Simple rules for successful savings

By: Jill Maxwell
By: Jill Maxwell

When I shop, I have some basic rules I follow. Believe me, some of them can save you money!

When I shop, I have some basic rules I follow. Believe me, some of them can save you money! Here are some of them:

1. Don’t go hungry. I know this sounds funny, but if I go hungry everything looks good and I tend to pick up something I don’t need. I’m not a big bread eater, but boy if I’m hungry, walking through the bakery area around croissants, homemade breads…I can’t resist it!

2. Go alone. As much as we complain about no one else doing the shopping or helping with the shopping, it’s more cost effective NOT to take the spouse and kids! When I take the child along, it usually costs me. Either they want things that aren’t on the list or on sale and eventually you cave to get them to stop pestering! Not good. That box of cereal that cost $5 – was it really necessary? And when I take my husband it’s worse! He doesn’t ask. I get to the checkout and see these items that I didn’t put in the basket (like chocolate covered Oreos). Somehow, they magically fall into the cart because he’ll innocently ask “how did that get in there”?

3. Bigger is not always better. Just because the package is larger doesn’t mean the price is better. A couple weeks ago I needed laundry detergent (and boy that’s not cheap!). I had a coupon for $1.50 off 2 containers of All. Well, right there at eye level was the 100 oz. size for $8.99. I happened to glance down to the bottom shelf and there were the 50 oz. for $3.99! So, I bought the 2 smaller containers for $7.98 plus $1.50 off - $6.48 for the same 100 oz. Yes, this requires math, so brush up on those math skills or get a small calculator!

4. Buy 10 for $10 does not always mean you have to buy 10! This week, Hamburger or Chicken Helper was on sale at several stores for the $10 deal. I had a coupon for $1.00 off the purchase of 3. I got them for $1.00 and only bought 3 (so bought 2 got 1 free basically). If you’re not sure, ask someone at the store!

5. Keep your coupons with you! How many times do you stop while you’re out to pick up something and see sales? If you keep your coupons with you, you can save a little while out. Yesterday, I stopped by Food Lion and picked up some Butterball Deep Fried Turkey Breast that was on sale (but not on their circular) 2 packages for $4.00. I happened to have 2 coupons from the web site for $1.00 each package. That amounted to a pound of the turkey breast for $2.00. I’m not sure how long that sale is lasting, but I think I’ll have to go back!

6. Do something with those savings. Depending on how much will power you have, there are several options. I have a savings account and transfer that money into savings for a rainy day. If you can manage not to touch it for a while, it can build up. Even if it’s only $10 a week – in a year you can save over $500. I don’t know about you, but $500 would really help at Christmas! If you have a lot of will power and a good hiding place, put the money in a sock and hide it to use later – a trip to the salon, a massage – treat yourself, you’re the one who earned it!

These are just a few of the things I do. Just remember to have fun while you’re doing it. Set a goal – mine is to save 50% on a grocery bill. Once you reach that one – set another! Don’t make it a chore or you just won’t be as successful!

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