10 Ways to Save More Money (Even If You Don’t Want To Be A Couponer)

10 Ways to Save More Money (Even If You Don't Want To Be A Couponer)

Couponing for the last 5 or 6 years has taught me many things. Things I never really paid attention to before I started using coupons.

Since not everyone is interested in learning about coupons or even extreme couponing, I thought I would share some of my enlightenment with you all.

Prices on most products change all the time.

Most times it appears to be weekly or bi-weekly, but sometimes it can be longer in between.

For example: a box of Quaker Instant Oatmeal (10 packets) can be 3.99, then 2 for $5.00, then $1.99, then $2.99.

Pay attention to the price tag.

Before I started couponing, I really didn’t pay much attention to each item’s price. I would mentally add up the total of our needed items and then get our wanted items with the remaining balance.

You don’t always have to pay full price.

If you pay attention to prices and watch the sales, even a non-couponer can save a lot of money. You just buy a few extra of the items you normally use when they’re on sale. That way, you have enough of the product to hold you over until the next sale price comes along.

Get the stupid store cards.

Sure they use them to track your purchases and send you offers on the items you purchase most frequently, but there are other benefits. Some stores only give you the sale price if you have their club/store card. Why would you want to pay more on multiple items just to have a little privacy? Besides, if you pay with a credit or debit card, they can still track your purchases.

In addition to getting sale prices, many stores will let you add e-coupons onto your store card to help you save additional money. Short on time? Just go in and “select all” or “add all” offers to your card. That way, you don’t have to worry about tracking the e-coupons or printing a list of the offers. If there’s a coupon for something you end up purchasing, great…it will automatically be deducted when you check out.

Buy 1 Get 1 Free isn’t always a great deal

10 Ways to Save More Money (Even If You Don't Want To Be A Couponer)Many people get excited when they see their favorite product is Buy One Get One Free. The problem with that is, not everyone knows how much the product is normally priced at. I’ve seen numerous stores, as well as online retailers, drastically mark-up the regular price on items for these sales. That’s how they stay in business.

For example: Say your favorite shampoo is on sale for Buy One Get One Free, but the regular price is marked as $9.99. The next week, you go back and see the regular price is now $4.49. Your Buy 1 Get 1 Free, just cost you more money.

Even if the “real” regular price isn’t less than half, don’t fool yourself into believing that one of the items is actually free.

Check your receipts

Before I started using coupons, the only time I would check my receipt was if I needed to return an item. Now I check every single receipt before I leave the store, even if I hadn’t used any coupons.

I’ve been double and triple charged for an item before. I’ve had the price come up higher than what the shelf price was. I wonder how much money I let slip away in all those years of oblivion. Check your receipt and make sure you aren’t being charged more than you should be.

Keep your receipts

I know, most people are probably thinking that’s nuts. So many receipts coming in from gas, groceries and whatever…they really add up quickly. There are things you can do to keep them from taking over your house, such as keeping them in a large ziplock bag and pushing all the air out, just shoving them into an empty shoebox, scanning them or taking a picture of them with your tablet or cellphone.

Sometimes things need to be returned, even those you would never consider (like grocery items).

They can come in handy around tax time for business purchases, work related purchases or even getting a larger deduction on sales tax paid.

Plus, you never know when you’ll stumble upon a mail-in-rebate for something you have already purchased. Mail-in-rebates really aren’t that difficult and only take a couple of minutes, a stamp and an envelope. Then you mail them off and a month or two later, there’s a check in the mail.

For more information about how to do mail-in-rebates, check out my post: Taking Advantage of Rebates.

Sale prices can be deceiving

Just because something has a sale tag on the shelf, that doesn’t mean it’s the lowest price. Remember how I was mentioning above that prices change all the time? Well the same goes for sale prices. You can purchase an item on sale this week for $2.99, then see it on sale the following week for $1.99. Know the prices of your most commonly purchased items and you’ll know when it’s really a good deal; don’t just trust a sale tag.

