Pinching Pennies to Save Cash
If you are looking for some easy and relatively painless ways to cut back on your spending, this article is for you. Try these tips to put more money in your pocket without too much muss or fuss. It’s great when you can find ways to make money, but you certainly shouldn’t neglect opportunities when you find ways to save money too!
Avoid Impulse Buying
Before you head to the store, make a list and stick to it. Impulse buying can mean spending more than you intend; avoid this by deciding ahead of time what you are going to buy, and do not allow yourself to be tempted to deviate from that plan. I read a book recently that suggested freezing your credit cards in blocks of ice. Waiting for the cards to thaw out gives you the time to go through a cooling off period when you are feeling the urge to buy something on impulse. Putting the card into the microwave isn’t an option because it could destroy the information stored on the magnetic strip. I don’t know how the card would hold up to the water, so I’m guessing it would be good idea to put the credit cards in a baggie first, before freezing!
Save Money by Clipping Grocery Coupons
Spend some time clipping coupons from the Sunday newspapers or download them from the Internet, then use them to save money on your grocery bill. Consult store advertisements and add items to your list that are good buys, especially if you have coupons that allow you to save even more over the sale price. Does your supermarket double coupons? That’s even better, offering more savings for you. Don’t buy things that you don’t use just because they are on sale, but if you normally use these items, this is a great time to stock up. Also, consider using store brand items rather than items carrying a name brand. Many generic items taste just as good as the name brand items, or at least you may be able to get used to the slight differences.
We got away from clipping coupons in our house for a while. Over this past summer, we decided to make a real effort to use them though. My wife actually did most of the work to be honest. Her savings were pretty good. In an average week she saved between $30 and $50 without even putting that much time into the project. We also found that we could save a lot by visiting some local discount stores that opened up recently in our area. I don’t know how they do it, but stores like Bottom Dollar somehow manage to offer name brand items for much less than our other local grocery stores. If you have any of these discount stores in your area, it is worth it to brave the crowds and save some money.
More Tips to Save Money
- When purchasing electronics, do not get the extended warranty. Normally the cost associate with this is not worthwhile. This isn’t carved in stone, but it has been my own personal experience. The prices of electronics have come down so much recently that you really should spend a minute figuring out the numbers for how much that extended warranty is really worth by the time you pay it off.
- Go through your closets and sell things that you no longer need. Kids’ toys, outgrown or outdated clothing and old books are just a few things that you can sell to earn some extra cash. Have a yard sale or sell them online on sites like eBay or Craigslist. If you have some old vintage items stored away, you might be surprised how much you can make by selling them on eBay.
- Try to buy gently-used, second hand furniture, cars and appliances. These big ticket items can be costly when purchased new, but you may be able to get a great deal from someone who is trying to downsize or get rid of things they no longer need. Scratch and dent shops are another great place to save money on large appliances for around the house. Who really cares if there is a scratch or dent on the back of a washing machine if it works perfectly and carries the same warranty?
- Purchasing online is one of the most convenient and often cost-effective ways to buy things, but before you hit the “Submit” button, use a search engine to check for online coupons or discounts. Simply type the name of the vendor and the word “coupon” into the search engine to find any extra discounts that may be available to you. These can include free shipping deals, percent off offers or freebies.
- Keep tabs on credit card spending, and pay your balance in full each month. Paying interest and finance charges on credit card purchases means that you are paying much more in the long run for the items that you buy on credit.
- Check with various lenders to find out if refinancing your mortgage would be worthwhile. If so, you may be able to lower your monthly payments substantially. We usually get the bug to check this every few years and it is surprising how much things can change over time.
- Consider planting a garden to save money on your grocery bill. It is relatively easy to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and other healthy vegetables that normally cost quite a bit in the grocery store. Growing your own can provide you with healthy food at a fraction of the supermarket cost. There is just something about growing something yourself that makes it taste a little bit better too. I love it when my kids get interested in helping me in the garden. It’s a real memory maker as well as a money saver.
- Instead of buying books and magazines, patronize your community library. Depending on how much you read, you stand to save a lot of money by borrowing books and magazines for a few weeks rather than spending money to purchase them. I admit that I’m terrible at this one. I’m an audio book freak. Other people have grown attached to their Kindles and Nooks. If you like “old school” books though, the library is still a great place to visit.
With a bit of thought and planning, you can do many things to save money. Implement as many of these tips as possible, and you will be amazed at how much extra money you have in your pocket at the end of the month. If you are working to build up an online website or business, you can use that extra cash for things like outsourcing or some cool tool you’ve been wanting to try. If you just want to save money in general, it doesn’t get much easier than this.