Last updated on January 8th, 2020 at 12:07 pm
(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information)
Now is the time of year where people everywhere make goals. Included in many people’s goals will be items that require them to save money so they can purchase what they need to make their goals happen.
For instance, perhaps this is the year you want to take the children to Disneyland. Or this is the year you want to save up a down payment for a house. It could be the year you want to pay off debt.
Whatever your goals, here are 12 thrifty purchasing habits you can instill so that you spend less on almost every purchase you might need to make. Make it your goal this year to focus on one a month so that by the end of the year you are reaping great financial benefit.
12 Purchasing Habits of The Ultra Thrifty
1. Make Your Smartphone pay for Itself
- How To Get The Smartphone You Want And Pay Just $20 A Month For Service
- 6 Apps That Will Save You Money At The Grocery Store
- 10 Apps Thrifty People Use To Save & Earn Money
Smartphones can be expensive. However, thrifty people know not just how to get good service at an inexpensive price, they also know which apps can help them earn money & save money each month, which essentially makes their smartphone work for its keep.
Here is a list of my top 3 favorite apps for saving and earning money
- Fetch Rewards (enter my referral code RE9FU at sign up and earn 1500 points when you complete one receipt)
- Checkout 51
Make sure to check out the links under the subheading to other articles I have written about money saving and earning apps to make sure you get that smartphone working for its keep.
2. Earn Gift Cards For Things You Already Do Online
You search the web. You shop online. What if I told you that there is a way you can get paid for doing both these things? Join Swagbucks and earn SB points for these 2 online activities plus many, many more and cash your SB points in for gift cards.
Gift cards start at 300 SB for a $3 gift card to Amazon. By far the best deal is the 2200 SB point $25 gift card of your choice (PayPal excluded) that you can cash out once a month. It isn’t as hard as you may think to earn enough SB points to achieve 2200 SB points each and every month.
Other point programs that pay you for your internet searches & shopping
- InstaGC (check out my favorite 4 ways to earn with InstaGC)
- MyPoints (check out 10 ways to earn MyPoints)
- Inbox Dollars (check out 10 way to earn cash with Inbox Dollars)
(psst…you can’t of course earn enough gift cards to cover all your purchases, so when you can’t use a Swagbucks earned gift card to cover a purchase, use Cardpool to purchase a discounted gift card that will save you 2% to as much as 20% off the total of the gift card you purchase.)
3. Always Look for a Way to Earn a Cashback
If you are shopping online, always check if you could earn a percentage back on your purchase by using a cashback site. It is so simple to use a cashback site. Just head over to the cashback site of your choice, enter the store you want to shop at in their search bar and then click on the link to that store. The cashback site takes care of the rest.
Typically cashback rates can be 3% to 8% which might not seem like much, but used over and over that can really add up.
3 great cashback programs
- Ebates: great selection and runs awesome promotions where you can get higher than average cashbacks.
- TopCashBack: no minimum cash out and a 2% bonus if you pick an Amazon gift card code as your cash out.
- BeFrugal: Not only does BeFrugal offer great cashbacks, but they also list coupons & deals for restaurants.
4. Search for Coupons That Make an Impact
I don’t bother to print .25 cent off coupons, it just isn’t worth the time, but I do print $1 off or higher. I will use a lower priced coupon if it isn’t a printable or if it is a cashback coupon through a grocery store app. My favorite source for high value coupons though is free samples for products we use often.
For links to great coupons check out my…
- Coupons page where you will find all the links to the top printable coupons sites in one place.
- Hot Deals page where I list the top coupons and sample deals on a frequent basis.
- For ideas on where to find high value coupons from sources you might not think about, check out this article I wrote.
5. Use Daily Deals Wisely
Thrifty people know that daily deal sites can be a budget disaster unless they are handled in a thrifty minded manner. For instance, in our family we have used them to make our entertainment budget go further. Whenever I buy a daily deal for a restaurant we frequent, I make sure during the next paycheck period to take out that much less in cash for our entertainment fund.
This makes our tiny entertainment fund stretch as much as double since many daily deals offer a 50% discount on meals and entertainment venues.
Zulily is a daily deal site our thrifty family uses to save us money on the name brand clothing we find to be worth the price tag. As a runner, I especially love their deals on name brand running shoes for prices as much as 40-50% off.
6. Prepare for a Great Yard Sale Season
Yard sale season is a Thrifty person’s favorite time of the year. Each year I take time to make a list of household needs & wants–such as a spot that needs a table, a desk that needs a new-to-us office chair, and other items. I estimate yard sale shopping easily saves our family hundreds to thousands each season depending on what we need and the deals we find.
7. Join The Email Lists of Your Favorite Stores
I know we all hate getting more email than necessary, but thrifty people know that their favorite stores give out awesome discounts, heads up for sales, and other deals just to their email subscribers. If you are not signed up for the emails of your favorite stores, you are missing out on great savings.
You don’t sign up for every store you shop at, that would lead to email overload, just sign up for perhaps the top 3 clothing stores you family shops at consistently.
Also look to see if the restaurants your family frequents have email clubs, these leads to free birthday food and often more coupons you can use to help stretch your eating out budget further.
8. Resell to Buy
Want something new? Raise the money for it by selling something you already own and no longer use. This will make more room for your new item as well as make the new item very budget friendly.
9. Borrow or Swap Instead of Buy
Sometimes you think you desperately need an item, but once you buy it you get buyer’s remorse when you discover it isn’t all you thought it would be or you really don’t need to use it as much as you thought you would.
Save yourself from buyer’s remorse by borrowing items when you can to either avoid the cost of purchasing the item altogether or to give yourself a free trial of the item before you buy. A simple Facebook shout out to local friends works great for this.
Another great way to avoid the price of purchasing things is to host swap parties. This can be done with books, clothing, toys, and more and is great thrifty fun!
10. Use Everything to The Last Drop
Thrifty people know of certain tricks to make sure they get the last drop out of every type of product bottle. They know just what to do with the last of the leftovers so they don’t go to waste. Creativity is key in using up items–you need to engage in outside the box thinking to use up the last of some items.
11. Ask This Number One Money Saving Question
There is just one question you need to remember when you purchase items. This one question is very powerful and will save you more money than any other. Do you really need it?
12. Never Stop Your Thrifty Ninja Training
This last tip is the most important tip. If you want to live a thrifty ninja life effectively you must never stop learning. Always be on the look out for new ways to save and earn money.
One great way to stay in touch with the latest thrifty living tips is to join my email newsletter list. I send out a newsletter once a week that has links to my latest posts as well as deals I have found that week that are so good I just have to share them.
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.
Bonus Tip: Manage Your Time As Well As Your Money To Save Even MORE
The number one excuse I hear for not doing the 12 money saving steps above is “I don’t have time!” Truth is we all have the same 24 hours every day–so how are thrifty people able to use their 24 hours effectively so they can fit in money saving steps? They manage their time well.
Thrifty people know that to get the most our of their day they need to start it out right! That is where the course Make Over Your Mornings can help. Give this course just 15 minutes or so every morning for two weeks and apply the knowledge you learn within its guide and videos and you will start finding time to apply the 12 steps above and save money.
Once your mornings are made over due to the awesome wisdom shared in the Make Over Your Mornings course, I am certain you are going to be able to recoup your investment by taking the time you gained by applying the time management wisdom shared in the course to making the 12 steps above ingrained saving money habits in your home.