Last we checked, money still hasn’t started growing on trees yet. Not in our yard, anyway. So we decided to experiment and see if we could find some new ways to save the same old money.
Our experiments were a success. We’ve saved on nearly every one of them, and I’m thrilled to show you how we did it.
Being able to save money isn’t some exclusive privilege only reserved for financial bloggers. Here’s how one of our readers, Vincent, saved recently. They are easy to replicate, so everyone can do this. Check out what he’s done.
1. Switching grocery stores.
We used to shop at Walmart. Now we shop at a local ethnic market, buying all of our meat fresh from a butcher, along with our local produce. Ground beef is $2.99/lb compared to Walmart’s $3.99/lb. Their chicken is usually on sale at $0.99/lb and that’s boneless/skinless!
The best part is, my wife gets to have the chicken cut the way she wants and it’s ready to cook when she is! The produce is local and cheap, too. Overall, we’ve saved $550 in groceries in the last three months and our family is buying fresher healthier foods.
For cleaning supplies, we switched to Aldi, a smaller store. Now, we simply avoid the spending trap of Walmart altogether.
Takeaway: Find a local ethnic market for your meats and produce to save significantly on your weekly grocery bill.
2. Using Ebates
For cosmetic goods and other household supplies that we can’t find at Aldi. By shopping Ebates, we get a reward for every purchase.
We switched to Target for our shopping needs. By using Target’s online Ebates link, we get a 1.0% cashback instead of nothing from Walmart’s online store. We’ve earned nearly $100 back in just two months.
Takeaway: Take advantage on online rebate sites, as every % counts.
3. Making kids’ sporting events a picnic.
Rather than buying hot dogs and drinks at the park, for no less than $8 per person, my wife makes our afternoons special by packing our food and calling it the picnic that it is.
The kids don’t get caught up in buying stuff just because we’re out. It also forms a deeper family bond by turning it into a family event. Even if we splurge and buy the Angus beef hot dogs and gourmet buns and take our own family tea or water, we save over $20 at every event.
Takeaway: Prepare your own food for special events. Do it well and you can get everyone excited while saving money.
4. Use a Cash Back Credit Card.
I’ve only recently signed up for one, so I haven’t redeemed any of the points yet. That being said, many people have gotten a ton of cash back from their credit cards. I signed up for the Fidelity cash back card that gives 2% cash back on purchases. I know some people use different ones to get up to 5% on multiple spending categories.
So far, we’ve been pleased by how effortless this savings method can be and the ample offered rewards on every purchase. We’re excited to see exactly how much we’re going to save with this one.
Takeaway: Keep your eyes open for new trends to help you consistently save.
5. Reselling the kids clothes to consignment.
Considering how fast kids go through clothes, this has helped tremendously. Taking one load to our local store reaped a nice $150 return. And sure, that money goes right back into their next wardrobe, but that’s still $150 that doesn’t come from my pocket (at least not directly!).
Takeaway: Use what you already have to get more of what you are going to need.
6. Stripping cable to the bare minimum.
We save $18/month by not keeping the movie channels we once neglected. Those channels never seemed to show anything we genuinely wanted to watch, so we cut it from our lives. Now we enjoy the movies we’ve collected over time, yet never played, while watching movies online at Hulu.
We watch what we want when we want, and don’t pay for something that isn’t performing to our family’s needs.
Takeaway: See what packages you can downgrade, if not cut completely. Here are some more ideas to trim your cable TV costs.
7. Opt for free entertainment.
We used to go to the mall (a trip that never cost less than $50), shopping for toys ($50), or to Chuck E Cheese ($25) when we had time off with the kids. Now, many of those places aren’t open anyway so we hit the park, the library, nature trails, or to the lake. We go for family walks. We play games. All saving a minimum of $25 – $50 a pop.
Takeaway: Choosing free entertainment can be more fulfilling and rewarding than paid entertainment, almost every time.
What are your favorite ways to save? Which one offers you the greatest return?
Editor’s Note: Did you know about the service called $5 meal plans? For $5 a month, they send you recipes of delicious, healthy, yet cheap food that costs just $5 a meal.
Several of my friends signed up and they are able to eat at home more because the instructions are easy to follow, making everything convenient. The deal also comes with grocery shopping lists, which saves them so much time. Check it out yourself by clicking here and you too may be able to save more and become healthier at the same time.