Thursday, September 15, 2016

Simple ways to save money



Part of being an adult is learning to spend money like an adult. The money tree in the backyard has been dead for a while now.  Here's some of the ways I try to stretch my money on a daily basis:
  • Use coupons
    • This seems like the most obvious way to save money, I know. 
    • I have a coupon organizer where I can sort them into categories like "Food," "Drinks," "Bathroom," "Oral Care," and "Makeup." It takes a little bit of organization and maintenance but it is worth it when I look at my receipt and see how much I've saved.
    • Only use coupons:
      •  for items you would've bought anyway
      •  if the discount is more than 50 cents 
      • and if the coupon is for less than 2 items
  • Get your flu shot at Target
    • Target has a promotion right now where if you get your flu shot at their CVS Pharmacy, you get a $5 gift card. The vaccine was free with my health insurance, so it was a win-win. I was basically paid to get a flu shot. 

  • Check out Goodwill
    • For decorating your home or picking up knick knacks, Goodwill is cheaper than antique shops or other big retailers, plus the pieces there are unique.
  • Buy toilet paper in bulk
    • Think about it, you will always need toilet paper. Buy it in the biggest pack it comes in. 
    • This applies to other household staples like soap, tissues, trashbags, etc, where your demand will stay constant and the items won't expire. 
  • DIY Manicures
    • You can save so much money just by painting your own nails at home. I'm all for manicures but I like to save them as a treat instead of a regular occurrence. 

  • Groupon
    • You can get some really good deals on Groupon but I think it's easy to buy things you wouldn't usually buy just because they are on sale. So, I'd make sure you use Groupon to check for discounts on hair cuts if you were already planning on getting your hair cut. 

  • Order a Cafe Misto at Starbucks
    • A Cafe Misto or Cafe Au Lait is coffee + steamed milk. A latte is espresso + steamed milk. A Cafe Misto is significantly cheaper and quite similar. It's a good way to save a buck at Starbucks.
  • Request free samples online
    • There's lots of websites that list who is giving away free samples and how to get them. I've gotten samples of feminine hygiene products, shampoo and conditioners, sugars, Emergen-C, cat food, and coupons.  
    • www.mysavings.com/free-samples/
    • www.sweetfreestuff.com/free-samples/
    • www.getitfree.us/freebies
  • Watch gas prices
    • Lately, if I see gas for under $2 somewhere, I'll fill up. I never know when the price will jump back up again. Carpe Diem. 
    • Use Kroger or Giant Eagle Fuel Perks or Speedy Rewards. Sometimes you can get 3 cents off per gallon or earn points to even more money off a future purchase.  
    • I use an app called Gas Buddy to help me find the cheapest gas prices nearby. 

  • Free Friday at Kroger
    • With my Kroger card, I get emails on Friday morning about a "Free Friday download" so I click on the link, sign in, and download the coupon. Usually the Free Friday item is somewhere up at the front of the store near the check out stations. Buy the item, use your Kroger card, and it's free! 
    • With this Free Friday, I've gotten gummi worms, granola bars, soda, a pack of gum, yogurt, and more.