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8 Smart Ways to Spend Less Money and Save More (Part 1)

Money Girl shares easy ways to spend less and save more money every day on items you're already buying.

By
Laura Adams, MBA
April 30, 2014
Episode #354

Page 1 of 2

Ways to Spend Less and Save More MoneyIf you think saving money by cutting expenses is more hassle than it’s worth, this 2-part episode is for you. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to keep more of your hard-earned money without having to sacrifice a thing.

I’ll share the best ways I save money and time every day. And I’m not talking about saving just a few bucks making coffee at home (although I do that too!). In Part 1, I’ll cover 4 clever money-saving tips and then you'll get 4 more advanced strategies in Part 2.

Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by NatureBox. Discover smarter snacking with a new NatureBox each month. Get 50% off your first box when you go to NatureBox.com/qdt.

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Smart Ways to Spend Less and Save More Money

If you’re ready to keep more of your money, it’s time to re-evaluate how and where you’re spending it.

Here are 4 tips to cut the cost of items you’re already buying and get much more for your money:

Savings Tip #1: Shop Anywhere, But Buy Online (When Possible)

For many items, you’ll come out ahead purchasing them online. Here's why:

  • You stay focused. When you wander around a brick and mortar store, it's easy to get distracted by in-store displays, sale items, or trying things out, and end up buying more than you really need.

  • You save time. Shopping online is much faster and more efficient than battling traffic, parking, and long checkout lines in stores.

See also: How to Save Time at the Grocery Store

 

  • You get free shipping. Many large online retailers offer free shipping to keep you loyal. So you get what you need without having to pay for transportation or go anywhere.

  • You don’t have to handle what you buy. Having items delivered to your doorstep or apartment mail room saves you from having to do the heavy lifting, especially for bulk orders.

  • You can easily compare prices. Searching for an item online shows you a variety of sites that sell it. It's easy to see which merchant has the lowest price, an upcoming promotion, or free shipping.

Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t support hard-working mom-and-pop merchants in your community if you like to. But even when I’m shopping locally, I may decide to wait and see if I can get a better deal online.

Sticking to an online purchasing strategy makes the most sense for items like certain clothes, electronics, gifts, and non-perishable groceries.

Savings Tip #2: Order Non-Perishable Groceries in Bulk

Speaking of non-perishable grocery items, they’re perfect to buy in bulk online. Buying in bulk simply means purchasing more of something you’d normally buy at once, which typically lowers its unit price. For instance, buying one box of 50 garbage bags may cost $0.15 per bag. But buying 250 of the same item may reduce the cost per bag to $0.08.

I always buy garbage bags, paper products, cleaning products, soaps, vitamins, and office supplies in large quantities because I’m certain that I’ll use them. Additionally, some grocery items with long shelf lives—such as coffee, popcorn, cereal, rice, beans, pasta, and canned food—may be smart bulk purchases, as long as you know you’ll consume them before they expire.

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