With the New Year approaching, it’s a great time to think about developing (and sticking to) your plan to save money next year. I recently read an excellent Money Magazine article in December’s issue, “How to Save Dough Online,” that is particularly useful, practical, and will help you stick to financial goals next year. While great for online shopping, the article’s tips could also be applied for in-store shopping as well.
While the article focused on online shopping, many of the tips discussed, such as using sites like RetailMeNot to find online coupons, could be used for your in-store shopping, too. That coupon site also catalogs “printable” coupons which can be used in store or online.
Some of the other great tips mentioned in the article that I have followed and written about previously include buying discounted gift cards from sites such as Raise.com. Raise offers a wide variety of gift cards for every store imaginable, and what’s more is that gift cards for grocery stores are available, too. Frequently, Whole Foods (although a pricey option for groceries) gift cards are available at a slight discount. If you are going to shop there, you might as take a few bucks off the price.
Save money in 2015 the easy way
On the topic of groceries, it’s getting a whole lot easier to save money before and after you shop. In addition to helpful store apps that show weekly sales circulars, other features include online coupons that you can search for and apply to your store loyalty card ahead of time. Less paper coupon clipping. Be sure to check out Safeway.com or your local grocery store’s website to see if this option is available.
But, after your shopping experience is over with, there are still additional tools you can use to snag rebates on your shopping. Previously, I have written about smartphone apps Ibotta, Checkout51, and Snap. These apps will rebate you for purchasing certain items at certain stores just by scanning and uploading your store receipt. Typical rebates are $.25 to a few dollars or more. This may not sound like a whole of savings for the effort, but if you get in the habit, it will help shave even more money off your grocery bill.
Lastly, using the “right” credit card can help save money on gas, groceries, and more. For example, the American Express Everyday Card offers a 3% rebate on grocery purchases all of the time. Discover Card always offers 1% cash back on your purchases, but also has rotating categories that will rebate 5% on certain purchases. For example, Discover was offering 5% cash back on online purchases until the end of the year. Also, for American Express card holders, there are special offers available when you “sync” them to your card. Recently, there was an offer for $50 off a $200 purchase at Cole Haan.
Cutting the cable cord is only becoming easier with advances in technology. Netflix, at a cost of about $10/month for streaming television shows and movies, is a great start to complete cable company freedom. You may have to wait a bit for the releases to catch up to the t.v. and movie seasons, but you also aren’t paying 10x that for cable service that you can’t even take with you. Amazon Prime ($99/year) is also a viable option and provides even more entertainment options along with free 2nd day shipping.
As 2015 nears, keep these strategies in mind to save money on these major budget areas outside your rent or mortgage payments. Every dollar counts, so start today.