Chicagolandia
I've been thinking long-term about how to keep saving money - ideas that I can put in place once and basically forget about it. Here's what DH & I have done:

1. I've signed up with recyclebank.com - it's free money! They send you a I.D. tag for your recycle bin, when it's weighed, they calculate the weight into points, which can be redeemed for a free giftcard, coupons, etc. And it's a greater incentive to recycle. What's not to love?

2. I've filled 1/2 gallon jugs (like from milk) with water and placed one into each of our toilet tanks. This will require less water to be use to fill the tank, saving $$ on our water bill and helping the environment.

3. Replaced all the standard lightbulbs with energy efficient ones. Took the standard ones over to the old house, put them in any place I had removed the energy efficient ones.

4. DH called the cable company, asking for a lower rate. He got a few bucks knocked off our bill, plus they threw in some premium channels. Every little bit helps.

5. One date night a month is fun on a budget. We have $20 to spend for our entire date - and we'll take turns planning it. This will force us to be creative - which is a good thing!

6. Making a list on the calendar of free entertainment options in/around the area. There are plenty of concerts in the park, free museum/zoo days, festivals, etc. that are affordable. Even if we splurge on some popcorn or a hotdog.

7. I'm looking at shopping for non-perishables in a seasonal basis. This season is all about the meat and condiments. I noticed from last year when/where the greatest savings were by product type, and right now is the time! I'm carefully checking expiration dates, and stocking up with some of the fabulous rock-bottom prices!

8. I have 3 shelves on raincheck that I'm waiting to come in. I can set-up my market and get started on evaluating my stockpile. I know somethings I'm low on, but am waiting for a list to build before going after them. Most of them are items I don't find coupons/sales on much, so I only go out shopping for those once a month. It also makes me re-evaluate how badly I want to keep those items on hand. This has helped me pare down some of the excess fluff that isn't necessary and make me look for better deals on the stuff I think is necessary.

Any ideas, tips you'd like to share? I'm always open to a new way to keep my wallet full, the environment clean, and maybe salvage a small piece of my sanity. Maybe...
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4 Responses
  1. frugalsuz Says:

    I love reading posts like these, they always give me such great ideas. I really need to trim up some things in my budget. I've been a little out of control lately. :)


  2. Amiyrah Says:

    Don't know if you electric bill is a budget issue, but you may want to check with your company and see if they have a plan where you can have the same bill total every month. This is a lifesaver for us in NJ in the summer time, when you have no choice but to turn on the air conditioner. It may not affect you as much there, but still a good idea if your bill is sometimes 20 dollar more, or 15 dollars less, etc. You get a constant price to budget, no matter how much energy you use.


  3. Great idea, Amiyrah - I never thought of that. I know you can do it with your heating bill. Thanks for the great heads up!


  4. Precious Says:

    These are all fantastic ideas esepcially the recycling one. Unfortunately we don't have anything like that here; but the more recyclables I put out for my city to pick up, the more money they make which should keep my taxed down.


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