Hello there! Chances are you just finished reading Part One of this series: my handy Top 7 Tips to Save Money for Travel as a Millennial. It outlined the tried and true tactics I’ve implemented to put more cash in my pocket to spend on those coconut margarita’s on the beach in Maui. If you haven’t read it yet, head over to that post and circle back around. I’ll wait.
Okay, let’s dive in to Part Two.
One of the best ways to save money is to forget everything you know about shopping, and try these tactics instead. Sure, it takes a little more effort, but it will be totally worth it when you’re in that hammock reading the trashiest of trash magazines with the wind in your hair. Can’t you just picture it?!
How to Save Money on Groceries
Growing up, my dad would always boast about a little detail on the bottom of his grocery receipt. “Total savings today: XYZ $$$.” It became a game I would play with him, how can we save money on groceries (so I can buy that limited edition beanie baby….)
Here are the tactics I’ve implemented to save hundreds of dollars on groceries
Tip #1: We all have our grocery items that we buy on a consistent basis. Whenever they are on sale, and non perishable, stock up on a few!
Tip #2: Look at your local store’s weekly flier for sale items. Create your grocery list based on those items! Paying full price for groceries is overrated!
Tip #3: Shop Online! You can add items straight from the online sale flier to your cart.
Staying out of the store is a great way to avoid overspending as well. Save-On-Foods is my go-to store for this if you live in Vancouver! They offer pick up and delivery. I go through the flier first, then search items I need individually. I save so much time and money doing this, and it’s easy to plan a week of recipes this way!
Tip #4: Stop shopping at Whole Foods for things you can buy at other stores. They don’t call in “Whole Pay Check” for nothin’.
Tip #5: Plan your meals for the week, and note when you have plans.
On Sundays, I will look at the week ahead and see what nights I won’t be home for dinner. I plan the exact number of meals I need to make at home, and make enough for leftovers for lunch the following day. This helps you avoid buying items that will go bad if you don’t use them up.
How to Save Money on Big Purchases
This can be tough, but when implemented, can save THOUSANDS. Need a new camera but willing to hold out for a sale? Need a new artificial* Christmas tree or BBQ?
Tip #1: Plan ahead and buy for the following year when that shit is on clearance for dirt cheap.
Tip #2: Do your research and Buy Used. Chances are someone is selling the item online or in a consignment store
Tip #3: Look at the calendar. Is Black Friday coming up? Is the season almost over? Are stores starting to advertise next year’s model? If so, wait it out!
*this will not work for live trees. Imagine. “Guys what do you think of my tree?!” *crumbles to ashes*
How to Save Money by Thrift Shopping
Thrift stores. They get a bad rep, but thanks to Macklemore and new trends, more and more millennial’s are ditching the store labels for old school finds. My most complimented clothing & home decor items have all come from the racks of Value Village or vintage boutiques. Mostly because the items are unique and not screaming H&M or Ikea.
Tip #1: Go bargain hunting when you have some time.
Thrift shopping is a sport. You have to really dig and be patient. Some days you’ll walk away empty handed and other days you’ll run out of there yelling “START THE CAR!!! START THE CAR!!” carrying bags about to burst. Items are usually priced below $9.99, so it’s a no brainer, and worth the time and energy put in to finding them.
How to Save Money Shopping for Clothes
Chances are, you have uttered the words “I have NO clothes!” with a closet full of them. Guilty. We get tired of the pieces we see everyday in our closets, and constantly desire swapping them out for that new, freshly steamed cardigan under impeccable lighting at a fancy store. Resist the temptation!!!
Tip #1: If you find something you love, don’t buy it right away.
Put the item down and back away slowly. Think on it. Go back to your closet and see how many outfits you could make with that item. Do you have anything similar? Our taste often causes us to buy the same type of item, just a slightly different version. Make sure you don’t already have something that could work in it’s place. Give it two days, if you’re still thinking about it, I give you permission to purchase.
Tip #2: Get outfit inspiration on Pinterest.
Pin, pin, pin. There are so many fun outfit ideas just waiting for you in your closet! Pick an item from your wardrobe that you have trouble styling. For example: boyfriend jeans. Go on Pinterest and search things like “boyfriend jeans outfit or summer outfit boyfriend jeans, going out boyfriend jeans, blazer and boyfriend jeans outfit”.
There are thousands of outfit pins just waiting for every occasion you search for! You’ll be shocked at how many outfits you can put together with what you already have in your closet.
Go on girl, get creative.
Tip #3: If you really need new clothes, shop by outfit
Instead of buying a single piece that you’re not sure will work with the clothes you have at home, buy another piece with it to complete the outfit.
This will save you money in the long run. Have you ever purchased something that just hangs in your closet with the tag still on it for months and months? This trick helps avoid that.
Chances are, you’ll be able to mix and match the pieces with what you have in your closet, but it guarantees you’ll have at least one wearable outfit you can wear again and again.
Tip #4. Hellooo capsule wardrobe!
This is all the rage right now. If you don’t know what that is, google it or search it on Pinterest. There are hundreds of resources to help you get started. Happy Cap..suleing (?!)
Tip #5: Hit up your girlfriends
“Do you guys have a black dress I can wear for a work dinner I have this weekend!?” Instead of buying new outfits for special occasions, lean on your besties and borrow something instead. My girls and I do this all the time. It’s nice to wear something new and exciting, with no price tag attached to it. Just don’t borrow something expensive if you plan and dancing on a table at 2am singing “Don’t Stop Believin'” at the top of your lungs with a full glass of red wine in your hand. It won’t end well…
Another fun thing to do is shop each others closets. Set a date where you guys can get together and swap clothes that you’re tired of. And lastly (and the trickiest of them all)….
Sometimes smarter shopping means not shopping at all.
In today’s society, we are bombarded by social media, advertisements and celebrity endorsements telling us all the things we NEED in order to be happy. “If I just buy this outfit this fashion blogger has, I’ll be as successful as she is”, “If I buy this watch, I’ll live a life like Tom Brady.” To help combat this incessant brainwashing we are subjected to everyday, here are a few resources:
Tip #1: Watch the Minamalists documentary
This Netflix documentary will shift your perspective to help you decipher what you need versus what you are told to want in life. The two men behind the documentary also have a podcast on iTunes called “The Minamalists”, tackling subjects like budget, alignment in your life, hoarding, shopping and more.
Tip #2: Implement the KonMari Method
The premise behind the KonMari method is only having items in your home and closet that bring you JOY. I would highly recommend her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I always have her words in my mind when I go buy something new. Do I need this? Will this add value to my life? And most of all, does it bring me JOY?
Tip #3: Read books on money management & spending
A staggering 8 out of 10 Americans are in debt. Getting a handle on where you are spending the most money and how to downsize can be incredibly helpful.
I will leave you with this exercise to complete that I learned from Kevin O’Leary’s book, The Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women and Money:
Print out your last 6 bank statements. Go through purchases line by line and put them in categories. Clothing. Eating out/Take out. Going to da cluub/Social Activities. Beauty. Groceries. Errands. Bills.
If you’re like me, you will be shocked at what you discover. I was spending an INSANE amount on take out and going out to eat. It looked a little something like this:
- Cactus Club
- Sweater I bought online after 4 glasses of wine at Rodney’s…
It’s a reeeeallllll eye opener. You might need a glass of vino to get through this one, but it will change your spending habits for the better! Stay tuned for Part Three in this series: 7 Life changing lessons I learned from my financial advisors.