Fifty simple ways to stretch your dollars. I recently picked up an old book from an op shop: Saving Money Made Simple by Nicholas Reed, published in 1992. For the 50 cents it cost me I was eager to see what frugal money saving tips would be inside from 3 decades ago! I must admit, some of these are more on the ‘extreme cheapskate’ side of money saving tips. But the book itself proved to be a great insight into how to stretch your dollars in the early 90’s. I have taken a few pages from the book and transcribed them for you, our readers to evaluate if any can work for you!
Take a read, some of these tips will surprise you, maybe not in a good way.
50 Simple Ways To Stretch Your Dollars – By Nicholas Reed
SAVING MONEY and stretching your household budget is no easy task. But it helps if you have a checklist – written guidelines — to point you in the right direction. There is an old saying that accountants use around the world: “Watch the cents and the dollars will take care of themselves.” That line still holds true today. The little items can add up in a big way-sometimes up to 20 percent of your household budget. That’s 20 percent of the money you have left over to spend after taxes – which is quite a wad of cash. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save by just cutting a few corners here and there –
50 simple tips to help you stretch your dollars:
- If you want to make a major purchase and can’t afford cash, apply for a bank loan rather than using a credit card. The interest rate will save you money.
- Always pay off your credit card charges before the due date.
- Check the thrift stores in your area for good buys on used items.You’ll be surprised by the quality of the merchandise you can buy and how much you can save.
- If you’re an impulse buyer, use your credit cards only for emergencies.
- For household bargains, check your newspaper and neighbourhood for weekend garage sales or flea markets.
- Find out if local stores provide discounts for employees of your company.
- You can save a lot of money fast if you do it in small but regular amounts. Once you create a savings plan, stick to it – regardless of how much it hurts.
- Save grocery bags. Use the large paper and plastic ones as trash can liners. The smaller plastic ones can be utilized to line smaller cans.
- Each night take all the change out of your pockets and drop it into a piggy bank – one you can’t crack open.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth — and save up to four litres of water a time!
- Make lunch and fill a thermos jug and take them to work. You’ll save tons of money.
- Don’t be tempted to make long-distance telephone calls. If you’re lonely for family or friends, write. They’ll enjoy your letter more than a phone call.
- Over your head with credit card bills? Get a consolidation loan. This could save your credit and will help lower the interest you pay.
- Instead of going to an expensive movie, rent videos
- Buy wash-and-wear clothes to save on expensive dry cleaning
- Close off rooms not in use to save on the costs of heating and air-conditioning.
- Don’t buy name-brand products. You’ll save 40-50 percent by purchasing generic brand items.
- Use your washing machine only when you have a full load – and whenever possible, use cold rather than hot water.
- Review ads in your local newspaper and do your weekly shopping on days when supermarkets advertise bargain items.
- Stock on non-perishable items you use regularly anytime they’re on sale.
- Buy large cuts of meat and prepare at one time for use at several meals. You’ll save time and cash.
- Make necessary long-distance phone calls in off-peak hours, when rates are reduced.
- Give up smoking – you save not only the cost of cigarettes, but also expensive doctor’s bills.
- Read consumer magazines regularly to find the best bargains and learn how to avoid being ripped off.
- Hold a garage sale. Sell clothing and other items that your children have outgrown or that you no longer use.
- Reduce your water bills by flushing the toilet only when there is solid waste.
- When showering, rinse your body briefly, cut off the water, scrub all over with a wet washcloth and soap, then turn the shower back on to rinse.
- Save lightly used paper towels and napkins in a container beneath your sink, then use them to wipe leaving’s and dishes and spills from the floor.
- Set up a carpool to work or to collect children from school. This way you’ll cut down on petrol and wear-and-tear.
- Buy milk when the price is reduced and store it in the freezer. It can last up to six weeks.
- Drink water, not coffee or tea, with your restaurant meals. It’s good for your digestive system and saves money.
- Maintain your present car and drive it longer rather than buying a new one.
- Dilute shampoo with an equal amount of water.
- Go to restaurants in the late afternoon when dining out and take advantage of lower-priced “early bird specials”.
- Anytime a tap begins to drip, replace the washer immediately.
- Use a measuring cup to put detergent into a washer instead of just pouring it in.
- Take a shower rather than a bath – you save about 80 litres of hot water.
- Grate leftover hand soap in a blender or food processor then store in a carton to wash delicate items.
- Polish mirrors with cold leftover tea instead of commercial cleaners.
- When vacuuming empty the dust bag frequently. Your machine works better and you save money on efficiency.
- Instead of using an expensive mouthwash, gargle with a pinch of salt dissolved in warm water.
- Use freezer space to take advantage of special buys at your supermarket.
- File your coupons in monthly folders by their expiration dates. Always check your folder prior to shopping.
- Dragging car brakes means you use more petrol, so have them checked and adjusted regularly.
- Organize your trips to do as many errands as possible in a single journey.
- Set out a saucer of vinegar to evaporate in your kitchen. It removes odours and is less expensive than a deodorizer.
- Use reconstituted dried milk with water to cook or bake. The flavour of dried milk isn’t distinguishable from fresh milk in cooked foods.
- Buy dried herbs and spices in bulk from health food stores. They’re less than half the price of prepackaged items.
- Don’t run your petrol mower at full speed and never leave the mower idling unattended both waste fuel.
- Serve smaller portions of meat since most people eat too much meat anyway.
What do you think about these 50 tips on how to stretch your dollars ? Leave us a comment below!
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