As a saving money fiend, I am always sharing tips and tricks and writing articles about how to save money.
What I notice most, is that it helps you MORE when I give EXACT examples. Instead of writing a post on top tips to save money, while those are fantastic articles, I feel like, the best way for you to really LEARN how to save money, is to have concrete and exact examples.
Seeing the places I shop, how I stack deals and coupons, and the details of what I do, can inspire you more, when you see exactly how it’s done.
There’s one thing you should note though…no matter where you are in your money saving journey, whether novice or skilled, keep in mind that it IS a journey. While it’s rare I overpay NOW, I still, on occasion find out I overpaid on something. Even the best of the best are not perfect. So, if you find yourself frustrated about where you’re at in your journey, don’t give up.
It takes time and you WILL get there if you don’t give up. The most important thing you can do is to shop around and start learning WHERE you can get the best deal on what.
A good example is if you asked me where to get cheap umbrella’s. I’d know EXACTLY where to find them at their cheapest price, usually about $5-$6. If you wanted bedding, I’d know exactly where to go to find the bedding the cheapest. Because each store has different things they sell the cheapest, and in order to save, you’ll want to start learning those things. Over time, you will learn and it’ll become second nature to you.
Here are my favorite ways I saved some major money this month…
7 Ways I Saved $3,000 This Month
Rule #1 of learning to save money: NEVER, I repeat NEVER pay retail. Whatever price is on that tag, refuse to pay it!
Clothes – Savings $82
This month, I wanted to go clothes shopping. Mostly because the color Burgundy is popular right now and it just so happens to be one of the two colors (Burgundy and Teal) that look best on me personally. So, of course, while there is an abundance in that color of clothing, I want to stock up and add it to my wardrobe, because it is difficult to find usually!
My favorite place to shop for clothes at the moment is Maurices. Man, I love their stuff! It’s quality clothing and if you shop smart, you can get good deals. At the time I’m writing this post, in my area, they have a progressive sale going on. Buy 1 item, save 15%, buy 2 items, save 20%, buy 3 items, save 25% on everything you buy.
I kept this in mind as I was shopping. I found 6 items I wanted to purchase, all of which were 25% off each due to the progressive sale. And, in the meantime, I’ve been eyeing this pair of $88 jeans for the LONGEST time! Now, here’s how I think about it in my head…
My total price for everything minus the jeans I wanted was $200. After my progressive sale of 25% off, I’d save $50.
My $88 jeans if I purchase them with the progressive sale (25% off), become $66.
Since I saved $50 from the other clothing (for stuff I would have bought anyway), I could put that $50 toward my jeans I wanted, and literally get them for $16! Yes, please….mama likes her jeans! 🙂
Now, here’s where it gets fun. For every $100 you spend, you earn $5 off your next purchase (with their free club card), so I earned an additional $10 off. Basically, I walked out with $288 worth of clothing for $206 after all was said and done.
While this may not be the best deal in the world, keep in mind that I’m doing NOTHING out of the ordinary. I was ALREADY going to purchase these items, on sale or not, because they are the right color. 🙂 So, saving that much money on something I’m already going to buy, is a huge win in my book.
Purse – Savings $104
If you know anything about me, I am ALWAYS (100% of the time) on the lookout for a cute purse. Why? Because it’s not “popular” to wear over-the-shoulder purses and it’s the only one I’ll wear. I like to have my hands free. 🙂 Finding purses that are trendy and super cute, while being a great brand, AND being reasonably priced is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
So, every time I’m at Ross, I always look, as this is the best place to score one. While I was returning an item ($15.99), they gave me store credit and during that trip, I just so happened to find a super cute Betsy Johnson purse.
The retail tag was $128. I pull out my iPhone and look it up. The cheapest online is $59.99 on sale (not sure if that included free shipping or not). At Ross, it was $39.99 and I could use my $15.99 return credit.
After all was said and done, I walked out paying $24 for a $128 purse that again, I would have bought anyway because they are so hard to find.
Blogging Photography Fees – Saved $828 for one year (projected)
There are currently two companies that I go through for stock photos for this blog. One is my favorite, but sometimes, they don’t have a picture I’ll need. So, in addition to their service, I also have a subscription with a second service.
Since most of the photos on this blog now are real pictures (meaning, not stock photos), there’s not a huge need for stock photography anymore. I was able to downgrade one of the stock photo subscriptions, which is saving me $828 for the next year. I figured even if I had to purchase a couple photos here or there and pay $30 per photo, it’s still a LOT cheaper than having that subscription for something I rarely ever use anymore.
Shoes – Savings $34.53
I am VERY picky about shoes. The only places I will buy shoes from at this time are Skechers and Famous Footwear. In the course of my life, I have tried so many brands out there and those are the only ones that I trust to have superior quality. It is worth the extra price to me.
So, when Skechers has shoes for 25% off, you bet your bottom dollar, I’m going to purchase some! In order to have gotten that deal, you had to buy 2. No problem…I like shoes… 🙂
I found a couple super cute pairs (here’s a cute Converse-like pair with angel wings (!!!) and here’s a pair of red kicks) that I wanted to buy. Retail they were $125 and after my 25% off, the total came down to $93.75.
