So how bout posting some of your best tips for saving. I know some were posted in the intro thread, but thought it would be nice to have everyone post theirs here.
-I buy clothes for the kids seasons ahead of time at the end of season clearance. If I find a great deal i may get similar items in many sizes. I've gotten full outfits for Anthony for $1 on walmarts clearance, sure they're not designer clothes, but they're cute and great for days we're hanging out at home.
- I buy the Thursday/sunday newspaper, because those are the days all the flyers are in, then have a big deep freezer so I can stock up on groceries. 1 of the stores nearby has a buy 1 get 2 free sale on a lot of meats and frozen items that we use, so i buy a ton and it lasts forever.
- I also shop on the clearance rack at the grocery store for boxed and canned goods and stock up on stuff like cereal and canned items during really good sales.
-I shop craigslist for toys and kids clothes, sometimes you can get great deals, they also have a free section that I LOVE.
I guess my "best" tip is that I try to buy less stuff in general. I think mostly I buy too much crap and I'm trying to streamline. Before I go up to a checkout counter I ask myself "do I really need this" for every item.
We also create meal menus (which I know is an obvious and simple thing to do) BUT it saves a lot of money.
You girls stole most of my ideas already. To be honest I could do a much better job saving money but I'm getting much better.
I do alot of bulk buying and buying/selling second hand where I can get away with it (especially kids toys). Also if I'm buying a brand name and I know that it will likely be discounted I'll wait -- I just got a pair of $115 pants for $35 Woo Hoo!!
I love Walgreens and their rebate savers club. I use my coupons on items, plus the rebate and I'm getting money back for most of those items (cleaning supplies, toothbrushes/paste, etc).
Like Kit, I'm also trying to streamline in general what I'm buying lately. I'm on a mission to pay off our credit card debt and keep it that way. It will take a while, but will be satisfying when its said and done.
I already have DS's entire wardrobe for next winter (winter coat and all). I bought it off of ebay in one big lot and then bought some other stuff on clearance (75% or more) at the end of last season.
*I'm trying to buy less in general also, and because of this I try to stay away from stores like Target unless I absolutely need to go. I always end up spending way too much money on clearance items. They're always good deals, but not usually something that I HAVE to have.
*I use coupons when I can, but try to avoid buying things just because I have a coupon for it. I trade for coupons that I need on couponforum.com and sign up for mailing lists for everything that we buy.
*I try to only shop one grocery store a week. I used to shop all stores for their big weekly sales, but I was spending more money than I needed to. So now I compare the sale ads for our 3 stores, and shop the one that has the sale items we can use the most.
*I stock up on ready made meals once a month when I go to Trader Joe's. Having the few $5 prepared meals on hand save us from spending 2-3 times as much on carryout when we don't have time or don't feel like cooking
*Buy clothes out of season on clearance, and shop Salvation Army/consignment stores.
*House is a little warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter than we would like, but it saves $
Every week I check the local store ads and make lists of items that are on sale that I either need or know I will use in the near future. I go through the coupons I have and match up any I have that go along with those sales. I hate coupons that say "$.50 off of 2", but sometimes when that item is on sale, it's a great deal. And then, because I'm a sucker for buying something just because it's a good deal, I go through my lists again to make sure that everything written down will definitely be used in the near or pretty near future. I used to be the worst at buying something just because it was on sale, but then it would sit in the pantry for months and months and months without ever being touched, and then expired. What a waste! I do stock up in things I know will get used, like olive oil when it's on sale, because it's already so expensive. Or chicken broth or spaghetti sauce.
I always price things online before buying them. Especiall big purchases. I also read reviews to find out if what we're buying is worth it.
We pay cash for everything now. We don't even have credit cards any longer.
I used to spend so much money on books, but now I go to the library and checkout what I want to read. Usually I can request a book or movie and a week later they call me to pick it up. I don't always like waiting, but at least it's free. AND I don't have to worry about storing lots of books and movies any longer!
I stalk clearance racks.
I clip lots of coupons.
I buy in bulk when it's a better deal. Sometimes it's really not that much cheaper than buying at the grocery store when it's on sale.