201 Ways to Save Money Pt 1

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With everything getting more and more expensive every day, from food to utilities and everything in between we have to make our dollars stretch more and more.  Trying to save as much as we can where ever we can.  Here is a list of some of the things you can do to save money. Some are pretty extreme and some pretty simple just depends on where you are and how much you need to save. Some one out of work is going to need to save a lot more then someone not out of work. Remember the more you have the more you can put back , pay off bills or add to your deep pantry. This is part one tomorrow I will post part two. In the weeks to come I will be showing how to do and make some of these things. 

In the Kitchen

  1. Grow as much food as you can.
  2. Try to buy things in bulk as much as you can. You can go here to see where I get a lot my stuff.
  3. Barter when you can, I trade out daycare for beans from one of my parents who grow beans.
  4. Raise your own meat if you can. We raise our own beef, but you could even  raise rabbits or chickens for meat.
  5. Raise chickens for eggs.
  6. Cook everything that you can from scratch.
  7. Make your own butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, and ricotta. All but the butter can be made with store bought milk.
  8. Make your own snacks, eg. Granola bars, fruit bars, Fruit snacks, yogurt, crackers cookies and cakes to name a few.
  9. Use leftovers for lunches the next day.
  10. When cooking make double and put in freezer then on busy night you can just pull something out of the freezer instead of eating out.
  11. When you go on trips take most of our own food instead of eating out. When we first started doing this the girls were so embarrassed they would hunch down in the back seat to eat as to not be seen lol.
  12. Render your own tallow and lard when you can. I have a friend who works for a meat packing place and occasionally she can get me beef and pork fat. I use this to make lard and tallow to cook with, make candles, soap and salves with.
  13. Make a menu. It saves time and you are not scrambling at the last minute trying to figure out what to have for supper, plus you plan what to take out of the freezer or what needs to be started early.
  14. Use your leftovers, Use them for lunch the next day. Then what is left I put in individual containers for another lunch when I may not have leftovers form the night before, or when I need a quick supper.
  15. Make your own bread, and tortillas.
  16. Grind your own wheat. I use half wheat and half white flour when I make bread. I buy straight from the flour mill and get the unbleached flour and I also buy my corn meal from the mill.
  17. Buy candy after Halloween when it is marked down. We use this in our hunting packs and I dry pack the rest. This is the only candy we eat during the year.
  18. Buy marked down chocolate after Easter and Valentines. Use this to chop and use instead of chocolate chips or chocolate coating.
  19. Andy drinks tea year round so in the winter I keep a pan on the stove with water and tea bags, so it is ready to make tea when needed without having to use the stove.
  20. In the summer make a large amount of tea concentrate and keep in the freezer then use as needed. (I put in individual containers enough to make on picture at a time).
  21. When you use the oven try to cook multiple things so you don’t have to heat the oven as often.
  22. If you have extra produce but not enough to can, freeze or dehydrate it.
  23. Make meals in a jar. I can soups, beans, Mexican steak and several other things so that on busy nights I can just open a jar and heat for a good dinner.
  24. Make your own noodles, you don’t need anything fancy to make noodles.
  25. When you do buy from the store buy generic. Most of these are just as good as name brand, but a whole lot cheaper.
  26. Shop sales, when a good sale comes on stock up as much as you can so you don’t have to pay full price for what you use.
  27. Use coupons, not just on groceries but services like oil changes and things you need to have done.
  28. Make a shopping list and stick to it.
  29. Limit your trips to the store, I am trying for a once a month shopping trip. Haven’t gotten there yet but that is my ultimate. Not only do you save by not buying extras every time you go to the store but you also save on gas.
  30. Make you own chicken, turkey broth. When you cook a chicken or turkey save the bones and make your own broth. Can or freeze it.
  31. Make your own spice blends, taco seasoning, pumpkin pie spice ect.
  32. Shop farmers markets.
  33. Buy as much as you can locally, If you can buy from the farmer it is usually a lot cheaper.


