who mainly prints coupons, it works really well! I refill the same cartridge with the ink and syringes the kit provides, let the cartridges sit overnight, then put them back in! It works for me.

    • Lindsey says:

      We found that it was cheaper for us to buy a refurbished laser printer on ebay and the replacement toner cartridges on ebay, too. It prints much faster, longer, and more reliably and an ink-jet, and though the initial cost is higher, it saves us a ton of money.

  • Jenny Goodrich says:

    I have to admit that I have not always been a saver, however I have found one way to make it much easier for me! When registering my purchases in my check register (both debit card and written checks) I round up to the nearest quarter dollar. So if I use my card to buy lunch and the transaction is $6.37, I round and write in $6.50! It seems like such a tiny amount but, BOY DOES IT ADD UP!! 🙂
    Last year when I finally did the math, I had an additional $428.00 in my checking account for the year! I provided us with all the money we needed for a late summer vacation to my folks place! I would highly recommend this to anyone that finds it as difficult to put money away as I do!

  • Laura Cooke says:

    I am a technophile. I like to own cutting-edge technology, but it is an expensive habit. Since I upgrade often, my would-be castoffs still have a lot of life left in them. I save the original packaging and use screen/case protectors and then re-sell or gift (appropriately disclosing the pre-loved nature of the gift) the “old” device. If I can’t easily re-sell or gift the item, I donate it. Recently I was amazed to sell a 5-year old PDA for $129 which was $30 more than I needed to upgrade my phone.

  • Lindsay says:

    I use linen napkins and rags instead of buying paper napkins or paper towels. In the summer I dry clothes on the line, which saves a ton on the electric bill. I use swagbucks and basically just earn them by using the search function to earn bucks. I save them until I have enough for a $25 Amazon.com card (usually 3 mo or so) so that’s about $100 I earn a year doing something I’d be doing anyhow (searching the internet.) I also save money using Amazonmom.com to purchase diapers

    • Suzy says:

      If you ‘buy’ the $5 amazon gift cards, they are cheaper than the $25. You can buy 5 a month for a total of $25.

  • Rhonda says:

    My 2 kids come home from school with TONS of 1 sided paper. I re-use them for printing coupons. I also have enough ink cartridges to last until Earth Day, when Walgreens refills for $1. I get them refilled to last me another year. I rarely have to buy ink or paper 🙂

  • Ruth says:

    Not sure if this is what you are looking for but it sure is helping us actually save money. My husband and I keep a budget and do our register on excel. Every withdrawal we make out of our checking account we record it and then in the next column we round up to the nearest dollar. This is our electronic way of saving our change. Our total after the amount has been rounded is the amount we say we have in checking to spend. We have our savings account and we always have a “safety” in our checking but actually “saving our change” on every purchase is fairly new to us; but according to our register we have already saved quite a bit. Hope this helps you 🙂

  • SARAH RUMLEY says:

    We save well over $100 a year by calling our cell phone company about any discrepancies we find. There are so many “little” charges or mistakes the company has made that show up almost every month on our bill…and they want our business, so they are more than happy to remove those wrong charges and sometimes even give us a credit. It never hurts to call and negotiate! I have found it is important to call before the due date, though, otherwise they cannot make any changes to the dollar amount.

  • Jennifer Lutz says:

    Our local library sells books they no longer use or ones that were donated that they don’t shelve at 12/$1. I purchase 12 nearly every week and then sell them at the local used book store and make an average of 500% profit.

  • Vickie says:

    I homeschool 3 out of 4 of our children and always re-sell what we use or do not use each year at our annual used curriculum fair. Every fall when Target and Walmart have their back to schools sales…I stock up on notebooks for 10cents, and pencils, pens etc….and what we don’t use up during the school sale…I resell the leftover and use the profits to buy more!! that way we never run out of the items we need.

  • Melanie Lewis says:

    Thinking of another way to save money, I remembered we usually do our birthday parties at home. I have all my children participate. I can pay my older children a small amount of money and save me lots!! We have done Magic shows, Olymplic games, Capture the Flag, Treasure Hunts, and Science experiments just to name a few. Usually the younger children attending the parties think it’s great to have older kids they know doing something fun with them. These have been my kids favorite parties over very expensive activity parties, not to mention the time siblings spend working together. (great relationship builder) That is definitely worth more than $100 a year!!!!!

  • Melissa says:

    My husband changes the oil in our car. It’s nice to only have to pay for parts!

  • Cindy K says:

    Packing lunch was probably the biggest impact to our budget. After having children, we cooked more at home so we naturally had extra for lunch the next day. I started seeing the savings and encouraged my husband to do the same. By not eating out even twice a week, we easily save $25 a week between the two of us. Not to mention saving in gas.

  • Rachel says:

    I use the freebies (chapsticks, soaps,lotions) I get in the mail as stuffers for holidays..valentines, Easter baskets, Christmas. My children are preteen and they just love their own cosmetics.

    5 of us neighbors use a barter system. For example I grow a huge vegetable garden and will trade my handy man neighbor veggies for his time to fix my rain gutter.

  • Andrea says:

    Negotiate Monthly Bills:

    I called our cable/internet provider, cell phone company and insurance and asked each one if they had any discounts or lower priced plans. The cable/internet gave me the introductory rate for 6 months for being a ‘loyal customer’, the insurance changed our premiums/deductables and gave me a ‘Steer Clear’ discount for my teenage daughter (she had to watch a video and complete a 5 minute test) and the cell phone company changed our plan.

    In about an hour, I lowered our montly expenses by $183 🙂

    • Cheryl Raymond says:

      They also have a “good grades” discount….:)

    • GK says:

      I did some haggling with my credit card company and got my APR from 14% down to 2.1% 🙂 It lowered my minimum monthly payment by $123.00 which is a savings of $7380.00 in interest if I pay only the minimum payment until it’s paid off!

  • Lan says:

    After paying off my student loan, I still keep “paying” the same amount into my savings account. I save up a lot more than $100 a year without sacrificing anything.

  • gina says:

    Marrying someone who is also cheap can save you a lot of money.

  • Sarah C says:

    I filled out the form 🙂 Thanks for offering, I’ll be looking.

