Frugal Friday - 10 Small Things you Can Do to Save Money

Here are 10 small non-life altering ways you can start saving money steps if you will:

  1. Bring your lunch to Work
    No brainer here many of us have good intentions here but fail, often because we're rushed in the morning. Solution: Prepare your lunch the night before, right after dinner when you're already busy in the kitchen. As an added bonus a home made lunch tends to be healthier then dining out
  2. Online Bill Pay
    Most banks offer a free online bill paying service. This can save you at least $5.00 in stamps a month. It's also a great way to save on those "late fee's". I have my online acccount set to send out $$ to my credit cards automatically on the same day each month...just in case I forget. When I log onto pay bills I just change the amount to what I owe that month...but if I forget, I'm covered!

  3. Books & Magazines
    I check out books from the Library rather then buying them...just common sense! If they don't carry a book I want I use the inter-library loan system to reserve it and they call me when it's in.

    To avoid late fees 
    Sign-up for an account and most libraries will alert you by email when books are due so you won't forget. For your kids make sure you have a running list on how many books they have out and make sure they put their Library Books in a special place. We have a bin only for Library Books in my daughters room, that way they don't get mixed in with others.

    Take advantage of FREE & cheap offers when they come around. I try to keep those updated on my blog. Start a swap with your neighbors or girlfriends! Each sign up for different magazine subscriptions and periodically "swap" among you!

    Buying Books
    If you like buying books keep an eye out at garage sales & thrift stores for books on your reading list!
  4. Prescriptions Savings
    Are you on daily medicaton? Are you taking the generic form? If not ask your doctor if you can switch, if so you'll save ton's of money. Shop around to see which pharmacy offers the best price on that generic. Keep in mind for a small number of people the generic form won't work as well or will give them side-effects, but it's worth a try!

    Can't switch to generic?       Contact the manufacturer you'd be surprised how many offer coupons and incentives.

    3-Month Program
    Many insurance companies will offer you a lower co-pay if you buy your medication in a 90 day supply, find out if your insurance company offers this.

    New Medications   
    If the doctor put's you on a new medication ask if there are samples, that way if you can't tolerate the medication for some reason you are not out any money. If not ask for a 1-2 week prescription...that way you can  try out the new drug first.

    Play the Prescription Game   
    Transfer your prescriptions around to earn gift cards - Go here to learn more -->
  5. Raise your car insurance deductible
    Upping your out-of-pocket outlay from $250 to $1,000 can save you 15% or more off your premium. If you are a safe driver (don't have teenagers) and have an adequate amount of savings/emergency fund this is well worth the risk.
  6. Bundle Up  
    Getting a package of phone, Internet and cable from one provider can save you about $50 a month. Make sure to call around for the best rate and don't be afraid to tell them, "hey I can get it cheaper over here"...often they will match the price! If they offer you a low introductory rate remember to call and fight it when they up it...threaten ot switch companies. Best time to call? Late at night....operators are friendlier, younger and much more likely to give you a deal.
  7. FSA - Use your employers Flexible Savings Program
    You'll pay with your own pre-tax dollars for medical expenses, it's like paying 33% less for what you're going to pay for anyway. Tip: Keep all your receipts this money often has to be used up by a certain date...if you keep your receipts from drugstores, grocery stores you will have something to fall back on as over the counter items are often included.
  8. Plan your trips to save
    Even running errands can really add up in gas money. Plan your week ahead of time so you can use up less mileage and less gas money. If possible get your errands & grocery shopping done in one day and plan your route to use the least amount of miles. Although this is not always possible if you make an effort you'll be surprised how much mileage you can save!

    Example: I was going to run out yesterday and run some errands....I planned my route and stores by what would use up the least amount of mileage. Those library books that I forgot to return? I'll wait for the next errand run rather then making one trip just for that (luckily they are not overdue)!
  9. Plan Meals According to Sales
    Plan mealtimes according to what you can get cheap with sales & coupons and what you already have in the house. The savings can really add up and you'll waste less food.

    Example: Bell peppers were .99 lb at Garden Fresh yesterday, good time to stock up! I knew I had Chicken in the freezer, Taco Seasoning I got free after coupons, Mission Tortillas I got for .24 w/coupons, an ugly old looking onion I needed to use up, sour cream that was going to go bad in the next day or two. So what was for dinner: Chicken Fajitas! and I'll slice and freeze the rest of the peppers to use another time!
  10. Cut those premium movie channels
    Yes, I know this is a hard one....but it can save alot of money. You can get those movies free at Red Box & Block Buster Vending machines w/free promo codes or cheap without. Many of the HBO and Showtime series can be rented from the Library for free along with lot's of top movies if you're willing to weed through them! Same thing for the kids's lot's of movies for them to rent free from the library!
Well that's it 10 simple non-life altering quick down and dirty tips to saving money and being frugal. This will be a regular series here so keep reading! Have tips of your own? I'd love to hear them!


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