An Internet user seeks to find information about how to save money. What kind of advice are they given? The same old oft-repeated lines about avoiding Starbucks, eating out, going to the movies, etc. They already know that all of those things are expense and not good for a budget. The advice that they read about on blog after blog becomes repetitive and not all that useful. Today, right here, they can read about some of the more unusual ways to save money today that they may not have heard of before.
Do Not Coupon!
What?! Everyone says to snip coupons to save a little bit of money here or there on groceries. How could any sensible savings advice say that this is a bad idea? Well, the answer lies in a few flaws in the system of using coupons.
First, lets start with when it is acceptable to use coupons. If you are in the grocery store and have a list of items to get with you, you might come across a coupon in the store for an item already on your list. If this scenarios happens to you, then go ahead and snag that coupon with a smile on your face. That was a planned purchase that you just saved a little bit of money on.
However, if you clip coupons ahead of time because the deals just look too good to pass up, you are doing it wrong. Coupons are meant to save you money on things you need, not make you spend on things you didn’t care about to begin with. Do not coupon unless something is already on your list and you just happen to come across a coupon for that item.
Stock Up On Condiments When You Are Out To Eat
Although you really shouldn’t be going out to eat if you are trying to save money, most of us cave on that at some point or another. The ease of just grabbing some fast food is too big of a temptation for most of us to resist. At least while you are doing something like that, you could take the time to get some extra value out of it.
Fast food restaurants hand out condiments like they are candy. You will find all kinds of packets of your favorite sauces just waiting to be grabbed up. If you are already a paying customer, you can presumably take as many of these as you would like. While it would be impolite to snatch up the entire tray of ketchup, nothing is really stopping you from grabbing maybe an extra ten or fifteen packets to take home.
Get Friendly With Your Neighborhood Thrift Shop and Their Staff
If you are serious about saving money, you cannot pay full retail price on the things you need. Retail stores mark up their items to a great extent in order to cover their overhead costs. You end up paying way more than what the item is really worth. This does not have to be the way to do things.
Get familiar with your local thrift shop and maybe even the pawn shop. These are the places where the bargains reside. People turn over goods that have only been very gently used, and these shops will mark them down to incredibly good prices. You can find some real treasures buried among all of the rest of the items that are floating around in these types of stores.
Try to strike up a friendship with some of the staff at these types of stores. They can help point you to some of the best deals in the whole place that others might have overlooked. They might even give you an even better price than advertised if they are authorized to do so.
Skip The Decorations
It is amazing how stores can convince us that we have to decorate our homes for this holiday or that. They can really get on a roll and make us spend a lot of our hard-earned money just to try to keep up with our neighbors. However, you should not cave to that pressure. Let the neighbors deck out their home for the holidays while you slip a cup of hot chocolate and smile about the money you have saved.
Save Leftovers and Reuse Them as New Meals
It is estimated that around half of all of the food produced in the United States is wasted. A figure this high means that we are all responsible to some extent. It is easy to just toss out a small amount of remaining food from last night’s dinner. However, the person who is serious about saving money would never do this. Instead, use even a small amount of food to make another meal in the future. You might just be surprised by how many combinations there are.