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Save on Energy

1Have an expert check the insulation in your

house to make sure it is adequate. If it is not, insulate

where needed. You can do open areas, such

as the attic, yourself. It will save both heating and

cooling costs.

2Turn off the air conditioning and open the

windows in moderate weather.

3Wear warm clothes in the house in cold weather

so you can lower your thermostat setting.

4Take care of home repairs as soon as the need

arises. Delay can make the problem worse and

repair costs higher.

5Close the doors and turn off the heat or air

conditioning to rooms that you are not using.

6Choose equipment with higher energy efficiency

ratios (EER). Check the labels for EER.

7Move to a smaller house if the one you live

in is bigger than you really need.

8Use energy saving window treatments, such

as insulated or heavy draperies and storm

windows.

Save on Transportation

9Keep your car in good running condition.

It will be safer and will cost less to operate.

10Walk more; drive less. You will save gasoline

and improve your health.

11Learn how to do some of your own car

maintenance chores. Change the oil,

oil filters, and air filters.

12Use self-service gasoline pumps. Anyone can

do it! Don’t forget to check the oil and water

levels.

13Form a car pool to go to work, to meetings,

and even on shopping trips.

14Ask yourself each time you get in your car,

“Is this trip really necessary?”

15List “things to do” and “things to buy” before

leaving home. Forgetting and making second

trips are costly.

Save on Clothing

16Study your wardrobe, determine your needs,

work out a clothing budget, and stay with it.

Clothes bought on impulse rarely fit in your budget

or your wardrobe.

17Buy the best quality you can afford, particularly

in clothes that will last for several years.

This is called “Investment Dressing.” Think in terms

of cost per wearing.

18Buy color-coordinated clothes you can mix

and match. Buy all-season styles and fabrics

when possible. This way you don’t have to buy as

many clothes.

19Know how to spot a bargain. When you buy

a garment, check its construction, care instructions,

fiber content, and other label information.

Be sure it will last and will be easy to care for.

2 Alabama Cooperative Extension System

20Buy designs that will stay in style.

21Buy wash and wear as much as possible.

Clothes that require dry cleaning are

expensive to care for.

22Choose clothes with simple trim; they won’t

go out of style as quickly. Trim should be of

good quality and should require the same care as

the rest of the garment.

23Shop factory-outlet stores. Don’t assume

there is something wrong with clothes sold

there. They could be surplus, samples, or discontinued

lines. Any imperfect or damaged items must

be tagged or advertised as such. And, the flaws in

some may be so minor that they don’t matter at all.

24Accessories can add a new look to your

wardrobe for a much smaller cost than

buying major items.

25Adapt what you have to current styles instead

of dashing out to buy something new.

26When you outgrow clothing, exchange with

friends and relatives or recycle them.

27Contribute clothing to a “nearly new” shop

sponsored by a charitable organization. Your

gift may be tax deductible if you get a signed receipt

for its estimated value.

28Learn to sew, but don’t rush out and buy a

lot of fabric that you’ll never get around to

making into garments.

29Take good care of your clothing and shoes.

They will last longer.

Save in the Home

30Cut the cost of your long distance calls as

much as 60 percent by dialing yourself and

using the daily and weekend specials. Plan what

you need to say and limit talking time.

31Use fewer paper products, such as paper

plates, cups, and towels, so they won’t have

to be replaced as often.

32Strive for a simpler lifestyle. This means

owning fewer nonessential things and having

less to clean and maintain. Buy less clutter and

junk.

33Be creative; use what you have in new and

better ways.

34Cut your recreation costs by planning more

activities and games at home.

35Entertain friends and relatives at home

simply.

36Use your sewing skills to make gifts: aprons,

place mats, linens, hand towels, pillows,

needlework. Or, make pictures, wall hangings,

chair seat covers, and decorative screens.

37Use some of your homemade jams and

jellies for gifts.

38Start slips from some of your plants; then

pot them for gifts.

39Plan carefully and thoroughly as the first

step in economical decorating.

40Consider remodeling rather than building

a new house.

41Learn to paint and to wallpaper.

42Learn to refinish furniture.

43Make your own draperies, curtains, spreads,

slipcovers, and table covers.

44Learn to clean, repair, and restore household

items yourself. Learn to maintain and repair

the house and equipment.

45Make dried flower arrangements from garden

flowers, wildflowers, and decorative

weeds.

46Decorate your home with items from nature

or use family creations.

47Take advantage of free or low-cost learning

opportunities, trips, and community services,

such as schools, workshops, fairs, libraries, concerts,

hikes, public tennis courts, home shows,

Extension programs, and other adult education

courses.

48Hold a garage sale. Sell those items you

no longer need, use, or want.

49Plan an outdoor area for living. Landscape

to beautify and enjoy it.

50Buy things that will require as little

maintenance as possible.

101 Ways to Save Money 3

3

51Buy furniture at auctions, garage sales,

or second-hand shops.

52Buy low-cost household cleaning products

or learn to make your own.

