I got your attention right?!
We all need to, want to, and are looking for more ideas on how to save money. That is why, while reading one of my favorite magazines All You, I totally caught on to this idea that a reader shared. She came up with a way to save money for every letter of the alphabet, she didn’t share her list, just the concept. Of course I thought I should run with this idea and do a whole blog post and come up with my own ideas!
Oh and can I tell you a secret- I am a super fan of an alphabet list, now that my secret is out, you may see more of them on my blog. Just sayin’.
What do you think? I hope it is a hit!
Click “Read More” to check out the list!
A- Ads; Check your ads, either in the mail or the newspaper each week. Even if you don’t coupon, planning your weekly menu around sale items will still save you a lot of money on your grocery bill.
B- Book Buyback; I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to Cash4Books and sold back old books. I have even posted about this one here before, I am always spending an afternoon every few months typing in ISBN numbers to see if they will buy the book. Then whatever ones they choose, you pack up, print a slip and shipping label and off they go- then they either send a check or use Paypal to give you your money. I have never had problems with them before and I have done this at least 4 times in the past. Check them out- seriously.
C- COUPONING!!! You had to see this one coming right?! You can check out my couponing series out by clicking the button.
D- DON’T Get a Cart; If you are just stopping in the store for one thing, don’t grab a cart, if you don’t have to hold what you are buying it is easy to keep adding. If you are restricted to what you are able to carry, you will be more motivated to get through the store and checkout quicker!
E- Ebates; This is just amazing, we always do this whenever we buy anything online. Basically you sign up to Ebates, then when you need to go buy something online you sign into your account and then go to the site you want to buy from and purchase as normal. Since you went through ebates, you get a portion of your purchase back in the form of a check. It is like making money on the things you already were going to buy!
F- FREEBIES!! Come on, free stuff is fun, a few months ago the hubs was all about signing up for free samples and it was so much fun checking the mail each day and getting something different! Magazines, cleaning supplies, toiletries, the list goes on and on. They are sometimes full size, sometimes trial size (which are great for travel or emergency kits) and sometimes they even come with high value coupons! You can find them everywhere, if you follow coupon blogs on facebook you can see when they
Here is a freebie for to try out 24 Hour Fitness
G- Girls Night Clothing Swap; This would work for adults and kids, get everyone together and have them go through their closets and gather up all the shoes, clothes, accessories and so on and bring them to one persons house. Then set up your living room like a store and hang up shirts, lay out bottoms and gather up accessories, make up a few snacks and let the shopping begin! This would also be a fun playdate idea and you can swap kids clothes. Everyone gets rid of stuff and gets some new stuff and you can help a good cause by donating the extras!
H- Homemade Gifts; I feel like I go to a million birthday parties a year now and it is only going to increase- think about it , 30 kids in a class and you are supposed to invite the whole class to birthday parties; that is a whole lotta gifts. Making things yourself can keep gifts in most cases under $10 which is almost impossible when you are buying toys or other gifts. I even want to go one step further and set a day where I make 20 of one thing and that is my go to kid gift for that year despite gender or age, this year I am planning on making hooded towels (they come out to about $5 each). Then when the parties come, the gift is done and I move on. You could even wrap them ahead of time and just mark with post its. You don’t have to make a bunch at once, but homemade always saves money and is much more thoughtful!
I- In the Garden; I have dreams of starting a veggie and herb garden this spring- and I really really want to make it happen because it is a great way to save on produce and get your kids to eat it! They help grow it and cook it, they will most likely try it and you will save a bit on your grocery bill each week.
J- Join a Survey Company; This is perfect for while you are watching TV in the evenings, taking surveys helps companies and can earn you some extra cash! It is easy to sign up and the more surveys you qualify for and complete, the more money you can bring in!
Plus, Inbox Dollars will give you $5 just for joining!
K- Keep in Touch; In this day and age there is absolutely on reason you should have to spend any extra money on long distance to talk to people. With Skype and other web based calling, you can keep in touch and actually see the other person- all for free!
L- Laundry Soap; I haven’t bought laundry soap in probably close to four years because I make it myself using the Duggars recipe. You can find it HERE. I bought the washing soda online a few years ago and other than the occasional bar of soap there is little to know cost and it saves me BUNDLES. If you are wondering- it works great, my kid is quite often covered in paint and it works great, my cousin has all boys and she is completely sold on it as well.
M-Mama Swap; Of course you have a group of good group of mom friends and these are the perfect people to swap babysitting with! This could either be for date night or during the day for a couple of hours so you can run some errands kid free! It is free and the kids get to hang out with their friends.
