If you are starting from the beginning, just coming to the realization that you need to start saving or want your money to go further, I have compiled this list to help you get started. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list, but just a start. I will continue to share, in the weeks to come, ways you can save in specific areas of your home, bills, and everyday expenses.
5. Leave the loyalty to your dog - We all want our family, friends, and pets to be loyal, but there is no reason to be loyal to your toothpaste brand. I understand that we all find our favorites when it comes to some things, but in order to get the best deals on everyday items, you will be better off not sticking with one brand.
4. Shop around - With today's technology, there is no reason you should make a big-ticket purchase without doing a little comparison shopping. All it usually takes is a simple search through your favorite search engine, and you can find the best deal. There are even iPhone Apps out there where you can scan the UPC, and it will tell you where the best price is on that item in your area!
3. Shop for value, not lowest price - Did you know that the tags on the grocery store shelves actually give you the information you need to know which item is the best deal? Instead of looking at the price, check out that smaller number near the bottom corner of the tag that tells you the price per unit (whether it be ounces, pounds, item, etc.) Companies have gotten very good at making their packages seem comparable, when in fact one box/jar/can can have significantly less product; therefore, making the product much more expensive. If the information is missing from the shelf tag, simply divide the price by the unit of measure labeled on the package. Hint: Toilet paper can be especially deceiving when all the available items have the same number of rolls. Check out the sq. ft. measure and see if you're really getting as much for your money as you think.
2. Pair Manufacturers' Coupons with sale prices - Manufacturers are constantly issuing coupons for their products in hopes of snagging you as customer. Use them to your advantage and purchase their products when they are on sale. This maximizes your savings. Items typically go on sale to their lowest price approximately every 12 weeks. You should buy enough of the product to last you through until the next lowest-price sale.
1. Evaluate your needs vs. your wants - If you are being intentional about saving, your wants will sometimes have to wait. Make sure what you are spending money on are legitimate needs. Here are some areas where you could probably save immediately: groceries, coffee, restaurants, clothes, cable bill, and cell phone bill.
You could realize great savings just by being a conscious consumer, being intentional in your spending, and taming your impulse purchases. Being frugal is a mindset. It takes awareness and sometimes a little more time, but in the end I think it's worth it.
What are the ways you save money? Leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you!