As many of my fellow college students all know, we are BROKE and whatever money we DO get is usually spent on fast food, Starbucks...and the club. Lol Granted, saving money is definitely not a DIFFICULT task, sometimes when you have it at your disposal, you're inclined to spend it. I've found myself in so many predicaments where I would actually NEED to get something, but not have the money because I spent it on Chinese the night before [WOMP]
That feeling genuinely SUCKS.
Consequently, I've found a few good ways to help myself save a little bit of money when it comes to my expenses and I live by these 3 rules:
- DON'T buy it if you don't NEED it. (especially if it's not on sale)
- See what's on sale in weekly circulars
- ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS take advantage of printable coupons!
- If something you buy is not to par, NEVER hesitate to write the company an e-mail.
DON'T buy it if you don't NEED it!
Common freakin sense, right?? But you know, sometimes you're in the store and you're like, "I waaaant..." NO! Don't give in!! If it's not on sale, it's just not worth it until it is. It helps to make a list of everything you need before you go shopping to have a general idea of where you need to go in the store. The list helps you to remain focused and to avoid wasting money on things that you don't even need. Keep yourself focused on the necessities, everything else can definitely wait.
See what's on sale in the weekly circulars
I never go into the store without checking their website for their weekly circular first. I like to see if what I need is on sale yet, but if not and they aren't showing anything I'm generally interested in, then I just don't go to the store...I try to keep myself away from the temptation of grocery shopping. lol. Now, I'm pretty sure every grocery, pharmacy and variety store (Walmart, Target, etc..) has their circular on their website and if not, then suggest that they do! They love customer feedback!
-------> ALWAYS take advantage of printable coupons!!! <-------
I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOVE coupons!!! SO what I did was set a separate email account just for my coupons and manufacturer ads to be sent to (ex: firstname.lastname@example.org). I went to manufacturer websites ( ex: Kellogg's, Dove, etc...) and signed up for their emails. They usually have monthly coupons that they send to their subscribers. In addition to that, I signed up for Coupons.com, CouponNetwork.com, and RedPlum.com which are all LEGIT printable coupon websites. I advise that you pay attention to the quantities of what the coupon is for. For example, you see a coupon that say SAVE $1.50- Poptarts! And then underneath it, it'll say when you purchase 3 or more boxes -__-. Yeah. Look out for those. Also, some additional couponing websites that are really good are:
- iHeartTheMart - focuses on what sales and coupons are going on Walmart, exclusively.
- TotallyTarget.com- focuses on what sales and coupons are going on in Target, exclusively. Also features other great online deals!!
(I suggest yall give these two^ a- go if nothing else!)
NEVER hesitate to email the company [and complain]
Say something you brought was stale, broken or just wasn't as good as you expected it to be..DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT hesitate to go to that company's website and tell them about it! Like I've said before, they love customer feedback! One thing NO company wants to do is lose customers under any circumstance, so you know what they'll do? Compensate you, USUALLY with vouchers for free products or coupons! I just had an unfortunate run-in w/ some mold in some frozen vegetables (eww, right?) so I took a picture of it and the UPC code on the back of it and sent the company a nice little email about my disgust and I just got my vouchers today..3 of them for free products. I once had another unfortunate issue with some deodorant that I had purchased, and I did the same exact thing and got 2 free deodorant vouchers. I'm not makin this stuff up!! Now, I'm NOT telling you to go lie to the company about your experiences with their products, but I AM advising that if you DO, that you tell them about it. They love to make their customers happy!
Just by following those 4 little rules I've set for myself, I find myself saving more and more money while also being able to realize that I really don't NEED all the things I want- I can definitely live without them, in fact.
But the main point of this post is to just help you guys make yourselves conscious of the fact that there are savings right at your fingertips, you just have to learn how to sort through them and decide if it's actually needed! Self discipline also plays an important role in all of this.
Remember: if you don't NEED it, DON'T buy it.