I am all about saving money. But when you’re busy, sometimes you have to draw the line at what you are willing to do to save a buck. So here’s a list of seven things you can do in 15 minutes (or less) that will save you $15 bucks (or more).
1. Get a reusable water bottle. And carry it with you.
When you are out and the thirst hits, most people will hit the nearest gas station for a fill-up. At the bargain price of $0.73 per fountain drink. And if you want to be healthy and get a bottled water or tea, the cost goes up. However, you can pick up a relatively inexpensive water bottle (or a plastic cup) and bring your own beverage wherever you go and save yourself the stop and the cash. Convenient and cheap.
2. Shop at Aldi.
With over 1,000 stores in 31 states, buying groceries at Aldi can really save you some bucks. Just on milk, cheese, and chips alone I save almost $5 every trip. Add in the juice, nuts, and crackers that sneak into the cart and I’m into double digits. Plus, shopping at Aldi is SO MUCH FASTER because the stores are smaller and the brand choices are limited. Save $15 and 15 minutes? Yes, please!
3. Make your own laundry soap.
How many times do I have to tell you to do this?! 15 minutes of my time to save myself running to the store, lugging jugs of detergent, and money? Sold. A typical batch lasts me nearly 3 months and costs me $0.01 per load. And it cleans just as well as the name brand.
4. Bring your own lunch/snacks.
Yes, I understand this tip is about as overdone as skipping the Starbucks drive-thru, but in about 3 minutes before walking out the door, you can make a sandwich or grab some packaged leftovers from the fridge and a piece of fruit and save yourself easily $5 at the lunch line. Multiply that by 5 days… And it bears repeating.
5. Use a slowcooker instead of the oven.
Using your range will cost you an average of $1 per hour, whereas the slowcooker only costs about $0.03. Obviously the slowcooker needs to run longer, but cooking your meal for 8 hours will still end up being significantly cheaper, especially through the Winter months when roasting is abundant. And in the Summer it will save you on cooling costs since you’re not heating up the house with a hot oven.
6. Ditch the commercial cleaning products.
I have to yet to find anything that can’t be cleaned with simple vinegar and/or baking soda. And for a fraction of the cost. I use diluted vinegar to clean my counters, bathrooms, and just add a little squirt of dish soap for mopping the floors. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive, a natural deodorizer, and combined with vinegar, a fizzy toilet and drain cleaner. Plus it’s really fun to watch…
7. Check your tires.
If you haven’t checked your tire pressure lately, you might be throwing money away at the pump. Tires can lose 1-2 pounds of pressure (psi) per month thereby reducing your gas mileage. Properly inflated tires will save you up to $0.10 per gallon and if you drive as much as the average American, that can be a savings of $60 a year.
What are your favorite ways to save money?