I am proud to proclaim that I am a thrifty individual. I am not embarrassed to say that my family is on a tight budget. We have some lofty goals and dreams and we will achieve them. For us, that means clipping coupons, looking for deals, buying some generic goods, and making informed financial decisions on a consistent basis. This is not to say that we don’t splurge every once in a while on an item or event that we are really excited about. It is a matter of prioritizing for us. I insist on having cable TV, and my husband likes to purchase DVDs and music online. We find a balance by giving up our morning coffee and consigning old clothing. Here are a few items in our bag of tricks of how to save our money:
Find the Deals
Whenever we are going to make a purchase, whether it be clothing, groceries, or even appliances, we always check the internet for coupons and deals. There are a number of great sites that offer coupon codes for free. We also sign up to to get emails from our favorite retailers, and most of them send us daily deals. I saved $125 shopping at my favorite clothing store just last week through an email offer!
Know What is Negotiable and Go for it
On items that are negotiable, we are not shy. We wanted a nice elliptical machine for our home and didn’t want to spend a fortune. Luckily, tag sales in Connecticut are littered with inexpensive gems. We found a nearly new brand name elliptical machine at a local tag sale for $100. Strictly by our keen powers of negotiation, we were able to get the sellers to part with it for only $25. My brother also talked his jeweler down quite a bit when shopping for an engagement ring for his wife. You never know until you ask.
Understand There is a Big Difference Between Price and Value
Sometimes an item might be less expensive, but if you end up replacing it twice as often, are you really saving money? My husband went through a six month period where he wore out two inexpensive belts. Rather than letting him replace his belt with another $15 one from a big box store, we went to a higher quality establishment and spent $35 after a 30% off coupon. It has been over a year and he is still wearing the belt. I can say it was a great purchase and a good value.
I’m not talking “Extreme Couponing.”. There is nothing more costly than a trip to the market or a shopping excursion where you don’t have a plan. I try to make a list, stick to it, and get out! If I go in with a plan and a list, I can bring the right coupons and get the deals. If I just buy items off the cuff, I don’t always end up using them.
Keep the Purpose of Your Purchase in Mind
I have wasted more money on cute items of clothing and I have nothing to wear with them. A shirt might be super-adorable, but if I don’t have shoes that will match, it will either sit in my closet forever, or I will buy shoes that only match that shirt, thus making the price of the shirt even more. These are just a few items in my bag of tricks. I love hearing other creative ways to either save or make the most of their money.
Is any one willing to share?