Saturday, March 21, 2009

Any Frugal Tips from TV and Magazines?

I admit it. I am sucked in to watching a TV show or reading a magazine when they boast about how much money you can save using their tips and tricks. Imagine seeing a teaser saying, "Save $500 a month by following these 5 steps." Who wouldn't want to save $500 these days? So I watch the program. You know what I learn? Squat.

Most of the tips are things our mothers, fathers, family, friends and teachers taught us. Things like; use vinegar and water to wash windows instead of Windex; wipe windows with newspapers; wash clothes in cold water; brew your own coffee instead of going out to buy that latte.

Hello! Been there, done that. Tell me something I don't know. I realize you cannot fathom each person's life experiences, but saving money buying shoes at Target rather than at Prada is a no brainer.

The best tip I heard lately was to use clean, discarded aluminum foil for eliminating static from clothing. Just roll the CLEAN foil into a ball and place it into your clothes dryer with the wet clothes.

Another laundry tip is to use distilled white vinegar in place of fabric softener in your rinse cycle. Pour about a quarter cup of vinegar into the washing machine during the rinse cycle and voila, soft clothes.

Or dry your clothes on a clothes line. No static, no energy usage and clothes smell great.

These money saving ideas aren't new. Our parents and grandparents used them for years. How did I learn about them? I asked people how they economize.

Think back to when you started out on your own. Maybe you ate Ramen noodles, brushed your teeth with baking soda or washed your car by hand. Try implementing a few of your lean days, stretch-a-buck strategies today. Include rice noodles in a salad. Eat dinner by candlelight. Go to a free concert in the park. Walk your dog. Reconnect with family and friends with a game night or card party.

It's easier than you think to save a buck or two, or $500.

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