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ways to save money
Happy New Year! The start of a new year usually brings people out to gyms and fitness centers as they (try to) follow their New Year’s resolution of losing weight, getting fit, or becoming stronger. By the time February rolls around, many of those same people have abandoned that New Year’s goal. So for 2018, why not try a resolution that you can really stick to all year? We’re going to show you several ways to save that will keep cash in your wallet. Whether you’re looking to make a large purchase this year or just want to save some extra money, follow our money-saving tips to get started.

5 Simple Ways to Save Money in 2018

1. Reduce Food & Drink Spending

According to Acorns Money Matters Report, the average American spends about $1,100 a year on coffee. Buying a plain, small coffee at a café once a week may not break the bank, but you could still see savings if you brewed coffee at home instead. Do you love treating yourself to some of the fancier coffee options, such as a $4 Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino? You will save over $200 per year if you stopped having that drink once a week.

Here are other money-saving options for when you go out to eat:
  • Look at the appetizer selections first. You may find a cheaper dish there that will satisfy you just as much as a regular entrée.
  • Stick to plain (and free!) water instead of soda or other drinks.
  • Want a little vino with dinner? Order a glass of house wine instead of a glass off the wine list.
  • Check Groupon, BeFrugal, or Restaurant.com to see if the restaurant takes coupons or has specials.
  • If you dine out a lot, sign up for OpenTable to start redeeming points at your favorite restaurants.
Of course, the cheapest way to eat is to cook yourself. Seek out deals at your local supermarket and start trying recipes at home. You’ll certainly save money and you may discover a new favorite meal.

2. Use Coupons

Most Sunday newspapers have a collection of coupons from manufacturers and local stores. Spend a few minutes each Sunday morning to sort through the coupons most useful to your family.

There are also many coupon websites to use. WalletHub assembled a list of the best coupon sites last year. Mambo Sprouts, Ebates, Groupon, RetailMeNot, and Coupons.com took the top 5 positions. If you’re going to a store, save the coupon to your phone or print it out (using CompAndSave ink of course).

3. Buy Generic

There is no difference between name-brand Cheerios™ and the grocery store brand except the price. You can save at least $1 each time you buy that box of generic cereal. Switch to the generic kind of cereals and other food products, and the savings will add up by the end of the year.

You’ll also save when you stop buying printer cartridges from the original manufacturers (such as HP). CompAndSave’s generic ink cartridges and toner cartridges work just as well for a fraction of the price. For example, an HP 61 black ink cartridge is only $14.99 on our site while Walmart has the OEM cartridge for $18.99. Like with cereal, there’s no difference except the price. Our printer cartridges are reliable, cost less, and don’t void your printer’s warranty.

4. Comparison Shopping

Let’s say your big purchase this year is a new car. Never go to one car lot or dealership and pay sticker price (MSRP). First, do your research online. Most dealerships will display their best prices on their websites. Then, negotiate online. Email dealer A and dealer B asking what the invoice price is. You can sometimes find this information on other sites too. Once you have the numbers, pit the dealerships against each other. If a salesperson really wants to sell the car, he or she will come down in price. Bottom line is negotiate, negotiate, negotiate! And stick to a price you are comfortable with.

The same process applies to other large purchases, such as electronics. Some retailers will price match on the exact same item. Shop around, and even call or email if you need to (don’t waste gas driving from store to store).

5. Get Creative

Instead of buying a gift for friends or family, make one yourself. Surf through Pinterest and Instagram for creative ideas, from crafts to DIY beauty products. Homemade gifts are often just as, if not more so, appreciated than store-bought ones. And most of the time, you save a lot of money making something yourself.

A handyman may be the easy way to fix that broken fence, but you’ll save money if you do it yourself. DIY projects are simple ways to save money plus you sometimes learn a new skill. 

If you only do one or two of these money-saving tips, you might not have a windfall by the end of 2018. But you’ll be on your way to saving more money and living more economically—and that’s a start!

Have you made a New Year’s resolution yet? Share yours below! And let us know on Facebook and Twitter if you have other ways to save money.


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