Small savings can add up

 In Opinion

Many of you have sent me emails asking about ways to save and have wondered how others are doing during the pandemic – so here you go!
Spending choices really do shape the world we live in. We have seen bottled water and toilet paper shortages, not to mention a shortage on cleaners, hand sanitizers and face masks with the fear-based buying fuelled by COVID. There really is no actual need to hoard products at this point but nonetheless it is hard not to feel the pressure to do so when you see others doing it.
It goes without saying that we really need to cut back on paid services and just try to do more things for ourselves. The pandemic has essentially made us rethink our need to always have someone else do things for us and helped most of us get back to the basics. Yes – I know we still want to support all our local businesses – but that doesn’t mean you need to order takeout every night. Consider some of these savings tips and challenge yourself to come up with more. Think about how you spend your money every day and how you could make a difference that not only keeps the money in your wallet, but also helps the environment by being a little more “green.”
Stop buying new clothing and household items.
Drive your car longer. Have regular maintenance and repairs done instead of trading it in just because the mileage is high or you have lost interest in it.
Think about what you eat and drink. Limit the specialty drinks and expensive snacks – your wallet and your waistline will thank you!
Try to cut back the amount you spend on your pets. Consider cutting your pet’s hair and nails yourself. Buying the right grooming tools is a one-time investment that will lead to future savings.
Now it’s your turn – what can you clean out of that closet, basement or attic that you could sell or re-use? Send me your ideas and I will share it with all our readers. I will start with myself. I have actually never purchased a tea-towel for the last 30 years. Instead, I have used my old towels and cut them down to size or my children’s old t-shirts (with the neck and sleeves cut off). They are great for cleaning rags and it doesn’t matter if they get stained. I even tried weaving strips of old clothing into a wonderful rainbow-colored door mat, (that was a challenge!) I haven’t purchased a traditional plant pot in the last 10 years – and I love to have lots of plants in my house. Instead, I have purchased old vintage teapots, creamers and sugar containers from thrift stores at a fraction of the cost. Even old wooden boxes and tins can be used to decorate your home inside and out.

Christine Ibbotson is the author of four books including “How to Retire Debt Free & Wealthy” or send a question to

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