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:

  1. 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.
  2. Always pay off your credit card charges before the due date.
  3. 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.
  4. If you’re an impulse buyer, use your credit cards only for emergencies.
  5. For household bargains, check your newspaper and neighbourhood for weekend garage sales or flea markets.
  6. Find out if local stores provide discounts for employees of your company.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Each night take all the change out of your pockets and drop it into a piggy bank – one you can’t crack open.
  10. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth — and save up to four litres of water a time!
  11. Make lunch and fill a thermos jug and take them to work. You’ll save tons of money.
  12. 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.
  13. Over your head with credit card bills? Get a consolidation loan. This could save your credit and will help lower the interest you pay.
  14. Instead of going to an expensive movie, rent videos
  15. Buy wash-and-wear clothes to save on expensive dry cleaning
  16. Close off rooms not in use to save on the costs of heating and air-conditioning.
  17. Don’t buy name-brand products. You’ll save 40-50 percent by purchasing generic brand items.
  18. Use your washing machine only when you have a full load – and whenever possible, use cold rather than hot water.
  19. Review ads in your local newspaper and do your weekly shopping on days when supermarkets advertise bargain items.
  20. Stock on non-perishable items you use regularly anytime they’re on sale.
  21. Buy large cuts of meat and prepare at one time for use at several meals. You’ll save time and cash.
  22. Make necessary long-distance phone calls in off-peak hours, when rates are reduced.
  23. Give up smoking – you save not only the cost of cigarettes, but also expensive doctor’s bills.
  24. Read consumer magazines regularly to find the best bargains and learn how to avoid being ripped off.
  25. Hold a garage sale. Sell clothing and other items that your children have outgrown or that you no longer use.
  26. Reduce your water bills by flushing the toilet only when there is solid waste.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Set up a carpool to work or to collect children from school. This way you’ll cut down on petrol and wear-and-tear.
  30. Buy milk when the price is reduced and store it in the freezer. It can last up to six weeks.
  31. Drink water, not coffee or tea, with your restaurant meals. It’s good for your digestive system and saves money.
  32. Maintain your present car and drive it longer rather than buying a new one.
  33. Dilute shampoo with an equal amount of water.
  34. Go to restaurants in the late afternoon when dining out and take advantage of lower-priced “early bird specials”.
  35. Anytime a tap begins to drip, replace the washer immediately.
  36. Use a measuring cup to put detergent into a washer instead of just pouring it in.
  37. Take a shower rather than a bath – you save about 80 litres of hot water.
  38. Grate leftover hand soap in a blender or food processor then store in a carton to wash delicate items. 
  39. Polish mirrors with cold leftover tea instead of commercial cleaners.
  40. When vacuuming empty the dust bag frequently. Your machine works better and you save money on efficiency. 
  41. Instead of using an expensive mouthwash, gargle with a pinch of salt dissolved in warm water.
  42. Use freezer space to take advantage of special buys at your supermarket.
  43. File your coupons in monthly folders by their expiration dates. Always check your folder prior to shopping.
  44. Dragging car brakes means you use more petrol, so have them checked and adjusted regularly.
  45. Organize your trips to do as many errands as possible in a single journey.
  46. Set out a saucer of vinegar to evaporate in your kitchen. It removes odours and is less expensive than a deodorizer.
  47. Use reconstituted dried milk with water to cook or bake. The flavour of dried milk isn’t distinguishable from fresh milk in cooked foods.
  48. Buy dried herbs and spices in bulk from health food stores. They’re less than half the price of prepackaged items.
  49. Don’t run your petrol mower at full speed and never leave the mower idling unattended both waste fuel.
  50. 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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