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I'm a Christ-follower who has a household of 7 - who sometimes writes reviews, all with a Family Friendly perspective.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

77 ways to save MONEY

This is a re-post – but I thought it might be worth your time and well money.
My hubby and I spoke on finances at our local MOPs’ group. (Mothers of Preschoolers) He is a wiz on setting up finances i.e. budgets, creating a plan and other nerdy stuff. I’m the one who likes to spend but with thrift in mind. We work well together, most of the time (don't ask about putting Christmas lights on the tree). I decided to come up with 77 ways to save or at least spend less. Most of these ideas, came from years of browsing the net or just word of mouth.
77 ways - WOW! Why 77? Well, 7 is my fave number. God used this number over and over in scripture, 7 days of creation, 7 days in a week, and so on...so then 77 ways to $pend $$$ was perfect, so to speak. This is in no particular order. Neither I nor this site are responsible for others changing their policy, price changing or other’s site’s content.

  1. Use cash not credit. (It actually hurts physically to spend cash.) Not to mention you won't be spending finance charges, late charges, and other fees.
  2. Coupon but beware; it can be time consuming. Food manufacturer coupons are hard to use in our area because we are limited on one particular store, which doesn't double, triple, or stack coupons. However, some other stores do stack, i.e. Walgreen’s, CVS, and Target and sometimes even Kmart. (Basically, that means when a product is on sale, you can use a manufacturer coupon and store coupon together.) Check with your own store to see their policy. This sometimes is not worth the trouble for the time issue. My time means a lot and I don't like spending all day sorting coupons. However, when I see a really good deal i.e. diapers, I'm there!
  3. If you do coupon - there are gobs of coupon sites. They will do the work for you. They will tell you when the best time to use each coupon and at what store. Google it! I got 124,000,000 sites. Also, I have some of my fave sites linked in my side bar.
  4. Price shop when buying in bulk. Buying in bulk does not necessarily mean you are saving money. Check it out!
  5. Look for your product online. http://www.pricepinx.com/ They will actually tell you when a price drops.
  6. A lot of stores now price match or offer a 10% back if you find a price lower than what is offered, even within 30 days of purchasing. Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, to name a few.
  7. Don’t gamble - put your money in a jar. It usually earns the same interest. (0%)
  8. Don’t give into whining from your kids or hubby at the check-out line. We don’t give allowances just because they are our kids. We give commissions. Each child has 5 chores that they are responsible for each day. We keep an easy to read chart on the refrigerator so they can mark off each chore. At the end of the week, Daddy pays them for each job that they did. Does it work? The kids now have more money than Mommy does.
  9. Make your own coffee and other fast food items. Make going to Star-bucks or McDonald’s a luxury. A white chocolate mocha grande costs $4.28. If I bought just one a week, that comes to $222.56 a year. One cheeseburger happy meal is $2.98. For one kid, once a week the total is $154.96, a year. For two kids, once a week, the total is $309.92, a year. For five kids, once a week, the total is $774.80, a year. Ouch!!!
  10. Make a budget for gifts and stick to it! I like to make it a game. I shop sales all year round and make it $5.00 a gift or less. (I do spend more on my hubby and my own children.) This is secret so don’t tell my friends or family. Besides, spending more time searching for the gift actually makes it more thoughtful. Target has HUGE clearances all year long. I have found many items $20.00 marked down to $3.00 or so. Even a $5.00 gift card to McD’s is thoughtful.
  11. Shop http://www.etsy.com/ - homemade gifts. Bargain here!
  12. Create a gift closet or a gift box. Keep a list in your purse who you need to buy for and what you have bought. It sure makes December so much less stressful.
  13. Prepare a weekly menu. This has been the biggest saver for us. www.orgjunkie.com has a blog party every Monday for ideas.
  14. If you like to eat out and want to save the cash check out http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/ or www.copycat.com.
  15. Start planning your Black Friday sales in August/September. It pays to be prepared. Check out this link Bargain Shopper Lady.
  16. WAIT WAIT WAIT for at least 24 hours on huge purchases I.e. furniture…
  17. Take a person with you who is budget conscience when shopping.
  18. Use group discounts. Just invite my family when you go to the zoo, aquarium, or even a semi-pro basketball game to get a large group discount.
  19. Lay off the gas when driving. Tickets are expensive!
  20. Keep your car in tune. Find someone who is a professional but doesn’t charge like a shop. Book time is a killer!
  21. Buy used if possible and if it is worth it. My time is very valuable - it’s sometimes worth it to buy brand new.
  22. Ask for the discount! If it has a grease stain on it - you have to spend time to get it out. (Target is good about this especially on home goods.)
  23. When on vacation visit the Convention and visitor bureau or Chamber of Commerce. They have a lot of coupons there!
  24. September is the month at a lot of vacation places go ½ off. It’s the month after summer (busy season) and before fall (busy season). Cruises from Sandals resorts sometimes go ½ off because of hurricane season - so make sure you get the traveler’s insurance.
  25. Drink water instead of cola when you go out eat. (We’ve developed a soft drink day - Sunday’s only.)
  26. Coupon codes for free shipping - just Google it!
