Save on Energy
1Have an expert check the insulation in your
house to make sure it is adequate. If it is not, insulate
where needed. You can do open areas, such
as the attic, yourself. It will save both heating and
2Turn off the air conditioning and open the
windows in moderate weather.
3Wear warm clothes in the house in cold weather
so you can lower your thermostat setting.
4Take care of home repairs as soon as the need
arises. Delay can make the problem worse and
repair costs higher.
5Close the doors and turn off the heat or air
conditioning to rooms that you are not using.
6Choose equipment with higher energy efficiency
ratios (EER). Check the labels for EER.
7Move to a smaller house if the one you live
in is bigger than you really need.
8Use energy saving window treatments, such
as insulated or heavy draperies and storm
Save on Transportation
9Keep your car in good running condition.
It will be safer and will cost less to operate.
10Walk more; drive less. You will save gasoline
and improve your health.
11Learn how to do some of your own car
maintenance chores. Change the oil,
oil filters, and air filters.
12Use self-service gasoline pumps. Anyone can
do it! Don’t forget to check the oil and water
13Form a car pool to go to work, to meetings,
and even on shopping trips.
14Ask yourself each time you get in your car,
“Is this trip really necessary?”
15List “things to do” and “things to buy” before
leaving home. Forgetting and making second
trips are costly.
Save on Clothing
16Study your wardrobe, determine your needs,
work out a clothing budget, and stay with it.
Clothes bought on impulse rarely fit in your budget
or your wardrobe.
17Buy the best quality you can afford, particularly
in clothes that will last for several years.
This is called “Investment Dressing.” Think in terms
of cost per wearing.
18Buy color-coordinated clothes you can mix
and match. Buy all-season styles and fabrics
when possible. This way you don’t have to buy as
19Know how to spot a bargain. When you buy
a garment, check its construction, care instructions,
fiber content, and other label information.
Be sure it will last and will be easy to care for.
2 Alabama Cooperative Extension System
20Buy designs that will stay in style.
21Buy wash and wear as much as possible.
Clothes that require dry cleaning are
expensive to care for.
22Choose clothes with simple trim; they won’t
go out of style as quickly. Trim should be of
good quality and should require the same care as
the rest of the garment.
23Shop factory-outlet stores. Don’t assume
there is something wrong with clothes sold
there. They could be surplus, samples, or discontinued
lines. Any imperfect or damaged items must
be tagged or advertised as such. And, the flaws in
some may be so minor that they don’t matter at all.
24Accessories can add a new look to your
wardrobe for a much smaller cost than
buying major items.
25Adapt what you have to current styles instead
of dashing out to buy something new.
26When you outgrow clothing, exchange with
friends and relatives or recycle them.
27Contribute clothing to a “nearly new” shop
sponsored by a charitable organization. Your
gift may be tax deductible if you get a signed receipt
for its estimated value.
28Learn to sew, but don’t rush out and buy a
lot of fabric that you’ll never get around to
making into garments.
29Take good care of your clothing and shoes.
They will last longer.
Save in the Home
30Cut the cost of your long distance calls as
much as 60 percent by dialing yourself and
using the daily and weekend specials. Plan what
you need to say and limit talking time.
31Use fewer paper products, such as paper
plates, cups, and towels, so they won’t have
to be replaced as often.
32Strive for a simpler lifestyle. This means
owning fewer nonessential things and having
less to clean and maintain. Buy less clutter and
33Be creative; use what you have in new and
34Cut your recreation costs by planning more
activities and games at home.
35Entertain friends and relatives at home
36Use your sewing skills to make gifts: aprons,
place mats, linens, hand towels, pillows,
needlework. Or, make pictures, wall hangings,
chair seat covers, and decorative screens.
37Use some of your homemade jams and
jellies for gifts.
38Start slips from some of your plants; then
pot them for gifts.
39Plan carefully and thoroughly as the first
step in economical decorating.
40Consider remodeling rather than building
a new house.
41Learn to paint and to wallpaper.
42Learn to refinish furniture.
43Make your own draperies, curtains, spreads,
slipcovers, and table covers.
44Learn to clean, repair, and restore household
items yourself. Learn to maintain and repair
the house and equipment.
45Make dried flower arrangements from garden
flowers, wildflowers, and decorative
46Decorate your home with items from nature
or use family creations.
47Take advantage of free or low-cost learning
opportunities, trips, and community services,
such as schools, workshops, fairs, libraries, concerts,
hikes, public tennis courts, home shows,
Extension programs, and other adult education
48Hold a garage sale. Sell those items you
no longer need, use, or want.
49Plan an outdoor area for living. Landscape
to beautify and enjoy it.
50Buy things that will require as little
maintenance as possible.
101 Ways to Save Money 3
51Buy furniture at auctions, garage sales,
or second-hand shops.
52Buy low-cost household cleaning products
or learn to make your own.
