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Online shopping advocate

I've started doing some of my grocery shopping online. It saves me money. When I'm in the store, it's hard to avoid impulse purchases. When I'm shopping online, I only buy what I have on my list. I don't do all of my  shopping this way, but I'm happy to save whenever I can.

Marina

My motto

It might seem silly, but I keep my financial goal in front of me everywhere I can. It's on my dashboard, my fridge, and my bathroom mirror. I've even created a related Pinterest board. I figure that if I make it hard to forget, I'll make decisions that will put me closer to achieving my goal!

Christine

Keeping score

I'm a big Colorado Rockies fan. During the baseball season, I have a unique way of celebrating. I have a special account. Each time a Rockies player hits a home run, I deposit $1. Last year, they hit 192 homers! By doing this, I save money and cheer on my team at the same time.

Eric

Retirees auto insurance

When my wife and I retired, we told our car insurance company. I asked if they had special rates for low-mileage drivers. Not only did we get a discount for that, but they also told us about a senior driving course that would save us even more. It'll only take a few hours, and the savings will give us a little extra towards our next visit to the grandkids.

David

No cost birthday gifts

My wife and I are in our 40s and trying to save for retirement. Our adult children are very busy with jobs and toddlers around the house. Therefore, instead of buying them things that they don't need for their birthdays, we help them with DIY projects around their house. Sometimes they work with us and sometimes they don't. It saves them money and only costs us a little bit of time.

Paul

Handy garden tool storage

I found an old mailbox with the pole at a garage sale and decided to make a storage vessel for my garden hand tools. I placed the mailbox near my potting area and put my hand tools, garden string, a hammer, a small set of screwdrivers, zip ties, and a measuring tape in the mailbox. Also, it is a
great place to hide an extra key for when I lock myself out of the house. I no longer have to search for my garden needs. Everything is right there and handy! Plus, I decorated the mailbox to blend into my garden theme, and I have received many compliments on this look.

S.

Really dining out

My husband, our two teenagers, and I enjoyed restaurant meals until they got too expensive. Dinner for four was costing us anywhere between $75 and $100! Lately, we've been trying something new. We choose a style of food that we all enjoy. Then we all search for recipes that look good in that category. We choose the ones that will make a complete meal. On a Saturday, we buy the ingredients and all work together to make those recipes. It's great family time, and we only spend about half of what a restaurant would have cost us. I'm sure going to miss it when the kids go away to college and we don't have our special dinners anymore.

Debbe

Really safe

We installed a safe in our basement for our important papers, a few coins, and some jewelry. It's fireproof but not waterproof. We've never had a flood in the basement, but I didn't want to take a chance. Therefore, all the important documents are kept in airtight freezer bags. The one-gallon size is perfect and will keep the papers dry in case of a flood. It only costs pennies and could save us a lot of heartache.

Joyce

Convenience at a cost

I love the convenience of automatic bill paying, but I realized that the convenience was costing me when I checked a couple of my monthly bank statements. I found a couple of overcharges. It was mostly from restaurants that changed the tip amount. I also found an annual auto-renewal that I had forgotten about and cancelled. It was so easy to get too busy and never look at the bank statements, especially since I went paperless and get them online. Now I take a few minutes to make sure that I'm not giving money
away without realizing it.

Oliver

A teacher's request

The end of school is coming up. On that day, many students just toss their unused supplies in the trash. Please don't! Like many teachers, I am always scrambling for paper, pens, pencils, and other school supplies. (I often purchase these items myself and am rarely reimbursed.)
Instead of a coffee mug imprinted with "World's Best Teacher" or another bottle of hand lotion, I and most of my colleagues would not mind (in fact, we'd greatly appreciate) getting any leftover school items.
For instance, I often take old spiral notebooks and tear out the unused sheets and put them in my paper tray for kids who run out of notebook paper. I also put any pens or pencils I'm given into a coffee can for those students who are without writing instruments. Some families in our school have a lot of children and are very low income, so it's hard for them to resupply their kids' items.
I am happy to get any leftover art supplies (colored "map" pencils, felt-tip highlighter pens, scissors, plastic pencil sharpeners, etc.) or anything else that could be used in my classroom. What about the notebook binders, paperback novels, and dictionaries? If your family is going to discard them, instead donate them! This might not be your traditional teacher gift, but the gesture is appreciated.
Here is one more hint. If you just "have to" buy the teacher something new, packages of notebook paper, pens, pencils, or even dry erase markers would make her smile.

Ms. B.

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