This year, something I am really striving to do is save more $.  Aren’t we all these days??  I am already a pretty thrifty shopper but it’s something that I think I could get better at. I strive to be like those Moms I get behind at the grocery store (which by the way, why do I always pick the line that moves the slowest? Does that happen to anyone else?) who whip out their stack of coupons and get a huge cart full of groceries for $13.72. Yeah, I want to be like that in EVERY sense of it! So in order to take baby steps towards this goal, I’ve come up with a few things I’ve been doing in order to stay on budget and to save for my big open future! Here we go…

1. BUY A NEWSPAPER EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY. It’s $2 and you almost ALWAYS get your money’s worth as soon as you clip your first coupons. I clip like nobody’s business! Then I sort them using this handy gadget…

I highly recommend you get one of these to store your coupons in. I scored this one for $1 in the $1 section of Target one day but you can find them in the organizational section of your Target or Walmart. I sort my coupons in 4 major categories:

  • Food
  • Beauty
  • Cleaning
  • Miscellaneous

Each week I sort them while also throwing away expired coupons. I know other friends of mine sort them by expiration date and for some people that may be easier. I also store reciepts, shopping lists, recipes I want to try, gift certificates (more on this later), and few of the rewards cards for the grocery stores in my little pink folder. It fits in my purse and I take it EVERYWHERE. That way I am never without a coupon or a list. It also would come in handy if you are doing any kind of home renovations to keep paint samples, wood samples, or measurments organized.

2. SIGN UP FOR GROUPON.COM. I signed up for this about 3 months ago and I have already saved probably $40 just by getting the daily emails! It’s a totally free service where they send you a “Deal of the Day” to your email. It will offer you gift certificates for restaurants, spas, and even tickets to sporting events. You register what city you live in and it will send a “groupon” to your email each day. For example, I got an email back in November that was offering a $25 gift certificate to Ed’s Tavern for $10. Well I’ve been there to play trivia a few times (actually going tonight -yay!) so I figured it would be a $10 well spent! So basically I am going to get $15 worth of food for free because I spent $10 on the gift certificate 2 months ago! See how it works? It’s a great place to find some deals on things you would purchase anyway!

3. REFILL THE STARBUCKS CARD. I can’t take all the credit for this one. I got the idea from Jess but it’s too smart not to share! I got this giftcard for Christmas and it’s quite nifty because it goes on your keychain. One less card for me to find a place in my wallet! Anywho, in order to watch my Starbucks budget and intake, I put $20 on the card once  a month. With my drink of choice being right at $4, this allows me 5 drinks a month. Or one a week with 1 extra for a special occasion like the movies or coffee with a friend. So far it has worked like a charm! I get my 1 drink a week and the giftcard helps me not indulge at the sight of that green mermaid sign. Great idea, Jess!

4. Last but not least, BUY GROCERIES FOR HOME AND GROCERIES FOR WORK. When I go to the gorcery store, I buy for 2 places: my home fridge and pantry and my work fridge and pantry. Luckily, I work in a small office where I can store food for lunches without having to worry about putting my name on everything. But I usually buy enough dinners and lunches for roughly 2 weeks. This keeps me from eating out so much. Don’t get me wrong, there are some days where a bowl of soup for lunch just isn’t going to cut it. But for the most part, it gives me great pride to make it through an entire day without spending a nickel. Plus, it’s much better for you to eat from the grocery store as much as possible. If I want to eat out, I save it for the weekends or a night out with friends. And of course I have a small piece of the budget for just the occasion.

So there you have it! My 4 little ways to save. I hope they are helpful to some of you! Any other tips that you guys have? All are welcome!!