Save on Food
53Feed your family well from the Food Guide
Pyramid. Keep them healthy and you’ll save
on medical bills.
54Plan your meals one week at a time. First,
review the grocery ads to take advantage
of specials. Make a shopping list from your menu
plan with the ads.
55Plan one meatless day per week.
56When you use the oven, try to cook more
than one item while it is hot. Cook the main
dish, dessert, vegetables, quick breads, or other
foods at the same time in the oven.
57Stretch ground meat with bread crumbs,
oatmeal, or tomato sauce.
58Mix one-part nonfat dry milk with one part
regular milk. The family will never know the
59Prepare some of your own convenience
foods, master mixes, and desserts at home.
60Prepare a large quantity of standard recipes,
such as spaghetti sauce, chili, pastries, and
stews. Then label and freeze them for later use.
This not only saves time but also allows you to buy
larger amounts of basic ingredients at lower prices.
61Waste less! Each year Alabamians throw
many dollars worth of food into garbage
cans. This happens not only at home but also in
restaurants and school cafeterias.
62Eat less expensive foods; drink less expensive
63Entertain with “pot lucks” or inexpensive
buffets such as lasagna and salad.
64Grocery shop when you are not hungry.
It will help you avoid impulse buying.
65Cut your food shopping trips to no more
than one a week. You will save gasoline,
time, and money.
66When you shop, compare the price per unit:
pound, ounce, dozen, package, or square
foot. Take your calculator with you.
67Buy fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit juices
and milk drinks, oatmeal and peanut butter
cookies, and popcorn instead of junk food. You’ll
68Grow your own fruits and vegetables. Can,
freeze, and dry some of them for future use.
Save on Children’s Expenses
69Buy or make children’s clothing with built-in
70Use good quality fabrics, buttons, and
trims from out-of-style adult clothes to
make children’s clothing.
71Shop at discount stores for children’s
72Select children’s clothes that are functional
73Teach children proper care for clothing,
toys, furniture, and equipment so replacements,
repairs, and maintenance will be reduced.
74Involve children in understanding their environment.
Reward them in some way for conserving
75Save household items that children can play
with such as egg cartons, meat trays, old
stockings, and cardboard boxes of all sizes.
76Devise creative, inexpensive entertainment
77Interest children in budgeting their money.
Give them allowances, and let them learn
to save and stretch their money.
78Start a “child-care pool” with a group of
friends to save on babysitting fees.
79Buy basic gifts or supplies when prices are
reduced, such as after Christmas or Easter,
and save them for the following season.
80Insist the children do some sort of work,
besides regular chores, as soon as they are
81Involve children in gardening.
Jo Turner, Extension Program Specialist, Professor, Human Development and
Professor, Human Development and
Family Studies, Auburn University
Adapted from, “100 Ways to Save Money” by the Mississippi Extension Service.
For more information, call your county Extension office. Look in your telephone directory
call your county Extension office. Look in your telephone directory
under your county’s name to find the number.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work in agriculture and home economics, Acts of May 8
and June 30, 1914, and other related acts, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The
Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) offers educational
programs, materials, and equal opportunity employment to all people without regard to race,
color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability.
HE-562 ECP, 10M, Reprinted Oct 1999, HE-562
Save on General Living Expenses
82 Distinguish between needs and wants—
consider values, goals, and resources.
83 Know alternatives for increasing income.
84 Know how much things cost. Comparison
85 Know when to use cash, checks, or credit.
86 Beware of little expenses. “A small leak will
sink a great ship.”
87 Shop with a list; don’t buy on impulse.
If you see something you really want that
you didn’t plan to buy, wait a day before buying it.
88 Follow proven buying guidelines.
Consider price per unit and watch
weights and measures. Check your sales slips.
Count your change.
89 Pay promptly. Don’t build up interest
charges for late payments.
90 Know how much money you have. Plan
91Don’t spend tomorrow’s paycheck today.
92Be sure the time is right for the best price.
It’s oftentimes not what you buy but when
you buy it.
93Learn the principles for cutting family living
costs. Learn, practice, and develop skills in
the marketplace, in the use of credit, in thrift, and
in using financial institutions.
94Substitute other resources for money. Learn
to barter, borrow, share, switch, substitute,
simplify, and conserve goods and services.
95Establish a safe level of credit.
96Set aside a realistic emergency fund equal
to 2- to 6-months take-home pay.
97Shop for credit just as you shop for
merchandise. Consider the cost of credit as
a part of the cost of the item you are buying. Know
the annual percentage rate as well as the cost of
credit in dollars and cents.
98Shop sales carefully. A seasonal sale may
save 10 to 25 percent; a clearance may save
50 to 75 percent. Consider the actual savings in
dollars and cents.
99Remember, if you don’t need it, it is not a
good buy at any price.
100Recycle. It will save money and reduce
101Check with your county Extension office
for other money saving ideas.