With the economy in the crunch that it is, it has everyone looking for ways to save more, especially on things that we use a lot. The reality is, most of us like the way we live. We are willing to make small changes to better our situation if they meet the following criteria: they don’t hurt, they don’t take a lot of time to accomplish, and they don’t take a lot of effort on our part.

Buy in Bulk?

via Flickr

So, just what are some options out there that will fit this bill? One of the first things that people think of is to buy in bulk from warehouse stores like Sam’s Club or Costco. While they generally do have pretty good prices, it is important to weigh whether this is a good option for you and your family. Things like antacids, lotion and laundry soap won’t go bad so it’ll be ok if it takes you years to use them; this type of buying could make sense. On the other hand, a loaf of bread costs around $4 at your local grocery store and at Costco it’s something like $4 for two loaves of bread. Essentially you’re paying 50% less, but is your family going to be able to eat two loaves of bread before they go bad? Do you have the fridge or freezer space for a loaf of bread? If not, then you’re throwing money away.


Another popular thing is couponing. While challenging at times, coupons can prove to be extremely rewarding. It takes time to clip, organize and remember to use them. Many stay-at-home moms consider couponing to be a part-time job and a way of contributing to the family’s finances. Indeed, there are many who walk out of stores with bags of goods for just pennies on the dollar. There are several websites offering coupons and deals while providing ideas for organizing your coupons. If you remember to use the coupon(s), your savings will definitely add up, but don’t get too down on yourself if you forget! There’s always another coupon out there.

Going the PB & J Route

When you were a kid you probably ate, and preferred, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Now how often do you eat them? One of the major expenses in most people’s spending habits is eating out. If you are looking for ways to pay less for everyday things, consider what you eat for lunch. On a day-to-day basis, it’s only a mere $5.00 or $10.00. Watch out! That can easily add up to $200 a month – and that’s only for the weekdays. Bring lunch every now and then to offset this; it doesn’t even have to be a PB & J. Leftovers, pasta with olive oil, rice and beans; I could go on and on. Usually anything you bring from home will have the added benefit of being more nutritious than the stuff you’d buy from a machine or order when going out.

Buying Used

Buying used is another really good and practical way to pay less for everyday stuff. If it bothers you to think that you are less fortunate because you are buying things that others have cast off – well, move on. Realizing how wrong that statement is, is important not only for your wallet, but in some ways, informing how you interact with the world. There are many people who have enough money to spare, but they recognize the value of shopping at yard sales or secondhand stores. Consider the other benefit that you are recycling and doing your part to help the environment. I’d say that is a win-win situation!

There are many things that you can do to pay less for items that you use every day. You just need to be creative and look outside the box to find some great ways to save yourself some money.

Written by Adam Jacob, contributing writer for FrugalDad. They provide financial insight on a variety of subjects including the benefits of online coupons.

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