money saving tips.

“She shops around for the best yarns and cottons…” vs. 13a  (The Message version)

I moved out of my parents house a little over 3 years ago to come to SIUC for school. Needless to say, I have learned a lot over those years about saving money through my experiences of not using my money as wisely as I should have. These are just some practical tips I have learned about being a good steward of the money that really isn’t ours in the first place. Hope these tips are reasonable and helpful:

1. Bring your own lunch. Get creative. Make it work. You don’t have to eat out every day.

2. Don’t get a hair cut one week and three weeks later get your hair dyed. It’s way more money like that. Do it as a package deal, you can save up to 15-20 dollars.

3.  Make eating out a special occasion: a date, time with friends, etc..don’t just eat out when you feel like it.

4. Do your grocery shopping at Aldi’s. Obviously, they don’t always have everything, but if you make a list and go there first then go to Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc..afterward to get the rest of your items, you can save a lot of money. On average, a grocery bill that would have cost $45 from Kroger’s, costs $30 at Aldi’s.

5. Menu planning. Every week I look at the food I have and food I need and plan every meal (even snacks). That way I use the groceries sitting in my pantry and only buy groceries I will actually eat. (Of course, there’s a little wiggle room…buy a few extra things sometimes so you don’t have to always stick to your menu perfectly if you are feeling like eating something different).

6. If you really have been thinking, “I really want a new pair of jeans,” wait 1 week. Think about it. More than likely, after that week you will either talk yourself out of it or realize you really do have a need for jeans and buy them. Buying on impulse is often not good.

7. If you are planning on going to the mall, google coupons for the stores you are going to. Type in something like: “Kohl’s printable coupons.” You can often find some. OR get on the retail store’s facebook, and sometimes they have deals on there too.

8. Carpool. Helps the environment and your pocketbook.

9. If you are feeling like decorating your home, go to the GoodWill. If you look hard enough, you can almost always find some neat candle or something that will fulfill your decorating desires.

10. Be happy with what you have. Most of the things we want to buy in life we don’t really need. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t ever buy ourselves anything. However, if you make it a special occasion to buy something for  yourself you really like then, it’s much more exciting.

11. Order water whenever you go out to eat. A soda at some places can cost 2 dollars and up! While that may not seem like a lot of money, it adds up quickly. (get a soda or tea every once and a while, you’ll appreciate it more).

12. Save change. It works. It’s always really exciting whenever you go to cash it in.

13. Whenever you eat out, split meals with someone. You can even order an appetizer and one meal to split and it’s often cheaper than two full meals.

14. Regularly read blogs that give good saving money tips. Here are some options:

A Blossoming Life- this is my friend Amy’s blog. She is a newlywed who is really crafty and good at making homemade stuff, which saves you tons of money!

Money Saving Mom–  my friend Leslie introduced me to this blog. It’s one of the best I’ve seen. (It’s not just for moms!)

Money Saving Secrets– this is a blog I have recently discovered. Right now it has a good post for college students about saving money on textbooks..check it out!

WiseBread– this blog use to be the Frugal Duchess and she recently changed it to WiseBread. It’s all about using wisdom to living a frugal life.

This is a learning process for me, just like everyone else. So tell me: What are some of your money saving tips?

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