Money saving tips

trishohiozone5_6September 28, 2011

Hello everyone,

I'm asking for your help with a Christmas present I'm creating. I'm making/writing a book of money saving tips to give to family and friends. I've read this site and many others looking for tips. (I especially loved the Granny's frugal ways posts. I smiled for a week even though I used few of the tips in my Christmas present. :)) So my question is, other than this site (which is wonderful), what is your favorite money saving sites?

Thanks so much for your help,


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Don't use a credit card unless you can pay it off at the end of the month.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 5:13PM
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When you see something you'd like to purchase wait one week before buying. Odds are that the impulse will have passed & you'll have saved both some cash & won't have something else collecting dust until you have the next garage sale.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 6:53PM
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You are so right about charge cards. I just read that if you have $10,000 in charge card debt at 20% interest and you make only the minimum payments, it will take you 37 years to pay it off and you will pay $19,466 in interest. That is staggering!

Shopping for recreation is really hard on people's wallets and it is part of what is killing many people and making charge card companies rich. When I feel the need to shop, I do a round of the second hand stores and only use cash. My limit is $20.00 total.

That is good advice too. When people see things they want, usually not a planned purchase, waiting a week really helps take the impulse out of it.

What I was really looking for was more small scale ideas. My mother often quoted her Scottish great-Aunt "Many a little mickle makes a muckle." The idea was that every little bit will add up to a lot. It sort of a "watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves" kind of thing. I was thinking of little things you do to save money. For example, My lips are always dry, so I use a lot of both lipstick and generic Chapstick. I had about 5 old lipsticks that I had worn down to the end, but there was a good 1/2 inch of lipstick still in the bottom of the tube. I was using the nubs first thing in the morning when I was getting ready for work, but it wasn't using up the lipstick nubs very quickly. So, I decided to try digging out the lipstick, melting the lipstick a bit (soft not liquid) and putting it in used up Chapstick tubes.
It worked great! Now I have little lipsticks in chapstick containers. I use them on the weekends when I'm with friends and keep one in my purse, so I'll have something if I forget my lipstick. At any rate, that was the kind of ideas I was looking for.

Thanks to everyone,

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 6:15PM
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Most people I know would not be happy with the gift. I think for a lot of you this is as much a hobby as it is a need and it is not for others. Unless people are literally starving, they won't be interested.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 5:58PM
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Well, it's not for everyone I know, only my closest friends. One friend said she is looking forward to it. Also, it's not the only gift they well get. I've tried to fill it with useful information, money savings tips, and funny things that those friends told me their parents and grandparents did. I'll spare you the funny story that goes with it, but during the great depression, one friend's grandmother crocheted slippers with used mustard plasters as soles. I just thought the folks here could help. Sorry to trouble you.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 4:51AM
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I think your idea for a book is fun. If it turns out as cute as it sounds, you might want to look for a commercial publisher. It would make a great shower gift.

Good luck on ideas. Right now my mind is blank so I cannot offer any.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 3:07AM
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Thanks Monicatx,

I forgot to mention there is also a recipe section. It has some recipes from a couple of my friends who gave them to me 30 years ago. (I wonder if they even still have them.) It also has some recipes from my mom who was a fabulous cook, some from my Aunt Laura who lived to be 100 and died about 10 years ago (dated in her cookbook between 1914-1920), and my grandmother (who I never knew) who died in 1947. I spent the summer looking for good inexpensive meals which I tried out on my husband and adjusted to suit our tastes. It should be a fun gift if nothing else.

It also has a section on cheaper alternatives to over-the-counter drugs which I researched from several books that you could use if you are in a pinch. For fun I added another section of old time remedies that I would never recommend using, but are just odd or funny.

Have a great day!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 7:59AM
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Well, after reading your further posts I think it's sorta a cute idea but certainly not useful in the long haul.

My personal suggestion would be to say stop trying to find cheaper TP & concentrate on building wealth. A good place to start that process is by getting more education; no matter your current level...get more. Also, a music degree is lovely but unlikely to be useful in creating wealth. :)

Learn how to grow your wealth (probably will mean even more education for many people), learn to diversify your money yourself (mutual funds only create wealth for those who sell them to you & the fund managers), pound into your brain the difference between earned income, dividends, & capital gains then set goals to reduce your dependence on earned income, learn to use leverage properly with acceptable risk (yes, that's not only possible, it's necessary build real wealth), set an annual budget & strive to fund that budget annually - not monthly (an annual budget was the single most important thing we taught our kids to strive for after their education...again, this may require even more education so choose your classes wisely), learn to think like a CFO not the CEO, & I could go on but I think you get the idea. You can't save your way to true wealth. It's created by a combination of education, putting forth effort to make good networking connections, and then learning how to make your money work for you.

