In the book, How to Save Money Every Day by Ellie Kay, she tells the story of the savings queen. In this story, the savings queen awakens to the sound of her alarm clock (purchased at a yard sale for $3), and then she takes a shower (products all free or purchased with coupons). After getting dressed (free outfit from a friend), she proceeds to eat cereal (only $.09 per box with coupons combined with sales) with her son. After packing her children's lunches (cost is less than $.50 for each one), she makes sure they have their backpacks (purchased at 75 % off last year at the after-season clearance sale). The story goes on and on about how the savings queen manages to save money all day, every day.
It does take some organizational time to truly be a savings queen or king; however, there are many ways to save that aren't terribly time consuming. Coupons work well, as long as you are willing to comparison shop. Sometimes store brands are still cheaper than the name brand with a coupon. If you see that an item is already on sale and you have a coupon for it, sometimes by combining the two, you can actually get things for almost free.
If you like to garden, you can save a great deal of money by planting an apple tree, a tomato plant or other type of vegetation. The seeds or the plant will produce many times their cost when the harvest comes in.
If you have the storage room to buy in bulk, you also can save some money. An example would be ground beef. Ground beef is always cheaper in the larger packages. If you tend to use ground beef in 1 lb. quantities, then divide the larger package and freeze it. If you tend to scramble ground beef for use in casseroles, tacos or spaghetti, go ahead and scramble all of it, then divide it and freeze it. This is a money saver, and a time saver. When you get ready to make your casserole, all you have to do is pull a bag of pre-cooked meat out the freezer for use in your recipe.
You can save a lot on clothing by shopping clearance sales. Many times things will be as much as 70-75% off. If you buy a summer outfit in August, you can still get a couple of months wear out of it, and then have it for the following summer as well. This is much easier to do with adults, who tend to stay the same size. It is much harder for children's clothes, because you can't predict when they may hit a growth spurt.
Even if you aren't quite ready for the title of savings king or queen, begin to be more conscientious about ways you can save when you spend. The idea is not to save so that you can buy more for yourself, but to save so that you can have more to give to others. Good stewards don't just hoard money. They give it and spend it - wisely.
Denise Craig, Chief Financial Officer
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