Now, Skechers online has a club you can join (free) where if you’re a member, they give you free shipping (to be honest, I NEVER, EVER, EVER pay for shipping!), and since they don’t charge me sales tax (I love you Skechers!), the total really was $93.75.
Anytime I purchase online, of course I go through Ebates. You’re going to spend the money anyway, might as well get paid to shop! If you don’t have an account, you can sign up here and get a free $10 gift card! To receive your free gift card, just make one purchase of $25 or more and they have every site I shop at on there, so it’s very easy. I put a sticky note on my computer so I remember to go through them first. I’ve been with Ebates since 2009 and have earned $9,044.79 to date! They are a pioneer in the cash back industry and I highly recommend them above all others!
So, with Ebates, I got 3.5% cash back for this purchase, which was $3.28, so after all this, it brought my total from $125 to $90.47.
Teeth Whitener – Saved $241.99
I’ve been using the same teeth whitener for a few years now and I’ve been very happy with it, but lately, it isn’t giving me the results I want quick enough, so I decided to start looking for a new brand. I came across a new one on a YouTube video I happened to be watching and found a coupon code for it.
The kit is $269.99 and with the coupon code, it made the kit only $28! I’m still trying it out, so I don’t feel comfortable enough to give out the name to anyone until I’ve tried the company for several months at least (this is my normal rule for ANY recommendation), but so far, after my first couple of treatments, I’m seeing pretty good results! Not what they claim, but better than my old company after just two treatments.
Newsletter Costs – Saved $960 for one year (projected)
I’ve been praying about a pretty large decision lately. Should I delete newsletter subscribers who haven’t opened up my emails within the past 3 months or not. Since my newsletter list is so large, the fees can be extreme each month. I ended up deciding that I would delete the subscribers. My reasoning is because I’m not running this blog for sponsors or to impress anyone.
I don’t wanna say in pride, “Oh, yeah, I have 20 million subscribers on my list,” just to say it. I want the people to be on the list to really WANT to be there and if they’re not utilizing my newsletters, I feel like it’s personally okay to delete them. This is something every blogger will want to decide for themselves, but it is something that I do often, to keep costs low and reach the people who are truly reading my newsletters.
So, this month, I deleted over 20,000 subscribers (I’ve been going through MadMimi for about 2 1/2 years and absolutely love them!) This brought my total down on my monthly costs for the newsletter and is helping me save $80/month. If I estimate what I normally add to my newsletter each month (new subscribers) and calculate my savings, over the course of one year, I will save $960. That is quite a large sum of money to save on something that is not helping anybody anyway (they’re not opening the newsletters).
I’d definitely encourage you, if you’re a blogger, to look at your monthly costs, because blogging is always ebb and flow and you want to save when you can.
Speaking of saving where you can….since it’s a slow season in blogging at the time I’m writing this post, I also took a look at my hosting fees…
Hosting Fees – Saved $480 for one year (projected)
When looking at my hosting fees, since it IS the slow season and traffic is down, I can bump down my cloud resources very quickly and easily and then when needed in the busier months, bump the resources back up. After making this very easy change with my host, I am saving $40/month on hosting fees and still providing the same great hosting service to my readers!
If you’re looking for a new host, the company I highly recommend is:
BlueHost – If you go through BlueHost, this will get you a free WordPress.org account and you need WordPress.org if you want to blog for profit. Here’s a complete tutorial I set up to walk you through the entire process and if you click the Bluehost link here, you’ll get the best current deal on the net! Their customer service is superb and I absolutely adore them!
Facial System – Saved $199.95
I bought this facial cleaner system for $199.95 from a local spa and it didn’t work for me like I thought it would. While the system may very well work just fine, I didn’t like the results it gave me. But, as you know, it’s impossible to return stuff like that, even to stores, because it’s been opened and used. I took it to my local spa and explained to them that I wasn’t happy with the purchase and I would like either a credit to my account or a refund.
There was a little bit of a push-back, I’ll be honest, but I was firm. I don’t want to pay for something that isn’t going to work for me. And at that price, I don’t mind buying something that WILL work, but if I don’t get the results I want, I don’t want to waste my hard-earned money.
After talking to the owner of the spa, she finally agreed that they would take the return and I got my money back.
While this isn’t saving money per se, I feel like it is, because I would have LOST $200 had I not of spoken up. I saved $200 that I would have lost. I’m very thankful and appreciative that the spa took the products back and I think it can show you that you should always at least try your absolute best on everything you purchase, to save your money.
While there are many more ways I saved money this month, these were my favorites, and the total amount saved from just these 7 ways is a whopping $2,930.47!!!
I definitely don’t go clothes or shoe shopping every month and these examples are not routine examples, I think it does go to show how much we can save in the course of the month and on the things we buy. I do not at all believe that you cannot have a great quality lifestyle on little. I have lived this way for several years now and had nearly the same lifestyle I have now (making $23k/month) as I did on making only $18k/YEAR. I buy quality and I get it at rock bottom prices.
My point is that you CAN have the lifestyle you want on pennies. You don’t HAVE TO spend what the world tells you to spend. You just have to get creative on the stuff you want to purchase.