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Helpful Tips To Live By

Updated on October 14, 2013

Dealing with Returns

Keep receipts for your purchases in case you need to return things. Try to keep all receipts at one handy location. This will save you time looking for them and avoid them being lost. A recipe box works well to store receipts. An envelope with a year marked on it and receipts (2013 Receipts, etc.) can be stored in a desk drawer or filing cabinet. Separating them by year can be a time saver.

Most stores will take returns and many offer extended warranty on them. Don't keep something or discard it if it doesn't work, take it back. The only time you would want to take this loss is if the place of purchase is a long distant commute on an item that would cost you more in gasoline to return it than what the item is worth. Even in this case if you planned to return that way in the future hold onto the item and return it then. Why spend your hard earned money on something of little use to you. Even if you buy a food item that is not satisfactory you can either return it to the store or contact the company for a refund. They want to know problems with their products as well as compliments. That's what secures their business. Don't be afraid to let them know. Why take a loss if you don't have to?

Avoid Costly Cleaning Products

Avoid using chemicals for anything. Natural remedies cost less and are safer to use. Distilled white vinegar is a great way to kill germs, bacteria, and mold without the use of toxic chemicals. Vinegar will clean your windows crystal clear and your kitchen surfaces while leaving a fresh smelling kitchen. Vinegar added to your laundry will give you a cleaner looking wash with any detergent and if it is added to the rinse water it will ensure all the soap is gone out of the fabric. A scouring cleanser can be made by adding vinegar to dish soap or baking soda. Things like vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and cola can clean as well as any expensive product that contains unknown chemicals. Be safe and save money by trying alternative solutions to your cleaning routine. Vinegar is a good drain opener accompanied with a little salt or baking soda. Vinegar has hundreds of uses. Put it in your dog’s bath to rid fleas. Put it in your own bath for softer skin.


Write it Down

Write things down you need to remember. Mark it on a calendar when you need to pay what. Keep a journal of your spending habits so you know where to cut corners. Avoid paying them late as this will add late fees and ruin your credit. Doctor bills and utility bills can also bother your credit score if not paid promptly. Make a list and total your monthly spending habits so you have a better idea how much money you need and how much you dare spend for other things. Include an affordable amount to tuck away for emergency spending and possibly another amount to add to your personal savings account. We never know when extras will be needed.

Write down dates you replaced parts or did maintenance on things like your car or lawn mower. It will give you an idea when it will be needed again. Know the age of your appliances, electronics, etc., so you have an idea of their age and life span. By knowing these things and writing it down some where so you remember it you could figure an estimated price to your budget. Keep owner’s manuals and the receipts along with warranty information. Time tends to get away from us sometimes and we lose track of how long ago we bought something. Especially items we don’t replace often. Some warranties last longer than others. This will give you another sense of being in control of your household and your spending needs.

Seasonal Items

When buying seasonal items it's cheaper to buy off season. Buy lawn mowers, fans, air conditioners, garden supplies, and anything else used in the summertime at off seasons like fall or winter. Buy snow blowers, heaters, winter coats and boots in the spring or summer. If you buy off season not only will you save money on the purchase price, but when the season arrives you will be ready for it. Plastic totes work well for storage of off season clothing until you are ready to use it. Swap out one season and refill it with another. Travel bags and suit cases are another option for storing clothing.

Logic is our key to successful frugal living.

Use your library as an entertainment resource. Books from the library cost you nothing if you return them on time. You can take out DVDs, CDs, cassette tapes and other video and audio mediums at the library. Look at the money you would save on rentals or buying the items.

Household auctions or any other kind of auction can save you hundreds of dollars on big ticket items. Auctions are a fun form of entertainment and many communities have auction barns. Watch your local classified section for dates and locations. Many years ago I bought a freezer that was nearly new for $75 and it's still working fine today. You never know what you may find at an auction. There are auction sites online that can also save you money even if you have to pay a shipping price.

Yard sales and thrift shops help us make ends meet by allowing us to buy second hand and sometimes new at a cheaper price. Communities will often have a certain day that everyone holds a yard sale and most of the shoppers will find at least one real bargain. We also can get carried away with the deals and find ourselves buying plenty of stuff we don’t need. We are not really saving much when we do that.

Whatever way we find to make ends meet, logic is our key to success. We can still enjoy our lifestyle if we live within our means. Our interest may vary, but we all are here for the same purpose and that is too survive whatever life may present us with.


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    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thank you, mariewj. My grandmother was very thrifty and she would not tolerate anyone being wasteful around her. Guess, I learned many helpful tips from her.

    • profile image

      mariewj 4 years ago

      Great tips on frugal (sensible) living which is something I love to practice myself. I never did like chemical cleaners in the home and I've been using natural cleaning solutions for years. I keep a spray bottle filled with a water, vinegar and lemon oil solution that I use for everyday cleaning. Other tips I have on saving money are to cut hair at home instead of the salon - we bought a hair trimmer so I can do my husband's hair and it is very easy. I also worked out that doing a bulk shop once per month and just topping up with the fresh items you need (eggs, milk etc) locally works out much cheaper for us.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thank you, Faith Reaper. I've used many of these tips over the years.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Diana,

      Wow, these are truly wonderful tips you have included here! I heard that vinegar is great for cleaning your whole house. This hub is very useful, especially now in today's economic hard times for many families. I hope many read these money-saving tips here.

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thank you, JayeWisdom. I appreciate your in-put and the vote up.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Good tips. Green cleaners are healthier for humans, pets and the environment, in addition to being much cheaper than those bottles filled with horrendous chemicals.

      I also make notes and lists. It works better when I use a notebook and do my writing sequentially than if I jot data down on a piece of sticky note paper. Those little pieces of paper tend to get lost or put in the recyling bin with junk mail!

      I do much of my shopping online. Unfortunately, Amazon and other online merchants use UPS or FedEx for delivery. Since it's ground delivery, it's as slow (or slower) than UPSP parcel but there is a much higher rate of package and contents damage with UPS and FedEx than with the U.S. Postal Service. I like buying from Amazon because I only have to call and explain the damage (although I take digital photos in case they're requested) to get either replacements or hassle.

      Every penny counts with me, so I try not to waste any of them....A lot of other people are in the same situation, so learning to live frugally is a relevant topic these days.

      Voted Up++


    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thank you, rebeccamealey. Many of these tips I have used, but some are only ideas.

      Truthfornow, I always write things down when possible. It makes you more conscience of your spending and makes you think before you waste money. Besides my memory is terrible nowadays.

      Millionaire Tips, your comments are very appreciated. I'm not real good about returning things like I should as I tend put it off until another day. If I had more time on my hands I certainly would be doing it more often. I am good about sending emails to companies if I find something wrong because they usually will make it right if they are at fault.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      These are great tips. I try to be good about returning things - but I have trouble with returning grocery items, it seems like it would cost me more in time and gas than the cost of the item, but I should, since I have to go back to buy more next week anyway. Voted up.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I like the idea of writing down how you spend your money. It is a sure fire way to let you know how you are wasting your money.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Awesome tips for frugal living. This Hub is sure to be a hit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Nice job! Voted +++ and shared.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thanks for visiting my hub, Jackie. Vinegar is good for many things.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      These are some great tips. I didn't know vinegar was good for drains so glad I caught that here. Thanks for sharing. ^