- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living
5 Ridiculously Easy ways to Save a Buck
1. Buy an Espresso Maker
Seriously. You may blanch at the price tag in the store, but making your own flavored coffees and other brews can save upwards of $500 a year. Within a month, your machine might have easily paid for itself. To save even more, browse the clearance section of chain stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart and Home Goods, among others. All it takes to find high quality machines at deep discounts is a little patience.
2. Reap the Rewards
Most credit cards nowadays have competitive rewards programs that grant you points according to how much money you spend. Some rewards programs tailor their rewards to the type of purchase. For instance, I get double points three months out of the year for using my card to purchase gasoline. Once I reach a certain amount of points, I can redeem them on a gift card to an online merchant that I can use to buy items or repurpose as a gift for a friend, saving even more!
3. Shop Online
Got some time before your friend’s wedding or another event? Hit the mall and try on that new outfit for size, but hold off on swiping your card at the register. Online retailers often offer the same items you’ll find in stores in a greater selection of sizes and colors and at a much steeper discount to boot. Browse online coupon sites like retailmenot.com and coupons.com to find out what stores are offering online-only promo codes. I’ve saved up to half-off items that would have been full-priced at the store this way.
4. Return It
A well-kept secret of the retail world is that you don’t have to kick yourself for purchasing an item right before it goes on sale. In fact, most retailers have a policy that allows buyers to return to the store with their receipt and receive a refund of the difference in price within a certain period of time after the original purchase, typically within 30 days. This is a great trick for retail guessing gamers who find themselves missing out on coveted items that go out of stock before they go on sale.
5. Know Your Rights
And your discounts! Remember that AAA membership you took out on last summer’s road trip because you ran out of gas on some desolate back road? Well, that little card comes with more benefits than a free gallon of gas. You can present your members card to numerous retailers both online and in store and save money on everything from your fall wardrobe to pretzels and even a hotel stay. Take stock of any other discounts you may be entitled to thanks to other club memberships, student or senior status, loyal buyer perks at grocery stores and other retailers and even birthday-month promotionals. Savings abound, but the most common reason people spend more is that they don’t realize the discounts they’re already entitled to.