Cooking, Finance, House and Home

Money saving tips for the starving writer

homemade pickles
This is my first attempt to make homemade pickles reusing the juice from my favorite store-bought brand.

I am thinking about running a series of blog posts on money saving tips for the starving writer. The free sample lady at my local Wal-Mart grocery is always full of tips. I love this lady. She doesn’t stand around with a blank look on her face or scowl at the people who are eating her samples even when they obviously have no intention of purchasing the product. No, this woman will chat with you whether you’re going to buy her products or not. She also likes to look in your shopping cart to see if she has any coupons for what you are buying. She has saved me money on a few occasions.

One day she noticed that I had some pickles in my cart. I like pickles, and I am picky about them. No matter how broke I am, there is only one brand of pickles that I will buy, and I don’t care that they are probably the most expensive pickles in the store or that they have to be refrigerated whether you have opened them yet or not.

“Those are good pickles, aren’t they?” free sample lady said.

“Oh yes, we eat them all the time,” I said, hoping she was about to offer me a coupon for a dollar off.

She didn’t have a coupon for me, but she did have a tip. She told me that once you finish a jar of these particular pickles, you can reuse the juice to “make” another jar of your own. All you have to do is slice up a cucumber and throw the slices into the jar of pickle juice. Then leave them in the refrigerator for at least three days. Next thing you know, you have another jar of your favorite, expensive pickles without the high cost.

She gave me a few additional tips as well. For example, you shouldn’t re-use the juice more than once. She recommends that you slice your pickles at a different angle than the ones you purchased. That way, you can easily remember whether this batch of pickles is the store-bought or the homemade.

Even if you do this only once with each jar you buy, you can save a couple of dollars on every other jar of pickles that your family eats. When you eat as many pickles as my family does, that adds up to around $20 in savings each year. Imagine how much money you can save if you come up with several similar ideas and implement them consistently.

What are your best money saving tips? Please share in the comments below.

~Amanda L. Webster

3 thoughts on “Money saving tips for the starving writer”

  1. I used to try coupons, but never have them with me. So now I have the Retail Me App on my phone and when I make that unexpected trip to the store, the coupons are with me always (doesn’t work great with grocery items, but wonderful for name brand stores). I also started using a combo of lemons, vinegar and baking soda instead of buying cleaning supplies. They work better, cost best and are better for your surfaces.

    1. I’m not a fan of coupons myself, for the same reason you mentioned, plus the fact that the store brand typically ends up being cheaper than the name brand even with the coupon. I always felt like I was wasting more time than I was saving money. Especially when I sometimes ended up buying things I wouldn’t normally buy just because I had a coupon for it.

      I looked into the Retail Me Not app, but I don’t really shop at name brand stores, so they didn’t have any savings for me. 😦

      You know what I really want, is an app that has all the same grocery coupons that you might normally clip from your Sunday paper. Instead of clipping them though, I want to just whip it out at the register and see if there are coupons for what I’m already buying. One quick scan, and then I’m done!

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