Whether you're unemployed, underemployed, or just trying to save a bit for a special vacation or Christmas presents, saving money can be important. And it turns out that there are lots of simple ways to trim your budget. A little here, a little there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.
Here are some of the methods my family has used to save money.
- Skip movie theaters. We only see movies in the theater that are big special effects films. Aliens, superheroes and monsters we tend to spend the big bucks on. Romantic comedies and other genres can wait until they hit DVD or Netflix.
- Netflix. For $9 a month, we can get as many DVDs by mail as we want, and we can watch tons of movies and TV shows online. It's usually a better deal than paying extra on your cable or satellite bill for movie channels. (I've sent all my Facebook followers a link for a first month free. If you are not a Facebook follower or didn't get the link and want it, be sure to contact me and let me know.)
- Cook at home. Eating out is so convenient and easy, but the money adds up fast. We eat out only a couple times a month instead of a couple times a week. You can save a lot this way. Taking your own meals for lunch at work is a big savings too.
- Take out. When we do get restaurant food, we generally do it as take out instead of eating in the restaurant. It saves us the tip. I know this is super cheap, but sometimes you do what you gotta do.
- Coupons. When you are doing all that grocery shopping, be sure to use coupons. It used to be that the only way to get coupons was to get the paper or magazines. You'd spend more on those things than you'd save. But now coupons can be printed from online providers or even sent to your cell phone. Check out Coupon Mom, Redplum, and Smartsource for printable coupons, and Cellfire for digital ones. Coupons reset each month, and you can usually print up to 3 of the same coupon each month.
- Savings alerts. Sign up with your favorite store or blogger for newsletters that let you know when something is on sale. I have gotten some beautiful jewelry for free this way. You never know who might be giving something away. Check your favorite store's website, or try out Faithful Provisions.
- Make virtual money. You can use Swagbucks to earn Swag points that you can then use to buy all sorts of things, from jewelry to game systems to gift cards. Or take surveys at My View to earn points that can then be used on gift cards.
These are just a few of my money-saving tips. What tips do you have for us?
P.S. As an added bonus to today's blog, here's a video of one of my favorite bands singing about this very topic.