Tag: Saving Money

How to Save Money on Organic Groceries

how to eat organically

In recent years, the popularity of organic food has increased dramatically. In fact, nearly half of all Americans care about organic food in their diets.

It’s for good reason, too: organic foods, which are free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, don’t put toxic chemicals into our bloodstreams. And, they are often higher in nutritional value since the plant must defend and support itself without the assistance of harmful chemicals.

Okay, okay, you get it: organic is best. But it’s just so expensive, right?

Wrong. Read on to learn our top tips on how to eat organically for a price that won’t bust open your wallet.

Shop Seasonal

This one’s a no-brainer: if you’re interested in how to eat fresh, pesticide-free produce at a reasonable price, you must eat seasonally. Seasonal foods tend to be riper, sweeter, and higher in nutritional content.

Eating seasonally means buying strawberries and tomatoes in the summer when these fruits are in high production for local farmers. And it means winter squashes and Brussel sprouts in autumn when it’s high-time to harvest these delicious goods.

Buying strawberries in the dead of winter means the fruit won’t be as sweet and ripe, and it will likely have traveled farther from its origin. This means higher prices. Why? Because the store needs to pass on these added transportation and storage costs to someone…and that someone is you.

Store Selection is Key

If you want to eat cheap organic food, it’s crucial that you shop at the right places. Not all produce aisles are the same!

Some “big box” stores offer only a handful of organic options; this means the quality is limited and the prices are likely high. Scope out your local stores, and consider those that sell predominantly organic foods, or have large sections devoted to clean eats.

You’ll learn which stores have your favorite products, too. This might mean a bit more time on grocery shopping each week, but if you can save $10 on a package of organic, free-range chicken breasts, that’s well worth the time and gas to make the extra stop!

Also, consider your local Farmer’s market. This is a fun and healthy way to spend a weekend morning and allows you to interact directly with the farmer (no need for the middleman, i.e. grocery store.) It’s also a great way to chat with the grower about the health and quality of his or her organic crops.

Prioritize Like a Pro

If you’re experiencing organic food sticker shock, fret not: spend your money on the highest-priority food items. This includes meats and dairy, which nearly always have added antibiotics and hormones. Yuck.

Next in line is produce, fruits and veggies. Focus on buying those without protective skins or rinds. For example, a grape would be a better product to buy organically than an orange, since any pesticide residue will be removed when you peel the orange.

Finally, your hard-earned money should go to packaged foods last. Since packaged foods, like crackers and cookies, are so highly-processed, you’re already exposing yourself to added, undesirable ingredients. Which brings us to our next point…

Go Part-Time Vegan & Eat Whole Foods

It’s no surprise that some of the most expensive products you can buy at the store are meats, eggs, and dairy products. An organic, grass-fed steak can cost upwards of ten dollars. Simply put, putting meat on the table for most meals isn’t cheap.

Many nutritionists recommend going “part-time” vegan or vegetarian. This is the best of all worlds: you aren’t completely giving up meat or dairy, but you’re certainly cutting back. Some people choose to eat meat only for dinner, and others allow themselves meat or dairy every other day.

There are countless health benefits to this, too: by skipping out on meat, eggs, and dairy, you’re allowing yourself that much more in vegetables, grains and legumes, and fruits. Since these organic food options are cheaper than meat, you’re saving money, too.

And while we’re talking about it, remember that whole foods – unprocessed and often unpackaged – are always best. This is what our body evolved to eat, and whole foods are always preferable to packaged food items.

Plan Meals for the Week

In order to buy cheap organic food, we don’t recommend making a week’s worth of meal decisions while standing at the produce counter. To help with chemical free shopping, spend thirty minutes each week at home with a small notebook and do some meal-planning.

Consider the following when thinking about how to eat organically, in order to save the most cash:

  • What’s about to expire? Do you have fresh, organic produce sitting on your counter, or in your fridge, that needs to be used up?
  • What’s in your pantry? Are there canned or dry goods that you can toss into a pasta, soup, or use as a side dish?
  • Do a bit of coupon-clipping. Check the local papers, social media, or phone apps to see what’s available. Yes, grocers do offer coupons for organic foods!
  • Cook in bulk! Make a large meal and freeze smaller portions for next week’s lunches.

