Tuesday, June 11, 2013

115 Ways to Save Money That Won't Get You Arrested

Husband and I had no idea changing our diet and cooking from scratch would not only reduce our food bill (as we hoped) but it would also turn us into accidental foodies. 

So yeah, I think you can have a good life for less and you don't have to be a con, work the system, or commit petty theft to do it like Keenley Newstead, the so-called Britain's Thriftiest Mum. Keenley sees the world as her smorgasbord of free stuff and has no qualms about stealing rolls of toilet paper from restrooms, massive amounts of condiment packs or advertising giveaways, or complaining about something so she gets it free. 

I am upset with this woman's con, because it reflects poorly on the rest of us. I am even more upset with the belief that money saving mavens are cheats and liars instead of the honest, hardworking, clever, (and sometimes a little crazy about how far they will go) people I know them  to be. 






That's why I went through my blog archives and put together a collection 115 ways of how Husband and I  save money that keep your ethics intact (not that any of you need that type of direction to begin with.)   Some of these tips may be new to you. Others may not. Some might be too extreme, others you might think of them as as nothing new or common sense. All I do know is that none of these thrifty tips will land you in jail.

42 Ways to Get Free Stuff Without Stealing


I like getting a free pen or tote bag at the state fair just as much as the next person. I appreciate hotel toiletries so I don't have to deal with them on airplanes. I am pretty darn lucky we have local events with sponsors that offer us little advertising trinkets we find useful and allow us to learn about new products or businesses. As long it is something you can use and you only take your fair share, I don't think it stealing or being dishonest



Most of these tips are new money saving habits (habits are fee!), tips to ask for something you find useful and is often discarded, or how to turn something you already have into something you want or need because I know all of you are in dire need of cheese wax candles, right?

The candle burned OK, not great. At least I now know if we have a 
horde of ninjas camped outside the house, have a bunch of waxed cheese, 
and need light, we can make candles.


2. How to Make Candles out of Cheese Wax
3. How to Warm a Winter Room with Free Heat!
4. How Low Does Your Furnace Go in Winter? 
6. How I Get Free Reusable Shopping Tote Bags
7. 5 Easy Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill
8. How to Search for Air Leaks and Drafts

Doing a free DIY energy audit allowed me reduce my electric bill by 32%. 
Not a bad investment for a little bit of my time!

9. How to Conduct a DIY Home Energy Audit
10.8 Ways to Reduce Household Trash and Save Big 

11.How I Slashed my Electric Bills by 32% without Moving into a Yurt


I reduced my yearly electric bill by 32%!

12. How to Hem Pants Into Shorts
13. Can You Wash a Plastic Bath Poof?
14. 9 New Habits to Keep You Warm During Winter
15. 40 Ways to Organically Repel Japanese Beetles by NOT planting this list of trees, plants, vegetables or flowers.
16. Save Water with Shorter Showers
17. Save Money! Find and Fix Air Leaks and Drafts
18. 9 Things You Need to Do Now to Save Money and Sanity Next Christmas
20. Spring Cleaning Leads to Pampering on the Cheap! - and realizing I need better organization in my linen closet
21. 13 Ways to Lower Your Electricity and Natural Gas Bills
22. Five Repurposed Home Organizers


I'm pretty proud of this flash of inspiration


14 Bargain Shopping Tips That Won't Land You in Jail

Responsible shopping leads to savings you can put toward paying other bills, savings, a big ticket item, or to help someone in need.





These tips are a little bit of everything when it comes to shopping, including tips on when and where to shop for quality items for less, using coupons - which isn't unethical as long as you follow the rules (but I know you already know that because you are honest and thoughtful), and donating used items for the greater good, possible tax credit, and clean basements everywhere.


We registered for our first pet charity 5K as a family this year. Lacey walked the course too!
You can read about our adventure here.


6. Christmas Shopping Tips that Save Time and Money
7. How to Shop Seasonally and Save Money when Nothing is Growing Locally
8. Extreme Couponing and Stockpiling: What it is and What it Isn’t
9. Shopping Loyalty Club Card Organizer


Now I always have my store cards with me when I forget to use them.

10. How Busy People Extreme Coupon for Healthy Food
11. 6 Thrift and Shopping Scores!
12. Make a (Cute) No Solicitors Sign


This sign probably saves me more money than I realize.

13. Habitat Restore Treasure Hunt
14. Save Travel Time and Money with a Zero Waste Road Trip - by concentrating on reducing our trash, we accidentally saved money. Yay us!


