Thursday, February 17, 2011

Be A Penny Pincher: 5 Ways You Can Put Money In Your Wallet Now

I’ll cut to the chase. I’m a Penny Pincher. While, I may not be the winner in the race among all “frugalistas”, I have made some significant changes in order to be a stay-at-home mom. Even when I worked full-time in the corporate world, I made an effort to do things the cheaper way. At times, this drove my husband crazy. But he got over it, and so will you.

1) Be a Better Grocery Shopper: No, I don’t mean, “be sure to put your cart back in the proper area." I mean, cut coupons. I’ll go one step further and invite you to shop at a cheaper place. In my experience, ALDI has the cheapest prices, hands down. Sure, you have to bring or buy your own bags, but its earth-friendly and you can buy a lot more for a lot less. For example, their DiGiorno style pizza is just over $3.50 and tastes great. I cut my grocery bill by almost half when I started shopping here.

2) Use Craigslist: Seriously, use Craigslist. It’s a website similar to EBAY, but you name the price of the item you’re selling and people buy it from you in person (opt for a public place). It works the other way around, too. You can find really unique (or mass produced) items for A LOT cheaper than you would anywhere else. From a boot mug to a treadmill, it’s all there. Go look through your house, take a picture of what you want to sell, post it at your price and wait for a call (or email, depending on your preference). You will be amazed at the money you can rake in. Also, check out the “Free” and “Wanted” tabs!

3) Consign Your Clothes: This is a great way to get instant cash. Go to your nearest consignment store (call ahead to find out what season they are accepting and if they want the items bagged or on hangers). This works for your accessories, shoes, jewelry, children’s attire and toys. In Oklahoma, you can go to Daisy Exchange or Plato’s Closet.

4) Cut the Cable: Yes, I went there. I remember, a year ago my sister suggested that I turn it off. After I stopped laughing, I told her that I worked too hard to not enjoy some good TV! (Is this ringing any bells with you?) I finally did turn it off earlier this year, and it was actually very liberating!! I don’t have to wonder if the cast of Jersey Shore is tanning/fighting/drinking. I don’t have to catch up on all my DVR’d shows. I have more time to read, workout, write and play with my son. Life just seems less centered around something I used to waste hours sitting in front of. Oh, did I mention I save $110 a month now??

5) Look At Your Cell Plan: Do you really need a jillion minutes? I called my cell carrier, cut back on my plan, got a better text package so I would stop going over, and it saved me $15 a month. That’s $180 a year. Think of it like this. If you could save $20 each month by making a smart change to your plan, that would provide you an extra tank of gas, bag of dog food or an oil change.

I hope you found these helpful. I did. Being a Penny Pincher isn’t so bad and it doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. You can (a list of free things to do will come later). If you have suggestions or tips on how to save money or earn some, please share!!

Thought for the day: Money problems aren’t solved with money. They are solved with discipline, wisdom and restraint. Oh, and having a budget helps, too!

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