For those of you trying to get out of debt or just trying to save that little bit extra for something special, here are my top twenty saving tips. Check ‘em out and please let us know what is your favorite way to save!
1. Get an energy audit. Many utility companies will do this for free so ask yours. My husband and I did this not too long ago and it saved us $100s in energy costs and the suggestions when implemented resulted in only about $10 in expenses. Totally worth it.
2. Plan you meals and make a grocery shopping list that you can stick with. Some choose to plan meals according to the sales of the week and this can result in an even bigger savings. But, at least plan your meals and make a list. Not buying food on a whim when you see something in the store can save you bundles.
3. Shop at your regular old grocery store instead of the Super store. ”But their prices are so expensive!” I hear some say. Yes, in some ways, and no in others. Super stores live by a median rate of return. All their prices are just average. You will never really spend overly much on items nor will you save a lot on items bought at a super store. But if you go to a grocery store and only shop the sale items, you can save a lot. Pair that with coupons, especially in a store that doubles coupons (which is never a super store), then you are walking away with really cheap, if not free, items. Just try to refrain from buying items in the grocery store not on sale because those items are usually much more expensive than other stores to help compensate for the lovely sale prices.
4. Subscribe to your local newspaper…for the coupons. Clip, websurf, organize and use those coupons often. Let me say FREE groceries!
5. If you don’t have a coupon or it’s not the best deal, buy the store brand over the name brand.
6. Shop the top and bottom shelves of the grocery aisles for bigger savings.
7. Send in your rebates.
8. Recycle your computer ink. Staples and Office Depot both have a reward system. One ink cartridge can earn you $2-6 in rewards depending on the season or special going on at the time of redemption.
9. Use CraigsList, eBay, and other such resale sites.
10. Shop garage sales. My favorite resource for this is CraigList’s Yard Sale Treasure Map. You type in your address, the day you want to shop, and the distance you are willing to travel from your house. In return it will map out every Garage Sale, Yard Sale, and Estate sale advertised on Craig’s List for you to view and print. You can even view the ads to see what’s available at each site and customize your map based on your selection of destinations. It’s wonderful.
11. Shop pawn shops, consignment stores, and thrift stores. Check out what days are their half-off days. Many consignment and thrift stores, mark down a certain color of tag each week on a specific day to help clean out inventory. These can be the best days to shop for the biggest savings. You just have to be willing to take the time to search.
12. Grow your own garden vegetables. Look online. There are many tutorials for how to grow everything from a patio garden to a large garden depending on your needs and availability. The results will not only better satisfy your wallet but fresh vegetables also taste better.
13. Make your own laundry detergent. I did some research on this not long ago and my findings astounded me. Commercial laundry detergent costs anywhere from $.11-$.32 per load to use. If you make your own laundry detergent, it costs less than $.01 per load. Talk about a big savings! Multiply that by number of loads you do per week or month and it’s enough saved for an extra date night!
14. Cut a dryer sheet in half and use only a half sheet per load.
15. Use distilled white vinegar in place of liquid fabric softener and dishwasher rinse aid.
16. Cook. Sounds so simple but really, cook instead of eat out. $1 per plate verses $6-15 per plate is a big difference.
17. Make/take a sack lunch. Instead of going out to each with your office buddies at lunch, take your lunch with you. You can still go eat with them if you like but by bringing your lunch instead of buying it, you just saved at least $5 per meal.
18. Swap with friends. Swap what you ask? Swap anything. Babysitting services. Home repair services. Clothes. Coupons. Furniture. Meals. The list is endless.
19. Pay with cash for everything. It’s a known fact that you’ll automatically spend more by using plastic than cash. When you physically see how much money you have, it tends to make you think a little bit more about where it’s going.
20. Subscribe to several money-saving websites/blogs. There are several out there that I use on a regular basis and you can check out some of my recommendations on another post but by subscribing to some of these money-saving websites, they can give you leads on good sales, extra coupons, and other cheap deals. It’s fun because they do all the research work and you get to enjoy the rewards!