Aka: How to save money on things in your life. Feel free to post! But people from non-USA countries, keep in mind that's where I live and how I'll be posting things. :3
I'm always trying to identify ways to get things for free or cheap.
I'll leave cheapskate cooking/recipes out of this thread; I think its something that is big enough to warrant it's own thread. Tips like 'How I saved money packing my lunches' is cool.
PLS is a check cashing service.. but they also do free money orders. So anyone paying for money orders is totally getting suckered out of their money. More banks should take a hint from these awesome guys.
Also, what most banks DO offer is free notary signing. So, if you don't have a bank in person (like mine) you can always just ask a friend to get it notarized for you when they stop by their bank. My sister does it for me all the time.
If you're getting rid of your old phone line to save money, and lose some privileges like faxing, here's how you get them back. If it's work related Workforce Solutions lets you fax anything for free. Don't even need to ask. Just walk in there, go to the faxing station, and fax it off. (I do this for anything bigger than 3 pages too, since it's not like they're reading my faxes or anything... and they pay the same price for the service... I usually just bring some paper to help replace the paper I use.) If you have less than three pages, Free Fax • Free Internet Faxing is a free service you can use to send them electronically. Just scan the pages.. or if you have digital pages that are PDF formats and separate, PDFMerge! - Merge PDF files online for free. will make them all into one convenient file for you. Of course there's always the option of borrowing a friend's or work's fax machines.
Also, if you've never tried a salvage grocery store you definitely should. Knowing the true expiration dates of foods helps a lot, and the internet can help a bit with that ( Is Your Food Expired? Don’t Be So Quick to Toss It | TIME.com ), but overall you can buy pretty high quality name brand stuff for dollar store and cheaper prices. (Yesterday everything I bought wasn't even expired yet.. and we got an entire ham for $5 and Eggland's best eggs for $1 a dozen.) So if you haven't heard of one in your area, search around and ask around.
Like bottled water stuff and you're trying to convert to Brita Filters and reusable water bottles like I am.. Brita Filters Costing You a Fortune? Use These DIY Methods to Clean Your Water for Half the Price � Food Hacks this shows off how to refill the filters for cheap. Since I always buy the filters at the thrift store for $0.99 each, it's not sooo much of a worry. But considering it's just activated charcoal and some resin for hard water deposits, it can typically last MUCH longer than the directions ever say. So don't go by the filter directions--go by taste. If it starts to taste like tap water, then it's time to change it. and if this guy on Amazon is to be believed, it can last longer than that even.
Since chlorine taste is all I care about filtering out, and science generally backs this dude's assessment, I've been trying it for a few months now and.. Yup, the water still tastes the same. And I have to refill my brita pitcher daily.By Jonathan B. Smith on February 25, 2010
No, the title of this review isn't warning you about making kool-aid in a water purifier. Rather to tell the truth about carbon/charcoal filters. They don't go bad. I've been using this filter for 9 months now filling it up three times a day, but more to the point, I used to work with a large water filtration team in charge of cleaning up an EPA superfund site. They had great big tanks full of sand and carbon to filter out a bunch of little nasties that you and your tap water can't even imagine. When the flow was restricted they'd just shoot the water back the other way for a bit and then return to normal operation. The carbon (little black sand) in your filter does not go bad, no matter what the manufacturers tell you. That's how they make their money, by selling you a plastic cup filled with black sand every couple of months. The filter, over a very long period of time, may become clogged. If that happens, take it out, run water over it, turn it upside down, bang it on the counter, I don't care. Whatever you do, buy another filter only as a last resort.
Let me repeat this. These filtration people are selling you a cheap plastic tub with sand in the top and a nozzle on the bottom. The only high tech thing about this is the electronic filter-alarm doohickey that I've never even turned on. Use it until the water just won't go through it any longer. By that time you'll probably just want to buy a brand new one.
Edit: I was trying to make as simple a statement as possible about how infrequently you REALLY need to change your filter. The activated charcoal inside the filter can absorb so much more than the company would have you believe. If you use this for a city water source, the only thing you'll really need it to filter is chlorine. If you begin to taste chlorine in your filtered water, change your filter. I use mine for well water, so all I need is to filter any detritus that may come up from the ground. Therefore, as long as the water flows, I won't need to change my filter.
I hope this will satisfy the further questions.
And finally, I cannot say this enough, good thrift stores. We are really lucky to have them everywhere in Texas, but a great thrift store can save thousands.