  • Karrie says:

    GROOM MY OWN DOG…
    Even before I had my own dog I was always responsible for bathing our family pet. This includes nail trips, ear cleaning, bathing and hair cuts (I have a shih tzu mix). I recently saw that a bath for my dog would run 25-40 dollars and sometimes thats without the hair cut and nail trim! Point being just by grooming my pet at home each month I save $360 a year. (assuming $30 per bath).

    I also … CUT MY FIANCE’S HAIR.
    Assuming a typical hair cut is about $20 each month this equals to $240 a year.

    Wow I never did the math before this post! I have a new found accomplishment with my $600 a year savings 🙂

    • Lynn says:

      We also have a shih tzu. The $40 we’ve spent on grooming supplies over the last three years has easily saved us over $600! (And he would say this should become “treat” money for patiently enduring his trims!)

    • GK says:

      I had the ability to pick up a second job, and so since I have 4 dogs, I took up a second job at a dog boarding/grooming facility! I get to have free use of all of the grooming supplies, plus I got cheap dog boarding, and wholesale prices for Solid Gold dog food! – Being able to use the grooming facility at my work helps me out alot, since grooming and blowing out a Siberian Husky is not something most people would want to do in their home! 🙂

  • Miriam Warkentin says:

    For those into sewing and or fabric crafts:

    I have found that buying bed sheets (in good condition of course) from a thrift store or garage sale is a great way to get nice fabric cheaply for almost any sewing project. 🙂

    • ginger p says:

      I agree! I’m a quilter & use just about anything for fabric – whether it be old sheets, old clothes, whatever. Everything gets recycled into a quilt! 🙂

    • Ashley says:

      I have found that too! It is great for things like Halloween costumes, drapes and even pillow covers!

  • Melissa says:

    We get DVD’s from the local library for free. This is a great way to save money. Also recently when I received my car insurance it had went up for no reason. I called our agent and she did some checking and we switched companies and saved $160 a year.

  • Bethany says:

    I made my own thank you cards for my wedding and baby showers. I just used a pretty font for the wedding thank yous. For the baby shower thank yous I sent them after she was born and I took her hand-print and wrote thank you above it, then copied it onto card stock. Everyone loved the personal touch.

  • jessgrtn says:

    We eat at Shoneys and get the buffet. That was our little ones under 4 eat free! (Plus we get a 20% military discount!)

  • jessgrtn says:

    I forgot about one…doesnt save 100 dollars but it saves anyways…. a lot of hair places will give your child his or her first haircut for free

  • Dee says:

    Returning our used printer ink cartridges to Staples gets us $2 credit for every cartridge, up to $20 a month. This provides $240 a year in money to spend at Staples. Their website states: “Recycle any ink or toner cartridge, up to 10 per calendar month, and get $2 back in Staples Rewards per cartridge.”

  • mary says:

    I shop A LOT for clothes and shoes for me and my two kids. I always go straight to the clearance racks and find every kind of item throughout the year for 10.00 or less. I stick to the items that are 5.00 or less and my kids and I have overflowing closets really cheap. the clothes are also stylish, and i can put together great outfits too. one item i am very proud of that i bought recently was a pair of adorable grey slouch boots that were originally 80.00 i got for 10.00 at shoe carnival. I also buy my panties at rue 21 or charlette russe for .50 to 1.00 a pair

  • mary says:

    oh does anyone have any advice for saving money at the laundry mat? i usually do clothes once a month and spend 40.00 to 50.00 a trip. I use the huge washers and dryers that save me money too. before i was using the smaller ones and it cost about 80-90 dollars each time but i want it to be cheaper and i am not allowed to have a washer or drier in my apartment not even the portable ones and we cant have clothing lines in the yard. any suggestions?

    • Raki says:

      Check for other laundromats in the area that may be cheaper. Some new ones have special pricing on certain days of the week. Experiment with different size machines. Wear the clothes a couple of times before washing them unless stains.

    • ginger p says:

      I know it’s not probably not a huge space but you can hang some clothes to dry on your shower curtain rod or on the doorframes inside the house.

    • Francis says:

      Do you have a really good friend, and I do mean REALLY good friend, who has a washer and dryer? Work out a deal to pay maybe half the price of doing your laundry at the laundromat and pay them instead to let you use their washer while you visit. You save money and she makes a little money while you are visiting with one another. Or better yet, barter some of the really great deals you get from sites like this or babysitting time, yard work, etc. for use of their laundry. I say it has to be a REALLY good friend so that you are both honest and upfront with one another about what you want and your expectations from the exchange.

    • Dena says:

      You can make your own laundry supplies too.You can find recipes at AboutFrugal.com.That’s where I found mine.It is a big money saver.

    • Maryellen says:

      Can you hand-wash smaller, lightweight clothes at home?

      I installed a second tension-type rod just inside the shower curtain/shower door in my bathrooms. I found the curtain rods at thrift stores, and never paid more than a couple of dollars for them. Originally I did this because we didn’t have room for more towel racks, but they also work well for drying laundry. They’re not permanent, so using them in an apartment should not cause a problem with your landlord. You could use more than one extra rod if you didn’t mind taking it down when you’re done. (So no one bumps their head in the shower 🙂

      You could use drying racks indoors, too; they hold quite a bit of laundry. If you combined a rack with a curtain rod, your bathtub or shower could be a “drying center.”

    • Jen says:

      That is a ton of money. I don’t have a lot of clothes I guess because I could never go a month without washing! The only real saving idea I could come up with for you is to hand wash some items in the sink (I use cheap shampoo) and wring it out and hang on indoor drying racks.

    • Angie says:

      I don’t have to deal with the laundromat, but still some things that we do:
      *Bath towels can be reused a few times before washing them… they’re only drying off a clean body anyways. Have separate hooks for each person, or a different color towel for each person so there’s no confusion.
      *Jeans can be worn more than once before being washed… especially if you’re not getting them dirty.
      *I make my own laundry detergent.
      *I cut all my dryer sheets in half.
      *I agree with the previous commenter who suggested using the washer and dryer at a very good friend’s house. Before I had a washer/dryer, I went to my parents’ every week to do laundry. Ask around to your friends/family and see what you can come up with.
      Best of wishes to you in lowering your costs!

