25 ways I save money: part 2 of 5

Welcome to the second part of 25 ways I save money.

6. Order free samples online.

Now you guys and gals know how I just LOVE to get FREE stuff. I can get stuff online or from other folks it really does not matter. The thing I just love about ordering things online is that you can get samples shipped to you for free and who does not like free stuff. The main place I use is MyPoints. With MyPoints they send you emails that you can click on and earn 5 points each time. You get the points just for clicking on the link and if you complete the offer then you can get more points. When you get a certain number of points you can redeem them for various things like gift cards to certain places. Now I always use my points to get gift cards to Walmart because I shop there so often…but there are a wide variety of places you can get cards for.

Another place I use is Start Sampling. Now on this site you can order actual samples of stuff. These are usually the trial size of items like toothpaste or deodorant and they are perfect for when you travel. The thing I like most about this site is that you are not only limited to trial sizes of items. You can also get magazine subscriptions for free. The selections vary from magazines like Redbook to Scuba diving magazines and you can get anything from one free issue to a one year free subscription. It all depends on what they have available. I have used the trial sample of tylenol to keep in my purse at work in case I need a pain killer. I kept one of the trial deodorants in my glove compartment for that odd day when I rushed out of the house only to discover that I had not put on any deodorant before getting dressed.

7. Use candles.

I wrote previously that you could save money by being more romantic. I have candles in my bathroom now that I use to serve multiple purposes. I have the prayer candles that I burn every so often as part of my spiritual journey and I add scented oil to the ones that are not already scented to give a lovely smell to the bathroom. These candles are placed in front of the mirror so that the light is reflected through the room and I do not have to turn on the light in the bathroom….so I save on the electricity. It has seriously lowered my electric bill so I will keep doing this.

8. Turn off unused appliances.

Do I REALLY need to get into this one? If you are not going to be using the appliance then there is really no need for it to be on. I only use my microwave to heat water for breakfast and then again to heat either my lunch or my dinner. This means the microwave is being used twice for the day. I unplug it as soon as I am done because it does not need to stay on. I have two watches, two cell phones (one is old and is not being used) and a battery powered clock (rechargeable batteries y’all) that I can get the time from. I do not need the microwave to function as a clock during the day and it is not like a refrigerator that MUST stay on constantly.

I have my computer on a power strip that is separate from the strip the cable modem is on. At night when I go to bed I turn the strip with the computer off because the computer will not be in use from about 9pm (yes I am like a chicken, I go to sleep early) to about 3pm the next day when I get home from school. That is 18 hours of non use where I can save on electricity costs. I also have the VCR unplugged because I rarely ever use it. Now I guess I should unplug the television too…but I have not because I do not want to have to reprogram the channels. (Bah!).

9. Make my lunch.

Yup I am the only one in the office who has stuff in the refrigerator. Every day I come in and put my little sandwich and my container of yogurt in the back office. I make cheese sandwiches or tuna sandwiches and bring them to work every day. Sometimes on Fridays I would bring one of those little frozen dinners if I had decided to splurge sometime. If I cook during the week then I take my little dish of leftovers and (gasp coworkers) heat it up in the microwave thoughtfully provided by the office. I also bring grapes or bananas to work to have as a snack during the day. I save money by always having something to eat during the day so that I am not tempted to go to the vending machines.

10. Pick up pennies.

I am always scanning the ground when I walk across campus as I go to and from class. When I go to do laundry I make sure to look at the floor around the lint bins too because people always leave money there. I am always finding pennies on the ground so I pick them up. You would be amazed at the number of pennies people leave on the ground in laundries, near the bus stop and in offices. I guess they think a penny is not worth stooping for…but I love the penny! Another good place to find money is on people’s desks. If you look in the cup that has pens and pencils or the container that holds the paper clips and rubber bands you can be sure to find nickles and sometimes even dimes covered with lint. Most people don’t care if you take them because after all it is just a few cents.

On a point of clarification that a commentor brought up to me. I do not STEAL the money off people’s desks. The pennies and nickles are on my co-workers’ desks and I ask first. I have coworkers who will come back from lunch and drop pennies into the containers on the desk because they are cleaning out their purses. I always ask them if I can have the pennies when I go into their offices.They say they do not want to have small change like that carrying around. My boss even brought in a bag of change smaller than quarters that she found all around our offices when she took over and said it was too much of a bother for her to go to the bank for it so anyone who wanted the change could have it. People dug through and took the dimes out and left all the pennies and nickles….which I ended up taking home.

