When people think about saving money they often think about extreme coupon users who carry around their big binders and spend most of their free time clipping and filing coupons. But there are so many ways to save money that don’t involve devoting your entire life to coupons. Here’s a few ways I save money the stress free way!
Save Money the Stress Free Way
Use coupons for what you normally buy.
Very few people really need 25 bottles of mustard or 50 boxes of Hamburger Helper. But every family needs to buy toothpaste and detergent. Every week when I get the newspaper with the coupon inserts, I look through them quickly and then drop them in my coupon bag. I toss the coupons that I know for sure I will never use. As I’m looking through the sales ads, I already have a general idea of what coupons I have so I just make my list and then flip back through the coupon inserts.
I love going to I Heart Kroger to see the coupon matchups for Kroger. The site is very thorough and lists all the possible deal ideas for the week. I don’t do major coupon shopping every week. Since sales go in cycles, I just loosely follow the website and watch for sales that meet my family’s needs.
If you have favorite brands and you don’t see coupons in the local paper, just call them and tell them how much you love the product. The companies will often be glad to send you money saving coupons.
Follow your favorite brands on Facebook or Twitter.
Restaurants and stores often release special discounts or coupons for their followers and fans.
Pay bills early.
As soon as I receive a bill, I try to pay it immediately. I never want to accidentally get behind on a bill and end up paying a late fee. The added benefit of paying now instead of waiting till the last minute is that I don’t have to stress if I end up being out of town on the due date. Some places like local hospitals or doctors will even give you a discount if you pay early. Bonus saved money!
Know what you have.
The worst feeling in the world is spending money on something that you know you have but you can’t find. I try to go through my cabinets periodically and look at what is hidden in the back corners. This gives you a chance to check expiration dates and use up the things that are fixing to go bad. There are some things that you don’t need on a regular basis (things like goo-gone, gorilla glue or specialty spices). If you store them where you can easily find them the next time, you will not have to spend double money.
Swap, Sell or Donate.
Sometimes you end up with extras of items. I have been known to swap extra shampoo or canned items with a couponing friend who had a surplus of other items. Kids clothes can be shared, donated or sold to clear out space or make some extra money.
Consider online sites like www.thredup.com to buy and sell gently used kids clothes. Check your peddler’s mall or find a local consignment store where you can sell or buy kids stuff locally.
Dine out for Less.
Many restaurants offer kids free nights or senior discount days. Have a favorite restaurant? Call or check their website to see when their discounts. You may be able to save on your meal out if you plan ahead.
Just don’t spend.
Of course the number one way to save money is to just not spend. If you really want to reduce stress, then toss the ads and skip the commercials. Often we can reduce the feeling of wanting more stuff just by not watching or browsing the sales.
How do you reduce the stress of saving money? I’d love to hear your favorite tips!
Save Money the Stress Free Way – Published in Advocate Messenger Newspaper, April 14, 2013.