Lost Money Saving Tricks of Older Generations

Lost Money Saving Tricks of Older Generations

Lost Money Saving Tricks of Older Generations

It is no secret that our parents and grandparents knew what it meant to stretch and save a buck. They had a motto that went something like use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. And that is exactly what they did. They didn’t toss anything until it was used up all of the way, and if they couldn’t afford something, they did without. You can use these lost money saving tricks of older generations in your own life, which will greatly improve your financial health. Take a look below at some lost money saving tricks of older generations that still apply to life today and can really make a difference in your budget.

1. Use it up.

Make sure you are making the most of your resources. Don’t toss that toothpaste tube before it is empty. Eat food before it goes bad to avoid the need to throw it out. When you make your resources go the extra mile, you are saving money by not buying new. You are also getting the most bang for your buck, using every bit of what you paid hard earned money for.

2. Wear it out.

Wear clothing for as long as it lasts, and try to do the same with shoes. Take care of socks, belts, purses, and other accessories as well so you get a good amount of wear out of them. When one of these items gets a hole, run, or stain, try to repair it yourself before calling it a loss. This is also a way to get more bang for your buck and avoid buying new.

3. Make it do.

Avoid buying new items if you have something that will make do instead. For example, don’t buy a new formal dress for an evening event; make do with one you already own or borrow from a friend. Don’t buy the new coffee maker you wanted, make do with the one you have even though it is a little slow and not very stylish. When you make do, you are saving money by using what you already have on hand.

4. Do without.

Sacrificing was something our grandparents knew a lot about. If you can’t afford something, don’t buy it. It is a simple concept, but for some reason one of the hardest ones to master. Try to pay cash for everything, and only buy new when your budget truly allows for it.

So, do you think you are ready to use it up, wear it out, make it do and do without? Our grandparents did, and they had financial freedom and responsibility that so many of us dream about. Give these tips a try and see how well they fit into your modern life!

How to Start a Neighborhood Garden

How to Start a Neighborhood Garden

How to Start a Neighborhood Garden- If you're longing for a garden but are limited on yard space, a neighborhood garden may be a perfect solution for you!

If you’re longing for a garden but are limited on yard space, a neighborhood garden may be a perfect solution for you! A neighborhood garden is especially a good idea if your neighbors are also sharing these problems and frustrations and wishing for a garden of their own. If you are unsure about how to start a neighborhood garden, take a look at the helpful tips below. You see how simple it can be to plant and maintain a neighborhood garden and reap a harvest that everyone can enjoy.

Step 1: Have a planning session.

Gather all of the neighbors together who wish to participate. It’s ideal to have anywhere from 5-15 neighbors involved. Meet together and discuss a few important details such as where the garden will be and what plants will be going into it. Decide the size of the garden and if it will be a container, raised bed, or in ground garden. Listen to everyone’s ideas and pick a location that is central to the neighborhood. A neighbor may wish to donate space or you can opt for raised beds or container gardens along some shared land.

Once you know what you want to plant, you can create a budget for your garden. When it comes time to purchase the plants, have each participant pitch in a designated amount. Choose together what this amount will be so you can pick an amount that works for everyone. Once money is collected, choose a captain (or two) to take on the task of purchasing plants and supplies.

Step 2: Assign jobs.

Invite everyone to share their talents when taking care of the garden. Assign jobs to each participant so everyone has a part with the care of the garden and earns their share. Jobs will include weeding, feeding and fertilizing, watering, and of course harvesting. Someone should be checking on the garden daily, so create a chart for participants to sign up for days/tasks.

Step 3: Have a planting party.

Once you have your land picked out and your jobs in place, it’s time to have a planting party! Gather on a sunny day and start tilling the land, planting your produce, and setting up any necessary fencing or pest control. This can be a fun day for all involved as you work together to get your garden looking great.

Step 4: Practice maintaining the garden.

Make sure you keep up your end of the bargain by tending to the garden as needed and as designated. Stay in contact with the other gardeners so any issues in the garden can be discussed.

When your garden is ready to be harvested, head on down and start picking! Allow all participants to take part in harvesting and share what is collected. This is a great way to enjoy all of your hard work!

Growing a neighborhood garden takes a little work, but the end result is worth it. Give these tips a try and see how rewarding it can be to grow your own!

How to Start a Neighborhood Garden- If you're longing for a garden but are limited on yard space, a neighborhood garden may be a perfect solution for you!

52 Ways To Save: Price Match to Save Money (Week 12)

Every Monday in 2015, I’ll be sharing a different idea to help you save money! Add all of these tips to your frugal repertoire and you’ll be able to save a lot of money this year! I hope you’ll gather a few new ideas or at least some inspiration from this series.  

