52 Ways To Save: Sign Up for Swagbucks

Every Monday in 2015, I’ll be sharing a different idea to help you save money! Add all of these tips to your frugal repertoire and you’ll be able to save a lot of money this year! I hope you’ll gather a few new ideas or at least some inspiration from this series.  

Sign Up for Swagbucks to earn FREE gift cards and more!

Signing up for Swagbucks is a great way to save money!  Swagbucks is my internet search engine of choice because I earn points called SB, which I can then redeem for Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards and even PayPal credit!  Talk about a great way to purchase gifts or even every day essentials for free!  I’m a huge fan of Swagbucks.

It’s completely free to sign up. So go sign up now, then I’ll tell you my top 9 tips to earn points called SB!

Tip #1 – Refer your Friends

Swagbucks has a great referral program.  For each new person that you refer to Swagbucks.com, you will earn 10% of the referrals earnings. You will continue to earn 10% for as long as your referral is active on Swagbucks.com, with no maximum limit.

And while I’m at an advantage because I have a blog, you can still earn referrals if you have a Facebook page, Twitter account, or email address!

Start sending out invites to everyone you know.  Here’s how:

  1. Once you have signed up for Swagbucks, go to “Invite Friends” located at the top of Swagbucks.com.
  2. Choose how you want to connect with them – Facebook, Email, Twitter, etc.
  3. Send out a request.

I recommend updating the status of your own Facebook Page with your referral code when you win Swagbucks or when you receive a gift card.

If people see you are earning free stuff, they’ll want in on the action too!

Tip #2 – Download the SwagButton

The SwagButton makes it faster to earn points (called SB).  The SwagButton is an extension for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. With the SwagButton, you will have access to all the earning opportunities Swagbucks has to offer. Earn for searching the web. See the coupons and special offers. And enjoy one-click access to Swagbucks TV, Games, Surveys, Coupons and much more. You will also be alerted when there is a new Swag Code made available.

How to Download the SwagButton:

  1. Log in to your Swagbucks account.
  2. Scroll down the Swagbucks homepage until you find “Quick Links” on the left side of the page.
  3. Then click on SwagButton from the list.
  4. You will then be directed to a page to add the button to your browser. I use Chrome so it gave me instructions for adding it to Chrome.

Tip #3 – Follow Swagbucks on Facebook and Twitter

Not only do you earn points for searching online, but there are always swag codes to be found that you can type into your account for extra points. (Log into your account then enter the code into the box that says “Swag Code” at the top of the page)

You’ll want to follow the Swagbucks Facebook Page because:

  • Quite often there are codes that are Facebook exclusive that are put in plain sight on the Facebook Wall.
  • If there is a code somewhere else, like on the Swagbucks Blog, other users will let you know.

You want to follow Swagbucks on Twitter because:

  • When a Swag code becomes “live” you ‘ll know within a few minutes on Twitter because everyone tweets or retweets.
  • Tips on how to earn more points

Tip #4 – Follow the Swagbucks blog

You want to follow the Swagbucks Blog because:

  • Swagbucks releases codes on the blog as often as once a day.

Tip #5 – Watch Swagbucks TV

Find the “Earn” section on the left sidebar of the homepage then click “Watch”.  You will earn a different amount of points depending on what you watch.

Although this may be tedious, if you’re doing something on your computer anyways, you could turn the volume down and still tinker away!

Tip # 6 – Do the Daily Polls

Click on the “Daily Poll” button on the left sidebar of the homepage.  Take the Daily Poll and you’ll win one point.  This isn’t the biggest reward out there. But it takes 10 seconds and every Swagbuck adds up!

Tip # 7 – Use Shop & Earn

Canadians can Shop & Earn! Every time you’re doing some online shopping, make sure to head over the Swagbucks homepage and click on the “shop” button on the left sidebar. Depending on the store you’re shopping at, you will earn a varying amount of points for every dollar you spend. (Currently you will earn 4 SB for every $1 spent online at Walmart.ca)

Tip # 8 – Join Team Challenges

Quite often, Swagbucks will put together team challenges. When you join a challenge, you will automatically be assigned a team and when you contribute a certain amount of points to your team, you will earn a bonus!

