As a human being living on modern-day Earth I often times find that I need money to survive. I know, it’s unfortunate. If you too are an Earthling (or Alien, I don’t judge, times are rough everywhere) looking to save and even make a few extra bucks, then stick around for some of my favorite money saving tips and resources!
PLUS a lot of these money saving tips also contribute to helping out the environment (which I will do a separate post on later…)!!!
#1: Pick Change up off the Ground
Duh, I know. Coins aren’t just for pirates, and change is so underrated nowadays. Pick up that dirty penny or dime laying in the parking lot. It’s literally free money, plus SHINY. It adds up quicker than you’d think! If you feel ashamed don’t, if anything you’re helping to clean up “pollution” from the Earth, so YAY! Good job you. (Just wash those hands, OKAY?)
#2: Turn those coins to cash
Even though this technically isn’t making or saving you money, it does feel like it and it’s really fun! Empty your piggy banks, clean out those couch cushions and dryers, make space in that coin purse or coin tray in your car, and dump it all into a container or bag. Take these heavy, jingly jangly coins to your local bank or supermarket with a coin to cash kiosk machine, such as the Coinstar ones at Food Lion, and turn those coins to cash. This will allow you to have more cash in your wallet to spend, giving you some extra money that you likely didn’t realize you had lying around.
#3: Couponing, Budgeting, and Lists
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! I, for one, love creating lists and they come in hand when trying to save money and stay within budget when shopping. Before you go shopping take some time to sit down and do a little inventory of what’s around the house so you know what you absolutely need to buy. Then, you can make a meal plan for the week or weeks ahead. This keeps you from overbuying which in turn saves money, reduces waste, and can also be helpful to your health and eating habits. Make a lists with some corresponding coupons that can be found both online and in the local sales papers. Budgeting is extremely important as well, especially for anyone working to save money and avoid or get out of debt. This can be done by hand on paper or by using something such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, which is basically a free alternative to Excel (Google Docs is amazing by the way). Sitting down at the beginning of each month and setting a steady budgeting plan can help you see where your priority needs to be set and where you could perhaps spend less and save hundreds to thousands on every year. You’ll get an idea of where you need to improve and how much money you’ll have left over for emergencies and extra, fun things! (Not to sound like your grandma, but never forget about your savings!)
#4: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Save green to make green! All kinds of items that we typically think of as just trash can be repurposed and replace something that you would otherwise spend money on. Some areas even have programs that pay you for turning in your recyclables! Keeping school and office supplies, such as binders, in good condition can save you lot’s of money over time from having to buy pricey, new supplies. One of my favorite tips is to have a place to store those plastic grocery and shopping bags you get. I love using these as trash bags for smaller trash cans such as those in bathrooms, office, and craft areas. They are also great to have for trips, just in case you need somewhere to store some trash along the way or in the car. Packing these plastic bags when there’s a possibility you’ll be changing out of wet clothes is great too, because it keeps your other belongings safe and dry. Another thing I love to repurpose are glass containers, such as jars and candle containers. Once these are emptied you can clean them out and use them as small plant pot. Perhaps, one for a cute little succulent plant? Get creative and do your own DIYs and crafts with your “trash”. Who knows what you’ll come up with. If nothing else, get a second use out of these items that would otherwise be tossed into a landfill, and give them more purpose.
#5: Learn new things and find free entertainment
YouTube is a great source for free entertainment, advice, tips, reviews, how-tos, and even education! Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud, and iHeartRadio are great resources for free music and radio streaming. Get inspired and learn a new language or skill using any variation of free educational and studying programs and apps, such as Duolingo, Tinycards, Quizlet, and so much more! Never underestimate the power of sharing knowledge.
#6: Clean out and have a yard sale
Go through your old clothes, books, movies, knickknacks, tech stuff, tools, etc. and sell or donate anything you no longer want, that is in usable condition. Often times through donating items you can receive minor tax breaks as well, which is a plus while being really helpful to your community and environment! Research dump and recycling sites in your area to see if you can make a little cash by turning in your scrap metal and tech devices to them. It helps to keep these items from further polluting the earth and from wasting away in landfills.
#7: THRIFT SHOP !!!
My previous point brings us to thrifting! Donating to and shopping from thrift and second hand stores is a great way to both give and get back from your community. It saves money, helps out the environment, and is so much fun! It can even help you explore new styles and items of clothing that you wouldn’t usually try out, for cheap! The satisfaction from finding an awesome item from the thrift store for a fraction of the price that people would usually pay is amazing and never gets old. So many of my favorite clothing pieces are second hand. You can get unique, one of a kind pieces, staple items, and fabrics to work with and turn into your own creations from thrifting. The possibilities are endless. Okay, that’s enough thrift ranting for now. I’ll delve deeper into that on later blogs.
