Ways To Save

The following list of helpful hints was compiled using suggestions from members of the community:

Transportation:

  • Stop accelerating and slow down; 55 mph is gas saving speed.
  • Check your trunk; carry less weight.
  • Ride your bike.
  • Walk.
  • Lunch hour changes: walk, read a book, pay your bills but don’t drive.
  • Organize and plan your errands to avoid back tracking.
  • Carpool !!!
  • Keep gas gauge above ½ tank.
  • Check the air pressure in your tires.
  • Call your friend, family, or neighbor to see if you can do an errand for them while you are out and hope the favor is reciprocated.
  • Call ahead to make sure your trip isn’t wasted.
  • Be less selective when parking. Park closest to entrance and walk for cost and exercise benefits!
  • Increase deductible to save on insurance.

Entertainment:

  • Have a picnic on your lawn instead of going out to eat.
  • Get DVD’s at library, Redbox, Netflix. All are cheaper than video store rentals.
  • Un-plug TV, Computer, appliances…except when they are in use. Energy is used even when appliances are off. Check with your electric company to see which ones use the most energy.
  • Big screen TV’s use 4 times as much electricity as a regular TV.
  • Quit Smoking; use money savings for annual or unexpected expenses. (car registration, repairs, broken furnace, water leak…)
  • Skip the wine.
  • Cancel cable or at least reduce to basic cable only.
  • Cancel Internet.  
  • Re-evaluate phone service options. Can you let go of long distance service if you have a cell phone/email? How about caller ID if you have an answering machine? What about dropping call waiting or three way calling? Can you eliminate landline or cell phone all together?  
  • Use library for books, newspaper and Internet needs.
  • Vacation locally.
  • Bring back the board games!
  • Share books, magazines, food, ideas, time

Shopping:

  • Research to get the best price.
  • Buy secondhand. (Thrift shops, yard sales, auctions, Uncle Henry’s!)
  • Defer gratification.
  • Think control; not deprivation.
  • Stop impulse buying. Wait 24 hours to purchase.
  • Curb “hunger” buy’s by having a snack before you grocery shop.
  • Combine coupons with sales; plan ahead.
  • Buy generic.
  • Make a list and stick to it.
  • Avoid blind spending and use calculator to keep track of spending.
  • Track ALL spending for 30 days including .10 piece of gum. Categorize and total at end of the month/week to see where you can save. IT REALLY WORKS!  
  • Call store ahead to make sure they have what you are looking for to avoid shopping in several places.
  • Patience
  • Ebay
  • Plan menu ahead and buy ingredients when they are on sale.  
  • Buy in bulk.
  • Request a reduction in the interest rate on your credit cards. Credit card companies sometimes are willing to reduce the interest rate. It can’t hurt to ask.
  • Send away for rebates. After you buy a product with a rebate, send in the form that day.

Food:

  • Plant a garden.
  • Water garden/plants with used dish water; soap is a natural pest repellant.
  • Reduce waste by learning to can.
  • Take a bag lunch.  
  • Eat leftovers for lunch.
  • Create a menu and stick to it; you’ll eat out less.
  • Hunt and gather—pick berries
  • Family potluck social affairs.
  • Donate excess crop to local food pantries.
  • Trade food for canning services if you don’t know how to can. Check with local UNH Cooperative Extension for canning tips, recipes…etc.
  • Freeze veggies and berries. They retain more nutritional value than they do when canned. (Most vegetables need to be boiled for about 3 minutes, then completely dried before freezing; berries can be washed and totally dried before freezing.
  • Buy in bulk; then divide family size packages into meal size portions.
  • Prepare meals in bulk and freeze leftover’s for another time.
  • Reheat unused coffee.

Utilities:

  • Weatherize-put plastic on windows.
  • Use snow to bank the house for insulation.
  • Liquid insulation/caulking to fill in cracks.
  • Turn off the air conditioning.
  • Keep vents on heating and cooling systems clean and dust free—refrigerator
  • Use window shades to increase/decrease heat from the sun.
  • Extra clothes; extra blankets.
  • Use fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Use power strips.
  • Turn down water heater setting.
  • Skip the blow dryer and curling iron.
  • Unplug heat tape from April to November.
  • Replace windows.
  • Weather stripping.
  • Add insulation.
  • Ensure proper heat flow by keeping furniture away from registers.
  • Clean and inspect heating systems annually.
  • Timed, shorter showers.
  • Turn water off when brushing teeth.
  • Put a water filled jug in toilet tank if you don’t have low flow toilet.
  • Shut vents in unused rooms. This isn’t advisable if you have forced air heating, but shutting vents in unused rooms can save on your heating and cooling bill.
  • Change the filters in air conditioners and furnaces. Not only does it keep systems running at optimum efficiency, it keeps the air in your home cleaner too.
  • Dehumidifiers can be the culprit for as much as 25% of your electric bill.

