Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pinching Pennies

Back by popular demand! Well, maybe not popular, but I've had 3 separate people say something to me about the blog in the past couple of weeks (you know who you are). Very sorry for dropping the ball. I've been moonlighting as a graphic designer trying to earn some extra cash to go on vacation this summer. So I'm not slacking...really.

Anyway. Are you getting stressed out? I personally freak out a little bit every time I drive past the gas station and see the prices inch up. It's gotten so bad that when I drive to work it's one price and when I come home it's five cents higher. This is a problem. Also, I get depressed when I go to the grocery store. Why is it so expensive to just live?

So I've come up with some ways to save pennies. Literally - a few cents here and there. You might think, what is the point? But I think it could add up. And it certainly couldn't hurt. And none of these things are difficult. And pennies count as money too. Although my mom told me a story today about how she would give my uncle p. $0.50 towards gas (back when you could fill 'er up for $5 - can you imagine?!), but he got mad once because she gave him a roll of 50 pennies. His response: "I want real money!".

So here goes. You may already know these tricks. You may already be doing them. But hopefully you'll pick up a new tip or two to save some change and stick it to the man behind all of these price increases.

1. Tear your dryer sheets in half (and/or use them twice).

2. Use 1 cup of chocolate chips in your chocolate chip cookies instead of 2. I've been doing this for about a year and nobody has noticed. Not even the hubby. And he notices everything. (And turns his nose up at everything. "What's different about this?" "Nothing, now shut up and eat it." Hmmm. That didn't sound very loving, did it? Oh well. Back to marriage seminar for me.)

3. Switch to generic. Don't skip this point yet. I know everyone has certain things that they REFUSE to go cheap on. No judgement here. I buy cheap toilet paper, but most people I know immediately go into "Oh, no. I'm not going to skimp on something that I use to..." Ok, I get it. I pay more for the "good" shampoo because I'm particular about my hair. Whatever. But there are things that are really no different, so you might as well buy generic. Such as...

  • Ketchup and mustard

  • Glass cleaner (yay for the Dollar Tree!)

  • Sandwich baggies, paper plates, napkins...

  • Lotion with a tan in it

  • Saltine crackers

  • House brand peanut butter and/or jelly

  • Tots, tater

  • Frozen corn

  • Santitas (vs. Tostitos)

  • Compatible toner cartridges for printers (That was the hubby's idea - and he came up with it while watching NASCAR. I'm so impressed.)

There's definitely more that could be added to this list. And you'll probably disagree with some of them, but you get the idea. Or, instead of switching to the bottom level generic, just try switching to a less expensive brand.

4. I like to consolidate. Now keep in mind this only works with bottles of the EXACT same product. Don't go mixing up chemicals. It can be dangerous. But when you have hair spray or glass cleaner or some other liquid that comes out in a squirt bottle, don't throw that last little bit away (you know the .25" or so at the bottom that you can hear sloshing around, but just won't come out). Start using the new bottle. When you've used a little from the new bottle, empty the contents of the almost empty bottle into the new bottle. Follow?

5. Use half as much dishwasher detergent.

6. If you work and typically go out to lunch on your lunch break, try bringing a book and staying in one day a week - just to save the gas.

Have fun rolling pennies :)

"Well, bust my buttons. Why didn't you say that in the first place? That's a horse of a different color! Come on in!" ~The Wizard of Oz