Why Not . . . Save Money?
Wednesday June 26, 2013

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Whether it’s saving a few cents per gallon at the gas station or patiently waiting for the seasonal sample sales to take advantage of the drastic mark-downs on your favorite designer wares, saving money always feels good especially when it is something you need.

Two years ago I shared a list of ideas on how to save money and trim your budget (here and here), and I’d like to add a few more ideas to the list.

1. Be a Loyal, Friendly Customer

While HBO has some great television, I haven’t been a subscriber since Sex and the City went off the air in 2004; however, with the second season of Newsroom premiering next month (July 14th), I wanted to have access to the episodes for the few months it’s on the air without paying the full price. Having been a customer in good standing for seven years, I spoke with the sales associate and was able to receive an HBO subscription for half the price for six months. Perfect!

Being friendly, consistent with your monthly payment and appreciative of the business the company provides may not always make a difference, but it potentially could be a good starting point of negotiation in the future.

2. Fall in Love with Cooking

I’ve mentioned this before, but I can’t reiterate it enough – learning how to cook and coming to enjoy the process is the easiest way to not only save money, but ensure that you have a delicious, satisfying and healthy meal each night you stay in.

3. Buy Generic

While there are certain brands that simply make the best product ensuring their increased price tag has been earned, there are far more that aren’t worth paying for. Simple products in the middle of the grocery store – cooking supplies, cereals, paper products, often have generic twins found at lower prices. Choose generic any time the product you need isn’t dependent upon the label.

4. Take in a Matinee

Attending an evening or late night film has been romanticized to the point that Hollywood is now getting away with charging prices that require you to pay as much for tickets and one snack and a drink as you would for dinner. And besides, watching a film is a static activity demanding silence while sitting next to those you want to be with. Why not watch the film prior to 5 or 6 pm and enjoy a late meal afterward with money to spare for dessert? Or simply be patient and wait six months for it to become available on DVD.

5. Bottle Your Own

While recycling is available for plastic bottles, the demand of bottled water increases our carbon footprint. So why not keep one bottle and continue to refill it using tap water or a pitcher containing a water filter? Not only are you helping Mother Nature out, you’re also saving yourself some money.

6. Follow Simple Car Upkeep

I’ve never been a fan of raving and gawking about cars. So long as they can transport me safely from point A to point B in comfort, then I’m happy.  But I do recognize the need to have one that works well due to where I live and where I want to travel. Therefore, the facts dictate that I take care of the vehicle I have (which is now ten years old).

Three simple regular maintenance tasks you can tend to that will save you gas money and leave more money in your pocketbook is to make sure you have a clean air filter, keep the tires filled with the appropriate amount of air and have your oil changed every three months or approximately 3000 (whichever comes first (source).

Simply being mindful of where your money goes and why you spend it on the things you do is a start to begin tailoring your spending habits so that they reflect the life you want to live. The pennies you save every day do add up, and cutting unnecessary spending feels good as you gain more and more security to live the life of your dreams.

And now, I turn it over to you. What tricks and cost saving habits do you include in your daily routines to cut out unnecessary spending? Share in the comments below or on Facebook.

~Visit the Archives to view a long list of posts focused on the topic of Money.

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10 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Save Money?

  1. car maintenance…a necessary evil. Though I find it does suck away all one’s money.

    Money saving tips: dollar store for disposable everyday things: paper products, office supplies, paper plates, plastic forks, qtips, greeting cards, etc…
    Library for books, dvds.

  2. Though it may not be immediately evident, another way to save money is to visit the dentist and doctor for preventative care. Spending in this way may keep you from having to spend for major health issues or dental work down the road when you are older.

  3. Cutting out cable. While I know this is difficult for some, I stopped cable a couple years ago when I first lived by myself and I surprisingly haven’t missed it.

  4. Making your grocery list based on the store’s sales/ad. I check to see what is on sale at my local grocer and then make my week’s menu. Shopping the sales certainly helps with my budget.

  5. Lovely tips Shannon, thank you for sharing. And it’s funny, I stopped subscribing to HBO after Sex and the City went off air as well. Now if only I could convince my husband we don’t need a land phone line at home, that would save us additional $$ each month.

  6. I agree with cutting down the tv cable bundles, a friend at work showed me a internet site that has uploaded and for free recent tv shows. I also shop at consignment stores about twice a month. A couple of months ago I found a LV handbag for $20!!! The bag was barely used 🙂 Love this post.. you can keep the quality of your life without spending a small fortune.

  7. i recently cut my work hours to about 16 hrs a week. To compensate, I have been cooking all the family meals, and i make the household products (i.e laundry detergent, bodywash,cleaning products).. and i can honestly say that we have saved soooo much money. Its shocking to see that i use to pay $20 for a seventh generation laundrey detergent, when i can pay $7 and make my own, AND get more loads out of it.

  8. Recommend a great book “your money or your life” that changed the way I spent and looked at money for the better. I keep a money diary…a list of everything I buy (not small items) and rate them with up or down arrows after I got them. It makes me mindful that I bought 3 mascara in the last 2 months (why???)….and how I am doing before the monthly bill comes!!!

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