A powerful tool when it comes to building wealth is to create an environment conductive to spending and having less. This concept starts with the goal of saving for the future while keeping your household’s monthly cash flow lean.
Rather than creating tedious monthly budgets, this strategy can slow down the spending in your household in a powerful way. When funded and carried out in the right manner, you will be freed up to spend money how you see fit because all your savings goals will be being taken care of from the get go.
How to Become a Super Saver
There are many ways to prioritize, set up and fund your venture to becoming a super saver.
What is a Super Saver?
A super saver gets the most out of their money, while still having time to do what they love. It is not extreme penny pinching, so they still are able to get what they want and need in life. A super saver can find ways to reduce their expenses and increase their income.
The first rule of being a super saver is to find the best deals. There are so many ways of doing so, and it will not always be what is cheaper.
Quality Can be an Important Factor
Cheaper is not always the best deal. You must consider the near future for the life expectancy of the product. For example, if these shoes will be worn daily, you want to invest more money for better quality. Otherwise, you will be replacing those shoes in a month or so, possibly paying double what you already have paid. Now purchasing a onesie for your baby does not need to be an expensive purchase, as they are soon to grow out of them.
Name-Brand Versus Generic-Labels
Groceries are an expensive budget item for the home. You do not always have to buy name brands for the best value though. Have you noticed that most name brands are on the top shelf, and generics are on the bottom, out of your eyesight? Stoop down during a shopping trip and grab something generic. Now, compare the ingredients to a brand product. They are pretty much the same thing.
Often times, generics are manufactured by large branded companies. So they are not losing a dime of your money. Items like peanut butter, flour, sugar, milk, bread, and pasta are excellent to purchase as generic. You may want to stick with brand-canned veggies as they pack the highest-quality first and brand tuna has more tuna than water/oil. As you shop and compare products, you will start to realize which brands you must have.
Stop Wasting Food
It does no good spending time price comparison-shopping, just to throw the food away later. Did you know that an average household wastes about 50% of their food purchases? That is a few thousands of dollars going directly into the trash.
To help offset this, plan your meals weekly. Do not give in to compulsive shopping. Sure, having snacks around the home is good. But purchases such as meats and large pasta dishes may go to waste, sooner than you have expected. If you have not completed the entries by day two or three, place it in freezer bags or bowls and put in the freezer. Use it for a quick meal when you are running behind on time.
Wait for the Sale
A super saver is a patient shopper. Most products will hit a markdown, so why purchase it today if you do not need it. If it’s something you need in the next few days, sure, make the purchase. Always check with the sales associate if the price is marked down if you can be refunded the difference. Also, check with your credit card company if they offer reimbursements for that as well. Many do for high-ticket electronic items.
In addition to waiting for a sale, just wait period. Set a period for yourself before buying something, maybe 48-96 hours. This test will help you decide if you truly need it and it gives you time to find it cheaper somewhere else.
Learn the Couponing Game
Couponing is growing in popularity and for good reason. It is the fastest way to become a super saver. You can double and triple your savings by using coupons, signing up for couponing clubs, and online memberships. Some require a membership fee; however, it is well worth the expense when you can save hundreds a month. You can also stack coupons as many accept manufacturer and store coupons simultaneously.
Find Deals on Entertainment Costs
Coupon clipping is not just for groceries either. You can be a super saver doing normal everyday activities. One favorite of many is dining out and using coupons. You can also find coupons for entertaining purposes such as bowling, batting cages, fitness classes, golf, kid activities, kayaking, concerts, and more.
Sign up for as many deals as you can with your favorite places. Create a separate email account so your primary email does not get clogged with deals.
Shop Online for Excellent deals
There are so many benefits to be a super saver sitting at home. First, you are already paying for your internet service, so use that rather than spending gas and time out shopping. You can find great deals online for your growing children on sites like ThredUp.com. There, you will find gently used clothes for sale, some with the tags still on. You will find the best deals on sweaters, jeans, shorts, coats, scarfs, and more.
Most stores host sales online just as they do in the store. So, check out these stores and search sites such as RetailMeNot.com, Coupons.com, and FreeCanadaCouponCodes.com for coupon codes. If you receive catalogs in the mail, check them out for promotional codes as well.
Other sites such as Ebates.com and Upromise.com allow you to shop and get rebates. How can you go wrong with that?
