Money Saving Tips That Actually Work

Looking for a few extra money saving tips? How’d I know? Maybe because I have scoured the net searching for the best tips and tricks and found most of them to fall a little outside my lifestyle. AKA I don’t have a lot of Children and don’t like to Crazy Coupon. So I crafted my own, what I have found to work I listed out below just for you!

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Entertainment:

  • Amazon Prime. This sounds silly but sometimes you have to spend money to save a little money. Just hear me out on this one! When I was extremely broke I wouldn’t be able to shell out the $10/mo subscription but as a student you get it for free! Also I think the benefits and money saving out weight the price tag. The obvious free shipping is great but we use the unlimited Music, Video, and Ebooks to save some cash. They offer loads of ebooks and magazines for free download and many more at a steeply discounted price. I don’t order magazine subscriptions anymore because I get them included with my Prime! The music selection is great and while not as versatile as Spotify it certainly holds up well. My grandparents use the Amazon Fire stick to stream movies and TV shows on their TV as well listen to music. Also, I use my prime to send gifts and not pay postage, get my dogs food and my coffee delivered with no hassle!
  • Discount Movie days: check with your local theater, most offer discounts for daytime showings.
  • Play like a tourist: checkout your towns visitor center and see what coupons/promotions they offer. Our local center offers an Ale Trail passport for all the places we were already going! We get our stamps and then turn it in for free prizes.
  • Birthday Freebies: At least 2 weeks before your birthday start signing up for Erewards programs for restaurants, they will often send you a birthday coupon.
  • Always wait overnight on large purchases: You’ll have enough time to think of ways to live without it or how important it really is.
  • AAA, if you are a member of AAA there are so many businesses out there willing to give you a discount. A lot of hotels and entertainment businesses offer some type of incentive. I was at a chocolate shop once and noticed they had an AAA plaque, I showed them my card and got 25% my purchase! Outlet malls, movie theaters, restaurants, are just a few of your options, check out https://www.oregon.aaa.com/discounts/ for more details.

Gift Giving:

  • Utilize the clearance rack and holiday sales for gifts. I always have an idea of what birthdays/celebrations are approaching so I can score a good deal rather than pay full price at the last minute. Most stores use holidays as an excuse for a big sale, so be thinking ahead of gift ideas when the date nears.

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Groceries:

  • I have never been one for clipping coupons, it’s just too tedious for me. Most retailers have smartphone apps now though where you ca load the coupons to your account. I use the Safeway and Fred Meyers app to check for discounts before I head to the store.
  • I am a huge fan of discount grocery stores, my favorite in Oregon is Grocery Outlet. Most people think that everything on their shelves is about to expire but that’s not true at all! A lot of the goods are overstock from other retailers, misprinted labels, or items that a store is phasing out. I am able to eat 75% organic because of this! The prices are so much cheaper and I get to try all sorts of products I otherwise wouldn’t spend the $$$ on. With the perishable items, it is always a good idea to check dates on those, just in case.
  • Preparation is key: Don’t go to the store without a plan of what meals you are going to make that week/month. If you have a plan you will be able to stick to your budget and get exactly what you need. I use the apps to see what is on sale and plan how I can use those items in my weekly menu.
  • Put ’em up: During the summer I preserve fruits and veggies for the winter months. Perishables are always cheaper in-season, so get them while they are good and put ’em up! The easiest way is freezing, look up each veg/fruit and see what methods they require. At most it is usually just a quick blanch. Last year we went to a U-Pick blueberry farm and harvested over 15 lbs. of blueberries for less than $20! We washed and froze them and now have blueberries for pies, breakfast, and treats!

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Bills:

  • Cell phones: check with your provider about discounts they offer, usually government employees, first responders, and military get a deal.
  • If you can, pay your auto insurance in 6 months rather than monthly, it’s always cheaper. If you aren’t able to do this right away, start trying to save up so you can and then enroll once you have enough.
  • LED Lightbulbs and power strips: Talk to your electric provider about their incentive programs. Many of them offer a free energy saver program where they give out FREE LED light bulbs, power switches, and much more. A friend of our applied for a local program like this and after going through a few classes and home audits they received a new fridge, range, and lighting.
  • Use the envelope system: check out how we saved $1,000 using it here
  • The biggest change in our bills comes from our lifestyle choice. We were tired of paying rent and found a way to get discounted housing. We found employers that offer employee housing! This option is really great for us because we don’t have children and have little attachment to material items. We have a storage unit with all of our keepsakes, family heirlooms, and bulky gear. I know this isn’t an option for everyone but if it is for you, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

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I hope these tips help you save a little extra cash! Drop some comments below on your favorite money saving habits.

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