Believe us when we say this, spending a few minutes each week to plan meals will save you time and money in the weeks and months to follow. It means less meals out at restaurants, and fewer purchases of those high-dollar products that you might buy when dinner needs to be on the table in thirty minutes.

Make vs. Buy

Think carefully about the organic “snack” foods that you enjoy. Do you find yourself buying organic seasoned kale chips, organic whole wheat bread, or an organic salad dressing?

These are, unfortunately, still considered processed foods. By making these simple items instead of buying them, you’re cutting out processed ingredients, reducing packaging waste, and, yes, even saving money. A sweet potato is less than a dollar, whereas a bag of organic sweet potato chips might cost five times that.

Making your own “chips” (kale, apple, sweet potato, etc.) is as easy as slicing and baking until crisp. Salad dressings can be whipped up using your own vinegar and oil, and even a fresh bread can be easily made with a few ingredients and a dutch oven.

Waste Nothing

Many organic eaters care greatly about the environment and attempt to reduce their impact on their local and global surroundings. A great way to do this? Composting.

Think of all those food scraps that you toss away on a regular basis: apple cores, banana peels, corn husks, and tomato stems. Did you know that all of that can be “recycled” and broken down into new soil?

Some cities and communities offer cash rewards and incentives to households who either recycle and/or compost their food waste. Check out your local extension office or city government websites to see if you can get cash or rewards for your smart habits. The environment will thank you, too!

One form of “reward” for composting? If you’re part of a compost pickup program, you may get finished compost in return! Perfect to fertilize your own organic garden, which brings us to our next tip…

How to Eat Organically? Grow Your Own!

Don’t be daunted by the prospect of starting your own mini-garden. For those looking at how to eat organically, sometimes this is the cheapest (and most fun!) option available.

Organic seed packets, available online or at any hardware store, are no more than a few dollars and often contain 25+ seeds. Depending on the productivity of your plants, this can save hundreds or thousands of dollars over the course of a few years.

Learn your local agricultural zone and, as mentioned above, plant seasonally (e.g. berries and zucchini in the summer months.) If you have a “bumper crop” (lucky you!) then freeze or can the extra produce. This is a great way to enjoy cheap organic food any time of the year.

And remember, the key to organic gardening is to use no fertilizer/pesticide, or only organic fertilizer/pesticide. This means getting creative with products like neem oil (a naturally-derived pesticide) and natural fertilizers, like fish emulsion.

It’s No Mystery!

Many health-wise consumers are scared to “go organic” because they assume it’s more hassle and more money. Not true: by following some (or all!) of the tips we’ve included above, anyone can learn how to eat organically without breaking the bank.

For more fun and useful advice about living on a budget and making smart money decisions, check out the rest of our blog!

How to Save Money On a Wedding Photographer

affordable wedding photography

As you gear up for your big day, everyone keeps telling you that the photography services you choose are more important than anything else you purchase for your wedding.

They are completely right.

Your photographer — even more than the wedding decor, venue or dress you choose — can make your wedding day look like a storybook one for all the world to see. And as the years go by, the pictures are all you’ll have to help you to remember the details of your big day.

But how can you hire a photographer without going broke?

Everything about a wedding is ludicrously expensive, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you still need to hire a wedding photographer, here’s a rundown on how to secure affordable wedding photography services.

Let’s get started!

Set a Budget and Negotiate for Affordable Wedding Photography

Before you begin your wedding photography search, you need to develop a budget for your photographer.

If your budget is a bit tight, you may want to search for a photography student or a newer professional photographer.

Then, it’s time to negotiate.

A photographer will likely be open to negotiating with you if you book him or her on a day besides Saturday or if you book off-season.

Of course, you’re fooling yourself if you think you can convince a top-notch photography professional to charge $1,000 for your wedding photos when he or she normally charges $5,000.

To make negotiations work best for you, it’s critical that you find a professional who is as close as possible to your photography budget from the beginning.

And don’t forget to compare various photographers’ costs and packages to make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

You should be able to find a photographer’s rates on his or her website. For instance, a company called Professional Portrait Photography clearly spells out rates and pricing on its website. This website also provides galleries of photos so that you can see examples of the photographer’s previous work before you decide to purchase the company’s services.

Book Your Photographer Early

Some photographers will also offer you a discount for booking them early. So, try to find a photographer immediately after you’ve set your wedding date.

