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10 Easy Thrifty Ways to Save Money – and Afford Food Choices

August 17, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeing thrifty is sometimes seen negatively with words such as cheapskate, tightwad or penny pincher. There may be jokes about making Mr. Lincoln go so far he has sore feet. If a business saves $500 in a year it’s not nothing – and saving that or more in your household is definitely something!

To that end look for ways to make those dollars go further. Here are 10 easy ways to make that difference in 2010 and beyond.

1.Consider washing dishes by hand rather than the dishwasher. If this isn’t practical rinse, scrape and clear off the dishes as much as possible, short cycle the dishwasher and open the door to allow air drying rather than heating it up. This might only save 50 cents per day some would say but that adds up to $180 in a year!

2.Learn to do simple home repairs and maintenance yourself. Allow the grass to grow a little longer in the lawn which is healthier for the lawn as well as requiring less time and fuel to mow. This can also save water that in turn makes it grow to mow more!

3.Look for ways to stretch the food budget. Americans throw away an incredible amount of food each year reduce this waste with composting and with making better use of what you have. For example – those 2-3 leaves on the outside of the lettuce head – put in water to crisp up then shred them for tacos or sandwiches. Sauce or soup too salty? Put in a piece of potato for a few minutes – it absorbs the salt. Reuse the potato by mixing in with unsalted potatoes.

4.Do you have a couple blankets that are worn but you don’t want to throw out? Give them new life putting two together and putting some pretty fabric on the outside of the ‘sandwich’. Sew it together and put some pretty trim on it. Fabric can be found at discount tables for $1 per yard or less. This makes an old blanket into a ‘comforter’. You can also cut them up and use the same principle to make lap blankets. If you don’t use them or give as gifts organizations such as USA Cares welcome such things to give to injured soldiers.

5.Remember small things add up. Lose the hair dryer – towel or air dry your hair saves money on power. Turn the oven off, without opening, 5 minutes before a baked item is done. Combine baking day to bake several items at once. Insulate hot water pipes to reduce heat loss.

6.Laundry can be done in cold or warm water and save money on heating water. Today’s detergents work well without hot water. If you have clothes that ‘bleed’ put in wash water for 24 hours with 4 tablespoons of salt per quart of water. Rinse with vinegar water. Some people say colors “stay put” after this treatment.

7.Look for bargains in food. Learn to ‘process’ foods yourself be it freezing or drying. This often doesn’t take a great deal of time. Check for bargain or generic label names which often are no different from name brands. Some are even processed by name brand companies.

8.Look for community health clinics for blood pressure screenings and other health checks. If near a college ask if there are dental, cosmetology or other things done for discounted rates. Some even have auto repair – hands on allows you to save money and the students to learn, but it isn’t likely to be as fast as a business.

9.Comparison shop and buy larger bags/quantities of food. You can divide them yourself and save money. For example, a five pound container of hamburger is often cheaper per pound than the one pound – divide yourself into one pound amounts at home and freeze as normal.

10.Getting ready for a trip or event? Don’t talk about it at the bank or other public place. A thief could follow you home and knows when you’ll be gone.

Saving money adds up with small changes. Saving money – and preventing loss – adds up in time more than you think.

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