  1. Use a wood stove to heat your house. This is the only heat that we have and we save a bundle on propane.
  2. Keep a large pot of water on the wood stove to use for hot water. Use it to cook with, wash up with, wash dishes anything you need hot water for.
  3. Use energy saving bulbs, I have to admit I have a love hate relationship with these, they do save a lot of money but I really don’t like the light they put out and the fact that they have lead in them.
  4. Use power strips to plug everything into this way you can turn off the strip and turn off the power to everything.
  5. Wash dishes by hand instead of the dishwasher. Not only do you save water but electricity also.
  6. Know what you need from the fridge or freezer before you, open them so they are not opened for a prolonged time to let out cold air and let in warm air.
  7. Hang clothes outside in the summer and on drying racks in the winter. Put a drying rack next to the wood stove they will dry pretty quickly.
  8. Turn the T.V. off during the day. In the summer all we watch is the local evening news in the winter we do watch a few movies since it gets dark so early.
  9. In the winter if you live in a cold enough place you can use the outdoors for extra fridge or freezer space. I do set it inside of a vehicle to keep out critters.
  10. In our area there are several people who have to haul water we don’t ( Thank goodness) but we try to live like we do. I have small buckets in each bathroom to collect cold water while we are waiting for it to get hot, then pour those into larger buckets to use for flushing or to water plants. Run the water in the sink (into the small bucket) till it warms up when taking a shower.
  11. Replace old windows with new energy efficient ones. We are trying to replace one to two windows a year the old one leak really bad and won’t even open. If this isn’t an option cover them with plastic or heavy blankets in the winter.
  12. Plant trees in the front and back of your house for shade in the summer and a little bit of a wind break in the winter. When planting trees try to plant something that will produce something such as nut or fruit trees. No since in watering something that doesn’t produce something.
  13. Use a solar oven to cook outside in the summer there are all kinds of plans on the internet to build your own. Or use a thermal cooker, or a wonder oven.
  14. Keep your freezers full, If you have empty space fill water and soda bottles and put in to take up the extra room this way if the power goes off it will help to keep everything else frozen, plus you have ice you can use in your coolers ( and doesn’t melt all over the place).
  15. Take some of your frozen soda bottles and put in the fridge to help keep it cool in the summer.
  16. In the summer close the curtains on the side of the house that the sun is shining in during the heat of the day. Leave the other side open for light.
  17. Use a Bissell ( carpet sweeper) instead of always pulling out the vacuum.
  18. In the winter use window quilts on windows that leak, and put a blanket over your door at night if it leaks. Our doors leak really bad, so in the winter I cover them with quilts at night and sometimes during the day to keep out drafts. You can also cover the windows with plastic.
  19. Use timers on animal water heaters. We keep lights on all the animal waters, I have a timer on these to shut off during the day and come on a few hour at night. The heater in the stock tank is also on a timer.
  20. If you have a wood stove cook on it in the winter.
  21. If you don’t heat with a wood stove turn your thermostat down one or two degrees.
  22. Make sure all the lights are off in unused rooms.
  23. Use solar lights, put them outside during the day then bring them in to use at night. Put them in rooms you don’t need a lot of light, the kitchen after dinner, the bathroom, the laundry room, and the living room while watching T.V..
  24. Make sure you have a full load of laundry before you wash it, same goes for the dishwasher if you use it.
  25. Pay your utility bills on time, most places add a late fee if late.
  26. Keep doors shut to rooms you don’t use.
  27. Replace your porch light with a motion light so you don’t have to leave it on all the time.


  1. Make your own cleaners, 409, bleach cleaner, floor cleaner, furniture polish, oven cleaner, shower cleaner soft scrub ect. Not only is it cheaper but better for you and the environment.
  2. Make your own Laundry Detergent.
  3. Make your own Fabric softener.
  4. Make your own stain remover.
  5. Use old rags for dust rags.


  1. Use cloth napkins instead of paper.
  2. Use dish towels and rags instead of paper towels. I do have a few rolls of paper towels on hand for really nasty things.
  3. Make some bags from water proof fabric to use for bread and cookies and things like that instead of baggies.
  4. I do use baggies(store brand) especially for freezer items but I get the cheap twist tie bag to line them with to prolong the life of the freezer bag. I wash and reuse the freezer bags. If I need a plastic bag I use the cheap twist tie bags or the fold over sandwich bags.
  5. Use store bags to line your bathroom trash cans with.
  6. Have a separate can for aluminum to recycle.
  7. If you have space and a close place to drop off save your tin cans to recycle, doesn’t pay a lot but every little bit helps.
  8. If you have large dog food bags use them to line you trash cans with.
  9. Have containers with lids to store things in the fridge with.
  10. Save all the envelopes from your mail and junk mail to use for writing notes and list on.
  11. I buy a large bag of rags from the 2nd hand store (mostly old t-shirts) and cut them to use for rags.
  12. Save containers that things come in to use to store food or other things in. These are great to have on hand when you have company and are wanting to send leftovers home with people.
  13. Use a reusable coffee filter.
  14. Save your old paper (junk mail, wrapping paper, newspapers ect.)and use it to make your own paper to make greeting cards with.

