How To Save Money During A Recession

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Saving money during an economic slow down, or recession, often becomes a topmost priority for many.

Until a stimulus kicks in, or the economy turns around on its own, we are left struggling to pay our bills, put food on the table, survive from day to day, while looking for ways to save money until the recession passes.

Listed below are a number of small ways to save. Utilizing more than one method, will increase your overall savings. Whether in a recession or not, these are all great ways to save money on a day to day basis.

For Your Vehicle and Driving

1) With gas prices at an all time high, drive only when necessary. Take time to plan your trips. Combine trips to the grocery store, with dropping the kids off at school, or with another set appointment.

2) Keep your tires properly inflated. Most tire stores will check your tires for free if that’s where you purchased your tires from.

3) If you always get your tank filled, start filling your tank when it reaches half. Although this won’t save you money, you can spread the cost to fill your tank over several days or weeks.

4) Remove any “car carriers” you may have on the top of your car.. Keep your vehicle as aerodynamic as possible. Car carrier can reduce your miles per gallon.

5) Keep your car tuned up. An improperly running car may cause an excessive use of gas.

6). Carpool If possible carpool with others thus sharing the expense. Or, if you are running errands, ask friends and/or family if they need you to pick up something for them, or vice versa.

7) Use public transportation Instead of driving, take the bus or train. Use this time to listen to music, read, write, journal, etc.

8) Walk Walking is one of the best exercises. Instead of driving to the corner store, put on your sneakers and enjoy the fresh air.

At Home or Work

1) Buy generic brands. The taste difference for most generics is minimal.

2) Buy in bulk. If the packages contain too many, share the cost for friends or family

3) Stretch hamburger recipes with grated potatoes. By adding grated potatoes to hamburgers or hamburger dishes, less meat can me used, thus saving money on groceries.

4) Click and use coupons. Coupons can often be doubled, saving you even more. Check the local newspaper for the “double up” coupons.

5) Search online for low cost recipes. Many websites have classifications of low cost recipes. Soups are often low cost to make. Add a salad and some bread for a great and filling meal

6) Order off the $1.00 menu at fast food restaurants. With most fast food being high in fat and calories, you’ll not only save money, but may save a few extra calories as well.

7) Buy take and bake pizzas. Papa Murphy’s offers a wide selection of choices. Check for others in your area. Remember to check their weekly specials. By calling in your order, you will also save time. Refrigerate the pizza until you are ready to bake it.

8.) When eating out, consider sharing a meal. Some restaurants may add a “plate charge” for a shared meal, however this will be much less than the cost of two separate meals. Desserts can usually be shared at no additional expense.

10) Change out your light bulbs. Use the compact fluorescent light bulbs in as many fixtures as possible. Start by replacing the light bulbs in the fixtures which are used most often. There are also compact fluorescent light bulbs available for appliances such as refrigerators and vent hoods. I bought mine at WalMart.

11) Do comparison shopping via the telephone. Most businesses will tell you what a product costs over the telephone. Comparison shopping is also easy to do online. Look for sites that offer free or low cost shipping.

12) Recycle By recycling paper products, cans, and bottles, you may be able to reduce the size of your curbside garbage container. Also, ask your garbage company if you can save by only having your garbage picked up every other week (instead of weekly). Most garbage companies also have a “vacation” plan if you are going to be gone for any length of time.

13) Stop or reduce newspaper deliveries. If you only read the Sunday paper, stop subscribing to the daily ones.

14) Visit the library Instead of buying new books, get a library card and check out books from your local library for free.

15) Keep your receipts. If you buy an item and find it doesn’t serve it’s purpose, return it. Often impulse buying can cost us hundreds of dollars, only to have items hanging in the closet with price tags still on them. Do not remove price tags until you are certain the item will be used.

16) Be a smart shopper. When shopping, ask yourself, “Do I really, really, really love this?”, “Does it fit?”, “Do I have a spot in my house for it?”, “Do I really, really need this?”. Often you’ll realize you have one at home just like it, or you don’t have a spot for “it”.

17) Close the doors/vents. If you have rooms in your home that are not being used, close the heating vents, and close the door. It doesn’t make sense to heat a room that is not being used.

18) Install ceiling fans. Remember, heat rises. Use ceiling fans to push the heat back down.

