What kinds of things do you do to save money besides coupons?

Katherine - posted on 10/08/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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I freecycle a lot. I've gotten a lot that way. Not food obviously although people offer it.
So what else do you do?

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Tamyra - posted on 11/30/2011

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I make my own detergent and cut my dryer sheets in half. I also hang up my clothes to dry and fluff for about 10-15 minutes the next day. I shop second hand for my toddlers clothes , books and some toys. I make alot of foods from scratch. I also stock up when there are sales.

Kelly - posted on 11/06/2011

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Your local subway will throw out their bread at the end of the day. Maybe you can go to the store manager and set something up to get the loaves that they would normally throw out! I did this once and I ended up with 30 plus loaves lol. Also sign up for jcp rewards and kohls stuff. They randomly send you coupons for $10.00 off a purchase of $10.00 or more which means you can get something for FREE! I use them to stock up on gifts for friends and family.

Denikka - posted on 10/08/2011

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Buy in bulk whenever I can. And I do a lot of second hand shopping for clothes and furniture.
I also wait for really good deals at the store and then stock up on things whenever I can. In store sales are generally on some kind of rotation schedule, so if you learn the schedule and stock up on those items, enough to last till the next sale, you rarely, if ever, have to pay full price.
I also buy extra and stockpile whatever I can whenever it's on sale. That way I can buy a lot less during the more difficult months, like December of birthday months :)

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Michelle - posted on 03/31/2013

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I have enrolled in different membership programs which provide discounts when we shop as a group....A couple of women from my locality do this....

That said...coupons are still the best way to save money...A friend of mine came back from Europe recently and her biggest complaint there was that everything is so expensive and there is hardly any mass usage of coupons... we are blessed here for sure :)
that is why is use coupons whenever i can..saves me money...its the easiest way to do it...no hassle...i use a couple of website for coupons in Charlotte but my favorite is http://www.dealsavingmoms.com

Might also be because a friend of mine owns the website...Yes i am biased because it helps me save tons......

Lovelymom - posted on 03/29/2013

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sell things on ebay..thts what i do for extra cash. I buy stuff thats worth buying at a cheap price at thrift stores then resell for double my profit

It takes a while but once u get the hang of the cycle of selling its a piece of cake

Cina - posted on 03/05/2013

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Good question! Clipping coupons is not the only way to save money in our daily life.
For me,
1. I always choose to buy things in bulk.
2. And before I make my decision, I will compare prices on different stores and choose the one with best price.
3. I always make a shopping list before I go out for shopping. It's easy, but useful.
4. I like read articles about shopping & saving tips. One of my favorite saving tips blogs is http://www.promopro.com/. I can always get great tips from it.
5. I always cook by myself. I think it does save me a lot. :)

[deleted account]

We have 1 income, but we still want to save up towards retirement as much as possible.



1) We unplug everything except the 4 major kitchen appliances, water softener, and cordless phone when not in use.



2) Our Florida home is slightly under 1600sq ft. During winter, we wear extra layers, use 2 temperature-controlled space heaters, and allow the sunlight in during the daytime. During summer, we wear less clothes and use the ceiling fan when the room is occupied. When it feels like a 100 degree outside, we open all the windows, wear bathing suits, and use extra fans. Our electric bill is usually around $70...but always under a $100.



3) We bought a pack of 3 LED lights from Costco. Each bulb uses only 2.5watts. We use 1 bulb to light the house when we are ready to settle down for the night. Eventually, we would like to convert all of our CFL bulbs to LED bulbs. Our hallway lights are also LED. Lowe's does sell daylight LED bulbs now.



4) We have lots of home improvement projects so we are always looking at clearance items at Lowe's and Home Depot. Active and Retired military are able to use the 10% military discount at these 2 stores...sometimes in addition to certain sales. Anything labeled as "clearance" will not allow this discount.



5) If you have time, you should walk down each aisle in the stores. Stores put clearance items in random places. We recently got a $99 KitchenAid food processor for $56.



6) This might sound kind of gross, but if you can stand it when using the toilet for #1, flush after a few uses to reduce water usage.



