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Money-Saving Habits That Are Actually Worth Your Time and Which Ones to Give Up

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SteveGuest Blogger
October 18, 2016 · 1.7k Views

Some techniques to save money are obvious, like bringing your lunch to work instead of going out. Other techniques that can seriously save you some cold, hard cash are lesser known. There are also other techniques that tend to be time-consuming and less effective. In this article, I'll discuss the tips that are worth your time for saving money, and those that aren't.

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  • Couponing the old fashioned way
    Why spend hours browsing through weekly ads in the Sunday paper? It's time consuming, tedious, and likely won't save you all that much money anyways. Put the scissors down and instead let DealsPlus take care of the hard part for you, by easily bringing you the best coupons, deals, and sales you're looking for. Searching for coupons this way saves you both time and money since you can easily see all the best offers a store currently has ongoing.

    Recommended: A Beginner's Guide to Stacking Coupons

  • Choosing the cheapest item
    It is easy to pick the lowest priced option when we're trying to save money, but we need to factor quality into our decision-making process. Sometimes, the cheaper item is the better buy. However, the more expensive item may hold up better over time, requiring less money on maintenance and reducing the chances of it breaking or becoming unusable. Higher quality might make a more expensive item a better value long term.

  • Buying in bulk
    Shopping at bulk retailers like Costco means we buy more of each item at a lower per-item cost. If we use what we buy, it saves us money. However, if we throw a lot of it away, which can be common with groceries, then our bulk purchasing saves us nothing. In fact, it might cost us more money than shopping at a traditional grocery store. Bottom line: If you shop at bulk retailers, be sure that you're buying what you use. Focus on non-perishable items, household goods, and food items you use often.​

    Recommended: What To Buy In A Grocery Store VS. What To Buy In Bulk At Costco

  • Ignoring preventative care
    It might sound financially attractive to skip visits to the doctor or dentist to avoid the co-pay. But, emergencies caused by ignoring preventative care like checkups or teeth cleaning can easily surpass any savings by skipping the regular checkups. This concept can also be applied to houses, cars, and appliances. Take the time to perform the regular cleaning and maintenance to avoid larger issues.

 

  • Make grocery choices based on sales
    Many of us have our favorite brand names at the grocery store and, without regard to the price, we fork out the cash to buy these items. Instead, consider making your selections based on whatever happens to be on sale at the time. Not only will you save money, but you might stumble on a cheaper option that tastes the same as, or at least similar enough to, your preferred brand.  
     
  • Buy used whenever possible
    Buying things used can save us an incredible amount of money, especially on electronics. Everything from cell phones, televisions, computers, video game consoles, camera equipment and more can be picked up, used, for a fraction of the cost of the new version. Sporting equipment and books are popular items at used or second-hand stores. Clothes can also be had for pennies on the dollar of what someone else paid for it new.

    You May Be Interested: 3 Reasons Why You Should Care More About Personal Finance
     
  • Cut down on your monthly subscriptions
    Automatic monthly payments for magazines and other goods and services can add up incredibly fast (hello unused gym membership!). Worse, we tend not to notice them escape our bank accounts. How many times have you thrown the latest magazine issue on the counter or coffee table, never to be read? Look at your bank statement and take note of every monthly subscription payment. Are you getting value from whatever you're purchasing or can you cut them out of your budget?
     
  • Avoid going to the mall for "fun" 
    The mall to a spender is like a casino to a gambler, the temptations are incredibly high. In the case of the mall, we sometimes feel strange walking out of the mall without holding a bag of stuff we bought. We need something. When we touch, we are more likely to buy. And in the end, the mall is there for one primary purpose: To take our money. Instead, don't frequent the mall unless you're shopping for something specific, and look for sales and in-store coupons to save money on whatever you're purchasing. The holiday season makes these temptations even more real, so be aware of your temptations!

What saving techniques have you given up because they don't work? Which ones have proven to be incredibly effective?


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thinksaveretire profile picture
Steve is a personal finance blogger with a goal of retiring from full time corporate work by 35. Steve can be reached on his personal blog at ThinkSaveRetire.com.
OllieOllieOct 20, 2016
Money, money, money, where are you baby

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