Pinching Pennies 101: 7 Simple Yet Overlooked Ways To Save Money

Money is tight for many people these days. There are the tried and true methods of budgeting and cutting corners, however sometimes these methods aren’t’ enough. Here are 7 simple yet over looked ways to save a bit of extra cash – and help out the environment while you’re at it.

1. Stop Purchasing Bottled Water

Buying bottled water is a tremendous waste of money, especially when there are a number of clean filtered alternatives. Investing in a water filter and your own metal or plastic water bottle not only saves you from dumping bottle after bottle into the land fill, it saves you space in your house. The initial cost of these items is higher than your average bottle of water, but the incremental savings over time can be huge.

2. No more buying goods from brick and mortar stores

Buying items from a local shop gives you the convenience of seeing a product up close and personal. It provides security in knowing that you’re paying for exactly what you want. That privilege however, comes at a higher retail price.

In order to effectively shop online, you need to compare prices across the web. Some retailers, both online and in person, will offer a price match policy. Quite literally meaning they will match the lowest price from any other reputable dealer if you take the time to research and present your findings.

Another great tool for shopping online is Amazon.com. Here you can compare prices across similar products and read reviews from past consumers. Not only this, but Amazon also offers free 2 day shipping on a number of products when you become an Amazon prime member for $79 a month. This service may seem rather pricey, however if you are an avid online shopper you now have access to thousands of low cost alternatives within a two day reach. Amazon also has a subscribe-and-save feature that allows you to get a 5-15% discount on items when you place a monthly re-stock order with them.

3. Don’t Buy Name Brands

Name brands are another place where you pay for the safety of something familiar. However, name brand products are usually almost exactly identical to the generic brands that imitate them.

An area where you can save the most with generics is the prescription drug market. These drugs are tested in the laboratory and are proven to work as well as the name brand prescriptions. Generics are not allowed to be produced until the patent on the original drug has expired. Once expired, pharmaceutical companies jump at the opportunity to reproduce the drug, avoiding all research and development cost and providing a low cost alternative. Another idea is to buy basic foods in the generic form. When you compare the labels of a name brand and generic product, you’ll see that the generic brand is the exact same thing as the name brand with the same ingredients.

4. Don’t Carry Credit Card Debt

Be wise about what you spend each month, and don’t go beyond your limits. When you take on credit card debt, not only are you paying for items you can’t afford, but you are also taking on the interest that comes with paying off a debt slowly. Only buy what you know can pay off at the end of the month. By doing so you will live within your means and continue to build upon your credit score each month. If you simply pay your minimum each month and don’t contribute more, you are essentially never paying off the original cost of the item and simply the interest associated.

5. Delete unused monthly subscriptions

Some of the biggest expenses come from those barely read magazines, seldom used Netflix accounts, and untouched gym memberships. Often times these smaller reoccurring charges go unnoticed, however when added up can cost you an additional $50 or more a month. Take the time to scan through your monthly bank statements and look for those unnecessary charges you may have forgot you signed up for.

6. 401K company match

Do the smart thing by setting aside money in your 401K. Many companies will match a percentage of what you contribute, so by not placing money here you are losing out on free money. Not to mention the fact that you will accumulate interest on this money each month, potentially tripling your investment over the course of thirty years.

7. Use Coupons

You should never make purchases on a whim without checking for deals and coupons first. You can check your mailbox for deals on food, online purchases, and more. Sites like retailmenot.com give you many opportunities to save as well. Even hotels like the Hard Rock in Las Vegas offer discounts; you could find great package deals on a hotel room and a discount Vegas show.

In summary, there are always new ways to save money. The seven ideas above give you some places to start, but you can also go through each spending item to determine your own ways to save.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Image author owned
  •  License: Image author owned

By Brett Dugan

By Brett Dugan, an avid blogger with a passion for wealth creation through the use of creative personal savings techniques.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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