It’s easy for me to tell you to stop spending and start saving more money, but you know that life isn’t as simple as that. With a family to support, school activities to fund, out-of-pocket medical bills rolling in, student loans hanging over your head and monthly bills to pay, there is only so far you can stretch your income to cover it all. Though you’re very conscious of where all your money goes, you may be overlooking effortless opportunities to save on every day purchases and expenses. See below for yourself and consider adding these thrifty tactics to your every day shopping strategy.
1. Switch to generic.
Consumers often associate cheaper prices with inferior quality, which is why many of us reach for pricier name brands displayed in pretty packaging. This mentality, however, is causing you to waste your hard-earned dollars. Private labels have come a long way over the years and many stand up in quality to the big brands while saving you 30 to 60 percent. From prescriptions to groceries to household cleaners, consider switching to the generic or store brand.
2. Search for coupons for everything.
You already know to look for coupons when shopping for groceries, clothes, toys and home goods, but what about all those other items in your budget? A quick Internet search could help you save big bucks on everything from medicine to dental care to car repairs and pet care. Consider this example; I was picking up a prescription at CVS when I decided to search Google for any possible deals. Voila! I found a voucher that will end up saving me $480 on 12-month supply!
3. Cut premium movie channels.
The average cable bill is over $100 per month, with researchers from NPD Group suggesting that will increase to $200 by 2020. Considering the numerous streaming alternatives available these days like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video, you can keep up with favorite programs or find something new to watch for a lower monthly payment instead of pricey premium movie channels. And, if you really want to keep your movie watching habit cheap, head to the library for free DVD rentals. Enough said.
4. Buy used clothing.
Though some experts and bloggers will tell you to stop buying clothes, I know it’s sometimes necessary for work or a special celebration. And, it’s especially needed for growing children. What I will tell you though, is that purchasing new clothes at full retail price is a huge waste of money. While shopping sale and clearance racks or applying coupons is an effective way to save, it’s much wiser to buy on consignment. You’ll be surprised at the amazing selection of brand name clothes in great condition offered at your local second-hand stores. You can also shop online for used clothing at sites like RecycleYourFashion or Thredup.com.
5. Make your own household cleaner.
Vinegar, lemons and baking soda are said to be the most effective household cleaners. Plus, they’re more environmentally friendly! Take inventory of what you already have in your pantry then run a quick online search for household cleaner recipes containing these ingredients so you can stop wasting money on products you don’t need. Considering that families spend an average of $800 a year on household cleaners, this should be a welcome tip!
6. Meal plan with overlapping ingredients.
The most expensive ingredient or food you have in your home, even after sale and coupon savings, is the one you don’t use. Throwing away groceries is like throwing your money in the trash. Learn how to meal plan and look for easy-to-cook recipes that use the same ingredients so you know that you and your family will eat all those fresh foods.
Save for the things that matter
Without giving up the things you love
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