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Frugality

Don’t Miss Out On Easy Savings: Coupons – The Final Edition

Groceries Now we’re finally onto the good stuff. Actually saving money. Sometimes it takes time to save money and couponing is no different.

Using Coupons

Are you prepare to save a ton of money?

Just to let you know, every where has different coupon policies so be sure to check your local store. I’m going to give you the rules for the place I use because it’s pretty basic and I still save a lot of money. I shop at Publix in Florida just for the FYI.

Here’s a few rules for couponing:

  • Double Coupons
  • Buy items on sale
  • you can use 1 manufactured coupon/competitor coupon and 1 store coupon per item
  • Buy one, get one free sales are the best

Doubling

I can’t double in Florida. Not allowed for some reason, but I’m looking into it getting that changed (not really but I’m thinking about it a lot). Anyways, in other states you can double manufacturing coupons that are 50 cents or less, so right there you can save up to $1. That’s one of the reasons to buy more than one paper.

Buy Sale Items

The best thing you can do is look through the weekly ad of wherever you shop and make your list based on what’s on sale. Don’t make the excuse of “nothing I buy ever goes on sell.” Ummm…then start buying what’s on sale. Stop being so picky because it’s costing you a lot of money. Plus A LOT of items go on sale, so I’m sure you can find something that you like.

Buy One Get One FREE

This is the mother load of savings. When you do this deal you can use 4 coupons, yea 4. You’re essentially buying 2 items so you can use 1 manufacture coupon for each and one store coupon for each. So lets say I see that my favorite cereal is BOGOF. It normally costs $4, so I get to use 2 manufacture coupons of $1 off each and 2 store coupons for $1 each. If you can’t count that equals FREE. Doing this can sometimes even get you money back. Now deals aren’t always that great, but they do happen often.

Using these strategies I’ve been able to spend just as much as I save every time I shop. Like, I’ll spend $30 and end up saving $30 or even more sometimes.

Get Some Help

Of course finding savings and putting coupons together with them can be a time consuming task. So, why not have someone do it for you. No, you don’t have to pay for it. There are sites out there that actually post the weekly ads along with which coupons go with it and where they can be found. They also can tell you what’s going to be in the upcoming Sunday coupons so you can plan better. These are a few of the sites I use:

That’s it. This ends the series on coupons. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. Now go out there and save some money. :)

What’s the most you’ve ever saved? Do you think couponing is worth the time spent collecting coupons?

Check out the beginning of this series Don’t Miss Out On Easy Savings: Coupons Pt 1

Frugality

Grandma’s Christmas Shopping “Money Saving Tips”

It doesn’t matter how committed we are to saving money throughout the year, somehow the holidays roll around and there is never enough to do all that we want to do. By the time we figure out who needs what and then remember all the ‘little’ gifts we need to buy for Secret Santa and the kids’ teachers, that money goes all too quickly. In my 60+ years on this planet, I have learned some real ‘money saving tips’ that can get you through the holidays intact, with a gift for everyone and a little breathing room to boot!

Start Christmas Shopping December 26

Of course we all know that Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) all merchandise goes on sale by as much as 50% off. While we generally tend to buy things we need on that day, like housewares and clothing, it’s time to rethink all those marvelous sales. Keep back a small bit of your ‘Christmas budget’ just for using on this day to start buying for next year.If you find a really great bargain on an item that could be given to any number of family members or friends, buy it! Pack it away until next December and you will already be one gift ahead.

After Christmas Deals Online

When I was growing up, there were no personal computers, and certainly no internet, so any after Christmas deals had to be found at local retail merchants. The beauty of living in the 21st century is that literally every retailer has after Christmas deals that they post online which makes it a perfect time to start thinking about next year. Sure, some products may be obsolete by then and of course you can’t buy perishable goods. However, many items such as jewelry and toys are marked down so significantly that it actually pays to buy a few things this far ahead. Some stores even offer free shipping! There are online sites like Dealio.com that will search the web for the best after Christmas deals and provide links for you to follow. This makes searching so much easier.

End of Winter Sales

One of the best times to buy winter clothing is during the end of season sales. These sales can be found both online and at local retailers. There isn’t a Christmas that passes where we don’t buy some sort of clothing as gifts for children, spouses or even friends. Take advantage of the end of winter sales that generally start sometime in late February or early March when all the Spring and Summer fashions hit the shelves. If you’re buying for growing children, just buy a size or two larger than they are in now! These sales are too good to pass up and can significantly lower the cost of your Christmas gifts for next year.