Tip # 9 – Swag Code Extravaganza

Another thing Swagbucks does quite often is they have Swag Code Extravaganzas! They will release about 6 swag codes throughout one day on their various social media and other platforms.  The last extravaganza they had, if you collected all the swag codes, you would have had an extra 30 points for your account!

I hope this helps those of you that want to earn more!  Swagbucks is a great way to save on the things you need! Happy earning!

This post includes affiliate links, and I earn matching Swag Bucks if you sign up with my link. Thanks for your support of this site!

See the other articles in this series, here.

52 Ways To Save: Ditch the Disposable Products

Every Monday in 2015, I’ll be sharing a different idea to help you save money! Add all of these tips to your frugal repertoire and you’ll be able to save a lot of money this year! I hope you’ll gather a few new ideas or at least some inspiration from this series.  

Ditch Disposable Products

Sorry for the delay in this week’s post.  Some things came up that I couldn’t avoid!

One way to save big through the year is to ditch the disposable products that you use on a daily basis. (Or reuse them.) While our household hasn’t 100% ditched the disposables, we’re still pretty good at reusing the stuff we can!

Here are some ideas to help eliminate or reduce paper/plastic products that you may purchase on a regular basis. I wouldn’t try to eliminate all of these products all at once, just slowly reduce and eliminate them one at a time.

Paper Towels

I still purchase paper towel, but maybe once a year? It’s honestly for my husband. Ha!  For big wet messes I like to use beach towels (or any dirty towel I have laying around.) Washcloths work great for cleaning windows or small messes.

Napkins

Well, we don’t really use cloth napkins, but those little baby washcloths sure come in handy for cleaning up my daughter. My husband and I just use soap and water when we’re finished, but I wouldn’t say we’re messy eaters like my daughter 😉 We have a pile of napkins from restaurants in the drawer that also come in handy. (since they’d be thrown out at the restaurant anyways, we take them home.)

Plastic shopping bags

I try to have my own reusable shopping bags on hand at all times, but sometimes I forget!  Plus, if I’m being honest, I like to bring home plastic shopping bags once in a while to use in our garbage cans.

Sandwich/freezer bags

I’m the crazy lady who washes and reuses sandwich and freezer bags. (I can’t be the only one?) I’ll have them drying out all over the place in the kitchen. I don’t wash the really yucky ones though or the ones that had meat in them. Those get tossed. I actually had to purchase sandwich bags the other day and I was surprised at the cost! (I didn’t even have a coupon!)

Aluminum foil

We don’t use aluminum foil very often, but sometimes when we do, I can reuse it because it wasn’t touching any food. I just fold it up gently then pull it out next time I need some for grilling veggies or covering a cheesy lasagna!

I think by eliminating or reducing the amount you use these items, you can save big through the year. Or in the example of plastic shopping bags, you’re saving yourself some good cash by not purchasing “real” trash bags!

What disposable products have you eliminated from your home? What items would you like to eliminate?

See the other articles in this series, here.

52 Ways To Save: Use Daily Deal Sites to Save

Every Monday in 2015, I’ll be sharing a different idea to help you save money! Add all of these tips to your frugal repertoire and you’ll be able to save a lot of money this year! I hope you’ll gather a few new ideas or at least some inspiration from this series.  

How to Use Daily Deal Sites to Save

I’m sure you’ve heard of daily deals sites like Groupon, WagJag and Zulily.  Well, if you don’t already use those sites, they are a great way to save money! For today’s 52 Ways to Save post, I want to show you the ins and outs of using those daily deal sites effectively.  I especially like them for getting great deals on restaurants, local attractions and even gifts.

Here are five things to keep in mind when shopping through daily deal sites:

Refer your Friends

Most of the daily deal sites offer some sort of incentive for referring new friends to their site.  Groupon offers a $10 credit each time a new friend signs up, while Living Social will give you a deal you purchased for free if you have three friends that purchase the deal as well.

