Friday, February 20, 2009

A Money-Saving Checklist

Here's a sort of money-saving checklist I made-up, questions regarding what I like to call Leaky Hose Spending. Since that's pretty self-explanatory, here's the list:

Are you doing only full loads of laundry? Anytime you can save detergent and water you're saving money. Do you really need to wash your towels or every article of clothing after only one use?

Do you really need aerosol cooking sprays when it's so easy to lightly grease a baking dish or pan with cooking oil? What else can you substitute using something you already have on hand?

Can you cut the amount of sugar called for in baking recipes? (I've used a third--or less- sugar in recipes for 25 years and we long ago grew used to the slightly different texture and taste.)

Can you go to the supermarket fewer times each month? It becomes a fun challenge to make dishes from your pantry and refrigerator when you're trying to avoid extra trips to the market, also cuts way down on wasted food.

Are you making your week's menus according to the sale items in your supermarket's fliers? Are you buying enough of a sale item to last till the next sale? Are you aiming toward never paying full price for most items?

Have you considered once a week cooking? This is great for busy women and can keep family meal times running smoothly and unnecessary trips to fast-food places, history. Find the how-to's here.

Is there a supermarket in your area which you've never tried? You may be missing out on some great deals. Would it pay for you to shop the sales at two or even three different supermarkets which are located near each other? Here's a website which may help you learn how to look for deals (and a whole lot more).

Are you borrowing magazines from the library instead of subscribing to them through the mail? Borrowing books and movies rather than buying them? Have you made a list of free (or super cheap) places your family can go for outings?

Have you looked into downsizing your tv cable hook-up?

Are you brewing your own coffee at home rather than buying it? Are you packing lunches for work rather than eating out?

Are you paying your bills on time, avoiding late fees?

And here's a side note: Ever wanted to make Time slow way down? Years ago Tom and I promised each other for one month we would not make one single unnecessary purchase. Wow. Longest month of our lives! :)

Seriously though, it did make us pause before making purchases after that month and ask ourselves, "Do I really need this?" And maybe that's the key to saving money--pausing and asking ourselves important questions before we hand over that cash.


David said...

If people really want to get serious about saving money then they should add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all their bathrooms. Available at with these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain.

Anonymous said...

My favorite saving has been to buy the store brands. I am involved in our church's Benevolent Society and would not buy anything for others I had not tried myself. We always need cereal, soup (check for sodium content,) instant potatoes and dry milk, canned veg. and fruit, pasta, rice as well as other non-perishables. I've tried all of them and many times they are better than the name brands. Toiletries and OTC medications and vitamins are also just as reliable (check labels for comparison).

A brick in a toilet tank will reduce the amt. of water used at a flush. Shut off shower while soaping up. Don't buy on credit card unless you can pay it all at the due date unless absolutely necessary in an emergency. No interest.

Beef soup bones, chicken backs or turkey wings will make a great pot of soup using store brand broth, onions, carrots and parsley and a can of store brand diced tomatoes.

Stock up when items are on sale.

Put a dollar or two aside to buy that special something to give you a lift.


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

This morning on This Old House (I'm late reading this) they showed a new toilet which has two different flushes which use different amounts of water depending on the need. This sounds like a very small thing, but if everyone were doing it the water savings would be immense.

Anonymous said...

When you need a new washer, I would recommend a front loader. I had to get one last Summer and within a year it will have paid for itself. We always used 14000 units of water and with this washer it's down to 9000 in the first quarter year reading. It also saves on electricity as well as drying time since it spins practically dry on max speed if you choose to use it.