It is a new year and with a new year comes new financial goals! We are always looking for ways to save money and I know others have goals as well. We have decided each day for the year of 2017 we are going to find a way to reduce spending. Every day we are going to find a new goal and I will post and share with you. I challenge each and every one of you to come up with a way to save each day. Every penny counts (Even though we do not have pennies in Canada any longer).
January 1st – Commitment to no longer make special trips in town to go to Tim Horton’s; if we are in town and happen to get one, we do not get an extra one to bring home. We live 10 km from town. It would normally cost us $4.09 for us both of us, $8.18 if we were bringing an extra home, plus gas. 1 each a day for 30 days is = $122.70 a month , 2 per day each is $245.40 (not counting gas) 1 a day for a year each is $1492.85 or 2 a day each is $2985.70 Plus gas!!
January 2nd – Pre Made Lunches for Kids – We went to town today and picked up various deli meats that were on sale and clearance. I used wax paper and had on each piece of waxed paper the combo of meat that each child likes in the amount. Devyn eats bagel size portions whereas Tylia prefers a sub size. I can just freeze all of it in one bag. Now on days that are “sandwich” days for lunches. I can just go to the freezer and take little package I need for that days lunch. No need to buy the meat when it is not on sale and it helps me know how many lunch items I have which means fewer trips to town and no need to send in the $4.25 for “Sub” day at school. Just think for each of them to have sub day 1 time a week is $8.50 or $34.00 a month or $408 a month!
January 3rd – My goal is to hit my daily goal on Swagbucks daily (great way to earn gift cards). I earn points(called swagbucks) by doing surveys, watching videos, searching and shopping. It’s free!! Even if you earned an extra $20 a month that is $240 a year! Which is great for Christmas time.
January 4th – I log into Shopper Army daily to see what offers are available (you can get hot new items with amazon gift cards back in exchange . You can use coupons, other cash back apps in conduction to this. I recently purchased laundry detergent, used a coupon and was able to get cash back. Shopper Army will also give me an amazon gift card! I apply the gift cards directly to you my amazon account so I have them when I need them such as Christmas or holidays. I also make sure I used Swagbucks (listed on January 3rd) to earn cash back when I buy items off amazon. The offers I was approved for in last 48 hours for items I would buy anyways will give me $36 in Amazon gift cards 🙂
January 5th – I use cash back apps, and points cards everyday! I have heard some people say; it is not worth it but its FREE discounts and cash backs and/or free points you can redeem for free stuff. I keep mine until the end of the year and redeem everything for my Christmas groceries, stocking stuffers, etc. My list of go to apps and points cards is here. Thursday is usually your go to day for downloading or seeing new offers. Coupon Nannie publishes things throughout the year to show bonus points, etc and tries to put reminders out on Thursdays so you do not miss an offer. This can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
January 6th – A gift card a check will make for a beautiful non stressful Christmas. It does not matter what your income is you CAN afford a gift card. It does not matter if it is $5 or $100. Every amount counts. On each time you get regular money, whether it is your pay, family allowance, child support, GST. Buy a gift card for the grocery store or other stores you shop at. Since we are a 2 income family I have set the amount of $50 per check per person. So the 2 times Roy’s income comes in; a gift card for $50 for the grocery store and $50 for the gas station will be purchased. When my income comes in, I will purchase a $50 card for the other grocery store and rotate between Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart. That is $200 a month for us or $2400 (We have 6 kids btw and 2 grandchildren) ANY amount Will be a HUGE relief when the holidays come. Even at $5 monthly that is still $60 come Christmas time and that who couldn’t use that extra amount at Christmas. <Don’t forget Swagbucks and ShoppersArmy above can help you earn other gift cards>
January 7th – There are many survey sites that will pay cash and gift cards. These are very underused by many however they do add up. Just think if you were a member of each of these sites; even if you only earned $20 per year. Imagine what you could have by this time next year. The long list of survey sites that are legit and open to Canadians . That could be over $400 or more by Christmas.
January 8th– Complete the 52 week challenge! What is this challenge? Click here to read all about it. You can easily modify this to suit your needs. Some people start at the last week and work downwards. Depending on your income you may not be able to complete it as is. Try cutting the amounts in 1/2. In our house both Roy and I are doing it. Make sure you put your jar, ziplock bag, whatever you are using in a safe place (out of sight, out of mind) . One person doing it at the full amounts will give you $1378.00 this year
January 9th – Coupons, Coupons & More Coupons! There are tons of coupons and we try to post them whenever and wherever we find them. You can print some and get some mailed and some are in stores and some are just codes! We have made a page that has a list of a huge number of coupon portals found right here! I can say that we save THOUSANDS of dollars on coupons every year.
January 11th– Declutter and Earn! We all have things in our homes we do not use. Kids toys, books, clothing we have not worn. Even some items with tags. Presents from Christmas that may not be your favourite. Clothing in our house we have decided a 6 month rule, with the exception of seasonal clothing. If it has not been worn in 6 months in needs to go. It is time to release the fantasy that you may one day fit back into it. Trust me… when you get back in the size that your favourite items may fit… you will want to go buy new things to celebrate. Even if you sold an item or a week or $20 worth of items a month that could easily be $240 yearly or more. This year I sold a pair of brand new jeans without tags that ended up being way too big and a lingerie set that was too big with tags. In total I have $60 I would not have had.
