Wednesday, October 03, 2007

money saving ideas

Lately I've been really into finding ways to cut costs, save money, and make extra money (for obvious reasons - Ben's new job only pays half of what the old one did, and money is tight). At first it felt like a chore. But now, its actually becoming fun, and I think I've come up with some creative ideas. Below I've posted some of the things I've come up with, and I'd love for all my readers to post their creative money saving/making ideas.

1) I have supplemental insurance, that I never use. I spent an hour yesterday pulling out all my old insurance information from last year and filing claims. I think I should get about $500 back. Yipee! I can pay for Christmas.

2) Like all the Gecko commercials say, I called around for insurance quotes. I settled with another, lesser known company, but it is going to save me $480 a year.

3) I called the mortgage company and set up a 2 week billing cycle. They claim it will save close to $15,000 over the life of the loan.

4) I found out that if I pay my daycare early, I save $20 per child per month. I'm also going to see if I can work there on Fridays for a reduced daycare cost.

5) I stayed up till 11pm last night listing baby stuff for sale on ebay.

6) I've been trying to do medical research studies, but I keep getting denied. The latest one paid $250 for only 2 medical visits - and I got a free flu shot with it. But I didn't qualify. Maybe one day they will want me.

7) I've been printing out coupons from on-line retailers. With lots of searching, I've found some good ones.

8) I've been doing on-line surveys. The site I've gone though gives you points for taking surveys - and I can save up points for cash. Right now I'm up to about $50. I also have been going on another website that pays me to click on their offers. It takes awhile, but I have enough right now for a $50 gift certificate.

9) Of course I have always been beyond frugal. I wash my hair with $.99 shampoo, buy generic products, only buy what we need, etc. We're definitely not the most stylish family on the block.

Anyway - I'd love other ideas. So please, if you read my blog and you're doing something to make/save money please let me know. I need all the $$$ I can get right now!


Jen said...

Saving money is my favorite topic lately! It seems that our expenses have increased way more than our income over the past several years... Here are my favorite tips, especially for a working mom:

1. Use a Dependent Care FSA (Flexible Spending Account) to pay for childcare with pretax income. MAJOR savings over the course of a year.

2. Use a medical FSA to pay for most over-the-counter medical supplies (band-aids, cough meds etc) and co-pays, deductibles etc...

3. Plan your meals for the week before you grocery shop, that way you always have just what you need for meals and aren't tempted to go out to eat.

4. Pack your lunch. We have to pack our daughter's lunch for the babysitter, so my husband and I pack ours as well. Much more nutritous and saves a ton.

5. Stay healthy, use anti-bacterial hand gel, wash hands regularly, get some exercise every day (even if it's just dancing to fast music with your kids)

6. When you think you want to buy something that isn't an absolute need, force yourself to wait at least a week, you'll be suprised how many times that at the end of that week you realize you don't really want the item as much.

7. One of my favorite tips, throw away mail-order catalogs before you look at them. The catalogs really convince you to buy things that you don't need. If it wasn't on your list of things that you needed and you just bought it because it looked cute in a catalog, you probably could have done without it.


Chelsea said...

Those are all great tips! I was going to suggest planning out all your meals in advance but Jen beat me to it. We save so much money by not eating out on the weeks when I take the time to do this - and we eat healthier foods.

Kari said...

Good for you! I'm in the same boat - always wondering where I can trim and cut some expenses. You have great ideas, better than mine which is to cut coupons and plan out my meals in advance. We have saved quite a bit on our grocery bill doing this though. And I love not having to worry about what I'll make for dinner tonight - it's already planned and on the calendar!

Jen said...


Thanks for your comment on Emily's blog. It's nice to know you still remember me, I wasn't sure you would! I noticed you put a link to the blog under your "People I keep up with" and the link is broken. If you use this link it will work...

Take Care!