Amy Hannold, 247Moms Frugal Living Editor
The front page headline reads: “Want Cheapskates to Spend? Hawk gizmos that save”. Reading it, I learned that in great numbers, consumers are buying “As Seen on TV” and other “Money-Saving” inventions. What are these money-saving tools? Do you need them?
Cheapskate accessories are promoted as easier, convenient ways to get more out of what you buy. Purchase “the gadget” and you’ll save money on items such as food, toothpaste, soap, pants, and soda. While reducing waste and using resources wisely are good ideas, I for one, am not a likely buyer of these money-saving gadgets.
My grandparents, who lived during the Great Depression, instilled “frugality” into me – by their example. They diluted, recycled and pressed what they could out of what they had. Their ingenuity saved precious nickels and dimes. Healthy, efficient habits and favorite family recipes are gifts from our elders. What they did to get by then can save families money today.
Necessity is the mother of invention; this is how many products we can’t live without came into existence. Inventions such as the automatic washing machine, computer “apps”, and the internet were likely subject to the same skepticism I have for anything sold on TV.
Not all inventions are created equal, however. I have to ask: are “money-saving” gadgets worth your money? While I admire the inventor’s ambition, I do not feel that gadgets are the best choice. Where are the life lessons in a “Squeezeit” (a gadget for using the very last of toothpaste)?
In loving appreciation for what my grandparents taught me about saving money, I share the following list of “money-saving” products you probably already own:
Crockpot: Reduce take-out and delivery meals. Any meal of the day can be created – and enjoyed to the most – with your slow cooker. Meats can be stretched to serve more when you add vegetables or beans. Voila! A “welcome you home” meal is ready when you are. One of the most popular blogs: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ By the way, because crock pot cuisine requires a little planning, you might just become a meal planner and more organized. Double Frugal Bonus!
Knee Socks: Don’t laugh – these useful pieces of nylon are very handy. While camping as a kid, we used them to hold small bars of soap collected from home (or from our hotel visits). We could use this method at home, and save the purchase of a “soap saver”. Socks of other varieties can be crafted into furniture dusters, heat-therapy wraps, and more!
Home Freezer: Cook a stack of homemade waffles and place the extras in the freezer. Toast them slightly and enjoy. Find new toppings, and consider whole-wheat/healthier ingredients. Delightful popsicles, “doubles” of tonight’s dinner and garden fresh fruit can also be stored to enjoy later – and more affordably than the store-bought versions. You’ll save time, money, calories, and milligrams of sodium!