Learn How To Coupon | Day 29: Saving Without Using Coupons

 

 

Welcome to Day 29 of the monthly series: Learn How To Coupon!

 

If you are just joining us, we are nearing the end of our monthly series for all the Coupon Newbies out there. If you have missed any posts, or would like to go over anything else, you can click the links below!

 

Day 1: Anatomy of a Coupon

Day 2: Anatomy of a Barcode

Day 3: Types of Coupons

Day 4: Where to Find Coupons

Day 5: Stacking Coupons

Day 6: Coupon Abbreviations

Day 7: Electronic Coupons

Day 8: Doubling Coupons

Day 9: Catalina Coupons

Day 10: Buy One Get One Free Coupons

Day 11: Organizing Your Coupons {Part 1}

Day 12: Organizing Your Coupons {Part 2}

Day 13: Sale Cycles

Day 14: Stockpiling

Day 15: Coupon Sites and Deal Matchups

Day 16: Coupon Policies

Day 17: CVS

Day 18: Walgreens

Day 19: Rite-Aid

Day 20: Target

Day 21: Walmart

Day 22: Shopping Online {Earn Cash Back Rewards}

Day 23: Planning Your Shopping Trip {Part 1}

Day 24: Planning Your Shopping Trip {Part 2}

Day 25: Problems At The Store

Day 26: Coupon Ethics

Day 27: Coupon Database

Day 28: Couponing With Kids

 

 

Today’s Topic: Saving Money Without Using Coupons.

 

So we have talked all along in this series about how to save money using coupons. BUT, it’s important to also note that there are so many ways that everyone can save without using coupons!

You will find many instances when shopping for items, that there aren’t coupons available, or you simply don’t have any. So knowing some additional money saving tips for these types of things will really help you reduce your entire budget of spending.

Let’s talk about how to save money in all kinds of areas without coupons:

 

Restaurants:

-Order water. Drinks can be so expensive now a days, so if you and your entire family get drinks, it can really add up! Try and get water to save some extra bucks.

-Share meals or appetizers. If you go to a place that has large meals, see if you can share it with your family. It will give you a variety of food, and cut down the cost of each of you having to get a meal. Be aware that some restaurants may charge a “sharing” cost, so try and avoid that if possible.

-Go during lunch instead of dinner. Typically restaurants will have some of the same menu items in a smaller portion for lunch, and at a cheaper price. You can save big by just switching the time that you go out to eat!

-Go when they offer specials. One of my local pizza places has great personal pizzas. But they are about $10 per person. They just started a promotion, that if you come after 10 p.m., you can get the pizzas for Buy One Get One Free! So right there I save 50% by changing the time I go. try and look out for any daily specials you restaurant may have.

 

Movies:

-Go to the matinee movies. These are movies that aren’t prime time movies, and are usually in the early afternoon. You can save a few bucks on tickets by going at an earlier time!

-Look for movie specials. At my local Carmike theaters, they run a special on Tuesdays where they offer $1 Popcorn and $1 Drinks. So just by going on a certain day, you can save.

-Older movies. I don’t know if this is everywhere, but we have a few theaters around here that play movies that are a few weeks older (not new releases). In return, your ticket costs are only $2.50 per ticket!

-Rent movies from $1 box. Places like Redbox and Blockbuster have mobile boxes everywhere where you can rent movies for only $1! You get the disc, and return it the next day. You can often get special codes that make these movies free!

 

Gas:

-Look for any type of fuel rewards programs that any of your local stores offer. My local Lowe’s Foods offers a $0.05¢ per gallon savings when you spend $100 at there stores! So if you already do your grocery shopping there anyway, this is an additional perk.

-Places like Walmart also have gas stations that are a few cents cheaper per gallon to fill up. You can sometimes buy gift cards from Walmart to purchase gas, and when you use them at the pump, it deducts a few cents off your per gallon gas. This varies in each place.

-Look for local gas station rewards. My local Sheetz offers a savings of $0.03¢ per gallon for having  their Sheetz loyalty card. They also have all kinds of freebies and perks in the store with foods and rewards.

 

In-Store:

-Look for Buy One Get One Free sales. This is going to be an instant 50% savings, so if you don’t have coupons, this is an excellent way of saving!

-Shop in-season for foods, fruits, and veggies. Produce is typically cheaper when you buy it in season. So try shopping for fruits and veggies by what’s in season.

-Shop low-price stores. If you don’t have any coupons, you can also add in shopping at your low price stores to help in additional savings. Places like Walmart have “low” prices, and places like Aldis have fantastic prices on foods, and produce. Keep in mind these places won’t have BOGO sales, but you can save a lot of money in general.