Even if a photographer doesn’t necessarily give you a discount, you may still receive a lower price than you would if you booked the photographer closer to your wedding day.

Here’s why.

Budding photographers have a tendency to increase their rates as their reputations grow each year. And even photographers who are established may raise their rates each year to stay ahead of inflation.

Therefore, if you know that you’ll be getting married a year now or a couple of years from now, it only makes sense to secure your photographer now and lock in today’s prices.

Another way to save on costs is to pay for your services upfront, which might lead to a nice discount.

Schedule Your Photographer Wisely

Let’s say that your photography package includes a total of eight hours of video and photography. Chances are that your wedding day will be a virtually all-day affair, so it may be in your best interest to choose the eight-hour period that you definitely want your photographer there with you.

For example, you might prefer to have your photographer there with you more when you’re getting ready at the start of the day. Then, you can have the photographer leave right after your cake cutting.

Sure, you might miss capturing a few awesome moments toward the end of the wedding reception. But you might also save hundreds of dollars in overtime charges, too.

Alternatively, you could have your photographer skip your pre-wedding festivities. Instead, your groomsmen and bridesmaids can take these photos with their digital cameras.

Remember, time is money in the wedding photography world. So, schedule your photographer wisely.

Ask about Referrals

Ask if your prospective photographer offers a referral program.

With such a program, you may receive a discount simply for referring your engaged friends or coworkers to the photographer either in person or through social media. Or instead of a discount, you may receive credits for purchasing photos or albums.

You could convince your friends to sign up with the photographer you’ve used by showing off your wedding photo proofs or posting your final photos online.

Bypass the Album

You may be tempted to have your photographer assemble a wedding album for you. This is an excellent idea if you’ve got the budget for it. If not, don’t worry — it’s not totally necessary.

Sure, your photographer has an excellent eye for selecting the best pictures. But you can also choose the pictures you like the most and put together your own physical or online album.

Besides saving money, the good thing about assembling your own album is that you get to fully control your album’s flow. Plus, you can effortlessly produce copies for friends and family members, too.

Speaking of copies, one of the best ways to save on photography costs is to stick with a digital package.

At the outset, purchasing digital rights to photos may seem more costly. However, once you’ve got a disc filled with your wedding photos, you can freely print off affordable ones for your family members elsewhere — even using your home printer.

You could even simply send your family the photos via email and have them print them off.

Either way, going digital is a smart way to save money on a wedding photographer.

How We Can Help

We offer a wide range of tips and advice for those interested in living frugally and earning money.

For example, in addition to learning affordable wedding photography tips, you can find out how to throw a wedding on a budget. You can also learn how to provide healthy yet cheap snacks for the kids, or how to maximize your tax refund to improve your financial situation each year.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you to save money and thus enjoy a better quality of life long term.

How to Dress Well on a Budget: Everything You Need to Know

how to dress well on a budget

Not all of us are born with great riches. Trying to figure out how to budget all of your money to get to the month can be hard on its own. Trying to do so while looking and feeling good about yourself is a whole other challenge on top of that.

Many consumers seem as if they are committed to buying expensive brand name clothing, and you may feel as if you can’t keep up. Worst of all, these brand name items are only getting more expensive.

But these brands aren’t a necessity in looking good. By following a few easy fashion tips and tricks, you can turn an outfit of any price tag into a wardrobe highlight.

Read on, and we’ll walk you through how to dress well on a budget. Follow these tips, and you can look and feel great without having to empty your bank account.

Think Classy and Classic

There are certain pieces of clothing that never go out of style and should be affordable on any budget. Though there are people who have shelled out over one hundred dollars for a plain white tee before, it should be an easy and affordable buy and a look that works anywhere.

And it can be more versatile than you think.

A class trenchcoat, crisp black or white shirt, or sleek black trousers are appropriate and fashionable choices no matter the season. The “little black dress” is a well-known item for a reason, after all– it’s simple, elegant, and worth investing in. Regardless of their brand or origin, these elegant and simple items look great year round.

Avoid things like jeweled embellishments or pleated tops or distressed and whiskered denim, since details like these are really hard to do well on a budget.

Colors like black, white, and beige are timeless and best of all, they match everything. A great pair of black pants will be far more useful to you than any eccentric pair of purple corduroys. Invest in simplicity and elegance, and it doesn’t have to cost you much.

