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How to Save Money by Spending It

Trying to build a nest egg? Believe it or not, you don’t always have to cut back. Sometimes you actually can save a heap of money in the long run by spending a little now.

Hard to believe? Check out these ideas from nationally recognized money and saving expert Andrea Woroch. Just follow her advice and watch your savings grow.

How to Save Money by Spending It

Ice Cream Makers and Ice Pop Makers

Are there any kids (or adults who feel like kids) in the family? Then ice cream machines ($60) and ice pop makers ($4.99) are a must. Not only will your entire family enjoy concocting flavors and creating treats, but you’ll save big, too. Instead of spending 50 cents apiece (or more) for juice bars, DIY juice pops cost less than 20 cents each. Churn your own ice cream and save dollars per quart over store-bought premium ice cream. Lots of fun and endless ingredients make these win/win investments.

Canning Equipment

If you preserve fruits and veggies when they’re at their peak, not only will you save money, but you’ll also enjoy the just-picked flavor all year long. Who doesn’t love homemade jams, crisp pickles, salsa, spaghetti sauce, and pie fillings? Homemade goodies also make perfect gifts! When you consider that canning supplies last for years, the start-up cost is modest. For under $100, you can get a canning pot, rack, jars, a thermometer, a jar-lifter, and miscellaneous utensils.


Fresh juices from vendors can be very expensive, so if you drink juices even just a few days a week, a juicer could be a wise investment. If you’re new to juicing, start with a less expensive machine ($20 for citrus juicers; $70 for juice extractors). If you find it’s something you’re really into, you can upgrade to a more sophisticated machine ($300-plus) later.

Insulated Window Treatments

Since heating and cooling represent the biggest energy hogs in your house, it’s essential to keep warm air in when it’s cold outside and cold air in when it’s scorching. One of the easiest and most economical ways to do that is with insulated window treatments. As low as $17.99 a panel, insulated curtains also have the added feature of blocking light — a plus for families with tykes who often go to bed while it’s still light outside.

Programmable Thermostat

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees F from its normal setting for eight hours a day. The easiest way to do this is with a programmable thermostat. It allows you to adjust temperatures for when you’re asleep or not at home. Many now come with mobile controls so you can adjust the temperature from your car or office. Prices start at $60 and can run over $200 for more sophisticated systems. Considering the annual savings of $180 in energy costs, these thermostats pay for themselves.

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