Saturday, February 4, 2012

Little Dollar Stretchers

Here are some little things you can do to stretch your dollar.  They may not save tons of money, but it can add up to a tidy sum.  Sometimes it is the little things you can do that make the biggest difference.  You won't know till you try!

Use Coupons. Yes they are time consuming. They are a pain in the rear, but they can save you money. If you don't want to buy a paper (and the price seems to always be going up on them lately), hit the internet and print them. Use an app on your phone to bring up coupons. Load them to your loyalty cards. Just use them!!
Use them for planned purchases ONLY! I know ...a lot of you use those big ol coupon binders that you work so terribly hard on. When you take those to the store and you walk down isles buying things that were not planned and tossing things in your cart just because you have a coupon and it's cheap - you are spending money that you don't need to spend!! Have a list and a plan and STICK TO IT!

Brown Bag It! Taking your lunch to work can save you 40% over buying your lunch everyday each month. It may not be a "cool" thing to do when everyone else is ordering out and paying $7 or more for lunch, but who will have money in the bank at the end of the week? Break it down in time to make it a little more realistic. If you make $10/hour (after taxes about $8) then you will have to work about an hour just to pay for lunch!! That is 5 hours a week you have to work just to eat at the job you are trying to make money working at.

Have A Night In - as opposed to going out. Once a month (or week, it is up to you) have your friends over for a night in. Make sure you ask each one to bring food as a part of the dinner. Watch a newly released movie or an old classic. Play a game or watch a game. Having fun at home is so much cheaper than going out on the town. What could be better than good food with good friends?

Bundle Your Insurance - Get all your insurance in one place. Most insurance companies will give you a discount for having 2 cars or your car and homeowners policy with them. So check with yours to see if they have "bundle discounts". If not, think about going elsewhere for better discounts.

Keep Track of Your Spending - You will find where all your leaks are when it comes to your money if you keep a log of what you are spending. Using a site like can also help with this. Just an old fashion notebook is a perfect tool. Sometimes you just don't realize where you spent your money, so by writing down every cent you spend you could go back and say "we spend $700 on restaurants!! I know where our money goes.....we ate it!!"

Spend in a Controlled Way - Buy only what you have planned to buy. Only what is budgeted for.  Stick to your list!

Take Snacks With You - Going to the movies? Long car trip?   Put an apple or snack and a bottle of water in your bag and you won't have to pay the inflated prices while you are out.

Don't Charge It -  By paying cash instead of credit card you are saving.  Figure 18% interest on $1000 is about $15 in 30 days.   That's $180 a year!!  Pay cash and come out ahead.

Coordinate Your Fashions - Buy things that work together instead of outfits that don't.  You can mix and match and make many looks from a few well picked coordinating pieces. 

Buy Used - Buying used you are letting someone else take the hit in depreciation.  When you buy a new car, the moment you drive it off the lot it sinks in value.  The same with just about everything you buy.  Buy used and save!

Trade Off Babysitting - If you have a friend of family member babysit for you, you could do it for them in return.  Or barter with them for another service of goods other than pay.  You may even come up with a 50/50 method of paying some and bartering for the rest.  I have a friend who cleans her babysitters house on the weekend for the lady who babysits for her 3 days a week. 

Take the Bus - I you have access to public transportation, take advantage of it.  With the price of gas and the wear and tear on your car and tires, this could save you a fortune.   You could also carpool and save some money driving every other day or having everyone chip in for gas. 

Compare Prices - Search the internet and any other way you have to research the product and prices. 

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