1) Put a clean mayonnaise jar into your toilet tank and let it fill with water. Make sure it sits upright and is safely out of the way of all mechanisms. Every time you flush you will use about a quart less water. This can really add up. Note this might not work in the newer water-saver toilets. Another hint, if you don’t have room for a quart sized jar, perhaps a smaller jar will fit instead.
2) Put some ice cubes in a plastic zip-top bag or plastic container and put them in the basket in your deep freezer or the freezer in your refrigerator. Just don’t bury them in the back or on the bottom. If the power ever goes out for a long period of time and then comes back on, the ice cubes will have melted and refrozen into a solid mass. If this happens, you may want to discard things that may have spoiled in your freezer. As long as the ice cubes are still cubes you can relax. No sense poisoning the family unnecessarily!
3) Pack your lunch for work or school every day. Well, alright, you can treat yourself to lunch out once or twice a month if you need to. Look back over your spending last year and see how much of it was for eating out for lunch. More than you realized I’ll bet. Same goes for breakfast or hot beverages. Make and pack your own. Buy yourself a nice lunch box, thermos, travel mug or whatever you need to motivate you. The cost will be earned back in savings in no time.
4) Use your local library! Don’t think just because you use an eReader that you can’t do this. Using the Overdrive free app, you can read library books on practically any electronic device. I use it on my nook, my computer, my phone. Note that you can download the library books (eBooks or eAudio Books) on only one device at a time, so decide which you want to read any given book on, try different books on different devices. Before buying any book, check the local library to see if you can get it there first. If you read a lot think of the money you could save! Another plus is that if you are not buying all those books, you won’t need to have as many book shelves at home so you will save additional money that way. You will also save time because you won’t have to store and dust all those books! Packing to move to another place will be much faster and easier on your back too!
5) Don’t be afraid to try generic or store brands. These are often packed on the same production lines as the name brands but with a different label. Most come with a satisfaction guarantee on the package. Cheaper doesn’t mean lower quality. Try one new store brand or generic thing each time you do a major grocery trip. Keep a list of those you liked and make it a practice to always buy that brand in the future unless the big name brand is on sale and actually cheaper.
I have many more tips, so I may have to make this a regular feature. Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite money saving tips are. Also let me know if you try any of these.