Everyone wants to save money! No one likes paying full price – life can be so expensive. However, in today’s busy world, it’s hard to take the time to clip coupons each Sunday or go to multiple stores for the cheapest prices. Here are five unique tips to help you save money without spending tons of time in the process.
Start a gift closet
Have you ever had a kid surprise you with a last-minute birthday party invite? Or see a toy or diapers at a store on clearance for a great price, but you don’t have young children anymore? Go ahead and get it anyway! It may seem counterintuitive, but you can actually save money by purchasing discounted items that you may not need (at least, right away) and storing them in the closet for the future. That adorable infant dress may not fit your youngest child who is 8 years old, but it will be perfect in three months when someone at church invites you to a baby shower! You can learn more about starting a gift closet here.
Do some research
You tend to buy a lot of items on a regular basis: pasta, flour, diapers, etc. The best way to find the cheapest prices is by making a list of items that you usually purchase a lot of (flour, pasta, diapers, etc.) and their regular prices. Then go on the apps for Kroger, Walmart, etc. and look up the prices at each store. You may be surprised to find that they’re lower at one place than another! Once you have this list, you can then use an app called Flipp. It collects the ads for different stores in your area, and you can search them to find out which store is currently selling certain items at the lowest price. Need more flour? Just search in Flipp, and any store that has flour listed in its ad that week will show up, telling you the best price!
Amazon’s Subscribe and Save
Don’t have time to make it to the store often? Or are you always running out of items that you purchase regularly? Things like laundry detergent, diapers, or others? Avoid wasting gas on extra store trips to buy items full-price! Amazon Prime has a program called Subscribe and Save where you can set up recurring subscriptions for common household items. If you set up a subscription, then you get 5% off that item. If you have 5 subscriptions or more arriving in a single month, then you get 20% off the entire order! If you don’t have an Amazon Prime account, you can sign up here for a free 30 day trial.
Make sure to check out the Manager’s Special areas of your local stores! Even better, ask the manager when they usually do markdowns (certain days of the week or times of day). I try to get meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and breads for the 50% off (or more!) because they are about to reach the date on the package. This date doesn’t always mean it’s about to go bad, but you can freeze the majority of these items! I save a ton of money by purchasing manager’s special items and freezing them.
Join local Facebook groups
Moving away from groceries a bit, one of the biggest ways I save is by purchasing things like clothes, furniture, etc. second-hand. I hesitate a bit with thrift stores (a lot of that can be junk), and Craigslist scares me! However, many neighborhoods and towns have frugal Facebook groups that work a bit like Craigslist. The nice thing is that these people are usually closer to you, and it’s a little bit more difficult for people to run scams since they’re using their Facebook account. These groups often have names like “Beg Barter Buy Sell” or “Online Garage Sale.” I get most my kids’ clothes from these groups, and I also turn around and sell a lot of items that my kids outgrow or that we no longer use.
Tiffany is a former math teacher and SAHM with Crohn’s disease who loves finding good deals! She and her husband, who is an engineer, work together on The crazy shopping cart. They enjoy spending time with their family, geeking out over sci-fi, and saving money.