Some Options for Resourceful Living

All About Money
Family and Consumer Sciences
Family and Consumer Sciences

Use Less/Substitute

Use Tender Loving Care to
Keep What You Have

  • Stick to basic nutrient-dense foods for variety and versatility.
  • Use lowest priced form of food item that fits your needs.
  • Try recipes using less costly protein-rich foods such as eggs, cheese, beans, dairy products, and peanut butter.
  • Avoid buying expensive, calorie dense snacks.
  • Wrap foods before storing to retain freshness.
  • Store foods promptly and in appropriate storage places.
  • Rotate foods using least fresh first.
  • Avoid wasting food; use leftovers to make nutritious frozen dinners.
  • Take good care of kitchen utensils and appliances.
  • Lower your home heating temperature.
  • Raise home cooling temperature; use overhead or portable fans for localized cooling.
  • Avoid buying appliances you don’t really need.
  • Don’t rent or buy more house than you need.
  • Use energy efficient lightbulbs.
  • Consider renting or borrowing equipment or items used infrequently.
  • Develop and use regular home maintenance schedules.
  • Take care of minor maintenance problems before they become major, expensive disasters.
  • Check weather stripping and caulking periodically for effectiveness.
  • Clean rugs, furniture, draperies regularly to prolong wear. 
  • Plan wardrobe around activities and buy color- and style-coordinated clothing that can be mixed and matched.
  • Select classic styles that are suitable for several seasons.
  • Sell or donate good used clothing to reduce closet clutter.
  • Remove spots and stains promptly.
  • Make repairs when needed.
  • Wear old clothes for rough and/or dirty jobs.
  • Follow care label instructions for laundry and dry cleaning.
  • Maintain your weight; fluctuating weight means more purchases for different clothing sizes to accommodate weight loss or gain.
  • Plan work/errands to avoid “back-tracking.”
  • Don’t buy more car than you need.
  • Keep the car longer.
  • Drop collision insurance coverage on old cars.
  • Avoid using the car for short jaunts.
  • Use public transportation when available.
  • Walk or ride bike, if feasible.
  • Practice safe driving methods.
  • Read your car owner’s manual to become knowledgeable about its features.
  • Get regular maintenance and service checkups.
  • Park in areas offering as much security as possible.
  • Avoid duplication in insurance coverage.
  • Beware of balance billing.
  • Check your medical bills for errors.
  • Get a less expensive plan by going in with a group (like a professional association).
  • Enroll in a flexible spending account at work.
  • Opt for a higher deductible.
Practice prevention through:
  • Regular dental and medical check-ups. 
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. 
  • Avoiding accidental injury. 
  • Adopting healthy habits.
  • Lower your mobile phone bill by comparing plans.
  • Consider refurbished products.
  • Recycle or trade in old devices.
  • Consider alternative options for TV viewing.
  • Buy fewer “extra” premium services (cable, satellite, streaming).
  • Install all computer updates.
  • Computers generate heat. Keep equipment cool and provide proper airflow.
  • Get a good case for your phone.
  • Handle phones, tablets, and laptops with care.
  • Keep phone and computer clean.

Do It Yourself

Improve Shopping Skills

  • Eat at home, brown bag for lunch.
  • Plant a garden; can or freeze surplus.
  • Learn how to get the most from the meat you buy.
  • Make low-cost nutritious snacks readily available.
  • Make full use of your freezer, prepare recipes in quantity and freeze for later use.
  • Check needs before shopping and use a list.
  • Take advantage of weekly specials and store apps to get the best deals and/or coupons.
  • Pay attention to price per unit and compare unit prices.
  • Read the nutrition facts label.
  • Stock up on specials that have a long shelf life or freezer life.
  • Do simple home repairs and maintenance yourself.
  • Practice energy conservation.
  • Paint and repurpose older furniture for a new look.
  • Make curtain panels out of flat sheets.
  • Learn how to care for the yard and landscaping.
  • Shop seasonal sales for household goods, furnishings, and appliances.
  • Consider utility and maintenance costs as well as the initial price of an item.
  • Underbid the asking price on a house.
  • Watch for end-of-summer sales of plants, mulch, and other gardening materials.
  • Mend, repair, and/or alter clothes yourself.
  • Use coin-operated dry cleaning.
  • Sew some of your own clothes or, if needed, take a sewing class.
  • Store clothes properly.
  • Follow washer and dryer instructions for better laundry outcomes.
  • Shop sales for wardrobe needs.
  • Buy the quality that suits your purpose.
  • Know store’s exchange policy.
  • Explore thrift stores, garage sales, or other low cost options for good used clothing.
  • Inspect clothing carefully for flaws.
  • Walk or ride a bike.
  • Combine trips, run errands before/after work.
  • Use carpools or ride sharing services such as Uber or Lyft.
  • Wash your car at home.
  • Do some car maintenance yourself (check tire pressure, fluid levels, add oil or antifreeze).
  • Bargain for best deal on a vehicle.
  • Shop around for best deal on vehicle loan.
  • Compare insurance rates with different companies (before purchasing a vehicle).
  • Shop for low-cost airfares.
  • Car shop at the end of the month.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Exercise properly.
  • Get adequate rest.
  • Learn first aid.
  • Reduce insurance premiums with higher deductible and/or co-payment.
  • Get prescriptions by generic name, not brand name, if possible.
  • Buy insurance through group plan.
  • Compare drug prices at different pharmacies.
  • Cut co-pays by purchasing 90-day supply prescriptions instead of 30-day.
  • Go with store brands.
  • Identify what you need to learn.
  • Read technical books.
  • Use YouTube, product videos, or other online tutorials or forums to learn the features of your phone/tablet/computer.
  • Take a class to learn how to use your device.
  • Improve your computer skills through e-learning.
  • Use consumer websites and/or magazines to compare makes and models.
  • Take advantage of online resources such as webinars, articles, podcasts, and videos.
  • Ask an expert—use store personnel or online chat boxes.