Relying on a single income is tough for all families as people are forced to look at every aspect of the budget and find ways on how to extend it.
As for our family, we try to extend our budget by employing some of the most common techniques for saving money. There is nothing out of the ordinary on what we do as you may have been doing this as well.
As for Ken and I, the following ideas work perfectly:
Clipping Coupons, Rebates, and Monthly Discount flyers
Coupons are a very useful in saving money. When we shop we always take into consideration if coupons or rebates are available. While clipping coupons may be a daunting task for some, it can actually be fun especially if we are seeing savings every month. We have also taken advantage of the monthly flyers from local stores such as a$5.00 off or $10.00 off after purchasing a set amount.
Shopping at Costco
As a frugal person, having a membership at a wholesale club like Costco is such a big help. Although some complain about membership fees too high, I think you can recoup that cost easily without even knowing about. Savings at Costco come in various forms such as huge discount on bulk buying, instant manufacturer’s rebate, coupons, gift certificates discount and cash back if you have an Executive Membership card or True Earnings Rewards Card from American Express
Replacing Brand Names with Private Label Brands
Another saving strategy we are using is replacing brand name product with private label ones. I think for a lot of items we bought at the stores, the private label brand is not too far off. The savings can range from 20% to 30% and these can easily add up. Items such as detergents, paper towel, toilet paper, tissue paper, mouthwash, bottled water, preserved fruits, bread, etc are a few of the products that you won’t see a big drop off in quality by using private label brands.
Doing Christmas Shopping Early
While most consumers wait until the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) to shop for gifts, Ken and I are quite the contrary. Every year, we tried to finish our Christmas shopping by continually going to other national holiday sale. This way, we only have to shop for a few more when the winter holiday is about to come.
Shopping At Outlet Stores
This is my favorite while it’s Ken’s least. One thing I like living in Southern California is it is known for having a lot of outlet stores. The items are much cheaper when compared to the mall counterparts and if you shop during the holiday sale, you’ll double or sometimes triple your savings. The best sale is Black Friday because not only that the prices are reduced, the stores also offer early bird discounts. The only drawback is the crowd but if you can save as much as $300 for a four hour wait, then you can think of it as working and getting paid $75 per hour!!
Shopping at Local Ethnic Stores
Growing up in another country, we are used to eating certain foods. Ethnic food items are hard to find at a regular grocery stores. I think, this is where this ethnic stores come in.
The three Asian stores popular to Filipino Americans are Seafood City, 99 Ranch store, and Island Pacific. Seafood City and island Pacific are Filipino stores while 99 Ranch is owned by Chinese. What I like about these stores are when we buy fish, the stores offer a cleaning and cooking service at no additional charge. For example, at an Asian restaurant, an order of fried fish could cost from $7.00 to $10.00 while we can purchase that same fish (cleaned and fried) for half that cost.
Another good example is when we bought a whole lobster during one of a national holiday sale at 99 Ranch Market. The store was offering lobster for only $5.99 a pound (regular price at $12.00) and they can also steam it for you for no additional charge. We paid $30 for a 5 pound lobster that lasted us a couple of days. Compare that to the $25 to $30 lobster meal at a fancy restaurant.