N- Nature day: Take a day and unplug and get out into nature. Go on a hike, go to the beach, play at the park or just go into the backyard for an afternoon. If everyone is off their electrical device of choice, you aren’t going to see that on your bill! Doing this once a week should show a little dent which will grow over the months and at the end of the year.
O- Outlet Stores; We have all heard about these for clothes but I find the best deals hands down on my appliances at an outlet store. We had to get a new washer and dryer a few years ago, a fridge when we moved to our new house and a chest freezer somewhere in between. We saved HUNDREDS of dollars, like everything close to half off by going to an outlet of a big department store. The washer and dryer are HE front loaders but had a bunch of scratches- who cares, the fridge has a big dent in the front that still no one has ever noticed and the chest freezer was a floor display model so had some scuffs and what not. Also many times at these stores are surplus items, things that they just ordered too many of and need to get out the door. I would always check an outlet store first because appliances can take a big chunk of change.
P- Pantry Cleanout Night; Pick a night either once a week or month and come up with dinner from whatever you have leftover in the pantry. This is a great on a day when you want to put off the grocery shopping for one day or feel the need to run to fast food, doing this even just once a month could save you $10 to $20 which is over $100 or $200 at the end of the year! Plus you clean out and don’t have to feel bad about wasting food.
Q- Quit the Cards! Choose a period of time when you are going to quit using your credit cards, then put them in a cup, add water and put in the freezer. This is my favorite method for credit cards because before you make a purchase you would have to thaw them and it would give you time to think about your purchase. The time period could be a week, month, six months or more but either way- when they aren’t in your wallet, they aren’t being used!
R- Recycle; In my area, I can take my cans and bottles (glass too but it is pretty bulky and we don’t generally have much) and return them to a recycling center and get some cash. I think the most I have gotten is $20 but I usually get to a point where I just want the bags out of my garage before I have a larger amount. Either way it is some extra cash in the pocket… sometimes it gets used at the craft store- just sayin’.
S- SwagBucks; If you haven’t heard of SwagBucks, um, where have you been? This is amazing, you join them by clicking the button and then when you search you use their search engines and can win Swag Bucks. As you build up Swag Bucks, you trade them in for gift cards to Amazon or PayPal or other free prizes. I can definitely say I have done this one and not had any problems yet. I would totally suggest it to friends and family!
T- Tire Pressure Check; Tires that are even slightly flat cost you more in gas money, make sure to check them regularly so that you get your optimal gas mileage. Also, another tip, when I go to fill them I go in and ask them to turn the air machine on and they will do it for free by giving me the code so I don’t have to even use coins. Think about it, charging for air? It is worth a shot to ask! (could it be a CA thing?)
U- Upcycle; There are whole blogs dedicated to this, if you want something but don’t want to or can’t spend the money- find something in your house you could modify to fit your needs. Want chargers for a fancy dinner party- spray paint some records, want some magazine organizational- cut some cereal boxes and glue paper or napkins on them. There are tons of ideas and different ways to change what you have into what you need.
V- Vista Print; They are always having sales and have a bunch of things you can get for free and only pay shipping, that is how I got my business cards! It is great for blogs or businesses just starting up and the quality is great!
W- Walk it Off:; Take a walk around your house and unplug everything that you can that is not being used. You will be surprised in how many things you can unplug- even when devices are off or not in use, they are still sucking power which you are being charged for. I do this a couple times a week and unplug everything from the coffee maker to chargers of all kind to craft tools like sewing machines and the Cricut.
X- Xerox Favorite Ideas; If you friend shares an idea from a magazine, either craft or recipe, instead of going out and spending money on the magazine, take a copy of the page and you can write a note on the back of the paper with the name of the magazine and month of issue. This also saves the space of stacking up magazines when all you were interested in was a certain article!
Y- Yearly Passes; Pick up yearly passes for some of your favorite places to take the family, here in San Diego, for a little bit more than the regular admission for a day at the SD Zoo, we can get the whole year and go back as many times as we want. It is perfect for weekends, vacations and I have even gone on the occasional random afternoon. Think about saving up for them or maybe making it a standard holiday present for the family to pick one place a year to get passes, they more than pay for themselves and are a great family memory as well.
Z- Zoom Past; There are certain parts of some stores that I just avoid because I know they are too tempting, a great example of this is the entire center section of Costco, all the groceries are around the perimeter and in the middle they have the seasonal, clothes, and non-essential items. If I don’t even see them it is easier to not buy them!
There are of course a ton more ways out there to save money but this was just a fun little list of 26. I hope you found something you could use!!