Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saving Money Tips - 2

Rent Movies instead of going to the movie theatre.
Or better yet, borrow movies from the library.

Buy the cheapest Laundry detergent you can find.
They all clean the same; they just smell different. I can get 100 loads of Vista for $4.48. You can't make detergent that cheap.

Use Dawn dishwashing detergent to pre-treat stains. Dawn works on most protein and grease stains if you treat before the stain is set (check for stains before drying). Use peroxide on blood stains.

If you use disposable cleaning products, like Swiffer, make your own cloths and wash them.
Used dryer sheets sewn to rectangles of flannel or fleece work on both the Swiffer sweeper and mop (sew velcro or elastic on the cloths for the mop).

Stock up on meat when it's on Sale, and reduce the amount used by a small amount in each meal.
You'll never notice the difference.

Buy your clothes when they are marked down.
Stores usually mark down their clothing when the seasons change. So, If you wait until spring to buy your winter clothes, they will always be on sale.

Read Miserly Moms - Miserly Tips.
She has hundreds of useful tips on her web site.

Keep the Heat inside this Winter.
Use foam weather-stripping to insulate around doors. Caulk gaps or small holes in walls, around door frames, and around windows. Use door sweeps or make draft dodgers. Make window quilts to keep cold air from coming through your windows.

Use fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent.
Although they cost more initially, compact fluorescents save money in the long run. They don't have to be changed nearly as often (sometimes lasting 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs). The fluorescents in my home have been working for over 1 year, and still going strong. When was the last time you had to change a lightbulb?

Add Insulation to your Attic.
It is one of the most cost-effective ways of making your home more comfortable, and the benefits last year round. Insulation also keeps your house cooler in the summer.

Buy Energy Star appliances, if you can.
You will be paying for the energy they use for a long time, so think of the cost of the appliance as just the down payment. Refrigerators last an average of 13 years; room air conditioners and clothes washers last about 11 years each; and dishwashers about 9 years. That's a lot of electric bills you can reduce.

Don't use a dishwasher.
Or if you do, let the dishes air dry. Most of the energy a dishwasher uses is to heat water, but using a heat cycle to dry the dishes wastes energy. If you don't have an "air dry" cycle, prop the door open after the rinse cycle to help them dry faster.

Top-Freezer model refrigerators are more energy efficient than side-by-side models.
And, features like water dispensers and ice makers use more energy.

Wash your dark clothes in cold water.
Most detergents work well in cold water, now-a-days.

Wash your whites in warm water and use 1/2 the recommended bleach.
It works just as well for us, and doesn't wear the clothing out as fast.

Clean the lint filter after every dryer load.
Reduced air circulation caused by a full lint filter makes the dryer work harder and run longer. If you clean the filter after each load, you won't forget to do it.

Use the cool down cycle on the dryer.
The clothes will finish drying with the residual heat inside the dryer. Over-drying clothes not only uses more energy (raises your electric bill), it also wears your clothes out faster (where do you think the lint comes from), and causes wrinkles.

Buy the cheapest dryer you can find.
Energy Star does not rate clothes dryers because there is very little difference in energy use between models.

Whatever you do to save money, SEND THAT MONEY TO YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNT!

Your money savings strategies will do you no good if you are spending the savings. Set up a recurring Savings deposit right now, even if it's only $5 a month!

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