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More Money Saving Tips to Save You Cash
by Gena Everhart

I have successfully used all of the following money saving tips to decrease spending and increase savings for my family. I hope you will find some of these techniques to be just as helpful to you.

If you don't already use your local library, start NOW. You help support the library through the taxes that you pay so you should be reaping the benefits. The library is not only available for books. Family entertainment is available FREE of charge by checking out video tapes, usually for up to 7 days. Most libraries offer up to date titles in their video section. This is much cheaper than the video rental store. A 7 day rental period is a lot longer than most video stores as well. Most libraries do limit the number of videos you can check out at one time, the limit is usually around 3. Your selections can be stretched out over a period of a week. It will take you a few trips to figure out the best day of the week that good titles are available. At my hometown library, the best day is usually on Thursday late in the afternoon. Ask your librarian to give you an idea of when the most titles are usually available.

Also available at the library for family entertainment are music CD's galore. If you take the time to go through the selections, you will usually find a variety of both popular and classic music for your listening pleasure - again FREE of charge.

Do you have a long drive to work? Maybe you should consider using books on audio tape available at the library. You can find all kinds of self-help, inspirational, fiction, non-fiction and much, much more available for you to check out. During a long commute, these audio taped works make the trip seem shorter. Pretty soon, you'll find yourself looking forward to getting back in the car so you can continue the story. This is also a great use for those personal cassette tape players that we don't use for music much any more. Plug in and drift off to storyland whenever you're cooking, cleaning or just manage to steal a few minutes for yourself.

Local libraries often have storytimes to entertain children, discussion groups for adult readers, free tax help - great for this time of year, and other experts available from time to time. Take the time to look over the schedules and talk to your librarian for all types of information you never knew about.

OK, so you get my point about your local library - it's a great resource so I hope you will begin using it to it's fullest potential. Most libraries also now allow scheduled internet and computer access so that you can find articles just like this one and much more. If you have books, CD's, or even videos you don't want any longer, please consider donating them to the library. Although subsidized by taxpayer funds, many libraries need your support in order to continue to offer services and information. This will help everyone in the long run.

Want to make a stuffed animal or pillow but really don't have the money to buy stuffing or pillow forms? Have you ever thought about saving hosiery that you would normally throw away to use instead? Locate a spot which would work for you to toss your hosiery that you would normally throw out. When you accumulate a few pair - wash them thoroughly and hang to dry. Voila - they are ready to use as stuffing. When I was very young, my mother taught us to make bean bag frogs using nylons as a stuffing material. She would help us machine stitch around the outsides of a frog shape then we would turn it right side out and fill the feet with dry beans. We would then complete our stuffing of the rest of the body by using cut up nylons. She helped us close the opening and sew on a couple of buttons for eyes. These made great gifts or just playthings. In home decorating, these make great stuffing material for hot pads too. You can even sprinkle some cinnamon or cloves inside with the stuffing to make a great smelling hot pad.

Next time your local grocery store puts flavorings on sale, stock up on several. In particular, look for peppermint, butter, rum, and maple flavorings. Peppermint flavorings can be used in home made mouthwash and all types of aromatherapy products such as bath soaks etc. Butter, rum and maple flavorings can be used in home made pancake syrup among other things.

To make a quick dessert for dinner - stock up on several boxes of yellow or white cake mix - or bake from scratch in a sheet cake pan. Once out of the oven, poke lots of holes in the cake using a fork. Choose strawberry, cherry, lemon, or any flavor of gelatin that strikes your fancy. Make the gelatin using half the recommended amount of hot water and half the amount of cold water. It usually works best to make the gelatin while you are waiting for your cake to finish baking so you can put it into the refrigerator to thicken SLIGHTLY. You don't want it to get too thick. Once your cake is cooled slightly - pour the gelatin over the cake and let it drizzle down into the holes you made with the fork. Refrigerate the cake and gelatin mixture until time for dessert. Yummy! And much less fattening than frosting - cheaper too. You can use crushed pineapple on top of this, add whipped cream, strawberries or whatever.

Create your own kids soda by mixing powdered drink mixes with pineapple juice and club soda. Experiment with the amounts you use of each until you come up with a combination of liquid that works with the drink mix. The fizz gives it the soda kick and the juice adds nutrition and good taste. Also try making powdered drink mix by mixing any flavor with a package of lemonade flavor drink mix. This adds a whole new flavor to the drink.

Combine the cake dessert and soda with your free videos for a family entertainment night. This is much more fun and less expensive than going out to a movie. Remember, you're teaching your kids that you don't have to spend a fortune to have fun. They will appreciate the lesson now and much later in life too.

Make your own quick breakfast items. Make a batch of pancakes or waffles, allow to cool, then put a piece of wax paper between each and freeze in a sealed container. When ready to eat - pop in the toaster or microwave. Waffles and pancakes can even have the syrup baked right in making them completely portable. Use small reusable containers and add the following: one half cup instant grits, small dab of margarine or butter. Cap tightly and store in refrigerator. (Re-use plastic frosting containers for this purpose - they're the perfect size.) Grab, add hot water and stir. Ready to eat! The same can be done with instant oatmeal. This is a whole lot cheaper than buying these same items packaged to eat on the run.

Reuse tea bags and coffee. I love flavored hot teas but they can be quite expensive. After I use tea bags for iced tea, I try to reuse them to make a cup of hot tea. This will take a little experimenting to determine which tea bags work best. You may have to use two of the used tea bags in a cup of hot water. Steep as usual and add lemon, orange, cinnamon, apple peel or flavorings (another good use for those sale flavorings). Similarly, my husband loves regular coffee brewed very strong. I love flavored coffees. Add a few drops of butter and rum flavorings or vanilla and cinnamon to the used grounds and run a half pot of water back through. If you like your coffee a little stronger - add just a little more regular coffee grounds. For both of these ideas, use these quickly. The tea and coffee are now damp and dampness encourages bacterial and fungal growth in the warm conditions of your kitchen. If you are going to keep them to use later - store in a zipper bag and freeze until ready to use.

Gena

I hope these tips will give you renewed enthusiasm for saving your hard earned cash to get and stay out of debt. Enjoy!


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