Saving Money Doesn’t Consist of Just Clipping Coupons
Many people turn to clipping coupons to save money but saving money doesn't just consist of clipping coupons.
There are other things you can do as well that will net you some savings.
Some don't like the word "frugal" but I personally LOVE IT! WUC has a forum for Tightwad Tips
Here are a few ideas to help you get started on a saving journey that can last you throughout your lifetime.
Food Saving Ideas:
- Cook more from scratch or at least cook at home more. Keep a journal of how much you spend on eating out for a month or just even a week. That is a real eye opener as to where some if not a lot of your funds are going.
- Instead of stopping off of the mornings on your commute to work to buy that expensive cup of coffee, buy a bag of your favorite coffee then invest in a coffee pot with a timer setting where you can set it the night before and be ready when you get up. Invest in a thermal travel cup that way you can take that coffee you just brewed to work with you. Thus saving you money and time!
- Take leftovers to work with you for lunch if feasible or eat them the next night. Use a little leftover magic to create a new dish with meat and veggies, etc.
- Strapped for time? Make some meals ahead and freeze them. This is referred to as Once A Month Cooking (that is a link to a forum here on WUC dedicated to that). Buy a crockpot and utlize it so you'll have a meal to come home too.
- Live where you can garden? Doesn't have to be a full scale garden. You can raise vegetable in planters, raised beds, etc. Buy seeds and grow your own... watch those after season sales for deals on seed packets. The closer to the end of time it's good to put seedling out, you'll often find markdowns at Lowe's and such.
- Barter with friends for surplus home grown food. Zucchini seems to be a big one on that.
- Trade plants for plants with friends and neighbors too. Maybe they have too much mint growing and you have too much basil growing... swap out some plants with each other.
- Shop local farm stands. I am hesitant to say local farmers markets as some farmers markets are not true farmers markets. Look for little road side stands for deals. If the vegetables have wax on them or they are selling fruits as well as vegetables not grown in your area or are not in season at the time... it's probably safe to say they didn't grow them themselves. Don't be afraid to ask questions about how they grew them, if they have a small farm nearby, etc.
- Buy in season. Buying fruit and vegetables out of season will cost your more than buying a tomato in the summer vs. buying a tomato in your area in the winter.
- Buy in bulk. You'll pay less over all and make less trips to the store. Learn to store your bulk spices, etc. so that bugs don't get in them. I highly recommend food grade diatomaceous earth for this. I use it in my buckets of wheat berries, rolled oats, beans, rice, etc.
- Looking for a new appliance? Don't be afraid to check out the scratch and dents. Wait for income tax returns and purchase then if possible as you'll find deals on appliances around Feb., March, and April. Take advantage of rebates on the items too. If you are daring, purchase refurbished ones. We've done that in the past with great success until we literally wore the item out.
- Learn to some repairs yourself whether it's household repairs, remodeling projects or redecorating projects of painting things yourself, etc. or even some appliance repairs yourself.
- Lower the thermostat and put on a sweater to cut back on your heating bill or electric bill.
- Do your own lawn-care. You'll not only save money but you'll get some exercise too.
- Learn to sew. Make your own curtains, pillow cases, cloth napkins, etc. OR shop a thrift store or yard sale. You'd be surprised at New in package items you can find for not much money.
- Watch thrift stores for small appliances as they often will test them to make sure they work and note them as such.
- Shop Thrift Stores during any discount days they may offer. Local Goodwill stores have a 50% the entire store stock the first Saturday of every month.
- Don't hire someone to clean your carpets for you. Rent a rug doctor and do it yourself unless you aren't physically able to OR find someone to do it for you and barter with them. I love to barter my stockpile for services, etc. Or offer something I can do in exchange.
- Shop salvage stores for floor remnants, building supplies, etc. Great bargains are to be found here.
- Shop thrift stores and yard sales for furniture. Watch for quality items that are a good investment. You can get solid built furniture at antique stores that will hold up longer and last longer than the store bought stuff these days.
- Reuse items... whether it's repurposing a plastic gallon ice cream bucket into a storage container for flour or using it as a compost bucket. Rethink a use for something before tossing it. Empty butter bowls make good containers for leftovers in place of tupperware... if you must have tupperware check thrift stores and yard sales for them.
Auto Saving Ideas
- Do car repairs yourself if possible. If not feasible, check out the local vo-tech school (some high schools have auto shops) as you can get quality repairs done there for a fraction of the cost.
