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Where Money Really Does Grow on Trees
Derek Allen
Derek Allen
Jan 18, 2010

shopping

During our first Target Gift Card Giveaway, we asked our readers to share a money saving tip they planned to implement during the new year. We had a very strong response that resulted in a bunch of great ideas from our readers. There were some truly innovative tips as well as some practical ones that are equally as useful. Here is a round-up of all the great tips we received.

Coupons

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An overwhelming amount of readers are in love with coupons. They offer excellent advice from finding to using coupons properly.

A lot of readers like to combine coupons with other offers to maximize their savings:

Tanya Ramirez: “The best money saving tip I know is to use coupons properly. By this I mean if the store is doing a buy one get one free, and you have a coupon to save $1.00 when you buy 2, use the coupon then, you only pay for 1 item, get the other item free and still save an extra dollar.”

Jenn B: “Coupons! I have saved so much over the last few months since I started clipping these every Sunday and paying attention to all the different grocery stores sales.”

DanV: “My tip is to try to find more sales/coupons/rebate combos.”

LisaH: “I use coupons for sale items and save. Its a lot of work but worth it. I organize my coupons and watch the weekly grocery sale papers then make my list.”

denyse: “Read your flyers and use coupons. Watch for double coupon and on BOGO items you can use 2 coupons.”

I think Mommy Kennedy might have them all beat though:

“My favorite tip is to stockpile food and necessities! You know, buy at the lowest cost possible and buy a lot!

You generally need multiple sets of coupons and then apply them when items are on sale. For example, I did (2) transactions to get 10 boxes of Special K for FREE!
Sale price $2 per box
Applied coupons to bring the total down to $5.
The store was running a promo of an instant $5 off when you bought 5 boxes
So 5 boxer were FREE!

I did that transaction twice! What my family doesn’t use I will give to the church’s food bank.” Check out more coupon tips from Mommy Kennedy.

Our readers did more than just combining coupons; they found creative ways to use them:

Hey Hey: “For coupons or money off stores: If you use an iphone, try the money saving app sherpa coupons, you don’t need to clip, you just have it on your phone!”

Cynthia: “My tip is to keep coupons in the car – I always cut them out and leave them on my desk so I don’t have them when I make an unexpected stop to eat or shop.”

Mickie: “This year we received a local Citipass book & we are keeping it in the car we use most. I’ve been checking it as we decide where to eat (which we never do until we’re already in the car for some reason).”

livingtheloa: “I look for printable online coupons good for in-store use for all of the popular retailers i shop before I leave the house. There’s always more than one option for any item I need, so whoever has the best coupon gets my business. This has been a huge money saver with regard to buying sports equipment, shoes, and outdoor gear.”

AnnF: “I’m and avid coupon clipper. I swap my unwanted coupons with some of my friends and mother.”

Going Green

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Our readers are also very environmentally conscience. Not only do they promote going green, but they have realized it as a way to save money as well:

Bethany: “I bought an indoor retractable clothes line and I dry my clothes for 20 min and let them line dry the rest of the way.” Bethany’s Giveaway Blog

Joanne: “Changed the setting on my washer to cold water to save – Also have a Fisher-Paykel washer that spins so much water out it cuts down to 1/2 of the drying time.”

Sonya: “We took a close look at our electric bill and have cracked down on unnecessary usage!” Sonya’s Blog

Terri Dell: “We are switching to all energy saving light bulbs. they cost more initially but they last longer and use less electricity.”

Laura L: “I recycle all of my aluminum cans. They really do add up and this year I vow to start using coupons.”

Piggy Banks

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Some readers are stealing pages from their childhood by reliving the piggy bank:

Dee: “My favorite financial tip is to keep all loose change in a piggy bank and make a rule not to open it for 6 months. Really good spontaneous savings one rainy day :)

Angela: “My family drops whatever spare change we have into a glass jar. We don’t touch it until it gets full and then we take to get it counted so see how much we saved!”

Susan Varney: “Save all loose change daily by the end of the year you’ll be surprised how much you have.”

Online Shopping

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Online shopping seems to be in full swing. Our readers like to take advantage of not only the convenience of online shopping, but also its savings possibilities:

Margaret Smith: “My best money savings tip besides using coupons, is whenever shopping online, search out if there are any discount codes available for that store. Quite often, I find discounts that have saved me much money. Thanks so much for this giveaway.”

Hey Hey: “Also another great one is http://www.retailmenot.com for coupon codes when shopping online. You can usually find discounts or free shipping. I check this site before I pay online for my shopping. (Sorry if this was posted already, I didn’t have time to read all the posts.)”

Maja Meza: “i shop on sale and online, when they have free shipping.”

Cash Money

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A lot of the readers realize the importance of using cash for purchases:

Jennifer M: “I plan to take out more cash at a time–but leave it home in my lockbox. That way I’m not tempted to run to an ATM that’s not my bank/charges fees, but I also won’t spend too much.”

Carol: “I made a resolution to pay cash for everything under $500. Since I almost never have $500 cash on me, it’s working. It’s simple to implement. I banned credit cards, in effect.”

Only What You Need

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Money Funk: “My favorite financial tip for the New Year – I love saving money at my grocery store – so my tip(s): to shop the parameter of the store (its where the whole foods are placed (aka – nonconvienent items) and two shop with a list/menu. Saves tons of money to cook your own meals and know what is planned for the week.” Check out more frugal living tips from Money Funk.

Nadine L: “My favorite tip is one my Mom always told me. Go to the store with a list in hand, stick to that list, no extras, no impulse buys. If you stick to it, you will save.”

Brenda Hegelson: “make a list of the items you use regularly. when it’s on sale, stock up on them. you’d be surprised how much you save annually.”

Sharon Seneker: “To avoid impulse buying (I am tempted by the Shopping Chanels!) I will write down the item name, number and cost and wait a week to see if I am still interested in buying this item. I have found most of the time the answer is NO! This is saving me money! Thanks!”

Marilyn Wons: “A money planning tip I plan on implementing this year is to only buy what my family needs (not wants) and to buy it on sale!”

Angie P: “One tip is to make a list when you need to go shopping. When I have a list and I stick to it, I spend so much less money(& time) than when I don’t have one.”

SANDY: “decide between need and want, and will I reallly use this or that. Just because I have a coupon or a code its not saving me money if I will never use it or donate it”

Amanda Baird: “Make a list and stick to it!!!”

Photo Credit: Mike Licht, steve_p2008, Ken Wilcox, schizoform, Amagill, St. Boniface

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Posted Under: Ways to Save

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3 Responses to “Money Saving Tips from Our Readers”

  1. Thanks for the link luv. ;)

    So many great tips and as you can hear being reiterated when shopping, is to make a list! Big saver!

    Hey Hey, made a great point with retailmenot.com. I saved 15% on my son’s namebrand tshirts ontop of the sale price. I got a sweet discount.

    And Angela, the spare change in the jar – we do this and use the money for our summer camping trip. Completely lightens the budget for extracurricular activites.

    Great list! Thanks for including me.

  2. Excellent synopsis! Thanks so much for the mention!

  3. No problem, thanks for entering and sharing some great tips! We have another giveaway planned to begin in the next week or two, stay tuned :)

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