Having spent many years in the past scraping by, counting pennies, and being accustomed to sacrifice for a better future, I’ve compiled a list of saving graces for maximum pocket change. There’s nothing worse than falling short at the end of the month!
Thrift shops of course, are great resources for slim times and consignment stores clean and press designer labels, with no rips or tears. Because the quality level is so diverse in these stores, it’s worth the drive to the higher end neighbourhoods for this type of shopping. They usually have amazing finds for shoes, purses, hard to find accessories, and designer clothes. The advantage of shopping in the local stores, is you can try before you buy. On the flipside, the internet has much more to choose from and saves time and gas. The best online stores offer step by step measuring instructions so you can avoid return hassles and costs. Pay attention to the reviews of these stores, sift through the best ones and reap the rewards of online discount shopping! You can get a couch for 20 bucks with a really cool retro shape and have it re upholstered or get a potato skin to compliment your decor.
2. Kids Clothes:
If you don’t have friends or family with children to trade with, advertise at your children’s school bulletin board that you are looking to swap gently used clothes for new sizes as your child grows each year.
3. Selling your Child’s Items:
This is a great way to make profit and re-buy what your children need as they grow. Garage Sales are wonderful for making quick cash. Just open your garage door, put a sign on the lawn, a few more down the street pointing to where you are, and people will come. If you’re not in a hurry, use Kijiji or Craigslist. Another quick option is to consign your child’s gently used clothing and items at a reputable consignment shop like Once Upon a Child Children’s Consignment. Be prepared, the items they sell must be in excellent condition, so bring your best stuff.
4. Coupon Clipping:
5. Keeping in Touch:
Apple’s FaceTime (iPhone) for overseas and international calls and Skype is the most cost effective way to stay connected without breaking the bank. Make sure this is included in your plan first. Koodo is the least expensive mobile phone service provider in Canada and they provide a monthly plan at the lowest current price including all of the coveted features.
6. If You are Low Income, Look into these Resources:
Go to your local women’s resource centre. Resources are there for a reason. Stop being proud, making your life so difficult, and use your resources that are provided to you. There are lots of great subsidies for single moms and their children. In Canada we call these centers ‘Neighborhood Place’. The local women’s shelter or the YWCA near you are great resources too as they will have additional resources catered specifically to you. Your local churches always have several forms of charity programs, including childcare and donations. I find this especially true with the Catholic Church as they advertise this. Here we have Tools for School, which is a back pack full of school supplies for your child depending on grade level, Coats for Kids, and some thrift stores will give you $20 credit per month for clothes. Soroptimist Canada is an organization for empowering women and girls and a promising future, while insuring (women’s and girls) lives through various grant and award programs. Live Your Dream is an online community dedicated to helping women and girls live their dreams through inspiring stories and practical resources. There is one government run store here, where each family member is allowed 1 full bag FREE per month, of anything you need. Shopping without worrying about your bank card screaming ‘declined!’, which can save you a red face when you’re in a rough spot. Walmart and Costco have some excellent prices for groceries, household items, clothes and gas. It may be worth getting a Walmart Credit Card, to maintain your excellent credit, while discount shopping.
7. The lowest Gas Prices:
Download the GasBuddy app onto your mobile. If you have a Costco membership, take advantage of their guaranteed lowest gas prices and fill that tank to the top. If you don’t have the yearly membership, you may have an Airmiles card. At the end of each year, do an Airmiles check on your online account and collect as many gas cards (for free) as you can with your points.
8. Spa and Beauty Treatments
Dye your own hair! Then invest in silicone based hair shine and argan oil. It’s still 1/3 of the cost of 1 salon treatment, and no one will see the difference. For massages, body wraps and facials, mani’s, pedi’s, hair salon services etc, head to your nearest beauty school. The students are trained with the newest innovations and prices are up to 60% less than the beauty salons for each service. The students are usually cheerful and excited about their new careers and because of their enthusiasm the service is actually quite pleasant. An even less expensive option is of course to give yourself a spa treatment at home. For fun, you can even invite a friend over and you can paint nails and swap treatments on each other while sharing your favourite products.
9. Everything Vintage
Vintage is a wonderful way to enjoy the finer things in life without the huge price tag. And oh so chick. Next to the local thrift shop treasure hunting expeditions, other great ways to find great quality vintage items is on eBay Canada, eBay USA or Etsy. Make sure you’re on the right site according to your location. It keeps the shipping costs down, otherwise you’re defeating the purpose of shopping on these sites when you’re on a budget!
10. Discount Cars
I also believe Vintage applies to great automobiles as well. Like the gorgeous Karmann Ghia, or 67 Corvette, Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 roadster, or a reconditioned vintage BMW! Of course vintage cars can be tricky. You MUST have them fully inspected before purchasing, but when you add up these costs, it still works out to be a lot less expensive than brand new, and you are driving in style. Check out your local auction. Nowadays, they allow you to run the vehicle, and bring your own mechanic to inspect it before you cough up the cash. Make sure it’s currently registered in your province or state. This will save you a lot of headaches and eliminate unnecessary costs.
11. Bills! Bills! Bills!
Cut out the cable bill! The internet is the greatest thing that has happened to television. Apple TV costs $99 for a one time fee, hook it up to your flatscreen, and voila, free TV! Vevo, YouTube, Crackle, Feature Films, Red Bull sports and more. Add on Netflix at eight bucks a month, rent some classic literary movies from your local library for free, or new releases from the Red Box now at Safeway stores ($1.50 each!) and you will soon forget about cable all together. You’ll be surprised at the extra cash you have left over now that you’ve switched.
12. Prescription drugs for the best price:
President’s Choice Financial and ING With no fees, (no fees!) PC provides free cheques, unlimited ATM (at CIBC branches), Debit/Point of Sale transactions. ING has the highest interest savings account with no fees. Great for electronic and direct deposits, then forget about it!
14. Beauty Products:
These can be expensive. A woman deserves to look her very best at all times. Empower yourself with unlimited products and at the same time, have your products for free. Consider joining a trusted network marketing business and/or direct sales opportunity with a proven track record that you feel comfortable with. Build a second flow of cash through selling, look fabulous, and your beauty needs are paid for. Another idea for beauty maintenance is, if you have completed any related certified classes, you are entitled to accessing the salon suppliers products in your area. The discounts are up to 50% off for you, forever. This is done simply by presenting your certificate or beauty card from that course to the cashier, and there is no expiry date. If there’s any cool ideas I’ve missed, please feel free to post yours. Thanks for reading! Until Next Time, ~Cynthia
*The links to this page are not for profit. Guts&GRIT.com has no affiliation with any of the websites and links listed here at the time of writing this article. The information in this article is strictly for the purpose of helping women in need and their children.