Do you look around every so often and wonder what the hell is going on to our economy? Are you thinking of ways to save money in this economy? If you’re anything like me, you value money. Like steak, if I had enough money, I’d roll around in it, like a dog. But how do we make our dollar go farther without sacrificing too much? I’m far from perfect when it comes to finances. Hell, I’m probably going to be working right up to the lunch break of my funeral. Additionally, I have some really bad habits that aren’t cheap like I refuse to eat leftovers.
Below, I’ve compiled 10 ways I save money. Some I’ve been doing for years, others I’ve been practicing over the past year. I’m sure you’ve heard of a few of these but some maybe not? Let’s get started!
Today I reviewed my car insurance for a good student discount I had signed my teen up for 2 weeks ago. This is when I noticed that my husband and son were listed as commuters. My husband hasn’t commuted in over a year and my son’s “commute” is just 3 miles to school. Turns out you can reduce your monthly cost, especially if you don’t commute. Other factors that can decrease your monthly payment include updating your occupation and highest grade completed. Give it a try!
Also, if you have an infraction (speeding, running a stop sign), it falls off after x amount of years based on your state. In Ohio, it’s 3 years. If your policy runs past the anniversary, you can call and have it removed before the renewal. So for example, my policy renews in June and December. The 3 year anniversary of my husband’s speeding ticket (ahem) is August 8th. If I call on August 8th to have it removed, we don’t have to wait till December to save from this omission.
I commute 62 miles 4 days a week so these gas prices are killing me. I find myself being strategic with gas so here are a few tips:
- Check with your grocery store on their policy and promotions with fuel points. I shop at Kroger and bought the boost plan for $59. It’s like Amazon Prime but for your local grocery store. The reason I signed up is it doubles my fuel discount. So if I were going to get just .30 off a gallon, I’d now get .60. Last week I got .90 off!
- According to surveys, gas is cheapest on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- You could use apps like GetUpside but I’m finding the savings are only about .03 a gallon. In my opinion, it’s better to use a loyalty app and be on the lookout for when it’s an extra .25 off a gallon. Sheetz seems to offer .25 every so often on Tuesdays.
- It’s still up for debate on if driving slower enhances fuel efficiency. What it will do is prevent you from getting a speeding ticket that will increase your monthly insurance premium.
Negotiate Almost Everything!
I’m a buyer so negotiating is part of my job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not tacky, negotiating my Chihuahua’s dog food but for larger purchases, I’m all over it. The first things that come to mind that I’ve negotiated include:
- The purchase of my Chihuahua.
- Buying my car.
- Anytime I buy something that is mildly blemished and it’s the only one available.
- When I receive poor customer service, I leverage that.
Diapers Ain’t Cheap
I have a co-worker who is expecting his first child with his girlfriend. I pulled him aside last week and gave him the following advice:
- The average baby uses 70 diapers a week. Every week before the baby is born, buy a pack of diapers. Size 3 are used the most, size 1 the least. Return what you don’t use for store credit.
- Buy the expensive diapers for the night time because they’ll piss right through the cheap ones. Buy the store brand to be used during the day.
Don’t be in a Hurry
This tactic has more of a success rate for smaller to medium size online businesses. Log in to the website, put your items in your basket and just leave them. Many stores/services will incentivize you to complete your purchase by offering a discount. I once inquired about a service that started at $199. They kept texting me, asking if I was interested and began with $10 off. When it was all said and done, I ended up paying $140.
Additionally, if you haven’t shopped at a store in a while and you’re registered, they’ll send you discounts to get you to buy again. My son needed new crocs and it just so happened they sent me a “we miss you, here’s 20% off” discount code.
I buy so much shit for my two teens that I play a little game called, “how many people can I turn away?” You play it like this: you buy a ridiculous amount of groceries and place them on the conveyer belt. Customers get so annoyed by the number of things to be checked out that they roll their eyes and look for a faster lane. My all-time record is 4 customers and I’m pretty proud of that. Here is how I save some moola…..
- Use coupons, both the snail mail and e-coupons. You’re leaving money on the table by not scanning the offered e-coupons and downloading them to your phone. Don’t be dumb, download.
- Place anything that wasn’t on your list at the front of the cart. Unless you have a baby there. Maybe put the baby under the cart. Anyway, the point is, you’ll cut down on impulse purchases when all those extras are staring you in the face.
- Don’t be a snob, buy store brand. For my grocery store, I find that all the store brands are equal in quality except for some of the dairy. And if you’re on the fence, often times they have a policy that if you try it and don’t like it, return it and you’ll get the national brand.
About an hour ago, my son wanted to buy these God-awful shark slides from a website I had never heard of. Though they were marked down to $29.99, the shipping was $9! In a world where we’ve gotten used to Amazon Prime, stomaching a shipping cost is tough. I then clicked the Honey extension and sure as the sun shines, it saved us $11.99! Again, why leave money on the table?
I also use retailmenot.com. Though the website suggests just retail, use it for food too. I’ve saved so much money using it to order Bob Evans and Donatos pizza.
There are some reward apps that suck like Panera and Jersey Mikes. I have yet to get a reward from Panera and I have to spend a million dollars to get a free sub from Jersey Mikes.
Then there are apps that are practically giving away free food. I honestly think that the Wendy’s and Chipotle apps are the best. Just looking at the Wendy’s app right now I’m seeing deals such as:
- Free large fry with $10 purchase.
- $2 off a premium combo.
- $3 off any purchase of $15 or more.
This week, I got a free sub from Jersey Mikes and got a free junior bacon cheeseburger from Wendy’s for ordering a medium fry. The other benefit is the time saved from waiting in line.
Just a tidbit here. Our vet quoted us $650 to get my puppy spayed. After consulting with my dog-loving sister, I found out that many places offer the same service for $100-$150. Also consider this research when looking for flea/tick products and any other service. Petsmart has a loyalty program and I’m already getting discounts from using them!
Don’t Be Lazy!
I can’t stress this enough! Laziness will cost you money! Laziness wastes money like this:
- Door Dashing a dinner that is 3 miles away.
- Not downloading coupons.
- Failing to research the best price.
- Not negotiating.
- Refusing to utilize loyalty apps that save money.
There are more ways I need to learn to save money like home efficiency. Also saving money on cell phones is a mystery to me too. Trust me, I’m trying. If you have tips, I’m all ears! Post them in the comments so we can all benefit!!!