by Naomi Rodgers
(New York, USA)
If you are like most people, money gets tight every once in a while and your wallet becomes emptier and emptier while your mailbox gets fuller. The bills keep piling up, and fairly soon, you are spending more money on interest charges and late fees than you are on your weeklygas bill. What can you do though if you are already working as much as you can because you have children or elderly parents to care for in your spare time?
Most likely, you have already tried the time-tested methods for lowering your expenses and now it’s time for some truly crazy ideas to come into play. It’s time to do what it takes to save money- even if it’s only fifty cents here and fifty cents there. After a while, once you add up all these smaller amounts, you will realize that’s your efforts have made a difference.
Try as many of these following ideas for a few ways to skimp and save on spending so that you can get caught upon a few of your bills. After all, the best way to pay off your debt is to stop creating it while you continue to make those monthly payments.
– Reuse your teabag for a second cup of tea. Not only will you save a few pennies, but also, you will reduce your caffeine intake.
– Read the news online instead of buying the daily paper. If you don’t have Internet access, visit the library and read the paper there. This adds up to several dollars each week.
– Call a moratorium on television and pull the plug. Even when the televisions set is turned off, it is still drawing electricity.
– If you must watch television, turn it on and off according to the starting and ending times of your favorite shows. The less you watch it, the lower your electric bill will be.
– Go back to family viewing values and only allow one television on in the house at any given time. Place a bucket outside during rainstorms to gather water for your houseplants.
– Save the extra packets of salt, pepper, and ketchup that you bringhome from the fast food take out restaurant.
– Avoid take out entirely for a month and put the cash towards your bills instead.
– Brown bag your lunches with a reusable cloth bag instead of thepaper ones.
– Don’t turn on a light to enter a room simply to drop something off or pick something up. If there is light enough to see, save your light bulb.
– Limit the number of lights you have turned on in your home. It isn’t necessary to keep the house well lit if you are sitting in one room for more than ten minutes.
– Visit the reduced price section of your supermarket for a month. Day old bread makes great French toast or grilled cheese sandwiches.
– Avoid junk food and expensive brands of food while shopping at the store. No frills and generic brands are almost as good and in some cases, they are actually better. Even so, they are definitely cheaper.
– Avoid plastic sandwich bags when you can. If you are brown bagging it for lunch and you are down to the end of the bagel bag or cookie package, take it as is.
– Fuse the small, thin ends of soap together while washing your hands. You’ll get a few more days use out of it.
– Find a penny? Pick it up and you’ll have a penny.
– Use the back of unsolicited mail for scrap paper for shopping lists, math problems, and more.
– Pick up the free items offered at banks, supermarkets, craft shows, etc. Not only will you have a few new items such as emery boards, pens, note tablets, potholders, seeds, mugs, and more. Plus, you’ll save a few pennies while you are at it.