MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Simple ideas for saving money

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Would you wash your drinking straws to save money? The Diva of Discounts does and from routine to extreme -- here are eleven ways you can start saving today.

1) In the winter after cooking, I crack the oven door to let the excess heat into the house-I did pay for that heat!

2) I joined a community-supported agriculture program for buying fresh, local produce. The prices are often cheaper than commercial chains plus they give away freebies every time I shop.

3) I save seeds from vegetables we eat to grow in the spring.

4) I've saved yogurt containers to start the seeds.

5) Speaking of containers, Chinese food and lunchmeat containers make perfect Tupperware. We can easily see the leftovers that need to be eaten.

6) Lean leftovers and non-pork products supplement my dog's dry food. We rarely buy wet dog food and the vet says he's in excellent health.

7) I've started recycling metal. In two trips I've made about $30.

8) Those codes on the inside of Coke caps can be redeemed online for fuel savings. Every 14 caps gets me 10 cents off a gallon with the Fuel Rewards Network. I also get free PowerAde coupons using Coke points.

9) I've discovered the power of bleach. Not only does it remove all that icky stuff from the shower, it also kills moss and mildew growing outside surfaces, like on my roof and deck.

10) When I eat out- I don't pay for kids meals. We choose to eat at restaurants that participate with kids dine free. For every adult meal you buy, you get one kids meal free. The card costs 20 dollars and lasts for three months, but I pay half that buying though Groupon and Living Social.

11) For the first time in 20 years, I got a credit card. It's a Kroger 1-2-3 Card that rewards me for shopping. I use it to pay for just about everything making sure to pay it off every month. In a year, I've gotten more than 100 dollars worth of free groceries.

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