      • Janet says:

        For years I babysat a friend’s children while she worked in exchange for doing my laundry at her house. We had a large family and things were very tight, for her as well as for us. It was a real blessing for both families.

    • Renee says:

      If you plan to iron a piece of clothing, bring it home wet and hang it for just a few hours, then iron it while it’s still damp. No sense in paying to heat something up in the dryer, only to apply more heat later.

  • Dee says:

    I always research for coupons or discounts on my prescription medication, if the doctor has prescribed one that doesn’t yet have a generic. I saved $250 by receiving a one-month voucher for one medication I had to take for 3 months. Some doctors will offer such coupons and samples.

    An older relative had a medication that became uncovered by their Medicare drug plan. I found that Pfizer has a Patient program and the relative’s income qualified them for it, saving $2,000/year. Find out which manufacturer makes your product and go their site and even contact them and ask about discounts.

    http://www.internetdrugcoupons.com/ is a good site to start with to find discounts and coupons for prescriptions.

    • Emily says:

      Dee, that is a very important tip! As a nurse practitioner, I can tell you that there are MANY discounts out there for name brand drugs. Some medicals systems are allowed to mention the discount, some are not. But always check online!

    • siobhan says:

      my gyno always tells me to call the office to see if they have my pill samples- i take seasonique which is 3 months worth, and with my insurance costs me $60 at the drugstore, so I always call and they usually have 3months worth for me at the office! 🙂

  • Dee says:

    Sign up for the email clubs for restaurants in your area. (If you prefer to keep down the extra emails, use an email address specifically for offers and deals.) Restaurants will often send you special coupons and offers, especially on your birthday and anniversary. Two that come to mind are Famous Dave’s (you get an offer for the birthday of each household member) and Moe’s (free burrito on your birthday).

    I keep a basket for all the restaurant coupons we get, divided by category in Ziploc bags. When my kids (both over 16) want to go out with friends/girlfriends, they know to check the basket when choosing where to eat.

  • Cheryl Raymond says:

    I own my local website based FreeShare.org website (formerly FreeCycle). People list things on there they want and what they have to give away. Then you just go pick up the item or have someone pick it up from you (even a porch pickup or a midway point pickup is safer). It’s better than having all of the stuff you don’t want anymore going to the landfills! Plus we don’t all have time or space to do garage sales. There is a lot of give and take with this. I have seen things as big as houses and cars on there before.

  • L says:

    I keep a Target and WalMart gift card in my wallet. If I need to return anything to either store I just have it put on to the gift card. A few dollars here and there can add up fast.

  • Rebecca says:

    I regularly watch for the gift cards that come with new or transferred prescriptions. They are usually for $20-$25 a piece and we can easily do 4 or 5 a year with a family a four. A quick way to save $100.

    I am also a regular thrift shopper. My local thrifts (Salvation Army) have 5 for $5 each week with the color tag that week being 5 items for $5. I go weekly where I purchase clothes for my family as well as items to sell online. It is rare that I don’t find at least one item that still has the original tags on it. If I buy 15 pieces of clothing and sell them for $10 each (I only buy higher end items like jcrew, ralph lauren etc) I have made $150 after fees etc I am going to have at least 1 crisp $100 to put in my pocket maybe more if items get bid up which they do all the time. PLUS I also have many really nice things for my family. Almost everything I wear is from Thrift stores and no one ever knows!

  • Amy S. says:

    With 3 out of 4 kids in school this past year, I was spending 2.25 each for hot lunch/lunchables. Only to discover, that even though they wanted the hot lunch, they weren’t really eating them, just picking and throwing the rest away. A girl at work suggested BENTO BOXES. I did the research, and found that they are very eco-friendly, so I picked them up for the kids. Sometimes I do themes, like water, or animal ones, other times I just make a little extra dinner and pack the leftovers in their lunches. The kids love them, their friends are jealous because they have cool lunches, and I usually spend only 50 cents to a dollar per lunch. They are healthy, I can pack them with deals I score with my coupons, and I know they are healthy, and that the kids will actually eat them. Our bentos have 4 sections, plus a little extra one for dips or salad dressing. Saving me fortune….especially since they are actually eating them. A little extra planning on my part has saved me over $100, and I feel like a Super-Mom because I’m feeding them healthy, being eco-friendly, making the kids lunch time fun.

    • susie says:

      where do you get the bento boxes? this is one area that i have been struggling with, we have 3 that need lunches every day and I have a hard time figuring out what to send.

  • Julie C says:

    I asked a visitor at our church lunch if she canned to delicious pears she brought to share; she said yes and would I like to come pick some for our family. Yes and thank you! We canned 250 quarts of pears and dozens of pints, too. I used canning jars given to us and asked at garage sales if I didn’t see any; many were given to us or sold for 5-10 cents each.

    My husband works with a man that has a family apple orchard; he mentioned that hail damage would keep him from selling his apples that year and would we like to pick some. Yes and thank you! We over 100 jars of apple butter, 100 apple sauce, dozens of apple pie filling, and apple rings, too.

    Always keep your ears open for people who have fruit growing on their property and offer to pick for them in exchange for some fruit.

    Praying over your grocery budget will yield more profit than all the couponing and price matching on earth. He owns the cattle on the thousand hills.

    Best wishes with your book, Crystal.

  • Stacey says:

    I recently found an Entenmann’s bakery in a nearby city. Here I found Arnold’s bread 2/$1.25, Mini bagels 2/$1 and hogdog/hamburger buns $.80 each. I will never buy bread from a grocery store again. This is a huge weekly savings for our carb loving kids!

    • Heidi says:

      We love the bread store!

    • cynthia heber says:

      Yes, I have found one also. I buy the bread for my son and my husband there. They freeze well so I have put them in a chest freezer. I take it out as I need it. They also have donuts and snacks that I have purchased for our 8th grade fundraisors.

  • ginger p says:

    My husband is a maintenance man at an apartment complex so instead of paying for trash service he just takes it to work. Not having weekly trash pickup saves us a little over $150 a year.

    • Emily says:

      I think that’s illegal.