January 12th – Wasting Less food! There is an article I wrote prior that lists quite a few simple ways to cut down on waste. Sometimes we do not realize how little things can add up to big savings. Why buy fresh spices? Why buy croutons? Have options for your pizza sauce or pizza right at your finger tips. Click here to look at the long list of savings. Following these steps could help keep down food cost by even $10 a month or $120 a year.
January 13th- Change, Change, Wonderful Change. Do not spend your change, put it away in jar. Putting away even $1 a week in change is $52 at the end of the year.
January 14th – Stock up Prices Get familiar with your prices on stock up prices on staple items such as soup. A great example is canned soup such as tomato and cream of mushroom, both soups are dual purpose as you can use them as soup or for cooking with. 50 cents a can is stock up price! Normally these cans can retail for $1.19 a can. Your saving $0.69 a can just on this one product. If you can do that will various product that is hundreds of dollars a year.
January 15th – Kids Eat Free Just because your trying to save money does not living in the house like a hermit. You can enjoy life. There are many restaurants that have kids eat free nights with a paying adult. When we take the youngest two children, we can have a nice meal in a sit down restaurant and only pay for the adults. If you include drinks, dessert and taxes for the kids, both our kids, that is a savings of $20. If we go out once a month that is $240 a year savings.
January 16th – Dollar Store – Make sure you get to know what is really a good deal at the Dollar store, some items are not deals even though people think they are. Just because they are in the dollar store does not mean anything. There are however some items that are always cheaper at the dollar store and that includes packaged gravies (2/$1.50) opposed to $0.99-$1.99 in a grocery store and spices. These items alone can save you upwards of $100 or more yearly.
January 17th – Ditch Cable and Netflix – You heard me right! All you need to have at home is internet. Spend a one time amount on buying an android box (great deals at Amazon) We paid approximately $60 for ours. You get access to anything that is online anywhere. You can watch anything that is on Netflix without needing a Netflix account. (Fyi I watched the new season of Wentworth when it was only on US Netflix), You can watch your TV channels, even movies that are in theaters (I watched Sully at home when it was at the theater) Netflix savings at $10 a month is $120. If you add the price of how much you pay for cable, you could be saving hundreds or even hit that thousand mark a year!
January 18th – Ebates – If you do any shopping online, you really should be a member of Ebates. They give you $5.00 free to sign up and you earn Cash Back on your online purchases at all your favourite stores. You also get access to coupons and deals to save even more. This is great for all those Canadian stores such as Amazon.ca, Ebay.ca, Sears, Old Navy and much more. I have earned almost $1000 since I started my account. If you purchase items from Amazon.com or Ebay.com, you should also sign up to Ebates.com (You will get a $10 sign up bonus as well) That is $15 free plus any cash back amounts.
January 19th – Library – You can borrow tons of books and DVD’s from your local library. This gives you a great option to not need to buy books at all not even at a second hand price. Most libraries have various children programs too that are free which is another great way for free activities for you and your child. This savings could be anywhere from $5 to hundreds of dollars a year.
January 20th – Free Skating – Many communities now have free outside skating places with the option to borrow skates and helmets on site. For those communities that do not, call your local arena as you may be surprised to learn about what free family skate times or very affordable options. It is great exercise and a fun activity for all ages. This could save you a couple hundred dollars on your entertainment section of your budget.
January 21st– Newsletters – Go online and sign up to all your favorite stores newsletters. This is a great way to get amazing discounts on your favorite items via coupons they send out that can be used online or instore. Often coupons start at 20%. That is a savings of $20 on every $100.
January 22nd – Free Fitness Memberships or Drop in Fees – Many fitness centers have a few sessions for free such as GoodLife Fitness; You can get a 3 day Free Pass. Use this free pass to make sure you are actually going to go as you do not want to be stuck with a yearly membership for something you are not going too. Even after the 3 day pass if you are not sure. Just pay the drop in fee for a month for the days you go before committing to a membership, those cost too would be cheaper than a membership you did not use. Potential savings of hundreds per year.
January 23rd– Order your Free Pass Get your Free 2017 for Admission to Canada’s National Parks, Historic Sites and Marine Conservations. This is a great way to explore and have free access to some wonderful things. What a great way to lessen your entertainment budget. Save hundreds of dollars per year.
January 24th – Check your monthly bills – Check your monthly bills to ensure their are no errors and call to get any errors fixes. Many people do not realize you only have 60 days to dispute any charges otherwise you are agreeing they are valid charges. Who wants to pay more for our bills than we all ready do.