If you are going to spring extra for something big, make it something that will stand out in your collection, like the Starkiller Jacket or some other statement pieces.

Make Your Clothes Work For You

Looking good on a budget means making your wardrobe work as best as it can for you. Some of this means buying smart at the store, and some of it means good upkeep of clothing at home.

When you purchase new clothes at the store, consider having them tailored to perfectly fit your body. A $10 skirt can look better than a $200 designer one if it’s tailored to better suit you, and usually, all it takes is a few quick stitches. The simpler the garment, the cheaper and easier it usually is to tailor.

There are other steps you can take to make your purchases look fresher on you. Consider doing a little button surgery and switch the buttons out on some of your new items. Ditching plastic buttons for metal or pearl can make a shirt or jacket suddenly feel like new.

These buttons can be bought affordable from sites like eBay, Etsy, or even thrift stores in your town. You could even take buttons from old clothing items that you don’t wear anymore. If replacing them yourself seems stressful, you can take your shirts and new buttons to the local dry cleaner– most places will replace them for you at little cost.

Once you have your clothes at home, try not washing them so much! You, of course, want your clothes to be clean, but over-washing clothes wears down fabric and fades colors. Try spot washing with a sponge or toothbrush, or putting clothing items in the freezer to kill odors.

Invest In A Steamer

One way to ensure that your clothes will look nice when you leave the house is to get a steamer. Wrinkles can make any item of clothing look cheap, so having something that can get those wrinkles out fast can be a lifesaver.

A steamer can blast wrinkles out of a piece of clothing in a few short minutes. Steaming is quicker and easier than ironing, and you can use it on many clothes that otherwise wouldn’t be iron-friendly. It also is much more space friendly and takes up less room in your home.

Using a steamer is easy: you simply hold the garment in one extended hand or hang it on the back of a door. Bring the head of the steamer up and down and within moments you should have a piece of clothing that looks fresh and brand new.

Be A Smart Shopper

There are a number of things to keep in mind that can help you save money on great clothing.

You should be mindful when clothing prices tend to rise and fall. Everyone will start buying summer clothing come April and May, so prices will rise– you can get much better deals if you think to find your summer wardrobe a few months ahead of time.

Places like TJ Maxx are great to find brand name items with major discounts. Exploring thrift stores and consignment shops in your area may be a great way to find amazing items for less, and maybe even discover standout items you’d never find at your local retailer.

Always remember to look out for deals and budgets as well. Stores are always doing some sort of sale, and many offer discounts to students, military or other factions of citizens.

Make sure to take advantage of these deals and cut some money off your bottom line when you can.

How To Dress Well On A Budget

Looking good doesn’t have to a break the bank enterprise. By following the above steps, you can easily spruce up your wardrobe and hit the streets looking amazing, with money left over in your pocket.

Know that you know how to dress well on a budget, the only thing left to decide is what you’ll wear out today.

Need more wardrobe and beauty advice? Check out our blog for more tips and tricks.

How to Save Money When Buying Engagement Rings

engagement ring sales

Engagement rings are expensive, and the fact that folks in the United States spend an average of $6,351 on them is proof!

Let’s consider the monthly average salary of people in the typical “marrying age” (between 25 and 34 years old), which is around $3,300. This means an average engagement ring costs about two months’ worth of salary!

In an ideal world, an engagement is something you’d want to spend money on. However, this precursor to marriage is only a small start of more wedding-related expenses to come.

That’s why engagement ring sales should make it in your list of prospects. After all, you’d want enough budget for the wedding itself, and the family you’ll soon build.

How exactly can you save money with these ring sales when it’s time to propose though?

Don’t worry. This guide we came up with will show you how to do that!

Why Go for Engagement Ring Sales in the First Place?

A recent Forbes article pointed out that engagement ring prices average $5,000. That’s $1,351 less than the average actual spending. But it’s still a hefty price.

Think about how you can use a lump $5,000 to make a down payment on a new house you’ll share with your would-be wife. Or how you can spend it on a one-of-a-kind honeymoon. You can even start a family with less student loan debts!

These show how many things you can do with the money you’ll save when you opt for more reasonably priced engagement rings. So, when the time comes to get on one knee and pop the question, you need to choose between being practical and having a status symbol.

Ring sales are your ticket to securing a rock for less. These deals give you access to more affordable options – including diamonds. All without suffering from the consequences of burning through two months’ worth of salary.