      • ginger p says:

        no, it’s perfectly legit. as long as you live there or work there it’s fine. besides that yes it would be illegal – as in some random person just dropping their trash off there would be illegal.

  • ginger p says:

    Add in another one here – I am a book worm so instead of buying new books all the time I am a member of paperbackswap.com where you swap books with other members. The only cost is the postage you pay when another member requests one of your books. I’ve saved at least $500 using this site.

  • Wow. I have found lots of good ideas here. Most of them I already ‘knew’ about, but may have not executed on already. I’m cutting out our land-line and saving $60 a month as well as cutting my netflix down to the streaming only option. We are always too impatient to wait for movies to arrive in the mail and end up using redbox or bb express anyway.

    You guys just saved me $840 this year with those two reminders.

  • Kristin Brutsman says:

    Our family has found many ways to cut costs and save money each year. By purchasing a set of clippers and cutting my husband’s and two sons’ hair myself, we save at least $200 a year. It is very easy to do and I really feel that it saves time, too, as we don’t have to make the trip to town and wait their turn, etc. Another way that we have saved money is by unplugging things that aren’t in use. It takes only a few seconds, but by unplugging our microwave, washer, dryer and other smaller appliances, we are pleased to see a smaller than average electric bill each month. I feel that the biggest savings for us comes from “stockpiling” clothing and shoes. This goes a step further than families who simply save their children’s clothing to pass on to other siblings. I keep track of upcoming seasons and sizes, then purchase the needed items as I find them for incredible deals. Recently our son had a growth spurt and none of his pants seemed to fit. Imagine having to go out to spend money on brand new pants! We simply pulled out the tote where I had stored all of the pants I had purchased in the next size up!

  • Francis says:

    I order gift cards through Plastic Jungle for things I would normally use anyway — places like Lowe’s and Home Depot, Target, JC Penny, Walmart. When I know there is a big home improvement project coming up, I go ahead and price out what it will cost to purchase the supplies from home improvement stores and then get enough gift cards to cover it at a discount of about 7%. Back to school time — JC Penny cards are at a discount of 14%. Everyday shopping at Target — I use all the deals I find on this blog and others and then pay with my gift card and save an additional 5%. Love to go to movies, Regal Cinema cards give you a 10% discount. Using these, just like using a credit card, requires discipline not to make purchases just because you have the gift card, but I have found it to be a way to save just a little bit on everyday purchases.

  • In 2008 we were building our house. In order to add “extras” like hardwood floors, built-ins, etc., we need to save in certain areas we had control over. We used the internet and eBay for items like: appliances, plumbing fixtures, cabinet knobs, door knobs & hinges and electrical fixtures. We saved over $2,500 on plumbing fixtures by using http://www.efaucets.com . By purchasing appliances on eBay, we were able to save over $5,500!

    Comparison shopping online also helped us buy locally. Don’t be afraid to ask a local business for a price match!

  • Courtney says:

    Instead of paying hundreds or thousands for a gas-powered lawnmower, we got an old fashioned push reel mower. It was a fraction of the cost of a “regular” mower and requires no gas or upkeep, other than an occasional sharpening of the blades (which my hubby does himself). Not only is it a very “green” alternative to gas-powered mowers, it does an excellent cutting job. Pushing it is a good workout, too! One more benefit – it’s much safer for kids to use than a gas-powered mower, so our 10- and 12- year olds now have lawnmowing on their chore list 🙂

  • sue says:

    Birthday party savings – going to and having them.

    Stockpiling presents.

    I have a small stockpile of party gifts that I find on sale and shop all year. After Christmas I go to Target and Walmart to check out the clearance toys – I found pet shop sets marked down from $20 to $5. We picked up a ton of those for my daughter’s friends. For my son’s friends we found transformers marked down from $16 to $4. I also buy back to school supplies in Sept at rock bottom prices – cute notebooks, markers and colorful pens make an awesome gift for a journal or crayons, glue, scissors, etc for a preschooler. If you don’t end up using a gift you can donate it at Christmas.

    Having parties

    Invitations – we make our own. I picked up some “fancy” paper at the dollar store and used a crazy font on the computer for super cool invitations. We added stickers to match the theme and rolled them up and tied them with curling ribbon. All for less than $3 and I still have a ton of paper left over.

    Decorations – use what you have. For a pet shop party I used a playset with the pets as a center piece. For a tonka truck party we used a Tonka truck and put little ones all over the house.

    Food – we made little custom pizzas! I bought tortillas, spaghetti sauce, cheese, canned pineapple, bacon bits and ham. Kids made their own and I popped them in the oven. We also had chips and veggies (carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes) and cup cakes. Also drink boxes and water with flavored (with juice) colorful ice cubes. By using coupons, it was less than $2 per kid for a meal, drink and dessert.

    Plates, napkins, etc. – We just buy colorful plates and napkins in bulk or on clearance and 1 pack of theme napkins/plates. I mix them all together so the pile looks like 1 theme napkin, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 1 theme, 1 red, 1 blue and so on. If I could not find a theme pack I have just added stickers to the colorful napkins.

    Good bags – we buy ziploc bags on sale and with a coupon and add stickers. My kids bdays are right after Halloween/Easter so we buy the candy (non-Holiday theme) for the goodie bags when it goes on sale for 90% off. I also found novelty items (Tinker bell lip gloss, popsicle shaped soap) at Walmart for a quarter after Christmas so I stocked up on those. Bath and Body generally has coupons for free items or sample size lotions for a buck – those also make nice prizes/favors.

    As for activities – I shop for items at garage sales – I got a necklace making kit for $4, cranium building fort for $5 and so on. We also play classics games like Twister, musical chairs, etc. I printed off free paper dolls on-line for the kids to design.

  • Emily Gerger says:

    I save hundreds of dollars a year by buying ‘generic’ tampons at the dollar store. Locally owned dollar stores (not Dollar Tree, 99 Cent Only, etc.), often times buy tampons from local drugstores and sell boxes of 18 or 36 (great deal!) for $1. I stock up when I find them- this tip saves me a LOT throughout the year. I also buy my veggies at 99 Cent Only- bags of bell peppers for $1, etc.

