Simple Savings Strategies

Do you need some simple savings ideas?  Me, too!  We need to save money this year as we have an opportunity to tag along on G’s marching band trip next year.  They are going somewhere tropical and I don’t want to miss out on that!

I have a long list of dates with deposits due to ponder so I need some simple savings strategies to help us along on this journey.  I’ve done some of these things before and then fell of the fun-filled frugal wagon for a bit.

For simple savings strategies to work, I think they need to be easy and things we’ll actually do.  I know myself well enough to know that using coupons to save at the grocery store doesn’t work very well as I usually end up buying things we won’t use or don’t really like all that much.   I do better following the sales flyer and planning our meals around those as well as reaping the savings from using the store card to save on gas.

Here are some of the things I already do, or plan to start doing (or doing again) to increase our savings in the next year.  Please note:  some of these are referral links which means that if you click on them and sign up, I get a percentage or points toward my memberships.  simple savings

  • Paying closer attention to the frugally themed blogs and posts I read about saving money.  Money Saving Mom is one of my favorites.  Keri over at One Mama’s Daily Drama is doing a “10 Ways to Save…” series and I’m definitely following along on that.  I have recently found another blog on this topic with some great ideas called Simple Save. 

  • Planning our meals with a bit more frugality.  Be better about labeling the leftovers so the mystery items in the fridge might get a second life.  I was very proud of myself for turning our leftover tomato and bacon from BLT night into mini quiches to pop in the freezer.  They turned out to be a perfect weekday breakfast for days when I worked this week.

  • Limiting eating out to once a week.  I know us well enough to know once a month would not work as our lives are busy and we just aren’t that disciplined.  However, once a week is a reasonable goal.  I am also hoping we can start at least using coupons or our gift cards to finance this one.

  • Using Swagbucks again.  I think most people who read blogs are aware but just in case you aren’t a brief summary:  Swagbucks basically awards points for using their search engine.  You can also win points for taking surveys, doing their daily poll etc.  The points can then be traded in for gift cards.  Since we have an Amazon problem over here, I like to trade my points in for the $5 Amazon gift codes.  (It’s a great way to finance those shows where you want to see an extra episode or 5 but the next season isn’t on Netflix yet.)  I like that I can accumulate points without much effort and relatively quickly using Swagbucks.

  • Making a few minor changes to my blog.  Basically, I tried to add Google Ad-sense but no worries about being bombarded by ads.  As you can see by the blank square over on the right, my technical abilities are still very limited at this point.  Become more active with my Smiley360 account.  I may do an occasional review but since I have a personal aversion to reading anything labeled #ad, don’t look for it to be a common occurrence.  I plan to stay true to myself and this blog.

  • Making a return to My Points.  I think My Points is the reward program I’ve followed the longest since before I even began blogging.  Basically, they send e-mails and deals to you.  Just clicking through the e-mails usually earns 5 points.  Sometimes there are free newsletters worth more and of course, shopping through their site also helps add points to your account.  It takes a while but you can then cash in your points for gift cards.  I usually cash in one or two times a year with My Points for $10 gift cards.

  • Check out Mechanical Turk on days I don’t work at the preschool.  This is definitely not a get rich quick thing but it is good for a little extra.  Hint: use the search feature to more quickly find hits worth your time.  Surveys are my favorite as I think they pay the best overall in terms of time spent.

What are your simple savings strategies?  I’d love to hear more ideas!

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16 thoughts on “Simple Savings Strategies

  1. Keri

    Thanks for mentioning my savings series! I am trying to do the same thing, but to pay off debt. A tropical vacation sounds amazing though.

    I was never successful with Google Adsense. Right now I use Rivit Media / Sovrn. They’re nice because they pay every 2 weeks, even if it’s just a buck. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      You are very welcome, you always seem to have great ideas. Thanks for the info about Google vs Rivit Media. I’ll check into that. I wanted to try out the Amazon Affiliate thing but alas Missouri is one of the states on the “no” list.

      Reply
  2. Maureen @Raising The Capable Student

    Apparently, I’m the last person on earth to learn about swag bucks! I’m signing up for that today. I’m visiting from SITS Sharefest Saturday, and I love your blog! The surviving the sports season series is awesome. Count me as a new subscriber and follower on Facebook and Pinterest.

    Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you so much! I hope you’ll enjoy using swag bucks as much as I do. It really does seem to add up a bit quicker than the other reward programs. I think I have another post from surviving the sports season series sitting in my draft folder in need of finishing touches. Thanks for mentioning the series, I do need to dig that post out and finish it.

      Reply
  3. Christine

    Great tips! I love Money Saving Mom for inspiration.

    There’s another site too that’s really good for ideas: Stretcher.com

    Good luck with your savings! Something tropical sounds amazing right now.
    Christine recently posted..AuthenticityMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      Thanks! I’ll check that site out as well. Tropical sounds really good over here right now as well since it’s a balmy 6 degrees with snow on the ground. I suppose it’s good motivation to save up for it 😉

      Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      I hope you found something useful. I know it is so hard to plan those meals around the activities especially when everyone seems to be going different directions. I used to do a lot of “heat and eat” meals on those nights (still do), counts as a step above fast food, I think. Hope you are having a great weekend as well!

      Reply
  4. Paula

    Hi Jean! I used to be organized but as time goes on I become less and less and less… lol
    Thanks so much for linking up with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party!

    Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      I feel like that sometimes as well. My organizing inspirations and attempts definitely come in spurts! I’m so glad I found your party, thanks again for hosting it!

      Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      I’ve heard about Bing Rewards but never really looked into very much. I’ll be anxious to read your review of it!

      Reply
  5. Karren Haller

    Lol, whew, as I get older, I seem to be less inclined to stay organized, so that means when there is a room or my desk, I just have to jump in and Purge it.

    Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comment on my Word…Steadfast!! at a snail pace!!

    Have a great week!
    Karren
    Oh My Heartsie Girl

    Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      I wish I was better about just jumping in and purging a space before it becomes out of control! I really do love your word. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
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