Now that you know you still have hope of getting your soon-to-be-spouse a diamond, next is to learn how to get it. So, without further ado, let’s start this money-saving list when buying engagement rings.

Be A Prince, But Don’t Spend Like Prince Harry

Did you know that experts believe Prince Harry proposed with a whopping $350,000-worth ring to Meghan Markle? Granted, the value has a lot to do with the ring boasting of two of Princess D’s diamonds. But all in all, that’s a price very few Americans can handle.

Yes, you want to be the prince charming your better half has ever dreamed of. At the same time, you also want to make sure you can still take care of the wedding and wedded-life finances.

As such, the first thing you should do is establish your finances. These should include the following:

  • How much you can afford
  • How much you’re willing to spend
  • How much more you can set aside as some sort of leeway

From here, consider the types and styles of ring your budget can accommodate. Yes, you need to learn the basics of diamonds’ 4 Cs. But you also need to consider your would-be wife’s needs and preferences.

Keep in mind that women do their careful research when buying men’s jewelry after all. So, the same should go true when it’s your time to shine and buy that shiny rock.

The 4 Cs of Diamonds You Need to Know

According to GIA, the creator of the well-established diamond 4C quality standard, these Cs stand for the following:

  1. Color
  2. Clarity
  3. Cut
  4. Carat Weight

All these contribute to the final price of the rock. But shape, such as whether it’s round, cushion, oval, princess, or emerald, also affects the price.

For your reference, the five above-mentioned shapes or “cuts” make the cut (sorry) when it comes to the most popular. Knowing more about them can then help you determine which one best suits your soon-to-be-bride. After all, you can already incorporate her own style and preference in your buying decision.

Buying Rings without the Middle Man

Make no mistake – when you opt for engagement ring sales, you’ll get a genuine stone. So long as you do so from a trusted merchant, you can buy a huge diamond and pay much less.

How?

For starters, because reliable and trustworthy jewelers offering these deals have no use for middlemen. In other words, the rocks and rings go straight to them. It’s for this reason they can sell their genuine products for much less.

Imagine proposing with a big ring that you saved a month for but would’ve otherwise cost you two months’ worth of salary. You can rest easy knowing your savings can handle the wedding, all the while putting a huge smile on your partner’s face.

Online Engagement Rings That Save You Even More Money

You’ll find many online merchants selling reasonably priced engagement rings, but not all of them can help you further cut your expenses.

For instance, not all online ring sellers offer free shipping – anywhere in the country or even the world. Also, considering that you’d want insurance to cover your purchase, shipping rates alone can already make your final bill skyrocket.

You also need to consider the possibility of returning a ring. For instance, you made a mistake on the ring size, having bought a 7.5 when you should’ve chosen a 6. Some merchants may not allow returns, and even if they did, charge you for fees incurred.

Lastly, think about the guarantee. Imagine 10 years from now losing one of the ring’s accent gemstones. It’s a rare occurrence in high-quality engagement rings, but it’s still a possibility.

That’s why you want to work with a jeweler who offers lifetime guarantees. This way, your then-wife can have her engagement ring back in the same condition she received it from you.

Start Your Search for the Best Engagement Ring Now

As you can see, engagement ring sales can help you propose sooner than you would if you have to save for several months to buy a ring. So, start shopping now for these rings at reasonable prices!

Also, don’t forget to check out our budgeting tips and tricks! These will come handy when it’s time for the wedding and the family-building!

How to Save for a Vacation on a Tight Budget

how to save for a vacation

Vacations are expensive. Let’s face it.

How are you supposed to take an enjoyable vacation when you’re pinching every penny in your everyday life? There’s gas, plane tickets, daily excursions, food, and more. When you tally up the costs, even a camping excursion can rack up a large sum.

But the vacation you want to take could be the experience of a lifetime. If you have a family, you want to do your best to create valuable memories that will last. If you’re a solo-traveler planning to backpack Europe, it’s likely that you’re aching for that trip and are just seeking for a way to make it happen.

Here’s the thing: it’s entirely possible to inch away towards the sum you need to have an excellent vacation. Read on, and you’ll find out a few key ways to save money and put it away towards a vacation.

How to Save for a Vacation

1. Where are You Blowing Your Money?

It’s understandable to splurge a little on things like coffee and snacks whenever you stop for gas. We all have those little guilty pleasures that we shouldn’t be spending money one, but is that where you want your money to go?

