Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Little Things Add Up

While I don't have an actual figure to share with you, I'm certain that lots of little things add up to big savings. Here are a few things that I've used or done today that are really easy, cost no additional money, and actually have saved me at least a little money. As a bonus, they all have also helped me be a little more environmentally friendly too.

1. I live in a place that was built in the early 1980s. I'm pretty sure that the toilets are the originals, meaning they aren't the water-saving models that you could get today. As I mentioned in my Frugal $ense winning tip article as well as my Water, Water Everywhere post, I try to reuse some of my excess water in various ways. However, I've also recently put a half-gallon milk jug in my toilet tank. It is filled with water so it will sink to the bottom of the tank. However, each time I flush, that half a gallon of water does not leave the tank or have to be refilled because it stays in the jug. I'm estimating that's about a 2,000 gallon and $18.40 savings per year. Not huge -- but I'll take it.

2. I pay some of bills through means other than mailing a check to the company I owe. However, I still get the statements in the mail which include a blank envelope every time. I save those for when I need to mail something where else (i.e. mail-in rebate). I just write the mailing address on a small slip of paper and tape it on the inside so that it can be seen through the window of the envelope. I haven't bought envelopes in ages, so I'm not sure how much they cost. However, I would imagine I'm saving at least $3-$5 per year.

3. I use grocery bags to line my small trash cans. They aren't exactly pretty, but it works. I just realized something new today. I can tie off or cut down my dry-cleaning bags (the clear plastic ones that cover the clean garments) to fit my small trash cans. Now, I have plain trash bags without the name of a store on them. It looks a little nicer. Again, I don't buy small trash bags, so I don't know how much they cost. However, I'm going to guess that I'm saving at least $5-$8 per year.

Like I said, each of these things doesn't save me large sums of money. However, if someone gave you $30 each year, would you turn it down? That's how I see these little savings tips. They don't take any more of my time or energy, and they save me money. So, I'll keep at it and see what other tricks I can learn to save little bits (which add up to a lot).

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