Top 25 money-saving tips from a self-proclaimed penny pincher
By Heather Rogers
When asked to write about some money-saving tips, I was somewhat surprised I was chosen. But the more I thought about what to write, the more I realized I had so many things I wanted to share! I wouldn’t say I’m the “queen” of cheap living, but I am pretty thrifty and, well, a penny pincher. So I thought the best way to share all my tips would be to keep each one brief and brilliant.
- Make fewer “I deserve” purchases and more “I need” purchases.
- Always start with the clearance racks.
- See shopping as a game: Find the deals/savings and you win; pay full price and you lose.
- When you can buy used, do it! Craigslist, OfferUp, Facebook groups, garage sales, estate sales, etc., are all great options.
- Expand your horizons on what you can buy used. Consider buying decor, furniture, clothes, household items, toys, sports equipment, outdoor living, etc.
- Look for things around your home that you can live without and post them on one of the many online marketplaces. Just remember: If you take 10 minutes to post an ad and you make 20 bucks, you’re making $120 an hour. Not bad!
- When you accumulate “junk,” try selling it. You will be amazed at what people will buy.
- Before paying someone to remove your junk, post it as free on Craigslist, and I guarantee it will be gone within a couple of hours.
- Buy products that you use regularly (and that don’t expire) on sale—even when you don’t need it. You will run out eventually, and it’s better to buy it at a sale price.
- Before running to the store to buy things for that dinner you are preparing, see if you can use up as many items in your pantry and fridge as you can before shopping. 11. Get creative! You may even find a new dinner dish from your pantry leftovers.
If you are missing one ingredient for something, look online to find if it has a substitute. You will be amazed by how many substitutes there are. (I recently used Greek yogurt for ricotta cheese in my lasagna, and it worked great!)
- Do a family spending “fast.” Go without spending for X number of days. You can put parameters on it that work for your family.
- Hold out as long as you can for that one item you want at full price. Most likely, it will go on sale. Remember, find the deals/savings and you win! Pay full price and you lose.
- If you are looking for something specific, shop online first to see what kind of deals you can get.
- Give your kids fewer snacking options. Snack foods get expensive really quickly.
- Take inventory of your bank or credit card statement. Find out where you are spending and look for ways to cut back. Mint.com is a great tool to help track your spending.
- Grocery shop on “double ad days.” Some grocery stores will have one day each week that has last week’s deals and the upcoming week’s deals, so there are twice as many sale items on those days.
- Grocery stores have clearance racks too. Find out where they are and start there. You will find food, household items, toiletries, etc.
- Simplify! Downsize! Purge! Clean out! As Americans, we pay to store our extra stuff!
- Check store websites before going shopping. Several retail stores have online coupons that you can show from your phone at checkout (JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Macy’s).
- Find happy hours with a food menu you enjoy. My husband and I make a regular date night to Macaroni Grill for their $5 happy hour pizzas. Our meal is $10 at a sit-down restaurant! Afterward, we walk over to See’s Candy for dessert. Dinner and dessert for less than $20!
- For discounted entertainment options, try Groupon.com, Livingsocial.com or Restaurants.com.
- The best times to hit garage sales and estate sales are at the beginning and the end. The beginning is great because you have first pick. The end is great because they slash prices—the items that were priced too high are now discounted.
- Look through the coupon mailers that you readily toss in the trash.
- Throw your loose change into a giant glass jar and decide what you will do with the money once it’s full. Have the whole family contribute their loose change.
There are countless ways to save money—these are just a few ideas. For our family, it’s important to us that we teach our children the value of money. We want them to learn to be good stewards of the money God gives us. However, we don’t want them to just focus on saving their money—we want them to also learn how to tithe and how to help others in need. Hopefully this gives you a start on ways to save. Have fun and reply with any additional ways you like to save. Happy shopping!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Rogers has been married to Shane for 13 years. They have two children: Caleb (8) and Hailey (6). They have lived in California for 2 years and have done ministry together 13 years. Heather recently went on staff at The Father’s House as the junior high director. She loves to run with her dog and, if it were up to her, she would have a zoo at her house. She loves to bake for others. In fact, you can sum up her life mission to love others in one simple phrase: “love and cookies.”