Let’s face it; existing is expensive. If you want to actually live, it’s gonna cost you more!
We’re all looking for ways to save money, that don’t make us feel like we’re scrimping (I am anyways). I’m always keeping my eyes peeled for ways to stay inside my budget, without feeling like I’m depriving myself of what I really want, and on that journey, I’ve discovered some genius ways to save mad money on just about everything.
Wait for Sign Up Bonuses
If you’re in the market for a particular product or service like Wifi or cellular service, take a look around at what the different providers are offering as a ‘bonus’ or a gift for signing up.
About 3 months ago, my cable company was offering a free 46″ TV for signing up for a cable package. Nice, right? Saves you money on a brand new TV, if that’s what you’re in the market for. Other bonuses can include a certain number of months for free, or even actual cash back!
The easiest way to find the different bonus packages, is to Google them (of course). Simply key in the name of your anticipated provider, and the words “sign up bonus”.
Dish Washer Soap
This one’s a game changer. When you run out of that horribly expensive dish washer soap, simply add half a teaspoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon of regular dish soap (the liquid stuff) to the soap compartment of your dishwasher, and turn that bad boy on. Surprisingly, it even gets the wine glasses squeaky clean and spotless!
Cell Phone Services
Who ever thought that as a society, we’d become so dependent on our phones?
I used to look at my cell bill every month, and the thing almost brought tears to my eyes. Then I got smart; I switched cellular providers, from a huge provider that was charging me $85 a month (plus taxes and fees) to a smaller one where I’m now paying $40 a month for triple the services (and some of those services are unlimited).
Don’t let the ‘gloss’ of a new ‘free’ phone rope you into signing a contract that’s going to cost you a small fortune every month.
Shop around, look at smaller service providers, as they generally have plans that are much less expensive, and they won’t try to rope you into a multi-year contract to pay for that “free” phone.
Right now, I need a new cell phone, and as soon as I figure out how to get one at a drastically discounted price (or free, and without signing a contract), I’ll let you know 🙂
Watch Out for Contracts
It doesn’t matter WHAT the utility or service is, and with what company, beware of those horrible contracts. Companies (cell phone carriers are notorious for this) love to lock you into a 2 or 3 year contract in exchange for something they know you want…badly. When you discover just how much you’re paying for their service over another provider, and want to switch carriers, they hit you with a huge ‘exit fee’, in which you have to ‘buy out’ the remainder of the contract, which can add up to hundreds of dollars, depending on how far into it you are when you quit. Same thing applies with cable companies. Find one that doesn’t lock you into a contract.
Have you ever taken a look through all of the channels available to you as a cable subscriber? If so, then you know that more often than not, if you want to get say…HBO, you can’t just get HBO, you have to ‘purchase’ HBO as part of a monthly package that includes 5 other channels that you don’t need and will never watch! In some cases, you might be able to purchase some channels separately for something like $3.95 each, but that usually works out to be more expensive than getting the 5 useless channels in the ‘HBO package deal’.
Pay attention to what you’re purchasing when you’re signing up for cable. If you end up just getting the channels you actually watch in addition to ‘basic cable’ at $3.95 a month each, limit the number of ‘extra’ channels you sign up for to keep your monthly bill from making you want to gag.
Get rid of it altogether. I mean, seriously. With Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and the ever present YouTube (to mention just a few), is there really any reason to subscribe to pricey cable anymore?
If there are shows on cable that you absolutely must have, go check YouTube, and see if they have a channel for that show! You’re probably able to watch it in clips, or most times you can pay for a whole season if that’s what you prefer (but that adds up too, so watch out).
You could also try going without cable for a short period of time. I haven’t had cable for about two years now, and I can’t really say that I miss it.
If there’s one sure fire way to save money when your budget is tight, it’s on groceries. There are a few great ways to save money here, and they don’t include Ramen noodles or Mac & Cheese 😉
Online Grocery Shopping
What could be better than ‘enjoying’ your grocery shopping time with a glass of wine? Everyone that I’ve shared this with is absolutely hooked.
I know, I know…your first impulse is to tell me that I’m crazy, that there’s no way on Earth grocery shopping online can be ‘budget friendly’, but I’m telling you…IT IS! I hate grocery shopping, so I swear by this.
Where I live (and you probably have something like it wherever you live), one of the biggest grocery chains has a fantastic online shopping platform. Their minimum spend is $50, and delivery is something like $7.95, but the delivery charge on my first order was free. In addition, they send out regular email coupons for everything from free delivery to $10 off your order (I regularly have free delivery AND $10 off), making the online grocery shopping platform well worth it.
In addition, when you’re shopping for groceries online, you can shop from the most recent flyer, so there’s no looking for deals in a paper flyer, then physically hunting down what you want. You simply click on the item in the e-flyer, add it to your cart, and voila! Go through the checkout when you’re finished, pick a delivery date and time, and you’re all done!
Online grocery shopping also saves TIME. It takes TIME to walk to the grocery store (or drive there), walk through the aisles picking up everything you need, wait in line to pay for it all, haul it all back home and unload. That’s time that could be spent doing something (anything) else!
Shop Sales like a Ninja
Thanks to my mom, I have a black belt in sale shopping (thanks mom). Typically, 30% off doesn’t get me excited. I’m not going out of my way for a sale for less than 40% off. Fifty percent…I’m there for sure. MORE than 50%? I’m there with combat boots on.
Shop sales with BIG discounts only. Decide what level of discount is worth your time, and don’t shop for discounts less than that number.
When you spot a grocery item on deep discount, check the expiry date, and if it’s acceptable, buy as many of that item as you can afford. If the item is perishable, toss it into the freezer. Don’t buy huge amounts of anything perishable, that can’t be frozen, or doesn’t thaw well after freezing.
Stay Away from Trends
If you can help it when shopping for clothing, stay away from “here today” trends in order to spend less on your wardrobe in the short run. Stick with pieces that can be worn from one year to the next, with no one having any idea when you bought them because they’re essentially ‘timeless’.
Stay Away From “Dry Clean Only” Items
Plain and simple; Dry cleaning is expensive. Need I say more?
Wanna PIN IT? 🙂