Welcome to the second part of 25 ways I save money.

6. Order free samples online.

Now you guys and gals know how I just LOVE to get FREE stuff. I can get stuff online or from other folks it really does not matter. The thing I just love about ordering things online is that you can get samples shipped to you for free and who does not like free stuff. The main place I use is MyPoints. With MyPoints they send you emails that you can click on and earn 5 points each time. You get the points just for clicking on the link and if you complete the offer then you can get more points. When you get a certain number of points you can redeem them for various things like gift cards to certain places. Now I always use my points to get gift cards to Walmart because I shop there so often…but there are a wide variety of places you can get cards for.

Another place I use is Start Sampling. Now on this site you can order actual samples of stuff. These are usually the trial size of items like toothpaste or deodorant and they are perfect for when you travel. The thing I like most about this site is that you are not only limited to trial sizes of items. You can also get magazine subscriptions for free. The selections vary from magazines like Redbook to Scuba diving magazines and you can get anything from one free issue to a one year free subscription. It all depends on what they have available. I have used the trial sample of tylenol to keep in my purse at work in case I need a pain killer. I kept one of the trial deodorants in my glove compartment for that odd day when I rushed out of the house only to discover that I had not put on any deodorant before getting dressed.

7. Use candles.

I wrote previously that you could save money by being more romantic. I have candles in my bathroom now that I use to serve multiple purposes. I have the prayer candles that I burn every so often as part of my spiritual journey and I add scented oil to the ones that are not already scented to give a lovely smell to the bathroom. These candles are placed in front of the mirror so that the light is reflected through the room and I do not have to turn on the light in the bathroom….so I save on the electricity. It has seriously lowered my electric bill so I will keep doing this.

8. Turn off unused appliances.

Do I REALLY need to get into this one? If you are not going to be using the appliance then there is really no need for it to be on. I only use my microwave to heat water for breakfast and then again to heat either my lunch or my dinner. This means the microwave is being used twice for the day. I unplug it as soon as I am done because it does not need to stay on. I have two watches, two cell phones (one is old and is not being used) and a battery powered clock (rechargeable batteries y’all) that I can get the time from. I do not need the microwave to function as a clock during the day and it is not like a refrigerator that MUST stay on constantly.

I have my computer on a power strip that is separate from the strip the cable modem is on. At night when I go to bed I turn the strip with the computer off because the computer will not be in use from about 9pm (yes I am like a chicken, I go to sleep early) to about 3pm the next day when I get home from school. That is 18 hours of non use where I can save on electricity costs. I also have the VCR unplugged because I rarely ever use it. Now I guess I should unplug the television too…but I have not because I do not want to have to reprogram the channels. (Bah!).

9. Make my lunch.

Yup I am the only one in the office who has stuff in the refrigerator. Every day I come in and put my little sandwich and my container of yogurt in the back office. I make cheese sandwiches or tuna sandwiches and bring them to work every day. Sometimes on Fridays I would bring one of those little frozen dinners if I had decided to splurge sometime. If I cook during the week then I take my little dish of leftovers and (gasp coworkers) heat it up in the microwave thoughtfully provided by the office. I also bring grapes or bananas to work to have as a snack during the day. I save money by always having something to eat during the day so that I am not tempted to go to the vending machines.

10. Pick up pennies.

I am always scanning the ground when I walk across campus as I go to and from class. When I go to do laundry I make sure to look at the floor around the lint bins too because people always leave money there. I am always finding pennies on the ground so I pick them up. You would be amazed at the number of pennies people leave on the ground in laundries, near the bus stop and in offices. I guess they think a penny is not worth stooping for…but I love the penny! Another good place to find money is on people’s desks. If you look in the cup that has pens and pencils or the container that holds the paper clips and rubber bands you can be sure to find nickles and sometimes even dimes covered with lint. Most people don’t care if you take them because after all it is just a few cents.

On a point of clarification that a commentor brought up to me. I do not STEAL the money off people’s desks. The pennies and nickles are on my co-workers’ desks and I ask first. I have coworkers who will come back from lunch and drop pennies into the containers on the desk because they are cleaning out their purses. I always ask them if I can have the pennies when I go into their offices.They say they do not want to have small change like that carrying around. My boss even brought in a bag of change smaller than quarters that she found all around our offices when she took over and said it was too much of a bother for her to go to the bank for it so anyone who wanted the change could have it. People dug through and took the dimes out and left all the pennies and nickles….which I ended up taking home.

Read part 1 here.