Saving money on everyday items isn’t hard when you know where to look. Here are five way you can save your hard-earned cash during your regular shopping routine.
If you’re not already a coupon-clipper, go grab a pair of scissors. Don’t just buy stuff because it’s on sale–if you like the items you see in your weekly coupon junk mail clip those babies out and watch the savings soar. While you’re at the store, pay attention to discounts on high-priced items. Stock up while the price is low, even if you don’t need the items immediately.
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Here’s another trick: Look at the unit cost of each item instead of the total sale. The unit cost tells you the price of an item per ounce, pound, or gram. Usually, when you buy smaller quantities, the unit cost is higher. Bulk items may have a higher total cost, but the unit cost is typically lower, which means you save money on your entire grocery bill.
This may seem daunting, and you may think that a penny here and there doesn’t make a difference. Those pennies, however, add up to dollars over the course of a month. By making small tweaks to your grocery shopping habits, you could save yourself a couple hundred dollars each year.
2. Pet Food
Your furry friend means the world to you, but are you feeding him or her the right foods? Just because you buy the latest organic superfood animal products from your local pet store doesn’t mean you’re giving your loyal companion the best quality nutrition. To gain better control over what your animal eats and save some cash in the process, consider making your own homemade pet food. It’s true that some animals need nutrients that aren’t available in human products, so talk to your veterinarian about how to incorporate real food into your pet’s diet without compromising his health.
3. Books and Movies
These days, it’s unnecessary to pay full price for home goods like books and movies. With cheap online monthly subscription services, you can rent and stream your favorite shows on demand. Plus, you can get a wide selection of paperbacks delivered right to your door for free. Online shopping makes purchasing home entertainment items a breeze.
If you want to go even further with your savings, check out your local library. Most libraries carry the latest best sellers, various music genres and CD collections, and DVDs from the past 20 years or so. Though the selection may be more limited than an online warehouse, you don’t pay a dime unless you forget to renew or return your items.
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4. Skin Care and Cosmetics
You never want to compromise quality when it comes to your skin, but paying more doesn’t always guarantee better performance. There are plenty of drugstore cosmetics on the market that outperforms their designer counterparts at a fraction of the price.
Don’t buy blindly, however. Read the ingredients labels and choose products that don’t contain chemicals known to be harmful to your skin and long-term health. Pick organic, natural products without parabens, phthalates, and fragrances. Opt for plant-based oils such as coconut, olive, and grapeseed instead of mineral oil or other petroleum byproducts. If you have specific skin concerns, ask your dermatologist for recommendations.
5. Vision and Dental Products
Other personal care items such as vision and dental products can also be pricey. If you need corrective lenses, consider buying eyeglasses online. Online glasses companies have a huge selection of frames to fit your personal style. All you need is a current prescription and a credit card. Before making a purchase, check the company’s shipping and return policy. If you feel unsure about buying frames online, go to a local eyeglass store and try on a few pairs. Find the styles you like, and then search for the exact same brand online. Talk with your eye doctor for an expert opinion on what glasses are right for.
As for dental products, most toothpaste, toothbrushes, flossers, and mouthwashes deliver similar results. Unless you have sensitive teeth or require extra whitening, your best bet is to go with the sale items or the brands that have coupons. As always, talk with your dentist if you have concerns or need recommendations.
What Else Can You Save?
There’s always room for more savings! Look at where your money goes each month. Pay attention to what you buy, and find ways to cut costs without skimping on quality or health. If you keep a record of your purchases you will quickly notice where you spend the most of your hard-earned money.
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