Julie, over at The Family CEO posted recently about 25 ways that she saves money and invited other bloggers to do the same. Thanks for the inspiration Julie – I had a really hard time coming up with 25 but here’s my list!
The 25 Ways I Save Money!
1. Buy One Get One Free Gum
I love gum and I’m not afraid to admit it. At more than $3 a pack, BOGO free is a must…
2. Text Alerts
Many stores like Payless, Maurices and Dress Barn have text alerts – even our local Chick fil A sends out texts with special deals! I am blessed with an unlimited texting plan (thanks Dad!) and so I sign up for anything that I might use.
Mailing lists! Ulta and other places that I love to shop mail me coupons – be sure to sign up at your favorite stores!
4. I Don’t Watch TV.
Dave Ramsey recently said that people who watch a lot of tv spend more money at stores because of the commercials. I console myself with this fact, because I sure do wish I could watch ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ every day!
5. Movie Stop/Red Box
Have I mentioned that we don’t have tv? Movie Stop and the Red Box are both great ways to save money on buying or renting movies. It is normal for me to find movies at Movie Stop 2/for $5. That’s not bad! And if you pre-purchase a movie from them they guarantee the national lowest price.
6. Thrift Shops/Goodwill/Salvation Army
I am not the best at finding deals at second hand places, but my friend Sarah is helping me learn the basics! We have found a few things and I am looking forward to doing more thrift shop shopping.
7. Shop Sales Only
When I go into my favorite store I basically bypass all the clothes in the front. They are SO pretty – but at full price I just can’t afford them! I go directly to the sale and clearance racks near the back. In fact, I do this in almost every store because I don’t want to pay full price!
8. Get Books From the Library.
Why buy a book when you can just borrow it?
9. Share a Meal When Eating Out/Drink Water
When I go out with friends we often share a meal and I always drink water. The portion sizes are definitely big enough to share and water is better for you anyway.
10. I Ask Myself a Few Questions…
Who already owns this and might share it with me? Where am I gonna put this? Do I really need this? Why do I want this? Do I already have something like it? Usually, the answers help me make a good decision. A lot of the time I end up not buying anything.
11. Change Jar!
I love to get pedicures! (And if you saw my feet you would understand why – rock climbing is hard on the feet!) My mom and I pay cash for most things and we save all of our change. When we have enough we get to go to the spa. I guess that isn’t technically ‘saving’ money – but it feels like it to me because I’m not taking money out of one of my envelopes.
12. Avoid the Mall
When I started thinking about it I can’t remember the last time that I went to the mall to go shopping. For anything. I haven’t had much luck getting great deals at any mall and it seems super expensive to me.
Pinterest has actually saved me money. I have gotten craft ideas and party ideas and recipe ideas and… you get the picture. The scarves that I have made from old t-shirts alone has saved me a ton of money!
14. Clothing Swap with Friends
Instead of throwing out stuff or donating it I try to swap things with friends. These efforts would be helped quite a bit if my best friend would gain 20 pounds… But think about it – those old earrings you are tired of? Trade with a friend! If you wear the same size clothes, all the better.
15. Insulated Lunch Box
When you go to the gym 4 times a week you learn quickly to pack snacks. I have a great lunch tote that keeps things cold. Instead of going through a drive-thru I pack my tote with water and something healthy. It saves money and is so much healthier. I had to think of something – my mom told me a while back that she would not pay for fast food anymore. And I’m certainly not paying for it!
16. Use Things Up
Do you have a laptop that works? Keep using it. Do you have an iPod touch, but not the newest version? Use what you have. I have a really nice computer now – but I used a Gateway for years until I had to keep the thing plugged in at all times because the battery didn’t work at all. You can save so much by just being content with what you have.
17. Comparison Shop.
If you take a few minutes to look, you can find coupons for your favorite places online. You can also do research to find the best deal on the item you want to purchase. This is a great way to save money and it just takes a few minutes of your time.
18. Bypass the Smart Phone.
Over the past few years I have actually continued breathing without a smart phone. It’s been really difficult, but I have persevered… #firstworldproblems. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by sticking with a simple texting phone.
19. The Dollar Store
If you haven’t been lately you have to go! When my sunglasses broke a few weeks ago I almost spent $16 at Target and then I remembered The Dollar Store! I found the cutest sunglasses for a buck. Score!
20. Delay the Driver’s License
I just turned 17 and I don’t have my license yet. Some teens truly need their license but I don’t. My mom is still able to take me most places so we decided to hold off for a while longer. That decision alone is saving me more than $100 a month.
21. Dual Enrollment
This next semester I will be dual enrolling at my local community school. This allows me to take college classes and get both high school and college credit for the class. And it’s FREE. I will have to purchase books, but over the next two years I will save thousands of dollars by getting free tuition for my first 30 college credits.
Sign up for alerts from places like Groupon and Living Social. Last year I got to go paddle boarding for the first time ever because of a Groupon deal. Normally it would have cost $60 but with the deal it only cost $20. It’s a great way to get to try new and fun activities without paying full price.
23. Mix and Match
Whenever I go shopping I try really hard to buy separate pieces that can be made into many different outfits. This really reduces the amount that I spend on clothes each season. Hanging on to old scarves and accessories and such makes it even easier to create different outfits.
24. Basic Money Management
I use an envelope system to keep track of my money. I put money into savings for a car, college and retirement and also have envelopes for clothing and spending money. If I don’t have any money in my clothing envelope, then I don’t buy any clothing unless I want to use my spending money. Once money gets put into a saving envelope it stays there.
25. ‘Forget’ my wallet at home
This one is my favorite. If I don’t have my wallet then mom has to pay! Except when she won’t…