Kids and Daycare

I don’t have little ones at home any more, some of these things are things that I did and some are things I would do now. Also some of these things are things I do with my daycare kids.

  1. Use cloth diapers. Make your own or for a small investment you can buy them.
  2. Make your own diaper wipes. I am torn on this one, Not sure you can save money over the store brand of wipes but making your own you know what is in them.
  3. Nurse your baby if you can. The cost of formula is crazy and not that great for your baby (I do know there are some Moms who can’t, I was one of them with my oldest). If you work just pump and freeze. I have a couple Moms who do this and it works great.
  4. Make your own baby food, this really is easy, just put what ever you want to fed them in the blender or bullet. I have a couple daycare kids that never had store bought baby food.
  5. With minimal sewing skills you can make your own blankets, burp rags, towels ect.
  6. Look for baby furniture at yard sales 2nd hand shops and consignment stores. Or better yet check with friends a lot of times people will have stuff they don’t need any more and would be glad to let you use or buy it.
  7. Make your own diaper rash ointment.
  8. Use the library, they have free story and craft hour.
  9. Use the library to borrow books and movies.
  10. Make your own playdough.
  11. Make your own paint.
  12. Make your own glitter.
  13. Make your own folder games.
  14. Make your own Bubbles.
  15. Make your own sensory boxes.
  16. Make your own felt board and stories.
  17. Limit T.V. to 1 hour. I have found that when the T.V. is on (which uses power) the kids will not get down and play.
  18. Have one cup per child (that they know is theirs). That they use through the day ,instead of dirtying several cups a day.
  19. Make their clothes, and shop 2nd hand store for them. When my kids were little I made most of their clothes and what I didn’t make I got from 2nd hand stores, yard sales, and hand me downs.
  20. Make their nap mats, when they go to preschool and kindergarten they need nap mats. They are very easy to make. I have two different ones that I make I will try to do a tutorial on them in the near future.
  21. Cut their hair yourself. There are some great tutorials on u-tube.
  22. Home School if at all possible, they get a much better education. I know public school is “free” but there is a lot of cost associated with public school. Plus if you home school they don’t pick up bad habits from other kids.
  23. Make some of their toys, Doll clothes, Doll furniture, blocks, kitchen and accessories , stuffed animals ect.
  24. With minimal crochet or knitting skills you can make their hats and scarves.
  25. If you can’t knit or crochet make scarves, leggings, mittens and hats from old sweaters form the 2nd hand store.
  26. Buy enough school supplies to last all year at the beginning when everything is on sale, also buy your home office supplies now.
  27. Start potty training early. No more diapers.
  28. Drink water, Juice is almost as bad as sodas.

As I mentioned above I will have the rest of the list tomorrow. Do you do any of these now? And would you want to try some of the ideas here? In the upcoming weeks I will be showing how to make and do some of these things. If you would like you could subscribe to the email and not miss any of them. Have a great day.  Click here to see part 2.

10 Replies to “201 Ways to Save Money Pt 1”

  1. Leigh

    I’ve always considered myself confidently frugal, but you’ve got some things on this list I’d never thought of, thanks!

    1. watkinsranches@yahoo.com Post author

      Thanks Leigh,
      Seems like I to learn new ways to save money even when I think there are no more things to do.
      Have a great Day

  2. Pingback: 201 Ways to Save Money Pt. 2 | Frugal Living on the Ranch

  3. Laura Lane

    You’ve shared some great ideas. I’m always looking for ways to be thrifty.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    Do drop by and say hello, won’t you?

    1. watkinsranches@yahoo.com Post author

      Thanks, I popped in to your blog, can’t wait to go check it out some more.
      Have a great day.

  4. Pingback: Food Storage on a Tight Budget. | Frugal Living on the Ranch