The Consumerist put this article out a few months ago but I thought it had some pretty good info, and some not so good info that I wanted to share. The article is essentially a big list of tips that came in from Consumerist readers.
Here are some of the better ones that I liked:
THE ZEN OF CONSUMPTION
Don’t buy more than you can use; use everything you buy.
Make your own bread. Not only will you feel super accomplished, but your bread will taste better than anything you can buy. Seriously….store bought bread sucks….Some to my house and have some of my bread. It’ll make you slap your momma and leave home.
KILL YOUR CABLE
Cut loose that sacred cow of budgets: your cable TV. Use sites like www.hulu.com and watch shows on network websites for FREE. Sign up for www.redbox.com and get one free movie on Monday. Every week. For FREE.
DON’T BUY KIDS’ CLOTHES NEW
Do not buy children’s clothes, especially infant clothes, first-hand unless they are a gift or some kind of special souvenir.
DIY OR DIE 4EVA
When possible, make instead of buying. But don’t be suckered into spending a fortune on craft tools you don’t really need. For basic home crafts like knitting, sewing, etc., you can easily get away with just a few bucks on inexpensive supplies and tools and then delight your friends and family with home-made gifts.
and some I don’t think are worth it or I think are just wrong:
TRICK PEOPLE OBSESSED WITH BRAND-NAMES (note:my wife would kill me if I did this)
My wife is all about brand-names. She wants Tide – nothing else. Tide is $12 a bottle and Purex is like $7. When we are almost out of ‘Tide’, I go buy Purex and pour it in the Tide bottle. We have had the same bottle of ‘Tide’ for about 7 months. They change packaging now and then so occasionally I still need to buy the real stuff.
JACK ALL THE FREE SOAP IN A HOTEL ROOM
I travel for business A LOT. Every month or so at minimum, and sometimes I can be gone for most of an entire month. Therefore, I’m always at hotels. Most hotels give out free soap, shampoo, and conditioner, with maybe some lotion or mouthwash if you’re lucky. I say that because I take them ALL and hoard them.
STICK PENS IN MICROWAVE TO GET LAST INK
When your pen ceases to write, it probably still has a great deal of ink in it that is just stuck temporarily. instead of throwing it out, stick your pen in the microwave for 10 seconds to get that ink running again.
and a few I am not too sure about but am willing to try:
BRUSH WITHOUT TOOTHPASTE
Clean your teeth with a combination of salt and baking soda. Doesn’t taste as good as toothpaste, but is much cheaper and better for your gums (my late husband was a dentist and I owe this one to him – he died at age 89 with all his teeth in his head!)
DIY PAPER TOWELS
I saved a few of the cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls. I bought two yards of white cotton flannel (about $8) and cut it into paper-towel-sized squares. I did a fast zigzag stitch around the edges of each one (cutting and sewing took about two hours total) and rolled them up onto the tubes. I use them for anything you’d use a papertowel for. When they’re dirty, I wash them in hot water with bleach, dry them in the dryer without a dryer sheet (so they’ll be more absorbent) and roll them onto another tube. I’ll never buy paper towels again. Cheap, and better for the environment, I think.
SERGE YOUR SOCKS
My husband buys long tube socks for work. When his safety shoes’ metal toe causes holes in the toe of the sock, he asks me to serge (sew and cut) the toe section off. When they finally become short as anklets, he then uses them for rags in the garage. I’ve been doing this for him for the last 20 years.
and probably my favorite:
MAKE THIS YOUR NEW CREDO
“If it’s not on sale, it doesn’t exist.”
I tried the toothpaste mentioned above and it seemed to work pretty good, although it tasted horrible and my wife still thought my breath smelled afterward… br>