Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Works for me Wednesday: Ways to Save Money Part 2

In honor of today's frugal themed Works for Me Wednesday I am going to add on to the list I posted here of ways to save money.
  • Repurpose household items. The last few months my kids have had more fun with large empty yogurt containers. They use them as buckets to collect leaves, dirt, rocks, etc. I organized my kids' sock drawer using empty shoe boxes as dividers instead of buying containers.
  • Call the company. Now I posted last time on how you can trim money from bills like the phone bill by calling the company and eliminating options you pay for and don't need, like call forwarding. But now I'm talking about when you have a problem with a product. Two different times (a few years apart) I've called the Diaper Genie company, Playtex, to see about getting a new part for a piece that broken on the lid to my diaper pail. Both times they sent me a new lid for free! For my over a year old Diaper Genie! I would have bought a new one, but instead I saved that money! Another time I called the company because we had lost one piece to our Perfection game. I described the piece we were missing and asked if I could buy it. The lady told me that they don't sell the pieces individually but that she could send me the whole set of pieces for free!!! What a deal!!! So, if you have anything broken or missing pieces, it might just be worth your while to call and see what they say (probably helps if you ask very, very nicely!).
  • Use cloth napkins. Granted this won't save much money, but it does, a little. And napkins are one less item you'll have to worry about on the grocery list!! Turns out I had a large set of cloth napkins that someone had given us as a gift and we were never using. I do a laundry load of towels every few days or so anyway so it has been easy to just throw the cloth napkins in with those loads. And you're helping the environment!
  • Buy ground beef and chicken breasts at Sams Club. Costco may have similar deals, but I have a membership at Sams and their prices for these items are always cheaper than my regular grocery. Of course I have to buy a bigger pack, but that is not a problem, I freeze what I won't use right away.
  • Potty train your toddler closer to 2, rather than 3 years old. Now granted every child is different and for some kids this may not be achievable, but it is possible to potty train most kids when they turn 2 even though the norm in the U.S. seems to be older than that. Think how much money you'd save each month on diapers!
  • Plant a vegetable garden. We are very new to gardening, but have gotten a few edible things so far, and hope to get more soon. Seeds cost very little and may save your produce bill. Also, gardening doubles as a cheap family activity and great learning experience for your kids. All 3 of my kids love helping in the garden!
  • Send fewer clothes to the dry cleaners. I have had great results washing several typically dry-clean clothing items like skirts, dresses, and sweaters on the hand-wash setting in my washer, hanging them to dry, and then ironing them. Also, there are wonderful non-iron dress shirts out there now. My husband has Brooks Brothers Non-Iron dress shirts and they are amazing! Just wash, and dry on low and really there is no ironing required! Those shirts have more than paid for themselves in money saved sending his shirts to be laundered!
Do you have any money saving tips to share?


  1. Great tips, and a good reminder to "call the company" a friend of mine recently got her cable bill slashed in half when she called to cancel. It never hurts to try! Thanks for the excellent ideas and inspiration!!

  2. Great tips!

    I am all about calling all my bills customer service lines..definitely a money saver.


  3. i'm all over those wrinkle free dress shirts. i haven't been to the cleaners in years!

    great tips!

  4. We don't have any clothes that go to the dry cleaners but I will keep your tips in mind if I ever get some.

    I just recently bought a bunch of white washcloths from Costco that I am going to try and use instead of papertowels. I can just bleach them if need be.

  5. Some great tips; I will try to think of a few to add later.

  6. These are great tips! I like those no-iron shirts too--not because of the electricity they use or cost to send them out, but because I hate to iron! LOL!

    I'm also all about seeing if I can find something "to work" instead of heading out to the store.

  7. I don't send anything to the dry cleaners. If I can't wash it myself I don't even bother buying it. That said, some items that say dry clean only can be washed in your washer on the delicate cycle with no problems. I've done this for years and saved lots of money.

  8. We are on our third month of free Vonage service because each time we call to cancel, they give two more free months so we'll change our mind!

  9. Great tips! I'll have to check and see what Costco's prices are on meat...


  10. We only use cloth napkins to eat with and old hand towels to clean up messes- it saves us SO much money because we go through paper napkins and paper towels really fast!

  11. All great ideas. We have been using cloth napkins most of our married life and not only do they save money but they add elegance to the table.

    I too have had success calling companies about differnt things and getting replacements or repairs for free instead of having to buy new. Sometimes it takes a bit of a fight but you can gauge if it is worth it. Our pool got a hole in the liner. A little arguing with the company saved us over $300.

    Also, we grow a square foot garden and can the extra through the summer. We eat primarily from our garden all summer and many of our veggies come from the pantry in the winter. Plus, it is so great to be outdoors together as a family doing something constructive.


I'd love to hear what you think!