Price Match to Save Money and Time

Price Match to Save in Canada

Did you know that price matching in Canada is a great way to save money and time? For this week’s 52 Ways to Save post, I want to talk all about how you can price match to save!

Many stores in Canada offer a price match guarantee. They’ll match the advertised sale price of any competitive retailer as long as it is the exact same item and in the current sale period.  They’ll even accept coupons on top! :)

In the following post, I hope to show you all the ins and outs of price matching so you can stop shopping at so many stores! (If you’re prone to driving all around town to catch all the sales that is!)

What is price matching?

Say you need to do most of your shopping at Walmart, but there are a few good sales you noticed in the Shoppers Drug Mart and Real Canadian Superstore flyers.  Rather than visit all three stores, you could simply price match those sales at Walmart.   For example, say Shoppers has Tide laundry detergent on sale for $4.99.  By presenting your Shoppers flyer to the cashier at Walmart and stating you’d like to price match the price of the Tide found in the Shoppers flyer, the cashier will then give you the Shoppers price rather than the Walmart price!  Make sense? :)

How to price match?

As long as the exact product (size, variety, etc) mentioned in the flyer that you wish to price match is found on the shelves at the store where you’re doing the price matching, you’ll get the sale price.  Also make sure that you have the current flyer in tow as you can’t price match something that was on sale two weeks ago.  (example: Say you’re shopping on March 23 at Walmart, make sure you have the March 21 – 27, 2015 Shoppers flyer with you)  Here are the steps you can take to make price matching easy:

  1. As you’re reading through your weekly flyers at home, circle any items you wish to price match and jot them down on your shopping list with a note you’re going to price match those items.
  2. Bring all your circled flyers with you to the store.  (This is a must!)  Having the items circled ahead of time makes it really easy to find the item you want to price match thus making the transaction go smoothly. Also, make sure to bring the entire flyer, not just the ad for the item you want.
  3. Since flyers usually state the product’s size and type, you must purchase the exact item that’s advertised.
  4. When you’re ready to check out, separate the items you wish to price match from your regular purchases.
  5. Place the items you’re price matching first on the belt so the cashier will know that the first items will be price matched and the rest will be at the regular store price.
  6. Hand over your circled flyers.  The cashier may tear out the sale ad or keep the flyer.

Who price matches?

Here’s a list of the major retailers that I know price match.  Let me know in the comments if you know any other stores!

In order to find out your store’s full price matching policy, email or call the customer service line.

Do you price match to save time and money?  Anything you’d like to add to help others?

See the other articles in this series, here.

52 Ways To Save: Clean Out Your Closet (Week 11)

Every Monday in 2015, I’ll be sharing a different idea to help you save money! Add all of these tips to your frugal repertoire and you’ll be able to save a lot of money this year! I hope you’ll gather a few new ideas or at least some inspiration from this series.

Earn Money with Consignment Stores

 

One way to save money is by earning a little extra money! One of my favourite ways to earn a little extra happens to be selling my unwanted clothing. While I’m not a big name brand shopper, I often have clothes that are in great condition that sell well in consignment shops.  You’ve probably seen me write about the powers of selling used stuff in local Facebook Buy & Sell groups, but for what ever the reason, I don’t have much success selling clothing on these sites.  So consignment is my go-to for selling unwanted clothes.

Here are my tips to help you get the most money out of the items you bring to consignment:

Make sure your items are clean

Give your gently-worn clothes a wash to freshen them up and to get any stains out, you’ll have more luck selling items that are in great shape.

Make sure your items are ironed

Going along with my previous point, having clothes that are newly ironed will help your items sell for top dollar.

Make sure your items are current/in style

You will have the best luck selling more “current” clothing; nobody wants to wear your grandmother’s polyester pants!

Don’t hold on to something you know you won’t wear

The longer you hold on to an item you know you won’t wear, the less it will be worth when you decide to finally clear your closet.

Brand names sell well

There are many many people out there that want the brand name clothing at a fraction of the cost.  Consignment stores are a great place to bring your brand name clothing to get a bit of return on your investment!

On the opposite side of things, consignment stores are also a great place to find a deal on clothing you may need yourself!  This week’s 52 Ways to Save post will have you earning and saving! ;)

Do you have any tips for selling your clothing in consignment stores?  Have you ever snagged a brag worthy deal?

See the other articles in this series, here.

