What’s my biggest secret to saving money? I have several secrets actually! I today’s economy, it can seem difficult to find a good deal but if you just sit down and do some work, you can save a ton of money.
I sit down at my computer allot and do some research to find coupons and I am always on the lookout for magazines and various newspapers to get coupons. I can be a full time job just trying to finding some good ones but it’s worth it because you can get your groceries, cosmetics, clothing and various other things for almost nothing. Also, there are some grocery stores, book stores, card stores (such as hallmark), pet stores and clothing stores that have free rewards cards. There are some that you do have to pay a small fee for, but if you shop there often enough the savings will add up. You just have to sit down and take the time to find these things and do the math to see if the savings that will amount up.
Farmers Market/ personal garden
Most places have a farmers market where you can get most of your produce very cheaply. Again, you need to take your time with this because not everybody has the freshest or the cheapest produce. I suggest looking around at the prices first seeing what’s good and what’s not and to see who has the best prices. One time I got 2 pounds of grapes for 75 cents whereas if I went to the grocery store it would have cost me 4 bucks. Or if you are able to, you can start your own personal garden and grow a few things if you wish.
Dollar Store/Dollar General
There are various dollar stores such as the dollar store, dollar three, dollar general and family dollar. You can buy many toiletries, household cleaning items, clothes, holiday decorations, small gifts, snack foods, soda, water and on occasion frozen foods. You can get a 10 pack of toothbrushes for 10 dollars along with a tube of toothpaste that will last you 20 years. You would be surprised at the quality of some things from the dollar store, mainly because most of the products that end up at the dollar store may have something wrong with the label or that t-shirt you bought might not have been stitched exactly right but the companies still wanted to make a couple cents off of it. So ultimately, you are getting the same quality products that you would get at target or your local grocery store for allot cheaper. You do need to be careful and look through the entire section before you choose something though, because not everything is worth a dollar. So instead of getting that 4 oz tube of toothpaste, get the 4.5 oz or instead of buying that 5 pack of paper bags, ask the manager if he has any bigger packs of paper bags.
Thrift store and garage sales
Thrift stores such as goodwill, Salvation Army, antique stores, local thrift stores, garage sales and even ebay or amazon can be your best friend when it comes to finding clothing, shoes, furniture, books, music and various other items. These are the types of places that you need to go back to time and time again if you are looking for something specific because they are always getting new stuff in. If you see something you want or need, get it right then and there if you can because it might not be there for long or you can ask them to put your name on it so you can come back the next day. I have found that most thrift stores are willing to negotiate the price if you think it isn’t reasonable. Also, be on the lookout for days where they are having sales because a 20 dollar shirt might normally cost 10 dollars at good will, but on days where they have a 50% off sale you can get it for 5!
Online community sites
Online community sites such as craigslist.com, freecycle.com or Paperbackswap.com have been a blessing to me and my family because we have gotten brand new furniture, beds, televisions, books, curtains and even firewood for little or no cost simply because the owners are just trying to get rid of these things. I have even gotten a couple of 200 dollar textbooks from paperbackswap.com for free.
Turn of the nightlight
Something as small as leaving a nightlight on all the time or leaving things plugged in that you aren’t using can consume allot of energy that you might not even realize. You might have turned off your computer, television, cd player, dvd player, lamps and unplugged your cell phone and digital camera from the charger but all those things are still pulling energy and costing you money. Although it’s only a few dollars a month, it can really add up over time. So if it’s possible get one of those power strips that you can turn on and off. When you turn those off, it’s the same as unplugging it, and it saves you the hassle of crawling behind the tv stand to unplug the tv. There are remote strips to that I have always used during Christmas and other holidays. With just the click of the remote, it turns the power strips of if you aren’t able to reach it. Also, unplug the coffee maker, toaster and various other appliances that you only use once or twice a day. If you don’t want to lose track of your cell phone charger, camera charger, blue tooth charger and whatever other charger, get a basket that you can put them all in so you know where they are at all times and can just pull them out when you are ready to charge that item. Make sure to turn everything off that you aren’t using. It’ll save you more money than you think.
If at all possible, take public transit because in the long run, it can save you allot of money and help the environment. It may be a bit more time consuming to get from point A to point B but you can get some work done while on the bus or train.
How much television do you really watch? I personally don’t watch too much TV and if I want to catch up with the news I just go online to my local news stations website. So you can save a chunk of money by just having internet instead of both internet and TV. I get more use of Netflix, youtube and hulu that I ever would on regular cable TV. Plus many television shows are being put on the stations websites once they air. So you can watch your favorite sitcom online.
I could go on forever about how you can save money but these are just a few things that you can start with. By no means am I an expert but these are just some of the things that my family and I do to help us save a few bucks here and there.