Below is a list of quick personal budget stretchers. While you may already be doing a lot of these things, I guarantee you’ll find at least a few new ideas to add to your growing arsenal.
1. Dry your clothes using low heat.
2. Wash laundry with cold water instead of warm or hot.
3. Hang your clothes out to dry on sunny days.
4. Set your thermostat back a few degrees at night.
5. Use washcloths instead of paper towels whenever possible.
6. Raise the temperature setting in your fridge.
7. Turn off a few lights.
8. Put your computer into suspend mode when it’s not in use.
9. Fix leaky faucets.
10. Make your own baby food.
11. Make your own baby wipes.
12. Pack your lunch.
13. Switch to rechargeable batteries. Though initially more expensive, they’ll save you money in the long run.
14. Grow your own fruits and vegetables.
15. Turn the heated dry option off on your dishwasher.
16. Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth.
17. Keep the tires rotated on your car. When tires wear evenly, they last longer.
18. Check the air pressure in your tires frequently. If tires are not properly inflated, they will wear faster.
19. Wash your car at home rather than taking it to a car wash.
20. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
21. Lower the water level in your toilet.
22. Take a shorter shower.
23. Switch to a free checking account.
24. Keep blinds closed on hot days to lower the temperature in your house.
25. Purchase a kit to clean your “dry clean only” clothes at home.
26. Change the oil in your car regularly. Changing it late will only add to repair bills later.
27. Lower the thermostat in your house while you are on vacation.
28. Change the filter on your air conditioning return vent every month.
29. Empty out your trunk. Extra junk will only reduce your mileage.
30. Get in the habit of carrying a snack. Vending machine purchases can really add up.
31. Instead of buying books, go to the library.
32. Instead of renting movies, go to the library. Most libraries offer free or nearly free movie check-outs.
33. Take advantage of free concerts and events around town.
34. Pay bills online and save on the postage.
35. Make payments on time to avoid late charges and increased interest fees.
36. Call friends and family in the evenings. Lower rates will save you money.
37. Get a phone card and avoid paying monthly long-distance fees.
38. Carry coupons for fast food restaurants in the car so that you’ll have them on hand when you need them.
39. Join a carpool.
40. Bring your coffee from home.
41. Cancel your newspaper subscription. Most newspapers post all of their stories online. Why pay for something you can get for free?
42. For longer-lasting pots and pans, avoid cooking on high heat. The hotter temperature will ruin nonstick coatings.
43. Save gift bags and reuse them.
44. Save plastic grocery bags and use them to line trashcans.
45. Install a low-flow showerhead to cut back on water use.
46. Refill printer cartridges. Ink refill kits are now available at most retail stores.
47. Actually eat your leftovers. They’re more than just a growth medium for mold.
48. Use plastic containers for food storage instead of foil, plastic wrap and plastic bags.
49. Shop year round for Christmas presents.
50. Install a fan in your attic. A cooler attic means a cheaper energy bill.
51. Install ceiling fans throughout your home.
52. Save receipts. If you have to make a return, you’ll be sure to get a full refund.
53. If you have a rebate for an item, be sure to mail it in. Too often people forget about rebates until after they have expired.
54. Roll your loose change.
55. Coupons, coupons, coupons.
56. Instead of purchasing a separate cleaner for mopping, counter tops and the bathroom, buy an all-purpose cleaner that can handle all of your cleaning needs.
57. Turn worn clothing into dusting rags.
58. If you have computer paper that has only been used on one side, cut it up into little squares, and use it for notes.
59. Reuse boxes and bubble wrap for shipping packages.
60. Save jelly jars and all other glass jars that your food comes in. They can be used to hold food gifts later. The Internet is a great source for finding recipes for cookie, cake and pancake jar mixes
(this is a Guest Post from Sara Lundberg of Budget Savvy Diva )