Friday, April 30, 2010

Show Us Your Life-Money Saving Tips

Kelly's Korner is doing Show Us Your Life-Money Saving Tips this week.   I figured the best thing to do was give you a list of the top ten ways I save money.  Some of them are obvious things that everyone probably does and some of them might be new ideas. 
1.  I frequent TJ Maxx, Marshall's and Home Goods for great deals.  By frequent I mean, I am there 3 or 4 times a week. Some people don't have the patience to shop at these stores because it can be overwhelming but I promise if you take the time it is always worth it.  
2.  Craig's List.  I know our friends can't believe it but Adam check's Craig's list every night.  We have saved so much money shopping via Craig's List. I was prepared to spend $3000 plus on a new Pottery Barn sectional and found the exact one on Craig's List.  6 months old owned by a couple that decided to move in to a condo uptown for a few years before they had kids.   6 pieces with two sets of covers. $600.  A freakin' steal.  
3.  Coupons. I haven't always been good at this until recently I was behind a woman at our local grocery store who's total was $476 and after coupons her total was less than $100.  I usually save up for triple coupon week and save a ton!!!
4.  Costco.  My mom and I recently started buying in bulk together. I think this is only good for small families.  I obviously don't need all that food for the three of us and my mom and dad are alone as well.  So what we do is, we split it.  We buy meat and split it and freeze it.  We do the same with our paper goods.  It saves us both a ton of money.  
5.  I have expensive taste.  There are some things you just can't skimp on but in most cases, you can find copy cats of pricier items.   I usually Google what I am looking for and can find numerous less expensive options.  Some times people just don't realize that with a little research you can save a ton of money.
6.  Outlet shopping.  We are lucky enough to be less than an hour from two different outlet malls.  Concord Mills and Prime Outlets Gaffney.  This is great because they have all the stores we love and we get great deals on our clothes.  I love the quality of Gap Kids but just cannot fathom spending that kind of money for children's clothes.  The outlet is great.  Most times, they have the same stuff in the outlet as they do in stores.  Same goes for Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers,  Motherhood Maternity, Nine West, Coach and so many more.   We do almost all of our shopping here.   It makes so much sense. 
7.   Doing things around the house.  I am so lucky because Adam can basically do anything.  If he doesn't already know how to do something, he finds out how. We save so so so much money doing things around our house ourselves.  I was so surprised at how easy it was to do tile work.  I watched a twenty minute YouTube video and voila I could do it.  Before Adam, I would have paid someone and never thought about it twice.  
8.  My budget. My budget. My budget. I am probably the only person left on the planet that balances a check book.   My mom does it and she has managed to save a ton of money by setting a budget for herself every two weeks so I figured I would sit down and let her teach me how to do it and I'm never going back.   Staying on a budget is saving us tons of money. 
9.  Negotiate. In today's economy everything can be negotiated.  We negotiate everything.  Our cell phone bill, our cable bill, our plumber, coupon expiration dates.  More often than not, if you just ask people will work with you on the price of things.  Everyone is struggling and people understand.
10.  Last but not least.  We have no credit cards.  Therefore we have no debt with the exception of our mortgage and monthly bills.  If it isn't in the budget and if we don't have cash we don't buy it. I think so many people get in trouble financially with credit cards.  If you have the money to back up credit cards it's a different story. I just hear of so many people buying things they would never be able to afford.
So that's it. Those are my money saving tips.  I realize some of them make perfect sense and most people probably already practice them.  I pride myself on how nice our home is and how well I have done it on a serious budget.  I never, ever pay full price for anything.  Remember everything goes on sale and if it doesn't you don't need it that bad.


Flory said...

sure we can save a lot from your tips... thanks for sharing!

Beth McC. said...

Great tips!! Thanks for the ideas and I am a fellow Outlet shopper as well!!