We tried the saving your way to financial freedom didn't work. Yep, we had a savings account. Good for us. But, it wasn't wealth. It just meant the wolf wasn't yapping at our door every month. DH went back to school (started life as a math high school teacher) & got his Juris Doctorate. We had kids & he went to night school - took 5 years. We incurred student loans that took many years to pay off. So what? The income that degree provided unlocked doors that would have been paddlelocked before getting that education. It didn't stop there either...he's retired now & still taking courses.

Just getting the education though isn't enough to create wealth - there are millions of non-wealthy liberal arts degree owners in America. Choose wisely. Don't forget to make networking contacts while in school. Many of America's mega-wealthy met while in school. This is less in the technology field but the concept is still likely to yield powerful results 20 years later.

I know, I know...we're supposed to be offering ideas about how to stretch a dime. But, I'm giving an alternative. Rather than saving a dime...earn another dime. It's easier & works better if your goal is to create true wealth. It may even mean postponing (not giving up) your desire to live in a rural area away from cities, crowds, yada yada. You will have to go where there are jobs available in your chosen field until you're no longer relying on earned income.

/tricia (who is recovering from a tough couple days of doctor's appointments & crabby, but honest)

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 1:37PM
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Read "Your Money or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez. It offers a philosophical shift in one's attitudes about money.

Also completely agree with the above post. Few people get results from couponing and turning off lights. Those methods will add up, however, if you are faithful for a long, long time.

Also read the "Complete Tightwad Gazette" for cute, inspiring ideas.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 3:08PM
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Take a look at the dollar stretcher at

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 4:37PM
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I love your idea, and one of the reasons I love it is because you could really incorporate some 'green' ideas at the same time you are talking about saving money (the uses of baking soda, vinegar, lemon for example as cleaning products. I have found pages of information and various sites, but you need only include url's in your booklet if you don't want to print off the many pages that are available).

I believe there are as many people interested in doing positive things for our environment, both young and old, as there are in wealth accumulation. I think a compilation of money saving (and almost by default) green tips would be appreciated as much, if not more by the next and the next generations. Recycle, repurpose, re-use... This all saves money for sure, but it is also doing something for our kids and their kids.

I think your idea is great!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 7:15PM
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Two.25 acres, what a great site! Thanks! Tide for the win, thanks for the ideas. Oganic ns, green ideas are a good idea. I'll include a few recipes. Thanks!

Just for the record my friends and I are between 59 and 75. We are all well educated with retirement funds. But, if you have been following the European problem, then you understand that things could be very shaky in the future. It isn't just Greece, it is Italy, Spain and a few other countries not to mention that our economy is not in great shape. If things get bad in the next 5 to 10 years, it will be nice to have all the hints we can get to help us get by when we are on fixed incomes and maybe to old to work.

Thanks to everyone,

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 5:30AM
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If you don't boss your money - more than likely it'll boss you!

Your income this month went to pay dozens(?) of people ... did it pay you, as well?

Put aside part of each pay cheque on receipt, put it into savings and live on the rest.

Have you ever been in handcuffs? If you lack some savings available in case of emergency, and an unexpected issue that you need money to take care of appears - what'll you do? Many people live in financial handcuffs ... and they put them on themselves! They live paycheque to paycheque! One can live a lot more relaxed when one has a financial cushion, an emergency fund available in case of need.

Learn how money works: an interesting hobby - that pays well. The tax system, as well.

As you learn how money works, learn about efficient ways to invest ... that is, develop a second income, from investments.

The payoff?

You'll very likely be able to retire early!

Simple stuff?

Make coffee at home ... an easy way to get started is to put the amount that you'd pay Starbucks for that mug into a special savings mug at home.

Breakfast at home - more goes into the savings mug.

Take lunch to work - more goes into the savings mug.

Take transit to work. Lacking transit - car pool.

Combine trips: run half a dozen errands on one trip.

I cut up and staple milk cartons to hold letters, etc. ... just made a new one this morning to hold the messages coming in that I need to prepare my income tax.

When you see a signal light go yellow ahead - **take your foot off of the throttle**!!

Less gas ... less wear and tear on the brakes! Drive relaxed!

If you buy and drive a car with a standard transmission that'll save between 5 - 10% of fuel cost, daily, if you learn how to drive carefully. Then push in the clutch and turn off the key when that light goes yellow ... an engine doesn't use fuel when it's not running. Check local traffic rules about this first, for in some jurisdictions they say that it's illegal - it isn't in Ontario, as police tell me that the governing rule is that I'm to be in charge of my vehicle at all times. I have 2 - 3 brakings with power; power steering is off, but I have strong arms.

