Thursday, October 30, 2008

10 Ways to Save Money in These Trying Times

1. Cut back the cable. Yes, I know this seems like a very simple idea, but many of us have forgotten that those sitcoms, dramas, and sports games we enjoy so much are beamed to our television at a quite a high price. Lest you suffer from boredom, you can substitue with Netflix. Their plans are extremely reasonable, and you can even watch movies online any time you wish.
2. Turn it off, switch it out, and unplug. Look around your house right now. How many lights do you have on? Is the TV talking to the dust bunnies? Get the kids involved by appointing them energy rangers. It'll make them feel important and teach them to be responsible. Switch to compact fluorescents. Yes, they have mercury in them, so does tuna fish, learn proper handling and disposal, and move on. Finally if it's not in use, unplug it. Most of our home energy costs come from appliances and electronics that are not in use, but sucking up electricity.
3. Consider going meatless, at least one night a week to start out. There are so many things one can do with beans, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, rice, and veggies. Really, my family hasn't eaten meat for 3 months now, and we really don't miss it like we thought we would.
4. Turn down the heat, turn down the water heater, and wash clothes in cold water. Bump it down a little each week; you will adjust.
5. Forget coupons. Really? Yes, really! Most coupons are for high priced convenience food which costs more in the long run. Learn how to cook with real food, and you'll feel better, and get more for your money.
6. Make a day out of perusing the thrift stores. Sometimes you can find brand new items for a few dollars. It can be your own private treasure hunt.
7. A dollar here a dollar there-slow down, ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" How much satisfaction will you get from having this new item? If you don't buy it, will you even be thinking about it in a few days?
8. Freecycle-check it out. I got an entire stash of diapers, actually enough for two babies from generous moms who wanted to share the love. Don't forget to list all your unused household items to give back.
9. Tune up that car and make sure the tires are properly inflated! Also, if you have a mini-van with removable seats, as I have, consider removing the back row if you don't need it every day. Taking out the extra weight can really save on gas. Coast to the red lights, never mind the guy behind you; you're helping him save money too!
10. Make your own pizza. It's super easy, fun, and you can experiment with all sorts of toppings. It's also a great way to get rid of leftovers! Just chop and layer.

Basic crust:
1 cup Bisquick
pinch of yeast
warm water
Mix this up till it resembles cake batter
now put in
1 cup of wheat flour and knead, then roll with a rolling pin. I like to make it rectangular and put it on a cookie sheet.
top with canned or fresh tomatoes, or sauce, seasoning, and cheese, then throw on your toppings
bake for 20 minutes