#8: Sign up for email subscriptions
I know, I know, email subscriptions can be very pesky but by signing up for those of your favorite stores, you can be the first to get their newest deals, programs, promotions, and coupons sent to you. It saves you some time from having to seek out these deals yourself because they conveniently end up in your inbox. You can of course always opt out of these subscriptions too, it’s just another nice free service to use to your money and time saving advantage.
#9: Sign up for rewards programs
I can be such a sucker for these kind of point and reward building programs, but that’s because they can be so worth it! These are great because you can save on and make money from things that you would already be buying. So why not spend and get back?! I’ll share with you some of my top favorites:
Target Cartwheel App:
Scan this every time you checkout at Target to start earning points towards perks such as free items and great cash off coupons. The app updates daily with the latest Target coupons and you then select which ones you want to add to your coupon list before and while you do your shopping. Then scan the app at checkout to save big on your shopping trips. Scan even when you don’t have coupons and sale deals to use, because it only contributes to your point build up. I have been using the app for about a year and have already saved over $30 in savings as well as used my perks points to get myself a free Starbucks drink, 2 free books, and a free movie.
Sign up for Starbucks Rewards to become a member and download the app to start racking up stars/points. You’ll get special offers and be notified first of any deals, freebies, and limited time or new drinks that come up throughout the year. Each time you pay using your Starbucks card/app you’ll earn stars which can eventually build up into a free food or drink item! You also get a free item on your birthday which is a cool treat.
Another money saving Starbucks tip for anyone else who has been suckered into overpriced coffees but just loves coffee and cafes too much, is to get free refills. You can only do so by staying inside the Starbucks store, and the refills will only be basic coffees and teas, as opposed to a special handcrafted drink I guess, but it’s still a great way to make the most of your time and money spent there, and is an awesome way to stretch a dollar!
#10: Make Free Money??? Whatttt?
I know, I know, just stick with me here. These rewards programs allow you to make some extra cash and earn gift cards or even items without spending a dime. Or a penny for that matter. (I’ve never understood that saying, like I don’t want to even spend a dime my dude.)
Earn free gift cards!
YES! Okay, so I’ve been using this program for about a year and when I first read about it I though it was too good to be true! However it is indeed legit and pays back! You sign up and just take some time to complete a variety of activities, such as fill out surveys, answer questions and daily polls, watch a plethora of video content, check out interesting slideshows and websites, find and print coupons and deals, and simply earn from searching and shopping with Swagbucks. My favorite activities to complete on Swagbucks are the Daily To Do lists because it helps you easily rack up SB points each day. Special Swagcodes are also posted daily which can help you earn points towards free gift cards even quicker, so I always keep an eye out for those!
I’ve made over $25 in gift cards since signing up for Swagbucks, and of course redeem the majority of my points in the form of Starbucks gift cards to feed my coffee obsession. But hey, that takes us right back to the Starbucks app and stretching that dollar! Yayyy! So, if you’re interested in joining Swagbucks and earing free giftcards as well, use the link below to get a head start and earn $3 right off the bat!
(URL in case hyperlink doesn’t work: http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/?cmd=sb-register&rb=35446335&cmp=72 ) <<<that’s right, I gotchu
So I learned about this awesome app from Marzia, aka CutiePieMarzia on YouTube. This is basically an app where you create a username, download the games made from the company, play them through the Sgame app, and earn points for simply playing these really fun and addicting games. These points can then be turned in for all sorts of gift cards, such as PayPal, Amazon, Starbucks, Steam, etc. or items that will be shipped to you for free, including phone chargers and earbuds, console games, makeup pallets, makeup brush sets, and so much more! It’s really cool and underrated. My favorite games are Polysmash, which is very relaxing yet addicting and fun, Hexa Connect, which is a good, challenging puzzle game, and 7Notes, which has a gorgeous design and sound effects!
I mean come on, you’re literally getting paid to play games! It makes me feel so much less guilty about wasting time playing games. I’m currently trying to save up for a new phone charger or maybe a $15 gift card??? Not sure yet. BUT if you’re interested in downloading the Sgame app and joining, enter in “Jolee” as a referral and you’ll earn 50 points automatically! Plus, you’ll be helping out a fellow blogger, how awesome! What a great job you cool person you.
Here are the download links for the Sgame app:
WHEW, that was a long post, thanks a lot for checking this out, especially if you’ve made it this far, CONGRATS!
I hope this blog post can help some of you save some money and even make a few extra bucks so maybe you feel less guilty about splurging on that fancy coffee drink or new game or album you’ve been wanting to buy, whatever it may be. If you have any money saving tips, please feel free to share them in the comments below! Thanks!
Also, if you are a totally cool person and decided to use the referral link or referral code I provided, thanks a lot, you a cool dude.