DIY

46 Penny-Pinching Ways To Save A Lot Of Money This Year

The little things really add up. Admit it: there’s a small part of you that relates to the ladies on Extreme Couponing.

1. Make your own lotion soap.

You can customize with different kinds of molds, food coloring, and scented essential oils. Get the directions here.

2. Don’t leave soap sitting in water.

It will dissolve 50% faster.

3. Make your own liquid hand wash from a bar of soap.

Get the directions here.

For foaming hand wash, re-fill the foaming dispenser with a mixture of one part dish soap (or body wash) and three parts water.

4. Make your own oily hair “dry cleaner.”

This recipe uses 2 very inexpensive ingredients: rubbing alcohol and corn starch.

5. Try the “No Poo” method of cleaning hair.

Some people have had great success eliminating the whole wash-and-condition hair regime. They claim it rejuvenates the hair shaft and fixes any dandruff issues. Instead of using shampoo, massage baking soda into the scalp to clarify and follow with an apple cider vinegar hair rinse. Conditioner is usually a lemon juice/vinegar mix.

Read more about it here.

6. Switch from coffee to tea.

Easier said than done, but tea bags are usually cheaper than coffee beans.

Always brew tea in a teapot to maximize a single tea bag. You won’t get the bitter taste that comes with reusing. Or, better yet, use loose tea leaves, which are meant to be reused.

7. Make your own convenience food kits.

Here’s a recipe on how to make homemade Hamburger Helper.

Get muffin, brownie, and waffle mix recipes here.

8. Learn how to make yogurt in a crock pot.

Click here for the full directions.

9. Make your own bread.

This artisanal bread costs only 40 cents a loaf and requires no kneading.

10. Pour your leftover wine into ice cube trays and use them for cooking.

11. Buy meat on sale and make freezer meals out of them.

You’ll save time in the long run. Here’s a comprehensive list of freezer meals.

For added convenience, pre-portion and label them before you freeze to make defrosting a breeze.

12. Reuse your leftover scraps of food.

Put any leftover kale and celery stalks through a juicer.

Here’s a list of things you can do with leftover orange peels, beef fat, and melon rinds.

Reuse your leftover pickle brine to make incredibly simple pickled green tomatoes or pickled radishes.

13. Plant your green onion stubs — you’ll have a new bunch in just ten days.

The next time you’ve used up your green onions, put the white ends into a jar of water. They’ll start to grow almost immediately. This also works for celery stalks.

Find out more about planting celery here.

14. Make your own seasonings.

Get recipes for taco seasoning, ranch dry mix, and pumpkin spice. They’ll taste better and eliminate a lot of the sodium fillers in store-bought spices.

15. Make your own microwave popcorn.

Not only will you save money, but you can use real butter and the seasonings of your choice.

16. Use an app to help you save while grocery shopping.

Scan any item using a free app called Pushpin and automatically save with digital coupons.

17. Instead of eating out, learn how to make your favorite restaurant foods at home.

Check out this Pinterest board for recipes for a bunch of copycat recipes.

Here’s a good recipe for that famous ginger carrot dressing you get at sushi restaurants.

18. Make your own reusable Swiffer pads.

Check out the tutorial here.

19. Buy melamine foam instead of Magic Erasers.

You can get 30 of these for $5.90. Melamine foam is the main component of Magic Erasers.

20. Make your own laundry detergent.

A box of regular Tide costs $28 for 68 loads these days. Using this recipe, you can squeeze 96 loads out of $2.88.

21. Save electricity by using the rapid wash setting on your washing machine.

You’ll notice a difference in your electricity bill.

22. Never buy dryer sheets again.

Place a ball of aluminum foil in the dryer with your wet clothes. You can reuse it many, many times and it will remove static cling.

23. Instead of using paper towels, make your own cleaning cloths out of flour sacks.

There’s minimal sewing involved, and one flour sack makes 16 cloths.

24. Store your makeup-removing face wipes upside down, and cut them in half.

Storing them upside down will help them retain moisture. And they’ll go the extra mile if you cut each one in half.

