Many of my friends and clients are trying to save more money this year. In an effort to encourage and support their resolutions, I’ve come up with a few ways to help them spend less.
- If you’re a sucker for a deal like I am, there are a couple of things you should do to help minimize the temptation. Unsubscribe yourself from store email distributions and discount offers like Groupon. They are constantly looking for ways to draw you into their stores and tempt you with discounts on things you don’t need.
- I also recommend ignoring the flyers that come with the newspaper. Throw them right into the recycling. But before you do, pull out all the flyers from your favourite grocery stores.
- Food is a necessity so you might as well buy it for the best price possible. Flip through the flyers and look for foods you enjoy and purchase regularly. Based on what is on sale, make a meal plan for your family for the next week or two. I usually plan our meals two weeks at a time and write them on the calendar. Our teenage kids enjoy seeing what meals are coming up for the week. We are big foodies in our house! Having a meal plan can significantly reduce your grocery spending and food waste.
- There are several local groceries stores that match prices offered by their competitors. Once you’ve made your grocery list, determine which stores offer the items you need on sale. Write beside each item the best price, store and page number in their flyer. When you go to a store that offers price matching its best to be super organized and have flyers ready to show each offer you want to take advantage of. This strategy can save you a bundle.
- One of my favourite ways to reduce my monthly spending is to challenge myself to a “no shopping” streak. I like to see how long I can go without buying “stuff”. Food and fuel are the only exceptions to my spending challenges. My longest streak to date is 6 weeks. How long can you go?
Marketing gurus use coupons and advertisements to encourage us to part with our hard earned money. Recently a friend of mine came over with some coupons for a local sub shop. He was keen to take advantage of the deal. So we agree to have subs as part of our dinner. While he was picking up the subs he realized that the regular price on the subs he bought were actually less expensive than the promotional price. Although he didn’t use the coupons, the sub shop was successful at getting him in the door and spending money.
So I encourage you to avoid the temptation altogether and ignore the Groupons, store emails, flyers and coupons unless they are for groceries or something specific you are planning to buy.
All the best for a year of saving more!