Check your store’s weekly ad

Most grocery stores and some super-stores (Target, Walmart, etc.) put out weekly ads. These advertise various sales and products they want people to purchase, even if they aren’t on sale. Most, if not all, grocery store ads include store coupons. Sometimes the coupons have to be handed over to actually get the price listed, so don’t forget to cut them out, rip them out or hand over the ad and tell the cashier which one’s to scan.

Knowing what items are on sale and have in-ad coupons ahead of time can help you stretch your grocery budget, plan your meals and stock-up on items at a much lower than normal price. This all comes down to saving money in the end.

Embrace loss leaders

Loss leaders are items that are marked WAY down to get customers into the store. Most people will end up buying more than the just the loss leader item since they’re already in the store.

Example: Fred Meyer (grocery store) will sometimes have the Tillamook 2 pound medium cheddar loaves for $3.99 with an in-ad coupon. There is usually a limit of 1, but who goes into a store for just 1 thing? See what they do there.

Normally, the same cheese is between $5.99 and $7.99. So being able to get it for just under 4 dollars is amazing if you go through it a lot (we sure do, lol). But a limit of 1 doesn’t sound like you can really stock up on it to save money. Oh, but you can.

Perhaps the store is on your way home from work, or you pass it frequently while running errands or whatnot. Just pop in, grab 1 and get outta there. You could also have other people in your household stop by and do a transaction. Or you could ask a friend or family member to pick one up for you if they’re in the store.

***  Using coupons doesn’t mean you’re poor or cheap  ***

Some people are hesitant, scared or too embarrassed to use coupons because they’re worried about what everyone will think of them. But you know what, who cares what other people think? It’s your money that you work hard for, so why not be smart and pay less when you can?

You don’t have to go all Extreme Coupon Crazy and buy 100 candy bars or boxes of pasta to save money. Just browsing online at some printable coupons before going to the store can add up to big savings over time. Get free printable coupons now from Coupons.com, that’s where I go before heading to the store.

Sometimes that’s all I have time to do, I just jump online and quickly scan the coupons available for printing, click the box to clip the coupon and click print when I’m all done. It takes maybe 5 minutes to scan, click, print and cut out the coupons. If it ends up saving me 20 bucks for that shopping trip, then I just essentially made $20.00 in 5 minutes. Easy peasy.

I guess the bottom line is that you can save a lot of money, even if you don’t use coupons. Just like how you can save money even if you’re always broke.

The Easy Way to Turn Your Hobby into Your Business

In 2014, although the recession is over, its effects are still being felt all around the world. It might be the case that the property market is slowing getting back to its feet, but it’s also the case that now more than in the past decade people are feeling the pressure financially. With the government’s austerity measures and the relatively limited employment market, making ends meet is a challenge for everyday hard-working people all across the UK. This means people are having to look harder to afford the things they’re used to having, and one way they’re doing this is by gaining a second income. You can become one of these people, too, by simply turning what you enjoy doing as a hobby into a profitable online business. Here’s how.

Create the Store

Once you know what you want to sell – whether it’s art or jewellery or crafts – you need to find somewhere to sell it. You have a number of options, of course but the best thing about the internet is the variety and choice of options it affords. You don’t have to pick a retail space and stick with it; you can choose the online marketplaces you think will most befit your business and then work with all of them. If you’re buying and selling on for a margin, destinations like Amazon and Etsy are a good option. However, if you need to gain some capital before you can make your product, you could turn to a site like Kickstarter and seek the financial backing of the general public to help you. To make this work, you’ll need to make a prototype, and demonstrate it in a video to your potential backers before they’ll part with their hard-earned money – a little bit like Dragons’ Den.

Market the Product Free of Charge

Now you have your product established and in your store, you need to attract people to it. There are a couple of ways to do this over the internet, the most common are through social media promotion, and by blogger outreach. If you create social media profiles for new business, you can market your products every time you create new listing. Track your web traffic to see how popular each product is and respond to this by considering how much of what product lines you should be producing, then listen to the comments of you online friends and customers. Second, by emailing bloggers and asking them to review your product, you’ll be able to have your products in the hands of social influencers who might get their own followers to purchase your products.

