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 What is your best tip for saving money?
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3045 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2010 :  12:02:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Old hosiery is also good for using as stuffing in small dolls or when you need just a bit of stuffing in an applique or quilt piece. And it washes very well--doesn't make hard little balls after several washings as some battings do.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1082 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2010 :  03:47:50 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I had forgotten about this great idea from way back when I had a garden. To keep weeds from growing in your beds or to create nice pathways between rows of vegetables (ones you can walk on when it has been raining and not get muddy) place a thick layer of newspaper on the ground and wet it, then place your mulch. The weeds will not grow through the newspapers. For pathways I like to use pine needles on top of the newspapers.

I had forgotten about this trick until recently. My back yard is always getting full of weeds. My husband has been working little by little placing the newspapers and mulch and so far, no weeds. The newspaper must be wet before mulching.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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Wendy G
Star Contributor

Park Ridge, IL
USA
284 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2010 :  9:02:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The wet newspaper technique can also be used to kill grass before you remove grass to make a flower bed. If you put the newspaper down thick enough, you don't even have to pull up the grass, just dig through the newspaper and put your plants in.

I am using the newspaper to kill the grass off first because I have clay soil and I will have to add a lot of compost into the soil before planting.

Wendy
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3045 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2010 :  06:11:00 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've recently been using the foam hand soap. When the container is empty you can refill with just a small amount of dishwashing liquid and water. Put on the cap and shake and you have a full bottle of hand foam. It uses a lot less soap and works great. I had to experiment with the amount of dish soap, as I needed a lot less than I realized when I started.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1082 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2010 :  10:36:35 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
On the recipes I have to make homemade dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent, it calls for using a cheap bar of soap. This will give me a use for all those little pieces of soap that keep accumulating around my house.

I have grated little pieces of soap, formed them into bars, and heated slightly to get them to stick better. The bars of soap FLOAT.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1082 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2010 :  11:24:25 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I only have two credit cards. One of them had an interest rate that was 3 points higher than the other. I decided to call them and see if they could give me a better deal. They lowered my interest rate by 7 points for seven months. After seven months, the rate will return to normal but they said they might have a new special offer available at that time. If I had not called and asked for this "special" I would never have known about it.

That one phone call saved me a bunch. I called on the second card and asked them the same question. They said that they had recently lowered my interest rate and could not do so for awhile but to call back later and they would review my account.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1082 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2011 :  03:50:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I keep going back to the credit card company when the lower rate expires and they have always lowered it again. So I still get a great rate on one of the cards. The other card never seems to have a better rate than 14.9% so I try not to use it as much.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3045 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2011 :  06:34:32 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Several years back I got rid of all credit cards. If I can't save for the purchase, I don't need it. My husband has a card that we can use if there is an emergency.

On a different note, my debit card can be used "as a credit card" when making purchases. It still works like a debit, taking the money immediately out of my bank account, but I don't have to pay a debit fee and don't have to use my pin if I have the cashier run the card as a credit. It does not actually work like a credit card, in that I don't accumulate debt and get a monthly statement. If I tried to use it to make a purchase that was more than the money available in my account, the card would be declined or I would suffer overdraft fees (don't know which and don't care to find out).

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1082 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2011 :  2:55:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jnanne, I went for many years with no credit cards. Then, when I tried to get a loan, I had no credit for them to check. My friend, who was the loan officer working with me, chided me for having no credit cards. He told me I should get at least one or two to establish credit.

I have two credit cards that I carry a balance on. I have others like Home Depot, Sam's, Best Buy, etc, and I just pay the balance each month or pay their "same as cash" plans like pay off in six months with no interest. I have been real good about always doing that.

But on my two cards with the balance, I do want to get those paid down a little. They are not extremely large amounts though.

Something I watch for this time of year especially on how to earn some perks is to buy gift cards where they offer you something for buying the card. Like Subway has one now where you can get a 6-inch sub free for purchasing a $25 gift card. I can go through $25 without batting an eye. There are other gift cards that offer bonuses like $5.00 off a meal for purchasing a card, etc.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3045 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2011 :  4:17:20 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Longhorn Steak house just had one where you get a $20 gift card for free if you buy $100 worth of gift cards.

And we frequently time our purchases at Target so that we get a free $5 gift card because we got two of something. Last time we shopped it was cat litter--something we buy every week. We just switch brands, use a coupon to get the price down, and collect the free gift cards. Luckily, our cats aren't picky about litter.

Sometimes we pass on the deals, as we don't have a need for the items that offer the free cards, or we just plain don't like the brands, or we have no use for the quantity you are required to buy.

As for credit, if you have a car or house in your name and are making on-time payments, you have established and recent credit, so you don't need credit cards.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1082 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2011 :  5:54:31 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jnanne, we do own a house and cars but lenders look for other types of credit histories. People who have houses and cars must make their payments or they will lose these items. Those are "secured debts" so the lenders do not have to worry about getting their money. Lenders look for credit history on unsecured debts where the borrower could easily falter, like credit cards. I ended up getting the loan (which was sizable) but only with my friend's help. The company was reluctant without that "credit card history" to look at.