Two for the Price of One

Unless you have a Christmas savings account at your credit union or bank that can’t be touched until a certain time of the year, when you find a ‘two for one’ sale at any time during the year jump on it! If you have to dip into that savings account in May or June, it is money well spent. Because those will be Christmas gifts that you’re tucking away, there is no need to feel guilty about spending the money. Even if you only know where one of the items is going, don’t worry! Some last minute gift always crops up unexpected and you’ll have an extra on hand.

Christmas in July

Most of us look at Christmas in July as just another gimmick where merchants try to rid themselves of stock to make room for new items. This may be true, but use it to your advantage. The weather may be 95 degrees in the shade and the furthest thing from our minds is Christmas, yet those sales are just too good to waste. Buy a few gifts to add to your booty and when Christmas shopping rolls around you might be almost halfway there! This is a perfect time for toys, housewares and electronics. Clothing would probably be out of season by Christmas, but gadgets are in season all year long.

Cyber Monday Deals

One of the ‘newer’ traditions I have become familiar with is Cyber Monday deals. Of course, we didn’t have them when my kids were growing up, but for parents raising kids today, this is the perfect way to go shopping without those rug rats catching wind of what you’re buying. It sure does beat paying a babysitter too! Just wait until they are nicely tucked into bed, and boot up your computer. Cyber Monday deals begin on the Monday after Thanksgiving and every merchant who has website will have some kind of fantastic promotion that you can only find online. There are great sites that will even list all the Cyber Monday deals in one place so that you can click from link to link to link. Gifts are usually delivered during the day, so just pack them away while the kids are in school and they’ll never be the wiser.

These are just some things I have learned along the way, and if you get creative, there are tons more ways to literally cut your Christmas budget in half. Online deals, end of season sales, Christmas in July and ‘two for the price of one’ are just some tricks that I have used to save some money along the way. I have even found that if I shop wisely, I can give more gifts and still come out ahead. You’d be amazed what a little advance planning and a PC (with internet access of course) can do to provide some real savings on Christmas shopping. Who knows, you might even have enough left over to go out for New Year’s Eve!

This was a guest post provided by the writers of dealio.com

What have you learned when shopping for the holidays?

 

Frugality

Benefits of leasing and asset finance

Buying property such as a new car or house is not easy due to the large initial cost. However, you may need to own it at some point. Leasing and asset finance is one of the convenient and affordable ways you can get what you need without having to raise a large amount of cash up front. Through leasing, you can use the asset for a decided time after which you can buy the property or return it to the owner. Some of the benefits of leasing include:

Increase your purchasing power

Leasing helps you to increase your purchasing power so that you can acquire better quality equipment rather than settling for something cheaper and most often than not less effective. You may need a vehicle that is worth $2,000 but you only have $900. You can use this amount to lease the vehicle of your choice for the time you need to use it, the actual cost of the vehicle not being a factor. This way, you get what you need without having to compromise due to cost.

Enjoy tax advantages

Depending on the sort of leasing contract that you have, you may enjoy some tax benefits. The availability of these benefits depends on various factors and you can find out more about them from your accountant.

Hedge against inflation

Most equipment prices often depreciate with time and usage. However, when leasing, your payments apply to the use of the equipment. Therefore, you do not suffer inflationary pressures. Furthermore, you are not subject to losses when it comes to resale of the equipment.

Flexible payments

One of the biggest advantages of leasing with http://leasequit.com/and asset finance is the flexible payments that you make towards the leasing contract. These payments plan designs conveniently fit into your income budget rather than going through the pressure of raising a large amount of cash. These flexible payments can also contribute to the hire purchase cost of the equipment if you intend to own it after completing the leasing period.

Leasing gives you options

If you are not ready to commit to a single asset or if you are unsure of the long-term needs of the equipment, leasing is the only way to make sure you do not end up with dead weight that costs a lot of money. Most leasing contracts have provisions for returning, extending or purchasing the equipment after the leasing term is complete. Leasing fits into a wide range of budget allocations.

Enjoy the warranty period

Most leases for equipment such as vehicles run for about three years. This is almost equivalent to the warranty period of a new vehicle. Therefore, the warranty covers most of the repairs done to the vehicle during the leasing period at little or no extra cost to you. However, you also need to play your part in maintaining the equipment in good condition to prevent any penalty fees at the end of the lease.

Frugality

Don’t Miss Out On Easy Savings: Coupons Pt 2

4522501474_fb4909d3a1 Last week I went over different places to get coupons. This week I’ll be going over how to organize those coupons.

