-Organizing food and household shopping more, which includes:
Clipping and actually USING Coupons. This only happens if I clip weekly and organize them into a coupon organizer.
Warehouse shopping for items that are cheaper there (dairy products, paper and cleaning products) and using coupons there as well (BJ’s takes them, and will allow multiple coupons for multi packs!)
Arranging the shopping trips to the various stores so that I can make less trips overall and run errands as I am driving to other places…the crazy gas crisis earlier this year helped me realize the true benefit of this.
-Eating out less. This is a no-brainer. But with Trader Joe’s in town now, eating creatively and cheaply is much easier!
When I DO meet friends for dinner, we really seek out the deal: ½ appetizers or bottles of wine/beer specials, etc. Many restaurants have these during the earlier hours of 5:30-7 or so. You can also request the lunch portion all day at many places.
-Ask your budget minded friends where they are finding their stuff these days!
The best info on the real deals comes from other people. Ex: I have one friend that is our group’s resident wine expert and I always ask her what her new (cheaper) wine favorites are…she NEVER leads me wrong.
-Borrowing, when I can, rather than buying. This is how I have read most of my book club books. We just pass them around.
-Reusing and reinventing instead of just buying new. I make a little game out of coming up with new outfits from what I already own– especially around this time of year where there are more social events and I get to tap into the festive side of the closet!
-Spending less on gifts overall…especially for the kids. I tend to go overboard every year with my nieces, nephews and godchildren and I realize in the long run it’s not gonna matter how many gifts I give them because they are fortunate kids and have a lot.
-Putting off big purchases until absolutely necessary. Ex: My car is a 1997 model with 160,000 miles on it. It’s been ready to go for about a year and but I still cannot bring myself to even look for a new one right now. I will have to when my hand is forced. Is refusing to spend money a way to save money? I am not sure, but I am doing it.
-If you have children, buy staple wardrobe items at end of season sales for next week. A winter coat in February can be purchased at a steal and you just buy it in your child’s size for next winter.
-Track all your expenses each week. At our house, we have an envelope where we drop our receipts each day and on Sundays we look them over to see how much we spent, where we spent it, discuss how we can do better, and make plans for the upcoming week.
-Grocery shop with a list in hand. Plan your meals for the upcoming week, put only what you need on the list, and try to work from your pantry. For every week items like toilet paper, buy bulk.
-Create a monthly and yearly budget— especially if you feel like you are always being reactive. Total up all your monthly stable and variable expenses, multiply them out by 12 to see what you will likely spend on that item in a year, total up what you have to bring in to cover everything and plan from there. Sometimes we think it’s okay to spend X dollars in a month on something but then when we see what that will cost us over the course of a year, it becomes a lot less palpable and you decide to make some sort of change.
-Since I work in the service industry my income is never contestant. I have made a list of monthly bills and track at the end of each week what I have made and how much I owe. Putting things in list form really allows me to tangible see what my finances are doing (sometimes a very scary thing)
-I NEVER used to go grocery shopping…I always ate out! Now I save that for Saturday nights only.
At the grocery store I have been figuring out what I can buy that will last me the longest. I made a HUGE batch of veggie chili that has lasted me a month for 15 dollars!
I clip coupons and pay attention to the vic savings
Never go to the grocery store hungry!
-I have a tendency to shop online a lot…now I give myself 2 weeks before I buy anything, most times I have forgotten all about it
I have started to spend more time buying accessories instead of clothing…new belt and new purse for 20 dollars is much better then buying a whole new outfit!
-When I go out I only bring cash…