Thrifty ways to save money for an emergency need not be a chore when you are making a good effort to put money aside constantly.
Learn rural money tips from hardcore preppers who are always in a mood of saving; and watch as your bank account accumulates.
Instead of buying a new DVD, save money by trading with family and friends.
Once a month, do the rounds and before you know it, you will have a new library of good movies to enjoy.
Plant a small garden each spring, with just the vegetables that you really like.
Even a small effort every day can save you dollars usually spent on fresh vegetables at the produce market.
Buy your bread and other bakery items at the local thrift bread store.
Check your local library for the newest DVD/video releases and then check them out for two days.
Read your local newspapers online.
Search eBay/Craigslist for big-ticket items, and then save literally hundreds on computers, DVD players, etc.
Keep track of the cost of items you buy a lot and get them at the cheapest store, like cleaning supplies at Dollar Tree, pet food at Walmart, etc.
Make a conscious effort to combine tasks that require driving some place, so you will get the most out of your mileage.
For your friends and family who do not feel slighted by this, send e-mail cards for holidays, birthdays and as thank you cards.
In addition, e-mail family and friends who live far away, instead of buying cards and stamps.
Get rid of your monthly fee long distance service, and just use an access code when you do call, which is infrequently anyway and inexpensive.
Decide which satellite channels you could do without, and give up a few shows you really like.
You can save more than $20.00 on your monthly bill.
When you buy vegetables, fruits and bread at the grocery store check the reduced-for-quick-sale carts and shelves first.
Change the oil in your vehicles yourself.
Save money when buying clothes for the following year at the end of the season and during the off-season.
You can get great mark down prices.
Each evening take the spare change from your pockets or periodically clean out your purse and toss the coins aside.
Never take any money back until the end of the year.
Then take all of the coins to the bank and exchange them for cash.
You’ll be surprised to find out they’ve added up to $50, $100 or even $200.
Don’t forget to buy coin rolls and label them with those free labels you get in the mail.
“Take care of your cents, and then your dollars will take care of themselves.”
Bike to work in good weather instead of driving to save on gas.
Eat a few hearty vegetarian meals each week.
Shop garage sales, etc. for a great source of household items, books, clothing, and furniture.
Don’t buy bottled water!
Buy a good water-filter and drink tap water.
By the end of each day, put all of your change into an empty coffee can.
Then roll coins as you watch TV or listen to the radio.
This will add up to hundreds of dollars very quickly and gives you something good to do with your hands to relax.
Save money by reducing your energy costs.
Energy can be the number two or three expense, along with the cost of rent or mortgage and food.
Switch every single bulb to compact florescent bulbs.
They may be expensive but they last for years (no more replacements), and tend to use about 10-20% of the energy of regular bulbs.
Buy one each time you make a shopping trip, starting in the high traffic areas of the house like the kitchen or stairway until you no longer have any incandescent bulbs left.
If you own your home, seriously consider switching any electric heating appliances to natural gas such as the hot water heater, furnace, stove or dryer.
Electricity can be used for almost any device, and you pay a hefty premium on electricity for that.
Gas is very efficient for heating devices; it heats up much quicker and wastes far less energy.
Do all of your laundry in cold water. Most modern detergents are just as effective in cold water as in hot water.
Also, make sure any laundry that you do is a complete and full load.
It takes the same amount of energy as a tenth of a load.
Try this trick with your dryer: Put it on for 20 minutes, and then put it on “air fluff” for 15 minutes.
Your clothes are already hot with the water coming off as vapor and you’ll find although it takes about 20% longer, you save about 50% of the energy costs of your dryer.
In the colder months when you need to use your furnace, turn the heat on to your desired temperature.
When the furnace turns off (your house has been heated to temperature), turn the thermostat to the off position.
If you feel cold, check the thermostat.
If you feel 5 degrees below your desired temperature, turn the thermostat on again to your desired temperature.
Do the same with the air conditioner in summer morning/night.
Often furnaces will kick in and out to maintain your desired temperature, but furnaces are far more efficient when they are in the heat cycle for longer periods.
You’ll save about 50% on your furnace costs, even 30% over having a high-tech digital thermostat.
Of course keep it completely off when you’re out of the house.
If you ever leave the house for the weekend or longer, unplug everything.
That alarm clock or VCR blinking or DVD on standby still take power.
If you’re leaving the house for a week, you will save real money by just unplugging all of these devices.
You’ll protect your home from fire risks should there be a malfunction or power surge.
Keep your fridge and freezer as full as possible.
The less airspace in your fridge, the less time it takes for your fridge or freezer to cool the air.
Don’t have much money for food?
Just buy a bunch of bread and throw it in the freezer, you usually can get bread cheaper when you buy it in large quantities anyway (or a food pantry has plenty of free bread).
If you really need a magazine subscription, then make up a small group maybe with three people to divide the costs.
Then each person can keep the magazine for one week.
Save money by throwing away any catalogs or magazines, which tempt you to buy something.
Cereal can be frozen and it keeps for a very long time.
Before that, we could never eat it fast enough and had to throw it away when it was stale.
The same works for chips, cookies, etc. When you pour milk on it, you would never know that it had been frozen.
I have not yet found a cereal that tasted bad from the freezer.
Save money by preparing your grocery list by planning menus for the coming week and buy only what is on your list, and use coupon printables.
Borrow DVDs from friends and family instead of renting.
Set your washer to the shortest wash setting possible.
Instead of washing your clothes for 10 minutes put it on for 5 minutes.
It saves on your electric bill and on your clothes wear and tear.
Pick up the pennies, dimes and nickels found on the sidewalks or in parking lots.
Add it to the jar of loose change you are saving and by the end of the year you can add this money to your emergency fund.
Foster the practice of team sports in your kids.
The more time you spend with your kids playing sports, the less time and money they will spend at the shopping mall.
To save money on gas, don’t fill the gas tank to the brim since the extra weight of the gasoline takes extra toll on engine power.
Take out all items in the trunk that are not important to reduce vehicle weight.
Watch other peoples’ budget-conscious movies.
Buy your own jar of popcorn and add your own seasonings.
Turn off the heat at night and sleep with a hot water bottle.
This works fine in a small apartment, because it heats up quickly.
For people with larger houses, turning the heat down should work well, too.
If you must drink a specialty coffee, Espresso seems like a luxury item, but because it’s ground finer, and you use less, the coffee lasts longer.
Shop eBay for things like razors, lotions, computer software, baby formula, diapers, etc.
If you can plan ahead, you will save.
Each pay period set aside any amount that you have budgeted for but did not need to spend.
For instance, you may have anticipated that $50 would be needed to maintain your car, but only had to spend $30.
Take the “extra” $20 and put it into your savings account.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to always have plenty of extra money?
They make it their priority to find thrifty ways to save money constantly for emergency and everyday expenses.
A hardcore prepper’s greatest asset is to save money!
Author’s Info: Tonza Borden is a 20-year finance and digital marketing expert with a passion for training. She is also an advocate for people with disabilities and the working poor. Visit her sister website at RuralIncome.com for exclusive community resources and strategies for your financial future.