7) I saw a TLC channel show about cheapskates where a big family with 1 income used washable cloths for toilet paper. I think I will do the same. I will cut up bad clothes for wipes.



8) I am considering making homemade soaps since there are way too many chemicals in soaps sold in stores, regardless of their misleading "organic" and "baby safe" labels. I use http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ to help check the toxicity of products we use.



9) We mainly use cloths instead of paper towels.



10) We mainly use baking soda, vinegar, and/or rubbing alcohol to clean instead of expensive & toxic store cleaners. I think people aren't using toxic store products as much, and as a result, maybe this is why Proctor & Gamble is trimming 10% of their labor force.



11) We replaced all carpets with tile or wood flooring. I hate carpets because it is never really clean. Plus, I won't have to vacuum as much because tile/wood flooring doesn't acquire as much dust. It also helps to not wear shoes in the house. I still vacuum once a week. Instead of a mop, I have the Rubbermaid version of Swiffer except it comes with a refillable cleaning bottle, 3 washable microfiber cleaning pads, and the pump is manual.



12) When we were raising my teen sister and teen nephew, they had to take sailor showers. Our water bill was usually under $60 until we had our baby. Since I often wash her butt instead of using wipes, our bill is usually under $70.



13) We are eating out less since it is hard to determine where the restaurants buy their food supply like China, Thailand, and Vietnam. Are their meats organic? After I saw "Meet Your Meat" video, we cook with organic meat as much as possible. I rather pay more up front on my food bill than pay more for medical bills later on. We always read the ingredients when shopping for food, if we can't pronounce or understand it, then we don't buy it.



14) We stopped buying bottled beverages. We make coffee, teas, and hot chocolate instead.



15) Our 6 year old Corolla has almost 200,000 miles, but we drive slow and steady, which usually gives us 36mpg with city and highway. We get the full synthetic engine oil sale deal at Advanced Auto Parts, which includes a Bosch oil filter...all for $30. Then Hubby changes the oil himself. I use to change the oil myself since I was 14, but Hubby worries about me so he does it now. We use the washable K&N air filter.



16) We recycle almost everything so we don't have much trash to take out, which means we can use less trash bags.



17) We keep our major appliances clean of dust and gunk so they will last longer and consume less energy.



18) We hang our clothes, and we don't use any softener.



19) We use the washing machine and dishwasher late at night because "allegedly" the power company charges less after peak hours.



20) We let our lawn go natural and mow whatever grows. So we aren't wasting money on watering and fertilizing.



21) We are starting an organic produce garden in our tiny backyard.



22) We love finding clearance deals at Bealls, Bealls Outlet, Rooms To Go Outlet, Ross, Marshalls, Babies R Us, and various other stores. I bought 14 casual shorts with at least 2 pockets each for $46 at Bealls using their store coupon and waiting for their extra 40% off on already clearance prices. I also bought a 12 month and 3T sweater for our daughter for $11 at Babies R Us because they have an extra 40% off on already clearance prices on clothes until the 02/26/12.



23) To maximize our retirement fund, we allocated $25 weekly per person for whatever we want and $100 weekly for grocery. We limit our use of credit and debit cards to help us maintain our retirement goal.

Carol - posted on 02/24/2012

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We do price matching at Wal-Mart. On Sundays we scan the ads and match them up to coupons as best we can. On average we save about 25% of our bill - that includes non-food items like car maintenance stuff or kitchen gadgets. Over a year, that adds up to 3 free months of groceries. We also just started a garden. Since we're 1000 miles from our last garden, I don't know how the veggies will work out. Our realtor looked at us like we had 3 heads when we asked about vegetable gardens. He'd never had one and hadn't shown any houses with them!!! Seriously??? I live in Georgia, not Antartica. I know things grow in this weird orange clay. I just wanted to know the growing season. Thank God for the internet.