Stick to your Budget

A deal isn’t a deal if you can’t afford it! If you have a $25 monthly budget for eating out, then purchasing a voucher to a local restaurant can make your dollars stretch further. But, don’t be tempted to spend more money than you have just to “get a deal”.

Read up on the Company

Before making your purchase, make sure you do a little research on the company that you’re buying the voucher for. For instance, say you’re interested in a pedicure voucher to a company you’ve never heard of.  Make sure you head over to their website and Facebook page to scope out any reviews others have left. If there are negative reviews, make sure to really pay attention to them to see if their complaints would bother you as well.

Read the Fine Print

Always be sure to read the fine print on a deal.  Make sure the deal is valid at a location near you. Check the details on whether there’s a purchase minimum. (Sometimes there’s a minimum purchase required, and if I do the research, discover that there’s no way I can stay close to the voucher value. I always pass those up.) Also be sure to check that you can use the deal before it expires.

Use Ebates

Once you’ve decided that a voucher or deal is a good deal for you, be sure to head over to Ebates to earn a little cash back on your purchase!  Ebates, it’s a site that rewards you with a small percentage of cash-back on your online purchases. All you have to do is sign up for an account and then go to Ebates, search for the online store you’re planning to purchase from, and click through to the site to make your purchase.

Each quarter, Ebates will send you a check for your accumulated cash-back amount. It’s FREE money that you’re earning for making a purchase you were already planning to make!

My favourite Daily Deal sites:

Groupon
WagJag
Zulily

What are your favorite daily deal sites? What tips and tricks do you have to add to my list?

See the other articles in this series, here.

The Truth About Food Expiration Dates

The Truth About Food Expiration Dates

The Truth About Food Expiration Dates

Are you one of those people that checks the expiration date on food before you open it? It’s a habit for many, as we want to make sure the food we eat is fresh and safe for consumption. And while food expiration dates can help keep us safe, they may also be adding to the food you waste. The truth is, not all food items are dangerous if consumed past the expiration date. Many in fact are still fresh, edible, and can be very much enjoyed. So how do you know what is safe and what is not? Below, we’ll reveal the truth about food expiration dates!

First, you need to know the difference between sell by dates, use by dates, and expiration dates.

Sell by dates:

Some items are marked with a sell by date, which is when the store needs to have it off the shelves and available for sale. You will often see this with fresh items such as bread, chicken, ground beef, and baked goods. Can you eat the items after the sell by date? YES! It is not expired, it is not unhealthy, it is just not permissible for the store to sell the items pass this date. When purchasing these items, you do want to use them within 2-3 days of purchase. If you can’t, then you should freeze them for use at a later time.

Use by dates:

You will often see “use by” dates on dried goods such as cereal, crackers, granola bars, and other dried pantry goods. These items are meant to sit on pantry shelves for a length of time, and will stay fresh for months as long as they are stored properly. The use by date on the packaging suggests which date to eat the item by in order to enjoy it at its freshest. After the use by date, the item may a bit dried out, stale tasting, or just not in its perfect, intended state. Many discount grocers that offer scratch and dent items or close out items offer dried goods that are perfectly safe to eat, but past their use by date.

Expiration dates:

Expiration dates can often be found on convenience items that contain fresh dairy or meat ingredients. You will see these dates on items like canned biscuits, cold dips, and yogurt. Often times, it will be on fresh items that contain dairy or eggs and can spoil easily. Items like this with an expiration date SHOULD be used by the expiration date. If you eat it after that point the fresh ingredients may not be good anymore and you could get sick.

General suggestions:

Dried and processed foods can typically be enjoyed within a reasonable time frame after the expiration or use by date. This would include pastas, cereal, crackers, and canned goods.

Fresh items such as meat, cheeses, and other dairy items can be used a few days past the sell by date, but should never be used past the expiration date. Spoiled meat and dairy products could result in illness.

Hopefully this clears up a little of the confusion out there about food expiration dates. So stop throwing away that food or passing up hot clearance deals based on these labels. Keep in mind their meanings and you can look at food in a whole new way!

52 Ways To Save: Eat Out Less

Every Monday in 2015, I’ll be sharing a different idea to help you save money! Add all of these tips to your frugal repertoire and you’ll be able to save a lot of money this year! I hope you’ll gather a few new ideas or at least some inspiration from this series.  