19) Make and pack your lunch for work. Bringing your own lunch to work, can save thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

20) Decrease your purchases of daily lattes/mochas/specialty coffees. Paying $3-$4 for a cup of coffee adds up fast. One cup, every day of the month is will cost over $90 a month/$1000+ a year. Over a five year period, you can easily spend $5000. For more information on “the latte factor”, here’s a great article titled: Where Have All The Dollars Gone, which includes tips on how to chart your expenses, and curb spending.

21) Stop buying bottled water. Buying bottled water at $1.00 a piece can add up just like purchasing specialty coffee drinks. Filter your own and store in reusable water bottles. For more information on the actual cost of bottled water, read this eye opening article, titled Are You Paying Too Much For Water?, which details how the cost of bottled water can surpass the price of a gallon of gas.

Save on energy costs – 30 ways.. Click on the link and learn an additional 30 ways to save on your energy costs.

Save Money – 16 Ways. More great ways to save money.

Another 16 great ways to save money. Here’s another list to save you a few coins.

Uses for Baking Soda. This great article plus the links included, will show your hundreds of uses for baking soda, a very cheap alternative to cleaning chemicals.

22 Cheap Holiday Gift Ideas. Save money on gifts by checking out this list of 22 ideas. It may spur your creativity for more great ideas.

Disclaimer: Some of the above links may include duplicate information, however, that does not reduce the effectiveness of the money saving tips.

Photo Credit annia316 ?’s photos

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6 Responses to How To Save Money During A Recession

  1. Thanks for the link, Barbara. There are certainly a lot of great tips here!

    I’ve heard different advice about filling up the gas tank. Some people fill it up whenever they happen to pass a gas station with low prices, so they can always take advantage of a good deal. Others let it get really low before filling up, because a car that’s low on gas is lighter, and therefore gets better mileage.

    But I think tactics like “market timing” your gas will save you much less money than the basics like avoiding unnecessary trips, driving at a consistent speed, and keeping up with maintenance.

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Automatic Blog Post Rehasher

  2. Barbara says:

    Hi Hunter,

    That’s interesting about not filling the gas tank, as you car will weigh less. I’ve let my tank get low, but usually it’s because I forget to look at the gauge. I ran out of gas once, and that wasn’t a great experience, so I try to fill up when I’m between 1/2 and 1/4.

    I try to run my errands in a circle, hitting all of my stops on one trip. With a little bit of planning, many excess miles can be avoided.

    Barbara’s last blog post..How To Save Money During A Recession

  3. Cath Lawson says:

    Hi Barbara – these are great money saving tips. But, in the US it is normal to ask to split meals. Over here, i’m not sure if it’s acceptable as I’ve never seen it done – which is a real shame and a waste if you’re not used to eating large portions.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Quit The Internet Copyright Paranoia

  4. Barbara says:

    Hi Cath,

    Splitting a meal is quite normal. A lot of restaurants include a “plate charge” section on their menu, but some will do it for free. I think it’s a great idea, plus sometimes it leaves room for dessert (which we often split too…especially if it’s one of those decadent chocolate cakes…Yum!)

    I don’t know think most restaurants promote meal sharing, but if you tell them you’ll be splitting a meal, they accommodate your wishes.

    Barbara’s last blog post..How To Save Money During A Recession

  5. Cybersense says:

    All of those I have to practice anyway, but here is one more idea and it’s a lot healthier too.

    A lot of people spend a lot of money on cleaning products and air fresheners. Quite honestly, due to an injury, I am unable to use them without harmful affects. Now I have to be very careful what I use to clean. Most people are not aware of the harmful things cleaners and air fresheners can really do, especially to those who will react to them.

    Since then I have started to use just plain white vinegar and water to clean. I can’t tell you how nice it is to clean with something without the harsh oders. It cleans just as well too. If I want to add something nice to smell, I just boil a couple of lemons and it does the trick. Then I use that water and lemon juice combo and pour it into a spray bottle and store in the fridge.

    You can do this with essential oils as well and one drop with water goes goes a very long way. Baking soda is also a wonderful thing.

    I can tell you that those carpet powders that you sprinkle on your carpet actually attracks more dirt.

    I added my savings to this and at a monthly cost, I am actually saving at least 30.00 dollars per month and I don’t need to try to find places to store all those different bottles either.

  6. Hi Cybersense – I agree white vinegar is amazing. I also use it on my floors (mixed with water). It’s so cheap to buy. I usually find it at Costco and one big bottle costs less that $5.00 and lasts for well over a year.

    I like your idea about the essential oils, too. Aren’t they marvelous?

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