WFMW – Backwards Edition

by bosssanders on April 1, 2009 with 10 comments


This week, I’m supposed to switch it up a bit and ASK for a tip (or tips).  Easy enough!

So, here we go:

Can you name some things that you do (or thought about doing!) to make your dollar stretch a little further – maybe you do them to be more eco-friendly, maybe you do them for the health of your family, or maybe you do them because having more money at the end of the day rather than just giving it away to someone else pleases you.  Whatever your reason…

Anything goes – from meals to cleaning to entertainment to clothing and whatever else you can think of!

What works for you (but could maybe work for me!)?

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  • Hockeyman

    Whew, that’s a tough one. As a long reader of your blog, I’m not sure what I could tell you that you don’t already do. Maybe get wet wipes for the bathroom so you use less paper?

  • Vincent @ The Dad Jam

    Some things that work for us, although they take a bit of effort:

    - use cloth diapers for the baby
    - use cloth wipes for the baby
    - high efficiency washing machine
    - hang clothes to dry
    - use rechargeable batteries
    - use CFL light bulbs
    - buy clothes and toys for the kids at swap meets
    - get a lot of clothes and toys for the kids from friends

    Some of these things take an investment up-front, but they pay for themselves soon and then save you a lot over the long-term. All of these things are really good for the environment as well!

  • suzannah

    we’ve stopped buying household cleaners. baking soda cleans most messes, and the goal is to make my own alternatives as things run out.

    we cloth diaper, which was an expense up front, but saves us more and more money every day.

    i clip coupons and shop the grocery store circular, buying mostly whole foods, and snacks as they go on sale with a coupon. it’s cheaper to bake my own snacks, and i want to branch out and try making crackers and granola bars.

    meatless meals (like lentil soup), and having a hunter for a husband means we buy very little meat.

    books and movies from the library.

    good luck finding what works for your family:)

  • Amy

    I do all the usual frugal things: shop loss leaders with coupons, stockpile, shop thrift stores for clothes, etc, etc.

    I buy most of our meat on clearance. Cheap cuts of beef become tender in the crockpot. Other markdowns are easily turned into great meals thanks to the internet– I can always find a recipe for whatever I have on hand.

    Entertainment? We count our cable bill as our entertainment budget. Once in a while we rent pay-per-view movies, which is frugal for us since we were bad about returning videos late and winding up with late fees.

    Not sure I gave you anything new there. :)

    I’m asking for birthday party advice in my WFMW post today. Stop by if you have any ideas!

  • The Messy Mom

    I do a lot of the usual stuff: coupons, CVS, priceline, cloth diapers, oh the list goes on. My favorite money saving ritual is thrift store shopping. It saves money, but it is a lot of fun to score unique individual pieces. I love the challenge!

  • Zoeyjane

    The library is my main money saver. We read a lot and watch a lot of movies – being able to borrow them, instead of paying to rent or buy them saves literally hundreds a month.

    Other than that, I also buy meat when it’s on sale, the cheaper cuts, the super duper huge family packs – and freeze it in portions that we’ll need to cook with later.

    Other than that, I’ve managed to cut back on some grocery spending by baking Zoë’s bread (about $3 a loaf, instead of $7) and cookies. Smoothies, with frozen and canned fruits and fresh bananas are like a meal since I pack them with soy milk, flax seed and other grains and seeds (wheat/dairy free, of course). And of course, there’s the stocking up on staples aspect. Always buy in bulk what you know you’ll use later, or can freeze/store for later – it’s often a huge discount vs smaller packages.

  • Tara R.

    We’ve used rechargeable batteries for a while now, and lately replaced our light bulbs with florescent bulbs. I try to buy fresh produce only when I need it and from local growers… it’s less expensive and I don’t waste any by letting it go bad. And, I’ve started by own veggie garden. It’s small, but I’m growing things I know we’ll eat a lot.

  • mom2fur

    Investing in a small chest freezer was one of the best frugal investments we ever made. Now I can stock up when meat and other freezeables are on sale. In fact, building a stockpile in your pantry and freezer is one of the best ways to save money in the long run. You don’t buy things when you need them, you buy them when they are at their absolute, cheapest, rock-bottom price and put them away for the future. Better to reach for the mayo that cost you 99 cents (’cause it was on sale and you had a coupon) than to have to swing 3.49 a jar for the stuff when you run out!
    It isn’t a quick fix. It takes a few months but eventually you get the point where you have such a good supply that you can skip most of the aisles at the grocery.
    BTW, a lot of what I know I learned from fellow bloggers and by playing “The Grocery Game.” It’s reasonably priced and I highly recommend it.

  • 'Becca

    Re-use stuff instead of buying new things! Click on my name for lots of ideas. See also “The Cheap Thrills of Thrifty Fashion” on my site.

    Drink tap water most of the time, especially in restaurants. Saves calories, too! If you like lemon in your water, keeping a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge and adding a few drops to your glass is much cheaper and easier than fresh lemons.

    If you get coffee at coffeehouses or convenience stores really ever, get a travel mug (lined with metal, not plastic which will make your coffee taste like plastic!) to keep in your bag or car or wherever it’ll be handy. Most places charge less if you provide the cup, even if it’s not “their” cup.

  • Financial Training

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