Time is money:

  • Organize your day so you cook/dry clothes at times when you need warmer temperatures.
  • Hang clothes to dry.
  • Learn to cook.
  • Recycle, recycle, and recycle.
  • Do a favor in lieu of giving a gift.  
  • Barter with friends and neighbors for services. (I’ll watch your kids if you watch mine.)
  • Cloth diapers?
  • Get organized and avoid missed payments. Get organized and avoid those late payment penalties. If you do miss a payment, call your creditor and ask to have the penalty removed.

Other ways to save:

  • Save pocket change.
  • Pay bills online.
  • Give useful gifts.
  • One phone is enough!  Eliminate landline.
  • Ask Verizon about “Dry loop DSL.” This allows internet service without a landline.
  • Re-chargeable batteries
  • Windup flashlights, lanterns
  • Use headlamps for bedtime reading.
  • Ice-cream cones at home for 2.50 per ½ gallon vs. 3.00 per cone at a restaurant.
  • Mend.
  • Never pay checking account fees. With so many free checking account plans available, there’s no reason to pay a fee.
  • Learn to pharmacy hop. Be on the look out for prescription transfer coupons in your Sunday paper or at Bargainist.com. You've probably seen them. They offer $10, $20, even $25 gift cards with a new or transferred prescription.
  • Not all pharmacies are alike. Medication costs can vary significantly from one pharmacy to the next. Make a few calls and see how much your meds cost other places.
  • Ask for samples. Why pay for what you can get for free, right? Most doctors’ offices stock samples of the drugs they prescribe. While your at the doctor's office, ask if they have any freebies available of the medicines you need.
  • Use hand towels instead of paper towels whenever possible.
  • Freeze credit card to curb impulse buys.
  • Mow faster!
  • Wash and re-use Ziplock bags.
  • Start a compost pile.

20 Tips to Save Money on Gas:

With the astronomical prices of fuel these days, many people have had to tighten their budgets to make room for more spending on gas. However, with the application of some gas-saving tips, you can keep your spending to within a reasonable range, and help save the environment at the same time.

  1. Maintain your vehicle. A vehicle that runs smoothly uses less gas than one that is poorly maintained. Regular oil changes, air filter and other recommended maintenance will all help to give you a fuel-efficient vehicle.
  2. Keep your tires inflated. Actually, studies have shown that the savings on gas isn't huge, but it does make a small difference to keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressure. And more importantly, this is also safer and makes your tires last longer.
  3. Don't drive during rush hour. Go to work, and come home from work, either earlier or later if possible, to avoid the rush hour. Getting stuck in a traffic jam, and stop-and-go driving, is one of the worst ways to waste gas.
  4. Telecommute. Working from home can save tons in gas, not to mention giving you more time, productivity, and happiness. If you can telecommute even one or two days a week, this can be a substantial savings.
  5. Remove weight. Driving with more people, and more stuff in your car, drags the car and requires more fuel. Lighten your load by removing excess cargo.
  6. Minimize idling. One of the worst offenders in lowering your gas mileage, idling gets you zero miles per gallon. If you are going to idle for a minute or less, leave your car on, but if it's going to be much longer than a minute, you should turn off your car.
  7. Drive slower. Driving the speed limit is more fuel efficient than speeding.
  8. Accelerate and brake easier. Driving too agressively, especially starting fast and braking fast, is bad for fuel economy. Accelerate gently, and try to minimize use of your brakes, if possible.
  9. Use higher gears. Driving fast in low gears is bad for fuel economy as well. Drive in as high a gear as possible, unless you're down-shifting in order to slow down or control speed.
  10. Buy a fuel-efficient car. Actually, this is the most important tip on this list. A heavier car wastes gas. Get a lighter car, especially one with a fuel-efficient engine and design. See the federal government's article on choosing a more efficient vehicle.
  11. Roll up windows on highway. While many people think they're saving money by turning off the air-conditioner, it actually creates a strong drag if you are driving fast with the windows down, and is worse for your fuel economy. If you are driving slow, around town, turn off the air-conditioner and roll down the windows. Roll them up on the highway.
  12. Don't top off. Topping off while you are filling up your tank is a waste of gas, as any gas that you top off will spill or otherwise be wasted.
  13. Park in shade. A hot car evaporates gas. If it's a hot day, park in the shade, and use your garage.
  14. Walk. Driving less is a great way to save gas. If you have to make a trip of only a few blocks, try walking instead. You will burn fat instead of gas.
  15. Cycle. Many people live close enough to work that they can commute by bike. It's not hard, and you get exercise while saving money.
  16. Live closer to work. Of course, you probably won't be able to implement this tip today, but the next time you're considering where to live, try to find a place close to your workplace, or try to find a job closer to your house. It will save a lot of driving.
  17. Group errands. Instead of doing one or two errands a day, try to group them all on one day, and plan an efficient route to cut back on driving.
  18. Carpool. It's not usually hard to find friends, family, or neighbors who live in your area and work near you. Take turns driving each other to save gas for all of you.
  19. Use cruise control. This method has actually been proven to save a lot of gas, as it reduces heavy acceleration and heavy use of the brake. A steady driving speed will improve fuel economy.
  20. Don't buy hot gas. Buy gas during the morning or evening hours, when it's cool, or you will be buying gas at a time when it's expanded (and thus getting less).