The economy is unpredictable, and no matter how financially affluent someone is today, there is never a guarantee that financial security will be there tomorrow.
Knowing how to live on a budget, save money and be thrifty is a skill that everyone should know because you never know when you might need it.
Even if you aren’t hurting for money, thrifty tips to save money and setting a successful budget can actually put more money in your pocket for things you want instead of just the things you need.
Let’s look at twenty-five money-saving, thrifty tips to help you save money, spend money wisely, and stretch the most you can out of every dollar you do have.
Grocery Shopping Tips
1. Make a grocery list and stick to it. Use store flyers and coupons to plan your list, and create menus to make the list from. When you make the list, stick to it when shopping,.
2. Take advantage of buy-one-get-one-free deals on items you would normally purchase.
3. Shop at stores and on days that have double coupon specials for items, you would normally purchase.
4. Compare store brand prices to those of name-brand prices with coupons. Sometimes store brands are cheaper and sometimes name-brand with coupons or on sale are cheaper.
5. Common items, like toilet paper, paper towels, foil or sandwich baggies that you use regularly and that aren’t perishable can be purchased in bulk when they are at their lowest price and stored.
6. Instead of going out to a movie, get some friends together and rent a video or two and have everyone chip in by bringing drinks, chips, or buying pizza on special. Just as much fun, much cheaper to get a meal and a movie, and you and your friends can laugh and talk during the movie without getting shooshed.
7. Instead of going out for the night, stay in and play board games. If everyone pitches in on snacks and drinks, you get out a lot cheaper and will probably have a lot more fun. Living room games like charades and role-playing games can be fun too and are free.
8. If you are just dying for a night out on the town, you can save money by looking for special tickets sales, two for one special, discounts on dinners, etc. Many websites are now offering to let you purchase a gift card at a specific price that has a higher value than what you paid, thus saving you money.
9. Instead of taking kids to play video games or eat out at expensive buffets with greasy pizza, consider a day in the park with bologna sandwiches, chips, and juice. It’ll be cheaper, you’ll get more entertainment value for it, and your kids will get fresh air and sunshine. A day at the park, flying kites, riding bikes, playing on the equipment, catching Frisbees… welcome back the good ‘ole day.
Tips for a Cheap Vacation
10. Buying drinks while sightseeing on vacation is always expensive. Consider investing in a small, portable cooler and buy drinks at a grocery store to carry with you. You’ll be able to have more drinks for much cheaper than the touristy costs of buying sodas or bottled water from vendors.
11. Avoid souvenirs. They are expensive and you rarely use them once you are home. Instead, purchase cheap disposable cameras and let everyone, including the kids, take lots of pictures for a souvenir.
12. If you’re staying in a hotel, choose a hotel or motel like Super 8 that furnishes a free continental or full-service breakfast. When you’re finished, take some fruit or bread back to the room for a snack later in the day. This saves both the cost of breakfast and helps fill in between meals with a few healthy snacks you don’t have to pay extra for.
13. Instead of eating out for every meal, stop by a grocery store that is not in the touristy part of town and buy some sandwich fixings or potato salad or other things to eat and take a walk to the beach or a park or sit in a garden and enjoy a picnic on your vacation. This is much cheaper than eating at a restaurant for every meal, and it’s something you likely don’t do much at home, so it makes it special!
Tips for Services
12. Bartering is an ancient skill. I am a writer, and I have a friend who is a web designer. I need a website, he needs someone to write copy for his website. I offer to write a copy if he will design my Web page. Value for value, without any money trading hands. If you have a skill and are in need of other skilled services, do you have value to trade?
13. Get quotes. Never go with the first quote for any job you need, whether it’s plumbing in your house, work on your car, or medical care. Also, check for better prices or better service offered for the same price before you commit to anything. You’d be surprised how many people will lower their prices if you tell them you’re shopping around.
Tips for Shopping
14. Always take cash when shopping to save money and stay within your budget. You are less likely to buy when you have to count out dollars than you are when you hand over a piece of plastic.
Additionally, if you are using credit cards, you pay finance charges and interest that make things cost more than they should.
15. Only buy what you set out to buy. If you see other things, make a note of them and add them to your list of things to buy in the future.
Impulse purchases can eat up a lot of budget money. If you wait one or two days, the urge to buy the item will likely fade, but if not, you can always add it to your list for a future shopping trip. Stick to your budget and your list when shopping to save money.
These are all common-sense things to help save a little money and help keep you on budget.
Most of these things, you already knew, but consider this a gentle reminder of logical, practical ways to save a little bit of money and keep a little bit more for yourself each month.