I was helping my dad clean out his garage over the weekend. It’s amazing the things this man still owns. We found boxes of old computer components, games, and even a couple of tape drives. He also had boxes of comic books from when he was a kid and baseball cards. I’m helping him to sell his treasures on ebay. It was a nice trip down memory lane. I even found a couple of my old items I had as a kid.
Category: Frugal Living Tips
Today’s thrifty living tip is extend the life of your clothes with simple alterations. What I mean is cut long sleeve shirts into short sleeve or jeans and pants into shorts. Of course you would either need some basic sewing knowledge or know someone that could do this for you. My mom is an excellent seamstress and does sewing jobs for me. I do know how to sew but I don’t have a machine, and I don’t really enjoy sewing like she does.
I mainly do this for my son’s clothes. This is really great for uniform pants so I don’t have to buy shorts since the pants are usually too short for the next winter. They will still fit nicely in the waist so this is ideal. I know I save at least $20-30 by doing this plus I donate them so less in the landfills. My mom does an excellent job hemming and you can’t tell they weren’t bought this way. I also have done this with his winter pajamas and jeans. I have bought a couple of knit shirts that were on a great sale, but I really wanted short sleeve. I paid $3 each and I wear short sleeve more since weather is warmer more during the year. Wear your favorite item longer with a simple alteration.
I hit a milestone today readers. This is my 50th TMR tip of the day. I really enjoy writing these, and I do apologize for not actually posting one each day. I’m trying really hard not to repeat any of these. Now, without further commentary, on to the actual tip.
Today’s TMR thrifty living tip is bring your own containers when you go out to eat for leftovers. My friend and I were discussing this the other day. She has a favorite Chinese restaurant, but they put her leftovers in a styrofoam container. We know this isn’t good for the environment. So she now brings in a small food container, which can be anything, that she has in her purse. They could care less, and it’s another small way to help with trash reduction in our landfills.
Today’s thrifty tip is to reuse and rewash food containers and plastic ziploc baggies. I’m sure you have read this tip before but it’s such a great one. I never reuse anything that contained raw meat. I love those small plastic containers that deli meat comes in. My husband uses these to hold his bolts, screws, and nails. They are clear which makes it easier to see what is inside. They stack nicely. I also like to these for leftovers to give to other people. I never give out my Tupperware containers and use these instead. They make great containers to use for homemade goodies and treats.
Today’s thrifty tip is keep your thermostat lower to conserve heat. For each degree lower it will save you 2% on your heating bill according to most institutes. I don’t run my heater as much during the winter since I live in sub-tropical weather. When I do have to run it, then I keep it set at 65 degrees during the day. It does get chilly in the house so I just wear warm clothing. At night I still keep it around 65 degrees. Many experts say you should turn the heat down to 55-60 degrees at night. My husband would never go for this. I am on natural gas so my bills aren’t extremely high. There are many days we don’t even turn on the heat like yesterday and today. My monthly average over the course of a year is right under $50/month. I pay $25 during the summer months for my gas water heater, dryer, and stove. I don’t use the dryer that much either except during winter.
Investing in a programmable thermostat is another great way to keep your house energy efficient. If no one is in the house during the day, then you program it to keep the house cooler during the winter and warmer in summer. You can also program it to have it start warming the house up right before you wake up in the mornings. Have it get colder when it’s time for bed. I need to invest in one for myself.
Today’s thrifty tip is use plain water instead of windshield wiper fluid. I use plain water and haven’t noticed any difference. I have seen many recipes where you can make your own using either vinegar, dish liquid soap, or rubbing alcohol. The problem with using any of those ingredients is it could harm your hoses and/or seals over time. I do buy windshield wiper fluid, but if I run out or can’t find a good sale, then I do use just water. I also don’t live in a climate where I experience freezing weather. I don’t have to worry about fluid or water freezing in my reservoir. I find the water gets the grime off.
Today’s thrifty tip is plan your meal the night before. I know that many experts want you to make up a 7 day menu, but that’s not realistic for us. Even if I did keep in mind all the activities or other planned events, that wouldn’t take into consideration all the last minute changes. Let’s be honest that things do change at the last minute. I honestly prefer to plan my meal either the night before or first thing in the morning. I thaw out all my meats or frozen leftovers in the sink with cold water by that afternoon. It still gives me plenty of time to cook a nice meal. This is what works for me, and maybe going by a weekly menu works better for you. Another benefit is if the weather is cold, then I know I can make a nice soup or something to warm us up. I don’t like to eat gumbo in the summer and this is the perfect weather for a nice bowl of it.