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Cheapskate Tips: Frugal Chick Tips For Huge Discounts

Updated on August 6, 2016
Shop at local thrift stores for drop-dead prices
Shop at local thrift stores for drop-dead prices

Saving Wads Of Cash

Want to save wads of cash and do away with your mountain of debt? Here are some tips to get you saving fast:

  • Pay Cash Most of us are so used to swiping our credit and debit cards for daily transactions that we lose sight of how much money we're spending. Transition yourself over to cash. Start with one or two areas. Tell yourself you will only buy groceries using cash. Set aside an amount, say $60, and tell yourself that you must stick to your budget. Put the cash in your pocket, leave the rest of your wallet or purse in the car. That way you won't be tempted to cheat. Leave your cards at home and know that when you're out of cash, you are done shopping.
  • Keep a spending journal. Record all your expenses. I started doing this after reading Mary Hunt's The Complete Cheapskate at least 60 times. Mary Hunt is a reformed debtor who went from bankruptcy to banking queen and wiped out thousands of dollars of debt she had racked up. Any time you spend money, simply write down the date, the expense and amount. This goes for all spending from cah to debit and credit cards and even Paypal spending. Most of us will struggle with this at first until the idea of recording your expense for Gas on 10/19 at $38.00 becomes so ingrained in your brain you reach for your notebook as soon as you pull up to the pump.

Carry a small notebook with you and do this every single day for two weeks. Then go back and look at the money you spent. You spent $315 on eating out for the month of August? Add up all your expenses by category. Chances are your spending is far outpacing your earning, if you are like most Americans. Keep a spending diary. Carry this journal with you at all times. You need this to keep you from spending hundreds of dollars on crap you don't need just to make yourself feel better. Trust me, you'll feel much better if the money is in the bank.

  • Wait 24 hours before making any major expenditures. The new printer that sounds like such a great buy may not be what you really need. If all your existing printer needs is a new ink cartridge, save the $3oo and use it to wipe out your credit card debt.
  • . Buy in bulk whenever possible. Never shop at convenience stores. Shop once a month and make your supplies last. Instead of conveniently packaged single servings of instant oatmeal, buy the tub.
  • Shop thrift stores. Let someone else pay for the overpriced goods at department stores then donate them 6 months later when they redecorate. If you have a good eye, you can get great bargains. I found a gorgeous floor lamp for $9.99 at my favorite thrift store. Normally these are $39.99 and up at the same thrift store.

Cheapskate Tip: Do Not Shop Out of Boredom

Never shop out of boredom. If you run into a store without a list in hand, you're setting yourself up to overspend. This behavior is the new norm. We are obsessed with shopping. Thanks to the internet, we can shop 24 hours a day. Replace shopping out of boredom with healthier habits. Spend that time at the gym or in the garden.

Pay Off Your Credit Card

I love saving money and tracking my investments. Recently, my credit card debt grew to over $8,000. I told myself that I will eventually get it paid off and justified why I let my debt get that high. Meanwhile, I had $7,000 in my mutual fund account. The more I thought about the cost of my debt (that ugly amount credit card companies charge just for the privilege of not paying your balance in full each month), the madder I got. I decided to withdraw as much as possible from my mutual funds and pay off my credit cards.

Save All Change and Dollar Bills

I recently took my savings to a new level by following this one tip. I saved as much as I could for a recent beach trip by putting my "small" change (fives and tens included and eventually twenty dollar bills went into my stash as my money savings snowballed. Before my annual beach trip, I came up with a goal. I wanted to pay for my part of the trip entirely in cash with my savings. My part included four or five nights at a beachfront motel during prime beach time at Carolina Beach. I told my boyfriend about the goal, periodically pulled out my cash stash, waved it around to get him excited about our savings. Did he contribute? Did he laugh and joke that we'd be paying for our room in quarters? He definitely poked fun at me for this but when we were at the beach and I'd whip out this wad of cash, he was much more receptive. Suddenly, he wanted to know how long I had been saving. How much was in our account, he asked. "Our account?" I smiled.

How to Save Change

Ask For A Discount

Always ask for and expect to get a discount. This can be a senior discount, loyal customer discount, etc. Chances are good that if you ask for a discount, you will get one. Don't be obnoxious, condescending or threatening. No one wants to help a nasty or rude customer. If you are straightforward and ask for help you are much more likely to get what you want.

Become An Ebay Powerseller

  • Got brand name clothing that you're not wearing? Sell your gently used clothing for quick cash on Ebay. My favorite items are jeans. American Eagle, Lucky Brand, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, J. Crew and Victoria's Secret are some of my best selling brands. If you have the time and energy, you can sell thousands of dollars of clothing every month for a hefty profit. Find out how in my Ebay sales hub.

Design and Sell Your Own Jewelry

Vintage Typewriter Key Locket on Sterling Silver Chain
Vintage Typewriter Key Locket on Sterling Silver Chain
Sundance-inspired Gypsy Button Bracelet
Sundance-inspired Gypsy Button Bracelet | Source

Cheapskate Savings:Easy Ways to Save Money

My number one tip for saving money is to ASK. Is there a coupon code you can use when shopping online? Does your favorite grocery store match competitors' coupons? Ask for a discount if you want a super easy way to save money. Cheapskates are clever people who find easy ways to save money every day.


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