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10 Ways to Stretch Your Dollars

Submitted by on July 22, 2013 – 3:48 pmNo Comment

10 Ways to Stretch Your Dollars

Save Money by Stretching Your Dollars

With the new school year just around the corner and summer spending heating up with the temperatures, here are 10 Ways to Stretch Your Dollars starting today!

1.  Be creative in gifting:

  • Homemade spa recipes and hand painted glasses are favorites of mine.
  • Buy in bulk.  Six bottles or a case of wine typically offers a 10% discount—that’s 12 individual gifts at a discount!  Wrap it in a bag from the dollar store and you’re set!
  • Do a present swap party with friends in lieu of individual gifts. Each person brings one gift and walks away with one.  I’ve seen large families do this as well.  Discuss spending limits on gifts with those attending.
  • Bake a holiday favorite recipe and hand deliver.   Ashley’s Personal Story: “I bought containers of fancy cookie cutters after Christmas for $2.50 per container of 10 cookie cutters that were regularly $12.00. I enclosed my grandmother’s secret Christmas Cookie Recipe from 1976, along with the story behind the recipe, with the gift. The following year, I gave them out as gifts.  My friends loved the sentimental gift and with some creativity, I spent only $2.50 per person.”

2.  Someone asking what you want for a gift?  Gift certificates to stores you like to shop in are great ideas—it’s the gift of shopping without guilt!  Try to stay within the limits of the gift certificate otherwise you may be spending money over budget.

3.  Budget.  Stay within your limits and you’ll stay within budget!

  • Set some cash aside every week (skip lunch out a day or two).  You’ll have some money saved for personal expenses that aren’t going on the credit card!

4.  Use airline flyer miles to travel or plan ahead for cheap airfares.

5.  Check online for deals and search for promotion codes.  You can search for the best prices before leaving you home and may even get free shipping so you don’t have to battle the crowds and spend gas money running all over town.

6.  Look for after holiday sales.   Items are often marked down 50%-75% after the holiday.  Look ahead to your calendar for next year for what you know you’ll be shopping for and get it at a discount.  CAUTION:  just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean buy it.  Only pick up things you know you’ll need in the future.

7.  Do a little research.  Review your bills and see what you’re being charges and shop rates.  Look over that cell phone and cable bill.  Are you using everything you’re paying for?  Are there better plans available that can save you some money?

8.  Share the sitter!  Share a babysitter or swap kids with friends for nights out.

9.  Barter for goods and services.

10.  Kudos for coupons!

The Saving SeedAshley Parks is a Certified Financial Planner and Author of The Saving Seed: Growing a Financially Healthy Family Tree; www.thesavingseed.com

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