Today’s thrifty tip is make some handmade gifts this year for Christmas. Not only does it save money, but you can give a gift that is more personal and better suited to the recipient’s taste. It’s also nicer since it comes from your heart. The best part is it can be anything. If you have a great talent, then use it to make gifts. If you have a loved one that has small children, then make a coupon to babysit one night or day for them. It could be a gift basket filled with items that you know someone would really enjoy. You can also make gifts in a jar like mixes and just write the directions on a nice card attached to the jar. There are many different kinds you can make from hot chocolate to soups, and even candy mixes. You can also do this with bath salts or milk bath. I made this over the weekend with my mom to hand out small samples in our Tupperware containers. All we did was combine powedered milk with a box of Calgon or store brand powdered bath. Make sure it’s not bubble bath and powdered form. Just combine the two in equal parts in a container. Just be creative and it’s amazing what you could come up with when you do.
Category: Frugal Living Tips
My husband and I haven’t had a vacation since our honeymoon. That was well over 10 years ago. We are planning our first family vacation next year to Walt Disney World. I thought it would be wonderful to have a nice weekend getaway, just the two of us, for our anniversary next year. I have never been to Las Vegas and would love to go one day soon. We aren’t really into gambling, but there is so much to do and see on the strip. The best part is there is usually a great special combining air fare and las vegas suites to make the deal even sweeter.
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.
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.