In case you missed it, you can read this post to see what this series is all about.
When some of you read the title to this one, you might have thought that I already covered saving and smarter shopping. But there’s a difference between spending less and being a smarter shopper. Hand-in-hand the two work together to help you save the most.
Here are a few ways I’ve brainstormed to be a smart shopper and to save more money:
1) Keep track of sales cycles. Jot down each month the things I tend to find good deals on products I frequently use.
2) Always ask myself if something I’m about to purchase is at the lowest price. I can stop and check online to see what the going-rate is elsewhere. Some stores like to trick you into thinking that something is a hot price when it’s merely a few cents off.
3) Avoid impulse buys as much as possible. You can read my tips for these in the Spending Less segment.
4) Use Coupons! Without a doubt you can save money by using coupons. I’m not saying you need to go extreme and stockpile like the world is ending but just check websites of the products you use the most to see if they have offers. Clip only the coupons from the Sunday paper that you may use. Keep looking for new printable coupons to save more!
5) Instead of buying items just as I need them, wait for a sale and stockpile what I think I’ll use in 3 months time. You can read my post on How to Stockpile Sensibly.
6) Use a Price Book. This is a book where you jot down the items you use the most and then find out the current regular price in the stores you shop at the most. This is a great way to see who has the best prices and to know if a sale price is truly a good deal or not.
7) Try off-brands of the products you use the most. I’ve found some great store brands, especially the 365 line at Whole Foods, is of a great quality and price.
8) Buy in bulk. This is especially a good idea for recipes that call for smaller amounts for items you may not use a lot. I like to get a lot of bulk items at Whole Foods. They have the best selection in our area for so many items.
9) Keep a low-inventory list and update at least once a month. Pull aside any soon expiring items so they can get used quickly. Keep an eye out for deals on those items that I am running low on.
1) Set up an automatic transfer each paycheck of a certain amount to go into a savings account, even if it’s as low as $10. It will all add up over time. Do what you can not to touch that savings unless there’s a real emergency.
2) Keep a bank at home and dump your change into it at the end of each day. Turn your change into the bank once-a-year and add to your savings account. You’ll be surprised at how much it can add up to and how you probably won’t miss that change on a daily basis.
3) Every time you get a $5 bill, put it in your bank. It’s a great way to save up fast.
4) Take any money you earn from having a garage sale, selling DVDs/CDs/Books, etc to go into savings. You’d be surprised at how much you can earn from selling items you are no longer using.
5) Set goals. This is the best way for me to save. If I have a big goal in mind, I tend to watch my spending even more.
6) Consider using a credit card for major purchases and paying it off right away. Just be sure the credit card is one you’ll earn a high percentage of rewards with. Use cash for your other purchases.
7) Consider having a no-spend month and putting all the money you save into savings.
8) Set Limits and Create a good budget and stick to it!
These are just a few ways I’m trying to be a smarter shopper and to help get a good savings account building up. In what ways do you save?
Stay tuned for another day of brainstorming on another stresser!