Clip coupons. While you might not need two bottles of fabric softener or eight cans of tuna, clipping coupons can help you walk away with $20 more at the end of shopping. Buy the paper, go online (there are many WebPages with free coupons) and carefully look through the coupons. You might not need some of the items right away but most coupons are good for a few months and if you plan ahead you won’t pay full price for them two weeks later.
Try not to eat frozen/pre-made foods. While easiest to make, frozen dinners can cost upwards of 6 dollars, while a pound of meat may cost only four. Leftovers are virtually free and can be combined with other things to make a whole new meal. If buying fast and easy foods are a must- wait for a sale or find that coupon, since most are frozen or can be, they can last for months (or until the next sale comes around).
Make lunch. It costs around 5 dollars to buy a sandwich at lunchtime and with that same amount you could probably purchase a pound of cold cuts at the supermarket. Think a week ahead and plan what you can eat for lunch every day. Cold cuts go bad quickly so make sure you’re not buying extra that will only wind up in the garbage.
Go Dollar Shopping. Dollar stores are everywhere, even in malls. They can be a great place to buy health and beauty aids or kitchen items. But don’t go too crazy. dollars add up, and although things are cheap, don’t buy them unless you really need them.
Keep the social life cheap. Being broke doesn’t mean sitting around the house all the time. There are great things to do that don’t require much money. If the weather is nice, go to a park and read a book from the public library, or visit museums. Most are usually low-cost, free or by voluntary contribution.
Reuse, Reinvent, Be Creative. Most items around the house considered garbage can be used for other things. Old containers can be used for storage of food, photos or if they’re big enough, can be stuffed with clothes for under the bed. Try finding different uses for things before you throw them out. Kids aren’t the only ones that can make magnets out of Styrofoam egg containers.
Garage sales aren’t just for old typewriters. But if you need one that’s the best place to go. You might have to rummage through some broken items to find something of use, but they are there. Just because an eight year old grew out of his winter coat doesn’t mean it’s not in perfect condition. Who knows what lamp you may find that would be of great value and only cost 3 dollars.
Swap and Save. Do you know someone that has a desk they don’t need anymore? Do you have a coat stand that is just collecting dust? Get together with friends or start a local swap meet and trade your unused items for someone else’s. It can save you a great deal of money while helping out someone else.