My friend has been suggesting for years that I write a blog about being thrifty, so I am finally jumping on the proverbial blog bandwagon and doing just that. I can be quite creative and thrifty but to be perfectly honest I'm really just cheap. I hate spending money, especially on things I think are overpriced (education, parking and poor quality clothes). While I think some things are WORTH spending money on, others I think they just gouge you because they know you have to pay for it and don’t have any way around spending the money. I don't really know where my stinginess comes from, because growing up we always had enough money and almost always got the extra things we wanted. I was raised in the Christian faith (and I claim Jesus as my Lord and Savior) and the Bible teaches to be a good steward with the money we are given (Matthew 25:2) but I can't honestly say that that's my only motivation, although now it is a more influencing factor. I think it mostly stems from my bad judgements as a young adult and succumbing to the credit card phenomena. I don't want to repeat those same mistakes and want my money to go where we need it to, without wasting it, or causing us more problems down the road.
Now, as an almost 30yr old mom and wife, I've learned a thing or two about money. I've (somewhat) learned when and where to spend it. Money is obviously very valuable, no matter how much you have, so I wanted to post about ways you can make it stretch (get the most for your buck). I am still so terrible at actually saving money, but these significant and simple shopping tips have helped me use what we have and not live above our means, without having to sacrifice too much. For some of you, this is obvious and redundant (b/c you already do this). But for some of you, who are either fresh out of college, find yourself in hard times, or just don't know any better - these simple changes could save you big bucks!
- Aldi’s: My favorite place to get all the basic things you need (snack foods, nuts, produce, meat and beans). You’ll need a quarter to get a cart and reusable grocery bags (or you can buy there – but I think it’s easier & cheaper to use my 100 bags that I already own J ) to pack up your own cart. It’s fairly small and concise, so you should be in and out around 30-40min depending on if you have a list or need to go back to an isle you forgot to pick up something on. Also, check the ad at the front of the store – sometimes they put coupons in there! *They don’t have a lot of name brand stuff, so be prepared to get store brand*
- Walmart: Everyone knows how good Walmart’s prices are in the food department, but now they have really upped their game… They now have a FREE grocery pickup service! I repeat – it is plenty FREE, no hidden costs or tips. Plus, you can save $10 on your very first purchase (use my link and start saving!) You pick a location & time – for the next day at the earliest, order your items (food/other) online, submit your code (get $10 off – yay!) and check out. They send you an email confirmation and you have a few hours to change your order if you need to. Then they will call you when your order is ready for pick up (usually always earlier than your time frame). When you park, in their designated spots, call them and let them know you’re ready and they will bring your groceries out to you… you don’t even have to leave the car with your 7 kids (HOW GREAT IS THAT?!?) This is also a thrifty TIME saver, more so than a monetary one, and who couldn’t use some extra time in their life? *I’ve never had a problem with bad produce*
- Local Thrift Stores: Local thrift stores are great because they usually have better pricing than chains. Most of the ones we have in Columbia give to charities & ministries too – which is great for everybody. You can find some really great condition 2nd hand clothes, dishes, furniture, home décor and books.
- Goodwill: Most people already know about Goodwill, but what maybe some of you didn’t realize is that Target donates their unsold clearance items to Goodwill (and maybe other stores, I just know Target does for sure)! Woohoo!! I’ve gotten several brand new Target items for me and my family (clothes, pillows, water bottles, shoes) all at 1/2 off the final clearance price. Goodwill is a typical thrift store, but sometimes you can find really great brand new items or really nice high end clothing that you can’t find at other stores (especially if you shop in the nicer areas of town). And they are GREAT for kids clothes (cause you know they only wear that stuff for about 6 months anyways)
- Groupon (and the like): I have found SO many great deals on Groupon, it’s not even funny. I use it for oil changes, dentist appointments, teeth whitening products, mani/pedis, massages, traveling - really, the sky’s the limit and the list goes on. If you’re looking to save a buck (or several) on necessities or luxuries, look no further J
Hope these quick tips have helped you see some areas where you can start to save time and money (if you don’t already use them). I look forward to finding new ways to be thrifty! Let me know how these work for you – or if you have any suggestions on what thrifty ways you save.