-Price Match. Don’t be afraid to price match an item from another store if you store allows it! Walmart allows price matching, and the store we just talked about-Aldis, has great prices on produce and other items. So if you shop at Walmart, you could price match your local Aldis, and still get the same savings.

-Look for clearance. This will become a major source of savings, especially after holidays. All stores have some sort of clearance. So be on the look out. It may just be that these things are out of season, or after a holiday. The items are greatly reduced, and you get the savings! If you shop after a holiday, you can get the same pricey items for a fraction of the cost. Just save the stuff for next years holiday, and by then, you won’t have to shop for anything! And you can do it all over again after that holiday! It’s lots of fun.

-Buy meat on sale and freeze it! Meat also runs on sale cycles, and when you catch a great deal on meat, buy a lot of it and freeze it! It freezes well, and you don’t have to go to the store to buy more when it’s back to being expensive again. Turkeys are super cheap around Thanksgiving, Hams around Christmas, Corned Beef around Easter, and HotDogs and Hamburgers around summer.

-Buy store brand/non brand name items. If you don’t have coupons available, you can still find great items that aren’t name brand! You can do your own family taste testing to see if they even notice the difference. We have found that store brands of things like baking soda, dish soap, don’t really make that much of a difference on what brand they are!

-Make things from scratch versus buying meals. You out of pocket costs will be much cheaper if you buy ingredients to your meals and make them versus them already being pre-made. It will cost you a little more labor, but less money.

-This is one of my favorite tips!! When you are in the produce section, look at all the “bagged” produce. Things like carrots, potatoes, whatever. Now these items usually have a price per bag, meaning each bag cost the same. And while it says the weight of the bag on the front, each bag doesn’t weigh the same! The companies can’t cut the items individually to match exactly, so each bag varies. What you do, is take a few of them, and weigh them on the scales that are in the produce section. You will see that some are even a half a pound over what the bag says! So get the largest bag you can, and still pay the same price.

 

Thrift Stores:

-Thrift stores aren’t just old and dirty clothing. You can often find new, brand name, and sometimes still tagged clothing. Many people don’t wear some of these clothes! So try shopping at some of your local thrift stores to see what you can find.

-I have also had great luck with kitchen appliances at thrift stores. I find small appliances like crock-pots, and utensils that cost a lot of money otherwise, and they work great!

-One of my local thrift stores also has 50% off a certain colored tag each day! The items are already marked down, but you can really save with the extra 50%.

-One of our local Goodwills has a “bulk bin” shopping side where instead of paying per item, you pay by weight! This makes many things like clothing very cheap.

 

Yard Sales:

-Yard Sales are another great source for cheap items. You can usually get some great things for cheaper than the stores! You can usually haggle the price at yard sales, whereas at the store you can’t.

-Look for things your family needs. I found barely used brand-name bread maker for $5 bucks! It works perfectly, and came with the manual.

-You can look for your local yard sales in the newspaper, on Craigslist, or just by driving around and seeing signs. The largest day for yard sales is early Saturday.

 

Vacations:

-Cook “in” for most of the days that you are staying. If you are staying at a place or hotel that offers a small kitchen, then try and plan most of your meals to eat in. Bring a crock pot, so you can have something cooking all day while you are out at the beach or something. Or bring simple sandwich items, and breakfast items, so that each meal isn’t eating up your money by going out.

-Go in the “off season”. You are going to see some major savings by going to places like the beach when it’s not their prime season. The hotels have a harder time getting as many people to stay in their hotels, so they slash their prices and pass the savings to you.

-Do things like camping or day drives where it can be a vacation simply by being in the outdoors and seeing everything. I live near the Blue Ridge Mountains, so I can drive with my hubbs for a day drive, and it’s so beautiful just to get out and see a place like that.

-Split the costs with friends and family. If you are going on a vacation with family, get a room and split the costs. This may not be possible for everyone, but I have done this with friends before and it save a lot of money.

-Carpool. On the same note as the last idea, if you are already going on vacation together, then see if you can carpool to save on gas and money.

 

Free Things To Do:

-Find things that you and your family can do for free together. Going to places like parks, and fishing are fun, bonding and don’t cost much money (usually free).

-I wrote an article called 10 Free or Cheap Date Ideas. There are many things that you and your special someone can do with little or no cost to you.

 

 

There are so many ways that people can save lots of money even without using coupons! So don’t feel discouraged if you can’t use coupons, or if you are just starting out. If you have other ways of saving money with0ut using coupons, feel free to add them below!

 

See ya for the last day of our series: Day 30!

 

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