Simple Savings: Cut dryer sheets in half.

20 - Cut dryer sheets in half.

Laundry must be on my mind lately with all these savings strategies! Perhaps because we all have to do laundry – whether we like it or not. We’ve learned to save by using less detergent while washing full loads in cold water. To round it out, today’s laundry tip is another simple one that I gleaned from my sister. Cut your dryer sheets in half. They still work just as well and you are making a box last twice as long!

There are a couple other options to this. You can reuse your full dryer sheets if you don’t want to cut them. Of course, you could skip dryer sheets all together. There is always the frugal option to add vinegar to your load of wash since it acts as a fabric softener. Vinegar is a very frugal option but for me, I am currently using several boxes of dryer sheets that I got for free. Free tops even the cheapest of vinegar! I’ve also heard of people using worsted wool balls.

What other options do you have to save in the area of laundry? We’re all eager to learn!

To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

Two New Target Samples

Target Fab Freebie Sample

Target has two new samples available to request – one of Biotrue contact lens solution and another a Fab Free Finds box with Soliel, Advil and Poise products. You can request your free samples at Target’s Sample Spot.

Simple Savings: Only run full loads.

19 - Only run full loads.

Yesterday, I shared how much we can save by washing our laundry in cold water instead of hot. Today, I want to follow that up with an equally important savings tip. Only run full loads. 

When you are doing laundry, make sure your load is always full. Don’t waste the water, energy or your time to run a small or even medium load when you can save by running a full load. It is more cost efficient to do a full load of laundry at once than two separate small loads.

The same can be said of your dishwasher. Make sure that your dishwasher is always full when you run it. If you are going to heat up the water to run your dishwasher, make the most of the space and fill it up.

Not only will running full loads save you money, but it will save you time. On this point, I think the time savings might be even more valuable than the money! What do you think?

To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

Simple Savings: Wash clothes in cold water.

18 - Wash clothes in cold water. Read this article to see the actual amounts you'll save when you wash in cold water. You'll be amazed!

Like baking my own bread, I’ve been washing most of my clothes in cold water for some time. Washing clothes is cold water is another simple way to save. I know this practice saves me money but I was curious to find out exactly how much I am saving. Do you know? In research for this series and today’s tip, this is what I discovered. I think you’ll be amazed. I know I am!

First, I happened to stumble across the Simple Dollar’s article on why to use cold water.  It was very well written with great detail. The Simple Dollar referenced Mr. Electricity’s article on washing machines, which gave even more detail. These two articles give you proof that you save using cold water. I highly encourage you to read them! However, I will summarize my findings here – adjusting the numbers for my own use.

According to Mr. Electricity, here are the average levels of kWh use per load, based on wash and rinse cycles. This is noting the cost of electricity only, because all loads of laundry will have the same cost of water.

Hot / Warm uses 4.5 kWh.

Warm / Warm uses 3.5 kWh.

Hot / Cold uses 2.8 kWh.

Warm / Cold uses 1.9 kWh.

Cold / Cold uses 0.3 kWh.

Right away, we can clearly see that that based on the kWh, we are saving from using hot water. I looked at my most recent bill and figured out that my kWh cost is currently 11.5 cents per kWh. Using that cost, here is what the levels cost me.

Hot / Warm uses 4.5 kWh and costs $0.5175 per load.

Warm / Warm uses 3.5 kWh and costs $0.4025 per load.

Hot / Cold uses 2.8 kWh and costs $0.322 per load.

Warm / Cold uses 1.9 kWh and costs $0.218 per load.

Cold / Cold uses 0.3 kWh and costs $0.0345 per load.

Isn’t that incredible? By switching from hot water (at 52 cents) to cold water (at 3 cents), I am saving $0.49 on every single load of laundry that I do that way! I have to admit that I am shocked. I didn’t expect the savings to be this great. Considering that I do at least 2 loads of laundry a week, that is $1 I am saving each and every week – which adds up to over $100 a year saved just from this one simple change. Wow. Knowing this, I will continue to use hot water only on my sheets and towels. As for the rest of our laundry, I’ll stick to using cold water and pocket the savings!

Will you make the switch, or do you already wash your clothes in cold water? If you want to see how this applies even more directly to you, you can adjust these numbers by multiplying the kWh by your current cost of electricity. Finally, were you surprised by the amount of savings in this one simple strategy?

To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

Kroger: Friday Freebie of Triscuits

Kroger Free Friday Triscuits

Today only, download a coupon for a free box of Triscuit Thin Crisps. The digital coupon will be loaded to your Kroger card and must be used by November 1st. I love Triscuits!

Simple Savings: Use less.

Simple Savings Hint 17 - Use less.

Today’s tip to save is so simple I debated sharing it, but it is often the simplest ideas that we overlook. So here it is. Want to save? Use less. Here a couple use less ideas of mine.

Use less water when you shower by shortening your shower time.

