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Hey y’all, Tiffany here.
I have a secret….
I love spending money.
I love buying things. I love having new things. I love packages coming in the mail.
I know, it’s kind of weird for a money-saving blogger to have a spending issue.
But more than loving buying things, I love buying them for other people. I get so excited when I find the perfect thing for someone.
(Although the problem with this is that I want to give them their gift right away. Phillip hates that! The wait for their big day feels longer for me than anyone else!)
My secret wouldn’t be as big of a deal if it weren’t for the fact that I’m not also secretly a millionaire. If my husband’s salary were perhaps triple of what he makes, then I could shop to my heart’s content! Like many of you, however, we do not have unlimited resources at our disposal
Note: if you are one of the lucky few that DOES have an endless supply of money, please stop reading this post and go shopping!
This unfortunate dichotomy (which is a fancy word for “two opposite ideas”) means that I have to get creative if I want to continue indulging myself without my husband taking away my credit cards! Let me share with you a few tricks I’ve learned over the years that allow me to stretch my resources without breaking the bank.
Get Free Gift Cards
Using free gift cards is one of my favorite ways to pay for my shopping addiction habit. (It’s not an addiction! I could stop any time I wanted!).
In fact, last year for Christmas, Phillip and I have earned over $1,000 in free gift cards that we used at Target, Walmart, etc. to pay for our holiday season!
Getting free gift cards is really not too difficult, and it requires very little effort on your part. GO HERE to see my list of all of the different methods we used to make last Christmas completely debt-free without going broke!
Set Up a Gift Closet
If you’re anything like my husband, then sometimes special days have a funny way of sneaking up on you. (Of course, that would have absolutely nothing to do with your six-year-old darling angel giving you his classmate’s birthday party invitation the morning of!)
Or, if you’re anything like me, you notice toys and gifts all year long that you want to purchase but decide to wait until the holidays are closer (which always results in said gift now costing double the price).
This is where a gift closet comes in handy! As I go through each day, I keep an eye out for sales on items that I know my family members would love. When something does go on sale, I purchase it right then (who cares if Christmas is five months away?) and stick it on a shelf away from sticky little hands. (We post about these quite frequently in our Facebook group.)
This ensures that when the holidays come up, I’m not desperately scrambling on December 24th to find a Hatchimal somewhere within a 500 mile radius!
Having a gift closet ends up saving me several hundred dollars each year by never paying full-price on gifts for birthdays and holidays!
Learn How to Budget Your Food – the Right Way
The last (and probably most important) way to have more money for shopping is to cut grocery costs! The average American household spends $301 per month on groceries, plus an additional $182 on eating out!
That’s almost $500 per month, or $6,000 each year. Just imagine how much fun you could have at the mall with all of that money!
Now, I know what you all are thinking: that couponing takes too much time between clipping the Sunday papers, finding the deals in the sales ads, and going to grocery store. And you’d be right – IF we lived 25 years ago before a beautiful little thing called the internet was invented!
Nowadays, couponing consists of printing coupons from the internet, following deals websites that have already gone through the ads and matched sale prices with coupons, and zipping in and out of the grocery store (although you could always do grocery pickup from stores like Walmart and Kroger)!
I started using coupons about two years ago when a friend of mine got me hooked by showing me her receipt with 95% off her groceries! Now, I can’t say that I save that much every time I shop, but I usually get at least 70% off each week.
You can learn all about how to coupon from my post here.
If couponing is something that is still really difficult for you, then no worries- you can still make sure you’re budgeting your groceries the right way. I’ve written a blog post that teaches you how to have a $40 weekly grocery budget for a family of four!
This is a completely new way to look at your food budget and how to approach meal planning in a whole new way. When I showed this to a friend of mine, she later told me that I had completely revolutionized the way she did her groceries and shopped.
It IS Possible!
Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to know where to cut corners in our budget, but if you follow these three simple steps, you will save money!