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Saving With Low Income, Part 3

This article was written by in Saving. 12 comments.

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.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

avatar 1 Anonymous

Hi Flexo,
I managed to screw up my address when I published my history over to my new site at:
“> I’m trying to get the URL back, but am not feeling very confident that it will happen.
Can you update your link to me?

avatar 2 Anonymous

I think ‘buy generic rather than namebrand’ goes double for off-the-shelf medication. Whereas with food or soft drinks you might actually notice a taste difference, with meds you can be sure you are getting the exact same thing. All the medicinal ingredients and their portions are listed on the labels… it’s medicine after all, this is required by law (at least here in Canada). So just grab the namebrand, grab the generic, and for the same amount of the medicinal ingredients (the important stuff), you’ll save huge with generics. Then again sometimes you think a generic is equivalent to a good namebrand product, and then you notice some missing ingredients…

avatar 3 Anonymous

To save on expensive cell phone bills, I switched over to a “flat-rate” cell provider last year. I’ve saved at least half off my old cell phone bill, eliminated worrying about going over my monthly allotment of minutes, and I know what my bill will be every month. Since I don’t travel a lot, I don’t need multi-state coverage. Yes, the service can be spotty in some areas, but it’s not such a big deal. The voicemail and other basic features are exactly the same as my previous providers.

avatar 4 Anonymous

My parents had a garden when I was growing up. It was about 30′ x 70′, and it must have saved them hundreds a month on grocery bills. They had six kids, though, so your savings may vary depending on how large your brood is and how well you garden.