- Keep the maintenance up on your car whether you do it yourself or use local companies that offer discounts on oil changes, etc. Keeping your car in working order will keep the car working for you.
- Don't disregard those check engine lights. Places like AutoZone, Advance Auto, etc. will use a diagnostic meter on your engine at no cost to check what may be the problem.
- Do your own car care. Clean the car yourself instead of hiring detailers. Look for the inexpensive car washes that offer free vacs now with a wash for as low as $3. Keep that road salt off your cars as much as possible. It will make rust and eat away at your car.
- Keep your tires to the correct pressure as this will help with mileage.
- Fill up your vehicle when you can find gas a the lowest price. If you have a Kroger, utilize their fuel rewards to earn up to $1 off per gallon. They are offering double points until January 31, 2011 with participating Shell station receipts you bring in and present with your shopping orders (before you hand over your coupons).
- Carpool when possible to save on gas. Switch off with a co-worker weekly.
- Looking for a different vehicle. Consider craigslist or ask around if anyone knows of a car for sale. You'll save some money but like anything used, check it out thoroughly before buying it. If you know of a mechanic you can take it to have it inspected, do so.
Personal care items
- Need a hair cut? Consider learning how to cut and style your and/or your family's hair. Invest in a good pair of scissors and/or clippers.
- Afraid to cut your own hair or your family's hair? Look up the cosmetology schools for discounted services.
- Some high school have a cosmetology department and offer great discounts on not on hair care services but also manicures too.
- Adventurous? Why not try making some of your own personal care items. Things such as lip balms, feminine products, etc.
Family Fun Ideas:
- Take advantage of free or discounted museum days. Different museums across the U.S. participate in The Smithsonian Free Musuem Day once a year in the fall. You can go either free or at a discount rate that day. Local museums sometimes offer a free day once a month. Call ahead and ask about those or other discount days. If you can go with another family or two, ask about group rates.
- Buy family package to get a discount that entitles you to admission to the zoo, museum, aquarium etc. for a year. Many times buy buying the family package, you can get free or discounted admission to other zoos, museums, etc. as well. We bought a family package to a local zoo that entitles us to free as well as discounted admission to other zoos across the U.S.
- Watch for coupons online that you can use at yor destination of choice whether it's bowling, etc.
- Don't forget to utilize your state parks. Many do not charge a fee. Enjoy the beauty of nature. Take a nice nature walk, go for a picnic, etc.
- Use those local parks with the slides and sings. Children enjoy these simple things just as much as the museums with all the children's discovery gadgets.
- Plan a play date with a friend.
- Have movie night or game night at your house and invite friends or family over for a fun night.
- When was the last time you went to the library? You can check out books as well as books for FREE!
- Save money on movies by either using the library for free rentals, using coupon codes for kiosks such as Redbox or Blockbuster Express. You can still save on a movie rental there for $1 a night even without the codes so that's not bad. Check into getting the basic subscription to www.Netflix.com for $10 a month (I think) gives you one DVD out at a time and unlimited online viewing.
- Lay out on a blanket at night in the warmer seasons of course and marvel at the stars.
- Lay out on the blanket in the day and watch the clouds go by and try to see animals in them.
- Love to read? The library isn't the only place for books. Swap books with friends, use paperbackswap.com, shop used bookstores in your area (I personally love this one and use it for dvds, used homeschool books, and more.).
- Go for a walk along a lake, river, or at the beach and look for shells, interesting rocks and more.
- Go on a nature walk and gather flowers to make your own beautiful boquets for your kitchen or dining room table. Bring the beauty of the outdoors in.
- Make gifts for others instead of buying them. Whether it's making an apron for them, sewing a set of napkins to match their kitchen, making cute fire-starters for them, or other edible gifts in a jar, a candle in a coffee cup, or handmade candles or soaps. They'll appreciate the gift knowing that you made it especially for them. (ok, some don't but they have the "I wants" too much anyway. lol).
- Watch after holiday sales and pick up some great deals on the sale items to use as gifts for other occasions, as well as wrapping for those occasions.
I hope this list gave you some ideas on thinking beyond just clipping coupons to save money.
Good luck with your goals of putting more cash back into your wallet this year and for many years to come!!
Zaycon foods sells boxes of chicken, fish, kielbasa, hot dogs, bacon, fruit and more (sales at certain time of year for your area. - Sign up is free to see when the sales are!). Signature and posts may contain affiliate links.
Last edited by Foggy; 01-08-2011 at 12:53 PM..