- Personal Finance
5 Easy Ways to Save Money Without Sacrificing Luxury
A priority for most people in today’s world is to save money, preferably without sacrificing quality of life to do it. Fortunately, by making a few lifestyle changes, you can save a surprising amount of money without sacrificing much by way of luxury.
A Window Providing Natural Light
Use Natural Lighting
This one may seem like a no brainer, but when you open the drapes during the day to let sunlight in, you won’t need to turn on a light to see what you’re doing. Every little bit can add up, and eventually, you may start to see a drop in your monthly bills. You won’t need to replace light bulbs quite as often, either.
Natural light is also far better for your health than artificial light. If you have fluorescent lighting in your home, some older bulbs have been known to trigger migraines in some people. Even if that’s not a problem for you, increasing the amount of natural light in your home may actually help you reestablish a healthy sleeping pattern, thanks to the regulation of your circadian rhythm.
Natural Temp Control
The two most expensive seasons when it comes to utility bills are summer and winter. When temperatures drop, there are a few things that you can do to maximize the work your furnace does to keep your home warm. The first is to check your windows and doors before it gets too cold for gaps in the caulking. Fixing those problems early will prevent air leakage. If you have old windows, like we do, you can purchase plastic sheeting to put over them. It seals any cracks you miss and it’s designed to be clear enough for sunshine to come in. That’s another thing that you can do in the winter to keep your home warm for free: open the drapes when sun is shining to let that solar heat in!
When the temps start going up, you may want to open your windows and keep them that way when you’re home. The breeze will naturally circulate the air in your home and cool you off without need of central air, if you’re lucky enough to have it. Fans also help in this and cost far less than running an air conditioning unit. Remember to keep yourself well hydrated, as well.
Coupons From the Sunday Paper
Coupons and Sales
For some reason, clipping coupons is somewhat looked down upon in some circles. However, you can save a lot of money on your next shopping trip if you go through your Sunday paper for the week’s deals. You might not need to buy a paper to get the coupons, either, since some companies offer to send you the coupons every week for free.
While you’re looking for coupons, watch for sales. Most stores will allow you to use manufacturer coupons on sale items, and some hold events where they double or even triple the value of your coupons. Before picking up the product, though, familiarize yourself with the store’s policies and read the fine print on the coupon. Usually, the manufacturer limits the size, number or type of item that the coupon will work on.
In addition to the ones you find in your paper, you should also be able to find loyalty coupons from a number of companies. Some vitamin companies offer a program where they’ll send you a coupon after you buy enough of their product. Nature Made, for example, has what they call “Wellness Rewards”, and it’s worked out brilliantly for me. It’s worth checking out your favorite brands’ web pages for these types of deals.
Watch out for percent off events from local stores, as well. Some of our local hardware stores have put on events where they’ll take off a percentage from anything you can fit in one of their shopping bags, for instance.
Great Ideas For Upcycling - Delivered by an Extremely Excited Gent
Unfortunately, we live in something of a ‘throw away’ society. By that, I mean we throw away what we no longer find useful. Because of that, we end up tossing things that we could actually turn into other useful things or simply reuse.
Ziploc bags, for instance, can be washed out and used again, once we’re done with whatever we had been storing in them before. Likewise, bottles and jars could be used to store things in, or decorated and used as containers for gifts. This saves you from needing to spend money on unnecessary organization containers or gift boxes.
Clothing is something else that may get thrown away before it outlives its usefulness. You may no longer be able to wear it, but you might be able to salvage the fabric in order to make shopping bags from or easy to make drawstring gift bags. Those types of projects are simple enough that you won’t necessarily need a sewing machine to do them.
Another benefit to making gifts yourself, aside from saving money you may not be able to spare, is that the person receiving them may feel as if they’re more valuable than something store bought, because you put the time, effort and heart into making it.
More Upcycling Ideas
One of Many Usable Things Available At Thrift Stores
Thrift Stores/Garage Sales
Have you ever wondered what retail stores did with the merchandise they’re no longer able to sell? Many of them donate it to thrift stores and use it as a tax write off.
This means you’ll be able to find retail quality merchandise at a fraction of the cost, while you support a worthy cause. My favorite stores are run by ARC, which supports folks with brain injuries. Because workers need to sort through each piece by hand, what’s sold there is usually of good quality. Watch out for store coupons and sales events, as well.
For instance, I’ve found tall boots for under $10, a ton of yarn for well under what I’d get at a craft store and a functional blender for under $40. There were other appliances on the newer end of the spectrum for an excellent price when I picked up that blender as well.
Also, as suggested by tirelesstraveler, pay your thrift stores regular visits for the best deals.
Garage stores are also a wonderful resource for lightly used things at great prices. Kids’ clothes are always very popular, because they only wear many article of clothing a few times before it no longer fits. Again, you might be surprised at what you’d find at garage and yard sales. I’ve noticed an increase in potted plants in local garage sales, which people have separated from what’s already growing in their own gardens. If you look, you can find anything from good quality lawn furniture to cookware.
Saving money may seem like a difficult task, but using these tips and creating techniques of your own will go a long way to cutting out unnecessary expenses.
I love, love, love this book. You can turn t-shirts into almost anything with the tutorials it offers.