1. Make your own bread in bread maker. You can buy flour for pennies around Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you don’t want to make your own bread, buy at the Thrift store where it is 1/3 the price.
2. Make your own yogurt. You just need to buy a 1lb. container for a starter. You only need a couple of tablespoons per batch. And then just keep saving a little to start the next batch. Here is a post over on Pinching Your Pennies about making your own yogurt.
3. Cook from scratch. It is much cheaper than convenience foods unless the packaged food is cheaper with a coupon.
4. Buy the majority of your meats at reduced price. I use less meat dishes a lot also. For ex: I only use 1/2 lb. of ground meat in helper and skillet dishes instead of the called for one lb.
5. Ttry to have at least 2-3 meatless meals a week. For Ex: Meatless spaghetti, bean burritos, mac and cheese, etc.
5. Use dry milk for all cooking and baking.
6. Use small appliances to cook. It saves a lot of money on the electric bills when you don’t use the large oven and the stove top. It is much cheaper to use crock-pot, toaster oven, microwave, electric frying pan, George Foreman grill, electric steamer, Nesco oven etc. I use these appliances outdoors on the patio table when the a/c is on so as to not heat up the house. We also grill outdoors a lot. Propane is cheap.
7. Always make sure the dishwasher is full before I run it. The same with the washing machine. I air dry the dishes and I try to hang as many loads of wash as possible instead of putting them in the dryer. If I do use the dryer, I dry on air only.
I try to use 1/3 the amount of called for detergent in the washing machine and I skip the dryer sheet.
8. We use a towel to dry hands. And I use rags to clean up messes. Drain bacon on paper bags. Use newspaper to clean windows. This reduces the use of paper towels.
9. When I do wash dishes in the sink, I draw the rinse water first and then fill up the other sink with wash water. That way I don’t waste water while the water is warming up. You can use the rinse water to water plants or pour it on a dry spot in the lawn.
10.Take Navy showers. It saves a lot of water.
11. I only buy snacks and soda with a coupon. I refuse to spend a lot of money on junk food that really has no nutritional value.
12. I keep the a/c on 78. That is cool enough and makes it bearable. It saves a lot more money than keeping it on 72. In the winter, we keep the heat on 72. I can’t go any lower because I am always cold.
13. I try to run my errands in a circle thereby saving on gasoline. I fill up when it get down to 1/2 because the price seems to rise daily and this helps. I also make sure that our tires are properly inflated and that I don’t carry around junk in the car that just adds weight to the car.
14. I did cost comparisons when I moved here and got the cheapest homeowners and car insurance policies for the coverage I wanted. I review these every year and look for cheaper rates just before renewals. I upped the deductibles to a $1000. which saves oodles of money. Insurance companies are cancelling people who put in small claims. So $1000. is a figure that I don’t mind paying out of pocket if necessary.
15. I wash clothing in cold water except for whites which I wash in warm. But DH and I don’t get very dirty. We also try to wear our jeans and shorts at least twice before putting them in the laundry basket.