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Friday, August 10, 2012

Beyond couponing: Ways to save money outside of clipping coupons

 Paying off credit cards immediately reduces extra interest costs
Growing a garden reduced the need to buy vegetables

By Debra Johnson

Couponing has exploded recently, largely due to shows like Extreme Couponing that make couponing big business, and a lot of people mistakenly believe that this is the best or only way to save money. However it’s unlikely that the average person has enough time in their day to clip coupons and check deals and buy items in that large of quantities to justify that type of extreme couponing. And while couponing itself is a great practice, it’s not the only way to save money in your everyday life. In fact, sometimes it’s the smallest changes that make the biggest difference. Here are some minor changes that you can implement to make a major difference:
  1. Check out the local library. Every month people pay money for streaming and rental services like Netflix and Hulu to watch different TV shows and movies when they could be watching the same things courtesy of their local libraries. But it’s safe to say that a lot of people probably don’t even know where their local library is. However local libraries are stocked with DVDs of movies and TV shows and you’re able to check them out for free. Ditch the monthly subscription services and find your nearest library – that $10 a month that you save can add up nicely over the years. 
  2. Join E-bates. If you do any sort of shopping online (and let’s be honest here, most people do) then you should consider joining E-bates. The website links up with retailers all over the web and gives you a percentage of the money you spend back to you. Not to mention, it’s free to join, so there’s really no reason not to sign up and start saving.  

  3. Grocery shop mid-week. Instead of hitting up the grocery stores on the weekends, try shopping mid-week instead. Grocers tend to mark down items that need to sell quickly before their weekend shipments come in, and you can score vegetables, fruit, dairy products, and meat products, just to name a few, on clearance if you go before the weekend hits.

  4. Pay with cash. Mindlessly swiping your debit card is one of the leading causes behind spending too much money because it’s so easy to do. Instead of pulling out your debit or credit card while you’re out, take a set amount of cash with you and stick to only spending that. You’ll be much more aware of where your money is going when you have a finite amount to spend. 

  5. Comparison shop everything. Whether you’re scanning grocery flyers or shopping for the best vacation rates, comparison shopping can save you a ton of money. It may take you more time to do, but the time you’re spending is nothing compared to how much you’ll end up saving, and once you start doing it regularly it will become second nature.
One of the best ways to cut back on spending and save money is to become very aware of what you’re spending and to really evaluate if it’s something that you actually need or not. Don’t be afraid to turn down going out if it’s not truly in the budget, and find alternatives, like hosting a potluck dinner at your house or a game night, instead. The little changes can make a big difference in the amount of money you spend and save. 

About the author: This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of live out nanny. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: - jdebra84 @ gmail.com.

Image license: US-PDGov


  1. Hey! I was reading through your website and loved the design and content. Is there any way I could help contribute?


  2. Very useful information, thanks for your generosity. More power to you!