If you’ve spent any amount of time reading money saving tips then you’ve probably come across the same cookie-cutter advice time and time again. Fortunately — even if you think you’ve “heard it all ” — there are a few seldom-used tactics that you can use today to stretch your dollar to the limit.
Reuse Fresh Herbs
Did you know that the fresh herbs that you probably use everyday — including green onions and coriander — can easily be put back to work? Just take the roots of the plant and soak it in water for a few weeks. If the plant was in good shape when you started you should be able to reuse the plant again in 2-3 weeks. And you can rinse and repeat this strategy as many times as you’d like.
Vicks Vapor Rub=Cheap Insect Repellant
In summer months it’s common to spend $20 or more per month on pricey insect repellant to keep annoying mosquitoes and ticks away. However, you can use a tiny bit of Vicks (or the generic equivalent) to do the exact same thing! And it’s much cheaper (and more versatile) than repellant.
Stock Your Glove Compartment
Eating on the run is a huge expense for those that spend a lot of time on the road (moms, anyone?). Instead of hitting up the nearest gas station for a pricey snack, stock your glove compartment full of non-perishable healthy snacks. Winners include nuts, trail mix, zip-lock bags full of whole grain cereal and granola bars.
Turn Your Lawn Into a Garden
DIY gardening is a fantastic way to get some fresh air with the kids. If done right, it can also save you serious cash on groceries. Many budget-conscious families are replacing their lawn with a garden. The expense of maintain a garden is about the same as a well manicured lawn. But with the garden you’re able to reap the rewards of dirt-cheap vegetables and herbs.
And according to many nutrition experts, the produce you get from your garden is more nutrient-rich than the mass-produced stuff you find at the supermarket.
Get Your Tires Inflated Regularly
The EPA reports that a tire that’s under-inflated by a measly 2 pounds per square inch can reduce fuel economy by a whopping 2 percent. It’s best to check your tires at least once per month to make sure they’re properly inflated or you may be wasting gas every time you roll out of your driveway.
Use Reversible Ceiling Fans in Winter
Running a fan may be the last thing you think about during the frigid winter months but it’s a fantastic way to cut down on sky-high heating oil bills over the winter. However, you need to set your fans to reverse so that they’ll re-circulate warm air around the house.
Check Your Life’s Filters
There’s nothing less fun than checking and cleaning the many filters you have in your home and in your car. However, clogged filters in items like your car’s engine or your home’s air conditioner can be a huge waste of electricity. Check and thoroughly wash filters every 6-months so they run at all cylinders.
Stay in Hostels
The next time you and the family go on vacation consider staying at a hostel. Hostels in the 21st century aren’t the grungy, institutionalized place that they used to be. Most are squeaky clean and have plenty of private rooms — often at half the price of a hotel room. And because they often come equipped with a kitchen you can save money on eating out.
Go to Art Gallery Openings
Instead of dropping $15 at the local art museum wait for the next art gallery opening. These upscale affairs are generally free and often come with freebies, like wine and cheese. Remember that you should dress to impress if you want to get in!
But Bulk Meat…and Freeze
If you’re like most families, meat is one of your top grocery expenses. Take advantage of sales that supermarkets regularly run on fresh meat by buying in bulk and freezing. The next time you want to cook steak or chicken you can use the on-sale meat from last month in the freezer instead of paying the high-prices at the grocery store.
Saving money is great, but making extra money is even better. Spencer’s site reviews, rates and gives the low-down on the most popular survey panels. You may want to check out his Valued Opinions review here. His other top rated survey sites include MySurvey.com and NPD Online Research.
Image credits: Grant Matthews, Images of Money (flickr)