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.

Laura Adams, MBA
5-minute read
Episode #354

I love Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program because you get up to 15% off a huge selection of grocery, personal care, and household items, plus free shipping. You set up the delivery schedule you need by customizing the frequency at which you want to receive new orders. You’re only charged when items are shipped and you can cancel your subscription at any time. It’s a really great way to manage bulk orders in one place.

Savings Tip #3: Use Online Discounts and Coupon Codes 

When you’re shopping online, never check out before checking for ways to get even more savings. There are some great cash back and discount code sites that can really sweeten the deal.

Ebates is one of my favorite ways to cut the cost of just about any online purchase. They get a commission from over 1,700 of the top online stores when you buy something. Instead of keeping the whole commission, they share a portion of it with you. I’ve seen cash back rates as high as 8%.

It’s completely free to join and use. You just search for the store you want to shop and click through. Then you get your payment 4 times a year by check or PayPal.

When you’re shopping online never check out before checking for ways to get even more savings.

Another smart way to save is to use discount codes for a percentage or dollar amount off your purchase. I bet you’ve seen a place to enter these on most online shopping carts. But if you don’t have a current code to enter, you can’t take advantage of the discount.

Did you know that you can find these secret promotional codes for thousands of stores at different websites, such as retailmenot.com, currentcodes.com, and couponcodes.com? They keep an up-to-date database of discount codes that can save you huge amounts of money.

Savings Tip #4: Buy Perishable Groceries from the Source

There is one type of purchase that usually doesn’t make sense to buy online: perishable groceries. Not only can grocery delivery be expensive, but the quality of the food may be subpar.

The trick to buying high quality food at low prices is to shop farmer’s markets. You can choose from a variety of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables from the people who grow them or broker them.

Depending on where you live, some bigger farmer’s markets also have a variety of fish, meat, bread, coffee, condiments, and pre-made salads. Find out where the best farmer’s markets are in your area and check them out. Be sure to bring cash, since most vendors don’t accept credit cards.

Making it a routine to visit the farmer’s market every week can also be a fun family outing. Even if you have to drive to another city or town, the savings and quality you get can really be worth it.

Join me for Part 2 of this series where we'll cover 4 more advanced money-saving strategies to spend less every day.

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.