Erica - posted on 02/18/2012

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On utilities, get a power strip for your main TV and turn it off and unplug it while your gone all day at work and every night while your asleep not using it. If you have a DVR and record programs throughout the day as we do, leave just the box plugged into the wall not the power strip--get ur shows and save a few $....we use coupons and have a rule that if we save 20$ in coupons we put 20$ into our piggy bank/chnage jar. We plan to use the $ for a vacation at the end of the year. Last year we had over 300 in just 6months of it. And our electric bill has gone down 5-7 dollars a moth since we started as we are human and do forget but it all adds up!

Proud - posted on 02/15/2012

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Buy in bulk

2nd hand clothing in good condition

Yard sales

Markdown shelves at stores





A few examples:



A few weeks ago a certain baby food was in the markdown rack for 35 cents a jar.



Our grocery store has a shelf of day old donuts/breads. They also have a whole aisle that is $1 items.



Our town has a page on Facebook where people can post items they have for sale or giveaway.



We got a very nice crib for like $20, a baby swing for $3, a stroller/car seat with 2 car bases for $60, a brand new crib mattress for $5...etc

Chrissy - posted on 02/13/2012

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To MAKE money, I sell things at kids seasonal consignment sales. You can find a sale near you at www.ConsignmentMommies.com

Correy - posted on 02/11/2012

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I have found Freecycle.org to be the best free way to give/receive gently used items!



I also Google coupons and coupon codes for all kinds of things..

Trisha - posted on 01/31/2012

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We had to cut back majorly all together on groceries...we tend to buy in bulk on some items as well. We will buy bread in bulk and freeze the loaves until we need them. They actually taste fresh too. We don't eat out at all. As far as clothing goes...we don't have any extra cash most of the time (one income) so I tend to use a store charge on my daughters clothing. I just don't have $5 to buy that sale item when I'm out. (It's hard enough trying to keep fresh fruit in the house....thank God for my charge.) I am still paying off her school wardrobe. As far as for me...I pretty much live in rags and my husbands old t'shirts. I have a few things that look ok if I need to go anywhere. Nothing very stylish, lol. My husband buys work clothes on clearance and I sew his pants if they rip so he doesn't need new ones. I also sew my daughters shoes and clothes if they need fixed too...I just can't hem (no sewing machine). We try not to use too much energy in the home...lights, heat, cooling, etc. The bills can be outrageous! On some really hot days I keep the curtains closed so I don't have to overuse my air conditioner. Every Christmas I have to borrow money from my mom...well, this year I have started saving a little from each check so I won't have to do that hopefully. Luckily, I am pretty frugal so I make things work.

Toni - posted on 01/27/2012

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I do my grocery shopping once a fortnight and get bulk. everything I can freeze or put in the pantry i get then and only do a small top up shop in the middle week.

When I need things like clothes or shoes I try to buy them online as I can find much better prices. Op shops are great too.

Swap meets and trading posts have alot too.

Tyeshia - posted on 01/14/2012

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Shop at the farmers market as much as possible for fruits and veggies especially. They are way cheaper than the grocery stores and more healthy. Also, if you do shop at the grocery store buy veggies only when you need them. They tend to go bad fast and then you waste money buying more.

Jaime - posted on 01/14/2012

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1. When making tacos I add a baked potatoe (cut up into small pieces) and mix it in to make the meal larger. It is a really good combination and my family likes it. It works as a great alternative to refried beans (something my husband hates).



2. In our family, because we are on a budget, save all of our loose change and then at the end of the month do something fun with it. We usually have about $15 in change!



3. We too, cut our dryer sheets in half.



4. We dilute our juices.



5. We put dimmers on our light switches.



6. We recently refinanced our house with $0 closing costs - this saved us $100 a month! Right now we need that savings, one day I'll be able to apply it to principal again. :)



7. We switched cable companies and saved another $100 a month. (you can always negotiate with the cable companies).



8. We use a heated mattress pad and have a space heater instead of turning up the thermostat in the winter months.



I am a personal finance nut and I love finding new ways to save money (besides coupons). Send me a shout!

Rose - posted on 01/01/2012

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When I'm tight on money I go to the 99 cents store, they have really good quality stuff and you can buy fruits, veggies, and even clothes there!

