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Ways to Save Money. From Fashion, to Groceries, to Gasoline. Rebates, and Gift Cards

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Ways to Save Money

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Speedy Rewards From Speedway

Ways to Save Money on Groceries, Gas, and Clothing

We are all looking for ways to save money. Cutting back has become a catch phrase in today's economy. To say that I am frugal, is an understatement. I have found some useful websites, and ways to do just that. From fashion, to groceries, to gas, here are some useful tips to save money.

Garage Sale.com

The general rule of thumb is, if you haven't used it, or wore it in two years, you're not going to. Go through your clothes, kitchenware, and tools. Be ruthless, ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" If it is something your not sure of, mark it up, the customer will pay extra if they really want it. Go through the kids outgrown toys, and clothes. I know, they want to save everything. A way to encourage them to get rid of more, give them the cash for their stuff. It will teach them the value of a dollar, if they have to work for it. They will realize, just how many dollars it takes to buy that new gadget. When they want that high dollar item, they pay half, with the money they earned. It will teach them the value of a dollar, and not impulse buying. The convenience of debit, and credit cards, are useful. They do however, make it way too easy to spend more. Set yourself a budget before going to the store, withdraw the money in cash, pay in cash. This is very affective, as money then becomes a tangible item. Very useful advice, handed down from my mother in law. The money you make on your garage sale, put towards new clothes, and toys. Garage sales.com is a useful website with free local listings, include your own, after cleaning out closets, ECT.

For Outgrown Clothes, Toys, Video games, and Systems :

Consignment shops are also an option. They buy and sell gently used clothing. Two that I have used are:

Once upon a child They buy, and sell used clothing for children. Sizes infant up to children's size 16. They also buy, and sell everything from cribs, to walkers, to gates and toys. onceuponachild.com

Plato's Closet They buy, and sell used clothing for teens, and adults. Sizes 0-16, juniors, and women's. Men's sizes 27-38. Other items are purses, belts, books, and jewelry. Plato's closet.com

Both, Once Upon a Child, and Plato's offer a member card. Every time you buy, or sell you earn a stamp, which can later be turned in for a discount on a future purchase. They want current fashion, gently used, within the past two years. As fast as children, and teenagers, outgrow their clothes, very useful, and frugal. Platoscloset.com

Game Stop.com They offer discounts on trade in, and cash for used games. They sell new, and used products. Including, game systems, controllers, and extras. They also offer a membership card, the more you trade, and sell the bigger the discount. Gamestop.com.

Play It Again Sports.com They buy, and sell gently used sports equipment.

For One of A Kind Items

For those one of a kind items, that you don't want to give away for 50 cents. Try E-bay. They have numerous items, and categories for just about any item you could think of. They now offer a "How To" tutorial on how to do it. There is a 1.00 insertion fee, per item, but if it doesn't sell, you pay nothing.

For Money Saving Coupons, and Discounts on Groceries:

Meijers.com. They offer many discounts, through their website, in two ways. One, sign up for their emails. Discounts, 10 for 10 items, and coupons, all come directly to your in box. They run meat sales once a month, set a reminder on your phone, when it is. Take advantage of these sales, when ever possible. Stock up on items that you use regularly, such as pasta, rice, frozen vegetables, meat, flour, and sugar, once a month. Pantry items. Produce, and fresh items are a once a week quick trip. Saves money, and time.

Another way, to save money, is to sign up for Meijer perks. An automatic text comes to your phone. Go to your account, on line, clip the discount, enter the code at check-out. The discount comes directly off of your grocery bill. This is a green way to save money. No coupon, no printing, automatic, and easy. They also offer their weekly ad on line. There, you can check for sale items before you go.

This is where I do my main monthly grocery shopping, they also offer other sale items, that run on a monthly basis. Other stores offer discounts, and memberships, go directly to their website, to find more ways to save. Sign up for their emails, memberships, and discounts.

Another way to save. Make a list of necessary items that are needed on a monthly basis. The items to have on hand at all times. Cover with a plastic sheet, use an erasable marker to mark off what you have on hand. Before going to the store, or ordering for delivery, check this list first. Buying only what you need to prepare meals for the month. Plan ahead what is to be cooked. Don't go to the store hungry, you will buy more. As soon as you smell the bakery, why it's at the front of the store, you will be starving, and buy ready made items, which costs more. This is done on purpose, to increase sales, a corporate trick used for years. Why they put eggs, and milk at the back of the store, you have to walk through, and will buy more.

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When buying meat, buy uncut, whole loins, ribs, and chicken. They usually cost less, as you aren't paying a butcher to do what you can do yourself. A pork loin for instance, is usually fairly cheap. Buy lean, and unseasoned, and enough for three meals. Cut the loin in thirds. The first cut, leave whole, for a roast. The second cut, slice into pork chops, enough for one dinner. The third, leave whole, for pulled pork, tacos, ECT. Can also be cubed, for stews, or soups. Place in plastic zip lock bags, stack, and freeze. Pork will keep for a month, or more. Beef, chicken, breakfast sausage, hamburger, and ground turkey can be done this way as well.

You will need a good knife, or electric knife. The investment is worth it. It will save money, and time. I prefer my Faber ware knives, but Flint is also a good brand. I use bendable plastic cutting boards, as they are easy to use, and can be put in the dishwasher. Wood cutting boards, should not be used to cut up meat, they hold bacteria, and can cause sickness, the next time you use them. The dishwasher runs at high heat, thereby killing any germs on surfaces.

