Feb 23, 2009

Money Savings Ideas In Tough Times $$$

These are some approaches for managing our money during these difficult times. Ideas from March 1, 2009 issue of BottomLinePersonal with my two cents thrown in for good measure :o)

$4-a-Gallon Savings Club: Every time you fill up, calculate the difference between what you pay at the pump and what it would have cost you at $4 per gallon. Put the money away for the time when the prices inevitably go back up.

Financial Fire Drill: Evaluate the risk of job loss, loss or reduction in pay and/or benefits, and start your research now. Do on-line research into health care costs or insurance programs, while you are not in a crisis mode. We tend to make better decisions when our backs are not against the wall.

Barter: Check out Craigslist.org or BarterBart.com or uSwapit.com for ideas on swapping goods and services rather than paying for them.

Delay Purchases: Do not make spur of the moment purchases. Most of us eventually regret more than half of the discretionary purchases we make. Wait at least a week, and the odds are that you will not go back and make the purchase. Keep track of your discretionary purchases and review it before you go on a shopping trip, you may find that you reduce impulse and discretionary buying.

Grow Your Own: I am to young to remember victory gardens, but it is time to bring these small gardens back into vogue. Even a 4 ft by 4 ft garden can provide a lot of fresh produce in a growing season. If you do not have that space, consider herbs indoors and container tomatoes and cucumbers on the deck. Alternatives are to find a community garden to participate in http://www.communitygarden.org/. Another alternative is to by the share of a harvest for your own use, http://www.localharvest.org/.

Ask and You May Receive: With how difficult times are, customers have gained bargaining power and might be able to negotiate better prices. You never know unless you ask. Purchases that are likely to be negotiable are electronics, appliances, furniture, and medical expenses. The key is to be friendly and polite. Do not be afraid to say no thanks and look elsewhere.


  1. I enjoyed that article when I read it, and there is some good advice there. I'm looking forward to an awesome garden this year!

  2. I'm liking that gas tip. I actually said I (might) could save each dollar OVER $50 in my paycheck (say if it's a $57 or $82 I'd save $7 or $32). Kinda like saving loose change.

  3. There are so many ways to save money. I've been a coupon clipper for over 45 years. Back in the 1960's you could take your grocery coupons to the store & actually get cash for them. That doesn't happen anymore but you can use them towards purchases. I find that it's really fun when a store has something on sale & then you use your manufacturer's coupon also. I will have a small garden this year but we also need to remember that those who sell their produce locally need our support too. Many are doing that to support their families. Did the snow stop falling yet? Linda in gloomy Washington

  4. An old adage is "A penny saved is a
    penny earned." I kinda enjoy clipping
    coupons for items I would buy anyway.
    I also like to find new uses for old
    things. A little TLC and good as new,
    sometimes better. Keep posting tips
    when you find them. Merci, Pat

  5. I'll admit, I still go to Starbucks, but my house is already paid off, ya know? I think cutting things like that is relatively easy, and I also think it saves way more money than people realize. A friend of mine realized she was spending 8-10 dollars a day in takeout lunch, 5 days a week when she enjoys leftovers, but didn't have time in the morning to package them up. Ok, so she started getting her lunch ready the night before. ~Mary

  6. Budgeting helps curve cost more than people realize. Paul and I make a practice of putting more aside than what our bills usually cost us. The overage is there to cover any rise in cost, or an unexpected emergency. (hugs)Indigo

  7. Hi Ken,
    Rather than negotiating discounts these days, I've just noticed that some businesses are really providing much better service than they used to. For example, if they don't have exactly what you're looking for, they'll go the extra mile to get it for you.

  8. I appreciate those tips. It does surprise me when I decide to 'cut' something out for awhile, even something as simple as my daily 32 ounce diet coke from Jacksons, how much it adds up.

  9. Like everything else, it comes down to doing these things, and making a difference in your own household. The news will make can lead you astray, got to keep your head down, and stay on budget.

  10. Good tips there for saving money. I am going to try to grow a bigger garden this year.

  11. Like everyone else, I have cut back on expenses. These ideas are valuable. Thanks for posting.

  12. These are great tips Ken. We are so fiscally irresponsible - we put everything on our credit card, all utlities are automatically charged, groceries, gas etc...then at the end of the month we pay it off but I admit I rarely even look at it. And spur of the moment purchases, well - we are bad with them too, we don't wait for anything. Every month I say we have to pay more attention and cut back but it never happens. I wish I could put into practice things like this but I am just not disciplined enough. We DO sell things on Craigslist though so I've got one thing on your list!!!! :)


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