Eat Out Less To Save Big

I’m going to be honest with you and say it’s been a busy/disorganized season of our lives so we’ve been eating out a lot more than we should be :( This is something I want to remedy because truthfully, it’s only because I’ve been “lazy” and frustrated with trying to please everyone’s taste buds. Ugh! Several years ago we decided eating out once a week for a cheap dinner was okay. But lately I’ve been finding we’re eating out once a week plus stopping midday for some lunch or even a treat at least once a week. That really adds up!

I’ve come up with several ways that I think will get our family back on track and eating at home more. I think these tips will help you eat out less too!

Menu plan

Since I’m being honest in this post, I’ve been completely slacking in the menu planning department. And this is huge for me because I’m such an advocate for planning a weekly menu! I know the benefits it has for my family, yet I’ve still been slacking.

I don’t find it difficult to plan a menu, I’ve been doing it for quite a few years, yet it has become a chore to me trying to please everyone. (And there’s only three of us right now!) A wise woman I know, who has many children, once gave me some wonderful advice. I was wondering how she managed to serve meals that her entire family would eat. She told me that she mainly tries to think of what her husband would enjoy. Make him happy and the kids will have to learn to like what’s put on the table. I loved that because I don’t want my children to be picky eaters and it takes the pressure off trying to please every single person! Which would ultimately end up with several different meals being made at each meal time. No thanks.

If you have troubles planning a menu, there are plenty of meal planning services out there like: eMeals, The Fresh 20, Once a Month Mom.

Use the slow cooker

I love my slow cooker. Most recipes I use don’t involve any precooking. Just plunk all the ingredients in the cooker, turn it on, and walk away while dinner is being made! Using a slow cooker in the hot summer months is especially great because it doesn’t heat the house up!

You’ll find many amazing slow cooker meals on Pinterest, in books from the library and even Googling slow cooker meals.

Freezer cooking

Another time saver is using your freezer to stash a whole bunch of freezer meals that you can pull out in the morning to thaw and have on the table just in time for dinner madness.  I’m a big fan of setting aside some time to prepare as many freezer meals as I can, especially when I know a busy season is coming up. (a new baby, guests in town…etc.)

You will find an endless amount of freezer cooking ideas online, but I also have some articles you may enjoy:

Eat the Leftovers

We often have dinner leftovers that get pushed to the back of the fridge.  But by making a conscious effort to eat the leftovers, we can really start to eat out less for lunch or dinner. Besides, leftovers are so easy!  Just heat and serve!

Keep it simple

Who cares if you eat tacos every Tuesday or have pizza night every Friday? If your family enjoys it and it’s healthier than eating out, just roll with it!  Keeping it simple, especially in busy seasons can be just the ticket to keep you from eating out more than you need to be.

Make treats at home

Maybe it’s just our family, but I find we’re going out for ice cream once a week, or Ice Capps. Especially on nights when my husband plays soccer.  Sienna and I like to bring a treat if we’re going to be watching his game. One way we could save, is by making treats at home before we leave.  It’s easy to whip up a delicious blended drink or even bring a bowl of ice cream with the ice cream I bought from the grocery store. I just have to be more diligent in trying!

Give yourself grace

One of the most important things, though, is that you need to give yourself grace. If you have the wiggle room in your budget to eat out and it’s something that your family enjoys, I encourage you to budget it in.

Plus, when it’s in the budget, there’s no guilt!. Maybe that means you can budget to eat out once a week, once a month, or every six months. Figure out what works for you and then do it and don’t feel guilty!

How do you eat out less?  How often do you eat out?  Is this also something you want to change?

See the other articles in this series, here.

5 Things to Buy New, 5 Things to Buy Used

5 Things to Buy New, 5 Things to Buy Used

What To Buy New, What to Buy Used

The reality is that sometimes things break and need to be replaced. When shopping for anything for your home, work, or yard, you might be wondering if you need to buy something brand new or if used is a better option. In some cases, used is perfectly fine and can score you a better deal. Other times, you will want to take the brand new route. So how do you know which way to choose? Take a look below at this helpful list of 5 things to buy new, and 5 things to buy used. Hopefully, this will help you decide if new or used is right for you when making a purchase!

