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1. Make your own soap
Washing your hands with foaming soap is an expensive indulgence. Luckily, you can make your own, says Tovah Paglaro, the queen of green for the David Suzuki Foundation. "Those are crazy easy to make," she says. All you do is mix an eighth of pure castile soap with a bit of water, then put it in a foaming bottle, Paglaro explains. To make scented soap, add a drop of essential oil. Voila, you have your own version of luscious lavender soap.
Savings: $6 per month
2. Barter your skills
Invitations, a piñata and a well-decorated, tasty cake are necessary for any good party. But they're pricey to buy. Lisa Pedersen, of the website Fab Frugal Mama, suggests swapping skills with friends to save on party expenses. Pedersen used her design skills to create invitations for a friend. In return, the friend created a Barbie-themed cake for Pedersen's daughter's birthday. "Not only does it save money, it saves time, because you're breaking up the number of tasks you have to do for that party," she says.
Savings: $15 per month
3. Make banking a service
"You need to start thinking of the bank as providing you a service," says Jeffrey Schwartz, the executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada. "When you go into a restaurant, you order what you want," he says, so the same theory applies to banking fees—you should only pay for what you want. He advises looking at what services you pay for at the bank—overdraft protection, paper statements, etc.—and cut the services you don't use.
Savings: $2 to $15 per month
4. Stop freezing away money
It's easy to forget what's in your freezer. Then, one day, you find three packs of chicken in there, completely freezer burnt. Stephanie Holmes-Winton, CEO of The Money Finder, advises you keep a freezer log. The log shows you what food you have, reminding you to eat it before it goes bad. "What I've found is that saves you a ton of money in a year on meat because you're never wasting any of it. The same with goes with bread," she says.
Savings: $40 per month
5. Plan for the future
When there are major sales at the mall, it's hard to resist splurging on new clothes. And you can splurge, just do it on your child's wardrobe for next year, says professional home economist Tracey Drabyk-Zirk. If your children have enough clothes for this season, buy them clothes in the size they'll need for next year at this time, she suggests. Plus this takes the pressure off for next year. "When the snow hits you've already got the pair of winter boots and you're not having to get to the store and pay full retail price," Drabyk-Zirk says.
Savings: 20 to 80 percent off the retail price
6. Share your dreams
Think about your biggest desire—a new home, a European vacation. Now tell someone about it. Sharing your dreams with loved ones helps you achieve that dream financially, says Taya Knight, the owner of SimplyFrugal.ca. "Just by talking to people you get really excited about it," she says. Once you're excited, it will motivate you to skip out on your daily coffee run, so you can put that money towards achieving your dream.
Savings: $60 per month
We have lots more money saving tips, including how to trim your grocery bill.