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For reasons unknown to me for the last 3 years running the top selling item through has been Amazon’s version of the Scrabble Premier Wood Edition.
It usually runs around $100 but I have seen it for about 25% less than that. But even at $100, that is a good deal for a quality game that will last for years.

1.  Eat out one less time per week.  Make an effort to eat at home on Friday nights, but go easy on yourself by making that your easy night to cook (tacos, hamburger helper, etc).  Or better yet, choose one night a week to let your spouse do the cooking!

2.  Pick up a meal from your grocer’s deli department instead of buying takeout from a fast-food restaurant.  You may be able to feed 4 for $16 instead of a typical $30 at a fast-food establishment.

3.  Order water with your meal at a restaurant instead of ordering a soft drink or iced tea beverage…that’s a savings of $2.50 per person!

4.  Try a different grocery store in your area.  Even the chain store prices vary between locations. 

5.  Save on pet food by asking what “people” foods your pet can safely eat.  Our dog has allergies and the vet told us to give him a baked potato.  Now we do that a couple of times a week, saving us a few scoops of that expensive special dog food.

1.  Resist the urge to remodel!  Let’s face it….remodeling is BIG business.  There didn’t used to be stores like Home Depot around 30 years ago.  Don’t fall into the replace it/update it trap.  Instead, change paint, switch out hardware or light fixtures, an replace window treatments with blinds (or replace blinds with window treatments) to achieve a new look at a fraction of the cost of remodeling.

2.  Don’t buy top-of-the-line appliances.  Do you really want to be married to your diswasher fro the next 10 years?  Or would you rather be able to replace it without guilt when that newer technology (and/or finish) comes along?

3.  Save money on artwork!  Buy artwork at yardsales, thrift stores, or at library sales.  Another alternative….frame a piece of your child’s artwork from school.

4.  Do less laundry!  Ask your kids/husband to only throw jeans & shorts in the hampter after 3 wearings.  Also, use the timer feature on your washer to delay starting loads of laundry until the cheapest water usage times (check with your water company…but the cheapest times are usually 10 am to 4:30 pm, or after 10 pm).

5.  Use detachable screens in windows in spring and fall, or during summer evenings as a cost-saving alternative to air conditioning.

Here’s my fast five to save money on clothes:

  1. Do your catalog homework!  I always pick up a JCPenney Fall and Spring catalog to check out great deals on basic wardrobe staples that I refuse to pay top-dollar for from Talbots, Ann Taylor, etc.  Don’t get me wrong…I love these stores, but face it…..why should I pay $90 for a Brooks Brother’s basic white shirt when I can order one from JCPenney’s for $25?!  I’m not going to get married in the damn thing!  I just need something to wear under a sweater for jacket, or over a pair of jeans on the weekends.  Other favorites that I like to save on by ordering from JCPenney are lingerie (come on…who REALLY sees it anyway!), kids’ shoes, and bedding.
  2. Skimp on the kids!  I have 2 boys and they couldn’t possibly care less what they wear.  Let me qualify that….they couldn’t care less as long as it’s tee shirts and jeans.  So here’s what I do….let them get a tee shirt from any theme park, zoo, aquarium, sports event, or vacation spot we visit throughout the year.  Trust me…kids love you for that!  Then, buy a few long-sleeved tee shirts (I just bought some at Mejier’s for $5 each!) to wear underneath for fall and winter.  Voila…..year-round wardrobe for a fraction of the cost of buying seasonal shirts.  Kids are happy and I’m happy.
  3. Skimp on the husband!  My husband is a stain magnet.  I can’t tell you how many expensive shirts he has ruined because he’s spilled something down the front or picked up some “mystery” stain.  Enough already!   I buy him polos from Kohl’s at reasonable prices (he doesn’t care that they are Chaps instead of RL), and if he stains…. it’s no biggy.  I don’t skimp on sweaters for him for fall and winter.  He has very nice things (it’s hard to stain cashmere!), but I buy them at the end of the season when men’s clothing is on sale for 70% off.  Face it, when’s the last time your husband pined over the a piece of clothing at the peak of the season?  It doesn’t happen (and if it does, you’ve got other issues to deal with!).  I take him to Dillard’s in January to get what he wants at a fraction of the price.  
  4. If you see something you like at a good price, and it fits, buy two!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kicked myself for not buying several pairs of my favorite pair of wool twead, fully lined pants for work instead of the one pair that I wear ALL the time.   It’s worth the money if you’re going to get a lot of wear out of it.
  5. Grow up!  Any woman over the age of 30 doesn’t need more than 3 pairs of jeans!  Invest in a few good pairs and be done with it!