When some of my nicer outfits were starting to look bad because the metal buttons were getting tarnished, I decided to merely replace the buttons. However, the fabric store's new buttons were quite expensive, $3/4 buttons or, more. Instead, I went to a bag sale at the local charity shop and bought garments of every size and description just for the buttons on them. Some of the clothes were ugly, but they all had really nice buttons. I bought a bag full of clothes and got probably three or four dozen buttons, for $3. It was cheaper to just cut off the buttons, sew them on my nicer outfits, and use the rest of the bag-sale clothing for cleaning rags or scrap material. My good outfits got a new lease on life once the tarnished buttons were replaced with the ones from the bag sale. You can also cut off the zippers and trim for reuse.
If you need something — I mean really need it, not just want it — see if someone you know has one that they don’t use or need anymore. Send out an email to family or friends, or just ask around. You might be surprised. I was about to buy a printer, and then found out my brother had just bought a laser printer and didn’t need his old inkjet … saving me close to 100 smackeroos. If no one you know owns one, try freecycle.org or craigslist.org. Then look to buy used, at garage sales or thrift shops. You can find a bargain if you look around.
Stay healthy. Easier said than done, I know, but staying healthy can save you tons of money on doctor’s visits, hospital bills, and medicine over the long run. An ounce of prevention, and all that. Eat healthily, and exercise. Simple and effective.
Quit smoking. Not the easiest way to save, I know. It’s hard. But I did once and plan to do it again soon, and so have many, many others. Not only will you save on cigarettes (which are expensive over the long run), but also associated costs (I used to buy a soda to go with my cigarettes) … and of course the huge, long-term medical costs.
Reduce convenience foods. Frozen foods, microwaveable stuff, junk food … anything that’s packaged and prepared for our convenience is not only more expensive than something you cook yourself, but also most likely less healthy. I’m not saying to eliminate these completely, but try to reduce your consumption.
Maintain what you own. This is a no-brainer, but we don’t often think about it: if you take care of what you have, it will last longer. You’ll then spend less on buying new stuff. When you buy something worth maintaining, take a few minutes to read the maintenance manual, and create a maintenance checklist that you can attach to the item. For important things like your car’s oil changes or tune-ups, put them in your calendar.
I am sure some of you are already doing a couple of these things. I hope this list may give you the impetus to try maybe one or, more of these ideas you haven't tried.
Little old me...
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