How a person uses a major credit card tells the bank a lot about that person's risk. One person might max out a credit card in one or two days and then only make minimum payments. That sends a red flag to the bank that the person has money problems. Another person might show that he uses the card only for emergencies and then pays down the debt quickly. According to my friend (he is a banker), two major cards should do it.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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Ms.Baker
Valued Contributor

Evansville, IN
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2012 :  5:22:16 PM  Visit Ms.Baker's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi there,

No one has posted any new hints for saving moneyin the last six months. I read through everything and can't say that I learned anything. I make my own detergent, do all my own work around the house, I just don't know how to squeeze another cent from a dollar. But with the economy still on the downturn... how about some brainstorming?

I know when I painted my living room, I did it one shop at a time. Every Benjamin Moore or Ace was a quart of paint, a paintbrush, painter's tape, drop cloth, or roller. When I painted my bedroom, all I could find was the cheap quarts from Porter Paint, but I was able to get the brushes and rollers on Ace shops.

So... the last two rooms I painted didn't cost me a cent. That's part of the reason I shop...

One thing I changed this past six months. I stopped buyin colas/soft drinks, and I bought a sodastream. I found it on sale at Kohl's, purchased it and received a $20 rebate. I purchased $100 of supplies, and I just changed the cartridge after 5 months of use. I'm saving money with the sodastream, and I like the flavors okay. Of course, if I just stopped drinking colas, I would save more money

So far this year, I stopped my garbage pick up and began recycling. Garbage bags at the recycle center are $1 a bag, or about a $1 a week. This is saving me 200+ this year. I stopped wearing artificial nails ($50 a month/$600 a year), and I get my hair cuts through salon shops ($17 a month/$204 a year). So, I will have saved $1,000 by the end of the year.
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TinaMarie
Star Contributor

USA
1811 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2012 :  7:34:27 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My biggest saving are food - grocery, restaurant and hotel shops. For our household of two (kids are grown and moved out), my personal grocery bill is down to $100 per month.

~*~TinaMarie~*~
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1082 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2013 :  10:56:27 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Cheap solution to reduce heat coming in through the windows in the summer.

My kitchen stays very hot in the summer. The temp never goes below 80 degrees. There is just an empty lot next door and nothing to block the sun. I also have rooms that face the west and get the setting sun which, in Houston, is still quite hot.

I was looking online for solutions such as having the windows tinted or buying new windows when I came across a cheap solution.

You take two pieces of cardboard cut to fit each window. Cover one side of each piece of cardboard with aluminum foil and then glue the two pieces together with the foil on the outside. I cut the cardboard where it fits snugly in the window but you can tape around the edges if necessary.

The temperature at the windows dropped 6 degrees. The kitchen is now registering a 73 degree temperature and is very comfortable. I still have one small window above the sink that I have not covered yet.

You can also buy styrofoam at a craft store and use that but I just happened to have a bunch of boxes I took apart and used.

I am going to cover all the windows that face west also. My windows that face east and north are shielded from the sun so they don't let in a lot of heat.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3045 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2013 :  4:14:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have always cut my child's hair. And I've discovered that now she is old enough, she does a fine job cutting mine. And, since I color the gray out of my hair myself, it may be years before we need to pay for another hair cut.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1082 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2013 :  4:16:16 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't remember where I saw this hint. Sometimes I need a box to mail something and the box is supposed to be plain on the outside with no markings of any kind and I don't have one.

I read somewhere about taking the box apart and just turning it inside out and retaping it.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1082 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2013 :  11:52:49 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just saw this hint in print. It is something I have done before with plain white paper when I did not have an envelope but did not think about doing it with a pretty magazine page or cover.

Make your own envelopes by taking apart an envelope as a pattern. Lay it on a page you have taken from a magazine, cut out and reassemble it.

Making your own envelopes comes in handy especially when you need one of a certain size that you don't have.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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Julie_WA_Writer
Star Contributor

Western, Washington
USA
1853 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2014 :  10:04:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ms.Baker
So far this year, I stopped my garbage pick up and began recycling. Garbage bags at the recycle center are $1 a bag, or about a $1 a week. This is saving me 200+ this year.



We stopped ours, too. In part because the county decided to charge every garbage customer for the "voluntary" recycling they implemented a year ago. Almost doubled our bill. Our dump substation is only a few miles away. About every other week I run a bag of garbage to them for $5. Recycling is free, and the family has gotten pretty good about recycling anything that can be taken.

We have a big extended family. For Christmas, we agreed just cards for the adults and used gifts were okay. Biggest hit? I picked up nine good classic books for my 9 year old niece, tucked $1 into the back of each of them and tied them with a bow. Got the books at a library bag sale (cost about $1). For $10, she was absolutely thrilled. A different niece got Amazon giftcards that I got by using Swagbucks instead of Google for searches. And a third got some very cute snuggly blankets that I picked up in the gift shop of a casino mystery shop. Kids don't really need the latest and greatest, just to be remembered. "A gift is a token of affection, not a measure of affection." (my mom)

About paint (when you can't get a mystery shop for it): our county has a hazmat facility where people drop off paint that is more than 50% full. It's free to them to drop off, and free for anyone who wants it.

“Great empires are not maintained by timidity.” Tacitus
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