The Best Tip to Save Money Anywhere

One of the best tips to snagging great deals, however or where ever you’re shopping, is to plan ahead.  Whether it is at the supermarket, online shopping, or at a yard sale, having a plan before you get there and make a purchase will most likely save you money.

For instance, I have often gone to a yard sale that I’ve passed just for fun, not having a plan in mind of what I need in particular.  When I’d get there, I would forget what I actually needed, miss a deal or come home with something I don’t need instead.  On the other hand, when I knew I was looking to buy a stand for my TV, I saw one that was too big to fit up the stairs to my apartment.  I knew this because I had taken measurements with me.  If I had bought it, I would have been in a real pickle trying to get it in the house.

So before heading out the door, make a plan by thinking about what you need and any specifics if there are any.  Come prepared with the measurements of the window treatments you’re looking for at a yard sale, or coupons for the items you need at the store.  This might not always be the case, but in some circumstances this can help you nab the best deal.

Have you ever made any impulse purchases you regretted later?  Were you ever in a situation like this that would have gone better had you planned ahead?

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The Best Ways to Get Organized and Get Frugal

I bet many would agree that it is easy to spend money, no need to learn how to do that.  The hard thing is saving money and shopping smart.  That takes more effort, but has better long-term consequences, if you ask me.  The first step to living frugally is to gather info on deals and create a system of organization.  There are lots of ways to save, and each different way could have its own organization system.  It is best to be organized so you can gather the right information and not miss a thing.  So here are a few things to keep in mind before you head out the door or online to shop frugally and save some money.

Saving at the stores:

Find deals online that can be used online or in the store.  To do this find websites that gather helpful information for upcoming deals and visit them often, follow them by methods such as email or readers that show you when new posts are published.  Check your reader everyday so you don’t miss a deal.

Yard Sales or Garage Sales:

Yard sales are a great way to find used or almost new products at great discounts.  The selection will vary, but with patience and a keen eye you can find great deals.  If you’re creative, you can refurbish or re-purpose items into inexpensive and truly unique treasures.  Use websites like Craigslist or your local paper (online or print version) and check the classified section for upcoming yard sales in your area.  Favorite these sites and look a day or two before the weekend begins.

Free samples:

Follow websites that let you know when companies are giving away free samples.  You can get some great stuff, but you have to check often because free samples go fast.  You can also check Facebook and “like” your favorite brands, because this is very often where free samples are given out.

Coupons:

You can find and collect coupons from a myriad of sources.  You can print them at home, you can find them in the Sunday paper, you can find them attached to products in the store, or in one of those blinkie machines on the shelf at the store, or trade them… They’re all around, so keep an eye out for coupons for products you would use.

Once you have your coupons, you’ll need a way to keep them organized.  If you were to go on a little search around my house, you’d probably find a few coupons in almost every room of the house.  They tend to get spread around, maybe one was stuck to a product in the cabinet, maybe one is in my coat pocket, you get the picture.  But little good this does when I get to the store and realize I left my coupons at home.  So I created a storage system for my coupons, a re-purposed photo album that fits in my purse.  This way I can insert the coupons in the sleeves, see them and organize them by categories, and take them with me to the store.  So you might want to create a similar system to organize your coupons so they are all in one place when you head out to the store.

There are plenty more ways to save, and these are just a few ideas of how to gather info and stay organized.  What are some of your tricks to finding deals and keeping all this info organized?