“Making it” when you’re not really quite “Making it” – 100 ideas to help make life a little easier & hopefully a bit more fun too!

I have decided to write 100 ideas in different categories that concentrate on saving money for normal purchases or ideas to help make extra money in ways maybe you haven’t thought of before. Starting from 100, I’m going to count backwards to 1 and expand on 100 ideas that I think will not only help you “Make it” but might inspire you to put some of these ideas to play in your life.

Idea # 100 – Coupons

I know, you’re thinking, really coupons?! I already know about those and use them occasionally already…but there are coupons for everything and with some research and organization you could be saving a ton of money every time you go to the grocery store. After watching a recent “Extreme Couponing” show on TLC, I started doing some research on coupons and how to use them to save more money at the grocery store.  Manufacturers send out millions of dollars worth of coupons every week and only a small percentage of them actually get used. Sure you can clip the coupons from the Sunday paper, but you can also go online to get coupons sent to your inbox regularly.

You can also email some of your favorite brand companies and tell them that you love their product and ask for coupons. Most of the time, they will send you coupons for FREE products and add you to their mailing list so that you can get future promotions/coupons. Diaper companies do this often. I don’t have children in diapers but I know friends who do and they spend a lot of money on diapers. Why not ask for at least a discount from the brand you use regularly?

Many grocery stores will double or triple the amount of your coupon, so ask your grocery store if they do that and what the maximum coupon amount can be doubled or tripled. You may also be able to get $25 (in a gift card) just for transferring a prescription to the pharmacy at a new grocery store. If you have a regular pharmacy that you love, you might not want to do this, but if you would prefer to pick up your prescriptions at the same place you shop for groceries, then why not transfer your prescriptions and get some money back. Some stores will give you $25 per transfer…if you have more than a few RX’s that could add up for sure.

No you are probably thinking I can’t get enough coupons to save enough money at the grocery store every time I shop. You can, but you have to do some research. You may want to find the local distributor of coupon circulars and call them to see if you can come pick up extra’s. Most distributors will have extras each week. You can also check in recycling bins, online coupon sites and coupon blogs for more tips on how to use coupons to save you A LOT of money.

If after looking at some coupon websites and blogs, you decide to start stocking up on extra stuff (why not if you can get it for free or next to free, right?!) make sure you have ample storage to store all of your newly acquired food items. You might want to designate some shelves in your basement or garage as your pantry. If you don’t have an extra fridge and freezer you may only want to stock up on non-perishable items. Many of those items will keep for many years.

Some sites to check out for coupons are:

coupons.com

couponnetwork.com

mycoupons.com

You can also google coupons at your favorite big box stores like Walmart, K-mart, Target, Costco, etc…you will have to print them at home, but they are out there if you are willing to look for them.

Some “couponing” blogs I like are:

http://thekrazycouponlady.com/retail-therapy/

About Us

http://www.jillcataldo.com/

These women have saved thousands by researching, being organized and stock piling items they need when the prices are low and they never shop without a coupon.  Their blogs are interesting and full of great tips/resources that you can start using right away to save money by using coupons.

Another idea to think about as you are stocking up on extra grocery store items is to help a local food bank or shelter with the extra items that you don’t think you will use or need. Food banks and shelters need food, toiletries, and cash donations all the time. Right now, I’m not able to donate cash, so I am donating extra food and toiletries to my local charities. I have a couple that are my favorites. The Denver Rescue Mission feeds and shelters homeless individuals and the Gathering Place is the only drop in day center for women and children experiencing poverty and homelessness in the city of Denver.  If you are able to donate to one of these charities or another that you passionate about, I highly recommend it.  It makes me feel good to know that even the very little I’m able to give now will allow someone to maybe shower and feel better about themselves or eat a healthy meal that will nourish them.  I also like the idea of helping those in need in our own country.  I’m not against helping other countries, I just think we have lots of need here and so I choose to help here, where I live.  In the United States and in the city I live and LOVE, Denver, Colorado.  I’ve added the websites of three charities below if you are interested in learning more about any of them.

http://www.thedenverrescuemission.org

http://www.tgpdenver.org/

http://feedingamerica.org/

How much money does your family spend on groceries a week?  If you could cut that cost in half or down to almost nothing, would that make your quality of life just a little bit better?  It has helped my quality of life for sure.  I am using coupons every time I shop and I’m no longer married to certain brands.  I’m trying new foods with my coupon savings, which in return is leaving more money in my pocket and also adding variety to my life.  After all…Variety is the Spice of Life, or so the saying goes!