I absolutely love saving money. Sometimes I spend my free time reading finance articles and different blogs about the subject, but one thing I have noticed is that articles sometimes fail to mention feasible ways to save money, instead only focusing on how. So I decided that I would make and share a cheat sheet of where I save money.
Just to preface: We are a family of 2; my daughter and myself. These suggestions come from my personal experience of providing for 2 people, regularly. Also, I do not coupon. I realize that this is how some families save money, but I don’t have patience for the process and don’t see that it would be worth it when I am only providing for 2. I do see this as a smart way to save for larger families, as is a membership to Costco or Sam’s Club, but, again, it just doesn’t make sense for us.
Fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat alternatives. Fruits and Vegetables are extremely cheap here, but are very good quality and they have a huge selection of organic produce, as well. There are meat alternatives in almost every grocery store these days, but I find that Sprouts has the best selection.
Everything else grocery related. I love this grocery store due to the fuel points system. They will discount you up to 30 cents/gallon, depending on your fuel points.
Kitchen utensils, paper products, kitchen hand-towels/washcloths, basic picture frames, craft items, holiday decor, and party supplies. Dollar Tree was my best friend when I moved into my apartment after moving to Denver. Everything is $1 and it provides an easy start for anyone who does not have basic household items.
Household items, purses, women’s shoes and clothes, and children’s shoes and clothes. TJ Maxx and Ross have a lot of cute discounted household items, as well as a great selection of children’s shoes. They have a cute stuff and name brand items.
For clearance household items. I once bought 12 small dinner plates for $4.99 because someone had bought them online and returned them. Due to them being an online purchase, they were heavily discounted. I was ecstatic! I absolutely love Target’s ongoing flair for style in household goods.
Plain t-shirts, medical supplies, office supplies, pet food and ready-to-assemble furniture. When making shirts for crafts or projects, Walmart has plain t-shirts in many colors. Also, medical supplies are fairly cheap at Walmart. Bandaids are only 99 cents for a large quantity and variety of sizes. I just bought some! Also, Walmart has a great selection of ready-to-assemble tables with chairs. A few days ago, I saw a cute, cherry wood dining table with 4 chairs for only $127.
Dishes and kid’s clothes. When I was moving into my apartment, I found several Pyrex dishes while thrifting. You may have to go to a couple of different thrift stores, but most of them have a huge selection of dishes. I’m a big believer in re-using items. Some items you may want to take caution on though – furniture, bedding, and some clothing – due to possible bed bugs.
I sell and then buy a size up for my daughter. Usually I break even and she comes home with a new wardrobe! My favorite consignment store is Once Upon a Child.
When I can shop at local farmer’s markets, I do. I especially like Denver Farmer’s Market and Arvada Farmer’s Market.
Department store tips (I worked at a particular one for a couple years) – Most department stores have what they call “Power Hours,” (Friday night and Saturday morning), where they discount their merchandise. Also, many department stores offer coupons just by signing up by email. When items are put on clearance (summer merchandise being clearanced in August-Sept and winter merchandise being clearanced in March-April), buy those items for the next season. They will outgrow items quickly so you can always buy the next size up. I do this with school clothes every year and it saves me a ton of money!