5 Things to Buy New:

Bakeware: You want the piece to still have a good non-stick coating on it, so buying new is a good idea. Good deals are always around on bakeware, so it makes sense to go ahead and buy an unused piece.

Bras: This might seem obvious, but you would be amazed how many people are buying bras on Ebay, online sales sites, and thrift shops. You want excellent support, and you just don’t know how often the bra has been worn. Instead, avoid weak elastic and try a new one instead.

Area rugs: You might see a great deal on a used area rug or carpet remnant, but avoid getting sucked in. Chances are you will need to steam clean the piece anyways, and it could contain everything from bed bugs to the smell of cigarette smoke.

Space heaters: Space heaters are great to warm up a space, but avoid buying used ones. They could pose a fire hazard if they malfunction, and since you don’t know how much and how it has been used, it is better to skip it.

Bedding items: Due to health concerns, bedding items such as mattresses, sheets, pillows, and shams should always be purchased new. You don’t know how often they have been used, which is especially important with mattresses. Bed bugs are also a concern.

5 Things to Buy Used:

Wooden/metal furniture pieces: You can always get a better deal on household furniture when you buy used. Solid pieces (do NOT buy upholstered) can be easily cleaned and fixed if needed, and you will pay a fraction of the cost of new.

Jackets: Thrift stores have excellent sales on jackets, and even if you add in the cost of a cleaning you are still getting a great deal. And because people switch wardrobes often, you could very easily find a coat from as early as last season on the rack.

Books: Always buy used books! You can buy them at thrift stores for a fraction of the cost of new. Library sales are a great place to stock up on books, as are garage and rummage sales.

Picture frames: Picture frames are pricey, so try finding them used instead. You can find them at thrift stores and use them as is or give them a splash of paint for a quick pick me up.

Movies and Music: Don’t pay full price for movies and music. Instead, buy these items second hand or rent them from the local library. You will save a ton and still get the music and movies you love.

Baby and Maternity Items: Aside from car seats, I think most things related to baby should be bought used.  You’ll save big time when it comes to purchasing big ticket items like strollers and swings. Both baby and maternity clothes are also great to buy used because they don’t get worn much before they’re outgrown.

Hopefully, this list will give you an idea of the items you should buy new and the ones you should buy used. Take these into consideration when shopping and see how much you can save!

What would you add to the list?

52 Ways To Save: Get Organized

Every Monday in 2015, I’ll be sharing a different idea to help you save money! Add all of these tips to your frugal repertoire and you’ll be able to save a lot of money this year! I hope you’ll gather a few new ideas or at least some inspiration from this series.  

6 Ways being Organized Will Save you Money

The more I think about it, I really think that being organized is the key to saving money.  Not only does my sanity thrive when things are organized in my home, I find our bank account is happier too. :)

Here are 6 ways being organized helps to save me money:

Know what I already own

Having a spot for everything will help ensure that you know what you have on hand at all times. No need to buy the beans that are on sale because you know that you already have plenty in the pantry! Being organized (or more organized because we can’t be perfect!) stops you from spending money to replace items you can’t find.

 

I’ll avoid late fees

When you have an organized system in place for paying bills and returning borrowed items on time, you’ll certainly avoid the ugly late fees. Avoid paying late fees by implementing a system that will work for you. I have to tell you a story about the one time I had a late fee on the Visa bill. My bill paying “system” is not how my husband would do it and he suggested I try it his way.  His way was to pay off an amount as soon as there was a balance. My way is to pay it once a month on the due date, the balance of the statement in full. As soon as I receive the statement in the mail, I log into our online banking and schedule the payment to be made on the due date. Sure, it may be a larger amount doing it my way, but I’m never late in paying it! My husband has learned to just let me do my thing in that regard. 😉

Have time to plan a menu

When you’re organized, you’ll have time to set aside to plan the menu for the week. I’m a firm believer that having a menu plan in place will save you unnecessary trips to the grocery store and your sanity.  In our case, it saves us a ton because we’re avoiding the drive thru and actually eating what we buy from the grocery store.

