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I know I am always looking for ways to save money. Who doesn’t want to save a few bucks? There have been times in my life when I was so broke and I looked for ways to save money out of necessity, but even now when life is a little more comfortable financially, I don’t like spending any more than I have to.
I’m not a cheapskate. I will spend money where I feel it is worth it, but it has to be worth it. I’m going to share with you some of my favorite money-saving tips and also some ideas that were shared with me when I hit my friends up on Facebook!
50+ Ways to Save Money Now!
First I have to tell you, I come by my frugality honestly. When I graduated from high school years ago, my grandparents (who were extremely frugal) got me a card for graduation and put money in it…
…then they took the card back to the store, got the money back for the card, and gave me that money with the rest of the money gift. My grandparents couldn’t stand to spend a couple of bucks on a card. They wanted ME to have the money instead of the store. 🙂
Save Money by Shopping Sales
That doesn’t mean buy everything “on sale”. That means shop the sales, but only buy things that are actually a good deal. Check unit prices, do price comparisons with other stores on your smart phone. Make sure the sale price is a good deal!
It’s important to know what things should cost! If you buy an item because it is marked “on sale”, but the price was inflated to begin with, you aren’t saving money! If it is something you buy regularly, hopefully you have been paying attention to prices and have an idea what a good price is.
If it is something you don’t buy often, check out the prices at a few other stores. Compare and see if it really is a good deal. That said, it would be silly to drive 10 miles to another store because an item is 25 cents cheaper. You need to factor in the cost of gas and the value of your time. It is a balancing act, but you can do it!
Save Money Buying Meat
If you check your meat (and dairy) departments first thing in the morning (for the store I go to, it seems to be Saturday mornings are best), you can get discounted meat and milk that is nearing it’s “sell by” date. I love to stock up on meat that way and throw it in the deep freezer! (And we go through milk so fast at our house, that the discounted milk works great for us, too!)
One of my favorite ways to shop the sales is to go to the case lot sales my grocery store has a couple of times a year. If you haven’t been to a case lot sales, it just means that you buy a case of an item and get a lower price. That is how I buy my peanut butter, black and pinto beans, canned vegetables for food storage, etc.
Buying in bulk at warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s Club can also save you money, but again-it is important to pay attention to the unit price and make sure it is a good deal!
Save Money Buying Produce
You can also save on produce! There are places where you can pick your own produce to get a cheaper price! Or if you shop for produce at Sprouts, check out their app for savings!
Save Money by Shopping Store Clearance
Another one of my favorite ways to shop the sales is to shop clearance. Whether it is an item the merchant is discontinuing, the clearance racks at the store, or online clearance, there are lots of savings to be had!
When it comes to clearance sales, I have a few favorites. I love Target’s clearance (usually found at the end of the aisles), especially in the home goods section! I have found some fun deals there.
Another HUGE favorite of mine is The Children’s Place online clearance. Here’s a tip about that-sign up for their emails! Every couple of months they will have 60-80 % off of their clearance WITH free shipping. Whenever I get the emails about that, I go load up my e-cart. I often get 6 or 7 clothing items for my daughter for about $25-$30 bucks! It is awesome!
Sometimes you can find clearance deals in places you would not expect. An example- we live near a Cal-Ranch store. My husband buys some clothes there, but mostly we go there to get supplies for our backyard chickens or dog food. A few days ago I needed to get a life jacket for our 6 year old and I got one on clearance for 6 bucks! It’s super cute-pink and purple, which she loves, and a high quality brand. Now that Independence Day is over, stores are starting to clear out some of their summer stuff, so capitalize on deals like that!
Make sure you learn about the best time of year to buy everything!
Save Money by Buying Second-Hand
Shop the thrift stores. There are things I won’t buy at thrift stores (ie. a puzzle. How would you know if all of the pieces are there?). There are lots of great deals to be had there, though, if you are willing to spend some time looking.
I wander through my local thrift store every now and then. Sometimes I don’t buy anything, but sometimes I walk away with a great deal and that makes me really excited! Over the years, we have gotten a snow blower for $25, a treadmill for $10, a bike for $10.
