June 19, 2014

Easy Money Saving Tips: Round Four

This article is part of a series. You can read the other articles here, here, here, and here.

It's time again for more money-saving ideas!
  1. Bring water bottles and snacks with you. I've found that when we're out doing errands or fun activities, we get more tempted to buy bottles of water, sodas and quick snacks. Doing this every time where were out was really eating into the monthly budget and taking cash away from things we needed more. Now, we fill up reusable water bottles and bring them with us along with granola bars (the cheaper store brand ones) or other easy "throw in your bag" snacks. M2 loves the applesauce fruit pouches, which are cheaper than the fancy singles you find in the baby section.
  2. Skip store bought or delivery service water. Buying water or having it delivered through places like Culligan adds up. Fast. All the trash doesn't do the environment any favors, either. Instead, we have a filter in our fridge connected to the door dispenser that gets changed out every 6 months or so. If the water in our area wasn't hard, we'd even skip that. The water is just as good as the bottled kind (I actually think it tastes better) and is much cheaper. Before we had the built-in fridge filtration system, we used a Brita pitcher.
  3. If you don't need it, don't buy it. Stores often run sales that make items you wouldn't usually buy so tempting. While setting up our budget, I found I was running into the pitfall of buying those "good deal" items. Then I realized--It's not such a good deal if we don't need it. It's also eating away at having money for things we do need. Now, everytime I pick something up, I ask myself if we 1. Need it. 2. Will use it. 3. Would it be something I'd buy if it wasn't on sale. If I can't answer "yes" to all three, I put it back.
  4. Group trips to save gas. Rather than breaking up my errands and activities, I plan each trip to make the most of my time and gas. Each week, I look to see what activities we have going on and what errands I need to do. Then, I group things together as much as possible to make the least amount of trips.
  5. Weigh sale price vs. how much the gas will cost. When I go through the weekly circulars, sometimes there are only one or two items at a store that I'd need. I then decide if I'd actually be spending more on gas to drive for the savings than I would if I got the items at another time at a slightly higher price. Sometimes, it's not worth the drive.

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