Coupons work if you match them up with sales. Look for places that double them, some places even triple them. I haven't bought toothpaste, shampoo or soap for years. I just walk out of the store with it for free.
Stretch your groceries with places like Angel Food - anyone can participate. http://www.angelfoodministries.com/
When shopping online, always look for a coupon code to attach to your order.
This doesn't work for everyone, but I get rebates back on my credit card. I have an Amazon card that gets paid in full every month (another BIG money saver - not paying interest on credit!) and save up all those $25 coupons that come in the mail. At Christmas and birthdays guess where I shop for presents? Yep, Amazon. And I use all those coupons. At Christmas, I have them ship my packages directly to my destination so I don't have to haul them, especially if I'm flying. I can wrap em on the other end.
Insulate your house. Yeah, it's a little bit of money up front, but you'll more than make up for it on your air and heating costs throughout the year. Rolling another layer of insulation in the attic, weatherstripping doors, etc. can really add up.
If you ARE paying interest on credit cards, call the company and ask them to lower your interest rate. They just might and it can save you hundreds in the long run. But it's always better to pay off your cards in full. A 20% off sale isn't a sale when you pay 20% in interest on that charge the next month. KWIM?
Know where you can find your bargains. Children's Place, for example, has some great sale bins. I bought a dozen socks for my son for 17 cents a pair. I also got him some great shirts and shorts for next summer on the 99 cent rack while I was doing my Christmas shopping.
Buy used. Garage Sales, thrift stores, craigslist. Not only is it cheaper, it's GREEN. LOL. Reusing stuff that's already produced is a great saver. Besides you can often find some really eclectic stuff. I love old furniture in particular; it's almost always more solidly made.
Find your local Freecycle. People are giving stuff away on there. The only catch is that you have to give away stuff too. For example I pulled out an old toilet that worked perfectly well, I just was updating and gave mine away on freecycle. http://www.freecycle.org/
Habitat For Humanity Restores. This is like Goodwill for Home Depot type items. Some stuff is used, some is new. I recently bought 3 brand new in the box Anderson Windows for my garage. The windows retailed for over $500 each. I bought 3 for $500. http://www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx
Look around your house. Just about everyone has crap in closets they're not using, have outgrown, or otherwise need to get rid of it. While times are tight NOW is the time to sell it. Craigslist has free listings and you can get rid of all kinds of stuff. Life is simpler with less stuff.
Turn down your thermostat and put on a sweater. Yeah, this is what our dads always said. But you know what? It works.
Go through your bills and figure out what you're really not using. Do you REALLY need unlimited texting? Do you REALLY need all those extra movie channels? Cut down on optional services.
Use up what you have. A lot of people also have pantries of food they never use. Play the "how far can I go without a grocery run" game. Sure, you might be having a lot of pasta tossed with tomatoes and canned mushrooms - but it's what I call "pre-paid for food". You already have it. Use it.
Go back to staples. Rice is probably the cheapest, most filling food on the planet. When I was a kid we lived on the mission field and were really -REALLY- poor. We ate rice at every single meal. Once I moved out and went to college it took me 7 years to willingly eat rice again. But you know? It's cheap. Also, with staples, it's also cheaper to cook than with prepackaged food. Buy a big bag of rice - not instant - and learn how to cook it. (white is 2 c. water to every 1 cup rice, put on medium low and steam for about 20 min. / brown is 3 c. water to every 1 cup rice, put on medium low and steam for 45 min.) Eggs are another cheap food. We eat breakfast food for dinner and eggs stretch our grocery bill a lot. Make your pancakes and waffles from scratch - cheaper than bisquick and tastes better anyway. Buy a big bag of frozen veggies and steam them in the microwave until they're just cooked through - cheaper than buying fresh, have equivalent nutrients, and tastes better than canned. If you don't know how to cook, wander into your local Goodwill and pick up a cheap basic cookbook.
I could go on and on. But this is just a start for ya.
· 10 years ago