20 Ways to Save on Food Without Snatching Condiment Packets

The best way to save money on food is to concentrate on cooking meals, not wasting the leftovers, and having a backup plan when the first two things go off the rails.





For the record, the yellow tub holds all of the extra condiment packets I have in my kitchen. I have them too, just not enough to refill all of the bottles in my kitchen :)

The six pack container keeps Husband's hot sauce collection from flopping  
all over the shelf in the refrigerator.

2. Eat From the Pantry Month Challenge- after the first month we kept going to see how long we could go. Our challenge lasted 3 months!
3. 2 Ways to Preserve Fresh Herbs

Basil from my garden

4. Preserving Fresh Vegetables the Lazy Way
5. 10 Tasty Turkey Leftover Recipes
6. How to Froth Milk Without an Espresso Machine for super cheap lattes
7. How to Bake & Puree Fresh Pumpkin


We eat our Halloween pumpkins!

8. Eat Healthy and Save Money: Make Granola Cereal
9. Dried Sweet Potato Dog Chew Recipe 
10. I Don’t Like Front Yard Vegetable Gardens and Yet I Have One


My accidental vegetable garden.

11. 10 Homemade Dog Treat Recipes - Including Allergy Free
12. 6 Bottled Water Alternatives
14. Holiday Helper: Making Quick Meals From Scratch
15. 10 Ways to Use Orange Peels
16. 10 More Ways to Use Orange Peels
17. Crock pot chicken or turkey stock
18. 3 Lazy Ways to Preserve Food 
19. How to Freeze Fresh Tomatoes


Waste not.

20. 3 Meals from Leftover Turkey Bones

10 Ways to Save Money with Reusables, Not Takeables


These tips may take an initial investment but you will make it up in savings in no time!




1. Make Reusable Cloth Gift Bags

Reusable gift bags are a time and sanity saver too.

2. Using Cloth Handkerchiefs – a Good Thing or Just Gross?
3. Ditching the Disposables – Reusable Furnace Filters

It adjusts to fit any size furnace

4. How to Install a Rain Barrel
5. Do You Use Cloth Panty Liners?
6. Save Money: Use an Electric Razor


They make women's razors too!

7. 12 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles
8. Make a Compost Bin Out of a Plastic Storage Tub
9. How to Make a Compost Bin from a Trash Can
10. How to Winterize a Rain Barrel

16 Ways to Save on Cleaners and Organizers and Clean Up Your Act!


It is embarrassing for how long I didn't know I could make my cleaners. Once I got organized, I started to save money because I now find everything I forgot I had. 




1, How to Make Powdered High Efficiency Laundry Detergent
2. Six Pack Carrier turned Covered Storage Box
3. One Small Green Change: Reusable Glass Drinking Straw
4. The Easiest and Cheapest Kitchen Cabinet Organizer in the World!


I spent a dollar and saved myself the cost of a kitchen remodel to replace my cabinets

5. How to Make Air Freshener Spray the Natural Way!
6. How to Make Peppermint Essential Oil (Tincture)
7. How to Make Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender!

8. Seven Ways to Reuse Shampoo
9. 13 Homemade Laundry Helpers
10. DIY Daily Shower Cleaner
11. How to Make Orange Citrus Cleaner the Lazy Way
12. Baking Soda Mason Jar Shaker


I add a little dish detergent to baking soda to make Soft Scrub

13. How to Use and Make Cloth Napkins
14.  DIY Scrubbing Bubbles!
15. 7 Budget Friendly Kitchen Cleaners

13 Simple Money Saving DIYs 

Sometimes people give me weird stuff and challenge me to find a clever or money saving reuse for it. I haven't lost a challenge yet!



1. Make Gift Bows from Magazines Without Staples or Tape


Magazine bows

2. Can't Compost? Use Coffee and Eggs Instead!
3. Make Insulated Roman Shades
4. How to Make a Self Watering Planter from a Plastic Storage Tub


A self watering planter is a great option if you want to grow food in a small space like a patio. 
It is also helpful if you are the type that sometimes forgets plants need water to grow.


5. 9 Fall Fix-Ups That Lower Your Winter Heating Bill
6. Green Moms Carnival: Saving Money through Green Means
7. Keep in the Heat: Insulate Outlets and Switches
8. How to Fix a Running Toilet
9. How to Make a Gas Fireplace Chimney Balloon/Chimney Pillow
11. Insulate a Hot Water Heater the Easy Way


Another cheap and easy DIY with an even better ROI


What are your tips?

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