Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
If you haven’t guessed yet, this post will be about finding great deals and saving — a notion near and dear to my penny-pinching heart.
As my Grandma used to say, “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a ship.”
Okay . . . So my Grandma didn’t say that; Benjamin Franklin did, but still, wise words, don’t you agree? Another great quote: “Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.”
Something that never fails to get my heart racing? Finding a treasure for the pauper’s price! I have this little game I like to play with my friends called: “Guess what I paid for this?” Picture a grown woman squealing, jumping up and down, unable to contain herself, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what this looks like. Am I ashamed? No way! I love, love, LOVE a good deal, and though it does require a keen eye to spot them, and a bit of patience and perseverance, it really does pay off! I frequent thrift-stores weekly, garage sales when I can, and comb the clipper magazine when it arrives (or else I’ll forget) Short on extra time? Have daily Groupons/Amazon alerts sent directly to your inbox!
Favorite deal this week: a one year magazine subscription for $5 found here: http://www.groupon.com. This might not be celebration worthy to you, but I love sifting through a magazine in my downtime; however, they run almost $4 a piece! This deal was absolutely a Cara-crave 🙂
If you have not stumbled upon Groupon yet, stop whatever you’re doing and go now! They have deals for nearly every city and state. Living Social is another great site that personalizes deals to fit your needs and lifestyle.
Another site for the thrifty mom, wife, or frugal individual: http://www.coupons.com/ They provide printable coupons and a search engine where you can enter your zip code to receive coupons valid in your specific area.
Below are a few other facts for the frugal, many of which are common-sense and certainly not novel, but in the event you hadn’t espoused these budget-friendly concepts, I wanted to pass them along. I know I always appreciate hearing about how others save, and sometimes the simplicity is so simple that I never would have considered it.
1) Two things I won’t compromise on: organic meats and skin/hair care. While you’ll usually end up having to shell out a bit for more your organic meats without receiving any sort lagniappe (Lagniappe: a small giftgiven with a purchase to a customer, by way of complimentor for good measure; bonus.) I have a great system I use for “Sticking it to the man” in the skin/hair care area. Ask for samples!! Yes, you WILL have to initially spend the big bucks for your Keils, Dr. Dennis Gross, Dermalogica, Pureology, etc… but most of the places where you purchase these products are more than happy to supply you with ample samples. Ha! That rhymes! So when you pick up your $32 face wash (I use this one — AH-mazing! http://www.dgskincare.com/products.cfm?cid=20) have them toss in a few eye-creams, a moisturizer, a serum. Something! I do this every single time (don’t be afraid to ask for more if they’re getting skimpy with you; you’ve spent your hard earned money!) I buy something, and subsequently I have a drawer full of ready-to-be-enjoyed samples, at a value I would estimate to be somewhere in the $75 range. Oh, yea! *fist pump*
2) Don’t let large quantities scare you. You want to always check the price per ounce. This can be tricky sometimes, but usually there’s a little tag just beneath the item that will say .79 per ounce or .96 per ounce. Much of the time you will usually end up saving by purchasing the larger item. And if you use it regularly, even better!
3) Buy generic! It is almost always the exact same product! This especially goes for most over-the-counter medicines, toiletries, and cleaning products. Look for an identical active ingredient, and if it’s the same, well then keep the extra couple of dollars and go get yourself a smoothie from Juice it up!
4) Grab a frequent visitor card! Food and beverage chains are notorious for having these money-saving little babies! 5 punches and the 6th is free!
One of my favorite ways to spend a fun — but inexpensive — night with the Hubs is dinner and a movie. Now depending on where you live and what you like to eat, this can cost anywhere from $45-100. After a full week of writing, usually I am desperate by Friday night to slip into something that doesn’t have a draw-string sewn into the waist, and sit down somewhere with stellar ambiance; however, I don’t want to have to hand over a child and an organ to be able to afford it. So I cheat. The solution: happy hour and a movie from Redbox.
Scroll down and then . . .
*cue the angels singing*
While their most expensive rental tops out at $2, Redbox frequently puts out codes for $1 off any rental. (If you just get the regular DVDs and not the Blue Ray, that means it’s free!) It is valid anytime Friday through Sunday at midnight.
They have sent out coupon codes the last 3 or 4 weekends through their e-mail! If you’re not already on their mailing list, you may want to sign up! (You get a free code for signing up as well.)
Here are some additional codes that are always valid if you have not already used them (once per debit/credit card).
Fabulous Happy Hours:
Obviously not all of these restaurants will be available in the area you live, but many are in fact chains, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to list them.
Taco Rosa: http://www.tacorosa.com
RA: http://www.rasushi.com (Their rockin’ shrimp is scrumptious!!)
Cheesecake Factory: www.thecheesecakefactory.com/
Yard House: http://www.yardhouse.com
I know much of this seems terribly obvious — and it is. Consistency is going to be your greatest asset when saving is the goal. Making lunches and brewing coffee at home instead of buying out, saying no to the easy purchases and taking the time to dig around for a deal. As much as it pains me, there are some expenses — many of them activities — that even with a frugal mind and determined attitude, savvy won’t be of much benefit. It is for these reasons we save. You pinch where you can, and then you have the ability step aboard something like this . . .
Rent this for a few days . . .
And with your very own eyes, see something like this . . .
Worth it? Definitely.
** If you have any suggestions/recommendations, or simple ways in which you’ve discovered how to cut costs, please feel free to leave them in the comment section!