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Money Saving Tips and Ideas – Raging Bear Ranch Style

April 27, 2012

My goal is to stretch our budget and make that money SCREAM and then stretch them some more!

Below is a list of ways that we use to save money.  The entire list can be found here:   List of Ways to Save Money

They also provide a ten step checklist to save money here:  ten step checklist to save money.
  • Get car insurance quotes and make sure that you have health insurance. – Even if the deductibles have to be fairly high something is better than nothing.  Get the best coverage you can afford and SHOP AROUND!
  • Clip coupons at Coupons.comSmartSource and PrintableGroceryCoupons.net.  Sign-up for brand clubs like Kellogg’s and Kraft!  Oh and if you have dogs, make sure you sign-up for pet clubs and brands like Purina and PetSmart!  If you have horses, I belong to the Purina Rewards Club and not only do you get coupons quarterly but you can also receive coupons for referrals!  Interested?  Check it out here:Referring your friends is simple. All they need to do is enter your unique referral code (listed below) when they enroll in the Purina Difference™ Rewards Program at purinamills.com/rewards.

    Please use my REFERRAL CODE: 20100507-66-03755102

  • Buy in bulk and get rewards cards at the supermarket.
  • Insulate your home and use fans and ventilation instead of AC.
  • Create a budget.  We use the Envelope System and LOVE IT!  I even made my own custom envelopes for nothing more than the paper.  Interested?  Check it out here:  Make your own Cash Envelopes
  • Use Skype.com if you talk on the phone a lot, especially internationally.
  • Use an online savings account that pays better interest, like ING Direct.
  • Pack lunch and bring coffee to work.
  • Get a rewards credit or debit card.
  • Invest your money. Vanguard or Scottrade is a good place to start.  We have our retirement through Vanguard and we love them!
  • Get a credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com, the government sponsored credit reporting website.  You can also get one and updates free at CreditKarma.com
  • Ask for a discount on large purchases like a refrigerator or washing machine.  It never hurts to ask, you might be surprised especially if you pay in cash!
  • Use the library. They have plenty of books, CD’s and DVDs. You can also request that the library buy certain books.  Our Library here in Locust Grove lets you download books to your Kindle!
  • Make saving a game. Set goals and give yourself a reward if you reach them.  – We have a game that if we eat out, we have to put the same amount we spent into savings and if we eat in, we put what it would have cost us into savings.  We do this on shopping too – when I grocery shop, the money we saved using coupons is put into savings as well.  We also have a “Chicken Account” – want to know more about our Chicken account?  Check it out here: Chicken Account.
  • Don’t follow your impulse. If you feel the urge to buy something, wait a few days and see if you still want it.
  • At the grocery store look down. Items below eye level are often cheaper.
  • Print a grocery list and stick to it.
  • Set the thermostat when you’re not home to save energy.
  • Quit smoking. This calculator shows you how much you could save.  My Daddy quit smoking over a year ago and the benefits not only affect their bottom line but his health as well.  So proud of My Daddy for quitting!
  • Buy a quality used car instead of new. A new car is worth thousands less as soon as it leaves the lot.  If you think you want to buy a new vehicle or a new to you vehicle – put the car payment, insurance, Maintenance costs to drive the new car in the bank each month to see if you can afford it – in 6 months time you will have a size-able down payment which can help to lower your payments!
  • Get rid of credit card debt. A $20 shirt could actually cost $200 with fees and interest if you don’t pay your credit card bill right away.  Start using the Envelope method and watch your bottom line start to move from red to black each month and you won’t miss those credit card payments!
  • Donate and have yard sales for the stuff that you don’t use.  We sell things on a local Facebook classifieds ad, craigslist, ebay and the good ole fashion Yard sales!
  • Watch for fees. Fees are everywhere; bank fees, atm fees, cash checking fees, late fees. These can add up over time.
  • Group discounts. Try to get a bargain on everything and ask if you can get a discount, especially if you have a large group.
  • Instead of buying things new, get them used or for free on Craig’s List, FB classifieds, Ebay, or by word of mouth!  I put out the word that we were needing a riding lawnmower and so did Bear.  About two weeks later, we were able to get a VERY well maintained riding Lawnmower for 450.00 (we had to buy a battery).  This same mower new would cost about $2000.00 and this one only had 100 hours on it!  I told my Dad who went with me to check it out that I got my first Tractor and he said I got a “Fractor” which is a fraction of a Tractor.  Whatever it is, I call it Frank the Fractor!  We mowed on Saturday with it and I had an absolute blast!!

Like I said, these are just some of the items from the larger list that we do to help save our bottom line.  So, what do you do to help your bottom line?  I always like to find out what others are doing!



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