Saving Money from A to Z

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It is a new year and that means that many people are setting new resolutions – but unfortunately many won’t last past the end of the month. I’m here to help!

A few years back, I posted about Money Saving Tips from A to Z, but over the years, I think it is time for an update – and give you even more ways to save!

If you want to start saving more money this  year, set yourself up for success by planning what changes you want to make. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be hard. Just choose to change 1 or 2 things. As you learn those new habits, you can then incorporate more.

Do you want to learn about coupons this year? Start a garden? Make more products at home?  Find Freebies? Start to carpool? There are thousands of ways you can learn to save more and spend less this year.

Here are my Money Saving Tips for the New Year – from A to Z:

A void Impulse Buying. Make a list (with coupons of course!) before heading to the store and stick to it. Don’t shop hungry and if your kids aren’t helpful with shopping, you may want to leave them at home so you can concentrate on getting the best deals.

B udget. If you don’t have a household budget yet, I highly recommend you sit down and list everything that you are spending each month. It will be eye opening to see where all your money is going and you may just be able to cut out some extra expenses. You’ll then be able to create a budget of what you want to spend.

C oupons. If you are new to couponing, you’ll want to read Couponing: Where to Begin, and I have many different resources for you on my Coupon Resources page, like:

and much more. Start using coupons and you will see a 50% savings on your grocery bill – now that is a great way to spend less!

D IY. Do-It-Yourself projects, crafts, recipes and more can help you save big time. Here are a few of my favorite projects:

E Coupons. Not sure you have time to cut, clip and carry coupons? Try using eCoupons, which you load to your shopper’s card and are automatically taken off at the register when you shop. You can find a list of e-Coupon sites I recommend here.

F REEBIES. Did you know you can get all kinds of FREE stuff? Many companies will send samples and coupons when you request them. If you are new to this, check out Requesting FREEBIES 101, then head over and check out all the FREEBIES I’ve been posting for you!

G arden. Start a garden this year, even if you just grow a few herbs. You’ll love the fresh ingredients to incorporate into your home. Plus, the more you grow, the less you buy! You may want to read more in:

H ealthy. Make sure you are taking care of you. Staying healthy can also cut down on medical expenses now and in the future. Regular dentists visits, doctor exams, taking vitamins, exercising, and getting enough sleep can all make a difference on your health. You may also want to give up expensive habits like smoking, alcohol, or drugs.

Tip: Another way that I have been helping to keep my family healthy is by using essential oils. Non toxic and safe, essential oils can be used for cleaning, building your immunity, and helping you get rest. 

I nstore vs Online Shopping. Have you ever noticed that online prices may be similar if not better than deals at the store? Buying online can help you save time, gas, and money – when you look for deals, ask yourself which will save you the most money. I’m also a huge fan of Amazon. If you are looking for ways to save while shopping at Amazon, check out how you can get a 30 day free trial to Amazon Prime (more than just free shipping)

J ust ask. Call your credit card companies and ask for lower rates. If you are using a service or have an annual fee, you can also ask it the fee can be waived (you can try this with late fees, too). It doesn’t hurt to ask – and it just might save you money!

K id FREE events and dining. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Michael’s, the LEGO store, and more stores offer FREE kids events each month. Find this and more under Family Fun deals I post. You can also check out KidsMealDeals.com to find restaurants that offer FREE kids’ meals by you.

L ibrary. It is FREE to join and you’ll find much more than just books. You can rent movies, read current magazines, surf the internet, attend a class, or check out some of the FREE kids events they offer.

M eal Planning. Planning out meals for the week will keep your budget in check. You will be eating out less and spending less. Taking your lunch to work (or school) and eating dinner at home can help you save. If you are new to menu planning, try just planning dinners for a week, once you have that down, you can plan more.

Tip: You may also want to read Storing Foods in the Freezer

N ight out. Saving money doesn’t mean you don’t still have fun! Check out my 25 Frugal & Fun Date Night Ideas to enjoy a night out without spending a fortune.

O rganics. Yes, it is possible to Buy Organic and Staying Frugal. Eating less processed food in general is better for you. If you are gluten free, you may also want to read Stocking a Gluten Free Kitchen.

P ump. Gas prices may go up, but there are some things you can do you help lower your cost at the pump. Of course carpooling or alternative transportation can help, but if you need to drive, here are my 9 Ways to Save at the Pump, which gives you ideas before you get in the car, while driving, and at the gas station.

Q uality. Just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean you need it or that it will last. Research what you buy, and make sure you are getting the best quality at the cheapest price. Remember, being frugal with your money is about Valuing Your Resources.

R eceipts. Always Double Check Your Receipts. This will save you with sales that don’t ring up, coupons that aren’t applied, or any other promotion that just may not be showing. If you see a mistake, don’t hesitate to tell the cashier, manager, or customer service to get help.

S ales. Don’t pay full price. Ever. This will save you time and time again. Watch your local ads (grocery, drug store, super store, etc) and stock up on items when they are at the lowest price in the sales cycle.

T urn it off. If you aren’t using lights, computers, and other electronics, turn them off. They consume energy and cost you money that you don’t need to spend. And for more tips to cut down cost around the house check out:

U sed. Second hand shops, garage sales, ebay or craigslist are all great places to find gently used clothes, furniture, or toys.

V inegar. Cheap, non-toxic, and incredibly effective – vinegar is a perfect household cleaner because it kills most mold, bacteria, and germs. Check out some of the ways you can clean with vinegar.

Tip: Cleaning with Baking Soda is also a cheap and effective way to save!

W ithout Coupons? Yep, you can still save! Here are my 10 Tips to Save at the Grocery Store Without Coupons.

X-tras. Saving money doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself with vacations, dining out, shopping, etc. Just remember to save when you can so you can spend where you want. Here’s a few tips you might want to check out:

Y our Savings. Even if you are trying to pay off debt, you can still set aside a little each month to go in savings. If you save only $50 a month, by the end of the year, you’ll have $600. As you pay off more or get increases in pay, set aside more. I recommend talking to a financial person at the bank or credit union for options on helping to make your savings grow, too.

Z ap the unnecessary bills. Are you paying for cable? (how I saved on cable) Magazine subscriptions you don’t use? Gym subscriptions? Are you on the right telephone plan? Club memberships? Check out your bills and see if you really need all those little extras because they can really add up.

Tip: If you do decide to drop one of these extras, take the money you were spending and have it automatically go into your savings.

What other tips would you add to this list? What looks easy and what sounds too hard? What would you like additional help with? I’m here to help you on your journey – and to making this resolution stick!