I was checking out some blogs, and came across "Frugal For Life". On there, the author had "25 Ways I save Money." There is a long list of others that have posted how they save money. It sounded like a good idea to come up with my ways too.
1) I bought a freezer from a place that was selling slighty damaged stuff. The only problem with this one was that the box got all wet, and so it wasn't "pretty" to send to stores... something like that. No damage whatsoever. But I got it for a good discounted price. I stock up on meats/freezable foods when on sale. I also occasionally make 2 of some meals (lasagna, etc) It's nice to have extra stuff on hand, for days that I don't want to cook and saves us from eating out as often.
2) I occcasionally buy books from stores. But since I love to own books, I like to go to library book sales. You can get a book anywhere from .50 - $1.00. I got a grocery bag sized amount of books from the last one for $5.25.
3) I like to shop caselot sales. Some of those items I use a lot, I may as well stock up and get in bulk for a cheaper price.
4) I love to look online for good deals. KSL ads (a local newstations website) has people wanting to get rid of their stuff and it's a good deal for you.
5) Wash clothes with cold water. Not a problem for us, since the knob that changes the water temp broke off, and we are unable to change it even if we wanted to. At least we are saving money.
6) My husband can fix cars, and bought mine at an auction for $900. It was 2 years old at the time. Just had some damage. $1600 later, I had a 2 year old car for $2500, paid in full. It should last me for quite some time.
7) Some of my friends thought I was strange, but I save tissue paper from gifts. Most people save the bags, why not the tissue paper if it's still in good condition.
8) Have a garden. I don't currently have one, but grew up with my parents having one. I've helped my mother can the food in the past, but with 2 little kids, we aren't much help now. But she supplies me with canned and fresh fruits and vegetables. When we have a yard, I plan on having a small garden and some fruit trees.
9) Save money at Christmas. This year, we are planning on giving one bigger item gift, instead of lots of small items. Of course, my budget is about max $50 dollars per kid, including stocking stuffers. Gifts are great, but not the important part of the holidays.
10) Buy after the holidays. I don't like going the day after Christmas, but shopping after holidays and getting discounts is fun. I bought all my Christmas lights and the (fake) tree after the holidays. I've even heard of some people buying holiday M&M 1/2 off and freezing them. Come Feb, they use the red candies for Valentine treats. They use the green candies for St. Patrick. Don't forget easter and other holidays. Lots of possibilities.
11) Share. I have some friends that love to scrapbook and make cards. We all have different types of papers, stamps, punches. We get together once a week at night and have 3 times the amount of stuff we normally have. Unless I really love a certain product and HAVE to have it more often than once a week, I don't need to buy things that I don't use often enough to spend money on.
12) If you buy something online, share the order. I recently ordered something with 2 other people. Shipping was divided in 3, so we all saved $6 in shipping cost. Then I had a code that saved me $8 on the order.
13) Get your insurance all from the same place. We have home and car insurance at the same place, so when we decided to get some life insurance, it was relatively cheap because we got a discount for already having something insured from there.
14) Buy Generic. Most items, I don't mind generic over a brand name. Most things seem to taste the same or work the same to me. But I do have my few things that I won't buy generic. Like BBQ sauce - I have my brand that I love.
15) If we go out to eat, we have our two little kids share a meal. It seems that if we buy them each one, they tend to hardly eat anything. If we buy one to share, them seem to eat it all and want more. We can never win, but we can at least pay less and have them eat some of our food.
16) Don't buy computer games for young kids. We haven't yet bought any computer games for my son. I just find free ones on Disney or PBS kids. He loves them, and they don't cost a dime. Then if he outgrows a game, we don't have lots of games laying around that he won't play.
17) Organize. I'm still working on this one. But have you ever not been able to find something and went to buy another one? I have. And it's annoying. So I'm working hard to get as organized as I can so that I can save money by knowing where things are and can get them easily.
18) Read books by Don Aslett His books are about cleaning and organizing. But really, if you're getting rid of stuff you know you don't need, when you see stuff at the store, you start to question yourself if you really need it. You just sent two boxes to the thrift store, do you really need to fill up the house with clutter again? Keeps your spending in control.
19) If you want to go on vacation, try to take it in the off season. My husband I went to Disneyland twice before we had kids. Once in November, once in January. Hotel prices were cheaper, tickets were cheaper, and the longest we had to wait in line for a ride was 5 mins. Some ride we even got to ride twice, because there wasn't a line. Also, if you get a motel/hotel that has a kitchenette or at least a fridge, you can save money by eating all or most meals in your room.
20) Get online bill paying or automatic deposit. The only bill I send out is the gas bill. Every other bill gets taken out of my account automatically. I can log on my account and check it how much it was. No worries about late fees, because they are always paid on time.
21) Use CFL bulbs. You know the ones that give out maybe 15 wattage, but are as bright as a 60-70 watt normal bulb. I've never compared my light bill (I'm sure my husband has) to see how much it saves, but everyone I've read that has them, says it really does add up. Now days they are getting even cheaper to buy.
22) Don't use as much makeup. I don't wear any most of the time. Not to save money though, I just don't like wearing it much. I will use it on a few occasions, like weddings, family photos, funerals. Even then, I just use foundation and a little eyeshadow.
23) Cards. I love to make cards, so it combines my crafting hobby with saving money on cards. Also some people like to buy cards in boxes so they are cheaper that way. Or at the dollar store. Cards can be anywhere from $1.99-$3.95. If you give cards, this could cut down on a lot of money.
24) Photos. I live about 5 miles away from the nearest place that prints photos. Since I have a digital camera, when I get enough photos that I want to printout, I go to Walmart.com 's photo center. Upload them, and have them sent to the local store. When they are in, I get some grocery shopping and my photos at the same time. I don't have to pay shipping to come to my house, and can combine a trip for two things.
25) Pay in full. When we do make new purchases like stove, couch, etc. - we pay in full. We occasionally will pay on credit if there is a deal to not have to pay interest for 3-6-12 months. Especially if it's around tax return time and we know we will have the money for that item before the no interest gimmick wears off. The only thing I want to pay interest on is my house. (Well, I don't WANT to, but you know what I mean) :)
This took a bit longer to think of 25 ways than I thought it would. I am by no means frugal like some people. I got a little of both parents in me. My dad is really VERY good at saving and spending wisely. My mother does good, but enjoys herself with money on occasion. But she is organized and doesn't go overboard.