Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Being crafty with your money

The ability to make cute crafts has certainly helped save money.  There is something about being able to give someone a home made gift that just feels wonderful.  But there are other ways to save money.  Ways that we don't always hear about.

Freebies: There are tons of websites that give you links for where you can get freebies, samples and coupons.  I've gotten everything from Advil to Vitamins and everything in between.  If you're worried about spam you can always create a special email address just for these offers.

Trade disposable for reusable: We're not just talking diapers here.  Instead of paper towels use an old cut up t-shirt to wipe down the counter.  If you don't have any t-shirts to cut up you can always pick up some inexpensive towels or washcloths at the store.  They last longer then that package of paper towels and cost less.  Just throw them in your regular wash and reuse them again and again. 
Cloth napkins are also great.  I kept going through paper napkins because they'd tear so easily.  Cloth napkins are sturdy and get the dirt and grease off your hands.  My husband calculated we save about $60 a year by using cloth napkins.  Plus you can feel good knowing you're helping the environment while you are helping your wallet.

Grab a circular: Stores like Joann's and Target have circulars every week that tell you what's on sale and often have extra coupons inside.  Joann's has pattern sales every month where patterns that are normally $15 go on sale for $1-$2.

Buy used: I love Craigslist and Freecycle.  You never know what you can find for little or no money.  I snagged a Little Tykes outdoor playground for $20 (they retail for around $150-$200).  On Freecycle I picked up a shopping cart and storage containers.  It's also helped me get rid of things we don't need but couldn't really sell. 

Redeem your cans and bottles: When you buy soda you pay the extra 5 cents so why not get it back?  We keep a basket on the back porch and when it's full we take them to the redemption center.  Even if we're out we save our empty bottles and bring them home.  I'm always surprised to see people who throw out boxes of soda cans.  The money really adds up. 

What other money saving ideas do you use?

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