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Doggie treats

There's no reason to buy expensive dog treats; just buy a different brand of dried food. They just want something that tastes different and comes from your hand as a treat. There is no need for something expensive.

Cheryl

Vitamins

My doctor suggested that I take some vitamins. Instead of just buying them over the counter, he gave me a prescription. With the script, my insurance pays a portion and I avoid paying sales tax, which is nine percent in my area.

Nate

Small kids birthday parties

My four-year-old son goes to two to three birthday parties each month. I've found that my local dollar store is a good place to find small gifts like markers, craft sets and coloring kits. It is also my first stop for birthday cards and gift wrap.

Pam

Really easy shower clean

You don't need fancy shower cleaning stuff: just an old, empty spray bottle and some full strength vinegar. Simply spray it on your shower walls and glass. Don't wipe it off. If you want, you can rinse it off after an hour or so, but even that's not necessary. My shower always looks spotless.

Myrna

Moving prep

We hope to sell our house and move this summer. Part of getting ready is to sell some of our heavy, old furniture. By selling now, the house will seem more open to potential buyers. We'll also save on the moving expense. Between what we get in the sale and what we save on the move, we figure we can buy used replacements for our new home.

Delana

Growing my own groceries

I recently checked with the produce manager at my local grocery store. I was able to get a stuffed box of the outer leaves of cabbage, cauliflower, etc. for just $1. I turned it into kimchi. I used spices I had on hand. I've also transplanted many wild edible plants to my yard including Jerusalem Artichokes, which are a great alternative for potatoes. Now, I just need to keep them from taking over the yard...

Deborah

At season's end

I volunteer in Sunday school at a large church each week. As you might expect, at the end of winter, we have a collection of mittens and scarves in our lost and found. We put a note in our bulletin to remind moms to check with us if they've lost items. Two weeks later, we put in a note telling moms who are needy that we have items that are free for the taking. Family budgets are tight, and this helps even if it's just a small savings.

Hannah

Outrageous ER bill

I recently took a fall and ended up in the ER. They did an x-ray, gave me a script for pain pills and sent me home. When the bill came, I was outraged. I don't have a lot of money. In fact, I'm trying to dig out of debt. I called and told them that I couldn't afford the bill if they wouldn't reduce it and work out a payment plan. They knocked the bill down by two-thirds. It seems like they overcharge to make up for cases where they need to discount. Go figure.

Vanessa

Meals x 2

I've decided to avoid fast food for my family because it's expensive and unhealthy. One way I have done that is to double up on meals. For instance, when I make a casserole, I make two. The second one gets pulled from the oven when it's about 75 percent done and placed into the freezer. That's a great time-saver for busy nights. As a warning, you might want to make sure that your family likes a new recipe before you double up on it; we have one meal in the freezer that my family does not want to eat a second time.

Leah

Why I like "No Spend" month

I have done "no spend" months for awhile, and it's fantastic. It has shown me how much I really need to live on, and I have been able to put money into savings. I also do something else. Where I live, it gets very cold in the winter. No one goes outside for very long. In October 2017, I started cleaning out closets and found that I had a lot of unfinished craft projects. I've made it a point to bring those things out of the closets, organize them and finish them. It drives me nuts to have stuff out, so I purposely put some wool into a nice basket and have completed several pairs of slippers and given them to charity. This has kept me busy. I've spent no money whatsoever and benefited myself and others. I also haven't had to buy a book for many years. We have a free "leave one, take one" box of books by the post office. Also, for fun, I send for free samples of makeup, perfume and sometimes food in the mail. All in all, it isn't a sacrifice, and I don't go without. In return for this lifestyle, it's more of a treat when I do have to go to the grocery store and I'm much more mindful of what I buy.

Karen K.

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