Have time to cut and use coupons

If you’re a coupon user, being organized means you most likely have some time set aside for printing and organizing your coupons. Which also means you are probably organized to use the coupons at the store to pay rock bottom prices!

Know what projects you have on the go

Let’s pretend that I don’t know all about incomplete projects. (you know, those unfinished sewing and knitting projects that I found…) Every once in a while I get an urge to do something creative. But when I take the opportunity to have an organizing session, I usually discover a few unfinished projects.

Most recently, as I was going through my fabric stash, I found two unfinished projects.  A purse, which only needs to have the handles sewn on, and material for a sweatshirt I’ve cut out for my husband.   I now have two projects to finish to satisfy my creative urge without spending any more money!

Buy gifts well in advance

When you’re on the ball with upcoming special occasions, you can buy ahead when you find a great deal online or in the store. Helping you to avoid paying full price for something near your deadline.

How does being organized save you money? In what ways would you like to be more organized so you can save more?

See the other articles in this series, here.

7 Creative Uses for Pool Noodles

7 Creative Uses for Pool Noodles

If you have a few extra pool noodles on hand, or just feel like getting creative, check out these 7 creative uses for pool noodles!

Pool noodles are fantastic for playtime in the pool, and the best part is you can snag them for about a buck at most dollar and retail stores. If you have a few extra pool noodles on hand, or just feel like getting creative, check out these 7 creative uses for pool noodles below. You will find that pool noodles are not only fun, but that they can be quite practical too!

1. Soften hard edges.

If your bed frame, outdoor fencing, or table has rough or sharp edges, you can soften them up with a pool noodle. Simply cut the pool noodle with a serrated knife to the length you need, and then slice the noodle so it fits over the sharp edge. No more sharp edges!

2. Make your own drink markers.

Don’t get drinks mixed up again when you make your own pool noodle drink markers. Cut the pool noodle into ½ inch slices, then make a cut into the slice so it can cling onto a wine glass stem. You can then write names on the slice or just give each guest a different color. No more drink confusion!

3. Provide proper plant drainage.

If you have a large flower pot to fill and want proper drainage, look no further than an old pool noodle. Cut the pool noodle into smaller chunks and line the bottom of the flower pot with them. It will provide filling so you use less soil, and provides proper drainage at the same time. No more soggy soil!

4. Make miniature sailboats.

Cut the pool noodle into one inch segments. Cut a small triangle out of scrapbook paper and glue the triangle to a toothpick. Then, poke the toothpick into the top of the pool noodle segment. Set it on water and watch it sail away. Goodbye summertime boredom!

5. Make your own stamps.

Cut pool noodles into 2 inch segments then dip them either in paint or onto a paint pad. Press the pool noodle onto paper and it will leave the impression of the noodle. This is a great way to beat summer boredom as well and enjoy some hands on fun.

6. Make your own tic tac toe game.

Take two pool noodles of various colors and cut them into 1 inch segments. Create a tic tac toe grid using chalk, and then use the segments as your markers. Just give each player a different color so you can keep track of whose is whose.

7. Make a pool noodle garland.

Get your next pool party looking festive when you craft a pool noodle garland. Just cut your pool noodles into ½ inch segments. Then, create a slice in each so they can interlock with each other. Start interlocking the pieces to create one long garland. Then, just hang and enjoy.

See how fun pool noodles can be? Give these creative uses for pool noodles a try and you are sure to never look at pool noodles the same way again.

52 Ways To Save: Learn How to Negotiate a Good Deal

Every Monday in 2015, I’ll be sharing a different idea to help you save money! Add all of these tips to your frugal repertoire and you’ll be able to save a lot of money this year! I hope you’ll gather a few new ideas or at least some inspiration from this series.  

How to Negotiate a Good Deal

How to Negotiate a Good Deal

Do you have friends who always seem to find great deals? Does it seem like no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to land the deals they do? Well the trick is dealing smarter, not harder. Learning to negotiate a good deal can help you to save big bucks throughout the year. If you want to learn to negotiate a better deal whenever you purchase a product, take a look at these helpful tips below.

