Forget the "experts." During an economic crisis like this, the real financial gurus are moms like JamiDesigns who have figured out a way to save cash in every aspect of their lives. Jami is so savvy with her thriftiness, that one cashier, after ringing Jami up, was so impressed with what she got for her money, she told her Jami should write her techniques down. "Really?" she thought to herself.
So she did right here on a journal post on CafeMom.
I read it and I'm convinced that this marrried mom of a 7-year-old daughter has the supersavings gene. Read her post when you can (it's loooong), but in case you don't here are some money-saving gems I've mined from Jami for you:
- Go to department stores... If you love designer clothes but would never buy them because of the price, Jami says high-end department stores have HUGE savings on their little known sale racks. These stores have to move things quickly especially at the end of a season. "I bought summer clothes during the winter and winter clothes during the summer! You would not believe how much money you save doing this!," she says. Her rule of thumb is never spend more on something at a department store than you would at Walmart--this is coming form a woman who bought an entire Tommy Hilfiger outfit for her daughter for less than $15.
- Shop online. Sometimes department stores will offer online-only sales that you can't get in the stores. Recently, Jami bought two complete maternity outfits for herself and a complete summer set (pair of shorts and 3 onesies) for her coming baby, all from OldNavy.com--and I spent a total of about $15 or so (including shipping!) How did she do it? In the clearance section of the site and off-season stuff. Then she Googled "OldNavy.com coupon codes." "I found a coupon code for about 30 or 40% off my purchase, plus on top of that OldNavy.com, was offering free shipping. Another Jami favorite is Ebay. "There are tons of retailers on Ebay that sell new clothes and shoes at half the cost (or more) of what you would pay in the store!"
- Going out of business. Shop at stores that are closing up shop. " With today's economy, a lot of businesses are closing, say Jami." I recently bought a lot of brand new baby boy clothes for our baby boy due in the summer from the Sear's Grand store that was going out of business. We saved 60% or more on each outfit. I think the most we paid for any outfit was $5!"
- Join a Costco or Sam's Club. For $40 a family can get a year-long membership to these bulk discount shops. Jami buys things like hamburger meat and veggies in bulk, then sections them off and freezes them. She estimates saving about $100 per month this way.
- No bottled water. Jami's family only uses a Pur pitcher. You fill it with tap water and the filter inside purifies the water once it is poured.
- Ad comparisons. When a store like Walmart (and others) offer to match the lowest price you can find, take them up on it Jami says. She compares prices in all the circulars she gets clips the lowest price on every product she wants and brings those coupons right to the cashier when she's checking out. at her most recent shopping trip, ad comparisons saved her $75!
- Buy generic brand medicine. "As a nurse, I can tell you that generic brands of medications are the same as the namebrands! You can save money on your prescriptions and your over-the-counter meds too. If you are buying over-the-counter meds like Tylenol, Motrin, etc., know that Acetaminophen is the same as Tylenol; Ibuprofen is the same as Motrin; and it doesn't matter what store you go to," Jami says.
- Go to matinees. "When it comes to family fun time, saving money is still in the agenda in our home! We love to go out to the movies. Most theaters have an easy way to save a few bucks...it's called a matinee. These are the same movies you'd go to see at night, but instead you usually watch them before 4 p.m. (depending on the theater). when we go to an evening movies it usually costs us nearly $10 a ticket and $8 for a child ticket. (That's a total of nearly $30 just for our family to see one movie!) If we go to a matinee, it usually costs us approximately $6 a ticket. (That's a total of $18, which is a savings of $12!)
I for one am really glad that cashier told JamiDesigns to speak up and tell her savings secrets!
What are your savvy cost-cutting tips? Share!