Saving money

Every time I think we’ve gotten our household finances as lean as we can get them, I discover something else we can do to make them even leaner. Here are five things I’ve done over the past couple of years that have saved us a lot of money.

1. Make laundry soap. For about $10 in supplies, I was able to make enough laundry soap to last us for about a year. And with five adult sized people who wear regular clothes plus sports clothes plus pajamas every day, we do a lot of laundry around here. I’ve just now had to replace the last ingredient and it’s been about 18 months since I started. This is the recipe I use. So that’s basically a huge savings. I still haven’t found a recipe for fabric softener that I like, so if you know of one that leaves clothes soft and smelling good, let me know in the comments. I prefer liquid.

2. Get rid of cable. With all the options for watching tv out there, you really don’t need cable. We already had streaming Netflix and Apple TV, so we kept that. We added Hulu Plus for about $9/month and bought a digital tv antenna for $30 so we could watch Downton Abbey. (We can get local channels with this, but Downton is the only current tv we watch.) Our cable bill used to be about $110 per month, so that first month we got rid of it we saved $71, and every month since then we have been saving $101. That’s a huge savings, too.

3. Get rid of the land line. We didn’t get rid of our land line for a long time because we used it for receiving calls from stores, marketers, political campaigns, etc. We turned off the ringer and only checked the messages every week or so, or whenever we remembered. We didn’t want any of those people having our cell phone numbers. Then we discovered that we could get a free Google Voice phone number. We monitor that number, but we don’t have to be bothered on our cell phones all day with calls from folks we don’t want to talk to, and we don’t have to pay for a service that we don’t use. The new number is one we give out when we don’t want to give out our cell numbers. We feel very clever, like we beat the system. Not having a land line saves us $35 per month.

4. Plastic wrap the front window. We have a huge window that isn’t double paned. I added a layer of plastic wrap to the inside (I’ve done it twice now) and both times our utility bill went down, even though it was a colder month and the bill should have gone up. I wrote about how I did it here.

5. Give handmade gifts. For two years now we have given handmade gifts to the adults in our lives for birthdays and Christmas. It is a trade-off because it takes time to make things, but if you’re in a  phase of life where you have more time than money, it’s great.

Those are some of the things I’ve done lately to save money…and saving money makes me happy. Do you have any money saving tips?

Linking up to some of these fabulous parties:

Tip Junkie handmade projects The Shabby Nest I Heart Nap Timefive days five ways  feature friday free for all Today's Creative Blog Sugar Bee Crafts Photobucket Lil\'Luna The DIY DreamerSmart! School {House} ”BowdabraHousewife How To's
Poor and Gluten Free

You might like:

Tagged with:

8 Responses to 5 Money Saving Tips

  1. Laurie says:

    I love your tips and think I’ll try the detergent. My husband wants to know where he’ll watch sports if we eliminate cable. Suggestions? We too have Hulu for Downton Abby (wondering when we’ll see season 3), though we prefer the search capability of Netflix. I’d like to reduce the expensive internet access too.

    • Betsy says:

      Thanks, Laurie. I think it would be more difficult for big sports fans to get rid of cable than it was for us. We can watch whatever sports are on the local channels (the ones we get with the digital antenna, so all the basic networks and PBS for Downton Abbey). We have also had some luck streaming live online coverage from our computer to our television through the Apple TV. We just didn’t watch enough sports to make it worth it for us to keep cable. We haven’t figured out a way to reduce fees for internet access, in fact, we get the highest level of internet access offered in our neighborhood because we stream so many television shows and movies and that seems to take up a lot of bandwidth.

  2. What great tips! Thank you for sharing them with us in our Crafty Showcase. We love seeing what you link up each week!

    New linky:

    Have a super week! Susie @Bowdabra

  3. Christine says:

    Great tips Betsy!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality! I’m looking forward to see what you link up tomorrow evening!

  4. Margaret says:

    These are great! We got rid of our cable about 1.5 years ago and don’t miss it at all. I did bite the bullet a couple of months ago and got rid of the land line.

    I make my laundry detergent from time to time, but I need to be better at doing so. Thanks so much for the reminder!

    Margaret @ Live Like No One Else

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.