  • Carla W says:

    When we buy a car from a dealership my husband and I decide on the price that we are willing to pay for the car. When we make an offer we say “out the door.” Out the door includes tax, title, and liscense, so you are not out any addition money. So, when we purchased our van they dealer had it listed for around 16,000. After back and forth a couple of times we offered him 11, 000 out the door. So, 11,000 was our total for the van. We did not have to pay any addition money for tax, title and liscense.

  • Betsy Durand says:

    We have started buying our milk, when we can, at Aldi’s and pay $2.39/gallon versus $3.89 at our local grocery stores. At two gallons a week for our family, the savings add up quickly to over $100 a year, just by cost comparing one of our most basic refrigerator staples.

    • Randi says:

      Just this week I discovered buying milk from the Kwik shop! They are a Kroger affiliate so they sell Kroger milk, but if you buy it 5 days before the sell by date, it’s half off! Don’t know if you have one in your area, but I’ve been getting milk for $1.50/gallon!

    • Sarah says:

      The gas station around here has the cheapest milk, 1.99 a gallon. Occasionally I can find it for 1.89 at Aldi, but usually do the gas station for milk and bananas. They also run great deals on butter and eggs and bread at certain times throughout the year, so I stock up on butter then.

  • Sarah says:

    With 4 children and 9 nieces and nephews, Christmas can be a very expensive time of year. To save money on gifts, my family started drawing names. Each of the children, draws a name of one of their cousins and purchases a gift for under $25. Now I only need to buy 4 gifts instead of 9. Not only does this save money, but it also makes Christmas shopping less stressful! A double win.

  • Heather R. says:

    Barter. I have friends whom I talk to about things that thay have or do and we trade. I babysit for her kids and her husband comes and edges my lawn or digs up a stump. I can fruit that I get for free and trade for the use of a friend’s clippers for my 7 year olds hair cuts. Party items – I borrow what I need from friends and from my church so I have nice items to use without having to buy them (I loan out my things as well). Toy swap – I have games that friends don’t have, we will trade for a week or so. Our kids get new toys to play with without the cost!

  • Lori says:

    I’m a minister’s wife and part of my job is going to lots of baby and wedding showers. So to be economical and thoughtful I stock up on shower gifts when the time is right. I buy diapers and wipes when the drug stores have them at great prices, and I stay away from size one diapers that they only can wear for 2 weeks. I buy sippy cups at places like dollar tree and kids books from bargain stores and online clearance. For the wedding showers I go stores like Marshal’s and TJ Max and look for fun unique kitchen items that any woman will love but won’t interfere with their style. Like a fun polka dot casserole dish or when the white bath towels. . I’m only spending $10-12 per gift now instead of the $20-30 per gift I spent last year. When you attend nearly 10 showers a year this adds up to over $100 very quickly!

  • Cindi says:

    At least once a year, we contact our home phone/internet service provider to see if we are getting the absolute best rate for the services we truly use. Just last week we called and found out that one of our earlier promotions for ‘bundling’ services had just expired. We were able to have a new promotion applied to our account with an even better rate than we’d had before. They were clearly eager to not lose us as their longtime customer.
    It can be worthwhile to do the same with other providers you routinely use, such as auto and home insurers.

  • Jennifer says:

    One way is to look at the bottoms of receipts when they print out. One I love is that the Stride Rite outlet by my house always lists a link to a survey you can take at the end of its receipt, and if you do that you can get $5 off your next purchase. I’ll usually buy one pair at a time to maximize my $5 discount, and I can often find shoes on their clearance rack for $10! That means I only end up paying $5 for a name brand, quality shoe. I can re-sale it for that amount. We have a 1 year old and 2 year old at my house, so they grow through shoes quick.

  • Gretchen Lee says:

    I cut my husband’s hair! At $14.00 a hair cut at a local barbor-that adds up fast! Buying a clipper set for $19.00 has been a great investment and continues to save us money each month!

  • Jodie Jones says:

    Last summer I bought a haircutting kit for about $40 at Target. I started cutting my husband and son’s hair at home! It really isn’t that difficult, and I think the results are comparable to what they were getting at the barber shop. We used to pay $40 every four weeks for the both of them to have haircuts. Now every time I cut their hair it is like putting $40 cash in my pocket! This saves our family $520 per year!!!

  • Erin Rose says:

    When it comes to fixing our car, my husband has found some great ways to save money.

    Our best tip is find a local car junk yard and find your parts there. Our preferred one is U Pull R Parts. They post what kind of cars they have in their junk yard and update it every day online. When a car that fits our specifications arrives, we head down there (a 45 minute drive) and look for the parts. Our truck’s oxygen sensor often breaks. It costs at least $200 to get it repaired at a fix-it shop. But only costs $8 if you can find it at the junk yard. We have gotten all kinds of parts there. We have a 97 Toyota 4 Runner and he has researched what parts are the same in various years and models so we look for those at the junk yard. We have saved $1000s in the last few years. Many of the parts are still in good condition as long as that part of the car wasn’t in the accident (or whatever happened to bring that car there).

    If junk yards are not an option, check out Amazon for car parts. They often are half the price of Napa or other stores. If you do need to shop at Napa, they often have coupons in the paper and take a 7% discount if you have AAA.

    I am so proud of my husband. Our older cars keep on going thanks to his great, frugal, and safe ways to repair our cars.

  • Christal Beyer says:

    To save $100 or more, I have called my car insurance company, cable company, and cell phone company to negotiate our plans. Before I make any phone calls, I research their competitors to be sure I know what the going rate is for my list of services. BE your own advocate, and don’t be afraid to play hard ball!

    I also buy furniture items used from craigslist to save hundreds of dollars.
    Hope this helps, and best wishes on your manuscript, Crystal! 🙂

  • Karen says:

    We switched our cellular phone service to toktumi (sp) and only spend $15.00 per phone for unlimited calling and unlimited texting. By doing this we are saving at least $150.00.

    • joanna says:

      i’m curious about this phone service. could you give me a website or some contact info, please? it sounds like a great deal; are you happy w/ the coverage you receive?

  • Lisa says:

    Everyone has such great ideas!! I’ve really enjoyed/appreciated reading them! A lot of the things we do have already been mentioned but I’ll add that I breastfeed my babies and make homemade baby food.