Marry someone who knows how to manage money well - and follows his/her own best knowledge.

ole joyfuelled

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 5:13PM
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I'm not sure if this is the kind of thing you're looking for.. but I always try to think about what I buy at the store. I always laugh at how marketers market things like shave cream to women. As if all shave cream wasn't used just to slather on your legs and escort unwanted hairs down the drain. Really, what can a "women's" shave cream do in the 60 seconds it is on your leg? So, I buy the generic, men's shave cream and save a couple of dollars each time. Something silly and little, but I figure I could always put those extra dollars into a lotion that stays on my legs and actually DOES SOMETHING!

There are other things like this: vitamins, cereal, shampoo, etc just marketed toward a certain gender.. Not sure if that helps!

If you're actually looking for kind of crafty ways to save, I recall a friend of mine who used to save all of the extra little pieces of bar soap that would accumulate and get too little to handle. She'd then stick them in a foot of a pair of used (or new) hosier and knot the top, making a soap ball that didn't slip through the fingers and down the drain. I always thought it was clever, but kind of gross, too! =) Maybe just because she used old hosier and I felt weird about cleaning myself with used socks!

Good luck and I think it's a great idea!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 9:41PM
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I love this idea, and would love to receive such an awesome thoughtful gift!

For the person who was talking about a degree in music not being worth it, I can tell you this: there is nothing in this world that is worth more than doing your very favorite thing and receiving food and drink in payment. But, besides that, if you are a resourceful person and good at networking, you can make plenty of money playing music to support a family, and then some. I cannot imagine choosing a career for money, unless money's what you love.

A degree is great, but many times, it doesn't even matter what the major is. I got my degree in liberal arts, went into the IT field and I am retired in my 40s. Do what you love and plan your life around that. And whatever you do, do NOT get student loans.

I just wanted to say that I love your idea and to say that the person who is attacking it has some really ridiculous ideas about what is worthy or useful. I can't tell you what I'd pay to have my grandmother's pickle recipe, but it's a LOT!

My tip: wax, don't shave, if you do your legs. Not only is it cheaper and greener, but it's much better for your skin, and I don't really care what other people think about my stubble, but I HATE my stubble, so now I don't have any ever. :) At this point, I don't even have to shave the tops of my legs, and only get hair on the front of my shins that a waxing every few weeks handles fine.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 6:57PM
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As cars with standard transmissions, which cost less when new, are quite unpopular, they can be bought much more cheaply, used.

And they use a few percentage points less gas than cars with automatic transmissions ... so they save money on every tankful of gas.

I know who I am: I don't feel the need to impress folks ... so driving a car over 20 years old doesn't bother me. And - it doesn't owe me a cent!

On the day that you started work - you had brain and hands at work ... but no money.

On the day that you retire - you'll have brain and money at work ... but no hands.

When you calculate income needs during retirement, though, don't forget that inflation erodes the value of fixed-dollar assets annually ... so if you decide to retire without taking inflation into account ...

... you may not be too happy if you run out of money and need to return to work - at 80!

Hope that many of you who are retired didn't pay too close attention to the advice that you move out of (fluctuating value) equities as you age, with about 50% equities and 50% fixed-dollar assets at 50, and about 35% equities and about 65% fixed-dollar assets at 65.

Earning about 3% recently, with part of that going to pay income tax ... and part to keep up with the (offically) 2% inflation ...

... there wasn't much left for you!

Let's see ... if you can earn 1%, in real terms ... that'd take 4 million invested to earn $40,000., right?

Yuck -y-y!

This artifically set low rate of return in the last few years has been throwing risk-averse investors who were heavily into fixed-dollar assets in front of the bus ... or would you prefer, "subway train"?

But - when, due to all of that printing of more money ... the interest rates go up, as they must - where's the government and the debt-loaded citizens to find the money to pay the increased rates of interest on thir debt?

Several years ago, 80 U.S. cents would buy CDN$1.00 ... several months ago, and again within the past few days, $1.00 would buy $1.00, going either way (with a bit for the exchange people, en route).

Having lived in 22 locations so never having owned a home during my more than 80 years, this more or less retired personal financial consultant has about 80% in some long-ago-purchased mutual funds (that charge even higher annual fees in Canada than in the U.S.) and a number of Canadian and international stocks and only about 20% in that "guaranteed" type of asset.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 6:17PM
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