Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ways I save money...

Over the years, I have become very good at saving money. I was almost totally financially independent throughout college. Working two jobs and paying my own way through taught me how to be savvy. Getting married during college and without working in our careers, taught me even more about how to be really smart with money. Saving money has become almost a hobby of mine... I try to out do myself over and over again. So, here are a few ways that I think help save me the most money.

1. Shop once a week- I shop one time during the week. I sit down on Saturday or Sunday and plan exactly what we need for the coming week. Throughout the week- unless it is absolutely necessary- I restrict myself from stopping at the store. This helps me not buy things impulsively and only get things that we actually need.

2. Couponing- I look through the Sunday papers for coupons for items that I use regularly. I don't use coupons for items that I don't buy normally. Before I go shopping, I plan the menu for the week and make a list of the items we need. Then I look through coupons to see what I can use.

3. For groceries, I shop at Walmart and Sam's. No, it isn't the most luxurious store, but it is the cheapest. Walmart watches the sale papers every week too and hardly ever can another store beat a deal that Walmart has. However, sometimes I do find a deal at another grocery store that is better than something at Walmart. So, I take the sale paper from that grocery store to Walmart. They will match the price and you can still use a coupon. Sometimes, depending on your cashier, they'll even beat the competing price by 10%. Sam's (and usually most other bulk stores) always has the best prices on meat. I buy chicken in bulk and freeze it. So many times, you pay a higher price at places to get the nice atmosphere.

4. For clothes and home things, I watch the malls and stores I shop at. I never go into a store not knowing what I need. If I walk in with nothing in mind that I need, I will buy something that I do not need. It is important to walk the malls you shop at. Some malls have prices that are 5% more than other malls. The price differences from mall to mall is amazing. Again, you have to pay for the atmosphere.

Of course, there are many other ways to save money. It is important to find what works for you and do that. Give everything a chance- I've had several friends say that they would never coupon or that it was too much work... and then once they gave it one shot- they continued to do it. I really enjoy saving money and seeing how smart I can be with the money the Lord has blessed us with. If you have any other ways that you save money- I'd love to hear them!

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