Another way to save money with second hand is to another family with people similar in age/size as your family and trade hand-me-downs with them. Some churches will have clothing exchanges, which can also get you some great clothing freebies! You can also find gently used items on websites like E-bay and Threadup.
Ways to Save Money Using Coupons
I do not mean “extreme couponing”, although if you have the time and want to do it, go for it! For most people that just isn’t a practical use of their time, particularly since there are so many amazing money saving apps that do a lot of the work for us! Target has “Cartwheel”, Smith’s has their own app, Wal-mart has Savings Catcher, and so on. If you don’t shop at one of those stores, check with your local grocery store to see if they have an app to help save you some money!
If you don’t have a smart phone, don’t worry! You can also download grocery coupons off of websites like coupons.com and grocery coupon network. (Pssst…some stores let you “stack” paper coupons with their online app coupons for extra savings!)
Don’t limit your app use to grocery store apps! Apps like RetailMeNot, Ibotta, Ebates, Groupon, Savingstar, Flipp, Receipt Hog, Checkout 51, Mobisave, and others can save you a bunch on clothes, services, and activities! Not to mention the Coupon Divas website! There are also Facebook groups like Hip2Save that will tell you about great deals!
Saving Money by Shopping After Holiday Sales
If you shop after the holidays, you can get holiday items much cheaper! For example, a couple of days after Christmas, I got Christmas decorations for 50-70% off! Here are a couple of examples!
These cute pathway marker Christmas Trees I got at Smith’s Marketplace (owned by Kroger) for around $7. They were originally about $25!
While I was there, I also got this cute Santa and his reindeer outdoor decoration that was originally $89 for only $24!
You can also get deals on holiday decorations after Easter, Halloween, etc. Not to mention you can get great markdowns on clothes and household items after Christmas! (Sometimes after other major holidays, too–like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day…it’s always worth a look!)
Saving Money with the Target REDcard
Have you met my friend, the Target REDcard? Let me introduce you, because she is FUN! At Target, if you get a Target REDcard, you automatically get 5% off of everything you buy with it. How awesome is that?
Now you might be thinking, “I don’t want another credit card.” Well, you don’t need one! Target also has the option to get a debit REDcard. It functions just like the debit card from your bank, debiting funds from your account, but you still get 5% off! That is what I do and I love it! And…you can combine that with Target’s Cartwheel app and sales for even more savings!
Save Money by Gardening and Preserving Produce
Produce can be pricey and starting a garden is a great way to save money. Once you have grown your produce, you can preserve whatever you can’t eat right away by canning, dehydrating, freeze-drying, etc. (My blog has a bunch of garden ideas-you should check them out!
Saving Money at the Movie Theater
If you like to go to the movies, be sure to check out any deals they offer. I live in Salt Lake and there are lots of theaters here, but there are only a few I ever go to. They are owned by either Cinemark or Megaplex. Both of them have ways to get deals! I signed up for Cinemark’s emails and they send me a concessions coupon of some sort in my email every week! Meanwhile, Megaplex has a card that you have swiped each time you make a purchase and earn point toward freebies! Remember to register that card on their website so that you get credit for your swipes! Going to the movies can be pricey, so I like to save every dime I can, don’t you?
Saving Money by Eating at Home and Planning Your Meals
If you plan out your meals for the week, you are more likely to actually eat at home. Then you know what you are going to make, you make a grocery list, and make sure you have the ingredients on hand. Doing that makes you more likely to eat at home, which is obviously cheaper than dining out.
For extra savings, plan your meals around the foods you buy on sale (rather than paying full price for things you need to make a specific meal.) Psst….also, EAT your leftovers. Don’t throw them in the trash. That is wasted money! Yes, I’m talking to YOU!
Saving Money by Cutting Back on Expensive Coffee Shop Drinks (PLUS cheaper alternatives!)
We all know that coffee shop drinks are over priced, but we just can’t stop going there, plunking down our five-ish bucks, and getting that cup of satisfaction. Or can we? A splurge every now and then is okay, but if you are doing that every day it really adds up to a lot of money. Well, stop it right now!