5 Money Mistakes You Might Be Making

Money Mistakes You Might Be Making

Does it seem as though you can’t get control of your finances, no matter how hard you try? You might be making some common money mistakes and not even realizing it. These mistakes can be costly, and can rob you of your hard earned money. Take a look below at 5 money mistakes you might be making and see how easy it can be to prevent them from happening.

Are you making these money mistakes?

1. Using ATMs not associated with your bank.

If you are using an ATM that does not belong to your own bank, you are most likely paying a fee on your withdrawal. The fee can come at you from both ends, both your bank and the bank you are visiting. Suppose you pay $4 in fees per transaction, and do this 5 times a month. That is $20 a month or $240 a year! Instead, only use ATM’s that belongs to your bank or credit union. This way, you aren’t being slapped with transaction fees.

2. Not investing in your savings account.

Each week, you should be making a contribution to your savings account. This should be money that is skimmed from your weekly paycheck before it is touched for anything else. Even on a tight budget, try to place 10% of what you make in a savings account with a decent interest rate. This way, you are building an emergency fund while making a little money on it at the same time.

3. Not reading your monthly statements.

You need to be sure you are opening and reading your monthly bank statements. This is a great way to check for errors as well as balance your account. Properly balancing your account helps you avoid overdrawing it and facing penalty fees. Open your statement each month so you are well informed of changes happening in your account.

4. Not tracking your spending.

It is wise to track your spending for a week to 10 days every few months. This way you can see where your money is going and make changes if necessary. During the tracking period write down every cent you spend then evaluate where your money is going at the conclusion. Make cuts and changes where necessary.

5. Not paying cash.

Do you find yourself charging purchases out of convenience? This convenience could be costing you! Interest rates as well as missed payments can really raise your bill in no time. Instead, work on a cash system for paying for purchases. You will avoid interest rates and monthly payments all together.

Are you making any of these money mistakes? If so, stop! By making some simple changes you can get your finances under control and looking healthier. Give these tips a try!

52 Ways To Save: Start a Garden on a Budget (Week 10)

Every Monday in 2015, I’ll be sharing a different idea to help you save money! Add all of these tips to your frugal repertoire and you’ll be able to save a lot of money this year! I hope you’ll gather a few new ideas or at least some inspiration from this series.  

Tips For Gardening on a Budget

9 Tips for Gardening on a Budget

Are you ready to “get growing?”  The arrival of spring has many ready to get outdoors and start planting their gardens, but what if you are working on a limited budget? Well the good news is, gardening doesn’t have to be expensive, and in fact it can be a great way to save yourself some cash in the long run. If you are considering planting a garden this season and want to do so for less, take a look at these 9 tips for gardening on a budget. You will be amazed at how easy it can be to “get growing” for less!

1. Start your seeds indoors.

Sure you can buy seedlings, but starting your own seeds indoors is cheaper! A seedling cost at least $1-$5, while you can get an entire pack of seeds for $1 or less. So start your seeds indoors using seed starters and some basic soil, and you can have your own seedlings in no time. (Watch for a how-to post in the near future!)

2. Check out your local dollar store.

Dollar stores have a great selection of gardening gear for just $1 each. Choose from seeds, flower pots, gardening gloves, fertilizer spikes, watering cans, starter trays, and more! It is a great way to build your gardening stash for less.

3. Use natural fertilizers.

Instead of buying plant food and fertilizers, try making your own! Crushed egg shells and coffee grounds make excellent plant food. You can also use fruit peels to help nourish the soil and keep your plants healthy.

4. Practice chemical free pest repellent.

Again, you can buy your own pest repellent, but why not make your own for less? A simple spray bottle of water and a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap can help keep many pests at bay! This is a great way to save cash and omit chemicals in your garden.

5. Start a rain barrel.

Instead of spending money on watering your garden, catch rainwater instead. A rain barrel is the perfect trick for catching rain perfect for watering your garden with. Even a small barrel or bucket can give you enough water to keep a small garden satisfied.

6. Make your own garden markers.

You can make garden markers out of all kinds of household materials. Try making some from wood craft sticks and markers to get started. This is a great way to keep your garden organized for less.

7. Team up with friends.

Team up with friends and neighbors  to borrow each other’s gardening tools and equipment. You can even share seedlings and thinned out plants you no longer need. This is a great way to get the items you need for cheap or even free.

8. Use a small space.

Rather than tilling up a large piece of land for a garden, try out small space gardening!  Living in a townhouse, we actually don’t have the land for a big garden so I put container gardening to use.  Sometimes that might even feel overwhelming. If so, try growing just a few herbs that you often buy from the grocery store.  Or grow a lasagna garden so you have all the ingredients for a delicious marinara sauce on hand.  Here are a few more ways to grow a garden in a small space.

