Thursday, June 1, 2017

Living the Thrifty Life: Squeezing Every Penny

money squeeze
Most people try to save money in a few different ways. Some people, however, want to take saving more seriously than others. If you're trying to save as much as possible, whether it's for a specific purpose or just because, there are so many different ways you can make extra savings every day. Even saving small amounts in lots of ways can mean that the money adds up to bigger savings. Some people might see some of the methods you can use to save as being a little too extreme. However, if you're determined to make some great savings, it's worth sacrificing a few things to reach your goals.

Know How Much You're Spending

If you want to live a thriftier lifestyle, you need to be aware of how much you spend. Some people aren't even sure of how much they spend on food each week or their other regular expenses. It's essential to be familiar with what different things cost you, whether it's necessities such as bills or things you buy yourself as a treat. By taking a good look at where your money goes, you can identify the things that are draining your account. You might not realize how much you spend on chocolate or how much difference it makes to turn your thermostat up a little.

Ditch Your Brand Loyalty

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they shop is to go for the same brands again and again. It's easy to get attached to a brand when you try it and have a good experience. You might try another brand or even something off-brand, but you're sure it's not as good. Sometimes, that might be true. A more expensive brand might last longer or taste better. However, there are many times when that's not the case. Try out some different brands to see if you can really see any difference, and maybe even get someone to help you out with a blind test. Sometimes, seeing a particular label or price makes us believe something is better, even when it's not. Another thing to remember is that things don't always need to be the best. Does it matter if a cheaper pack of cookies has fewer chocolate chips?

Make Purchases Go Further

When you do make purchases, you should try to make them go as far as possible. Measuring things out carefully is one way you can do this with products you use more than once. This could work for foods like pasta, rice or cheese, as well as for household products like laundry detergent or toiletries such as shampoo. Some things are easy to measure out using various containers and measuring devices. For example, laundry detergents tend to come with a cup or scoop for measuring. It's also worth considering how much you really need to use. How much pasta does each person really need to eat? What can you use to bulk it out that's cheaper?

Other things might not be so easy to measure. Controlling how much shampoo you use in the shower can be tough. You might have to use some discipline and get used to judging how much you use by eye. Or you can consider putting things in different containers. For example, using a pump bottle could help you limit how much shampoo you use.

Look for the Discounts

Being able to spot a good deal on something is a particular skill that not everyone possesses. Some people have a keen eye for savings and always have one eye looking for the latest discounts. When you want to make savings on your purchases, you can look for a few different types of offer. The first is simply something that has been marked down in the store. It might have a certain amount off, be a 2-for-1 offer, or maybe a multiples offer at a lower price.

You can also look for coupons and discount codes. You used to have to look through newspapers and other publications to find them. But now you can use sites like to find the online. You might also get coupons through direct mail or perhaps as inserts in magazines or leaflets. Or you can pick them up in some stores too. Another type of coupon deal you can find online is the sort of thing you find on sites like Coupon. This gets you activities and products at lower prices.

Recognize That a Special Offer Isn't Always a Saving

It's important to remember that just because something is discounted, or appears to be, it doesn't mean that buying it is a great saving. For one thing, if you're buying something you didn't already intend to buy, it's not a saving. You're spending more than you meant to, even if the product costs less than usual. It's not a saving if you're buying something you don't need.

Another thing to keep in mind is that not everything that says it's discounted was ever genuinely the original price in the first place. You might be able to find it at that price, but it doesn't mean the retailer expects people to pay that amount. Take sites like Groupon where you might find something like a discounted piece of jewelry. See if you can find that exact piece of jewelry elsewhere by doing a reverse image search. How much does it cost on other sites? Take a good look at what it is you're buying and compare it to similar products. Is the original price really representative of its worth? Or is it really a much cheaper product?

Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses

Another great reason to be familiar with your expenses is so that you can cut out things that aren't necessary. You should take a good look at what you spend and think about what you need and what you can get rid of. Some of these costs are pretty easy to cut out. For example, maybe you have a subscription to a snack box company that sends you snacks every week. They might be tasty and convenient, but you can choose and buy your own snacks for a lot less. Maybe you eat out a bit more often than you should, or you're paying for insurance you don't need.

Do Things At Home for Less

When you want to save money, doing things yourself is one of the best ways to do it. It also gives you something to do, which is great if you're trying to avoid spending money. Cooking and making food is one thing that's nearly always cheaper to do at home, especially if you have the resources to buy and make things in bulk. Whether you like a good coffee or a delicious pizza, making your own can give you something that's better quality and cheaper than buying something pre-made or eating out. You can easily find good recipes on and other sites. There are other things you could apply this to, as well. If you're brave enough to try cutting your own hair, it could cost you only a small amount for a decent pair of scissors that will last, instead of having to pay for an expensive salon experience.

Research Every Purchase

You can waste a lot of money by jumping into a purchase without considering it properly and looking at all your options. For example, perhaps you've decided you want to book a family vacation. Booking your travel and accommodation together seems like the best idea, but what if it's cheaper to book them separately? You can make some huge savings if you're willing to go to a bit more effort. Before you buy something, search online or look in other stores in person to see if you can find more affordable options. Find resources where you can get advice on making savings and find out how other people have saved on the same purchases.

Use a Savings Account

If you're saving your money, don't let it just sit in your normal bank account. It's worth using a bank account, so you can make sure your savings are collecting interest as you put them away. A savings account is a financial product, so before you open one, you should make sure you compare what's available to you. Some might have better interest rates or different rules about how you can use them. Some accounts have limits on how much you can withdraw or terms concerning when and how you can withdraw money.

Save Your Change

It might give you flashbacks to your childhood, but putting your change away can be a surprisingly good way to save. Get a piggy bank, or just use any old container, to save your smaller coins and maybe notes too. It can help you avoid spending it on things you don't need, like coffee or candy. Small amounts of cash can quickly add up. You could take the money you save to the bank or use it to treat yourself.

If you make an effort, you can get your money to go further. Lifting the thrifty life is worth it if you're trying to afford something big.

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