Tightwad Tips

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With unemployment hovering around 10% and thousands of people afraid of losing their jobs, it's not surprising that there is a high demand for tightwad tips. Even though there is no single tip that will fix your finances, there are still plenty of small things you can do to help balance your household budget.

Saving Money in the Kitchen

  • Use individual yogurt containers to make popsicle molds. Cut a small hole in the lid to put the stick through before filling the container with the mixture of your choice.
  • Use stale bread to make bread crumbs and croutons.
  • When bananas become too ripe to eat, cut them into small chunks and place them in the freezer in a plastic storage container. When the container is full, make a loaf of banana bread or puree the frozen chunks to create a tasty and low-fat ice cream substitute.
  • Save egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, and vegetable scraps to use as compost for your garden.

Organizing, Cleaning, and Decorating

  • One of the easiest tightwad tips is to save glass jars to use as storage containers for craft supplies and other small items in your home.
  • If you haven't already graduated to using reusable shopping bags, save your plastic sacks to use as liners for the smaller trash cans in your house.
  • Fill your cat's litter box with shredded newspaper instead of spending money on kitty litter.
  • When your front lawn seems overrun with weeds, use a spray bottle filled with vinegar, water, and a tablespoon or two of salt as a cheap alternative to purchased weed killer.
  • If you get a package in the mail, save the bubble wrap to use to protect your plants from cold and frost. Even popped bubble wrap will work for this purpose, so don't worry about trying to keep your kids from having fun!
  • Use cardboard toilet paper or paper towel rolls covered with scraps of fabric or decorative paper as a way to neatly corral the cords from your home electronics.
  • Frame your favorite greeting cards or pages from old wall calendars to create simple artwork for your home.

Looking Your Best

  • Learn how to cut your child's hair yourself. Basic cuts for boys are particularly easy to do and you'll save a ton if you have more than one child.
  • When you need professional salon services, save money by going to the local cosmetology school. Students will give haircuts, manicures, pedicures, waxes, facials, and other services for a small fee. They are supervised by their instructors, charge about 50% less than a comparable salon service, and are generally not allowed to accept tips.
  • Organize a clothing swap with your friends to update your wardrobe without spending a dime.
  • Use cheap conditioner as an inexpensive substitute for shaving gel when you're shaving your legs.
  • Use a small brush to scoop out the last bit of lipstick from several half empty tubes, then mix them together to create a new shade.

Gift Giving and Entertaining

  • Recycle your child's extra drawings by using them as wrapping paper for small gifts.
  • Shop for gifts all year long, then store them in a special gift closet so you're not caught unprepared when the holidays hit. Crayons and coloring books are great gifts for children, while board games make fun family-friendly group gifts. Scented candles, gourmet BBQ sauce, interesting hardcover books, or pretty serving dishes are also good items to keep on hand for frugal gift giving.
  • Save empty margarine tubs to use as containers for leftovers if you frequently entertain and like to send guests home with a sample of your cooking.

More Tightwad Tips

For even more great tightwad tips, check out the following helpful websites:

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Tightwad Tips