I have more suggestions for saving money.
Walk to work or ride a bicycle or motorcycle. (not just to work but the grocery store, the PO, bank, etc.)
Wear long underwear all winter long and turn the heat down.
Plant a garden and grow mostly vegetables (flowers are nice but my Thai wife taught me that you can’t eat them)
Save all the aluminum cans that your friends throw out, they are worth money.
Turn your water heater temperature down. Make it so that using ONLY hot water is just right for you. (and turn it on “Vacation” when you leave for more than a day)
I buy many of my clothes at thrift stores. (I’m skinny and there are many choices for people with a 31 inch waist) Plus it’s a good way to support a cause AND save some of the waste going on.
Have a yard sale. Learn to cook. (not with the microwave) Make gifts instead of buying them (chance are they’ll be more appreciated anyway) , be smart about your cell phone (and the bill), use the library, exercise more, turn off the lights when you leave the room.
Pack your own lunch. That’s an easy no-brainer. Sure it takes time but saves a bundle. Also brew your own coffee in the morning rather than stopping at the convenience store to buy it.
Drink bottled water that you filled up from your tap at home. No need in most of our communities to buy something that’s no better than the almost free water out of your tap. Paying $1.50+ for water is something I never could feel comfortable with. I know that the airlines force you to buy it anymore. (i used to just dump mine out and refill it from a water cooler but they didn’t even let me do that last time. No empty bottles either. That Sucks!
I have a friend who goes grocery shopping only once a month now that gas prices are so high. He stocks up on everything big time. Make a list. Know what you are going to buy and don’t buy on impulse. Buy generics, use coupons, know where you shop and what’s on sale.
If you travel to Europe, check out Airhitch. They’ve been around a long time and it works.
Also, look into becoming a courier for cheap flights. I paid $400 round trip to Thailand from NYC.
Use your wood burner to heat your home if you have one. IF not, think about putting one in if your zoning laws allow it. (it helps to have a friend who owns some woods and lets me go cut some dead trees)
The biggest one of all: Don’t (no matter what!) use a credit card if you cannot afford to pay it off entirely when the bill comes. If you can’t do it, cut them up, they’re not for you!
And the 2nd biggest: Use Google. There’s so much free stuff out there including an education. Just takes Google to find it. You can shop for better insurance rates, CD rates, prices on long underwear, even heating oil. The list is endless. (and easily done)
Change your lightbulbs to flourescent ones. I’m all for anything to cut my dependency on oil, coal, fossil fuels in this day and age. I noticed last Christmas that there seemed to be a contest going on as to “who could put the most lights on their house!” Hey, it’s wasteful. If you want to get into the Christmas spirit, make some cookies and pass them around to your neighbors.
Learn about your insurance coverage. I once had a pair of skis stolen and my insurance company paid me $500 (I used the money to help payfor an airline ticket to Brazil, and got another pair at the thrift store), also, if you need life insurance, buy “Term” and not “whole life”.
About 2 months ago, i posted a blog entry for: Tips for Driving your Car or Truck Check it out for more savings.
It’s not hard to do any of the above. I’m thankful i was brought up learning to be frugal and have enjoyed my life living this way so far.
Luckily i was in the Navy and got on the VA health care program. So far, i only have used the free physical every year but it’s there if i need it.
The next few years should be a challenge for all of us, aye? Simplify!