by Linsey Knerl
How to Find the Best Deals on Craigslist
Use the Web to Find the Best Coupons and Deals
Beware of Pretty Things: 4 Reasons I’m Keeping My Ugly, Old Stuff
Hold Off On Heating with These 10 Warming Ways
4 Sort-of Small Kitchen Gadgets that Equal Big Savings!
About the Book
Too many books on frugal living focus on the negative, throwing around words such as “sacrifice” and “responsibility” like there was a fire sale at the Boring Store. WiseBread.com and this book offer much more—useful information in a folksy and relatable format based on the candid, hilarious, and sometimes painful personal experiences of the writers.
The writers at Wise Bread believe the key to financial wellness isn’t a ramen-eating, vacation-skipping, fun-depriving life. Far from it. The best way to ensure that readers will stick to a budget, especially in tough economic times, is to help them create a lifestyle that is as much fun as it is practical.
Examples of Money-Saving Tips
Why you stash the soft, two-ply and get the cheap stuff for the kids!
Photo: Jade, 1 year old
Our Favorite Savvy, Frugal Tips
Source: 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget
• Cell phone discounts
There is one secret savings opportunity that cell phone companies won’t tell you about upfront. It involves using a work or school email address! Cell providers are always making deals with large companies. In fact, they might have a corporate contract with your company already (or your brother’s company, or your kid’s company.)
As long as you have a work-re- lated email address, you could possibly save up to 25% on the cost of their traditional plans as a “member” of the discounted group. It also works for colleges. It’s important that you ask upfront for any special deals, and many cellular websites will let you get a price quote instantly, based on the email address you provide.
• Hiding money in a tampon box
“Stashing cash” is a common theme in today’s economic climate, and as people pull their funds from the stock market and into their sock drawer, the issue of security will eventually come up. And while the simple method of storing cold, hard cash under a mattress has its appeal, there is obviously a better way to do it.
Before you get tempted to spring for that high-tech, Fort Knox-inspired safe, consider using everyday household items to camouflage your investment. For example, squirrel away your money in a tampon box, and you’re guaranteed that few people will hassle with it.
• Get excited about percentage rate savings
If you could save $200 on your next purchase of window coverings would you -- especially if those same window coverings normally cost $1200 or more? Scoffing at savings this significant just wouldn’t make sense, and yet many of us continue to do so with our day-to-day, incidental purchases.
Saving that same 10% on a razor or a box of cereal may not seem like much savings at all, but it still translates into the same percentage off as our first example of the window coverings. You wouldn’t turn down a 10% return on a savings account, so why disregard it as insignificant for your groceries? When you add up all of your small purchases, it really does count for something.
• Sex up the travel mug
Many people buy coffee because they don’t want to look cheap at Starbucks. With a fancy travel mug, you can drink gourmet coffee you make from home. What’s the trick to pulling off this expensive “look?” Steel-brushed travel mugs are always in style, giving you a much-needed excuse to ditch the Styrofoam and cardboard in lieu of something more sustainable.
Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, but you’re motivating yourself to abandon the overpriced latte. Invest in some mid-range gourmet ingredients: syrups, sprinkles, and creams. They are available most anywhere fresh ground coffee is served, and the extra touch will up the oomph in your already envy-inducing beverage presentation.