Did you know you can make your own coffee shop style hot chocolate at home? And if you can’t live without that caramel macchiato, you can just make a cup of black coffee, add a squirt of caramel syrup (you know, the kind you put on ice cream), and a splash of half and half or milk, and you’ve got yourself a delicious coffee drink for much less money! (If you want it frothy, just throw it in the blender for a bit.)
Saving money by Negotiating Your Bills
Did you know that you can often negotiate cheaper prices on your monthly bills? I do that every year with our cable company. It’s annoying, but when they want to charge too much, I just have to call and (politely) remind them I can take my business elsewhere. (And don’t forget to pay your bills on time and avoid those late fees!)
Save Money by Monitoring Bank Account and Credit Card Statement Transactions
This is pretty self-explanatory. Mistakes happen. You WANT to catch them and get them fixed!
This past week I caught an $80 mistake on my online bank account summary. It was a mistake by a hotel that I have stayed at several times before. I had a corporate discount and this time they forgot to apply it, so they charged me full price. I called them and they fixed it. Voila. Eighty bucks saved.
Save Money by Making Clothes Last Longer
- How can you make your clothes last longer, you ask? Here are some ideas:
- Only wash when necessary.
- Wash on delicate for more delicate fabrics.
- Pre-treat stains on your clothes. If stains don’t come out and you throw them away and have to buy new, you are spending more money.
- Use quality laundry products (this goes back to avoiding buying new clothes by getting stains out!). I like Tide and Shout!
- Did you know you can spray WD-40 on a grease stain to get it out?
- Did you know pre-treating with hairspray will get pen marks off of your clothes?
- You can always check Pinterest for other laundry and cleaning ideas 😉
Ways to Save Money with DIY (Do It Yourself!)
Doing things yourself can save you money in infinite ways. Use your imagination! Here are a few ideas:
- Refinish old furniture to make it look new again rather than buying brand new furniture.
- Mend clothes that have small rips in the seams rather than throw them away and buy new.
- Do small household repairs yourself. YouTube is a great how-to resource!
- Like I mentioned earlier, growing your own food and preserving it can definitely save you money!
- Paint your own interiors rather than hire it out.
[bctt tweet=”50+ #moneysavingtips for #frugal living! ” username=”KitchenNTheCoop”]
Other money saving tips
- Check out CityPASS if you are in a large city to get great deals on attractions/venues.
- When you shop for things that come in multiple sizes, shop by unit price (price per ounce). Biggest isn’t always cheapest!
- Hobby Lobby Coupon -Hobby Lobby usually has a 40% off one item coupon on their site. That can equal huge savings!
- Buy your over the counter medicines like ibuprofen in bulk from Amazon.
- Book Scouter is a website where you can buy and sell used textbooks and books.
- Shop the dollar stores for things like cleaning supplies, spices, etc. (Know your price points!)
- Write down what you spend (accountability). It keeps you aware of what you are spending and makes you think twice about spending more!
- Buy your own modem, rather than rent it. (Yes, check with your internet provider. You are probably renting it!)
- Make your home energy efficient to save on energy bills. Your local power company can give you tips on how to do that!
- If you notice a neighbor doesn’t pick the fruit from their tree, ask if they mind if you pick it. If there is a lot, preserve it!
- Go to the public library to borrow movies or books, don’t buy them or pay to rent them! Reserve what you want ahead of time online.
- Only go to the store once a week.
- Don’t buy what you can’t afford.
- Don’t use credit cards often-they charge interest! Save them for emergencies.
- Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry. That leads to impulse buying.
- Check out the Digit app to help you with budgeting.
- Use Honey to get the best coupon codes without a lot of searching.
- My brother-in-law reuses the same razor for six months or so, cleaning and sharpening it on old Levi scraps. Maybe your hubby would?
- Don’t buy a brand new car. Getting one that is a year or two old can save you thousands of dollars.
- Shop outlet stores. Whether it’s for clothes, shoes, bread or whatever, you can often get great deals there. Check out their clearance sections for even better deals!
Be sure to follow my Ways to Save Money board on Pinterest for more great money saving ideas! Now tell me, what are YOUR favorite ways to save money?
See you next time!
3 Emergency Prep Tips!
I can tell you three things that you can do THIS WEEK to have better emergency preparedness in your home!