1. Coupons – they can be your best friend or enemy. It pays to know your prices of food and other common items you purchase in order to maximize saving. You can end up getting some things for virtually free. Also, you really have to weigh whether buying 10 of something to save $1.00 is worth it.
2. Dollar Stores, Big Lots, Aldi, etc – these are some of the best stores to get the same merchandise you would pay top dollar for in a regular grocery store for cheap. I have saved so much money at these places.
3. Price book – just started this one. I try to keep a log of what I have saved each month. It helps me to stay motivated about saving and keeps track of how much I can save.
4. Eating out less – this has been huge! We would go out to eat at least twice per week for dinner. If you multiply eating out by approximately $30 per dining, that adds up.
5. Not splurging on my morning coffee (goal for 2009) – I love love love to get coffee every morning at Dunkin Donuts, I really do. However, over my vacation, I realized that this is something that may have to go. Because each coffee = $2 x 5 days a week. Although this isn’t much if you look at it compared to how much I make per hour. However, if you multiply $10 per week x 52 weeks per year = $520! That will keep me motivated to make my coffee from home.
6. Cooking and baking more – not only instead of going out to eat, but buying pre-made foods. Saves a lot and sharpens cooking skills.
7. Consignment shops, thrift stores, goodwill, etc – these places are great! I have always shopped at these types of places. I have found most of my clothes that are essentially brand new! They sell name brand stuff for such a small fraction of the cost!
8. Create a price book – this type of book allows you to keep track of the cheapest prices of everything you commonly buy to allow you to save money!
9. Change in a jar – wasn’t a fan of this one for a long time. I used to be a cashier and loved the people who gave exact change. But – when my husband and I started put change in a big jar, we made $300 very quickly! I am now motivated to get the change now.
10. Buy generic products – honestly, the stuff is the same thing with rare exception. You can save so much money, really.
11. Netflix – you pay per month, but can download as many movies as you want. This beats driving to rent a movie.
12. The library – enough said – it is free and you can get books, DVDs’s, Cd’s, etc for free. What is not to love!
13. Make homemade gifts as much as possible – I baked for coworkers this Christmas, people were happy and I saved a ton!
14. Have potluck dinners – this will allow you to have social gatherings, but without breaking your bank account!
15. CFL bulbs – not much to say, they last longer and cut down costs.
16. Shop after Christmas sales for the next year – you can find great stuff for 75% off!
17. Mail order prescriptions – I get a discount for buying 3 months worth of rx’s. The best part about this is I don’t have to go to the local pharmacy and deal with the wait and frustration.
18. Get credit cards that give something back! I use a credit card that allows me to rack up points towards free gift cards.
19. Insulate! If you own a house, insulation will allow those drafts to be no more. This will allow you to save on heating your home.
20. Turn off your heat/lowering heat when we are at work. If we aren’t home, there is no point heating everything.
21. Think twice before making a big purchase – most of the time if I go home and think about it, I realize I don’t really need it!
22. Signed up for freecycle.org – haven’t been on it much, but it seems like it will be a worthwhile thing.
23. Air-dry clothes – A few wrinkles never hurt anyone and it saves on electricity.
24. Fund my 401k – saving for my future seems reasonable and helps with taxes too.
25. Blog and read blogs – in order to save and find new information!