When we were getting out of debt, I clipped coupons. I clipped a ton of coupons, poured over the Sunday ads, deal-searched on my favorite sites (Hip2Save, if you were wondering), and would head out at very random times to grab a deal. I took coupon classes, wrote posts about my couponing adventures, and organized, and reorganized my coupons into filing folders, binders, sleeves, etc.
It was a part-time job, and quite honestly, my “pay” wasn’t cutting it.
In the 2.5 years since we paid our last debt, we’ve added another kid, a new business (GPS), and I started homeschooling (and all of the various lessons that goes with that). I don’t have TIME for another part-time job!
If you are looking for a way to save a bunch of money without clipping a single coupon, then read on!
Cut out Extra Driving
Those extra trips to Target, or back and forth to the grocery store can really add up! For example, my Target is ~10 miles from my house, one way. My minivan gets roughly 20 miles to the gallon, so a trip to Target is a gallon of gas. If I made a quick run to Target once a week, or every other week even, at $4/gallon for gas (ugh, Northern California prices!), it adds up! Once a week, you’re looking at $208 per year! (Not to mention you probably walk out of Target buying more than you actually need….But that’s another post on another day…)
Instead, tailor your errands according to when you will already be out and about.
Shop Sales Instead of Your List
I have my staples list I buy from every month, but when it comes to menu planning, I often shop first, and plan second. When you shop sales instead of from a recipe, you get more bang for your buck and then it frees up some of your grocery funds to stock up on things when you find a great price while still staying within your means!
Plan, Plan, Plan!
When you make a written plan for your money every month (because you KNOW your expenses change from month to month. Your plan should too!!), you will find you free up money to save, spend, or give generously! It saves you from costly impulse buying, and lessens the likelihood of “stress buying” (i.e “retail therapy”).
This one is so simple, it hurts. When you go out of the house, you spend money (more often than not).
- Dining out is far more expensive than preparing the same meals at home (and home-cooked is SO much better for you!)
- Gas, bridge tolls, wear and tear on the car. It adds up.
- Money-Sucking stores like Costco and Target can’t get their mitts on you if you aren’t there (and have the self-control to not buy online!)
- A night at the bar (if that’s your fancy) can be pricey. A few drinks at home with some friends can really save some cash and there is no closing time! (But please, kids… don’t drink and drive. We’re all about smarts at GPS. And Safety.)