Are you looking for ways to save money? Try some of these tips. You'll probably have heard of some of these ways to save money before, but the more you can do, the better, because the best ways to save money are the small things that add up.
Credit: Tracy O http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracy_olson/61056391/Step 1
Clip coupons. You probably knew this is one of the ways to save money. But here's what I've learned. The best ways to save money with them is don't clip every coupon. Only save those you KNOW you'll need. Otherwise they accumulate, take up space, drive you a crazy, and you won't use them. Or you’re already using them, so keep it up! Some places offer double and triple coupon days. One place I think does this is Shaw's grocery store.
Check sales fliers. This can go one of two ways. Either save money by getting things you NEED on sale. Or find things on sale and buy a bunch of stuff you don't need. Only one of these methods SAVES you money; the other WASTES your money. I'm sure you can guess which is the best ways to save money, ha ha! Seriously, the way to use sales fliers is looking with a purpose. The best ways to save money is the bigger the item you know you need, the more important it is to look for it on sale. If I need a blender, I’ll look through Target and Walmart fliers looking for a blender, and that's it. If you spy something that you actually need, fine. But don't look through Best Buy fliers if you don't need a computer! Similarly:
Wait to buy things. I could really use a car vacuum now. That way I wouldn't need to borrow mom's each time I clean my car. But I'm going to wait to buy, because having one isn’t critical now, and the best ways to save money is to wait for sales. If you can put off buying something, especially expensive items, you might find it on sale later. This is the opposite of those enticing credit offers of "buy now, pay later." I say, the ways to save money include "buy later, pay less."
Get the early bird special. There's a restaurant that I frequent nearly every weekend. When I order the lunch portion, it costs half of what dinner costs. And it's nearly the same sized portion! Eating out at lunchtime instead of dinner is one of the best ways to save money because there is an added health benefit. Portion sizes at restaurants are notoriously too large. Dieters pay good money to learn "portion control" so combining health with ways to save money is a win-win.
An occasional dinner out may be important for the social aspect, however, consider inviting people over for a home cooked dinner instead. You might find people think you’re even more social and gracious if you start a dinner party tradition among your circle of friends, and they’ll appreciate help with ways to save money. Or, if your friends are really looking forward to eating out, you can still save money by filling up before going out, and ordering soup or salad. Another option is to bring half of your dinner home for dinner the next day. This too, will help you practice good portion control, plus it means that you are getting two dinners for the price of one!
Shop at discount stores. My favorite ways to save money are to shop are TJ Maxx and Marshalls. These stores have designer clothes at reduced prices, and the best ways to save money are when it’s not obvious to others. I might be a cheapskate, but I've never been accused of dressing like one!
Turn out lights. Saving electricity saves money AND is the ethical thing to do ecologically so it’s one of the best ways to save money. So whenever you can, turn lights out that you don't need. Turn off your TV if you're not really watching it. If you have a work station with several electronics plugged into a power strip (computer, printer, lamp, chargers, sharpener, Playstation) unplug it each night. Since some things can't be unplugged, like the TV (the stations get reset each time) I reorganized what’s plugged into the strip and what’s plugged into the wall so I could do this faithfully. Appliances draw bits of electricity when they’re left plugged in. Check your kitchen to unplug your coffee pot, toaster oven, and other appliances using for ways to save money.
Use the card that pays you back. Actually, there are several credit cards that do. Some offer a higher percentage back on gas and groceries than on other purchases. Shop around for your credit cards for ways to save money! Also, whenever possible, pay off your whole credit card balance, and pay on time. This prevents fees from being added onto your balance and avoiding waste is one of the most important best ways to save money.
Look at your monthly bills, and see which ones you want to reduce. That's right. It IS possible. Look at your cable bill. Do you need all those channels? Wouldn't it be better if you watched less TV anyway? The best ways to save money help you improve the quality of your life. Look at your internet bill. Is there another company that has a better offer? Check your phone bill. Are there extras you don't need? Is there a different phone company that costs less? If you don’t miss those features, cut back. Same with your cell phone. Are you using the best plan for you, or are you ending up with unused and expiring minutes? Shop around for a new company or a new plan that fits your needs better.
Make good habits. The best way to save money are to be consistent. The more you do the above steps, the more money you will save. Like any good habit, like eating healthy or exercising, if you "fall off the wagon," don't give up, just get right back on and keep working on ways to save money.