More Stress-Free Savings


Not for nothing, but I just can’t see making my own laundry detergent for the rest of my life, regardless of how much money it could potentially save me.

This is not to say that I look down on those who do. In fact, I admire individuals who possess the wherewithal to combine different ingredients and magically mix-up a concoction that actually gets clothes clean. What’s more, I am not above finding alternative ways to sanitize my home without breaking the bank. For example, rather than use Clorox to disinfect my kitchen sink and counters, I use vinegar, water and a little dish soap.

Other ways I save money throughout the year without turning my life upside down to do so include:

Homemade Gifts: This does not include re-gifting. Rather, it requires a little creativity and some crafting skills to create thoughtful, personal gifts for friends and family. Simple examples include baked goods, decoupage photo frames, and scrapbooks.

Say “no” to soda: In our home we say “no” to all carbonated beverages. This has significantly reduced our beverage bill, though we still purchase bottled water. It would be cheaper to drink tap water and spice it up with cheap flavor packets. We’re working on it.

Home Haircuts: If you have a steady hand and some clippers, you can save a bundle by cutting your children’s hair at home. Granted, it’s easier to cut boys’ hair than girls’, but if your daughter has long hair, there are a slew of websites that offer simple trimming tips.

Eliminate Cable: The decision to get rid of cable has saved us a substantial amount of money. You can also enjoy long-term savings by downgrading your service package. If you are worried about missing out on movies, try Netflix. Before you reduce your plan, determine how many channels you really watch on a regular basis. You may realize that you don’t need cable or satellite at all.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.