Organizing

This is the process that will make or break you. If you have problems doing this you will probably give up so I’m going to try and give you the easiest way to do it.

What you’ll need is an accordion file, about letter size is going to be your best bet. It’s very portable and easy to use, so you can bring it to the store with you.

*Side note*

There are other ways to store your coupons, this is just how I do it and it seems to be the most portable. Another way you can do it is to buy a binder and sleeve with pockets. The only thing about it is that it’s a big upfront cost, but it’s another way to do it.

*End side note*

So, in what order do you want to put them? Well that’s a toughy. There are several ways to do it and only you can really decide what you like best. Here’s a couple of ways to do it, with their pros and cons.

Brand (My Preference)

Pro: It’s easy to know the brand name of a product, so looking up something is pretty easy.

Cons: If you want to compare the different coupons for a type of product to get the best deal (ex. laundry detergent) you might not be able to think of all of the different brands. So you might miss a really good coupon you have for a brand you don’t use often.

Category (Not My Preference)

Pro: Easy to look under a category of a product you need. Want detergent? Look under that section.

Con: It can take time to get the categories listed in a way that’s easy for you to use. If you don’t make the categories small enough, like Detergent, it can get overwhelming.  For instance, if you name it Laundry, there can be a lot of different coupons in that section.

When you organize your coupons I’d recommend putting the ones that are going to expire at the front of their designated section. This will remind you to use them first before they expire.

After a while you’ll build up a rather large supply of coupons. What you can do to keep order is to paper clip groups together (ex. all of the A brands, all of the sauces). That can help keep things civil in your organizer.

And Finally!!!

Now you’re all set. Get to couponing…ohhhh I forgot that part didn’t I? Well lucky for you there’s another episode next week that will explain it. So stay tuned to see how to use coupons for the best savings….dun dun dunnnn!!!

P.S. Some of the links in this post I earn a little bit of money from, in order to pay my bills. But I promise to never to intentionally lead you to a bad company and to never let the money affect my opinion.

How do you organize your coupons? Do you have any tips or any questions about this post?

Check out the Last Part of the Series

Frugality

Several creative ways to help you to reduce your power bill

It has become a common thing to look for ways to reduce the household budget. It is definitely a necessity to get to know ways in which you can reduce your household expenses and particularly power bills, because there are tough economic times across the globe and this has necessitated greater wisdom in spending.  There are sources of power such as solar power that are very cost-effective because they have one of the lowest LOCE, and therefore this low cost is transferred to the consumer.

These are some of the things you can do to help you to reduce your power bills:

  • One sure way to reduce your power expenses is to change to solar power. Though there initial costs for the solar panels or solar trackers, it’s much cheaper in the long-run because the maintenance costs are almost nil as you continue to enjoy using the power. There is also the alternative of leasing the solar equipment if it’s available at a source near you. This will save you the initial costs of actually buying the equipment required.
  • Switch off and unplug all power sources when they are not in use. When you are not using electricity, you need to unplug your electrical appliances so that they don’t continue using power. Appliances such as computers, DVD Players, Televisions, air conditioners, etc continue to use some electricity if you leave them plugged in even though you are not using them.
  • Get rid of old appliances because they consume more electricity. Generally old models of appliances like fridges and TVs tend to consume a lot of power and they will run up your power bill. New models of fridges and other appliances tend to use electricity more efficiently and therefore you will get a huge saving of your power expenses in the long-run if you switch to new models.
  • Do not use your air conditioning or heating system more than needed. The air conditioning system or heating system in your house is a huge consumer of electricity. Many times when it’s hot, you really don’t need to switch on the A/C. You could actually use other methods to cool yourself down such as simply using a fan or just wearing less heavy clothing. On the other side, during the cold season, you could use other ways to warm yourself up, such as wearing warm heavy clothing, and drinking hot fluids. Only turn on your A/C or heater if you really need them on, otherwise limit their use so that you lower your electricity costs.
  • Change to LED bulbs. These type of bulbs use about half the amount of power that the other normal light bulbs would use. The LED bulbs may cost more than the other bulbs, but the gain in power bills is much more than the initial cost of the bulbs. In addition, the general costs of LED bulbs have come down substantially recently and this also makes them an excellent option.

All the best as you lower your household power bill.

Bio

Steven Charter is a specialist in the topic of exploring different power sources and comparing the costs and benefits of the various types. He has studied the different costs of generating power and has done research on which types have the lowest LCOE.