Friday, December 16, 2011

Lets Have Some Cake and Eat It, Too: how to save a lot by saving a little.

Say, what would you think if we had some cake and ate it, too, today?"
We often depict penny pinching ladies as shrewish prudes.  This is why I am going to call myself a penny saver and not a penny pincher.  Let's be serious--if I'm going to have cake, then I'm going to eat it too; and I'm going to do this by trimming my outflow without missing a moment of fun.  

Following are 12 simple and painless ways you can save a lot by saving a little at a time:

1. Use web resources. When making online purchases, google the store name and the word "coupon" before making your purchase.  Often, this will lead you to a coupon code, which can save you $3-$20 (whatever you do, don't give the coupon site your e-mail address.  Also, limit your search to 1 minute of looking.  If you haven't found it in 1 minute the coupons have probably expired.  This reminds me.  I just got a coupon from Olive Nation when I received my vanilla beans.  The code is 202011.  Feel free to use it until they won't let us use it anymore).  


2. Take the time to compare prices.  Before purchasing larger items, do a 30 minute search for the best deal. You might be pleasantly surprised when you find your $300 window unit for $25 on craigslist.  Or when Firestone tells you it's going to cost $399 to replace 2 of your tires, take 30 minutes to call around town.  You might find that Discount Tires can give you the same tires for $250 (yes I did. 30 minutes of calling saved me $150).  
  

3. Become a coupon clipper.  Get a Kroger card and go to www.kroger.com to upload coupons onto your kroger account and visit www.coupons.com.  I know, saving 50 cents on paper towels isn't going to help you that much.  However, if you have multiple coupons you could save as much as $20 or $30 at the register.   

4. Buy in multiples.  Toilet paper is my least favorite purchase in the entire world.  But do yourself a favor and buy toilet paper in 12 packs or more.  I know that buying 1 cheap roll at a time for 99 cents is the less painful way to go.  But you could get really nice toilet paper for 50 cents per roll if you bought 12 at a time.  If you can't bare to spend more than 99 cents at a time, just bite the bullet once, spend $6 on a grown up pack of toilet paper and put 99 cents away every time you use a roll of toilet paper.  Then when you use all of the toilet paper you'll have $11.88 in your toilet paper jar and can buy another 12 pack of premium toilet paper and still have enough to sip on a really expensive latte while doing it (the same thing goes for sandwich bags, paper towels, potatoes, etc, etc). 

6. Have a loose change jar.  Every time Brandon and I have loose change we put it in the jar.  It's money that we'd probably end up losing anyway. Yesterday we emptied the jar and found that we had accumulated $32 in pennies, nickels, quarters, and dimes over the coarse of a month and 1/2.  

7. Be friends with your taylor.  I wear a 0/2.  I recently found a Michael Kors jacket at Music City Thrift, size 8, for 99 cents.  I took it to my taylor, had her sew a few stitches here and there and soon had a custom fit Michael Kors suit jacket for 20.99.  If you're not careful number 8 can be the cause of money lost--not money saved.  

8. Eat and be merry at odd hours.  Instead of going out to dinner, go out to Happy Hour an hour earlier.  

9. Make an extra trip to save money.  When buying veggies, purchase them at the international market or the farmers market rather than buying them at your regular grocery store.  At the international market I can cut my veggie bill in 1/2 (not kidding--I priced it out.  A group of vegetables that would have cost $24 at Kroger cost me a mere $11 at the international market).  And we all know that happy girls eat veggies.

10. Be resourceful.  Instead of buying expensive, organic cleaner, make your own. Instead of buying expensive bath salts, make your own.  Instead of paying someone many dollars to replace your electrical outlet, replace it yourself


11. Buy with intention.  Before you go to the grocery store make a grocery list.  If you must impulse buy like yours truly, then be intentional by budgeting for impulse buys (I give myself $25 every month for impulse buys, which saves me from my $200 disasters).  


12. Get free samples from sampleaday.  You might never have to purchase shampoo again.










1 comment:

Colleen said...

This is great! I am definitely a penny saver too. The reason I love shopping Kroger when I'm tight on funds is because for every 100 you spend, you can save 10cents per gallon of gas. So I drive until I'm on empty when I know I'm getting that 10cents off! Also, I love buying up sale items (I'll eat avocados every day for a week if they are 4 for $5), and looking at the price per ounce/lb/other form of measurement. It's listed very tiny just below the product price. It really helps when I'm buying paper towels, soy milk, flour, greek yogurt, really anything!

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