I am not a penny pincher or extreme couponer. But nothing beats saving money on things you already buy. After a while, it adds up! Here’s how to save some dough with minimal effort.
Coupons. I don’t mean going through the Sunday paper and clipping a stack of coupons. Does anyone even get newspapers anymore? It’s called Google. There are coupons for basically everything out there. How much effort you want to put into this is up to you. I’m sure the more time you spend looking, the more you’ll save. But even if you’re a busy 20-something (which of course you are) a quick scan of the internet will yield great results. Real life example for an oil change:
Elapsed time: Five minutes
Total savings: $16 ($43 without coupon, $27 with)
Groupons. Groupons are hit or miss, for me personally. I have limited experience with Groupon but scored a really great one for a blowout a few months ago. My advice is to keep an open mind and make sure you can deal with excess emails (several a day, until you unsubscribe.) Real life example for the blowout at Drybar:
Elapsed time: Five minutes (after eavesdropping former coworkers’ conversation about said Groupon)
Total savings: $20 ($40 without coupon, $20 with)
Loyalty cards. Do you shop at the same grocery store every week? The same drugstore every time you need tampons? They might have a customer loyalty card. You can score big here. I probably spend more than I need to at CVS but I have saved a lot. Your purchases are kept track of and once you hit certain amounts, you get free store credit. FREE MONEY. It’s like $1.50-$2 every quarter, plus more if you buy cosmetics and beauty products. Plus you get 20-30% off coupons emailed to you every week. Real life example:
Elapsed time: 10 or so minutes to fill out a form
Total savings: $61 this year (according to my latest receipt)
Makeup remover wipes. This is a Target-specific money saving trick. I noticed this last year during one of my most-likely-unnecessary trips to Target. Up and Up (store brand) makeup remover wipes, in a 30 pack, are $4.29. The same wipes, in packs of 10, are $1. So if you buy three packs, it’s $3. THAT IS $1.29 LESS.
Elapsed time: a minute or so to walk to the travel size product aisle
Total savings: $30 a year if you go through 60 wipes a month
Packing your lunch. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chipotle as much as the next person and I am so not good at packing my lunch. But if I did, I would be saving more. Set aside a few minutes in the morning to pack some leftovers or a sandwich or even a few different snacks. Then allow yourself to eat out one day a week (YAY BURRITOS.) Simple! And get a cute lunch bag to motivate yourself to fill it.
Elapsed time: 10 minutes to pack a lunch
Total savings: $40 a week if you spend ~$10 a day