Tag Archives: savings

Tips for Spending Less

If you’re like me, one of those things on the list of New Year’s resolutions was to spend less. Actually, I had already put that plan into place toward the end of last year with some nice results so the goal is really to continue that savings plan.

How did I manage to cut my spending last year? Well, here’s just a list of some of those things!

1. Brown bag lunch to work. An average lunch in Manhattan is about $6 so at 5 times a week times 48 weeks, that’s a savings of over $1400.

2. Skip the Starbucks and other fancy coffee in the a.m. Hubby now makes me my morning cup for the train and I rely on the office coffee pot for my other morning fix. With a typical latte at around $4 in NYC, that’s a savings of another nearly $1000.

3. Charge everything I spend. I know that sounds awful, but here’s why I do it:

    a. I get my reward points for every purchase.
    b. I know how much I spent every month.
    c. I use the tagging feature on my charge account every week to flag business expenses.
    d. I have my account send me a daily snapshot so I know whether I am deviating from my monthly spending limit.

4. Coupons. I always hold onto those Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons and only go when I have several of them handy. I also only go when I absolutely need something, which means my trips are generally geared around holidays, birthdays, etc. I also use online coupon sites such as coupons.com and pgeverydaysolutions.com for weekly specials and since I shop at A&P for my every day items, they have a clipless coupon system connected to my shopping loyalty card. That’s wonderful because if you are like me, you often will forget those coupons at home. Another big thing: Only buy what you would normally use and buy it in reasonable quantities. I read an article the other day that Americans throw out 40% of the food they buy. 40%!!! That’s a huge number.

5. I shop at Costco for the paper goods and other bulk items. I also buy their Kirkland name brand for things like toilet paper and dishwasher detergent. Just as good and generally cheaper.

6. I’ve cut back on dining out and when I do, I try to use restaurant.com certificates or those I’ve purchased at a discount from groupon.com. I also try to frequent local places and they often have online coupons available for discounts on dining.

This year I also plan on brown bagging breakfast to the office. I’ve got a stash of oatmeal and will find a way to make my eggs. Breakfast is important for helping with another New Year’s resolution: Losing weight and eating healthier.

Have you found some other ways to spend less? What will you do with the savings?

Fun Friday – Getting Lucky

First up, if you’re in the NY/NJ area tonight, come visit with me at the Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ. I’m on a Writing Matters panel that starts at 7 pm EST. We’ll be discussing the writer’s life and answering all kinds of questions for any readers or writers in the audience.

And now for today’s Fun Friday – It’s all about getting lucky!

Thanks to my buddy Lois Winston for sharing this great ad with George Clooney! If you can’t see the video below, just cut and paste this into your browser:
http://youtu.be/C_8TGTKdrlY

Fun Friday – Eating out!

I don’t know about you, but after a long week of work the last thing we want to do is cook on Friday night. Whether it’s ordering up a pizza or heading out to a local restaurant, it’s a night to relax and unwind.

But being inherently frugal, I always try to find a bargain if I can and I’m going to share some of those with you today!

To purchase certificates for reduced dining, you can check out these two sites. I’ve used them and they are pretty good. Just make sure you check all the fine print as to when you can use the certificates. For example, the one seafood restaurant we visit down the shore only accepts the certificates from October to May.

Also check your local big box store like Costco. They have also been carrying reduced gift cards to area dining spots.

Many restaurants and fast food joints offer discounts as well. Check these out to either get coupons on their sites or have specials e-mailed to you.

    Charlie Brown’s
    Chili’s
    Applebee’s
    Popeye’s – Each store has its own coupons
    Baja Fresh
    KFC

Hope you all have a great weekend! See you on Monday!

Save on Books! Yeah!


moar funny pictures

Hope you like the LOLCat that I captioned for you this Fun Friday. Also hope you like all these discounts I’ve rounded up for you! Hurry because some of them end soon!

Amazon 4 for 3 special – Includes SINS OF THE FLESH
15% off at B&N until Jan 31 Use Code M3B8T7W – cannot be combined
B&N Buy 2 Selected Romances get 3rd free plus free shipping over $25 (For Members Free shipping over $10) – Includes SINS OF THE FLESH
Borders ALL BOOKS Buy 4 get 5th for free – Can be combined with Borders Member Reward Code for 20% off BEG93010X or if Member BJT7138P for 33% off plus free shipping over $25

Thoughtful Thursday – The Economy

moneyI’m not normally one to dream much less remember them, but lately I have been dreaming. Or maybe it’s better to say I’ve been having worries at night and like many people, those worries revolve around money.

The market is up, although some are calling it a “dead cat bounce.” (Wonder where they got that term). In other words, the slight up phase might not last.

The Fed is printing lots of money to buy bonds. Hmm. . . . If I could print more money for my bills . . .

Anyway, there was one article the other day about how people are cutting back to save by eliminating things like house cleaning services, taking shirts to the laundry and eating out less. Estimated savings for this one family – $10,000 in a year.

A big savings. Playing devil’s advocate here – it’s also not stimulating the economy since now there’s someone with less work cleaning, laundering and cooking/serving food.

Still, I totally understand the reaction to not spend. I’ve cut back by brown bagging it everyday for lunch, finding ways of using up stuff in the pantry before buying new things, shopping at the outlets, big box stores and using coupons (well I always did those last two anyway!).

Have you changed your spending habits lately? Are there any tips you can offer for saving during these worrisome times?