Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Discount Shopping

In these lean economic times, it's necessary to begin trimming down your expenses. There are thousands of ways to save and be resourceful. While the rest of the world lives on a different standard, one should realize that it's not difficult to adjust your lifestyle to fit frugality. So what are the secrets to saving up?

Live Within Your Means, and Simply
Don't buy that new entertainment system if you don't need it. Don't splurge on that fancy outing because you don't need that, either. The keyword here is need. Many people, especially in the United States, live way beyond their needs. Enjoy a few nights playing board games over watching cable television, even enjoy a candlelit dinner with home-cooked food.

With the internet helping, searching and looking for coupons can be a cinch! Check your mail for penny-saving coupons and keep an organizer handy. Sometimes it's best to keep a coupon book in your bag or vehicle and check sales and advertisements on sales.

Used is Good!
A lot of used items can be reused, such as clothes, dishes, and even appliances. Check out your local thrift store for a variety of great items. Eliminate the word new from your shopping list as much as you can. You don't need to buy that new couch when you can get the same item for half the price at the thrift store.

Walk Around
Try the public transportation system or walk around to where you need to go. Biking is also an excellent source of transportation and travel. You can also sign up for a carpool to keep you using less gas and to also meet a few people along the way. You can also snatch a few naps while someone else drives you to where you need to go.

These are but a few tips on how to save money during these tough economic times. Start a savings of at least 6 months' salary to really solidify your back-up plan, in the event that the economy depreciates further.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Ways to Save Money On the Holidays

When you walk into your current discount store or even your local mall, one thing seems evident. The Holidays. Every year it's creeping further and further up past its due time. Christmas decorations are in line with Halloween decorations. "Why are there Christmas decorations already?" you might ask yourself. Either way, how will you save money during these economic times?

One word makes it very simple: time. Although time is indeed money, not many Americans today sew their own costumes, roast their own chicken, or hand-make their Holiday gifts. Some individuals believe they lack the talent for making their own gifts, whether it be clothes or food. But, if you boiled your own water before, you're bound to make jelly and jam preservatives just fine. You can offer sun tea with a pretty ribbon on it as a gift. Bake a cake if you can, and give it to your folks as a present.

Presents and preparations for the Holidays do not have to be bought at the mall. They do not have to reflect commercial interests. Homemade items are unique and thoughtful, and truly from the heart. Although it is no longer acceptable to pass out hand-made treats during Halloween, if you are in the need for sweet treats you may want to make your own caramels. Decorate your home with stretched out cotton balls and tape to imitate webs.

For Thanksgiving, virtually anything homemade will turn heads. Implement a potluck if there is none already, cook your own dishes and decorate using your natural surroundings. If you're experiencing beautiful foilage now, take some of the leaves to press onto homemade pieces of seasonal art.

During the Holidays, you can also make various handmade, homemade gifts like mentioned above. Cards made from the heart seem to resonate more strongly to their recipients. Take the time. The weekends are bound to have a few hours of peace. Schedule yourself and formulate a plan. And don't worry about doing things early! The stores aren't, so why should you?

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