A few frugal tips.
Hair Spray Saver
I recieved some of these from the Dollar Stretcher website.
I learned this from one of my favorite hairdressers (thanks, Odette). After styling my chin-length hair with a blow dryer and hot air brush, there is often a lot of static electricity in my hair and it won't stay in place. Instead of loading my hair down with a lot of hair spray, I was taught this neat trick. Spray your brush with hair spray and then run it through your hair. Very little spray is added to your hair, but it calms down the fly-away look. Your can of hairspray will last a lot longer. If there is a family member who is sensitive to chemicals, this also helps by putting less fumes into the air. I do this whole process in front of the open bathroom window while the exhaust fan is running. You'd never know I'd just been in there with a can of hairspray in my hands. Margie K. in Shoreline, WA
Entertainment Book Usage
If you purchase a coupon book, like the Entertainment Book, you may feel that you never save enough to justify buying it. This time, I saved far more money in coupons than the cost of the book. First, I went through the book and removed any coupons that I knew I would never use. These were for stores that are too far from home or work. I gave away those to family, friends, and coworkers. One person then gave me a few that I wanted from her book, which gave me a little bonus.
Next, I removed any coupons that I thought we would use in the next month. Places that my husband would frequent went directly into his wallet. Places I shop went into my purse. The rest went into the car along with the book. Then, I removed those for places where I go seasonally (like around Christmas) and clipped them to the family calendar. When planning a dinner out, we picked a place from the book. I also put a reminder on my calendar so that I could check the book each month. Lastly, I signed up for the email list for electronic coupons. That way, I get period reminders and new offers for local stores. Also, check the company website. You can buy books at half price later in the year for even bigger savings. Annmarie W. in Philadelphia, PA Lucys Note: I am a big user of the Entertainment books...
Putting your bananas in a brown paper bag before storing them in the refrigerator will not only help them last longer, but will keep them from turning brown so fast. Donna Lucy's Note: I haven't tried this one, but I am going to give it a try.
I shop online. Gas is expensive, and by shopping for basic items on Amazon.com or other online stores, many of the costs of items are within pennies of the cost of the items at Wal-Mart. The ground shipping winds up being less than gas to drive to get these items. And, having them delivered to the house saves time. Katrina
Lucy's Note: There is a lot to say about on line shopping. I am a big fan of it.
Winter Window Prep
I put plastic on all my windows and it helps immensely. I can actually see the plastic bowing out with the wind that comes through my old wooden windows and that cold breeze would be coming into my home without the plastic on the windows. I put it up from frame to frame to frame to sill and I am sure I am saving hundreds on my gas bill because of that. Rosemary Lucy's Note: I have done this before and it really works. A couple of times I have used news papers on the back room windows, upstairs.
Aging Parent Deductions
If you provide more than half of an aging parent's support, you may be able to declare your parent a dependent even if he or she is not living in your home. In addition to getting the dependent deduction, you may also be able to take a tax deduction for your parent's medical expenses. To prove you pay the expenses, pay your parent's bills directly to the provider, rather than giving your parent(s) the money to pay the bill. Click here for more tips.
Ten Steps to Debt Free Living: From www.dolans.com
Ah, to be debt-free. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? Imagine not owing one plug nickel to a single soul. And not having a stack of bills piled high on your desk every month. Talk about true freedom!
Living a debt-free life ultimately comes down to one very important decision: You can choose to buy “things” whenever you want them (which, unfortunately, often requires putting those items on credit) OR you can opt to SAVE for what you want ... or even forgo some of those finer (and pricier) things in life altogether. Click here to read those steps.
I have a feeling that more and more of us are going to be doing some "belt tightening" in the next few months. I am so grateful that my parents taught me how to do this. We had very little money growing up and every penny counted so we watched those pennies and used them only when we had too. My parents did not have credit cards so we paid cash for everything we owned. Mom and dad were all the better for it.
Have a great week everyone.