With four boys, who all have a love of food, shoes, and electronics, it’s important to squeeze every penny I can. On my blog, The Really Real Housewives, I’m always trying to figure out how to save money every month. Whether it’s daily budget cheats or looking at ways to save money on something bigger, like a wedding, the goal is always to live better on less. It’s easier to save more when you spend less, so it’s important to learn to be a savvy shopper.
7 Easy Ways To Save Money Every Month
1. Buy Ahead
With four boys, I can always count on tennis shoes and jeans to wear out quickly. If I see some on sale or better yet, on clearance, I’ll pick them up and save them for later. I always look for the yellow clearance tags. Hint, they’re usually toward the back, past the new inventory.
2. Shop Out Of Season
Buy your coats in the spring and swimsuits in the fall. At the end of every season, there are deep discounts to make room for the incoming season. Again, look for the clearance tags.
My least favorite question is what’s for dinner. Having a weekly menu makes answering that question easier. And planning those meals based on what’s on sale that week makes it a double money saver. Knowing what’s for dinner also keeps you out of the fast-food line. Count that as a triple saving.
4. Sign Up For The Store Discounts
If there is a free store card that saves so much as a nickel per visit, it’s worth the trouble to sign up for it. Signing up for the cards also puts you on the mailing list for sales and additional coupons.
5. Consider Paid Discount Programs
Some stores offer deeper discounts for a price.
For $99 a year, Amazon offers a lot of services. In addition to free two-day shipping which practically makes up for the cost of the membership, Amazon provides a lot more:
Streaming video. With Prime, you have access to movies, original television, and even exercise videos. All for free. Just look for the Prime logo.
Free reads. Go to the Prime lending library and download free books onto your Kindle. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the Kindle app on your phone, tablet, or laptop. Also for free.
Free audiobooks. Audiobooks can be very pricey. Amazon offers plenty to listen to as part of your prime membership.
Free photo storage. Download pictures from your phone or laptop automatically. No more worries about losing your photos or running out of memory.
That’s just a few of the Amazon Prime benefits. Check out the list here.
FYE VIP Backstage Pass
For $11.99 a month, FYE offers a card that gives you 10% off purchases. But that’s not worth the savings. However, the card also provides a few more perks.
$10 rebate for eating at any restaurant per month. Eat at any restaurant, turn in a receipt worth $10 or more, and you get a $10 check in the mail.
Get five $5.00 movie tickets per month. Let’s say you go to the movie and your ticket is $9.00…send FYE the ticket stub, and they’ll send you $4.00. You can turn in five tickets per month. If each was worth $9.00, you get $20.00 back.
You can get discounted gift cards. There is a list of stores, entertainment, and restaurants offering gift cards at discount prices. For example, you can get a $25.00 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card for $20.00.
For $21.00 per year, Overstock offers free shipping, cumulative credit on purchases, and credit for writing purchase reviews. For example, I bought a backpack on clearance for $10.00. I received .37 cents credit for the purchase, it was shipped free, and then I was given a $2.00 credit for writing a review of the product.
**It’s important to be certainly sure you’ll shop at a site often enough to cover the costs of the membership. I’ve found it’s a money saver to shop primarily at a few large sites that offer free shipping over places that offer free shipping on purchases over a certain amount. There is a tendency to over shop to get the shopping discount.
6. Check For Discounts Online
There are plenty of coupon sites on the internet. Before you purchase, check to see if there are any discount codes or printable coupons. To find a deal, google where you’re shopping. I put in “JCPenny discounts” in my search bar and voila! There are lists of possible coupons or discount codes.
The cash back is for real. Go to the eBates site, check to see if the store you’re shopping at offers a discount. If it does, click the link and start shopping. eBates track your earnings and sends you a check every couple of months.
eBates will also list coupons from participating stores. I always start at eBates when I shop. Put the store or item you’re looking for, and eBates will let you know if there are any active coupons or cash back incentives for shopping. Then wait for your check. By checking eBates first when shopping online, I will be getting $63.00 from online Christmas shopping.
eBates is now offering in-store discounts also.
7. Buy Second Hand, Gently Used
Those are a few of my favorite money savers. What ways do you save money shopping?
Elizabeth Seckman is a multi-published author of women’s fiction. She is a former social worker, mother of four boys—well, five if you count their father, and the caretaker of all the pets her children promised they’d take care of. She is a blogger at Really Real Housewives, and Elizabeth Seckman is an Author.