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Saving Money Secrets

Share your best advice for living on a budget and stretching your dollars.

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Please note these are member-submitted secrets and are not reviewed by SparkPeople's health experts for accuracy. If you feel a secret is inappropriate, please click the "Report Inappropriate Secret" on the secret's page and our staff will review it.

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Chicken broth

I keep canned chicken in pantry for emergencies. I drain the broth from can into a jar that I keep in the freezer before using the chicken. When a recipe calls for chicken broth, I have some waiting in the freezer without purchasing more containers of chicken broth.

- Submitted by THYME2WIN 7/24/2014 in Saving Money | 1 Comment

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Cut your Brillo/SOS pads before using

With a lot of easier to clean surfaces and pots/pans, I don't need a Brillo pad very often. It gets all rusty and gooey with soap before its next use. So now I cut the pad into fourths and just use a small piece and toss it. Since I buy them at the Dollar store and there's 10 in a box, each section costs about 2.5.

- Submitted by HAWKTHREE 7/17/2014 in Saving Money | 1 Comment

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Secret Account

I set up a secret account in a bank that is to far for me to go to. This bank is also smaller and has better interest rates. When I have extra cash I take it to that bank (to keep it active).

- Submitted by MISSMEGGIEMAE 7/10/2014 in Saving Money | 1 Comment

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Make Goo Gone last longer with a smaller dispensing

I like Goo Gone for the occasional sticker residue and things like that, but the top of the small bottle usually dispenses way too much for what I need.
I found using a toothpick to create a small hole dead center of the sealing paper allows much more control over how much is dispensed.

- Submitted by HAWKTHREE 6/14/2014 in Saving Money | 0 Comments

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Make your own $20 olive oil spritzer

I was inspired when I saw that someone was selling a spray bottle just for Olive Oil but for $20. Not me. So I bought a small spray bottle for $1.49 and rinsed it with boiling water and a small amount of bleach and let it dry.
I'm loving it.

- Submitted by HAWKTHREE 6/13/2014 in Saving Money | 1 Comment

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Thrifty foaming hand soap

Foaming soap can easily be made using an empty foaming soap container. Simply squeeze in a couple tablespoons of dishwashing liquid such as Ivory or Dawn.. Fill the container with water. Shake.
Some experimenting may be necessary to get the proper ratio of liquid soap and water.

- Submitted by HAWKTHREE 6/6/2014 in Saving Money | 0 Comments

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Make a budget and beat it!

Try making a budget for yourself (Mint.com is a great free tool to do this). Set yourself a monthly budget. Each month, try to decrease your allowances by 5% (for the things you CAN change) and try to stick to the new budget. Alternatively, reduce your biggest spending categories by 10%! For me, that's restaurants and eating out - good on the wallet and the belly.

- Submitted by LASCHWAB 5/30/2014 in Saving Money | 0 Comments

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Work a second job for the discounts

Occasionally I need some extra cash and find that working at a place with employee discounts helps a lot.

- Submitted by HAWKTHREE 5/21/2014 in Saving Money | 0 Comments

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Keep your car running for at least 200,000 miles

Do the maintenance in the owner's manual but only that maintenance -- many places like to tack on extras -- how many times have they wanted to vacuum your air conditioning system?

Fix problems as soon as they occur. Our cars have systems that can break if another system is broken.

- Submitted by HAWKTHREE 4/30/2014 in Saving Money | 0 Comments

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Gift cards

I am not always the greatest at savings. Should not always depend on a credit card, that's how some people get into debt and never get out. What I like to do is when I have extra cash, I like to pre-load a card either from home online or instore with extra cash I have, then when I am low and would love to get out (ie from Tim Horton's or Subway), I already have the money to pay.

- Submitted by ALLEYCAT12380 4/27/2014 in Saving Money | 1 Comment
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