Monday, June 14, 2010

Make It Monday - Ask and Save

Welcome to the first edition of the Make It Monday weekly article here at MrsSmith-ExtremeShopper! With this articles, I hope to share personal ways of making do with less, or creative ways to stretch one's dollar. Some examples may be common sense ones, others may be nuggets of gold I've gleaned from my fanatical use of the internet. I hope they prove useful to you!

Today's Make It Monday is a simple yet effective way of saving money : Ask. Now, I do not mean asking others for money (although some may argue this can put some $ in your pocket!) What I mean is, if you are wanting to get something for less, ask!

A few months ago, I was itching to buy a KitchenAid mixer. I had the money but I still wanted to see if I could get it for cheaper. So I looked at the flyers, on Craigslist, Kijiji, and other social media boards. Just as I was ready to plunk the money down on a machine, I happened to ask my mother if she knew anyone who might be selling off their mixer for cheap. Guess what? She said,"I have a mixer I don't use, you can have it!"

So I got a Kenwood Mixer, one that my mom had used years ago and then kept away in her cupboards. It works great, and best of all, it was free! I use it regularly now and think fondly of my mom everytime I use it! Yes, it's not new, and yes, she did put a piece of tape over the top (no idea why, it's not broken), but it works, and works beautifully, and it was FREE.

Lesson learned: Ask.

I saved over $300 just by doing that.

Let's take this Asking concept further. Take out your phone and TV bills. How would you like to take a few dollars off each bill every month? It's possible - and without having to lose any of your services. How would you do that? Ask. Call your local provider and tell them you'd like to save some money every month without losing services. Research other companies, and tell your provider you will consider switching if you do not get a better deal. Ask for the manager to get the maximum savings you can get. Even $10-$20 savings per month will lead to $120-$240 savings every year! Do it today - the savings are there to be had.

There are of course other ways to use this Ask concept, which I will cover in another Make It Monday article.

Here's a recipe that I use regularly, now that I have my new-to-me, free because I asked, mixer:

Banana Bread (recipe for 1 loaf)
3 ripe and mashed bananas
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 Tablespoons milk or water
2 eggs, beaten

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
 (white or brown)
1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Mix together bananas, oil, eggs, vanilla and milk in mixer. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend well. Pour into prepared greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
*You may add walnuts if you wish. Recipe is easily doubled/tripled.*

1 comment:

  1. that recipe looks great! I think I shall make it - as I just happen to have some bananas that need to be used.