I’ve recently become fascinated with personal finance blogs, since I’m trying to find ways to save money or cut costs given my current situation. As a graduate student I don't have a lot of money coming in, and I have a lot of expenses at the moment. Frugal For Life posted a list of “25 Ways I Save Money” and invited readers to share their list. I wasn’t sure I’d have a whole 25, but it didn’t take long before I realized I do a lot of frugal things without realizing it. So, for something completely different on this blog I present my list of 25 Ways I Save Money:
1. I cut my dryer sheets into 8ths.
2. Wash my clothes in cold water and wait until I have a full load before doing laundry.
3. Borrow books from the library, friends or family and buy them used whenever possible.
4. Take my textbooks out of the library since I get full semester loans as a graduate student.
5. Watch movies at home.
6. Bring lunch to work or school.
7. Go public skating for free at my University- it’s subsidized by my student fees, just like open swim, the indoor track, squash courts, badminton, and gym memberships which only cost $30 a semester.
8. Use my bus pass when possible since it’s paid for by student fees.
9. Save all paper with 1 blank side for scrap paper, or printing off for proof reading.
10. Buy my clothes on sale in the off season as much as I can - I always find fantastic deals on summer clothes in fall, or winter clothes in spring.
11. Use empty food containers (like peanut butter jars and margarine containers) for storing leftover food, uncooked pasta, home made soup for in the freezer etc.
12. Use business cards for bookmarks, which I can never have enough of.
13. I bought a 6 foot banquet table to use as my desk. It folds down for easy moving which is a blessing since I move so often as a student and I can use it in the future for its intended purpose.
14. I read the newspaper online for free every morning instead of subscribing to the print edition.
15. I don’t buy bottled water or Britta filters, but I do keep a jug of tap water in the fridge at all times since I choose not to drink juices or pop.
16. Use old t-shirts and flannel pajama’s cut into squares for dusting cloths.
17. Eat out and order in very infrequently.
18. Bought my car used.
19. I pay off my credit card every single month to maintain a zero balance.
20. Look for online reviews of products I might want to purchase, everything from make-up to electronics, and then decide if it’s really something I want to invest in.
21. I don’t subscribe to cable or magazines since I have so little free time to enjoy either.
22. I bought an air popper and buy my popcorn kernels in bulk for a healthy snack I really love.
23. I use ontariogasprices.com to find out where the cheapest gas is, especially if I’m traveling out of town.
24. Wait for great sales on school supplies I know I’ll use and stock up or I buy in bulk. Photocopy paper in bulk is much cheaper than buying individual packages of plain white paper and I know I can never have enough of it as a graduate student.
25. I only buy clothes I absolutely love and fit well so that I know I’ll wear them, instead of having a closet full of clothes that I hardly wear because I don’t really like them that much for whatever reason.