Thursday, January 11, 2018

10 Easy Ways to Save Money in 2018

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This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure statement here.

Finding ways to save money is kind of my thing. Over the years, I've put a lot of effort into finding little tips and tricks that add up to big savings, so I decided to compile a list of 10 things you can do this year (that doesn't include making a budget and sticking to it).

1. Sign up for programs with benefits (and consistently use them!) - Some of my favourites include Shopper's Voice (CAN), Shopper Army (CAN/US), Field Agent (CAN/US), and Pinecone Research (CAN/US).  With these programs, you sign up and complete surveys or tasks for cash, gift cards, samples, or coupons. There are tons of programs like these, and honestly, sometimes the payoff can be huge! Utilize Google and find as many as you can.

2. Download rebate apps - As a Canadian, some of my favourites include Checkout 51, Zweet, Caddle, Flipp, and the App. Use google to find out what your country or area has to offer. I've made close to $500 on Checkout 51 alone!

3. Use Ebates when shopping online - This website is the best! They give you cash back for shopping online at your favourite stores (like Amazon!). 1% cash back might not seem like a lot, but over time it can add up to a nice payout.

4. Always price match and coupon - Price matching is no joke! It's by far the easier way to save a ton of money every time you grocery shop. Before I grocery shop, I search every single item I plan to purchase on my flyer apps. I use Flipp, Reebee, and Flyerify. This is also the best way to find coupon match ups. I know it's obvious, but seriously... pick up, print, and clip coupons. Get a coupon binder!

5. Stop using electricity during on peak hours - Check with your electricity company to see when usage is the cheapest. Doing laundry and running the dishwasher only during the off peak times can seriously affect your monthly bill.

6. Replace old lightbulbs and unplug old appliances - Replacing old lightbulbs is another obvious, but it's easy to forget about rarely used appliances. Is there an alarm clock in your guest room? Unplug it until you know you have company coming over! Any savings on an electricity bill in still a savings.

7. Shop around for insurance - I know it seems time consuming, but don't take this one lightly. Every year I call our current insurance company to update them and ask if there are any discounts that can be applied. Beyond this, I shop around like crazy, even if we're happy with our current insurance company. For example, this year I randomly decided to call our old broker, and it turns out a new insurance company was able to offer us better coverage for a savings of $100 a month between home and auto! That's an insane amount of money, and I never would have known if I didn't call.

8. Call your cable, internet, and phone companies - Another time consuming task, but one with the potential to save you a ton of money. Last year, I noticed a small increase on our cable bill, so I called our cable company and explained that I had been a loyal customer for the last 7 years and wasn't happy with the increase. The customer service team grandfathered me in to our previous package so the increases don't apply to my account. Just a few weeks ago, I called our cell phone company to discuss a terrible in store experience we had when upgrading our phones, and ended up receiving 2 extra GB of cellar data monthly for the next two year free of charge. Huge savings!

9. Buy necessities in bulk, but do your research on the price - If you do your research, you'll realize that buying bulk from places like Costco isn't always cheaper (sometimes it's significantly more expensive). Do the math, keep a list of where things are cheapest, and be aware of the quality. For example, I buy clubhouse spices at Costco because they're significantly cheaper than anywhere else, but I won't buy frozen fruit there because it's more expensive than other stores. I also always buy batteries in bulk from Amazon Basics when they go on sale because the price is great and I know they're high quality batteries.

10. Utilize Amazon wish lists - I've mentioned this on the blog before. If you're eyeing an item, are waiting to buy something on sale, or have a birthday/Christmas list to buy for, make an Amazon wishlist and check it every. single. day. Prices on Amazon fluctuate daily (if not hourly) and Amazon wishlists show you exactly how much an item has decreased or increased in price since you added it (see below).

Do you have any more amazing tips to share? Share them in the comments!

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