Earn the Profit

Once you’ve started making some money, you can grow your business by investing some of your capital into other projects. A good example is to invest in property. Of course, if you don’t have thousands of pounds, you’ll need an alternative method. A reasonable – though risky – one is foreign exchange. You might at first be nervous to try out trading – it’s not something that goes hand in hand with selling – but don’t worry, with an online trading account, you can work on your trading technique on a virtual account before you attempt the real thing and start making money.

So, if you’re looking to turn your hobby into a business, follow the above steps and you’ll be well on your way.

Tips for gambling responsibly

Every single day there are now millions of people gambling both online and off-line, however online gambling is now much more popular than ever before due to the fact that it is so easy to get into with all that is needed being an Internet connection and a computer.

Online casinos have gotten incredibly popular and have created large revenues for the companies behind them meaning that more casino companies are being opened every single day. This is fantastic as it gives so many options for people who actually enjoy online casino games so that they can find the right place for them to play. But this also means that there are now more people than ever before gambling too much and then regretting how much they have lost making their play sessions much less fun and in some cases stop people from gambling altogether.
Gambling is meant to be fun, the idea of adding money to a game in order to make it more exciting is one that has been universally used for thousands of years now. But some people simply spend too much money on gambling. The critical problem with this is that these people consider gambling to be an investment rather than a way to spend money. If you think of gambling money as a form of spending money than it makes playing online casino games like roulette a much different experience.

The biggest tip that anyone who gambles will give you is for you to work out the amount of money you’re willing to gamble out of your pay check each month. With this number in mind as long as you keep to it you should never feel guilty about gambling ever again and will in fact get much more enjoyment out of it known that you have nothing to worry about.

This post was contributed by Miles Hughes.

Thinking of buying a car: what is the best way to pay?

A car is seen by many families as an essential item which just has to be owned, and maintained. Even the most financially scrupulous family may consider getting a car on finance, in light of how much money actually having a car can save many families in terms of travel expenses. A car also improves a person’s quality of life and offers independence to people, so it is not surprising that car ownership is something we will consider getting finance for. Read on to find out the pros and cons of getting a car on finance and for help with making the right decision for you about how to go about buying a car.

Loans?

These days it is much harder to get a personal or business loan, but if you are lucky enough to have a financial profile that allows you to seek finance of this kind then it could be the more sensible course for you to take. Things to watch out for when getting a loan though are how the loan is secured (eg unsecured loans or one secured against your home), and whether the loan funds will be available right away, if you have need of the car as a part of a business plan (i.e. driving to client meetings or making deliveries for example) then this could fall under a business expense and be covered by a business loan, we recommend checking out everline.com’s business funding guide for more info.

Sometimes the application process for a loan is cumbersome and may result in disappointment after six weeks or more of waiting with baited breath. When applying for a loan for a car you should always consider the worst case scenario- what will happen if your circumstances change and you can’t pay the loan back?

Things to consider here are whether the loan is secured against your home and the reputation of the company concerned. Some finance companies have terrible reputations for how they treat customers in debt to them, so this should always be something you consider before you commit to a loan to finance a car.

Hire purchase?

Hire purchase to fund getting a car tends to be more expensive in the short-term for consumers. It also usually requires a deposit of around 10%, and consumers must remember that you don’t actually own the car until you have made the final payment under the hire purchase scheme. The pros are that these type of arrangements are quick and easy to arrange and will usually offer a fixed term plan which is easier to budget for.

Leasing?

If you can’t afford to buy a car, why not lease one? This means you are more in control of the car you drive and you are paying for it in a ‘pay as you go’ way. Servicing and maintenance are ordinarily including in the leasing plan so this is useful especially if you don’t know that much about car, for example if this is your first car. The downside to this way of financing a car though is that you will never own your own car and you may be subject to penalties, for example if you exceed mileage limits or if you miss a payment.