Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Money Saving Tips


Living simply isn't exactly popular. Our world thinks success is defined by money or by your career. Because success has quite a different definition to me, I do not work full time. Purposefully. I know. 
Why would I choose to live on less? Well that is a post for another time. For now, I want to share with you a few ways that my husband and I are able to live comfortably on basically 1 income. 
These are things that are relatively painless. I know there are ways to get by on pennies-but I absolutely refuse to use reusable toilet paper!

Less Paper Towels 
I do keep a few rolls stocked under the sink, but those are for emergencies. Like puke emergencies. We use hand towels at the bathroom sinks, and we keep a towel hanging in the kitchen. I have several old rags that I use when cleaning. But, I will use a single paper towel when cleaning mirrors-I just can't get that right when using a cloth. 

Dollar Shave Club
http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/
We buy our razor blades online. The first time you order your blades, you get a free handle. You select the frequency of deliveries. We both use the 4x blade, which is $6 for a cartridge. (you can order an extra handle) They want you to use 1 blade a week, but they are so great that we barely need a new shipment after 2 months. This is saving us a lot. Before we were paying like $15 for our Shick refills. 

Reusable Swiffer Pads
Examples: (Etsy-Mop) (Etsy-Duster)
Stop buying those disposable pads! I bought reusable ones on Etsy and never looked back. When you are done, toss them in the wash. And if you can crochet/knit, make your own! 

Don't Buy Pre-Made Food
Publix is amazing. They make the most beautiful fruit salads, yummy natural peanut butter, and amazing hummus. We were buying these things all the time. But, you are paying for the convenience.  So, I started making them myself! You get twice the amount for the same price. For example: Hummus Recipe / Peanut Butter Recipe
It tastes so much better when you make it your self anyway. 

Meal Plan
This will help you in two ways. 1. You will not buy extra things at the grocery store if you have a list. 2. You will have a dinner plan so you won't eat out! 
Eating out is our worst offense. It is just so stinkin easy to run through a drive thru. Restaurants are expensive, the more you can avoid them the better. 

Avoid Fees 
Don't over draft your account. Don't be late on payments. Don't speed! These are such a waste of money. Totally unnecessary! At least when you spend too much at Target you get a great shirt/dog bed/nail polish. Who wants to spend money for no reason?

EBay
I recently discovered Ebay....uhm yeah, I know-welcome to 1995. Not only can you make extra money by selling your unwanted junk, but you can save money by shopping on Ebay. For example, I love anything J.Crew sells. But, we all know while great quality they are a tad on the expensive side. I started looking for name brand clothes on Ebay. I personally look for 'new w/wo tags' clothes. I have not been disappointed yet. Just don't get too attached to an item you are bidding on, there are crazy people out there who like to outbid you at the very last second!!

Cut the Cable
Okay, this one isn't as painless. We cut our cable about a year ago, and switched to a digital antenna. If you point it just right, we get several channels. (We live in a small town in the middle of nowhere and still get a good signal. My in-laws live in a big city and get a tonnn of free channels!) We also subscribe to Netflix, and we share a Hulu Plus account with my mom. The only thing I miss is DVR. The only thing my husband misses is ESPN. He uses ESPN mobile now, and I think its a good thing for him to watch less sports. (love you Blake!) 

These are short surveys that are randomly assigned to you. Each answer is worth a dollar amount. Usually you earn just a few cents, but I have earned up to $5 on a survey. You can redeem your money in the Play Store. I use Google Music, and haven't 'paid' for a song since I started using Google Opinion Rewards. This is the best way to get free music legally! 

Paint Your Own Nails
In High School I was a nanny, and I was making so much money! It helped that I lived at home and had basically no expenses. I got my nails done faithfully every 2 weeks. I love getting my nails done, and when I moved out I tried to keep it up. Up to $100 at the nail salon every month became extremely unappealing. Especially when you can buy a whole bottle of nail polish for less than the cost of a manicure. I went to Sally's and bought cuticle cream, nail clippers, a file, and polishes. I thought I was terrible at painting nails, and I really was at first. Practice makes perfect!! I am pretty good at it now, and have learned that some polishes work better than others. Oh, and top/base coats are your friend! I will visit the nail salon on special occasions-and now its more of a treat. 

Order Water at Restaurants
This one I really started doing because I wanted to drink more water. But, it also helps you save money when eating out. Sodas and teas cost money! By ordering water we save up to $5 on our dinner. 

Walmart
This one isn't as painless for me, because I really hate going to Walmart. (peopleofwalmart.com)
But! It has saved us some money. Now, we do prefer quality over price in most instances. There is a long list of things I will not buy at walmart-we do not buy meat or produce from Walmart because we have not been impressed with its quality. We will buy things like canned goods, cereals, or toilet paper. Our living room curtains are also from Walmart. Hanes T-shirts, dog toys, shampoo- all cheaper there. We always see a difference at the register. And, we noticed that going shopping early on Sunday morning is a great time-no one is in the store! 
I also recently downloaded the Walmart app with the Savings Catcher. You scan your receipt and it will examine other store ads for a lower price. I've scanned maybe 3 receipts and already have about $5 to spend. 

I am a huge Publix fan! We save money there by buying their store brand (never been disappointed), taking advantage of BOGO's and using their digital coupons as well as store coupons. 

I found out about Paperback Swap in High School. I haven't bought a book since. You simply list the books you are willing to trade, and you can request books you want. Each book is worth 1 credit, and you get 1 credit when someone requests your book. You just pay shipping. I have always gotten books that are in good shape because there are rules about the quality of book you can trade. Many of the most popular/new books are hard to come by, but not impossible! 

Change Your Own Oil
This one is all my husband, because I shamefully have no idea how to do it. He changes the oil on both of our cars. It takes him like 15 minutes. We buy the oil/filter at Walmart, and don't have to pay for the service! We have also bought our tires online and brought them with us to the mechanic to save money that way too. Your owners manual has a list of when required maintenance needs to be done. We keep track of that and can do most of the replacements at home. I hated going to a Superlube and the grimey tech telling me I need a new air filter when I knew it didn't. Plus keeping up with your car maintenance saves you money in the long run too! 

Victoria's Secret Coupons
Every month I faithfully get a coupon in the mail from Victoria's Secret for a Free Undie. No purchase is necessary, so this one is seriously painless. Walk in, ask someone to show you what qualifies for your free pair, pick one out, and redeem your coupon. You are saving like $12 every time. They send you these hoping you buy something else while you are there, but you don't have to. When I get a new pair, I throw an old one out. Hopefully I will eventually I have a drawer full of underwear I got for free! Aerie also sent me a coupon for a free undie last month, no purchase necessary. That was pretty sweet-I hope they send one again! 

Leave me a comment: How do you save money? 
Have you tried any of my suggestions? 



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