1. DESIGN YOUR OWN GREETING CARD
Make cards for free at Spark.Adobe.com/make/card-maker. Save $10 a card. Another one I've used to send digital cards is Canva.com.
2. MULCH FOR FREE
Google your county name and "free mulch" to see if it (or free compost) is offered. Save $3.00 per 2 cubic feet of mulch or $$4.97 per cubic foot of compost.
3. BE A NINJA SHOPPER
Here's how cunning grocery shoppers save $10 or more a week on produce costs:
- They plan specific needs, rather than just randomly selecting
- They show up late to the farmers market, when sellers slash prices
- They buy overstocked produce at a discount
- They use a grocery store loyalty card to get the best prices
- I use apps such as Ibotta to get cash back on grocery or by just uploading my receipt
4. BRING YOUR OWN BAG
A growing number of communities require a 5-cent to 10-cent charge per bag provided by the store. Use your own bags and you could easily save $25 a year. Even better, most Target stores give you 5-cent credit when you bring your own bag!
5. SLEEP IN A MAN'S TEE
A woman's sleep shirt costs around $30 or more! A man's T-shirt cost around $15 (or less) is equally comfortable. Save $15 or more. I personally already do this, and it's way more comfortable.
6. DILUTE SHAMPOO
Commercial shampoos are concentrated and may dry out hair if used at full strength. Try dilluting with 50 percent water and save up to $15 per bottle. I personally do the same thing with dish detergent.
7. BUY DISCOUNTED GIFT CARDS
On websites such as Raise.com people list unwanted gift cards at a discount - 16 percent is average, according to the site. Buy a $100 gift card for $84 and save $16. I've also used Gift Card Granny to buy and sell gift cards.
8. CHECK DIFFERENT TRAVEL DATES
Shifting an arrival or departure date by a single day can save you a surprisingly large amount of cash. Flight search engines like Google Flights or Matrix Airfare show lover priced options. A recent round trip from New York to Los Angeles was $81 cheaper if you flew a day earlier.
9. BUY THROUGH BEFRUGAL.COM
BeFrugal.com offers coupons and cash back for purchases from 5,000 retailers. A Lenovo ThinkPad Xi Carbon was $1,339 using a $70 coupon. That's a savings of more than $100 over online retailers. Another similar site to check out is Mr. Rebates.
10. BUY A REFURBISHED COMPUTER
Why pay big bucks for the latest model? Go to sites like DiscountedComputerDepot.com and pick up a refurbished laptop with a one-year warranty for $100. That will save you at least $100 over a new computer.
11. GET MAGAZINES CHEAP
Subscribe to lots of magazines? Then consider the Texture app. For one monthly fee, you get access to digital versions of over 200 popular magazines. Save $10 to $50 per subscription. You can also get free magazines in exchange for airline miles at MagsForMiles.com
12. SWITCH TO A NEW CREDIT CARD
If you are an AARP member, the AARP credit card from Chase gives you $100 if you spend $500 in your first three months - and 3 percent cash back at restaurants and gas stations. Save $103 on the bonus and a $100 meal.
Another credit card I use for miscellaneous expenses is the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card. With this card, Chase gives you $150 in your first three months - and 1.5 percent on everything you buy! Click here to apply.
13. ADOPT A PET
Get a puppy at rescue shelter for $300 or less (sometimes free). A pure breed Labrador retriever can cost $1500, an English bulldog cost even more! Save at least $1,000 or more on your new best friend. If you're not ready to adopt, you can foster a rescue pup and get paid for it. Read about all the details in my blog post Save a Life + Get Paid to Foster a Rescue Dog.
14. TAKE A FARMING VACATION
Learn about organic farming and enjoy a trip overseas by volunteering to work with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. A room and food are free. You could easily save $1,500 over a week at hotels and restaurants.
15. SWAP CLOTHES ONLINE
RehashClothes.com has photos of more than 10,000 items of clothing that its members want to swap. See something you like? Offer a piece of clothing in exchange and if the offer is accepted, swap through the mail. No money involved except postage. You might save $100 on a nice dress or jacket.
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