Being frugal is the next “Ballin’!” — it’s cool to be cheap. There are a billion websites and online communities dedicated to sharing tips for an efficiently frugal lifestyle. But what if you don’t want to spend half your life cutting coupons like a maniac or subjecting yourself to miserable, uncomfortable situations
While members-only stores like Costco may be tempting with their rampant ‘discounts’, Business Insider points out that the tax on televisions and other large electronics are usually way higher than when purchasing the same items online. On the internet, many electronics outlets will waive the tax altogether. You may, however, still have to compensate for shipping, but that’s also dependent on where you choose to purchase from. The same goes for phones, which are usually marked up in the store but readily available at a cheaper price online.
Buying refurbished electronics online is also typically cheaper than any deals you’ll get in the store. Refurbished items are in brand new condition, and typically come with the same type of warranty.
Use the Holidays
Make a list of things you need around the house but aren’t in a rush to get — stuff like bedsheets, a few new lawn chairs, a backpack, towels, etc. Keep an eye on coupon sites like Retailmenot.com. Both sites are constantly providing coupons for various retail outlets throughout the web, but deals are juiciest during the holidays.
4th of July, Black Friday, and other holidays are usually teeming with deals that you won’t find any other time of year. You can save bundles of money just by patiently waiting for a holiday to come along, then buying a few items off of your handy list. As usual, shopping online is preferred to waiting on epic lines and fist fighting over $1 toasters.
Shopping for groceries is a tedious, monthly or bi-monthly event that most of us have to endure. We’re always scoping the shelves of our local grocer for deals while simultaneously trying to avoid products made with tortured animal scraps and weird chemical sludge. A few things to keep in mind:
– Don’t fall for the “5 for $5!” ‘deals’. They aren’t actually deals at all — just calculations of what you’ll spend if you purchase 5 or 10 of an item that isn’t any more expensive when purchased in lesser quantities. Obviously, 10 of an item that costs $1 each is going to come out to $10. Check the prices on the items you’re buying and don’t get fooled into buying more because of deceptive, suggestive signage.
– Cut your own vegetables. Pre-cut vegetables cost more for less food. Consumer Reports notes that pre-cut veggies can cost up to five times more than whole vegetables. Don’t be lazy!
– Sign up for a grocery card. It’s free and will provide discounts.
– Don’t buy snacks from beside the checkout line. That stuff is always cheaper when taken from the grocery store’s aisles.
Maintain Your Car
The “hourly rate” for many car repair shops is anywhere between $50 and $75 dollars. And there’s no real way to know whether or not the repairs on your car really took four hours. Maybe it took three. How can you tell?
While it may be unrealistic to learn how to fix intricate and complicated mechanisms on your vehicle, there are some simple things you can learn to DIY — and save a lot of money in the process. Besides avoiding outrageous hourly wages for simple repairs, you also won’t have to pay nonsensical charges for shop supplies such as rags and lubricant.
Check Tips From Others
Places like the SubReddit Frugal is plentiful when it comes to tips for saving money and DIY-ing a lot of things that would otherwise be pretty costly. By simply searching online, you can learn how to do small renovations on your own home, spruce up your backyard, and save money on any type of party, even your own wedding.