15 Clever Money Tips
What with the high cost of gas and runaway inflation, people are getting desperate. There's not a day goes by that I don't read that someone's car has been siphoned of its gas or a store's alarm chimes as someone is pushing his cart out the door.
I can provide a tip for both scenarios.
For gas thieves: Buy a locking gas cap for your car. The thieves might be ballsy enough to punch a hole in your gas tank, but it takes more time--time that could get them caught.
And stores: If you want to prevent theft, stop using self checkouts. And if you continue using self checkouts, don't be surprised if stuff walks out the door. You've created your own drama.
For the rest of us I've got some unique ways to save money.
By now, we all know to cancel cable and other subscriptions. You know to cook at home and garden to save on food costs. And you know to use your car to run all your errands in one trip rather than running out every day.
But here are some lesser used money tips.
- Recycle aluminum. They're paying much higher prices now. This is a great project for kids to earn a little spending money and keep recyclables out of the landfill.
- Learn to haggle. From garage sales to automobiles, prices are not always set in stone. You can save hundreds of dollars.
- Repurpose. Before you throw something away, give it a long, hard look. Can you use it in any other way? I turn unsalvageable clothes into rags, plastic bottles into storage containers and cloches, plastic lidded containers for leftovers and bacon grease and for spent grease. (This way it doesn't clog my pipes.) Right now I'm saving and hunting for people's leftover glass windows and doors to someday make a small greenhouse.
- Wash your clothes in cold water then dry them with a dry towel to speed up drying. You can also line dry. (A dryer is a huge energy hog.)
- Cut your own hair, or let a student hair stylist do it. (They are supervised by their instructor.)
- Use bar soap over body wash. It lasts longer.
- Install a rain barrel or put out buckets during a rain shower. I water many of my plants this way.
- Go trash picking. There's a neighborhood we regularly drive through that usually has a lot of great finds. I've picked up full bags of potting soil, fertilizer, pots, and loads of usable lumber and pipe.
- Buy your clothes at a thrift store or yard sale. Older clothes are usually better made than the stuff they sell now.
- Barter or rent your expertise. Occasionally, our neighbors need welding or some minor repair done. My husband always does it for free, but our neighbors are so grateful they insist on giving him a gift card. We do the same if anyone has to feed our farm animals.
- Batch cook. The number one reason we ever have to eat out is because I'm too tired to cook. With batch cooking, I freeze the leftover meals in easy to reheat aluminum foil pans and take them out on really busy days. It's a good comfort meal without the hassle of preparing it.
- Create a burner email account. I have one email account that I use strictly for getting coupons, deals, or free stuff from companies. I get the reward for giving out my email address without the worry of spam on my main accounts.
- Google for free events in your area. Zoos, museums, and arboretums all have free or greatly reduced entrance fees if you pick the right day.
- Do a No-Spend Month (or a week if you can't handle a month).
- Sell your stuff. I've been to enough yard sales to see an uptick in older teenagers holding these sales. It's a good way to earn some money and learn a little bit about life and negotiating.
Have you done any of these things recently? What's your favorite way to save (or earn) money?