Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

As a teacher straight out of college, we aren't exactly rolling in the dough.  I decided to share a few ways I have found to really save money.

Find coupon codes

Before I buy any product online, I check two different sites for any possible coupon codes that have been released for the website I plan to buy from.  Most online retail stores send coupons regularly to store newsletter subscribers, but you don't have to subscribe to every one of these newsletters (which often fill up your e-mail box and go unopened).  Luckily, nearly all coupons are published by generous subscribers.  These coupons are published on coupon code websites.  The two websites that I use most often are and  I really appreciate these websites because they almost always give information about when the coupons expire and if they have been used successfully by other readers.  I can almost always find some sort of coupon for the website I am buying from, and when you do this often, the savings can really add up. 

Shop with a list and a full belly

I know most of you "know" this to be true, but we still fail to actually follow this tried and true tip.  If you shop from a list of things you need and you have a full belly to resist urges to buy things you do not need, you will save so much money.  Stores like Walmart spend millions of dollars designing their stores to attract you to items you do not need and did not plan to buy.  They want you to buy more than you plan, and their designs really do work (I am sure you can think of unplanned purchases that just "popped" out at you in the store.)  If you go in with a focus and a list of everything you need, you can overcome their psychological mind tricks and save $$$, too.

Use coupons thoughtfully

I am not a huge coupon person because I find that most coupons are for items that I don't really need or purchase anyway, but I do think coupons should be used purposefully.  If a coupon is for 50 cents off any size of _______, get the smallest size, especially if it is an item that you might use but wouldn't necessarily buy without a coupon.  Also, you need to remember that companies use coupons to make money.  You should only use coupons for items you use and need and should never lead to you spending more money than you would have otherwise.  For example, I just received a coupon for Kohl's that is for $10 off any purchase.  I love Kohl's, but I also know that there is nothing there I can't live without.  I plan on using the coupon to buy a decorator item or a piece of jewelry or perhaps a tube of lipstick (I recently left my favorite shade in the car and now it is melted and deformed), but I will try to keep as close to that $10 mark as possible.  I don't want to spend money on something I don't really need, but if I can get an absolute steal on an item I would use then heck, I'll do it!

Finally, get thrifty ideas from other bloggers
Here are some sites I have lurked in the last few years to get ideas to save a buck here and there: 20 Grocery Hacks to Save Money On Groceries Money Saving Tips 122 Ways to Trim Your Budget Helping You Be a Better Home Economist Cheap Recipes
I might add some more to this list later.  Most of my bookmarks are on my other computer, but this is a start of some of the places I have been to get ideas!


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