Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Money Saving Tips We All Know, But Forget to Use

save money
Improving your money skills can help you save money.
Saving money can be really easy, but most of us either don't think about it until it's too late or we are so overwhelmed by our expenses that we feel that saving is impossible. These days we are on the go non-stop, so we go for convenience rather than being practical. Convenience food is the #1 culprit when it comes to wasting money. From buying Starbucks to going grocery shopping when we are hungry, every penny adds up to spending way too much for things we don't really need.

You can save a lot throughout the year if you can find ways to be frugal.  The Dumb Little Man website gives thirty tips to save money. Below are some of my favorites and things I have learned over the years that keep me from over spending.

  1. Buy things in Bulk - Buying dry goods and home products in bulk will save you big bucks.  I save a lot on cleaning supplies and hair products, as well as toothpaste, vitamins, snacks, etc. It may cost you a bit to start out buying in bulk, but in the long run you will save a pretty penny.
  2. Brown Bag it - Sack lunches are the way to go to save money everyday. Everyone has been sucked into going out to eat for lunch as a daily routine. Who wants to eat a plain old sandwich when you can go to the Deli down the street, right? But you can make a fun lunch by adding variety to your sack lunches. Make extras for dinner and pack it for your lunch. Lasagna, enchiladas, and chicken casserole are always better the second day. Mix in an easy chicken Cesar salad twice a week by cooking one chicken breast the night before that can be used for two salads. All you need is Romaine lettuce and a little salad dressing and you have a great salad for two days.
  3. Bring a List for Grocery Shopping - Never head to the grocery store without a list. Always know exactly what you need. If you go without a list you'll be more tempted by those impulse items, or the "just in case I don't have it" factor. I don't know how many times I have put things in my cart that I didn't need, just so I didn't risk having to go back to the store.
  4. Buy Generic Products - I have finally learned over the past 20 years that most generic products are just the same as the name brand. The only difference is the price. The only time I will buy name brand products is if I have a coupon or my club card is giving a discount.
  5. Make Your Own Coffee - I know I am getting a lot of sighs right now from all you Starbucks drinkers. Believe me, I love a good cup of coffee. I am not saying you have to go without, what I am saying is buy in moderation to save a little. A Starbucks coffee is almost the price of a meal these days. If you are buying a Starbucks 5 times per week, cut it down to 2 days per week. This will save you $15 a week, $60 per month, and $720 a year. Now that is a lot of savings!!!
  6. Use Discount Cards - Almost all of the grocery stores carry a club card to help you save more money when you shop. Kmart, CVS, and other chain shopping stores are jumping on the band wagon to help you save money. Some have special coupons and others save you money on future purchases, like giving you money off on gas purchases. It doesn't cost anything to have one so when you are asked to sign up, take the extra couple of minutes and do it. You will save $100's a year by using it. And remember to download the free FamilyWize discount prescription card to save money on your prescriptions. You can save up to 75% on the cost of your medications.

money lessons
Don't over spend, save a little for your piggy bank.
Another way to help you start living frugal is to find out if the store charges a fee for using a debit card. Some stores charge an extra fee for debit card purchases but not for credit card purchases. The ATM bank fees can run you .35 to .55 per swipe at some stores. Ask before saying credit or debit.

If you love to read, shop at used book stores. You can find plenty of used books for half the price. Even better, borrow from your local library. It doesn't cost anything to get a library card and you can check out books at no cost.

My last tip for saving in the New Year is NEVER impulse shopImpulse buying can get you into a lot of trouble, especially with big purchases. Always look around for good deals or wait for it to go on sale. For instance when you are looking for a TV you could end up saving hundreds of dollars for just being patient. Electronics, furniture, and appliances are constantly going on sale so wait and be patient when you are in the process of purchasing a big item. Nothing is worse than buying something and then seeing it on sale a couple of weeks later. Improving your money skills can definitely help you save money

Marci Psalmonds
Contributing Writer

1 comment:

  1. Money saving is not a tough task, we can easily save money . There are many painless way to save money. There are many small things in which you can save money like you eat less food means you can avoid over in take of food . Eat in a little amount. Do not buy lot of clothes , buy which i period of time not continuously. Spend less on fuel ,cut the fuel cost. Save money on water and electricity it is really a good habit, use both things as much as required.