Monday, April 13, 2009

Dollar Stretching Exercises For Tight Times

Regardless of whether or not we are in a recession I think times are tighter and cost of living has increased.   I've done some research and have gathered some good tips that have been shared by blog readers regarding ways we can stretch our dollar to make it go further.  Much of it has to do with our mindsets, however.  Instead of thinking "what do I need to buy?", think, "what do I have that I can use?".  That is how many got through the Great Depression.  Follow are a few things you can do to work out that dollar.  I've put them into categories.

Cooking and Eating Savings
  • Bring lunch from home.
  • Eat less. The average American consumes too much food.
  • Get creative with leftovers to reduce waste.
  • Make your own jello or pudding cups rather than buying them.  Its cheaper.
  • Always take a snack or water where ever you go. Will reduce temptation to stop at fast food.
  • Cook large amounts and freeze for busy nights.
Car and Gas Savings
  • Walk as much as you can or ride your bike
  • Keep tires properly inflated to appropriate pressure
  • Regularly maintain you car
  • Fill up with gas in the morning.  Air is cool and gas is dense. You'll get more gas and less air.
  • Use to find the lowest gas prices.
  • Don't suddenly stop or accelerate. Try to maintain consist speed to improve gas mileage.
Utility Savings
  • Keep lights off during the day.
  • Let dishes air dry after running them through the dish washer.
  • Line dry clothes by setting drying racks over heating vents during winter and outside during the spring and summer.
  • Turn off the PC if you won't be using for an hour or more.
  • Keep the freezer full.  If you have to, put milk jugs filled with water in the freezer.  It's less expensive to keep a full freezer cold than an empty one.
  • Never leave the water running when brushing your teeth, rinsing dishes, etc.  Only use the water you need.
  • Use a programmable thermostat and don't run the heater at night.
  • Use a fan.
Savings Around The House
  • Store batteries in the refrigerator.  They last longer.
  • Use rechargeable batteries.
  • Email for free samples.
  • Use water from boiling food or a dehumidifier to water your plants.
  • Use a kitchen rag instead of paper towel.
  • Wash a re-use Ziploc bags.
Entertainment Savings
  • Eat out only once per month.
  • Prepare special dinners at home, rather than going out to celebrate.
  • Go to the park and have a picnic.
  • Take advantage of 'get in free' days at museums, etc.
  • Visit your local tourism guide for special events.
  • Do free things for entertainment: hiking, free city concerts, game nights, etc.
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