Penny-Saving Tips

A penny saved is a penny earned!


Bigger is not always better. Remember, buying for status is expensive. A smaller home in good repair is thrift.

  • Reduce square footage. For example, have same-sex children share a bedroom. Eliminate duplicate rooms, such as multiple living rooms, multiple bathrooms, etc. Remember, each additional room carries a cost (heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning).
  • Learn home repair.
  • Clean your own home.
  • Perform your own lawn maintenance.
  • Energy

    Energy supplies are not limitless. Costs rise as supplies diminish. Wasteful use of energy makes the energy provider rich!

  • If possible, upgrade furnace and air conditioning units to the most fuel-efficient models.
  • Weatherproof windows and doors. Insulate attic space to minimize heating and cooling loss.
  • Lower heat in winter, raise cooling in the summer.
  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs.
  • Turn off lights in rooms not in use.
  • Clothing

    Quality classic styles withstand the test of time and wear.

  • Prefer natural fibers like cotton, linen, silk and wool over synthetics. For footwear, prefer leather.
  • Learn to make clothing.
  • Sew your own repairs.
  • Keep your clothing clean, especially woolen wear. Protect from pests like moths.
  • Don’t use the floor as a closet or dresser.
  • Shop quality thrift stores first.
  • Look for sales when shopping for necessary clothing.
  • Don’t buy clothes just because they are on sale.
  • Food

    Eat to live, don’t live to eat. A smart diet is good for your waist and pocketbook.

  • Don’t waste food. It is estimated that 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. is thrown in the garbage.
  • Cook your own foods. Eating out at restaurants regularly is pricey and unhealthy. Carry a bag lunch to work.
  • Realize that foods prepared for you—those that are cut, chopped and sliced—cost more.
  • Eat fresh, non-processed foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains like brown rice are more filling and nutritious.
  • Buy grains and flours in bulk.
  • Use store coupons for foods you use.
  • Grow your own fruits and vegetables.
  • Curtail the consumption of junk foods; they carry a hefty price tag.
  • Etc.

    In a severe financial crunch, cut out all unnecessary costs.

  • Give up the gas guzzler. Drive a smaller, fuel-efficient car.
  • Car pool.
  • Walk or bike when possible—it’s healthier.
  • Rent a movie rather than taking the family to the theater.
  • Cancel cable TV. Focus the family entertainment on active, educational activities.
  • Cut out Internet use. When you need to “search the Net,” use the public library.
  • Give up your cell phone. It seems indispensable, but people have survived thousands of years without them!
  • Final Thought: Teach your children thrift. It is more valuable than any college education.