Use less shampoo and conditioner to wash your hair.

Use less laundry detergent in the wash.

Use less dish soap when you wash the dishes.

Use less hand soap by making foaming hand soap.

Use less dish detergent in the dishwasher.

Use less electricity by not turning on the lights during the day.

Use less gas by combining errands and walking (when you can) instead.

Use less stamps by paying bills online.

What would you add to this list? Using less water in the shower (with shorter showers) is the hardest for me, but I’m working on it. I want to use less so I can save more. 

To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

Redeeming Meijer Mperks in October

This past weekend, Andy & I, along with his siblings, threw a surprise 40th anniversary party for his parents. We’ve been planning this for months and the weekend was finally here! I had been shopping (and baking) for the past couple of weeks to get ready. I’m happy to report that the party went off without a hitch. His parents were surprised and everyone had a great time at the fall cookout! My shopping for this party did not come out of our grocery budget. All of the kids contributed and I shopped around for good deals to make the most of our money. I’ll share more about the popcorn bar we created and the delicious food…once my October series of Simple Savings is complete!

This week, Nathan and I shopped at Meijer, early one morning. We didn’t buy much because we had plenty of party leftovers to eat this week. We did restock our fridge with produce. Here’s what we bought.

Meijer - 10/14/14 - $12.65

We bought apples (still at $0.64/lb) and bananas (at $0.54/lb). Nathan loves apples and just tried bananas. He likes fruit…although not as much as he likes the orange vegetables. Grapes were on sale for $0.98/lb, and I bought 4 pounds of oranges for $2.99.

I picked up 2 packages of wipes for the free Snap offer. Yes, I could have bought more but I actually have quite a few wipes in my stockpile that I need to use up before they dry up! I’m keeping the $1.99 (each) price in my shopping total and will purchase a grocery gift card of bonus money when my Snap rebate comes through. At least, that’s my plan for now!

Finally, I bought Crystal Light ($0.99), Kraft cheese ($1.99) and Oscar Meyer bacon ($3.99). I had to purchase 5 products to get $5 off, resulting in these prices.

The best part of my trip was that I had $13 in Mperks rewards waiting to be redeemed. The rewards came off my total purchase so I saved over half on this trip just with Mperks. I paid $12.65 for everything pictured! I was glad to have a low total shopping week after some big trips earlier this month.

Oh! I almost forgot. Nathan and I walked to our local grocery store to pick up a container of Cool Whip for $0.99. After this week, my total for October is $124.44. That leaves me with $55 in my grocery budget for the rest of the month. Can I do it? We shall see!

Simple Savings: Shop garage sales & thrift stores.

16 - Shop garage sales and thrift stores.

How often do you buy new things? And how often do you buy used? There is a time and place for both (groceries we always buy new, of course!) but certainly, buying used can indeed save you money.

For example, if you are looking for a new shirt, you can buy a brand new one for double digits, or a new to you one for single digits. Both can and will be lovely, but which one will you choose? If you want to save, buy used. It’s also important to remember that buying used isn’t just for clothes. You can buy toys, furniture, and household appliances all used, to name a few other things.

Learn to embrace the savings that can be found at thrift stores and garage sales. It’s always an adventure and you never know what you may find! You have to be patient but when you are patient in your search, you will find good bargains. I keep a running list of things that I would like to find. This past year, I’ve bought used books, used baby toys, a used bread machine, and of course, used clothes.

For more savings, you can shop consignment sales which are especially a great place to find deals for kids. Craiglist is a source  Facebook garage sales are a popular method of savings as well. I personally prefer online thrift stores like Twice. You can learn more about how I saved purchasing myself a brand new (used) name brand wardrobe at Twice here.

It’s also important to note that the time for garage sales is best in the late spring and early summer. In the fall and winter, you can find your best used bargains at thrift stores and consignment sales. Also, do remember that if you don’t need it, it doesn’t matter how low the price. Don’t buy something you won’t use just because it’s a quarter!

Do you buy things used? What is your favorite place to shop for used additions to your home? Any advice for us as we shop for used bargains?

To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

Two Timely Coupons

$1.00 off (2) packages of Reynolds Baking Cups
$1.00 off TWO (2) MARS Halloween Fun Size Bags

Here are two new coupons that are worth a print. There is a new coupon for $1/2 Reynolds baking cups. These packages are priced right around $1 at most stores which means a great time to stock up for fall muffin baking! Also, there is a new $1/2 Mars candy coupon. Do you need (want) to pick up candy for trick or treaters? If so, print this coupon before you go shopping…and pair it with a sale!

Recyclebank: 165 More Points

Learn what energy vampires are lurking around your house and earn 25 points.

Here are five things in your bathroom you can recycle. When you pledge to recycle them, you’ll see your impact and earn 25 points!

Take care to recycle the little things and it’ll add up to a big impact! Find out which overlooked bathroom items you can add to the bin and earn up to 105 points.

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