  • Dawn says:

    I know many of your readers are homeschooling moms, but for those of us who send our children to school…I make sure to always pack my children’s lunches the night before so there is no last minute hurry in the morning that might cause me to toss them some $1’s for school lunch which now runs $2.25 per child x3 for me so that is at least a $20-$30 savings a week considering the lunches I pack are extremely cost effective.

  • Julie C says:

    Crystal, Will you be using a person’s first and last name in your book if you use their tip?

  • Julie in IN says:

    Crystal, Will you be using a person’s first and last name in your book if you use their tip?

  • Christie says:

    Saving money is not only for the young. Now that I qualify for senior discounts, my best savings is 5% off every Wed at the grocery stores. I save over $200 just by shopping on Wednesday.

  • Alice says:

    While I realize that not everyone has the space to do this, we save a lot of money and earn a little too by having 4 hens which we use to get fresh eggs and when we have extras we sell them to friends and family for $2/dozen. Anyone with a little space and an unrestricted area could do this. Initially, we didn’t know how well this would work and so we went for minimal investment. We bought 4 chicks for $2 each and set them up in an unused dog kennel (20X20) and an old dog house with straw inside for a nest. Each hen lays, on average, an egg/day and because we have mild winters, they lay year-round. At an egg/day x 4 hens we average about 2 dozen/week. We keep a dozen and sell a dozen for $2.00. This gives us about $8/month which we use to buy feed to supplement their diet. This means that my dozen/week costs me absolutely nothing and I get 56 dozen eggs a year from free range chickens – well over $100/year. This has worked so well that we just bought 4 new chicks. Taking care of 8 isn’t any harder than taking care of 4. You just throw them a cup of feed every day and collect the eggs. This is a perfect chore for my 7-yr old. This is going to be his job and business, with his savings portion going to his college savings account.

    • Dee Wolters says:

      We live on a small farm and have had chickens for over 5 years. I started as a 4-H project and has continued. We have about 20 hens, so we get about 15 eggs a day. With a family of 6 and lots of baking from scratch we go through several dozen a week. I have customers that I sell to each week for $2/dozen. I take them to church on Wed night and deliver. We are also able to bless families having a hard time with eggs.

  • jen says:

    Along with using coupons of course, I dont pay for much! Couponing is my fave hobby, and when Kmart doubles, I get sooo much free or almost free!
    I use the Duggar laundry detergent recipe, and spend about $3 for 2-3 months of detergent.
    I homeschool my children, and get almost everything from the library. If they dont have it, they interlibrary loan it.
    I cut my children’s hair, and it looks great!
    I found a friend who works at an upscale salon, and trade her babysitting, or things I got free with coupons for haircuts.
    I have found a consignment store that pays me cash for my clothes. Often, I will just trade for the next size up. Also, our church has something called moms market. However many items you bring ( clothes, toys, books, etc ) you get to take that many home.
    I thirty day cook, which saves a huge amount of money getting everything in one trip.
    For fun, we play outside, spend time with friends, go to the library,church activities, etc… there are lots of fun free things to do.
    I save little things I get free with coupons for birthday party gifts, and stocking stuffers. My new favorite kids gift is- save all of your broken crayons and peel off the wrappers. Break them up, and put them in liners in a cupcake pan. Bake at 300 degrees for just a few minutes, till its in the shape of a cupcake. Give them in a cute box along with a fun coloring book. I find great coloring books at Dollar Tree. A $1 gift!
    My new thing is learning about natural remedies. I have found that I can cure many things with products I have at home. Apple Cider Vinegar took a burn away yesterday, peppermint oil for mastitis, coconut oil for a yeast infection, and I want to learn more!. A healthy and natural way to save on medical bills.
    Just some of my thoughts! 🙂

  • Amy says:

    This sounds old fashioned — but I iron instead of taking everything to the dry cleaners. Our dry cleaner charges $5 per pair of pants. It takes me 10 minutes a pair. So in 1 hour of watching CSI, I knock it all out for a week. Saves me at least $100 per month – not including the shirts too. I don’t mind and for $1200 per year, it is really worth it.

  • Kristi says:

    I just potty-trained my twins. I am hoping this will save me a whole lot more than $100 🙂

    • Kristan says:

      Congrats and it definitely will! My 3 1/2 y.o. twins have been day-time potty trained for a long time, and even just finally getting 1 of them night/nap trained has made a big difference. (of course I need to get her sister on board, and their younger brother potty-trained…but just her 2 less diapers a day is 60/month). I used to buy the Pampers 176 packs on Amazon more than monthly and now I actually have a little bit of a stockpile. 🙂

  • Katie says:

    We took the plunge and got rid of cable! We use netflix and online media sites and we can still see all our favorite shows. Doing this saved us over $100/mo!

    • We have also ditched cable. I was the best decision we could have made. I thought it was going to be a tough sale for my husband, but we’ve been able to fill in the blanks with netflix and free dvds from the library. While we’ve saved about $50 a month, I find that we are also more focused on what we watch. We’ve gotten into a few really good TV series that we watch on DVD and I feel like we’re actually more a part of pop culture than we were when we had cable and mindlessly watched whatever was on.

  • Katie says:

    We recently took the plunge and cut our cable! We use netflix and online media sites to keep up to date on our favorite shows. We have saved over $100/mo!

  • Libby says:

    I don’t know if you consider this a generic tip or not, but it works for me. Since I don’t deal a lot with cash, saving my change doesn’t add up to a whole lot. Instead when I write a check or use my debit card and enter it into my checkbook, I deduct the amount rounded up to the next whole dollar. If I spend $25.36, then I deduct $24.00. I keep track of my “change” in red ink beside the actual amount. When I get $25.00 in “change”, I transfer that amount into my savings. This “change” adds up rather quickly and is a more painless way of saving for me. Since I only go by the balance listed, I don’t even miss it.

    • sarah oneill says:

      A lot of banks and credit unions do this for you now. I know Bank of America’s program is called “keep the change”. I purposely will pump gas and stop at .01 so .99 automatically goes right to savings.

