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Ways to Save Money

Updated on August 25, 2014

So Many American Challenges!

©morguefile.com/Mary Vogt
©morguefile.com/Mary Vogt

As the World Unravels, How Do We Save Money?

The news is so bad I almost hate turning on the television or reading the paper. Between the wars in the Middle East, falling wages and rising costs, the threat of terrorist activity and political bickering, it's hard to know what to worry about most.

One universal topic today centers around saving money. I know Americans are resourceful and it seems like things always work out, so I'm sure one day we'll look back at this time in our lives and say, "Whew! That was close!" But right now, getting by may take a lot of faith and a little creative thinking.

We Need to Save Our Pennies

©morguefile.com/alvimann
©morguefile.com/alvimann

Re-purpose clothing: Make Your Old, Boring T-Shirt Trendy

Start Penny Pinching!

Friends and family have shared different stories with me on how they are changing their spending habits because of today's economy. I hear they are:

  • Buying off the value menu when eating out and skipping the soft drinks, drinking water instead.
  • Shopping more in bulk, warehouse stores
  • Hitting the movie matinees, or bargain movies
  • Using coupons at the grocery store and sending off for rebates.
  • Two families shopping together, buying two for ones and splitting the bill
  • Re-purposing home furnishings. Check Pinterest for lots of ideas!
  • Buying clothing from and selling to Resale Stores
  • Transforming out-of-fashion clothing into trendy threads. Check out YouTube for ways to cut plain, boring T-shirts to create fashionable tops.
  • Buying from the "dollar" stores items such as party d├ęcor, gift wrap, paper supplies, and household gadgets.

Let's face it, spending like Kim Kardashian is so yesterday. If you aren't worried about money now, that's great. But if you aren't saving, just in case, you're being reckless. There are too many families right now living on just one income or spending savings and charging on credit cards just to get by. So, the new cool is being frugal without guilt!

We Saved Money By Saving Everything

©morguefile.com/anusharaji
©morguefile.com/anusharaji
©morguefile.com/robbieb
©morguefile.com/robbieb
©morguefile.com/holder
©morguefile.com/holder

Remember Hearing About the Great Depression?

These challenging times make me appreciate my Mom, and think of the things she did when I was growing up. She was the smartest, most person I've ever known. Having grown up during the Great Depression, she learned to find a way to reuse everything. For instance, she:

  • Saved bread bags, then washed and reused them for storage
  • Saved rubber bands, buttons, safety pins
  • Saved material and repurposed it for homemade pot holders, napkins, aprons etc.
  • Baked and cooked everything from scratch
  • Turned every bottle and jar upside down to get the last bit out of it and then saved the bottle or jar plus lids to reuse or store food or items.
  • Sewed our clothes and window curtains
  • Bought from bargain stores
  • Taught us to enjoy crayons and coloring books, making paperdolls out of the cardboard backs from tablets, and paper clothes that we designed and colored.

And you know what's funny? I don't remember ever feeling that I went without anything. In fact, things seemed pretty great!

Can We Learn to Be Modern Day Tightwads?

Okay, you may not want to start sewing pot holders tomorrow, but can't we put a spin on that idea? Maybe we need to listen closer to our parents and grandparents when they talk about living through the tough times? Maybe we need to celebrate the thriftiness of others instead of calling them cheap? Maybe this whole economic collapse happened to give us a reason to stop the money-blowing madness and realize what's really important in life? What about teaching our kids and grandkids how to have fun just using their imagination? How about watching over our nestegg and being smart about spending it? What do you think?

One last thought for you: What about starting at least one family money saving plan? My family recycles all gifts bags and tissue wrap proudly. We are thinking of putting our name, location,reason for gift and date on the inside of every bag we reuse, We hope the idea will catch on and gifts bags will travel the world. I can't wait to be the tenth recipient of a gift bag that has gone from Phoenix, Arizona to Glendale, Arizona to New York to Florida to London to.....well you get the idea.

What are YOU doing to save? What ideas do YOU have?

What Ideas Do You Have?

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    • profile image

      Jacobb9205 2 years ago

      Thank you for the tips, much appreciated!

    • JLPeterson profile image
      Author

      JLPeterson 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Good advice! I heard that too...and since my daughters are now grown with kids, I have even GIVEN that advice (that I couldn't follow myself!) :)

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 6 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Here is one that I SO WISH WE HAD LISTENED TO! My father-in-law told us to stick with our car and put away $200.00 per month as if we were paying a car payment. Wait until we have the cash, and buy a new car (or lightly used one) debt free. Then, continue to put $200 per month away and we'd be all set to buy the next vehicle with cash when it was time. Great advice. Stupid kids...we did not listen!

    • Bee Happy profile image

      Bee Happy 7 years ago from Texas

      Very good ideas here.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 8 years ago from Portugal

      As you already probably know, you were nominated as a HubNugget this week https://hubpages.com/community/hubnuggets-mar13-20

      Well, after 5+ days of voting your Hub was voted as one of the top 5, which mean that it is officially a HubNugget and will be sent out in the newsletter today to 40,000+ other members of the HubPages community. Let me be the first to congratulate you and encourage you to continue to write really great Hubs - you're an awesome example for all of the other Hubbers who are getting started.

      Have a great rest of your week and thanks again for being a great member of the HubPages community!

      Have fun,

      Ricardo "funride" Nunes

    • profile image

      Kim Stiles 8 years ago

      Jan, this is great advice. I'm trying to teach my son at an early age the importance of saving money. I can set a good example by utilizing some of your suggestions.

    • SiddSingh profile image

      SiddSingh 8 years ago

      Hi JLP,

      Much needed advice, and just in time too! Thanks for sharing this.

      You have my vote.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      This is extremely good advise for everyone! I also reuse gift bags. I use the plastic bags from the grocery store in the small garbage pails in my bathrooms, they may not look as polished as a bag bought for this purpose, but I never have to waste money on garbage :)

    • JLPeterson profile image
      Author

      JLPeterson 8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Thanks so much! I'm excited to have my article chosen. I've told everyone! Lol

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi JLPeterson, congratulations...this hub has been handpicked to be one of the hubnuggets this week. This link https://hubpages.com/community/hubnuggets-mar13-20 will take you to Funride's hub as he explains the details. :-) It is important to save so all we need to do is act now! :)

      Remember to visit the link and vote. And bring your friends to vote too. :-) Enjoy the hubnuggets!

    • BristolBoy profile image

      BristolBoy 8 years ago from Bristol

      A good hub with some great, yet simple, ideas.