Today’s Experiment: Think of 10 Ways to Save $10

This idea is not original to me.  A friend of mine shared it with me and said that it is from Amy Dacyczyn, author of The Tightwad Gazette, a set of articles that became books in the 1990s.  I’ve never read this book, but my parents used it and I’m looking forward to tracking it down.

So here is the concept.  How do you get more money in your life?  Well, unless you  are waiting around for Great Uncle Moneybags to pass on, you should probably think of ways to save money.  Want an extra $100?  Simply think of 10 ways that you spend $10, either per month, quarter, semester, or year, and find a way to do without or substitute.

While I haven’t sat down and made a list of 10 items, I have used this concept as I go over my grocery list and as I stand before the trash can with an item in my hand.  My new questions are, “Can I make that?” and, “Can I use this for something else?”  The result has been dollars saved and an outlet for creativity.  Who knew it could be so much fun to save money?

Here are some ways that I’ve implemented this concept in our home:

●  I make all our bakery items.  Breads, tortillas, cakes.  Today making hot dog buns is on my to-do list.

●  I save most glass jars to be used for wet or dry storage later.  My homemade dishwasher liquid is in an old salsa jar.

●  At the store today, I saw some ginger chew candy and was tempted to buy it for my Sweetheart, even though I didn’t have any spare cash.  Instead, I turned the box around, read that there were only three ingredients and said to myself, “I bet I can make this.”

●  Yesterday, I made homemade calzones.  The recipe described using a brush to coat the top with an egg mixture.  I did not have a brush and moved to head out the door to hop on over to Wal-Mart.  But, yes, I stopped and thought to myself, “Can I make that?”  I ended up using a paper towel instead and it worked just as well as a brush.

●  I have saved baby food jars and empty spice containers.  They are now filled with homemade garam masala and powdered ginger that I bought bulk in a plastic bag.

This change in my life has been so simple, as simple as stopping for one moment and asking myself a question.  So, how can you save $10 on 10 items?