January 25th– Check your services – Are you over paying for the services you have as you fell for the sales persons “it is a better value” line? Two examples come to mind: Phone add ones, what you want is voice mail that is $7.95 however by the time you end up hanging up your end up paying $12.95 for ALL the features as they convinced you it’s a better value. You will find that 9/10 you are not using those extra features and are spending $5 more per month than you need to which is $60. My other favorite is cable package add ons, you want that one channel that cost you $3.95 a month however they convince you that you are better off with that “theme” package for $6.95 and you’ll get all those channels and it is a great value; the truth of the matter is you still will probably only watch that one channel, why pay $3 extra a month or $36 a year. Add that to the extra your paying for your phone there is $96 savings a year.
January 26th – Reduce your electric bill – Some people say it is not possible, but it is, there are ways to drastically reduce your electric bill. I have written a few articles on how to bring that bill down. See the list 🙂 Guaranteed to save you a minimum of $100 this year!
January 27th – Stained or damaged clothes – If you have clothes that are stained and damaged, simply cut them up and use them for rags around the house. They work much better than rags such as jay clothes you purchase at the store and can be washed. This could save you $50 a year.
January 28th – Take snacks with you – We always take snacks with us on road trips or activities. A box of juice packs I bring from home is cheaper than 2 drinks at the corner store. Refillable juice containers are even cheaper than juice packs. When you bring snacks from home you normally have healthier choice and more choices for a MUCH cheaper price. Let the kids help pick the snacks for less hassle. This trick can save you $10 or more per stop, depending on how many trips you make this could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
January 29th – Shop off season – I have a container that I put items in that I purchase so I have them for the next season. This year after Valentines day I will buy stuff for next year and also look for any items that could be used for Easter. Small children will not the the difference between Valentines Candy or Easter Candy. When is a heart not appropriate? You can save between 50-75% off
January 30th – Never pay fees for silly thing – Never pay money for an access to free surveys to make money, Never pay money for a list of work from home companies or mystery shopping. Never paid a yearly fee to have a credit card. These companies should pay you, not the other way around.
January 31st – Price Match – There are stores that do in fact price match and all you need to do is show the lower price in the competitors flyer or use the app Flipp to show them the lower price. Normally it needs to be locally or within 100 KM. Stores that sell groceries include Walmart and Giant Tiger (Giant Tiger will actually sell it to you for 1 cent cheaper). Canadian Tire will price match and than give you equivalent to 10% extra in Canadian Tire Points. These will save you hundreds of dollars a year.
February 1st– Price Guarantee – This is like a backwards Price Match. Let’s say you purchased an item at Canadian Tire 2 weeks ago and it was $350 and today you find it in the flyer for $300. Due to the fact it was within 30 days, Canadian Tire will give you the different back with a receipt.
February 2nd – Gift Card Promotions – Watch ways to get extras points or coupons when purchasing gift cards. Very frequently you will see Sobey’s offer; get 95 AirMiles when you buy a $100 gift card. Than you also earn Air Miles when you purchase your items when you pay for your groceries. During the holidays you will see things such as purchase a gift card for the Movie theater and get Coupons and Pizza Delight and get a free pizza coupon. These can save/earn you a hundred dollars or more per year.
February 3rd – Base Group Cooking – You may ask what I mean by that and I am going to tell you. Very often I see posts that people took out too much meat from the freezer and want to know if they can refreeze. I group cook for example a huge package of hamburger, I take out the hamburger I need for tonight meal and than I put the rest in bags or containers for the freezer, such as one bag has the taco meat, already spiced, one bag has enough for the next time I make pasta, I even have a little bag for home made pizza topping. You would be surprised how many times I was grateful for those little bags in my freezer. You don’t realize it at the time you are cooking it and do not miss it from your current meal but it is handy for the week that is not a grocery week. Chicken pre cooked is great in strips to later use for wraps or cubes of cooked chicken mixed with rice. Steak and pork is great for stir fry , wraps , etc. This includes left overs; don’t force yourself to eat something as you don’t want it go to go waste, freeze it and use it when you need it. This can save you hundreds on your grocery bill.
February 4th – Do you Print Coupons – I put this tip on the Coupon Nannie Facebook page, Check your printer properties and put your printer to print black only (the ink is MUCH cheaper) and put your settings on Draft (It uses less ink) it will print your coupons with sufficient quality without using lots of ink. You can save $100 or more on ink this way.
Feb 5th – Entering Contests – Here is some secrets you do not know about contest; not everyone enters contest unlike what people think. There are tons of contests and very few people enter them despite what you may think making you chances very good. There are great contests that are instant win or other great contests that you automatically get coupons for which are great (Here is an active one with coupons just for entering). You can easily score $100 or more in coupons just by entering these giveaways.
Feb 6th – Pet Food at Pet food stores – Check each store before you purchase it and make sure your retailer will allow you to return any unused dog food if your dog does not like it. Good dog food can be expensive and why spend money if you do goes not like it. You can also ask your retailer if they have samples before you buy that big bag of expensive food. This can save you lots of of money this way.
Feb 7th – Look on Buy and Sell Groups – You can get tons of brand new things for low price, especially after holidays. People now instead of re gifting are selling it online. I got some great Body Shop stuff for 75% off unopened. You can either use it for yourself or gift it.