Simple Ways to Save
Keep in mind that it may not seem like much at first when you begin to implement these simple ways of saving, but over time and the accumulative of each one will definitely add up. I made a goal during my journey to use the saving from my coupon app on movies. I love going to the movie and eating movie theater popcorn is one of my most favorite Simple Blisses but it's so expensive. So it's so worth it for me to take the time to do these simple things and it takes all the guilt out of it!
There are a number of coupon apps you can download to your phone to save at a number of different grocery stores. They take very little time to set up and use but you need to be prepared understanding it will take a few extra minutes before and after you shop. I will list a few here but it will be important for you to check out where you do most of your shopping and see if they have an app you can use to save there.
Test out each one to see which one you prefer. I've also been told if you use the app in conjunction with paper coupons you can really save. I personally don't like messing with paper coupons but I know that if you have the time and desire you can really save BIG!
Ibotta is essentially an instant rebate machine, and one of the most popular coupon apps around, thanks to its, “many offers, many retailers” in a variety of categories. You can also use the savings and automatically put it towards gift cards to a number of locations through the app.
This too is an instant rebate machine and like Ibotta , it's a rebate app for which you upload a receipt to receive cash. They have a wide range of stores from Walmart to Whole Foods to use their app.
This app is a fan favorite because it can be accessed from your desktop computer and links to your supermarket and drugstore loyalty cards. The other thing I love about this app is that you can forward your savings directly to a charity so if you're one of the fortunate ones who doesn't necessarily need to save this could be a great way for you to participate in the Pursuit.
I will be honest I haven't used this app yet, but in my research, it seems to be a great way to go if you plan to make a shopping list (which is the best way to shop) because you can create your list in the app and it will grab coupons that match the items on your list. It will then automatically download the coupons to your loyalty card that you linked to the app.
Retail Me Not
This app is incredible because you simply download the app to your phone and any time you are shopping at most retail locations, all you have to do is look up where you are within the app and see what savings are at the location. Then at checkout show the cashier your mobile coupon and they will scan it right from your phone. You should NEVER purchase without first checking your app for savings! This is a no-brainer if you ask me!
Groupon is a deal-of-the-day recommendation service for consumers. Every 24 hours, Groupon broadcasts an electronic coupon for a restaurant or store in your city, recommending that local service while also offering you a 40% to 60% discount if you purchase that service.
Honey is a web browser add-on that finds coupons from all kinds of places that you can use for the websites you browse. ... Once at the checkout cart, Honey automatically enables and tries coupon codes into the “Promotion code” bar without you having to lift a finger.
Gas apps can help you find the cheapest gas near you. Be sure to do your research and find the best app that fits your lifestyle.
The crowdsourced app asks people to enter the prices they pay at the pump. GasBuddy then lists the gas stations in your area, letting you find the one with the lowest price.
Gas Guru helps you save time, effort, and money before you hit the road. Quickly find the best gas prices nearby. Do you always find yourself filling up near home or down the street from work? Label and save your frequent locations for easy access to up-to-date prices. You can even save a few extra cents by comparing the price of gas near work, home, or other favorite locations to find the cheapest available. Tap to get directions, view the time of the last price update, and more.
The popular crowdsourced navigation app lets you know how much you'll pay for gas as you travel, and it can direct you to the cheapest gas station. By navigating to partner gas stations, the app offers "Waze-only" deals. Like GasBuddy, Waze gets its data from its users. But Waze users are known to be a friendly bunch, tipping others off to accidents and where the traffic cops are hiding.
Compare Insurance Companies
Okay, so I'll admit this isn't a fun thing to do but can truly save you plenty over time or give you peace of mind that you are already getting the best deal out there!
Reflect on these questions below...
- Do you currently have your home and car insurance with one company?
- Do you take advantage of the good student discount many companies offer?
- Do you have adult children on your plan?
- Can you do some things around your house such as cut down dead branches on the trees on your property, move all firewood away from your house, or buy a security system that can lower your insurance rates?
Identify: Identify where you can potentially save. Use these guides to help you.
How to Save on Car Insurance
How to Save on Home Owners Insurance
Seek: Collect all your car and home insurance information so you have it accessible. Commit to calling at least three insurance companies to compare what you're currently spending.
Many companies will allow you to enter all your information on their website first. I highly recommend this so when they call you, they will already have all your information accessible. Be prepared with questions about what you learned in the "How to Save on Insurance Guides". Tell them you are comparing companies and you're looking for the greatest savings available and you want to know where you can save with their company.
Experience: If you take the time to do this it will either save you a considerable amount each year and you can put those savings towards something else, or you'll have peace of mind that you've done your due diligence and you're getting the best deal available to you.
Compare Cell Phone Plans
When was the last time you compared cell phone plans? My husband worked for 16 years for T-Mobile so we didn't have any reason to look elsewhere for our cell phone service. But once that ended, we started the search. As I started comparing, I discovered that our family plan with T-Mobile was the most affordable. In fact, we save about $1,000 a year with T-Mobile over other companies and family plans. This is not a push for you to use T-Mobile at all, in fact, it may not be the cheapest for you for what you are currently getting with your plan. The point is you have to look to know what is the best deal!
Here are a couple tips to keep in mind when you compare.
- Are you paying for services you don’t use or need?
- Check the coverage areas to be sure you are covered in the areas that are most important to you. A little less coverage in the areas you don't often go to is okay if you are going to save BIG on your bill each month like we do. Yes, it's annoying sometimes but I'm saving $1,000!!!!
- If you decide to move from one company to the next ask them to waive any sign-up fees. Sometimes they will waive the fee to get your business. It never hurts to ask.
- Here's a great reference to use before you begin your search.
Make Your Own Gifts
Depending on how much time and how crafty you are, there are definitely ways to save by making your own gifts. This can be a lot of fun too if you plan ahead. Here are a couple sites that will help you create something amazing for your next gift-giving opportunity!
The website gives you 100 great ideas for inexpensive homemade gifts. Seriously consider this especially if you enjoy being crafty.
Pinterest is an obvious place to go to find great ideas for gift giving on a budget as well as a place to get instructions on how to make your own gifts. Simply search for what it is you're looking for.
Use Credit Cards With No Annual Fee
You can save and earn money by using your credit card wisely. There are cards that will reward you with a percentage in cash back or points for your purchases made with their card and if you pay off your card each month you never have to pay an interest rate.
My husband and I have always put almost everything on a credit card and then pay it off every month so that we can gain points for airfare and other things we buy. We figure we're going to spend the money so we might as well put it all on the card and gain the points the credit cards give us. It's a win-win!
Credit card companies to choose from
Shop At Consignment Shops
Shopping at your local or online consignment shop or thrift store can save you BIG! At first, I was really opposed to this idea but then I decided to have an open mind and check them out. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were a lot of incredible finds out there. I actually was able to buy designer clothes that I wouldn't normally be able to buy for less than non-designer clothes.
There are some really nice consignment shops that carry higher-end clothing. I will share with you in the "Simple Ways to Earn" resources ways you can actually earn money with this idea as well.
Here are some top online consignment shops you can start saving when buying your clothes.