  27. Don’t stop at the grocery store just to buy bread. Use crackers or tortillas instead. These bi-weekly stops are expensive and a time waster.
  28. 2 words - Spray Paint! Cheaper than buying new!
  29. Sonic has a happy hour 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. ½ off all drinks including slushes.
  30. When you fly - sometimes it is cheaper to drive a little to a neighboring airport than to the larger airport. (Cincinnati is usually more expensive than Dayton, Ohio which is 1 hour and 30 minutes away. The same is usually true for Houston Hobby and Houston Intercontinental.)
  31. Go meatless a couple of nights a week. An old Southern fave, beans and cornbread. Yum! Yum!
  32. Combine breakfast and lunch on the weekends ~ BRUNCH!
  33. New cars depreciate 70 percent in the 1st 4 years on average. Look at www.autotrader.com.
  34. Leasing a car is usually not worth the money!!! $300. A month = no car at the end. Just add up the figure and weigh it against a reliable used car. It is worth saving the money and buying used.
  35. Shop auto insurance among other insurance policies every six months to a year.
  36. Texas is deregulated - shop electricity rates! This saved us a bundle! Check your state.
  37. Take advantage of kids eat free nights or Family nights. Luby’s, Carino’s, IHOP, and Denney’s.
  38. Get on a ZERO based Budget! www.daveramsey.com
  39. Make sure your home insulated well. Investing a little saves a lot!
  40. Replace A/C filters timely - makes the air conditioner run less.
  41. Clean A/C coils at least once a year, again it makes it run less!
  42. Vacuum refrigerator coils once a year.
  43. Get on a birthday rewards list. www.freebirthdaytreats.com Signs you up for free meals!
  44. Toys-R-Us has a neat birthday program. Geoffrey always calls my kids on their birthday and sings them a song. Plus, they get a birthday card and coupon.
  45. Burger King, Sonic, and Whataburger also have kid’s birthday clubs.
  46. Vocalpoint is a neat site that you give your opinion and they send great coupons and free products.
  47. If you do sign up for offers online, it is wise to open a separate email account or at least a disposable account. Many places like to send spam and this is just a way to avoid it in your personal email.
  48. Stamps are $.42 plus the envelope - this could save a lot in a year’s time if you use Billpay or pay bills online.
  49. This may be over the top but make your own laundry detergent. My friend has done this and it is easy plus a big money saver!
  50. This may be way over the top but make your own hand soap. I’m doing this soon.
  51. Make your own curtains or mistreatments. Nester has so many simple decorating ideas on here! I love making my home a refuge and pretty, she gives the info on how to do it!
  52. Make sure you have enough house insurance. Home values increase and sometimes we forget about the insurance. (Happened to my parent’s rent house that burned down.)
  53. Sometimes multi-lining insurance is cheaper and sometimes not.
  54. Get your credit report! You can get a free one from each of the 3 BIG ones! Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
  55. Go to www.myrateplan.com, it helps you compare cell phones and rates.
  56. Look for bundle packages. (Ask for a deal - if I buy 2 will you give me ½ off?)
  57. Save that $1000. for that emergency fund. Then you will have money when the car needs that part that only exists when your car breaks down.
  58. If you never fly, why do you have that frequent flier card that you are paying high interest on?
  59. In some instances generics are wonderful, i.e. medicines. My pharmacy also delivers to my door for free! I don't have to stand in line with other sick people.
  60. Money saving mom has 100 ways to save $100.
  61. Check out www.bankrate.com, it looks for financing and checks bank rates.
  62. Go to www.gazelle.com, it buys old gadgets (cells, ipods, etc…).
  63. Patience - the sales will come! Those who wait will get a deal!
  64. Educate yourself - read a how-to book. We have learned how to tile, grout, roof, and much more just by asking tons of questions.
  65. Don’t be overwhelmed with money. It’s only paper. People are going to live forever - one way or another. Teach your children that they are more important than paper. However, also teach them to save, to spend and to give!
  66. Use coffee filters for snack time instead of paper plates.
  67. Use www.dillyeo.com. They have a deal a day for great gift ideas.
  68. Use your ceiling fans. They produce wind that blows on you to make you feel cooler so you don’t have to turn down the a/c.
  69. Get plant clippings from friends. You could do your whole yard from clippings. Contact a Master Gardener - they usually always share.
  70. Buy smaller plants and wait for them to grow instead of mature ones.
  71. Check out http://slickdeals.net/. Major sales!
  72. Check out http://www.dealcatcher.com/. More major sales and deals!
  73. Check out http://www.gottadeal.com/. Even more major sales and deals!
  74. Michaels has an unbelievable selection of cards and stationary usually marked down to $.50. They also have an entire room of close-outs.
  75. Hobby Lobby sends out a coupon every week.
  76. Save your receipts from Target - if the product goes a lower price then they will give you your money back. Other stores do this as well. Just gotta ask!
  77. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:38
If you have more, please let me know.  I'm always looking for a great deal!
Blessings to you!!!   You are loved!!!


Midday Escapades said...

Wow, thanks for the tips!

Thanks also for linking up with Friday Follow! I am now your blog follower. It is a pleasure to meet ya and have a great weekend!

~ Lynn

Ruth in the Desert said...

Good thoughts! Thanks!

Ginger said...

Wow! Thanks for posting these ideas.

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

Wow, lots of great ideas here! Thanks for sharing!