Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Twenty Three Ways to Save Money

Twenty Three Ways to Save Money
Why 23?  I didn't write them down as they were coming to me while laying in bed.  Had I, I probably would have made it to 25.

1)  Walmart is not always cheaper. You can price match at some other stores with Walmart's ad if they do have a better sale.

2)  Drugstores can be cheap! Combine their sales with their coupons and manufacturer's coupons and you can save a ton!

3)  Generic is not always cheaper. At Target over Christmas their Del Monte vegetables were on sale for .42 cents* each. Their store brand was .47. Then there was a Target coupon on their website for $1/10 and a Del Monte coupon for $1/8. Total price .22 cents each!
*my figures are based on memory, so it may have been a few cents more or a few less, but you get the idea.

4)  Shop with a list. You'll be less likely to give into impulse buys.

5)  Use restaurant.com if you're not picky about where you'll only eat. Wait until they run an 80% off sale and get a $25 certificate for $2!

6)  Make meals ahead of time and freeze them. It's so much easier to heat up something already made. Almost as easy as running out to get something. And much cheaper!

7)  Utilize ebates.com or mrrebate.com if you shop online. You'll get cash back on your purchases. (Hint: if you do #5 and pay $2, they still give you the percentage back off your non-sale total!)

8)  Use up what you have in your kitchen. Use supercook.com and type in an ingredient, it will pull up a list of recipes using that ingredient. No need to let things in your kitchen go to waste.

9)  Other great recipe sites: foodnetwork.com, myrecipes.com, and prevention.com

10)  Save your receipts and do price adjustments! Most stores give you 14 days. Hint: if you go to a store that price matches to others and what you bought goes on sale at another store within the 14 day period, the store where you originally bought the item will price match their competitors sale!

11)  Organize your coupons! You can't use them if you can't find them or don't know what you have.

12)  If there are paticularly good coupons in the paper one week that you'll use, buy an extra paper or two. But do this at Dollar Tree so you're only spending $1 for extra coupons. I used 9 papers last month = $9 and used $300 worth of coupons. That is a great return on investment!

13)  Manufacturer's wouldn't put out coupons if they didn't want to entice you to buy their product. So do it!

14)  Stock up. Fine, you just opened a new tube of toothpaste. Still buy another. You can get another one for .20 cents now with sales/coupons or wait until you're completely out and buy a new tube for 3.00. Same goes for toilet paper.  However, when I say stock up, please don't wipe the store out of an item, save some for others!

15)  Warehouse clubs are great for dairy, produce, meat, and other things, but paper products usually work out to be higher priced than at other stores.

16)  Let your favorite brands know you like their products. Sometimes just from inquiring about things you can score great coupons from the company.

17)  To curb shopping, get in the mindset that you'll only visit certain stores with a coupon. Then, when the coupon comes, recycle it. If you don't have it to spend, you can't spend on a whim!

18)  Always, always, always comparison shop on large purchases! Be sure to visit retailmenot.com to look for coupon codes as well. Some stores have free shipping if you pick it up in their store, while you can still use an online savings code (ex: Sears).

19)  Watch for offers when you buy things. If you have a coupon for something, look around. Recently I had a coupon to get free toothpaste, when I picked it off the shelf I noticed a taller box in back that contained a free travel size toothpaste. So I was able to get both free. Often you can get deodorant with a free travel size attached, also.

20)  Don't pay to have sales matched up for you (ex: couponmom.com). Follow a free blog newsletter that matches up sales for you. TotallyTarget.com matches up Target deals, CommonSensewithmoney.com matches up drugstore deals and Walmart deals. If there are online coupons that you can use, they link up to it for you so you don't have to search all over.

21)  At the beginning of every month check out coupons.com, redplum.com and smartsource.com. They are great sources of online printable coupons and update at the beginning of each month.

22)  Check your store's coupon policy. BJ's Club allows you 14 days after your purchase to return with a coupon to have the price adjusted!

23)  Another great source for all things money, savings, investment, etc is walletpop.com and dailyworth.com DailyWorth is strictly a site for women and money. I mean, no one will get you if your husband visits the site, but it's geared towards women.

If couponing sounds overwhelming, according to The Wall Street Journal, the average person makes $100 for each hour they spend couponing!

Since January I've saved $700 using coupons and store savings (some of this after Christmas sales for next year), and have been able to donate at least $200 (of that 700) worth of things to programs I know can use them.  If you need ideas on getting started donating, I can come up with some great ones for you! :)

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