I’m all for using frugal ways and saving money each and every day! Here’s the deal, you can start with the ideas I am sharing today and add more as you think of them yourself. I have written about giving up paper and plastic products several times, but I feel inspired today to refresh our memories on how easy it is to save money. You may remember the picture below that shows my handy dandy cloth (paper) towel, holder.
I’m sure there are even more ways to save money by using cloth or reusable containers, etc. Here are some of my favorite ones. Thankfully, I’m old enough I don’t have to use those lovely menstrual pads and such, but I would use these today to save money as shown below.
1. Paper Towels
I must admit I do not like shopping at any grocery store, so it’s one less paper towel I have to purchase only to throw it away after it’s used. Please keep in mind I use paper towels for bacon to drain on and toss the greasy sheets. Once you start using cloth, it’s really hard to even walk by the paper towels at Costco.
I just think of the $$$$’s I’m saving. People may say, “what about all the water, power and soap you are using to wash the cloth items?” I get it, I really do. The trick here is to get these thin ones: Thin Diapers for Paper Towels
Please keep in mind I use regular paper towels for cooked bacon to drain the grease and toss them. Also, I have to wash my hand towels and wash clothes each week anyway, so have more to wash really doesn’t add to the cost since it’s generally one load per week.
2. Reusable Water Containers
This one is fairly simple because we just have to buy some stainless steel water jugs and refill them with our own “good water.” I use Reverse Osmosis, but you may have your own favorite water source. I’m not sure what water is really in the bottles we can buy filled at the local grocery store. I prefer stainless steel because it won’t break when the jug slips out of my hands. Here are some I like: Stainless Steel Water Jugs
3. Use Cloth Diapers
I know, I can hear some people now, “no way am I using cloth diapers.” Well, when Mark was in school we used cloth diapers and there is no way we would have had the money for disposable diapers. We also had zero student loans and most current grants were not available back in our day.
Yes, you have to flip the poop off the diaper and soak them if you want, but money is money in my bank account. We have become a disposable culture. It needs to stop. Period. You can reuse the diapers and plastic pants for years. Yes, you may have a bigger investment, to begin with, but you can use the cloth ones for years. I mean years.
I use so many tissues for my nose I decided to ditch them and now I use cloth ones. I quit buying the paper ones and now use these: Cloth Hankies
5. Toilet Paper
Okay, I must put a HUGE disclaimer here. I have made hundreds of these for an emergency, but I have not used them, yet. Here’s my post where I show how to make them. Family Cloth-Reusable Toilet Paper
6. Clothesline/More Frugal Ways
Invest in a clothesline for two reasons, one to save money and to have a way to hang up your hand washed clothes after a disaster. These are my favorite clothespins: Kevin’s Clothespins
7. Change Out Light Bulbs
This is one way we have really cut our power bill. We slowly replaced our awful fluorescent light bulbs with LED ones. Yes, they may cost more up front and they often do not last as long as the box says they will. But, in the long run, my electric bill continues to drop.
8. Cut Down On Germs
Now, this may sound crazy, but I swear by clean bathrooms, clean remote controls, clean light switches and clean phones/cell phones. Sometimes I think I am a germaphobic, isn’t that a word? Here’s the deal, if we keep things clean, we will stay well if we eat the right foods to boost our immune system. I still wish some churches had those hand sanitizer containers hanging on the wall. Just saw a report on TV that the flu season is going strong. Help prevent getting the flu by protecting against how it is passed from person to person.
9. Beans-Once A Week
If you want to cut your grocery bill, eat beans at least once a week. Yes, I still eat my bean burrito without cheese every day. Good salsa is key to me. I love beans, but I grew up eating them at least two or three times a week. I add some rice and some fresh Cilantro, tomatoes in the summer and I’m good to go with just about any meal.
10. Pasta-Once A Week
I grew up eating spaghetti at least once a week and I still love it, even without meat. Mark has a bag of frozen cooked hamburger with onions he can add to his plate. I use a frying pan with two pounds of hamburger and two white onions chopped and cook it until done. I drain the fat, if any, cool it, and freeze it in a bag. Mark can scoop out the amount he wants with his pasta meal.
11. Cook From Scratch
Everytime you stay out of the store, grocery, big box or whatever, you will save money if you plan ahead. Write down the things your family eats the most each week and watch for sales on those products. Stock up and save money. If you cook more meals from scratch you will save money in the long run.
Now that my family is down to two people, I buy case lot sales of vegetarian refried beans. Yes, I could buy the bag, but for now, the cans work great for me. I work full time on my blog and I have to cut my time in different ways. Buy what you will eat and store it, you may need it sooner than you think. Please be prepared for the unexpected.
12. Make Bread
I know a lot of people have gluten issues, but if I didn’t make bread my grocery bill would be crazy high. Plus, I have made bread for so many years, I’m fussy about bread. I love my white bread, whole wheat bread, and cinnamon rolls to name a few. How To Make Bread by Linda
13. Plant a Garden
Now’s the time to prep your garden spot. If you don’t have a place to put pots to grow some vegetables or fruits, see if your city has a community farm where you can participate.
14. Pay Extra On Your Mortgage
As you may know, I used to do mortgages and I owned my own company for about 15 years. I will be writing about mortgages very soon, but one thing I want to say today is this, pay more than your regular payment so the extra will be applied to the outstanding principal amount. Be sure and label it “extra principal.” Set up your house payment to come out of your account as close to the 1st of the month as you can. You will save interest, lots of interest, over the years.
15. Pay Extra Towards Your Car Payment
If you can afford to pay cash for a car, you rock. For those who can’t pay cash, pay extra towards the principal on your loan. If your payment is $325.00, pay $350.00, or whatever you can afford to be applied to the principal. You will have your car paid off sooner than expected and pay a whole lot less interest.
These are just a few frugal ways to save money. I know tough times are coming ahead, please be prepared for what our economy may do in the future. We must be prepared.
Copyright picture: AdobeStock_10520601 by Andy Dean