Save $ with these ‘on the cheap’ tips

In the wake of job cuts and financial uncertainties, it seems everyone is talking about ways to reduce expenses and make their money go a little or a lot further.

Probably most of us have things we do to help save a few pennies here and there. Some of those “strategies” we might be willing to admit to in public; others – not so much!

The Morning Call newspaper in Pennsylvania recently presented their readers with five nominees each vying to be crowned the King or Queen of Cheap based on their cost-cutting tip. Readers were invited to vote for the best “on the cheap” tip. Here are the results based on 135 votes.

Who is the King or Queen of Cheap?

Butter lady: When she opens a new butter, she saves the paper wrapper. Then at the end of the year, she uses all those butter wrappers to grease her cookie sheets when making Christmas cookies. (14 responses) 10.4%

Vacuum bag dude: When the bag in his household vacuum is full, he uses a shop vacuum to suck all the dirt out of it. Then he uses the emptied bag over again. (17 responses) 12.6%

Pretzel salt dude: When he finishes a bag of pretzels, he runs the coarse salt left in the bottom of the bag through a coffee grinder so it’ll fit into a salt shaker. (47 responses)

Dirty napkin lady: After dinner, she keeps the dirty napkins, which she finds come in handy for cleaning the grease out of pans or to clean up after her cat when it throws up. (37 responses) 27.4%

Dehumidifier lady: When the tank for her dehumidifier fills up, she dumps it in the washing machine and does her laundry in it. (20 responses) 14.8%

Ultimately, it was pretzel salt dude who received the title of King of Cheap for his salt-saving savvy. You can see him being crowned in a video interview on the Morning Call web site.

Saving money on food costs is certainly one way to fight the economic blues. But you have to admit that it would take quite a few bags of pretzels to really make a difference to the bottom line. There have to be some other practical ways to save on food costs.

I try to keep our weekly food expenses down by bringing a lunch to work instead of going out to pick something up. Planning a weekly menu allows me to take advantage of grocery store specials and what’s already in my fridge and cupboards and therefore maximize any leftovers and minimize food waste.

There are many other ways to shop and cook with economics in mind. Here are a few links that provide some helpful suggestions:

Spend less and eat more with these cost-cutting tips

Save Money on Groceries, Get Help with Grocery Lists

Grocery Saving Tips

The Basics to Saving Money at the Grocery Store

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