1. Do your research.

It’s best to go into a deal scenario well educated. If you know that item X can be purchased for a lower price at another store, this is excellent information to know. Know what the average retail price is of any product you are purchasing, so you know what you have to work with as far as price ranges.

2. Never disclose your budget.

Many times a salesman will ask you what budget you are working with when making a deal. Don’t tell them. They will still try to sell you at the higher end of budget. Instead, ask for your options to make a decision on. You are never obligated to disclose your budget, as it could actually hinder you from getting a good deal.

3. Don’t appear to be in a hurry.

If you appear to be in a hurry to purchase, it can be used against you. Instead, act as though you have all of the time in the world to make this decision. Make the salesman bring the good deal to you and attract your business.

4. Ask for a manager.

A manager may be able to give you a better deal than a floor salesperson. If you feel as though there is a better deal to be had, ask to speak to a manager. See if the price is firm by simply asking, “What is your best price on this? Is it firm?” and go from there.

5. Know your discount status.

Always ask if there is a discount for seniors, students, teachers, military, etc. It is always wise to ask the salesperson if they offer discounts AND if discounts can be stacked. For example, can you use your senior discount on top of a coupon or sale price? If so, the savings can add up!

6. Quote your competitors.

This is where it’s wise to go in educated as mentioned above. Knowing the price of the store’s competitors can make a huge difference. Quote these prices even if they are about the same or more, and ask if they can beat the price. Some retailers will not only price match but offer an additional discount as well!

7. Be polite.

You can catch more bees with honey! Always be polite, charming, and put on a smile. Be respectful of the salesperson and they are more likely to want to work with you and give you a great deal.

See how simple it can be to negotiate a great deal? Give these tips a try and see what savings you can score!

I’d love to hear what sort of deals you have received over the years thanks to some negotiating!  Let me know in the comments.

See the other articles in this series, here.

52 Ways To Save: Have a No Spend Day/Week/Month

Every Monday in 2015, I’ll be sharing a different idea to help you save money! Add all of these tips to your frugal repertoire and you’ll be able to save a lot of money this year! I hope you’ll gather a few new ideas or at least some inspiration from this series.  

Have a No Spend Day to Save

Maybe you can relate, but every once in a while, I find we’re spending money left right and center. Bills need to be paid, groceries need to be bought (again) or a birthday party comes up.

June is an especially spendy month for us because on top of our regular expenses, we also have our house insurance, car insurance and property tax due. Ouch!

While we do have our finances under control and carry zero debt, it’s still nice to intentionally stop spending money for a time. I like to call this a No Spend Challenge.

That brings me to today’s post on 52 Ways to Save: Have a No Spend Day/Week/Month!

In the past, we’ve done several no spend months where we don’t spend any extra money for an entire month. Groceries and bills are the exception.

You don’t have to have a No Spend Month to see savings. Even setting aside one day a week can significantly help your bank account. Especially if you find yourself making several small purchases on a daily basis. (Those small purchases can really add up!)

If the idea of having a No Spend Day/Week/Month strikes fear, I know for a fact that it’s not so bad once you’re into a groove. You may even find your mindset changing about the way you view money!

I asked the wonderful people over at the Simply Frugal Facebook page what they like to do for fun that is 100% free.  Here are their answers:

  • Picnic in the park
  • Read books (from the library or free kindle ebooks from Amazon)
  • Sit at the Waterfront
  • Hike
  • Breathe
  • Weed the Garden
  • Take the dog for a walk to new places
  • Visit the Farmer’s Market (free if you don’t buy anything!)
  • Visit the beach
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Walk
  • Sleep
  • Enjoy the scenery
  • Stargaze
  • Backyard Camping
  • Collect shells, rocks or beach glass

Related: 10 Things to Do Instead of Spending Money

As you can see, the options are pretty endless when it comes to having a fun day without spending any money. And if you ask me, that all sounds pretty relaxing and good for the soul. :)

Have you ever done a No Spend Challenge?  How did it go for you?

See the other articles in this series, here.