NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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Twenty Ways to Save Dollars

Twenty Ways to Save Dollars


  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips. Turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Close the doors and turn off the heat or air conditioning to rooms that you are not using.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR logo found on everything from compact fluorescent light bulbs to refrigerators. The logo indicates that a product is 10 to 50 percent more energy efficient than products without the ENERGY STAR logo.
  • Change your air filter. When it comes to improving the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling system, replacing a dirty air filter is probably the simplest, most inexpensive, and most often overlooked maintenance job.

6.            Use hot water wisely. Your water heater is the second largest energy user in your home. Consider insulating it and using hot water efficiently to save energy and money. Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees F.

7.            Update your wardrobe with accessories that can add a new look for a much smaller cost than purchasing new outfits.

8.            Contribute clothing to a thrift store sponsored by a charitable organization. Ask for a receipt, and use it as a charitable contribution for tax purposes.

9.            Use fewer paper products, such as paper plates, cups, and towels. You will be both saving money and helping the environment.

10.          Before purchasing gifts at a retail store, think about your talents with crafts, baking, making jelly, etc. Make gifts for friends and family. Take clippings from some of your plants, and pot them for gifts.

11.          Hold a garage sale. Sell those items you no longer use, need, or want.

12.          Plan your meals one week at a time. First, review the grocery ads to take advantage of specials. Make a shopping list from your menu plan. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by comparing cost per unit on shelf labels. Stock up on those items with low per-unit costs, and take your calculator.

13.          Prepare a large quantity of standard recipes, such as spaghetti sauce, chili, pastries, and stews. Label and freeze them for later use. This not only saves time but also allows you to buy larger amounts of basic ingredients at lower prices.

14.          Always eat before grocery shopping to avoid impulse buying.

15.          Grow you own fruits and vegetables. Can, freeze, and dry them for future use.

16.          Shop for children’s clothes at discount stores. Select children’s clothes that are functional and comfortable.

17.          Interest children in budgeting their money. Give them allowances, and have them experience spending, saving, and sharing their own money.

18.          Distinguish between needs and wants. Consider values, goals, and resources.

19.          Beware of little expenses. Ben Franklin, American author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, and politician said, “A small leak will sink a great ship.”

20.          Shop with a list, and don’t buy on impulse. If you see something you really want that you didn’t plan to buy, think about it overnight before making your decision to purchase.

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