How to Save When There’s No Money Left

You would really love to put aside some savings for a rainy day, but that rainy day is now. It seems like every penny earned is spent before it hits the bank. Saving money is becoming harder for a lot of folks. Some people are so strapped that they have never been able to save a dime.

Not so long ago, I was a single parent, I often worked two jobs and still had to go couch-diving at the end of the month to find change to buy a gallon of milk. Every penny counted. It was a big deal to save enough change to get a few rolls of quarters.

I wasn’t quite as financially savvy back then, but I learned a lot about squeezing out the very last drop of value. I have a few pointers that I can pass

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11 Responses to How to Save When There’s No Money Left

  1. lizajane says:

    Free samples are available many times online. I’ve gotten shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, razors, popcorn, granola, cereal, drink mixes, laundry detergent, facial creams, cookies, etc. Of course, one little sample isn’t much, but if I just set them aside for the year instead of using them right away, I would not be surprised to fill a nice sized box with these things. Real handy to keep for when you are running low to save a trip to the store.

    My other fits in with some of what you’ve said above, adding water to ranch salad dressing. Not only do I add it to the end of the bottle to get the last, but as I go along, I use a smaller amount of dressing on the salad, and add a tablespoon or so of water to the salad when I mix it up. It stretches the amount, plus makes it my version of a light dressing.

  2. I make my own automatic dishsoap and laundry soap. For fabric softner we use vinegar.

  3. baselle says:

    Walk. The less you use the car, the more you save in gas, wear and tear, and you get exercise.

    This one’s a Christmas, moving, or mailing tip – if you shred paper, use the shreds as packing material.

  4. Very well laid out post. Nicely done. It’s nice to see good writers in PF these days.

    It really is just like a diet in that it is a slow accumulative process whereby every little bit ads up to a lot.

    8 years ago I vowed to save $300 dollars a month no matter what the other monthly expenses were or the level of my CCs and my LOCs. Wow….it sure added up and I did manage to keep the debts under control.

  5. Chitra says:

    Great article. Thanks for the ideas. Its true that when you have children it is even more difficult to save. I am always tempted to buy the pretty dress for my daughter when we are out shopping or whatever toy she picks but I remind myself how much toys and dresses she already has. And of course it also comes to disciplining my child that she can’t always get what she wants :-)

  6. Texas Girl says:

    Hunt. :) My hubby is a hunter/fisherman, and I have learned to (sort of) like deer meat (working on learning to *LOVE* it). He has filled our freezer this year with deer meat that was *almost* free and provide our protein for a whole year, and what’s more, its organic. He fishes every other week so we’ll have fish also. Our plan is to buy one organic chicken a month just for something different; I can make four meals out of one chicken.

  7. Michelle says:

    I think you have some great ideas here – my Future Husband and I are trying to save money by carpooling and simply going out less. It’s amazing what you save when you do more cooking at home. And honestly? The food just tastes better.

  8. Nagel says:

    WOW. This is a great and easy to follow practical advice, using baby steps and accessible resources. I will commit it to my memory immediately, next time I contemplate buying paper towels!
    I have acquired recent experience in plumbing. I poured bleach (you can choose other chemicals) down my bathtub drain just after using water before bedtime. In the morning, I poured a huge pot of boiling water and it broke through the clog! May not work in all cases.
    Also, using hydrogen peroxide on rust stains is excellent; it works within minutes.
    I dry some sweaters and pants halfway and let them hang-dry in my bathroom overnight. Also, I enjoy using my dishwasher as a huge drying rack. I just fill up a pot with soapy water and wash everything, then use spray attachment to rinse everything away.

  9. Pingback: Monroe on a Budget » Tips from the money bloggers week of Dec. 22

  10. crazyliblady says:

    Some tips I have used over the years:

    1) Crockpots – they are a godsend and a timesaver. I find that whatever I cook in them comes out delicious and requires little work on my part.

    2) Cooking a lot at home – I find if we forget to run the dishwasher or thaw something out to eat, we have to go out. So we make a point to do this everyday, saving us lots of money.

    3) Shopping at Big Lots, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree. I know about the reputation these types of stores have, but I find that whatever I buy there is just as good and cost at least 1/2 as much as anywhere else. The only things they don’t have are like eggs and fresh meat.

    4) Stocking up on canned goods, toiletries, etc. This can help you get through a hard month if the utility bills are extraordinarily high or something like that.

    5) For doing laundry, we use Arm and Hammer washing soda and white vinegar. These two things get our laundry very clean and make the white much less dingy. We have found that using vinegar on darks results in them smelling funny, though. We don’t know why.

    6) Drinking more water and tea and no soda. I used to drink a couple of gallons of soda a day, making me very sick. I keep a thermal mug at work and make hot tea there every morning. The water costs me nothing and I can buy organic tea bag at Big Lots for about $2.00 a box. I also drink a lot of filtered water, keeping my asthma under control.

  11. nance says:

    Come on these are old ideas. I am on social security. I have done these for years and still do. Besides dumpster diving there has to be better ideas out there.!!!

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