If you add up the cost of your weekly spending on non-essentials, you’re likely to find that you’re spending a lot more than you had previously thought. Things like soda, treats, movie tickets, and the like are all things that be eliminated.

If you dedicate yourself to a year without, say, drinking soda, you’ll be able to save maybe a thousand dollars alone on that front. Not to mention, you’ll be a lot lighter for that hike through the Andes!

The most important thing you can do to save money for your vacation is cut out non-essential spending, and set aside the money you would use whenever you have a hankering for that bag of Doritos, or can of soda.

2. Garage Sale

It can be difficult to start saving when your vacation fund is meager. It’s a lot easier to set money aside when you can see the result of your frugality. A great way to get your savings started is by having a garage sale.

Gather up all of the stuff you don’t need- old clothes, microwaves, knick-knacks, whatever. Often times you can get rid of a lot of clutter while making a couple hundred dollars to tuck away for your trip.

A lot of times neighborhoods will have community garage sale days. These are great because everyone knows that there will be a sale, giving you a lot of traffic that you would otherwise miss out on. If you don’t have a community garage sale day, you can always advertise on Facebook a few days in advance to get the word out.

3. Pawn Shops

Pawn shops are often a place that your parents tell you never to enter. They rouse images of people selling their priceless items just to have money for gas or cigarettes. This is definitely not the case, and you can get some value out of the things that you couldn’t otherwise get rid of on Craigslist or similar sites.

Know that you won’t get the full value for your items. Resort to pawn shops only if you know that you’re not going to be able to sell your items to anyone else. Additionally, if you’re not having luck selling online and your trip is coming near, pawn shops are a great way to get that last little cushion that you need.

4. Get a Side Job

There are a lot of employers that are just looking for part-time work. If you already have a full-time job and you need a little extra cash, consider finding something that only requires you to work one or two days a week.

There are plenty of part-time gigs on Craigslist or Indeed, and you won’t be tied down to a commitment that you aren’t able to come through for. Another thing to consider is working for a delivery service, or taking online surveys.

You will find a lot of little side-gigs online if you do a little research.

5. Get a Separate Savings Account

It’s really easy to dip into your vacation fund when you need new tires or your old bicycle needs a tune-up. If you’re not in dire need of money, do your best to find out how to get the money you need in other ways.

Your vacation will never happen if you keep pulling money from your savings. An easy way to avoid this trouble is to create a separate account to save your vacation money in.

You can set limits on withdrawals, having a way to keep your money safe from yourself. If your wallet gets too tight you can always use the money for something you need, but if your goal is to go on a vacation try to discipline yourself and save what you want to save.

6. Seek out Deals

There are a lot of sites online that send email blasts with travel deals. Whether you need to take a survey or subscribe to a website, you may find a lot of discounts online.

Additionally, keep an eye out for plane tickets far in advance. You’ll often find the best deals if you’re thinking ahead and planning your trip a few months out. In fact, if you buy the tickets early, you’ll be more inclined to save that money and dedicate yourself to planning your trip.

Use the Resources at Your Disposal

There are so many great ways to find deals on vacations available online. Do some research and make sure to fine-tune your trip to your preferences and your family’s needs.

If you’re having difficulty finding extra money to set aside for your vacation, take advice from other people who have done it. Often times it takes that friend or individual online who has a special trick or trip. Be sure to look around online for advice on travel or budgeted living.

5 Great Cost-Saving Ideas for Your Retail Business

cost saving ideasWith the average small business set to spend over $75,000 on digital marketing this year, retail businesses need to find ways to cut costs to compete. Between the demands of even the tiniest businesses to have brick and mortar locations and the pressures of competing online, retail is feeling the squeezed.

You need to engage with some cost-saving ideas if you want to stay afloat in the current climate.

Follow these 5 tips to ensure you can run with the herd.

1. Do Your Own Marketing

Using social media and search engine optimization tactics, you can do a lot of marketing on your own.

When people use search engines, they’re either looking for the answer to a question or for a specific product. By creating a blog to answer frequently asked questions about your products and services, you can address both needs. Use local terms and the most important keywords to ensure you capture lots of traffic.

Share these posts along with great looking photos of your products on social media. Follow people in related industries and respond to comments to increase engagement.