  • sarah oneill says:

    When I go to the grocery store, and use say $10.00 in coupons, I will take $10.00 cash back and put the cash in an envelope for whatever we may be saving for at the time. Vacations, Christmas, Braces, etc… Those envelopes add up fast, and it’s practically FREE money!

  • Camilo says:

    When brushing your teeth open the faucet just half way. Also, if your bathroom has several low-wattage light bulbs use only half of them. I’ve been using only 4 out of 8 light bulbs.

  • Jennifer says:

    Whenever any of our homeschool/home office electronics begin to act up, I start looking at office supply places for a changeover to new models. The old models are always clearance priced to move them and make room. I have been able to save $100-150 on all-in-one printers by buying during the “changeover” instead of waiting till mine is completey dead. I just store the newly pruchased one and use the old one until all the ink is gone or it finally fizzles out.

    Also–whenever we need to purchase a big appliance like a refrigerator or dryer, we sweep the big box home store clearance aisle. Lots of times they will put appliances that have been scratched/dented in there, for $100-300 off the original prices. We keep looking until we find ones that are dented on the sides that will not show. It only took about 1 week to find a fridge that was dinged only on the right side and we saved over $300!

  • Becky says:

    I called my phone/cable/internet provider and told them that I was thinking of switching to another company. They connected me with a “customer retention specialist”, & I asked if there was anything they could do to reduce my bill. I’ve done this twice in the last 2 years. The first time, they reduced my bill by $20 & credited my account $90. The last time I called, my bill was reduced each month by $35–win, win!

  • Monica Trubiano says:

    Whenever we make a big purchase like a computer, bedspreads, quilts, tvs, etc. we keep looking at the price of the purchase, at least a month after we bought it to keep an eye for any sales. We have been lucky so many times to have a price match to the price we paid versus the sale, getting the money back and saving us hundreds a year.

  • angie says:

    We have “restaurant” night at our house about once a week. It is essentially leftovers, but with the “menu” printed on a large whiteboard, and mom (me) dressed up in an apron and hat as a waitress to take orders on my notepad, it turns into playtime fun. Sometimes I bring a bill at the end and daddy pays with pretend money, or I add a little mint at the end for each “customer”. If something is gone the kids get an “I’m sorry, it was such a popular dish we’re out of that already”. The kids are well aware it’s leftovers, but with fun and creativity tossed in they don’t mind.

    • Amy says:

      I love this! Great idea! I always think just because we are saving money doesn’t mean we have to feel punished. What a fun way to reserve leftovers!

  • susie says:

    I always make my own bread. It cost under 10 cents to make it, and we probably eat 5 loaves a week. It doesn’t take long and tastes so much better.

  • Cheri Scott says:

    We make most of our Christmas and Birthday gifts and have a large extended family. Here’s one way we save $100s every year. I purchase 100% wool sweaters at local thrift shops – ones that have been marked down. My son unravels them – he loves the feel and sound of the yarn pulling loose. I wind them loosely between my hand and elbow then we gently wash them.

    After they dry, the kinks are all gone and I can reuse that yarn for all kinds of things – the favorite being felted slippers. Family and friends LOVE to get these handknitted gifts and we are saving loads of money and recycling as well! It’s a win-win-win situation!

  • Abageal says:

    By summer my daughters jeans have holes in the knees. So instead of going out and buying play clothes for the summer I simply cut off from the knee and have a great pair of capris she can play in all summer! Plus with the extra fabric we tape close one side and make “sleeping bags” for all her “babies”. She has so much decorating them too. Saves alot when you figure one pair of capri or shorts are $5-10.

    • Crystal says:

      We just did this with my daughter’s favorite pair of pants! But I let Kaitlynn cut up the extra fabric and “sew” stuff for the rest of us. 🙂

      • Abageal says:

        It saves alot of money. Also those shirts that have the “layered” look alot you can cut the arms out of and it looks just like a regular t-shirt! I found a few at Sears on a big markdown and got her 5 shirts for $4, after I cut the sleeves out they were ready for summer.

  • cynthia heber says:

    Talking about vacations. We are a family who loves to camp. We go to a state park that has camping facilities. tent, yurt, and cabins. Comparison to an overnight stay at a local motel down the shore. We save alot. The beach is not to far away. Maybe 10 minutes away. And there are plenty of stores to find food for meals. Our menu for example: one night steak, one night chicken, another night we have lobster that is steamed at the shoprite(preordered). That saves us money to go on the boardwalk if we want. Our activities are fishing, kayaking, metal detecting. Also, we spend time on the beach. If you want to swim in a pool, there are some camping areas that have pools.

  • angie says:

    We put tape over our lightswitches. 🙂 It made me realize very quickly how I turn on a light out of habit once I go into a room. Sunlight usually works just fine. Having tape on it definately makes me think twice about turning it on. And at night…some of the tape gets temporarily removed. In about a year we’ll save $100!

  • joanna says:

    Freecycling is a wonderful way I’ve found to save money. Obviously, you might not save $100 every year, but when you are buying high-priced items like furniture, electronics, & appliances, it is very possible to save even more than $100 per item. Yes, you might need to buy a slipcover, sew a hole, or do some repairs to electronics, but it’s well-worth the money saved. I also get coupon inserts this way which helps on our food budget considerably. As well, spring is a good time to be on the lookout for perennials that people are dividing & giving away via freecycle.

  • Korina says:

    I buy groupons, daily deals etc.. from those sites BUT only the ones that I will really get value out of. I love pedicures in the summer, and have a favorite salon, so 1/2 at that particular salon is a great deal I will use (not one 45 min. away). I love the ones that are things I can do with my daughter too, I have gotten mommy and me yoga classes, gymnastics classes, children museum passes and zoo passes. They are great for a fancy restaurant too for special occasions like a birthday or anniversary.

  • Stacey says:

    This may sound basic but I pay my bills on time. One or two late fees or extra interest can quickly add up to $100. Plus paying on time means a higher credit score…which most likely results in a lower interest rate on future loans.

    I also have a “gift box” that I keep stocked with potential shower, birthday, thank you, or housewarming gifts. Anytime I see something on sale or get a free gift with purchase that would be a good potential gift, I add it to the box. Makes for less rushing around too!

