9 Random Ways to Save Money
Posted By Pam Tyson Yasinski on March 13th, 2019
It seems almost impossible to get ahead these days. That’s all the more reason to have and stick to a budget. But simply budgeting is not enough. That’s why getting creative and coming up with budgeting hacks with a bit more of a twist will help you tighten the money belt. With some determination and creativity, there are ways to start spending less and saving more.
Eat Out at Tip-Free Locations
It’s no doubt that food service is an extremely difficult profession and that servers deserve more pay than they get. However, paying for your meal plus giving the tip they deserve really adds up. Usually, places that don’t expect tips will lean a bit more to the self-serve side. Think, ordering at a counter and seating yourself. In my opinion, I much prefer self-serve eating options.
I can go get my drink instead of sucking on ice cubes to quench my thirst. If I need extra napkins, condiments or a to-go box, they are just a few steps away instead of having to run the poor server back-and-forth. But rest easy, normally in tip-free environments, employers pay their workers more than those that are expected to live off tips alone. So that is a win-win for the server and the customer.
Take Advantage of Cash Back
Every time you go to the store get $5 or $10 cash back. Instead of buying one or two extra bags of cookies or chips put those items back. Take the cash amount of those items and put it into your savings. When you return home drop it into a piggy bank. At the end of the year, you will have saved a nice little nest egg. I ran across a blogger who saved every $5 bill that they came across over a course of a year and ended up saving $3,335!
Stick To One Credit Card
Struggling with credit cards? Keep one with a low credit line on hand in case of emergencies. Put the others in a Ziploc bag. Place that baggie in a larger one, fill it with water and freeze them. It will be quite a feat to pry or melt those credit cards to use. While you're waiting for your cards to melt, think about if you really need what you want to purchase.
Aside from real emergencies, only charge on any credit card what you can pay off before the next bill is due. What’s the point of getting something on sale if you’re going to wind up spending more by paying interest? When you do use a card make it one that gives cash back. Charge it, pay it off, get extra cash and give yourself some credit for a job well done!
Purchase in Bulk
I’m not talking about cluttering. I’m talking about items that you actually use. To have success in stockpiling you should find deals that are discounted by at least 30-50%. When you buy in bulk while it’s on sale you will have enough to last until the product goes on sale again. That way you will never pay full price for that item. This is truly a money saver that could save you thousands over time.
Related Story: How to Build an Emergency Fund
Coupon at The Dollar Tree
Everything being a dollar at The Dollar Tree is a great money saver in itself. But did you know that you can also use coupons at The Dollar Tree? Here is a quote directly from them: “We accept Manufacturer Coupons only. We cannot give cash back if the face value of a coupon is greater than the purchase price of the item. We accept coupons for over a dollar on multiple items if the coupon amount does not exceed the combined retail price of the items indicated.”
Wow! What a money saving deal! If you’re worried that items sold at dollar stores aren’t good quality, worry no more. The products sold are often overstocks. They’re also items that may have labels that are not name brand. These are all products that go through the same safety checks as their more-expensive competition. Keep a close eye out because often the dollar tree carries name brand items as well, so have those coupons ready for double savings!
Bring Back Your Checkbook
Do you remember watching your parents and grandparents balance their checkbook? Let’s go back to that wise method again. Writing down your purchases instead of trying to remember them is a much better and more accurate option. Do you ever pull up your bank account app and feel anxiety and uncertainty? Do you see purchases that are written in what seems like a secret code and you have no idea where that purchase was made? Or if you even made it? Keeping a record as you go along will only take a few seconds while giving you peace of mind as well as keeping the spending under control.
Save Receipts and Packaging
It is amazing how many times we purchase something and think it is perfect and works well. Only to find out in a week or two, after we’ve thrown away the receipt and packaging, that it shrunk, failed or broke. Most retailers will accept cash back returns for up to 45–90 days after purchase.
Don’t throw things away too quickly so that you can get your money back if need be. If you simply decide you don’t like it, the same policy applies as long as it’s in its original packing. Sure, you could have a yard sale which will take up a whole weekend and only get back a fraction of what you paid for it. Why waste your valuable time and money when you can have it all by simply saving the paperwork for a short time?
Go Thrift Shopping
These days the younger generation doesn’t want their parents and grandparents’ hand me downs. Even the baby boomers are downsizing. That means a lot of amazing things from clothes to home furnishings are winding up in thrift stores. Nice things. Vintage things. Things that are better quality than what you may find brand new today. And all of these treasures are at a fraction of the price of less quality items elsewhere. Do some treasure hunting, you might be surprised at what you’ll find and even more so at what you’ll save!
Save Your Leftovers
Isn’t most everything about food in some way or another? Every holiday, there’s food. Every football game, there’s food. Every birthday party…food. The dog is even staring at me right now wanting food. Since our tummies and taste buds rule so much of our time, they also rule our wallets. When you go out to eat, get in the habit of immediately getting a to go box. Divide your food in half. Savor and enjoy your plate tonight while you dine and do the same thing with your to go box tomorrow. You'll get two meals for the price of one. It will add up faster than you think!
Bonus: While your wallet gets thicker your waistline will get thinner. Happy Saving!