Save on Food

53Feed your family well from the Food Guide

Pyramid. Keep them healthy and you’ll save

on medical bills.

54Plan your meals one week at a time. First,

review the grocery ads to take advantage

of specials. Make a shopping list from your menu

plan with the ads.

55Plan one meatless day per week.

56When you use the oven, try to cook more

than one item while it is hot. Cook the main

dish, dessert, vegetables, quick breads, or other

foods at the same time in the oven.

57Stretch ground meat with bread crumbs,

oatmeal, or tomato sauce.

58Mix one-part nonfat dry milk with one part

regular milk. The family will never know the

difference.

59Prepare some of your own convenience

foods, master mixes, and desserts at home.

60Prepare a large quantity of standard recipes,

such as spaghetti sauce, chili, pastries, and

stews. Then label and freeze them for later use.

This not only saves time but also allows you to buy

larger amounts of basic ingredients at lower prices.

61Waste less! Each year Alabamians throw

many dollars worth of food into garbage

cans. This happens not only at home but also in

restaurants and school cafeterias.

62Eat less expensive foods; drink less expensive

beverages.

63Entertain with “pot lucks” or inexpensive

buffets such as lasagna and salad.

64Grocery shop when you are not hungry.

It will help you avoid impulse buying.

65Cut your food shopping trips to no more

than one a week. You will save gasoline,

time, and money.

66When you shop, compare the price per unit:

pound, ounce, dozen, package, or square

foot. Take your calculator with you.

67Buy fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit juices

and milk drinks, oatmeal and peanut butter

cookies, and popcorn instead of junk food. You’ll

be healthier.

68Grow your own fruits and vegetables. Can,

freeze, and dry some of them for future use.

Save on Children’s Expenses

69Buy or make children’s clothing with built-in

growth features.

70Use good quality fabrics, buttons, and

trims from out-of-style adult clothes to

make children’s clothing.

71Shop at discount stores for children’s

clothes.

72Select children’s clothes that are functional

and comfortable.

73Teach children proper care for clothing,

toys, furniture, and equipment so replacements,

repairs, and maintenance will be reduced.

74Involve children in understanding their environment.

Reward them in some way for conserving

resources.

75Save household items that children can play

with such as egg cartons, meat trays, old

stockings, and cardboard boxes of all sizes.

76Devise creative, inexpensive entertainment

for children.

77Interest children in budgeting their money.

Give them allowances, and let them learn

to save and stretch their money.

78Start a “child-care pool” with a group of

friends to save on babysitting fees.

79Buy basic gifts or supplies when prices are

reduced, such as after Christmas or Easter,

and save them for the following season.

80Insist the children do some sort of work,

besides regular chores, as soon as they are

old enough.

81Involve children in gardening.

Jo Turner, Extension Program Specialist, Professor, Human Development and

Professor, Human Development and

Family Studies, Auburn University

Adapted from, “100 Ways to Save Money” by the Mississippi Extension Service.

For more information, call your county Extension office. Look in your telephone directory

call your county Extension office. Look in your telephone directory

under your county’s name to find the number.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work in agriculture and home economics, Acts of May 8

and June 30, 1914, and other related acts, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The

Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) offers educational

programs, materials, and equal opportunity employment to all people without regard to race,

color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability.

HE-562 ECP, 10M, Reprinted Oct 1999, HE-562

Save on General Living Expenses

82 Distinguish between needs and wants—

consider values, goals, and resources.

83 Know alternatives for increasing income.

84 Know how much things cost. Comparison

shop.

85 Know when to use cash, checks, or credit.

86 Beware of little expenses. “A small leak will

sink a great ship.”

87 Shop with a list; don’t buy on impulse.

If you see something you really want that

you didn’t plan to buy, wait a day before buying it.

88 Follow proven buying guidelines.

Consider price per unit and watch

weights and measures. Check your sales slips.

Count your change.

89 Pay promptly. Don’t build up interest

charges for late payments.

90 Know how much money you have. Plan

your spending.

91Don’t spend tomorrow’s paycheck today.

92Be sure the time is right for the best price.

It’s oftentimes not what you buy but when

you buy it.

93Learn the principles for cutting family living

costs. Learn, practice, and develop skills in

the marketplace, in the use of credit, in thrift, and

in using financial institutions.

94Substitute other resources for money. Learn

to barter, borrow, share, switch, substitute,

simplify, and conserve goods and services.

95Establish a safe level of credit.

96Set aside a realistic emergency fund equal

to 2- to 6-months take-home pay.

97Shop for credit just as you shop for

merchandise. Consider the cost of credit as

a part of the cost of the item you are buying. Know

the annual percentage rate as well as the cost of

credit in dollars and cents.

98Shop sales carefully. A seasonal sale may

save 10 to 25 percent; a clearance may save

50 to 75 percent. Consider the actual savings in

dollars and cents.

99Remember, if you don’t need it, it is not a

good buy at any price.

100Recycle. It will save money and reduce

landfill space.

101Check with your county Extension office

for other money saving ideas.

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