10 Steps For A Thriftier New Year


(post contains affiliate links: see disclosure)
Are you looking at Christmas and year end bills and wishing you had been a bit more Thrifty this last year. Well as the saying goes “there is no use crying over spilled milk” however you can make a plan to reduce the chances of it happening again.

10 steps that will help you save a significant amount of money over the course of a year

Here are 10 things you can do now or over the next few weeks to make a thriftier new year a reality

1. Make a budget

Year end income statements will be arriving soon, divide you net income into 12 and start trimming expenses until they fit with you income. Here are a few websites to help you set up and keep your budget.

Sign up for these 4 websites for maximum earnings

2. Start earning gift cards and other items online

We all zone out a few minutes a day so why not earn a few gift cards or other gift worthy items  during those moments. These programs can easily be done while watching TV at the end of a long day, or while your putting your feet up for a few moments mid day (which is when I do mine).

Places to earn gift cards

Places to earn books and magazines

  • Recycle Bank (rewards vary from time to time but Recycle Bank usually offers magazine subscriptions & more)
  • Tyndale Rewards (earn books, bibles and devotionals that would make great gifts)

Use this list to help you toss deep and earn big.

3. Start selling what you already own & no longer use

There is more value than you might think in what is lying around your home gathering dust. Here are 10 ways to sell it and use the cash towards your financial goals

4. Sign up for Daily Deals

  • Zulily– great for running gear, quality foot wear and household items
  • Educents– If you homeschool , or you are a teacher you are going to want to sign up for Educents to grab great discounts on curriculum.

Remember though, stick to your budget: Incredible deals are not deals if they cause you to overspend and go into debt.

5.  Get your share of free samples

Free samples of shampoo and conditioner  can be great for stretching your budget just a little bit more, plus they usually come with high value coupons.  Some samples like those for gourmet coffee and body lotions can make great gift basket fillers.  A few sights to follow for samples are

6.  Start watching discounted gift card sites

If you know you are going to have to replace the back steps this year, once you have the money saved up why don’t you take one more step and save 7% or more on the project by searching Cardpool for a discounted gift card to your local hardware store.

If you know the children are going to need new jeans, and you know what store fits them best, once you have the money saved up why not see if there is a discounted gift card available for that store that will save you even more off the clothes you find on the clearance rack.

7. Make a grocery shopping check list

Here is what is on my grocery shopping check list

  • see what we have in the cupboards that we can use this week to make meals
  • make a menu based on what I found in the cupboards
  • make a grocery list based on weekly needs and items needed to make the meals from things in the cupboard
  • go online and check the sales flyer and note sales items to stock pantry
  • fill store rewards card with coupons
  • See if there are printable coupons for items on my list
  • Check coupon apps like ibotta, BerryCart, MobiSave and Checkout51 for rebates.
  • make sure I have list and coupons with me before I leave the house

When I remember to do all these things before leaving the house I save a significant amount on my groceries.

8. Spend 3 to 4 weeks making a price book

One more way I save a significant amount of money on groceries is knowing where certain items are the cheapest. For instance, I calculated that I  save approximately $60 a year buying my yeast in bulk at Sams club than versus buying it in the little glass jars at my local grocery list. Save $60 a year on 10 items and your savings is already $600 a year.

I keep track of where things are cheapest by keeping a small pricebook and updating it several times a year to make sure I am getting the best deals.

Use these tips to save money on books–includes ways to get books for free.

9. Visit your local library and read a few great titles on all things thrifty

Here are my top 10 titles that I would recommend to anyone wanting to live a thrifty lifestyle.

  1. The Total Money Makeover
  2. Your Money Counts
  3. The Complete Cheapskate
  4. The Complete Tightwad Gazette
  5. The Money Saving Mom’s Budget
  6. America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right On the Money
  7. Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half With America’s Cheapest Family
  8. Miserly Moms
  9. Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity
  10. The Millionaire Next Door

Yes these all link to Amazon, and yes they are affiliate links, but I would much rather see you borrow them for free from your local library, or try to get them through paperbackswap.com; only as a last resort do I want to see you buying them and if you do it better be at a discount with point earned gift cards.

10. Follow some thrifty Pinterest boards

Pinterest can become a breading ground for discontent but it does not have to be; instead make it a motivating place that feeds you with tips on how to save more money by following some thrifty lifestyle boards. Here are 10 to get you started…

  1. Thrifty Christmas Tips Community Board
  2. Saving Money Tips
  3. Things Thrifty People Do
  4. Thrifty DIY Gifts
  5. Money Management
  6. Selling and Earning Tips
  7. Thrifty Thursdays Community Board (by Living Well Spending Less)
  8. Frugal Living Community Board (by Meet Penny)
  9. Everything For Less Community Board (by Freebies For Mom)
  10. Ultimate Frugal Homeschool Community Board (by Upside Down Homeschooling)

I hope your new year is thrifty and bright!

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For a complete listing of my money saving tip posts visit my money saving tips page.






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  1. I need to check out the Pinterest boards for fresh inspiration.

    One tip about the Swagbucks. If you do the Amazon GCs, you use fewer Swagbucks for the $5 GC than the bigger ones. My ds17 gave me that tip.

    Thanks for sharing your tips at Fabulously Frugal Thursday!

  2. There are so many great ideas here! I have a price book started, but haven’t been very good at keeping it updated. You’ve inspired me to get back at it again!

    • Yes, I too have periods when I update my price book almost once a week, and then months where it sits and gathers dust. I find though that prices don’t change too much over a course of a year so as long as I get it out about once a year and take time to chart prices for about 6 to 8 weeks (a full sale cycle) I can stay on top of where to find the best prices for what where.

  3. Just wanted to let you know that your post is one of the featured posts at this week’s Fabulously Frugal Thursday!

  4. These are some ideas I hadn’t thought of. Thanks.

  5. I’ve never heard of Cardpool before! I’m going to have to check them out. We need a new kitchen faucet this year and even though it’s not thousands of dollars every little bit will help.

    • I have had great success with Cardpool when it comes to buying gift cards for renovation projects we remodeled an entire home using their discounted Lowes cards. I would buy a few at a time and when my husband reached the last one I would order more. They really do add up I kept track and in the end we saved $100’s on our house remodel using them.

  6. What a great list of resources! Glad I came across these on Thriving Thursdays!

  7. Your blog name is SO clever! Thanks for compiling such a great list of tips. Pinned to my “Frugal Family Fun” board.


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