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Friday, November 21, 2008

How to spend less

Times are getting tough as many of you know. So here are some tips to help save money. I know that saving money is often not fun, so I am going to give some advice on how to keep having fun for less.

1. Watch the grocery bill. Look for deals, buy in bulk, and make a list in which you only buy things on that list when you go to the store. There are also sites such as:
http://www.thegrocerygame.com/ that specialize in getting you great deals.

2. Drive less. Commute only to and from work. If you have a need to go anywhere else, take public transportation, bike or walk. If this is not possible, make all your trips in a logical fashion. Try to go to local places so you don't have to drive out so far to get the same products. Map it OUT! I can't tell you how many times we thought we were going somewhere to find ourselves circling the block 10 times. A map would have saved us many hours of driving and frustration.

3. Everybody says this, but turn of the lights and change them the more efficient fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs last longer anyways. Unplug appliances from the wall that you don't use all the time, especially TV's and DVD players. Hell, even try turning your computer off at night ;)

4. Buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up at home.

5. Use water saving shower heads. They are easy to replace.

6. Make walking a fun pastime. If you live in the city there is probably a park near you, so take a walk and relax. It's better than driving somewhere that will cost you money in activities.

7. Balance your budget, so you know how much you can spend. There is a great site called: https://www.wesabe.com that allows you to input all your transactions and see exactly where your money is going on a month to month basis. Now that you know where your money goes, live within your means.

8. Do a search of where you can go for free. We live in Portland and there are numerous places that people can go to do things for free, you just have to spend some effort in finding them. This way you can still have fun and it won't cost you anything except for transportation.

9. Start doing things for yourself! start replacing things that you would normally buy with things that you made yourself. For instance, make homemade soap and cook your own meals. You can also learn to sew in order to make things like curtains, blankets and towels.

10. Don't use a credit card. Do you really want to pay interest on yesterdays Subway lunch?

11. Take all those plastic bags you get from stores and use them for trash bags.

12. Buy cloth grocery bags. Did you know most grocery stores charge you 3cents to have each one of those plastic bags?

13. Buy a thermostat for electric heat users. Turn the heat down when you aren't home.

14. If you are having trouble finding free entertainment in your town, try some free streaming movie and TV sites. You can watch a movie from your computer as it streams as a form of entertainment at no cost.



Well these are all the tips that I am currently implementing, so if you have any additions or comments feel free to add!

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