Besides saving on gas, you also get free shipping by shopping online for many sites. Try signing up for subscriptions at Amazon.com to help save you money on purchases you need on a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly basis. Signing up for subscriptions for everyday purchases such as coffee, creamers, paper towels, and diapers get you huge discounts.
Get More Out of One Purchase
Some ways to be an extreme super saver is to get more out of one purchase. Take fabric softener sheets, for instance. The entire sheet does not need to be used. You can use half of the sheet and get the same great effects.
Another thing to do is stretch your products by combining ingredients. If you love gourmet coffee, but not the cost, add regular coffee to stretch it out. Adding natural ingredients such as coconut oil, olive oil, and baking soda can stretch all your beauty products longer. Search online for great natural beauty products to stretch your favorite products.
Make and Grow Your Own Foods
Why give the supermarket all your money for products you can easily make at home? Make your own mixes at home with fewer ingredients. The results are healthier foods, preservative free, at more affordable prices. You can make your own taco seasoning, meat marinades, granola, and pancake mixes in the comforts of your own kitchen, for pennies on the dollar.
Use Sales as Gift Giving Opportunities
Many people will tell you to avoid purchasing items just because they are on sale. As a super saver, you know better than that. Sales are the perfect opportunities to stock up on gifts. You will always have readily available in your closet or trunk, gifts from the heart rather than dollar store items or items your friends and family cannot use. You can shop year-round to find gifts for men, women, teens, and children for all occasions.
Use Prepaid Cards and Gift Cards to Your Advantage
One reason budgeters are never able to stick to their budget is that they keep accessibility to their cash or checking accounts. Be a smart budgeter and use prepaid and gift cards. This allows you to leave your credit and debit cards at home. Have a prepaid card for every occasion: groceries, beauty salons, drug stores, vacation, gas, etc. This limits your spending in each category.
You can also save money with these cards as well. Sites such as GiftCardGranny.com, GiftCards.com, and Cardpool.com have users selling gift cards at discounts up to 25%. So, instead of a JCPenny gift card for $50, you can spend just $38.
You can get gift cards free in many cases. Redeem your points from other purchases and memberships you may have for gift cards. When friends and family members have no clue what to get you for the holidays, tell them a gift card will do just fine.
There is Nothing Wrong With Thrifty Shopping
Do not listen to friends and family that shopping at the thrift store is wrong. You can save tons of money and find designer clothing at that. You may need to drive to a particular neighborhood to find the quality items you are looking for, but it is well worth it. Not only can you find clothing, but kitchen accessories, toys, sporting goods and more.
We have examined the daily habits you can change to become a super saver. Now, let’s look at a few lifestyle changes you can make. These may seem extreme at first, but give it some thought. If you have a large savings goal to hit soon, these tips can get you there fast.
Downsize Your Home
How much are you spending on your mortgage? Have your kids moved out and you are not using your entire home as you used to? Downsizing your home may be a viable option for you and can decrease so many expenses. Your utilities, homeowners insurance, taxes, and home repairs may be more affordable. If you move into an apartment, you eliminate some expenses all together, such as taxes and maintenance expenses. You may gain other benefits such as an included gym membership, library, tennis courts, and a pool.
Rent Your Home
If downsizing is not an option, consider renting out a room or other portion of your home. Do you have a friend or other loved one coming into town? Offer to help them out with affordable living quarters while you collect extra money to put away and save. Other areas to consider are your garage or basement to rent out. If you have extra car space, consider renting a space out in your garage as storage space.
Live on One Income Instead of Two
If you have two incomes, think about living off one and saving the other. Many people must live off one income, so you may be able to make it work as well. It will take mounds of discipline, but if you set your budget and cut out extra expenses, you can put away thousands into your savings account.
Supplement Your Income
As a super saver, you know how to save money, but how about saving additional money in your savings account? You can easily supplement your income using your existing skills. Take a hobby, something you really enjoy, and turn it into extra income for your household. You can bake, make and sell crafts, or become a consultant. Gaining your experience and contacts now is a great way to prepare for additional income once you have retired.
Being a super saver is really just about making the right financial choices. It is more so about having a method, than it is about giving anything up. Remember, the choices and decisions that you make today can have a huge impact on your financial future.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!