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Money Saving Tips and Ideas

When is an advertised bargain a real bargain? When it proves to be one by helping you save your hard earned dollars. Take advantage of best values and good buys for your whole family.

Take some time to search for immediate dollar saving value and added convenience as well as long term money savers. When you find something that you think will help you save money, stay with it for a month or two, making note of the money you have saved. If it is a winner, stay with it, if not get rid of it. It pays to treat your family and yourself to little niceties once in a while, so you don't feel bogged down or deprived.

How do you get those niceties, the little extras when money is tight? Join a group like and reap the rewards; I have been a member for a number of years. Just remember to read the fine print, as you should with any of the suggested programs below. You can redeem your points for family restaurant gift cards.
  • If you are not a coupon clipper, you can still save money by using a customer money saving card. Most supermarkets offer these free membership cards. Many pharmacy super stores offer them as well, CVS, Eckerds, etc. It only takes a few minutes to sign up.

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Con't.  Money Saving Tips and Ideas
Generally, you receive these store customer cards the same day. Get them and use them whenever possible, you can save hundreds of dollars a year. Get more savings by signing up for the stores advance sale e-mails also. Don't just use the cards, use the coupons that are sometimes attached to your receipts.
If you use a dial-up service for Internet access, you can be alerted to all of your incoming telephone calls and have the option of taking the call or transferring it to your cell phone. The company CallWave offers this service, which presently starts at a very low cost per month. When you are on your computer, you are able to see the incoming telephone number and hear the message. Also included several other useful features, including a toll-free home telephone number to give to family and friends who are on a tight budget but need to stay in touch with you. CallWave will bill directly to your telephone service. Well worth the money. OR, if you have a cell phone, you can simply transfer all calls to your cell while on your computer. 
  • Are one of those people who only their cell phone to call home to check on family or to say "I am on my way", prepaid is definitely the way to go. Why spend $25 and upwards monthly when you minimally use your cell phone. Tracfone offers stylish prepaid cell phones at very low prices. You can buy additional airtime online or from many large stores. Try prepaid for six months, you will be pleasantly surprised at the money you save.

  • While you are at your local library, don't just focus on books for check out. Ask if there is a movie section. The library also has audio books that several people can listen to at once--something different for your book club? They may have audio books for children also. The site Storynory at has free audio stories for children. Before allowing your child to access the site, be sure to read the Storynory privacy policy.

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    Family Food Budget - Use Those Coupons
    Trimming your grocery bill by using coupons is a good idea, but only if you (1 )use them properly and (2) use them.

    Occasionally television news stations will interview the coupon queen. You know the woman I mean, she fills a supermarket food cart up to the rim and after cashing in her coupons, pays only a few dollars for everything in the cart.

    You may not become a wiz at using coupons but they are great way to save money, if you do it the right way. Take time to clip and use coupons only if they work with and not against your money-saving purpose. If you always leave them at home or buy too much because "It's such a bargain", then you are defeating the purpose of clipping and using coupons. One of the first rules should be never buy more than you originally planned to buy.

    More coupon hints:
    • Clip coupons for items you normally buy.
    • Clip only one try something new coupon.
    • Always read the fine print, especially if trying to double coupon.
    • Check your coupons *before* you go shopping. Toss any with an expired date.
    • Buy or make a coupon envelope with separate sections for foods, cleaning, restaurants, etc.
    • Some stores have their coupons on every receipt you receive. Don't throw these valuable receipts away. Keep them to use on your next shopping trip. Be sure to note the expiration date.
    • Even you don't have a coupon you can usually take advantage of the "twofer" offers. Also, be aware that you do not always have to buy two the get the sale price. Put the item in your basket and if you are penalized for buying only one item, it is perfectly fine to say "I won't take this."
    • If you don't have a store flyer, pick one up as you enter the store and read it before you start shopping.
    • Put your coupon envelope in a small plastic zip lock bag and keep it in your handbag with your wallet.
    • Keep big store coupons with your store credit card.
    • There are countless online "print the coupon" sites. Most of these sites are free to join to print and use.

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    Disclaimer: "The statements and opinions expressed on this site are of the Independent Watkins Associate who owns the site. They are not to be construed as the statements or opinions of Watkins Incorporated."