Grocery Coupons, Free Stuff and Travel Deals: How to Save Money in 2017 on Groceries, Holidays and More
Now that the pinch of holiday spending is over, many people are facing the reality of the New Year by taking a hard look at their home budgets.
The secret to making ends meet is to start small. Try adding these money-saving grocery tips to your list of New Year’s resolutions:
- Download grocery coupons. Check out The Coupon Mom: couponmom.com, which is arguably the most active site for advice and current coupons – all for free
- Make a list before you go grocery shopping. The list should include all food items needed for your weekly menu of meals
- Grocery shop on one day. If you must shop mid-week for milk or other essential, buy only the things you need for the rest of the week
- Buy more store brands. Store brands are less expensive and are produced by the same manufacturers that make the brands you know and love
- Check out milk prices at drugstores, as they are often lower than at grocery stores
- Eat out only once a month
- Spend no more than $120 each week on groceries for a family of four
- Eat meatless meals twice a week
Travel Deals on a Budget
Despite a tight budget, you can plan wonderful family holidays and weekend breaks. Try these money saving travel deals:
- Wait until the last minute to book travel holidays. Airplanes and hotels are available at deeply discounted rates
- Don’t book all your travel on the internet. Find a good travel agent; they can find a better price because of their agreements with large travel companies
- Think twice about buying car rental insurance – your home car insurance may cover you
- Save money and get a better room by buying directly from the hotel’s website
- For now, it is cheaper to fly than to drive, particularly for longer flights. It is less expensive to fly than to fill up your vehicle, given the high price of gas
- Vacation close to home or be a tourist in your own town
Free Stuff In Your Community
Want to get some great free stuff? Many communities have a form of “freecycling” where members can give away items they no longer need or want in exchange for free stuff.
Check out community postings in your areas or websites for more information about how you participate in these earth-friendly and community building groups. Along the way, you will acquire some much-need merchandise or even fresh produce or other grocery items.
Set Up a Savings Account
Start setting aside money for emergencies and other future big-ticket expenses. Personal finance expert Sharon Epperson suggests the following:
- Put 10% of your take-home pay into an interest-bearing savings account
- Think of 15 different ways you spend money. Now cut each of these expenses back by $10 every month and put the savings into your account
- Put any salary raise, cash gift or refunds into your savings – pretend you never received that windfall
- Start saving for the holidays of 2017 now. Add up all of your 2016 holiday expenses (include gifts, travel, entertaining). Divide the total by 10 and put that amount into your saving each month from January to October 2017. In November 2017, start using that cash to pay for the holidays
- Make 2017 the year when you use grocery coupons, shop wisely at grocery stores, set up a savings account, find great free stuff and the best travel deals possible for you and your family.