  • Alice says:

    When I’m making a trip to the store to pick up only a few items, I forgo a cart and either carry the items in my hands or in a hand-basket. This keeps me from picking up those unnecessary but “I have to have it” items that can quickly blow the budget. I save A LOT of money this way.

  • loretta says:

    I take the clothes my kids outgrow to a local resale shop. I started in January of this past year. Just from September to December I made over $80.00. I wish I had kept track all year. P.S Most all were hand me downs or garage sale finds.

  • Amanda says:

    I have a book on natural and homemade remedies and I buy herbal supplements like echinacea (I also have a wonderful family doctor who will communicate via email), so unless my children are deathly sick I don’t have to spend the $20 copay (and gas) for a doctor visit over every little illness.

  • Colleen says:

    Our local grocery store gives you 10 cents off when you spend $100 at their store. We maximize our gas savings by buying gift cards there for places we normally shope – home depot, lowes, restaurants, etc, – and are able to get even more cents off a gallon of gas. My parents do the same thing and when they went to get a snowblower at Lowes the guy there told them to go to the grocery store to get the gift cards there…they were able to save 50 cents a gallon that week by buying $500 in gift cards towards their Lowes snowblower.

  • Carrie says:

    Can we submit more than one?

  • Sally Cree says:

    My tip for saving money on groceries is to explore food from other cultures.

    Over a year ago, I started cooking homestyle Japanese food. Most of the recipes I’ve learned emphasize vegetables and use small amonts of meat. Because the recipes are all so delicious and use inexpensive ingredients, our dinner costs have decreased while our quality has increased. We’ve also learned that Japanese food is more than just sushi and tempura! When my husband brings his leftovers to work the next day, there is always a interesting talk around the lunch table.

    Next, I’d like to explore the best of Indian and Chinese cuisine. I’m sure every culture has dishes that are very inexpensive to make using what is most readily available.

    I did invest in a few basic Japanese cookbooks but they’ve more than recovered the investment in what I’ve saved in shift in our diets to include more vegetables and a BIG decrease in the amount of Asian take-out we desire.

  • Karyn says:

    I embrace my natural hair color and save over $200 in salon costs/year!

  • Bethany says:

    I buy our formula through Discovercard.com that links you up to Target.com. This gives us 5% back. I save up our cashback bonus until we have $20 saved and then trade it for a $25 giftcard to Bed Bath and Beyond. I save up the giftcards until I have enough for something we need. Then I get the 20% off coupon for a big item or the $5 off a $15 purchase for a smaller item. So far I have purchased 2 shower curtains, 2 shower rods, 2 tub mats, 2 sets of shower curtain hooks, a soap holder, wedding gifts, and the Emerilware set of pots and pans….All free!

    • Bethany says:

      I forgot to add that Target offers free shipping and the formula is the same price in the store. Also we pay our credit card off every month so we don’t incur extra fees that way.

  • Bethany says:

    Instead of buying expensive new kids magazine subscriptions, look on ebay for full former years in excellent condition. You can get them for a fraction of the price.

  • Jenny says:

    We have been saving about $167.76 a year just by me simple cutting my husbands hair every 2 weeks instead of paying someone else to do it. I knew someone who had been trained in a beauty school and she showed me how to do a very simple mens hair cut so it always looks like he had it done professionally but it wasn’t. I figure the cheapest price I have found for mens hair cuts is about $6.99 times that by 2 weeks and it averages out to around $167 and change. We now have a daughter and i have been trimming her hair too so the savings just keep adding up by doing this.

  • We save at least $264 per year by drinking water, as a family, instead of juice and/or soft drinks. With a family of 5 daughters, ranging in age from 2 to 20, we can drink a LOT of beverages. So more than 10 years ago we decided to train our girls to drink water at home and at restaurants. Thankfully we had only 2 daughters at the time and now the older ones train the younger ones. We buy an occassional gallon of orange juice as a splurge and and two gallons of Organic Milk a week. Other than that we only drink water in our home. The girls know the milk must last the full seven days until the next shopping day, and it’s amazing how careful they all are to pour the milk sparingly on their cereal and to drink every last drop! We only eat out a few times a month but with beverages averaging $1.50 to $1.75 each, we save at least $5.50 each time we go out for a meal by ordering only water to drink. If you average the cost of 2 containers of Apple Juice at $1.50 each (and we could easily drink 2 a week), we save $12.00 a month by not drinking juice at home and $11.00 a month on not buying beverages at restaurants (based on dining out 2x’s a month). That means we save a minimum of $264.00 a year just by drinking water. Not only is it a frugal habit, but it is a healthy one besides!

  • Monica says:

    I’ve thought about this over the past days and the only thing that seems worthy enough to share is that I cut all of our hair. One pair of hair clippers for men cuts both my husband and sons hair. My girls and I stick with scissors! But, even if we went to a beauty school the cost savings are HUGE! Plus, it is convenient and I can do it whenever it fits our schedule. One extra benefit – I save the hair to keep squirrels away from my veggie garden (only works sporadically) but that is a savings in food as well!

    To speculate how much we save on this – I’ll average:

    Husband hair cut every six weeks: 9 (per year) x $15 = $135
    My hair cut every six – eight weeks: 8 (per year) x $25 = $200
    Boys hair cut every eight weeks: 8 (per year) x $15 = $120
    Girls hair cut every twelve weeks: 4 (per year) x 2 girls x $15 = $120

    Total: $575, not including tipping
    One pair of hair clippers is around $25 and we’ve had these for over seven years! So, over the seven years we’ve saved thousands of dollars!

  • Carly says:

    My husband is about to start a new job that will be on our normal route to our kids’ daycare and then my job. We talked about carpooling, even though it really wouldn’t save that much gas (his new job is literally 2 miles from our home now!) The clincher – after my husband called our auto insurance and was told we could save about $120/year by him changing his coverage on his car (now that it won’t be a “drive to work” car). Apparently they don’t charge you as much to insure your car when you’re not driving to work daily – imagine that! Talk about easy money, and if it’s convenient for you too, why not??

  • Sheri says:

    We heard that if you pay medical bills with cash that you can often get a discount. We now get 20% off of all of our bills at the local doctors office. That saves several hundreds of dollars in the average year (we have a family of 6). It never hurts to ask!

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