Hiipoi - posted on 12/28/2011

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i freecycle, get free stuff or buy cheap stuff from craigslist. I shop at garage sales and i also shop at the rubbish dump (they have a recycle center there). I always look around for great deals for anything. And if I go to a grocery store or a clothing store and something is really cheap i literally take the entire shelf or as much as i can fit in my car. Last year i bought 45 jackets for 75 cents each. my mom gave all those jackets as christmas gifts this year. I also stock up on tv dinners if they are a dollar or less because its hard to cook for 4 small kids that are constantly hungry.

Allie - posted on 12/13/2011

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I'm not especially proud of this but I thought I would share... I had trouble making ends meet and went online looking... and got in contact with an early 30's engineer who was looking for a "friends with benefits" type relationship... I have been seeing him 2-3 times a week for seven months and he pays me $1000 per month... he's a very nice man, I enjoy spending time with him, and in about 10 hours a week I pay for my rent and get to spend a lot of extra time with my son.

Alleah - posted on 12/12/2011

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This last year my husband was unemployed while I was working a minimum wage food industry job at just under full time. We scrimped and scrounged and discovered a bunch of ways to save.
1) Making meals from scratch, and preparing more than I need to save for lunch the next day helped me out a lot, and is healthier for you!
2) bottle returns. I found lots of people around me who just didn't feel like trading in their bottles and cans, so i'd offer to take them off their hands. Not only did it net me ten to twenty bucks every couple of weeks (sometimes upward of $60!), but a cool hour and a half of time to myself while I drove to the return it and organized recyclables! When you don't have the money for dates, an hour to yourself can be just what the doctor ordered, even if it is technically an errand! :P
3) Dollar stores are great for all those little odd things that you never think about until you need them. I've gotten most of my cooking utensils, wash cloths, scrubbies, and glassware from dollar stores. The good ones, like Dollarama even have oven-safe dishware!
4) Drive the speed limit. Sounds silly, but it will help you save on gas, and give your brakes a longer life, when you're not jamming the breaks because of a badly timed yellow light, or the sudden appearance of a traffic cop!
5) One more thing: all those bath sets people will give you for Christmas? Everyone of them comes with shower jel, and while you might not get around to using it in the shower, they make great substitutes for handsoap in the bathroom! I went through my stockpile of old bath products when my husband first lost his job, and didn't buy hand soap or body wash again for eight months. In a pinch it can even be used as shampoo.

Hope these help! :)

Katrina - posted on 10/13/2011

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I buy meats when they're marked down. I also buy concentrated green cleaning supplies. They're cheaper in the long run & safer for my family. I look for sales like the other moms.

[deleted account]

Canning is fun once you get the basics down! I do the same thing with turkey, chicken and ham. I freeze the left overs in portion size packages. I don't make a lot of stock either. I keep low sodium bullion in the cabinet and mix with water when I need broth for something.

I love freecycle and craigslist too! My husbund got lucky one day and found a person giving away 144 mason jars for on craigslist. We never have to buy jars again! LOL

[deleted account]

I'm still learning to can. I do make my own stock and freeze it. We buy a turkey about every other month or so. A 20 lb bird lasts us for 5+ meals as well as sandwhiches. We don't use a lot of stock when we need it in recipes, so buying is a waste anyway.

[deleted account]

Does any one can or preserve their own food? We found it less expensive to pick our own fruits and veggies at local farms and orchards. Then we bring them home and make all sorts of yummy goodies that we preserve in Mason jars! It's a great family activity too!

[deleted account]

I do the same as Angela especially with breads. I can get the good breads for the price of the store brand. I shop around for big purchases and often get them through price match deals and returns. I recently got my daughter a twin mattress for half off because of both a price match and that it was a return (not a thing is wrong with it).

[deleted account]

Our grocery store has a section in the back with day old bread and bakery items. There is also a scratch & dent shelf with canned goods. Sometimes they put cake mixes and cereal with ripped or torn boxes out too (as long as the bag on the inside isn't open) I take an extra minute or two to check them out because they are usually marked down 33-50%.

Katherine - posted on 10/08/2011

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Good ideas!! I try to Christmas shop throughout the year. Right now I'm unemployed though. Which really sucks.

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