It’s time to start scrolling your Instagram and see what everyone has planned for their 2020 resolutions. Personally, I try to establish goals all year through but there is nothing wrong with creating a new start at the beginning of the year. One of my goals that I’ve been working toward for a while now is saving money in simple ways. Taking a few dollars here and there can really add up if you’re committed to it. Here are a few ideas that will get your savings off to a good start.
I honestly don’t understand why more people don’t use this, it’s free money! Surprisingly, there is no catch either. In fact, I’ve saved almost $300 dollars so far. All you need to do is create an account, then shop online like you usually would. You’ll earn cash back. The only hang up is you need to begin your shopping trip by first going to their website then clicking on the store you want to shop at, let’s say, Walmart. Click the Walmart store website from the Rakuten launchpad and then shop away. It will add up all your cash back and send you a check in 30-60 days. There are even ways to use it for in-store shopping if that’s your cup of tea. Below I’ve included my referral link. Full disclosure: we both earn a small bonus if you use my referral link to sign up! Click here for the link
2. Follow-through on returns and exchanges
Remember that amazon box in the back of your closet that you intended to return but never got around to? It was only $9.99 so you just put it on the back burner? That is a waste of your money. If you have one of those schedule a time the next week to hit the post office. If you invest in some packing tape to have at your house you can pre-package it and save time there. Most stores allow you to pre-print a label with paid postage, if you’re in a hurry you can just hand it to someone if you don’t want a receipt. Pro-tip: If you’re returning a small lightweight item you’ll save a few bucks to pay for shipping yourself instead of using the pre-paid label.
3. Shop generic brands
Some generic products aren’t going to fly with me, for example, cheerios. Shopping the generic brands doesn’t need to be for everything but for items that aren’t as dependent on specific brand flavors I usually get them in the “off brand.” Things such as peanut butter, jelly, bread, flour, sugar, condiments and sparkling water are all things I get in the generic brand. I do this so I can afford to buy the more expensive items in the things that matter to me, like cage free eggs or the yummy veggie burgers. Another way to save money on groceries is looking at the price per oz located on the price sticker of each item. A product may appear to be less in price but it cost more per oz so in turn it is actually more expensive.
4. Use coupons
You don’t need to turn into the coupon cutting champion on this one but going to a manufacture website to get a coupon for items you shop for regularly, like diapers or dish soap, will pay you back in the end. Some items aren’t available in your weekly grocery store coupon book, but some companies will provide them on their websites. A common miss step with coupons is buying things that you don’t end up using just because you have a coupon…don’t do that. Side note- there also an app called ibotta that when you download you just select the store you shopped at and click the coupons you want to use then upload your receipt. It will let you earn cash by crediting you the coupons. I’m in the beginning phases of using it so stay tuned for more information. If you’d like to try it out too click here for my referral link. Referral code: pruuexl
5. Rewards programs
This is a big one. I typically get my groceries at Albertson’s and I’ve been racking up points for about 5 months now. I went to the gas station and decided to redeem my points that I earned from my groceries and when buying a full tank I received about $25.00 of free gas. Using rewards programs is extremely beneficial and super versatile. We use our credit card to earn points that get us free flights (which we would buy anyway). There are so many options and if you do a little research they can really pay off.