1. Turn waste streams into revenue streams. This is the hidden profit that is already there, you just have to take advantage of it. This could be something as simple as upcycling (finding a new use for an old product – my personal favorite is old peanut butter containters as hardware storage in my workshop) to something as complicated as a new product line. Take all your kitchen waste, place it in a worm bin – presto worm tea, a terrific foliar fertilizer for your gardens – and it’s organic and free.
2. Buy quality whenever possible. A word of warning: expensive does not necessarily mean quality – it could simply be the name that you are paying for. Research actual customer reviews of the products you are looking to purchase – this honest feedback will tell you far more about the product than their glossy brochures. This also does not mean that you should always buy new either. New to you can be the best bang for your buck, and it’s better for the environment as well.
3. Take care of your stuff, and it will take care of you. A proverbial saying that brings “A stitch in time saves nine” to mind. Paint your house – it’s cheaper than replacing all the siding. Change the oil in your vehicle – it’s cheaper than replacing the engine. Vacuum your carpets – it’s cheaper than replacing them (dirt plus traffic = sandpaper).
4. Coupons…but only what you were going to buy anyway. You are not saving any money at all if you buy things you don’t need. You are in fact, wasting money.
5. Deep freezer. This is an upfront investment that will pay you back year after year. Food is far cheaper when it is in season locally. Buy it in bulk and freeze it. This is also true of buying your beef from a farmer. You will wind up paying ground beef prices for the entire animal. Filet Mignon for the price of ground beef…sign me up! But you have to have a way of preserving 450 pounds of meat at a time.
6. Friends are better than funds. This one is worthy of its own separate post, but suffice it to say here that a community of friends will own more collectively than any individual in the group will. You have a canoe. I have a power-washer. We have a canoe and a power washer. Share. It was true in kindergarten and it remains true today. He who hoards has no friends. He who shares has both stuff and friends to enjoy it with. Trust me. Life is better this way.
7. Grow it. The single scarcest commodity on the face of the earth is time. One seed of corn costs about a penny. Three ears of corn will set you back at least a dollar. The difference is time. Live your life according to the seasons. There is a season to plant and a season to harvest. This not only applies to food, but to all of life. Think retirement account. Invest early and let time do its work, while you do yours.
8. Pay up front, not down the road. This is a corollary to point #7. If you pay up front – you save the interest. Go into debt, and you pay for someone else’s planning ahead. Cash is King! If you can’t afford it, you don’t need it. Save up the cash, then purchase the product.
9. “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” ‘Nuff said.
What are some of your favorite ways to save?