Read part 1 here.

Author: Lulu

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  1. “Another good place to find money is on people?s desks. If you look in the cup that has pens and pencils or the container that holds the paper clips and rubber bands you can be sure to find nickles and sometimes even dimes covered with lint. Most people don?t care if you take them because after all it is just a few cents.”

    Even if it is only a few cents, you are stealing. Maybe those people are saving up their change (or were before you robbed them). Do you ask people if you can have their change or do you just take it?

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  2. I always ask…see the ammendment to the post. The ones that I get the change from are not saving it trust me. They don’t like to carry pennies and nickles around. Some even throw them in the trash.

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  3. Hey thre! I’ve been gone all morning. –Just got a chance to catch up on your blog. Dang girl, people accusing you of stealing now? πŸ™‚

    Just kidding. So glad you don’t take things so seriously!!!

    Guess what:
    I just found out my bank has a counter machine in the lobby that you can bring in all your change and you can deposit it into your bank account. Sure beats the Coinstar!!!

    Have a great weekend πŸ™‚

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  4. My bank has machine but they charge you to do that coin thing. The other bank I used before had one and they would do it for free as long as you were making a deposit. Oh well.

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  5. I also bring my lunch to work and can not believe the amount of people that eat out everyday. Our supermarkets have the coin thing – very cool.

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  6. Melissa I agree with you on the lunch thing. I also see some of my co-workers stopping at Donut shops or Sonic to get ‘breakfast’ as well.

    I guess they have more money than we do and they can afford it!!!

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  7. I like the tips and hints you have here. I’m just starting myself. With the coins you collect instead of rolling them Coinstar lets you cash in coins for free if you get gift cards at some retail locations. I think it makes coins worth cashing in again.

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  8. Occasional use of candles is fine, but please be careful when using them. Apart from the obvious fire hazard of being tipped over by a cat or a curious rugrat, they expose you to combustion byproducts that could easily exceed recommended thresholds. A worse exposure comes from the zinc core found in many tapers (They shouldn’t be Lead anymore!). Goggle the issue and find a wealth of information that will improve your overall health. Carpe diem!

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  9. I think that this blog is very interesting. Yet I think the main way to save money is to actually “save money.” To put money into an account and have interest grow and not to spend it. I think you all should open an account with a federal credit union and deposit $10.00 a week or $40-$50 a month for a year and see how much you accumulate in addition to the brown bag theory.

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    • Thank you for your comment Trina. I do save money every month…in my Emergency fund.

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  10. lol @ the notice in green! Who would steal money of people’s desks. However, whenever I pick money from ground I usually hand it over to some needy person once it accumulates, it’s not ethical to use other peoples money!

    Tips To Save Money’s last blog post..5 Ways To Save Money While Getting Out Of Recession

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  11. Getting free stuff is always good! Other good places to get free stuff is to sign up online with market research companies where you get invited to try products and provide your opinion before the product hits the supermarket shelves.

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  12. Getting into the habit of cooking a bit extra and taking it to work is the way to go. Buying lunch every day is way too expensive in these times of crisis.

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  13. I also make lunch or carry it with me to work. Home cooked food is safe and healthy.

    Till then,


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  14. WOW, making your own lunch is a big saver and can have the added benefit of health. Honestly once I started making my own lunch not only did I save a ton of money (Im a cronic fastfood junky lol) I found I had a ton of energy and I was alot less moody. I wonder what kind of “stuff” they put in that food.

    Sorry to say though, candles don’t really do it for me because they often wreak havoc on my sinuses. An open window and fresh air will have to do, though during the winter I also will enjoy some good tea πŸ™‚

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  15. There are some really good tips here! I recently started to make my own lunch for work aswell. I have been making up pancakes from scratch and freezing them in lunch size portions for the week – this way i only have to cook once a week and they can defrost over the morning. Not to mention – pancakes are extremely CHEAP!!

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  1. 25 ways I save money: The full list | How I Save Money.net - […] 25Ways I Save Money: Part 2 […]

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