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Everybody's gotta pinch their pennies at some point in their lives. Here's a collection of things to try, if you haven't already, to try and make the most out of the little that you got.
- Pack simple lunches like sandwiches and buying bulk snack items at Costco -- observe your grocery bills to see what foods or other items (i.e. toilet paper, toothpaste) you buy a lot of and save big while at the same time reducing trips to the grocery, and thereby saving some gas money as well!
- Try cheaper, healthier alternative snack items at stores like Trader Joe's.
- Make coffee at home just the way you like it, and take it to the office or school in a thermos, rather than spending $5 for a cup at Starbucks.
- When possible, try walking or biking and get some exercise, or take the bus or train and get to know your area better, and let your precious gas tank relax for a little bit, as well as your wallet!
- Embrace bargain clothes shopping destinations such as Nordstrom Rack, Ross, or simply make it a point to check out the sale area of a store first before falling in love with the higher priced items located in the front of the store.
- Even better yet, hit some thrift stores! There are some great deals to be made, if only you check them out. A lot of thrift stores have $1 Sundays! You just have to take the time to do a little research, a little patience to drive a bit out of your way, and some determination to go through unorganized piles to find what you’re looking for.
- Try to strategize your shopping. For example, holiday items go on sale immediately after Christmas is over – buy cards, decorations, perhaps even some generic gift items for next year!
- For little trinkets for your house, apartment, room, and great deals on a variety of other items, shop at low-priced stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, IKEA.
- Check out Craigslist for free giveaway items (often times, large pieces of furniture that simply needs to be picked up, but with no other charge or fee) or cheap deals.
- Don’t be skeptical of yard sales – be adventurous! You might find some hidden gems!
- If you’re making a rather major purchase, particularly electronic items, be sure to do your research! Utilize comparison shopping sites such as NexTag.com, Smarter.com, PriceGrabber.com, CNET.com, NetMarket.com, edeals.com to get a list of the best deals out there. Don’t settle for the price tags you see in Best Buy or similar major retailers.
- When it comes to phones, wait for new models to come out, and by that time, the one you want will probably go down in price.
- Always check for group discounts, promotions, etc. at theme parks or for large events
- Borrow books and movies from and read the paper and magazines at the library
- Hang out at bookstores to read
- Watch matinee showings
- Look out for free events in local newspaper
- Sneak a little snack and some water into the movies, to at least tide you over, and keep you from blowing $8 on popcorn and soda, also known as "liquid candy."
- Invite friends over for game night or hit the beach and split cost of gas vs. eating out and watching a movie, etc.
- Search for coupon websites, like eDeals.com
- Make a day of it, and hit the outlets! You can even benefit from outlet prices online! Check out Overstock.com
- Conserve energy (fan vs. A/C)
- Always ask if there is a student discount (i.e. movie tickets, sometimes electronic devices such as laptops)
- Make long distance calls for free with the computer application, Skype
- Apply for scholarships on FastWeb.com
- Shop online for discount textbooks at places like half.com
- Try to sign up for credit cards that offer rewards such as an airline mileage program (i.e. United Airlines and Chase Cards)
- Don’t spend money on a gym membership! Go running and exercise with a buddy.
- Ask yourself "Do I need it? Will I really use it? How long before I get sick of it? Can I find it cheaper? Can I make it myself?"
- If you're on the fence about buying an item, hold off. If you really want it, you won’t mind waiting.
- Remember that you are consumer and you have the power. Do not feel like you have to buy an item at a certain place for certain price. Take control!
- Be crafty, independent, scrappy, resourceful! It builds character, creativity, shows you can be resourceful with strong will and a good head on your shoulders.
- Gain an DIY attitude with clothes! Fade your shirts, rip your jeans, add buttons, decorate your Vans, etc. Learn to knit scarves, gloves, etc.
- Be grateful for what you have, realize how lucky you are, and just maybe try being satisfied with how good your life is.
- You may miss fine dining, fine wining, and fine clothes.
Things You'll Need
- How to Become Rich Someday
- How to Budget Your Money
- How to Save Money
- How to Fill Out a Money Order
- How to Earn Money (For Kids)
Sources and Citations
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