Thursday, 14 September 2017

10 Favourite Savings Tips

I have lots and lots of saving tips that have become my favourites over the years.  If you are looking to save lots of money for very little effort,  here are my top 10 money saving tips.  Many of them were light bulb moments for me.

Freezing biscuit / cookie dough.  I discovered this concept / savings tip on the Cheapskates Club forum quite a few years ago.  I asked if you can freeze dough and was suprised to learn you can.  It was a huge light bulb moment.   Before this I was making and baking the whole batch of dough to find out after a week, half of the biscuits were still uneaten.  It didn't help that some recipes make 60 biscuits.  I now bake a tray of biscuits and freeze the rest of the dough into log sizes.  Not a scrap of dough is wasted and it's handy to have on standby when visitors pop in or I'm asked to bring a plate.

Making Miracle Spray.  Oh my goodness,  how this has changed my life.  Joy from the Cheapskates Club ( and family member ) mentioned making Miracle Spray.  You could say my ears pricked up and I asked for the recipe.  Now I no longer need to buy spray and wipe,  toilet cleaner,  laundry stain remover, carpet stain remover and shower cleaner.  It's better for my health and I'm no longer breathing in toxic cleaning fumes.  I use Miracle Spray at all of my cleaning jobs too.  I've saved a small fortune over the years.

Turning standby lights off.  I know this is probably an obvious one but it makes me more conscious of our power usage and helps us keep our power bills down.

Making Laundry Powder.  Before I met Cath from the Cheapskates Club, I didn't know you could make laundry powder.  I'm from the generation of just buying what's in the supermarket.  Laundry powder is so easy and cheap to make.  It's been wonderful on my skin and great for my purse too.

Saving shower warm up water.  When water restrictions came into force in Melbourne in 2006,  most people started viewing their water usage in a different light.  I couldn't stand seeing good clean water going down the drain.  So I found a couple of plastic hand washing basins and put them in each shower to collect the water.  I use it to water the garden,  to top up the washing machine,  to clean the car, to wash the kitty litter tray and to mop the floors.

Diluting dishwashing liquid,  vinegar,  window cleaner,  shampoo and conditioner,  foaming hand wash etc etc.  When money was really tight back in 2014 I started looking at our consumption habits to save a few dollars.  Just because I buy a product at a certain strength doesn't mean I have to use it that way. Companies want us to consume products quickly to increase their bottom line.  I'm more interested in my bottom line.

Freezing leftovers.  We've always use the 48 hour rule in our fridge.  Leftover must be consumed within 48 hours or they get tossed out to avoid food poisoning.  By portioning out the leftovers when I serve dinner then freezing them,  no food is wasted.  The bonus is I get a stockpile of freezer meals for emergencies or busy days.  I always view freezer meals as a free meal..

Bulk / batch cooking.  This is really a time and money saver.  It takes no longer to cook four meals of spag bol sauce than what it does to cook one.  The savings are in the reduced power usage and having meals in the freezer to avoid takeaway.

Stockpiling.  My favourite subject.  Having a stockpile saves us so much money.  I don't pay full price for many, many groceries.  For example,  tinned soup comes on sale for $1 a tin during Winter I stock up enough to get me through until the following Winter.  I don't want to pay $2 a tin during Summer to put it in a casserole.

Making dry mixes like hot choc drink mix,  gravy powder,  French onion soup mix.  Once upon a time,  I bought packets of this and that.  Now I just make up my own using ingredients I already have.  I know exactly what's in them and I'm not paying retail prices. 

Stockpiling all year round.

Bulk cooking and freezing leftovers

Making laundry powder
Making dried seasoned bread crumbs.

What is your all time favourite savings tip ?

18 comments:

  1. I don't know that I have an all-time favorite tip, but I know that The Tightwad Gazette by Amy D. is my very favorite TW book.

    Aside from all that you mentioned, I love finding ways to re-use things or using old things. This summer, I dug through my closet and found 3 denim dresses I just don't wear often. Summer in KS is hot and humid and the denim tops were much too warm.(I brought them when I moved from Southern California). However, the skirt parts were fine because they were loose and airy. I needed a couple of denim skirts so my answer was to remove the top half of the dress and finish the waist of the skirt part to use alone. I am a basic sewer at best, but they turned out great. I used what I had for something I needed and saved money and closet space!

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    1. Great tip Debby. I'm a basic sewer too and nut things out.

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  2. I think my all time favorite tip is to say no - just say no to spending. By disciplining yourself to be content with what you have, you can really save a lot!

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    1. I have no problem saying no either. My pet peeve is when friends invite us out to a restaurant to celebrate their birthday yet we pay for the meal. I always say no.

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  3. One of my favourites would be the laundry liquid. I also love miracle spray. I actually look forward to cleaning as it works well, smells great and I made it.

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    1. It's a wonderful feeling to make your own too.

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  4. I learnt to freeze rolls of biscuit dough from you Wendy :)) I love grabbing a roll of dough out when I have the oven going for dinner.
    Menu planning is another favourite. Not only budget friendly but I don't have to think about what to cook for dinner. Tonight though I was out of meat. Instead of getting a take away tonight, I grabbed a ball of pizza dough out of the freezer and made pizza. Saved $30. Cha Ching!!!!

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    1. The biscuit dough is a great tips isn't it. I'm glad you love and use it too.

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  5. Hi Wendy, miracle spray would also rank pretty high for my fav money saving tip and packing lunch everyday to take to work is another. Always taking water/tea with me where ever I go has saved me hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years. Simple ideas but they all save the $$$. Have a lovely evening.
    Fi

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  6. Thanks Wendy for this list of tips. I am going to take the time to study them and start adding these into my household routines. I am most grateful :-)

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  7. I love sewing but hate the high price of fabric. Doona covers and sheets have lots of fabric and are quite cheap at thrift stores. I can make a lot for a little cost.

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    1. A great savings tip Jane. I made Jessica's bedroom curtain from doona covers. I couldn't find the material she wanted in craft /sewing stores. The doona cover print was exactly what she wanted.

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  8. Hi Wendy, hopefully by now you feel better. I'm hoping you can give me an answer. Baby cockroaches have got into my kettle "base" and hot water system in the house i live in a unit.
    Do you have any remedies ?
    Thanks. Sonia

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    1. Sorry, we get cockroaches in Summer too. This year we will spray The special Mortein around the outside of the house to see if that works.

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  9. Miracle Spray changed my cleaning habits forever. Lots of the cheapskates cleaning recipes too. The CS's oven cleaner recipe is the best oven cleaner I have ever come across. Next is the drain cleaner of salt, bicarb and vinegar. The washing powder as well. Cooking from nearly everything from scratch, and making as much as I can myself. Freezing nearly everything I don't use up is a lifesaver. Freezing produce when in season and cheap, to use later in Jams, pickles, and casseroles. I've also got my patch going again in a spot that was unused for years. Home grown from seed. And a zero waste tolerance in the kitchen. My list could go for miles, but these are the biggest things for me.
    Have a great weekend Wendy. :-) Claire

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    1. A great list Claire. Yes our lists could go on and on. I had trouble thinking of just 10 savings tips.

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