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My technical life, day by day.

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Being a college student and being basically broke all the time has allowed me to be creative in finding ways to save a buck here and there. Times are tough and every dollar we can save can help. Here are some ways I have found that saves me money.

Hygiene: I don’t know about you but I spend lots of money on hygiene products: Soap, Shampoo, Razor Blades, Toilet Paper, Hair Gel, Toothpaste, Toothbrush, etc, etc….

I got to thinking about this and realize that I spend wayyyyy to much money on these things. The first thing is Razor Blades, have you seen how much these things cost?!? It’s ridiculous. So, I went looking for a better way to shave without breaking the bank because $20 bucks for 4 razor blades for a Gillette Fusion doesn’t  cut it anymore for me.  It turns out that there is this nifty way of shaving called “Wet Shaving” and its nothing new. Wet Shaving is the old fashioned way to shave, with a double edge razor, or even a straight of your man enough (or woman). I behoove anyone that shaves to take a look into Wet Shaving, you can by blades by the 100s for $20 to $30 bucks, and a double edge razor can be found for cheep. Instead of using canned goo, get a good quality shaving soap or cream that requires the use of a Boar or Badger hair brush. For more information on this I would check out: www.badgerandblade.com I am a member there too under the nick: OmegaEdge. Hope to see you there!

Another thing that is way over priced is soap. I am talking about all kinds of soap: dish soap, body wash, hand soap, laundry soap, etc. If you bought hand soap lately you probably noticed a new product: Foaming hand soap. Its a good product but to pricey, the non foaming stuff is half the price and even that costs too much for me. My solution? Ivory Dish soap, yes you read it right, Ivory dish soap. Why? Well one, it cleans my dishes very well while being gentle on my hands, two its cheep, and three…well I am getting to that :). What I do with Ivory is that I make it not only my dish soap but my hand soap, and not only that but FOAMING hand soap! How do you do that you ask, its simple. Foaming hand soap is nothing but watered down liquid soap that uses a foaming dispenser. So all you have to do is get a bottle that has a foaming dispenser, fill it about a 1/4 of a way full of liquid soap, take note that it doesn’t have to be ivory it can be any liquid soap, add water to almost the top. Give the bottle a good shake and voila! Foaming hand soap, or use Dawn (if you need the grease cutting power) and then you will have foaming dish soap! You use less and a bottle of Ivory or any other dish soap goes a long way. Just imagine the money you will save. When it comes to laundry soap I find that good ol Purex does just as good a job for me than more expensive detergents. If you don’t like Purex than make your own laundry soap! More info about that here.

Believe it or not toilet paper cost to damn much too. You use it once and you toss it and not only that, its not the most sanitary way to clean up after using the restroom. My suggestion, get a bidet! Seriously you will wonder how you ever lived with out it! Its sanitary, its easy to use, you feel clean and refreshed and if your sensitive in those areas, it beats rough toilet paper. Bidets are not cheap but they more than pay for themselves when it comes to all the money you will save  from not buying toilet paper and the hygienic befits you reap from owning one. You can find more information about them here. (I randomly choose this company, I have no experience with then nor do I endorse them, this link is given for informational purposes only).

Food and other products: Ah yes well all have to eat but does it have to cost us an arm and a leg? No says I! If you know where to shop and when to get items, there is money to be saved.

When it comes to grocery shopping I have to admit that I have tried all the coupon clipping and the week long specials that each grocery store has put out to only find that I don’t save much money. I am going to keep this simple, if you want to get pretty decent food for cheap, check out your local Aldi. Seriously this place is awesome. I get everything I need and I don’t break the bank. If you have one near you give them a visit, you might be surprised. For specialty items or name brand items that I can’t live without (or being my normal stubborn self, refusing to live without) I do shop the circulars and do clip coupons for those items when I need to, but for everyday basics you really can’t beat Aldi in my opinion. Also, never go shopping hungry you’re almost sure to buy more food then you need or buy things that you just don’t need. Also, make a list before you go and stick to it! Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.

For seasonal items, like pool supplies, fans, heaters or things that are only available during a certain amount of time, try getting them near the end of season. Recently a fan of mine was not working correctly and I wanted to replace it. I wanted a tower fan like the one I had, but noticed that they were way to expensive for what I wanted to pay for a fan. So, I waited to the EOS (retail terminology for End Of Season) for fans to come due, its usually the same for most department stores and earlier for drug stores like Walgreens and CVS. I will give you an example: I was in Walgreens the other day and noticed a tower fan that I like, I also noticed that all fans were 50% off because of EOS. So a fan that cost $40 bucks cost me $20 plus it had a $10 rebate that was still active! Score! A $40 dollar tower fan for $10 bucks, you can’t beat that. I live in Florida so fans are never really EOS for us down here, its always hot.

Eating out is always expensive, why? Because its convenient and the more convenient it is the more you will do it. It all adds up, so I try to eat out no more than 2 times a week but we all know that is hard given our hectic lifestyles.

I don’t know about you but I have noticed (buy actually tracking my expenses and sitting down and doing a budget), that I spend WAY too much on fast food/eating out. Most people eat out because of convenience, they get home from work, they are tired and they don’t want to defrost anything to cook, or even cook what is defrosted. So I thought of a way that I could have my meals pre-made and ready to stick in the oven, or the microwave with little fuss. What I have done is the following: Buy a Foodsaver. Portion your meals and seal them up and keep them in the freezer, that way you only have to take out what you need and cook accordingly. With a little Googling, you can find all kinds of information on making your meals in advance.

I hope these tips help someone out there, I know they have made a difference in my finances.

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