Save money while also enjoying life

10 Easy Ways to Save Money

by Ashley

If only money really did grow on trees...

Dealing with the credit crunch can almost never be called fun, but with a little imagination you should be able to find ways to save a few extra bucks here and there. Here are 10 switches that can add up to big savings.

1. Switch from in-store to online. It’s no secret that if you sign up for a company’s newsletter, you’ll be sent information on sale items, free delivery promotions, and more. Take advantage of these by logging on and snagging your purchases without having to invest extra time or gas money in getting to a store. Also be sure to Google the store name and “coupons” or “discounts” to see if there are any other offers floating around that you could take advantage of.

2.  Switch from luxury to basic.
It’s easy to find reasons to splurge, but with a few adjustments you can still treat yourself to something nice without blowing your budget. Opt for cotton instead of cashmere, sparkling wine instead of champagne, tap water instead of bottled, generic instead of brand—you get the picture. Compromise on these everyday items for a month and no doubt you’ll be shocked by your savings.

3.  Switch from far-flung to close by.
Everyone dreams about that trip of a lifetime to Fiji, the show of a lifetime on Broadway, the meal of a lifetime in Paris, but what you have to remember is that “once in a lifetime” usually means just that. Save your pennies for these ultimate blowouts, but in the meantime find some substitutions close to home for more frequent visits.

4.   Switch from evening to afternoon.
Check out any restaurant’s menu and you’ll see that lunch is less expensive than dinner.  Same goes for theater tickets, some movie tickets, taxis without a surcharge, and sometimes even hair and beauty salon promotions. For the price of getting up and out just a little earlier, you could save yourself some major cash.

5. Switch from store-bought to homemade.
Yes, it’s infinitely easier to stop by your favorite boutique and pick up a gift than to create something all by yourself. But not only does making something show others that you care, it also shows concern for your bank statement. Buying supplies and making a cake, holiday cards, knit scarves, or scrapbooks will likely cost you less money than purchasing the equivalent item at a store.

6. Switch from dinner party to open house.
Hosting a dinner party often costs less than taking others out, but hosting an open house usually costs even less than a dinner party. Provide a few soft drinks, beer, wine, and nibbles and you’re good to go.  Sharing the hostess duties with a roommate or friend will cut your costs even further, as will making your open house a potluck, so all you’ll have left to worry about is having a good time!

7.   Switch from trendy to unique. Keeping up with trends can be expensive. What’s hot today is cold tomorrow, so take yourself out of this race and instead opt for a style all your own. Build up a unique image by purchasing pieces you love, rather than throwing money at each new trend as it comes along. Vintage shops and sites are often perfect for inspiration and quirky accessories to set your style apart, and shopping at sample sales and flea markets can really save you some cash.

8. Switch from extra heat to extra layers. Speaking of cash, why watch yours burn every time you turn up the thermostat?  Bundle up with an extra sweater, a cozy pair of socks, a snuggly scarf, and/or your favorite blanket instead. The more layers you wear, the less you’ll need your home heat.

9.   Switch from out of season to in season. Eating local is good for your health, good for Mother Earth’s health, and good for your local economy’s health, but if that’s not enough to convince you, then remember that it’s also good for your bank account’s health. Local, in-season products cost less than out-of-season products that have to be shipped from around the world. To find out what’s in season right now, log on to eattheseasons.com.

10.  Switch from quantity to quality.
It can be tempting to buy the cheapest clothes possible when you’re trying to save money, but often this is a false economy. Cheap clothes are usually made from cheap fabrics with shoddy craftsmanship, so they are much more likely to rip, stain, fade, or otherwise wear out in just a little while. This means that you could spend a great deal of money just replacing items every season. Instead, opt for the best quality you can afford, particularly when it comes to coats and shoes, and you should be able to wear them for years to come—leaving you more money to play around with next year, and the year after, and the year after. And maybe even the year after that.


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