Your weekly spending has a tremendous impact on your overall, long-term budget. From food shopping to buying clothes, when you become the master of bargain hunting and planning you can cut back your spending today. It’s tempting to shop for the newest item on the rack, but sometimes it makes more sense to reserve big purchases for special occasions or rewards. By following these simple rules, you can begin to see real results in your household savings in no time and have money set aside for a rainy day.
Become a Couponer
Coupons are available in your weekly newspaper, or online at sites like http://www.sumocoupon.com. You might think that saving one dollar or less sounds like no big deal, but if used consistently coupons can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a single year. Become well versed in how to get the right coupons for certain stores, and the best times to look for new coupons. Many coupons can be doubled on certain days or combined with other deals, which means that you will end up paying a fraction of the original price.
Search for Sales
On top of making use of coupons, pay close attention to sales at your favorite stores. If you wait until Sunday, you will see the sales that are usually in place for the entire week. Some stores will allow you to put items on hold for a day or so, so if you see something on a Saturday that is not on sale, ask about placing it on hold until the next day so you can check for a new sale. Online shopping will also yield sales that are exclusive to Internet shoppers, and you may be able to get free shipping with a purchase over a certain dollar amount.
Buy in Bulk
When it comes to non-perishable items, buy more than one at the same time. Shampoo, toilet paper, or even socks should be bought in bulk if you see an extreme sale. Create a shelving system in your basement or garage where you can store your extra items until you need them. Buying in bulk now can save you a lot of money in the long run, and you have the convenience of having the merchandise on hand at home so you can conserve some of you trips to the mall for necessities.
Mastering your spending has an immediate and clear impact on your household budget. Create a list of what you will spend each week, and also track your actual spending. Once you have a clear picture of where your money is going, you can begin to understand where you need to look for coupons or sales to limit your spending in the future. Get your entire family on board – if you save a lot but your other family members splurge, you won’t be able to save as much money as possible. Turning savings into a competition or game is a good way to make saving fun for everyone.
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Russell Matthews is a personal finance expert. He loves writing about how to save on personal finance blogs.