Frugal ideas that save money

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Not all cheapskates are created equal. Many people snag a few extra napkins or condiments from fast food restaurants. But I like to take it a step further.

We were tired of paying almost $300 a year for collectors to empty a half-filled trash can each week, so we cancelled the service. Now we pay $7 every two months and take it to the dump ourselves.

We now recycle religiously, filling 3 bins every 2 weeks. We compost fruits and vegetable scraps plus the morning coffee grounds.

We use that compost in the garden -- which allows us to save on veggies. In the winter, my husband removes fallen trees for people we know. His hard labor results in a ton of free firewood. Sticks from the yard act as kindling.

When we want a quick fire, we use the fire starters we bought last spring. Buying them off season, we only paid $9 for a pack of 6. But sparking a fire can be even less expensive.

This is my new favorite trick. Use your dryer to lint to stuff empty toilet paper holders. They're extremely flammable and a good way to use two things you would have tossed.

Children's clothes are bought and sold at consignment-selling last season's clothes pays for the ones I buy. Clothing that can't be sold is saved to clean up big messes. An inside out sock does wonders cleaning a flat screen TV.

Grocery bags serve multiple purposes, they go in bathroom trash cans, we use them to pick up after the dog and to transport items to and from daycare.

Our books are bought and sold at used book stores. We get credit for what we turn in and pay less for what we want.

I take Hull Street to work to avoid paying tolls. I've cut my husband's hair for the last ten years. We scour the ground for loose change wherever we go. In the last year we've amassed about $200 that others dropped.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.