Some ways of saving money aren’t fun. Lowering your thermostat, not going out to dinner as often, ditching cable, etc.
But here are some of my favorite little ways to save money. Things that are actually fun. (And that might be because they enable you to shop at Target.)
– Use our Discover Cashback for Starbucks. Starbucks is one of those things that brings me so much joy for a relatively low price, but I couldn’t stomach paying $50 a month on random drinks. So we use our free credit card money (Cashback bonus for Discover) and get $50 gift cards every other month or so. A little luxury is now free!
– Go to a grocery outlet There is a store here that sells stuff for a third or half the price that it retails. The catch? Some of it is past expiration. I don’t mind checking labels and the result is a $15 AeroPress (54% less than on Amazon), $3.70 Dolce Gusto boxes (57% less than on Amazon), and $1.69 giant tubs of awesome hummus. I save money without having to clip coupons or look at sales ads, which is time I don’t want to spend on saving money. To find a grocery outlet in your city, just Google “Grocery outlet + your city” and you might be surprised! Bakeries often have thrift stores, as well. Cheap carbs. Mmm.
– CSA. Our CSA costs is $25 a week and cuts down our grocery spending during the summer and fall. We get eggs, cheese, pasta, beans, flour, and of course, fruits and veggies! I only need to go to a grocery store once or twice a month in the summer as a result. Pretty much all areas of our spending (rent, utilities, gas, medical, car repairs, shopping, etc) increased over the last year except for groceries. Because of the CSA! Pretty awesome. For CSAs near you – check out LocalHarvest or Google “CSA + your city.”
– Swagbucks. Sort of like Cashback – this isn’t really SAVING me money, just giving me a tiny bit of money extra. I don’t do anything on Swagbucks except use it as my default search engine and get, like 10 cents, every time I search. Because, yes, 1 Swagbuck = 1 cent, basically. Which is why I don’t want to spend 30 minutes earning $2 on a survey. My time is better spent designing a website and earning a lot more! But I search for stuff anyway, so I might as well do it through them. (Though I often use Google as a backup, let’s be honest.)
– Going all Chopped on my meals. Nothing is more satisfying than taking nothing and turning it into an awesome meal. We waste less food and can stretch our food budget a little further by getting creative. Pull up some Chopped on Hulu for inspiration. And to be grateful you don’t have to work chicken liver and chocolate into the same meal.
– The Cartwheel app. Um. This may not really save us money, but I LOVE IT. Like I said, I am not much of a coupon clipper (too time consuming), but this digital app where you can save 20% on diapers, 25% on toddler boys’ clothes, and so on is absolutely awesome. (The reason I say it might not really save us money is because I tend to buy more now. Which is exactly why I don’t do coupons normally! I’ve been had.)
– Speaking of Target, the RED Debit Card. Here’s a little math for you: I get 1-3% Cashback when I use my Discover card, but if I used the RED card, I always save 5% at Target. SIGN ME UP. Plus, it’s not a credit card, so I don’t need to worry about another bill to pay or making sure I don’t spend more than we bring in. You also get free shipping on Target.com and returns are way easier (they can look it up on your card – no receipt required and you get 30 extra days to return). My only regret is I didn’t sign up earlier! I am not one to have store credit cards, but this store I shop at enough to absolutely make it worth it.
– Have a kid and get a tax refund. (JUST KIDDING. Don’t do that. Kids are more expensive than what you get back in taxes.)
I’d love to hear how you save money – especially if it involves things that are less-than-terrible! :)
PS: None of this was sponsored and I get nothing if you click on the links and save! Oh, except maybe the Swagbucks link.