Friday, July 2, 2010

Cheap Cheats

There are little tricks we can employ in every area of our lives to save money. I like to call them cheap cheats. Each of them will save just a few cents here and there, but using all of them together can really add up over time. I'd like to share a few of mine with you.


-Make your own pickles for pennies. Buy a cucumber on sale. Plunge it into boiling water using tongs for a few seconds to kill any bacteria. Slice thinly and pack the slices into a jar of juice you've saved from store bought pickles. In a few days they are ready to eat! Every few times you'll have to buy a jar of pickles from the store and start over.

-Use clean hotel shower caps you've collected while on vacation to cover bowls in the refrigerator. Make sure the plastic doesn't touch the food, as it's not food safe plastic. I wash mine in the top rack of the dishwasher and reuse them. Just make sure they can't fall through to the heating element and melt!


-Flatten the toilet paper roll slightly with your hand before you put it on the holder. It won't roll so easily, preventing family members from accidentally rolling out too much at once and wasting paper.

-Water down those little shampoo samples left over from the hotel and use as hand soap. Just save a pump dispenser from store-bought soap and use it over and over again.

- A small rubber band wound a couple of times around the base of your soap or lotion pump will keep too much from dispensing at once.


-Use newspaper or catalog pages to clean grease out of pans, pet messes- anything too nasty for your washable cleaning rags. No need to buy paper towels.

-Even though we use our reusable grocery bags, we still manage to accumulate some plastic ones. Use these to line trashcans instead of buying trash bags.


-If you use fabric softener, the sheets can be cut into narrow strips, and still work just as well. This can really stretch a box.

-Vinegar added to the rinse cycle is an even cheaper, natural fabric softener.

Heating and Cooling:

-Keep the windows open at night and early in the morning while it's cool, and close them before it starts to heat up.

-Close all the blinds on the sunny side of the house until the sun goes down or goes around the other side.

-Reverse the blade direction on your ceiling fan in the winter to help push the heat down from the ceiling.

Do you have any cheap cheats of your own? I'm always interested in hearing your money-saving ideas.


Zengirl @ Heart and Mind said...


You always seem to have great savings suggestions. I am going to have to use toilet paper trick as my both of kids think it is fun to roll paper out, wasting so much paper and money :-)

Where do you come up with genius ideas? I am impressed.

Betsy Bargain said...


Glad you liked the tp tip.
I hope that one or more of these cheats will help you with your spending challenge this month!

Anonymous said...

I use old credit cards as pan scrapers and the mesh fruit bags and scrubbies!

Betsy Bargain said...


Those are excellent cheap cheats. Thank you for sharing them!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas as always! It's also great to pat myself on the back when I find some I already know and use!

Betsy Bargain said...

I know what you mean, Anon. I find myself reading with my mental checklist - yep, I do that, and that - ooh! here's a new one!