A “penny saved really is a penny earned”–unless you’re referring to a penny that’s sitting in a savings account or an investment certificate. With today’s pathetic interest rates paid on investments, there are far better ways to put your money to work for you. And one of them is by shopping wisely.
Yes, you can save when you’re spending. If you’re scratching your head with your eyebrows furrowed up in puzzlement, and your finger hovering over the “back” arrow, wait just one second. It really does make sense.
Think of it this way. A person would be extremely hard pressed to find an investment that paid them an interest rate of 25%–and anything that could potentially offer such a high rate of return would involve an enormous amount of risk. But, what if you could save 25% off the purchase price of grocery items that you usually buy? By shopping wisely you would be, in effect, earning 25% on the money you invest in your groceries. You didn’t have to risk losing a single penny of your hard-earned dough. And, unlike the interest earned on investments, you don’t have to pay taxes on the money you saved at the supermarket.
Now that your eyebrows have returned to normal, here are a few ways that you can put your money to work for you in your everyday life.
Become a coupon clipper
If you made fun of your mother for clipping coupons, you may want to smack yourself up the side of the head. Your mother was, in fact, a wise women who knew how to save herself some coin. Why not use a coupon to save 75 cents on your next loaf of bread? There is no shame in being frugal. If you’re so anxious to waste 75 cents, I’m sure there are charities more deserving than your local grocer.
A loaf of Wonder Bread tastes the same no matter where you buy it, so why not get the best price? No one is suggesting that you burn expensive petrol running around from one store to the next. That would be pointless. But you can check out the sales flyers for bargains and plan your shopping trips accordingly.
Buy in bulk
If you see a great deal on toilet paper, stock up. Why buy just enough for the next couple of weeks, when you’ll only have to run out for more–and pay regular price? Huge savings on non-perishable items present you with an opportunity to save a fortune and really get your money working for you.
Curb unnecessary spending
Think of the money you would save if you learned to say “no” to the desire to buy for buying’s sake. Instead of wasting money on items you don’t really need, try a few techniques to avoid emotional spending. Don’t go to places that are filled with temptation. Don’t carry credit or debit cards. Don’t withdraw excess cash from your bank account. Brownbag your lunches and fore-go the expensive coffees and lattes from your favorite cafe.
Don’t get hung up on brand names
In many cases, the only difference between a brand name and its generic counterpart is the price. Admittedly, no one is telling you that you have to abandon your favorite brand of ketchup or laundry soap, but do try giving generic items a chance. Seriously, no one can tell the difference between one manufacturer’s dry pasta from another. And switching equates to savings.
If you train yourself to be a frugal consumer, you will soon find that “a fortune saved is a fortune earned.” So stop fretting over the puny amount of interest that your bank account earns. You’ve got a wallet full of coupons, an arm full of flyers, and a travel mug filled with coffee from home. Go out and get richer.
How do you spend to save?
Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer, avid blogger, and coupon clipping queen. She has written on a vast array topics including career choices for WAHMs, financial software, social media marketing and online reputation management. You can follow her at The Embiggens Project.
Photo courtesy of photos.com.