Low Spend September – 5 Tips

Low Spend September

Every year around early fall and also in mid winter, I get the bug to stop spending money.  This is probably because I’m so into my home projects that I go crazy in the warm and sunny months completing as many projects as I can.

This summer was no different.  I completely re-decorated my downstairs and also redid all non-carpeted flooring in my house and one bathroom.  While I made sure to never go negative on my spending, I’m ready to go positive for a few months and get that savings back up.

Here’s what I’ve done in the past and plan on doing again.  Let me know if you have tips as well!

  • No large purchases – At this point most of my spending is because of large items, tables, couches, etc.  Since there is really no room in my house for any new items, I’m saying no large purchases (which includes outdoor furniture which is my next project area).
  • Limit random spending to $25/weekend – I’ve learned that since having my house I’m always ‘needing’ something new.  I also know it’s impossible to knock out all of my spending, so I’m giving myself a small limit to get random items that come up.  –I finally found placemats and towels that match my kitchen after looking for five months!  That’s where my money went this weekend.
  • Take advantage of freebies and rewards – With all of my redecorating earlier this year, I racked up some rewards points at Wayfair and was actually notified that my points would be expiring soon.  So, I looked around the site and found bought a kitchen knife (we’ve been looking for good knifes).  The rewards I had covered the expense and shipping!  I also signed up for some of those mail freebies which is something I did last year and got quite a bit of stuff.  The main things that stand out are 5 packages of Nesquick mix and 4 tea k-cups.
  • Clean out the cupboard and freezer (and use the items) – Like most people, I’ve gotten in the rut of buying groceries without using all of the groceries I have in my house.  Many times, the items I’m restocking are processed easy to prepare foods which is not good on so many levels.  So part of my savings this month is to use up as much of the food I have on hand without going to the store except for a few perishable items.  I’ve done this in the past and it’s very helpful to save from spending and helps me to eat healthier, and helps with refreshing the cabinets and avoiding expiration dates.
  • Ditching recurring payments – Some other things I’ve done or plan on doing once contracts are up is unsubscribing from television, Netflix, and security monthly recurring fees.  With videos, there are so many ways to watch that there is no need to pay a recurring fee for methods I don’t ever use.  And with the security, I feel that managing on my own will be just as safe as if it was managed by a company because I really just need to know if something has gotten into my house before me so I don’t walk in.  If I’m already home then either way I’d be out of luck.

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The Plus Side of Having Your Own Domain: + Coupon Codes

Having your own Domain

One of my biggest accomplishments so far in my life is that I am the author of Alex and John’s Scientific Adventures.  This is a project I started while finishing college and proudly created my very first book.  At the same time, I knew I needed to do so much in order to get my book out there.

While writing my book, I was also teaching ‘How to’ classes to both children and adults on a variety of different subjects.  With all of these opportunities, I knew that I needed to start a business that would save me from being liable if something unfortunate were to happen.

With that, I turned to some friends who do business in social media to gain knowledge about how to start a business and what all is needed.  Of course, on top of all of the legal mumbo-jumbo, they helped me create a website (hosted through their website).

There was one problem with my website.  It was not easy to navigate to if you didn’t know that I was using WordPress.  I wanted everyone who know of my book to be able to get to the website without having any trouble, so I decided that I needed to have my own domain name.

With the new domain name came many benefits:

  • I could create email addresses that included the domain name.
  • My guests only needed to remember the book’s name to get to the website.
  • My website looked and felt like ‘MINE’
  • Being able to put my domain name in my book made everything feel complete.

used 1&1 for my domain hub and actually liked the service very much.  

***Update:  This blog is now self hosted through and of course through 1&1.  I highly recommend them.  I paid less than $1/month for the first year and they are great to help when any issues arise.

 

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Modest Couponing Tips

Modest Couponing Tips

I would consider myself to be a modest couponer.  I am cautious about the sales and coupons available but do not go overboard stocking my cabinet with 20 bottles of ketchup just to save money.

Here are six couponing tips that will help you save money without spending all of your time dumpster diving for coupons.

1. Pick One Store – Unless a store doesn’t have something you need, going to more than one store to grocery shop could be costing you money.  The travel time and time in line both go up each time you add a new store to your grocery list.  And, since time is money, is it really saving you in the long run?  You still have to fuel your car to get to the other stores.

2. Plan Before you Go – Always create a grocery list before shopping that way you know what items you intend to buy.  This way, you can grab what you need and then leave.  It helps save time and can help you stay focused on your needed items and not your wants or impulse buys.

3. Take Advantage of the Sales – Check the sales paper while you create your grocery list.  If an item that you typically buy is on sale, pick up more than you usually would.  Even though you are spending more money on this grocery trip, you will be saving money in the long run because next shopping trip you won’t have to buy the item at full price.

4. Get a Rewards Card – Rewards cards can help you gain fuel points to save money on gas, provide store sales, and provide access to coupons.  The cards are linked with your purchases so the more you buy an item, the more often you will get a discount offer.  My store of preference offers personal prices on items I buy often and runs coupons through this card that you can use up to five times.

5. Download Coupons – Downloadable coupons are a very simple way to start saving money.  If you aren’t sure you are into couponing yet, log on to your grocery store’s portal, and load all of the coupons to your card.  Chances are some of the items you will be buying are on sale and when you see the improvement in your savings, you will begin to want more.

6. Clip the Coupons – Since you’ve decided you enjoy all the savings, you can head to coupons.com to print coupons or subscribe to the coupons section of your local newspaper.  Both options are free!

What couponing tips do you have?

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