Steve Welker is a frugal cat. He’s had frugality instilled in him and it’s not going anywhere to his spouse’s chagrin. It’s with absolute pleasure that he brings to you some of his favourite money saving tips to help you stretch your paycheque and free up more of your available income for savings. If any of your favourite money saving tips are missing, please email Steve and let him know so that he can update this list.
- Discount grocers. No-Frills, Price Chopper, and Freshco are considerably less expensive than their more luxurious counterparts. While not as beautiful, products offerings of both fresh and packaged products are often identical at a lower cost.
- Price match. Did you know that the budget grocery stores will match their competitors prices? An easy way to price match is to utilize an application on your phone like Rebee which puts all of your local flyers at your fingertips. Simply show the cashier the lower prices at check out and save time and money by avoiding travelling to multiple stores.
- Brands. Consider no-name brands that typically offer comparable quality at a much lower price.
- Buy in bulk. Whether at Costco, another bulk store, or simply in higher volume from your local grocery store, buying products when their on sale and storing them can produce worthwhile savings.
- Garden. Did you know that many vegetables can grow in planters even when space for a garden isn’t available? Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and beans among other vegetables can all be grown in planters at a very low cost and with very little maintenance. Not only can gardening save you money but it can also be a lot of fun!
- Cook. Buy less prepared food. Not only is it less expensive, but it’s healthier as well!
- Lunches. Pack them rather than eating out. If you buy lunch everyday, do the math. The cost of doing so adds up quickly. What else could you be doing with that money?
- Cut your own hair. While more difficult for women, many men’s haircuts can be reproduced quite easily at home with a low-cost set of electric clippers.
- Cancel your cable. It’s amazing how much that your Bell or Rogers bill can climb to on a monthly basis. Consider cancelling your cable in favour of netflix which only costs $7.99/month and has thousands of new TV shows and movies on it.
- Demand a Discount. Most cable/internet/telephone providers will provide a discount if you threaten to cancel your service. They usually require you to make a 12 month commitment if you accept the discount but it is an easy way to reduce your bill by as much as 30% each month.
- GasBuddy. Use an application on your phone such as GasBuddy to find the best deal on local gas.
- Tire Pressure. Test your vehicle’s tire pressure to make sure it’s correct.. Low-pressure yields lower gas mileage.
- Carpool. Travel with friends wherever possible to save the environment and your wallet.
- Buy on-line. Did you know that most items are available online for less than they are in stores? Large retailers like Amazon.ca, or Shop.ca have huge inventories of items available for less than they are in store and many online retailers provide free shipping.
- Use Kijiji. Kijiji is a website where local residents can buy and sell items for free. Consider selling something you don’t use any more or buying something used instead of new to save your wallet and the environment!
- Collect points. Many retailers have membership programs that provide rewards. Sign up to avoid missing out.
- Review your monthly bank fees and talk to your bank to see if you could save money by switching accounts. Alternatively, consider a no-fee provider like PC Financial or Tangerine.
- Make fewer transactions to save on fees. Daily withdrawal fees add up fast. Only use bank machines provided by your bank, and not others, and make withdrawals weekly at most.
- Analyze your expenses. Make note of every expenditure as it occurs or review three months worth of bank statements to understand where your money is going. Some amounts may surprise you and provide an opportunity to make more educated decisions.
Now, take all of the money that you’re going to save and deposit in a high interest savings account or TFSA as an emergency fund to pay for unexpected car repairs, job loss, or medical expenses. Best of luck!