9. Look into community gardening.

Community gardening could be a great option for those of you that want a big garden but don’t have the space or want the time commitment. Do a little research about the community garden options in your city to see if this might be a good fit for you.

Gardening is a great way to grow your own food and save some cash. Give these tips for gardening on a budget a try and see how easy it can be to grow for less.

See the other articles in this series, here.

How to Live on Less Than You Make

How to Live on Less Than You Make

How to Live on Less Than You Make

The trick to getting ahead financially is to live on less than what you make. If you can create a lifestyle that costs less than your weekly paycheck, you will find it is easier to save money and live a healthy financial life. Living on less than what you make doesn’t have to be tricky; it just takes a little work. Take a peek below for some helpful tips on how to live on less than you make.

1. Be honest about your earnings.

The first thing to do is look at how much you bring home each week. Taking a hard and honest look at these numbers lets you know what you are working with. Add these numbers up to see how much you bring home each week, each month, and each year.

2. Set a budget based on a fraction of your earnings.

When creating a budget, the idea isn’t to spend every penny you make. In order to spend less than what you make, create a budget based on ¾ of your earnings. Or, even half if you think you can manage it. Set budgets for all areas of spending including: housing, utilities, food, and miscellaneous.

3. Track your spending.

In order to stay within your budget, be sure to track your spending. This will help you keep an eye on your money and be sure you don’t overspend. Anytime you spend money, be sure to write it down in a notebook or ledger.

4. Learn needs from wants.

Many times it is not being able to decipher needs from wants that keep us broke. Any time you are tempted to make a purchase, ask yourself if it is a need or want. Needs should always take priority and wants should be few and far between. Set aside some savings for wants so that in time, the want can become a reality.

5. Re-evaluate your lifestyle.

Sometimes, you just need to ask yourself if your lifestyle matches your income. This can be a hard question to ask but it is necessary. If you love manicures, eating out, concerts, expensive cars, and new clothing, yet you make $10 an hour, it’s time to reconsider your spending habits. Think about how many hours you would have to work for that dinner out or new shirt. Is it worth it? While you don’t need to live like a miser on $10 an hour, you do need to make smart decisions to get ahead!

Learning to live on less than you make can offer you some real financial freedom. Give these tips a try and get on the path to financial freedom yourself!

What’s the hardest part of living on less than you make? How do you make it work?

The Best Things to Buy in March

The Best Things to Buy in March

Winter Outerwear 

Now is the time to grab that winter coat you’ve had your eye on for next winter!  You should find winter outerwear to be drastically reduced.

Winter Sports Equipment

In March, stores will have deep discounts on skis, snowboards, snowshoes and sleds. While you may have to put them away as soon as you buy them, March is the best time to buy these items.

Luggage

March is a great time time to buy travel gear like suitcases!  Since winter travel is ending and summer travel has yet to start, luggage tends to go on sale during the month of March. Get your suitcases now for your summer vacation. (Or if you have March break travel plans!)

St. Patrick’s Day Stuff

Starting the day after St. Partick’s day, you’ll find at the fun St. Patrick’s day items on clearance.  Stock up for next year so you’re prepared.

Cleaning Supplies

Spring cleaning is around the corner so retailers are starting to put their cleaning supplies on sale.  Don’t forget to use your coupons for extra savings! Need a spring cleaning checklist?  Here you go.

Frozen food

March is National Frozen Food month. Most frozen foods will be on sale during March.  Be sure to use those coupons!  This is a great time to stock up on frozen vegetables so you can eat nutritious food all year long.

Produce to buy in March:

Broccoli, Pineapples, lettuce, mushrooms, radishes, parsnips, rutabagas, artichokes and Brussels sprouts.

Because retailers follow a yearly sale cycle, you can count on finding the same general products on sale at the same time each year. 

52 Ways to Save: Cut Your Own Hair (Week 9)

Every Monday in 2015, I’ll be sharing a different idea to help you save money! Add all of these tips to your frugal repertoire and you’ll be able to save a lot of money this year! I hope you’ll gather a few new ideas or at least some inspiration from this series. 

Cut Your Own Hair to Save Money

One of the ways we like to save money at home is by doing at-home hair cuts for my husband.  (I’m not willing to let him have a go at my hair quite yet :))  While I’m not an expert in the least, no one has ever said anything bad about his hair!  After all, I simply cut his hair the same length all over, then trim his neck with the trimmer and around his ears with a pair of scissors.  Simple!  I estimate were saving at least $20 every 6 weeks or so.

