Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Frugality Tips #17 & #18

Late Tuesday ideas for you. Hope they help you out! :)

Frugal Tip #17

Get a flu shot.

This is super frugal if you have insurance or a job that pays for it. Otherwise it's like $25 at a grocery store pharmacy or so which is still worth it. Some people have reactions to the flu vaccine, but that number is very small. In my opinion, the benefits outweigh the concerns on this. Getting the flu is horrible. I hate being sick in general, but especially with the flu. But when you and all your family members get a flu shot, your chances of getting the flu drop significantly. Even if it's not a good match, the flu shot will generally reduce your symptoms at the very least.

The ways this saves you money are many:
1) You don't have to miss a day or two or more of work because you're sick. Save those personal hours for something else!
2) Same as above, except because your children are sick.
3) You don't have to go to the doctor or the hospital if it's really bad.
4) You don't have to buy medicines to fight it off.

Flu shots are SO worth it, and hardly anybody gets them. I get them every year and it has been SO nice to not get sick. Although last year, the match between the virus and the shot was not good, so I ended up getting super sick anyway. But the 5+ other years I've gotten it, I haven't gotten sick... and before that, I would inevitably get the flu every year.

Frugal Tip #18

Sell stuff!

Craigslist and Ebay are my favorite places to go. I periodically go through the things in my house, and if I'm not using them, I post them on Craigslist or Ebay. If they're not worth much, I'll just freecycle them instead. Even with my broken computers, I'll take them apart and sell the pieces because processors, screens, keyboards, mice, all those things sell on ebay pretty well. And then I use the money to buy a new computer. :D

But seriously, go through your stuff that you don't use and sell it. After I get sick of my Wii games, I'll sell them for a decent amount on craigslist. Usually, I'll have bought them for the same price off the same place, so it ends up being cheaper than renting ($0 net). :P Old board games are worth a bit if they're still in good condition. You can sell clothes that are in good condition and no longer fit you or your children. Shoes you never wear. Your old couch.

My parents always gave their stuff in good condition to the thrift stores, but I can't really afford to do that, so I just sell it instead. And it makes me a fair amount of money! So I think it's definitely worthwhile.

Happy Tuesday!
-Hot Frugal Momma

Monday, February 2, 2009

Frugality Tips #15 & 16

Some more Get Healthy! frugal tips for you today! One is a free thing to do, and one is a cheap idea.

Frugal Tip #15 (Get Healthy!)

Ride your bike/walk/combine trips in the car.

You've probably heard this one before, but seriously, good idea! Not that gas prices are super high right now or anything, but besides saving money on gas for your car, you'll also save money on maintenance (did you forget that tires, oil changes, etc all cost money and have to be changed more frequently the more you drive?). Additionally, you'll be healthier if you're walking or riding your bike around. It's good for your heart and your weight, which means less trips to the doctor or hospital. Also, and this might be negligible, but not driving your car means less pollution in the air in your city, which adds to your health also.

So try and think of what you can do to cut down on the use of your car. Right now it's still kind of cold in Utah, where I live, and so it's hard for us to not use the car. However, once it gets warm enough, my husband can start riding his bike to work and I'll walk to the library with my daughter in a stroller. Right now though, we try to take one big shopping trip on one day of the week, instead of going two or three times a week. You can also stop at the store on your way home from work (or have your spouse do that), so that you don't have to make a separate trip. If you tend to go to several stores to get the "best deals" on something, Walmart price matches, so you can take the ads with you to Walmart and get the same deals... and cut down on your trips.

So anyway, try not to use your car unless you absolutely have to. Walk/ride to church, to the library, to work, to friend's houses, etc. Make your kids walk to school or take the bus (which is totally free), rather than driving them yourself, or letting them drive a car.

If you can manage to not use your car at all, you can even stop getting insurance on it and save an additional amount each month! :) That's hard to do though, I know.

Frugal Tip #16 (Get Healthy!)

Take care of your teeth.

Bet you haven't heard this one from a frugality blog before. Take care of your teeth! It will seriously pay off. Get in the habit of flossing every day (that was a hard one for me), brushing your teeth twice a day, and using mouthwash (the non-alcohol kind, because they've linked the alcohol ones to oral cancer). And make sure you get your teeth cleaned every 1 or 2 years by the dentist.

Luckily, where I live in Utah, they have a dental hygiene college where you can get your teeth cleaned for $5 if you don't have dental insurance (which we don't). It used to be free, but the economy necessitated an increase in rates apparently. You might have one near you; do some research.

But anyway, taking care of your teeth is much easier to do when you realize that it can cost QUITE a bit to get cavities filled and root canals done, etc. I know, because when we first got married, my husband had to get quite a bit of dental work done (a couple cavities, a root canal and a tooth replacement because one got knocked out). And even with our college insurance giving us a discount on dental, it was super expensive. So maintain your teeth, and keep from having to get expensive dental work done. :)
- Hot Frugal Momma -