In this series, I’ve been taking a look at MP Dunleavey’s article offering a plethora of ways to save when income is tight. Here are more of the suggestions submitted by users and compiled by the article’s author. Part One is here and Part Two is here.
* Buy generic instead of brand-name products. The generic naproxen sodium makes me feel better as quickly as the name-brand Aleve. I drink America’s Choice apple juice, the store’s brand, rather than one of the more expensive counterparts. If I were to eat cereal, chances are I’d go for the generic imitation. The less-known products deliver the same experience at a lower cost. The generics don’t have to spend as much in advertising, and the savings are passed on to the consumer.
* Research before you buy. I’ve saved some good money over time by searching the internet for discounts before making a purchase.
* “Look at the Pottery Barn catalog, shop at Goodwill.” Paint and finish your own furniture? That will work for some people, but I don’t know if I’m one. Perhaps when I have a house to furnish. In my apartment, I rarely have visitors so I don’t care much about my furniture.
* Fly cheap. Two flight search engines are suggested: mobissimo and ITA Software. I’m not familiar with either of these, but I did just buy my Thanksgiving vacation flight via jetBlue. I’ll be away for a week visiting family in California, much like last year.
* “We’ve made lamps, a window seat, a bar, our headboard, a corner sofa and various tables and shelves,” writes Kelly. “It’s saved us a fortune.” I’m not sure this is the best use of my time, but others may have some value. Once again, when I start desiring nice furniture, I might revisit this idea.
* There is little that can’t be cleaned with (a mix of) vinegar and baking soda. We use the mix throughout the kitchen, bathroom, dining room — and have scrubbed pots and pans with it.” From what I understand, there is a lot of truth to this idea. I’ve never tried it, but this may be a better solution than buying expensive Lysol.
* “Don’t forget gardening as a money-saving venture. One year, I fed the four of us and a neighbor for almost four months from a 10-by-15-foot garden.” I had two a plants a few months ago, but they didn’t survive long. I don’t think I can be trusted with a garden. Perhaps, once again, when I’m ready to settle down I’ll be in a better position to take care of living things other than my cat.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published October 20, 2005.