Don’t let rising costs get you down


I’ve been reading a lot of personal finance blogs lately and I really liked Lily’s list, One Hundred Ways to Cope with Inflation, and I thought that I would share some of the things that I do to save money.  Now these are things that I do whether we’re in a recession or not.  I was brought up as a saver and I hate to be wasteful.  

1. Do the CVS ExtraCare Bucks (ECB) deals.  I just started this and I think I will be able to get a lot of personal care products for next to nothing using ECBs.

2. Some people swear by meal planning and sticking only to buying the ingredients they need at the grocery store.  I do sort of the opposite and buy what’s on sale that week and then come up with meals with what I got.  Even with rising costs, most grocery stores still have sales on lots of things every week.  If you like curry like I do, it’s easy to make a big pot of curry with whatever’s on sale.  Eat the curry with rice if that was on sale, or bread, pasta, salad, etc.  Oh, and don’t forget to pack the leftovers for lunch – this alone will save you lots of money and possibly a few pounds.  While you’re packing your lunch, make sure you eat your breakfast at home or pack it to go.

3. Shop at Asian or other ethnic grocery stores. They often have cheaper produce and a 20 pound bag of rice (or brown rice like what I have above) beats on sale pasta any day and it lasts a long long time.  Plus it’s a good thing to help support independent grocery stores at a time like this.

4. Don’t go out and buy something new if something’s broken. Try to fix it, mend it, or live without it if you can.  If you can’t live without it, try Craigslist , thrift stores, or ask your friends and family before replacing it with something new.

5. Sell things you don’t need on Craigslist, someone else might be looking to replace something they need.  Better yet, give them to friends and family first and then donate or sell if no one wants it.

6. If you can pay your credit cards in full each month, get a cash rewards card.  If you’re going to pay higher prices for things, mind as well do all you can to try to get some money back.

7. Barter with others.  I made some tiles for my friends’ kitchen and I hope they know that means that they owe me big time.  They better be ready to help me move heavy things or tile my bathroom when I call on them!  😛

8. Make your own cleaning products (they’re much safer and cheaper than store bought ones and they use less packaging).  There are tons of recipes using vinegar, baking soda, and other household items on line.  I won’t ever buy Windex, Mr. Clean, or Tilex ever again!  But if you still want to buy cleaners, do the CVS thing and you should be able to get them for pennies.

9.  Make your own [fill in the blank] from scratch – it’ll probably be cheaper and more fun and you can do something productive with all the extra time you have now that you’re saving money by NOT going out to eat, going to movies, watching premium cable, shopping for fun, clubbing, etc.  I want to try to make my own bread one of these days.

10. Lastly, think about others.  Everyone is affected by rising costs.  If you’re able to give things away to friends or charities, by all means do it.  I was having a dilemma about whether or not I should get the practically free shower gels using my CVS ECBs even though I don’t use shower gels but I’ve decided to get them and give them to friends who use them and to women’s shelters. 

That’s it for now.  If I think of any others, I’ll make another post.  Meanwhile, please share your money saving ideas in the comments section!


1 Response to “Don’t let rising costs get you down”

  1. 1 sappmama April 3, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Great post. Thanks for this info!

    I will add to try your local Freecycle. There are a bunch of Yahoo groups. I’m in LA and ours is pretty active. People offer and request different things for free. I’m about to list my vacuum cleaner, which is in good shape, because when I move out of here I never want to see another carpet, ever. My vow to live carpet free could be someone else’s good fortune.

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