Fast food is expensive, and unhealthy. As I work full time, I don't want to cook when I get home from work. Plan ahead, what will be cooked, pick up whatever produce, or items are needed. Set aside one day a week to cook. I usually cook 3 meals, based on what I have on hand. Grab my crockpot, turn on some music, and get started. One meal in the crockpot, one in the oven, in pyrex, and one on the top of the stove. I make one mess, one clean up, and one run in the dishwasher. Crockpot meal first, oven meal second, top of stove third. Usually, all are done at the same time. Let the food cool. Bag in zip lock bags, or place in a covered Pyrex dish, stack and freeze for the week. Remove from freezer, place in microwave, and dinner is ready in less than 10 minutes. Saves money, and time.

Another way to save on groceries, and gas, is to use a rebate app. There are numerous ones available through the Google Play store. Download the app to your phone, be careful, as there are bogus ones. Read reviews, that will give you a good idea of whether or not to use it. Simply save your receipts, take a screen shot, and upload in the app, once a week. They credit your account with points. Those points then can be turned in for a vanilla visa gift card, and can be used anywhere. Among the ones I have used are receipt hog, and Ibbota.

For Money Saving Discounts On Gasoline:

Speedway.com They offer a loyalty card. For every purchase you earn points, from gasoline, to milk. Those purchases accumulate very quickly. Your points can then be turned in for a gas gift card, among many other gift cards. Ask for a Speedy Rewards card at the register. Sign up for email alerts for promotional items, and discounts. When you use your loyalty card, a lot of the time you get an automatic discount at the pump. This promo is ran quite often. Other gas stations offer loyalty cards as well. Go to their websites for details.

They now offer "The Speedy Rewards Mall". For every purchase made on line, through their website, you earn points, toward your account. If the retailer is listed in the "mall" those points earned, will go to your loyalty card, and can be used toward Gas. Gas buddy is a new website to check for gas prices before you go out. Available through the Google Play Store.

Many merchants offer points for purchases. For example, if you order an item from JCPenney, you will receive 20 points for every dollar spent. There are many other participating merchants, through the speedy rewards mall.

For Money Saving Coupons on Other Items:

Many other companies offer these discounts. Among my favorites are Hollister, Aeropostale, Vitamin Shoppe, and JCpenney. Through their email sign ups, you can receive their ad, clearance items, coupons, and discounts. If it becomes too many emails in your email box, you can go to the bottom of the email, and unsubscribe at any time.

Cleaning Supplies This is probably the most sought after advice asked. A very good product is "TKO, that orange stuff". It is non-toxic, and because it is concentrated, very economical. Derived from orange oil, very effective in cutting through grease, can be used just about everywhere. As a spot cleaner, on carpet and upholstery, in the laundry, tile, counter tops, bathrooms, any where. It is also a bug killer on vegetation. It will also get rid of fruit flies.

I used it on drywall, that had gotten wet. It removed the mold, and went back to like new. It is a mold remover, and disinfectant, without the chemicals. Awesome product.

Directions for mixing are on the bottle, mixture will vary, dependant on needs. A special spray bottle will need to be bought, as it will melt regular plastic bottles. Do not use on oven, or microwave plastic coverings, it will damage them.

Money Saving Tips On Health

With the rising cost of healthcare, insurance, and medicare issues, everyone is looking for answers. Vitamins, and supplements are cheaper, with less side effects than drugs. If you know how, and when to use them. They are my go to, for mild cases of infection, and general health issues. By just adding a good multivitamin a day, you cut the incidence of getting a cold in half. That cold then turns into a sinus infection, not only do you pay for a doctor's visit, you have to pay for an antibiotic as well. For health tips, along with appropriate supplements, check out my articles on alternative medicine. Do not misunderstand, I only suggest these supplements as a prevention, not a substitute for good medical advice, and treatment. Average savings on medical, is 600 a year, for a family if 4.

Money Saving Recipes:

For frugal recipes, see my pork loin recipes. Pork is always on sale, very economical, and as versatile as chicken, or hamburger. It can be substituted into just about any recipe that you already use. Cook in a crock pot, and not only are you saving money, you are saving time, very valuable. Chicken, and ground turkey can be used as a substitute, if you prefer a leaner meat.

Everybody talks "Swag" these days. It's pretty "Swag" to walk away with a pair of Nike's for $8.00!!! I did this at JCPenney's. I turned in my speedy rewards points, received a vanilla visa gift card. Waited for the shoes to go on sale, combined with a JCpenney coupon, bought a pair of Nike's, for $8.00. Can be used at Kohl's as well. A vanilla visa gift card, can be used anywhere you shop. Whether online, or in-store. For Groceries, gas, or clothing. Extreme couponing at it's best.

Plato's Closet- Who They Are, and What They Buy

Non Toxic, environmentally green, all purpose cleaner

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How to use the Ibotta app. For rebates on Groceries

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2012 Sherrie Gill

Comments

Sherrie Gill (author) from Hobart, In on August 06, 2012:

I have used them quite often, as my teenage son outgrows his clothes faster than my husband, and I can keep him clothed. There may be others close to home, check your yellow pages. Most charge a commission of 20-25% for selling your item, and pay you only if it sells. It is worth it, especially if it is an in demand item. Good Luck.

Steve Orris from NE Ohio on July 27, 2012:

Once Upon a Child is great. I just wish there was one closer to our home.

Sherrie Gill (author) from Hobart, In on June 16, 2012:

Thank you. An ounce of prevention, is worth more than a pound of cure.

tipstoretireearly from New York on June 15, 2012:

Your tips for taking care of your health are especially helpful! The savings from warding off just one doctor's visit can be substantial.

Sherrie Gill (author) from Hobart, In on June 14, 2012:

I've used this approach for saving money, for years. I'm known as the coupon queen.

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