I think it also helps that we have a decent hair trimmer to work with!  We have the Wahl 3231 22 Piece Home Pro Haircutting Kit which we purchased after reading the reviews on Amazon. So yeah, if it weren’t for this great $18 tool, we’d be spending a lot more on haircuts throughout the year!

While I’m not quite brave enough to cut my own hair at home, I have cut my own bangs. I’ve also trimmed my daughter’s bangs. (Which I’ve now decided to grow out.)  Here are a couple of tutorials I found that may me useful for you:

Do you cut your own hair at home?  How did you learn?

Our Current Favourite Frugal Toddler Activities

Our Current Favorite Frugal Toddler Activities

In the recent Simply Frugal survey I did, I received a few answers from readers saying they’d love to know what sort of frugal activities are keeping my daughter occupied. Since I like to read other bloggers posts that give me a peek into their daily lives, I thought I’d oblige!

A little background. My daughter will be three at the end of March 2015 (*sob*) so she’s starting to get more interested in activities that are more structured. Also, since having my daughter, I find I have to get out of the house at least once a day. Even if it’s going for a walk or getting groceries. I go stir crazy if I’m at home too long (says the girl who was a homebody before kids.)

I’m always looking for new frugal things to do with her but currently, these are our favourite things to do:

Crafts

She loves craft time. She pretty much has free reign over the supplies I’ve picked up from the dollar store, Target (I’m going to miss that dollar section!) and various other stores. I have a plastic bin with paints, crayons, googly eyes (her fave), stickers, glue, ribbon and more just for her. She loves to make birthday cards and they’re a hit with the recipients :) We’re going to give this craft kit a try on an upcoming road trip we have.

Dolls/Pretend Play

It’s so fun to watch since her pretend play is really starting to develop!  One of her favourite things to play with right now is dolls. She loves to take care of them: bathe, feed, play and dress them (with my help).  We also do a lot of pretend shopping trips with her grocery cart and play food. She also loves this Melissa & Doug food set. We have picnics with it and this LeapFrog picnic basket. Another thing she loves is a toy jeep and little people that my mom kept from when we were kids.

I don’t think my daughter has a ton of toys but when I do purchase something I like to invest in good quality with good playability toys. Most of them have been bought off Amazon, bought used (the best!) or given as gifts.

Sensory bins

This is something that I want to play around with more this year. So far the two bins that I’ve set her up with she loves. I can usually get almost 1/2 hour of independent play out of a bin.  That is amazing to me! One bin I made holds dried beans and small farm animals. The other is rice with plastic insects and pom poms. She loves to bury them and then dig them up.  Pouring from one bin to another is also fun. She’s past the age of putting random things in her mouth, but when she was younger I would keep a very close eye on her.  I love this post about Sensory Bins, it’s so thorough.

Involve Her

From a young age, I always tried to involve her in what I was doing around the house.  If I was cleaning, I’d hand her a damp cloth or her mini mop and she’d clean right beside me.  If I’m baking, I measure out the ingredients then have her pour them into the bowl.  When we’re out grocery shopping, I point out things she can put in the grocery cart. She loves to help unload the cart at the end and likes to help me pay by handing over the cash.  Sometimes it feels like a lot of work and makes things slower than if I were doing them myself, but I like the idea of what I’m teaching her. I think one day it will really pay off!

Reading

She’s not one to normally sit down by herself and start “reading” a book, but she loves her bedtime stories. Some of her current favourites are:

Throughout the next year, I want to start incorporating some learning activities that go along with the books.  This is an example of what I have in mind. Even if I don’t end up doing most of the activities, I like to have something planned for when her boredom strikes.

Walks

While I do go on walks with her, most of her walks happen with her Grandpa. (Such a blessing for me since I get a chunk of time to work!) They have so much fun walking to the park, our small airport to watch the planes and even the grocery store. She’s starting to get really observant of the things that are outside so I want to take her on a nature scavenger hunt using a simple guide I might find on Pinterest.

Gymnastics

Currently this is the only outside activity that I pay for. She goes to a local drop-in so I only pay when she goes.  She has so much fun and burns off energy.

Free community programs

We used to attend a Mother Goose program but we’re going to start trying the Strongstart program offered at local schools. I think it will be more her speed and they usually have a variety of fun activities!  Story time at the library is also a hit.

Playdates

Mainly this is an excuse for me to get out and visit my friends, but most of my friends have kids close to my daughter’s age that she enjoys playing with. In the summer months we meet once a week at a local beach to hang out and eat lunch. :)

So there you have it. A peek at our current favourite activities and toys. I hope I didn’t bore you to death and that at the very least you have gathered some ideas!

What are your current favourites at your home?