25. Make mascara last 3x longer.

When it starts drying out, just add a couple drops of saline solution.

26. Squish your toilet paper rolls to avoid any wasteful unraveling.

This is especially helpful if you have kids who consistently use too much toilet paper.

27. Do your waxing at home.

Sally Hansen wax strips come with a $1 coupon in every box, so you’ll save even more money.

28. Sharpen a disposable razor on a pair of jeans and it’ll last up to 6 months.

Slide your razor across the entire length of jeans 10-20 times to take the nicks out of the blade. Then switch directions. Also, be sure to prevent oxidation/rust by keeping the razor dry between uses.

29. Repair your bras before buying a new one.

Don’t throw your bra out when the underwire starts coming out. Here’s an easy way to fix your bra in ten seconds with moleskin.

30. If you shop at Target, here are some tips:

“EVERY Target shopper NEEDS to know this: If the price ends in 8, it will be marked down again. If it ends in a 4, it’s the lowest it will be. Target’s mark down schedule. - MONDAY: Kids’ Clothing, Stationery (office supplies, gift wrap), Electronics. TUESDAY: Women’s Clothing and Domestics. WEDNESDAY: Men’s Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty. THURSDAY: Lingerie, Shoes, Housewares. FRIDAY: cosmetics.”

Another Target tip: get Target coupons online and STACK them with manufacturers’ coupons.

31. Use GasBuddy.com to compare gas prices in your area.

Just enter in your zip code. It’s also available in app form.

32. If you’re an avid online shopper, use a service like eBates to get cash back.

You might get anywhere between 1%-12%, but eventually it all adds up.

33. Buy your essentials from AliExpress.com, if you don’t mind long shipping times.

Shipping can take upwards of 3 weeks, but where else can you get bamboo fiber socks for 81 cents apiece (with free shipping)?

Two tips: don’t expect the best quality, and do your research.

34. Displace water in your toilet tank with a filled plastic bottle.

You save around 10 gallons of water a day. A brick works, too.

35. Always check RetailMeNot.com before purchasing anything online.

Always check this site before hitting the checkout button. Or you can do a Google search for the company name + “coupon” or “promo code.”

Download the RetailMeNot app and you can attempt to use the coupons while shopping in-store.

If you can’t find a discount code, email customer service and ask for one, especially if it’s your first time shopping with the retailer.

36. Share a Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s membership.

Rules vary on whether a different credit card name can be used, but if you bring cash, you should be fine.

Or, just give $10 to a friend who has a Costco membership and ask them to buy you a $10 gift card. According to Consumerist, if you receive a gift card to Costco’s, you can get in to shop without a membership.

37. Sign up for the Victoria’s Secret mailing list.

Sure, you’ll get an annoying catalog every week, but you’ll also get a coupon for a FREE PANTY every month. Never buy underwear again!

38. If you live in a deregulated state, you’re allowed to shop around for the best electricity rates.

Check out the list of deregulated states here.

39. Find out if you’re eligible for any discounts.

Check out these lists: 149 military discounts, 66 teacher discounts, 85 student discounts, and 136 senior discounts.

Also, with a Triple A card, you can get 50% off prescription meds, along with many travel and movie discounts.

40. Recruit an affiliate buddy if you frequently buy things from Amazon.com.

Sign up for their affiliate program, and convince a friend who also shops often on Amazon to do the same. When they use your affiliate code, you get up to 15% back on their purchase, and vice versa.

41. Borrow e-books from the library instead of buying them.

Your Kindle will pay for itself. Find out how here.

42. The most effective fly repellent only costs a penny.

Place a penny in a zip-loc bag filled with water. For some odd reason, it works.

43. Make your own pet toys from old t-shirts and socks.

Get instructions here.

44. Refill pet meds at a drugstore or online.

They usually cost more if you get them directly from the vet, so get the vet to write you a prescription and refill it elsewhere.

Read up on return policies and customer service if you decide to buy online.

45. Always pack a meal for your flight.

Airplane and airport food are so overpriced. Always prepare your own meal or at least bring a snack.

46. Keep things that have multiple uses on hand.

17 uses for Alka-Seltzer.

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