A Quarter Saved Is a Quarter Earned: Saver Tips, Tricks and Stories

This comes from the most recent American Saver Newsletter
September 20, 2013

Americans spend lots of money every year on plastic boxes and organizing pieces, but I love reusing items as storage and organizing components. I use small sandal shoe boxes in my kitchen drawer to separate out my large serving utensils. Apple baskets from the market hold my cords and computer accessories. A kitchen trashcan is tall enough to hold my wrapping paper. Whenever I need to store something, I look around to see what shapes I have. Keeps my home from becoming too full of stuff, too, if I refuse to buy something just to hide it away!—Andrea Braswell, Charlotte, NC

 

  • Cook At Home From Scratch. Frozen prepared food and prefab items cost way more than DIY. Grow your own food like fresh herbs and strawberries If you live in a second story or up unit and plant fruit and nut trees if you live in a house or a first floor unit. Use recycled water from the kitchen sink to water your plants -- if you get decent dishwashing soap it functions as fertilizer too. Create your own compost. If you or friends have a bumper crop, harvest it all, dry, freeze or can what you can, and SHARE the rest. If you're not saving your own money, you're saving someone else's and that is what friends are for.—Melina Watts, Calabasas, CA
  • I am only 9 years old and I believe that saving money should come first. My parents save money each month for me and my sisters and brother to buy a car when we turn 18. We have to save money also for our first car, but I don't spend much so all my allowance, birthday, and Christmas money goes into an account. Soon, I will have enough for a car and then I will begin saving for college. I want to graduate debt free just like my mom did.—Maya Faulds
  • My favorite way to save money is when grocery shopping. Our family has an app that has our grocery list shared between us so we always know what we need at the store. I go right after I have eaten so I am not hungry and tempted, and tell my kids we aren't allowed to get anything that isn't on the list and let my 6 year old check everything off. If we forgot something on the list, I go back another time so my kids do not see that we can just get whatever we want.—Elizabeth Stimpert, Fairbanks, AK
  • I purchased a small coupon expanding file that sits upright. I then labeled each section with things I am saving for, even regular monthly things like a "date night" or "hair cut." I then created a year plan on a post-it note in each file with check boxes to mark off when I deposit that month's contribution. I have saved a lot of money this way because it is out of sight and out of mind once I put it in there, and I am not tempted to use it.—Anne Sherman, Santa Rosa, CA
  • I don't like carrying change in my wallet, so I frequently empty it out into my daughter's piggy bank. When the piggy bank gets full, we bring it to the bank and deposit it into her college savings account. Since one of my savings goals is to save for her education, this is a nice way to add some extra money to the account. Plus, she enjoys the process, and it's a fun way to get her thinking about money and savings!—Stephanie Blair, Fargo, ND
  • Use the chain restaurant gift cards that you receive as Christmas presents and save them for your vacations. You can have nice dinners on vacation without it costing much! Most gift cards don't expire, so plan on saving them when needed!—Christopher Carlin, Collegeville PA
  • Have any type of savings goal? Instead of having the traditional one jar to save loose change, have SEVERAL JARS around the house/apartment. In one year between the several jars of “loose change,” you can save about $500!—Joan Smith, Suitland, MD

Tip of the Day

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