2. Combine Scheduling With Payroll

There are lots of different software solutions available for payroll and for scheduling. The most common mistake small businesses make is to have separate services. Save costs for your business by finding a solution that can do both.

When you have a combined payroll and scheduling service, you can keep track of your labor costs. This data allows you to get to know when things are picking up and where they’re slowing down.

3. Keep A Tight Watch On Inventory

Having inventory that sits around on your shelves is like having a depreciating currency. When you have inventory, you should be just a couple of days away from having it in customers’ hands.

Inventory that sits around and collects dust can fall out of trend, go bad, or begin to fall apart. If you feel like your retail execution plan is failing, take some time to reassess it.

4. Run Online Only Promotions

Online-only promotions can help you get a feel for how well new products will sell. If you’re thinking about branching out, it could be a big investment to buy a bunch of new product and try to get customers excited about it.

Instead, see if you can get a partial order from your distributor to test how well it does with your customer base. Check out this guide to selling online if you’re new to the concept.

5. Give Customers What They Want

Instead of tirelessly promoting one product when customers clearly prefer another, focus on perfecting that product they already enjoy. Listen to their feedback and try to give them more of what they want. Once you show that you’re listening to them, they’ll listen to you and trust your judgment.

Cost-Saving Ideas Need To Suit Your Style

If one of these cost-saving ideas starts to cost you more money to implement, it might not be ideal for your retail business. Your first few solutions should require no new investment before you start scaling back your spending.

If you’re in the middle of a growth spurt and find you need to bring on some new staff, check out our guide for running a good pre-employment screening.

How to Coupon for Beginners: The Complete Guide

how to coupon for beginners

Orlando, Washington, Charlotte, New York, and Atlanta.

You probably know a lot about these cities, individually. But with that single sentence, you’re most likely wondering “Why the grouping?”

The simple answer: Couponing!

In a CNBC article, it showed that these five cities are the top when it comes to frugal living. And frugal it is, what with each person saving more than $200. New Yorkers who used coupons top the list in amount saved, at a whopping $476!

This shows just how they’re worth every second you download or cut them out.

And this how to coupon for beginners guide we’ve come up with will show you how it’s done. Time to get all those pennies and dollars saved!

1. How to Coupon for Beginners Starts with Knowing Where to Start

First things first: Know where you can get those coupons.

You don’t have to look hard and long, seeing as there are just so many sites you can obtain them from. After all, the value of distributed consumer packed goods coupons total to a $470 billion in the U.S. alone!

Just do a quick Google search using the keyword “coupons” and you’ll get 141 million results in less than a second. That’s how popular these money-savers are, and how easy you’ll find them to access.

Going traditional is a great way to start though. Start with your newspapers and magazines. These are some of the best sources of coupons. Especially the papers with the most extensive circulation or coverage.

From here, you can go around and ask your non-coupon-using family and friends for their copies of the papers and mags. So long as they’ll just put these up for recycling after reading, they’ll be more than happy for you to put them to better use.

And there’s the World Wide Web of course. Just check out these Enfamil coupons Walmart accepts. With that $5 discount for a price of less than $5, that makes it almost free. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that?

Here’s a how to coupon for beginners reminder though:

If the store you want to use the coupons for don’t have at least five products you’re looking for, save the coupons for next time. It’ll be just a bother, not to mention waste of time, effort, and gas if you can only get a couple of products in one go.

2. Start Organizing

All those cut outs can quickly turn into a disastrous mess. So, before you start cutting them into itsy bitsy pieces, get yourself an organizing kit. It can be envelopes, folders, or binders.

The important thing is, organize them depending on how you usually work things out. For instance, it’s a good idea to color code them based on their use.

Check out this more in-depth how to coupon for beginners tip on color-coding:

  • Use a green folder or binder for discount coupons on vegetables and other produce
  • Red for meat and poultry
  • White for household cleaning solutions, detergents, dishwashers, etc.
  • Yellow for tools and DIY supplies

These are just examples, but feel free to use them or base your own strategies on them. They’ll all boil down to helping you save time and energy once you’re at the store.

3. Compare Discount Rates

Just because you’ll already get discounts from them doesn’t mean they’ll all give you the same amount of savings. You still have to do a bit of research to figure out which coupons offer the biggest money-saving deal.

So, take the time to compare the deals each coupon offers. Also, make sure to check out the stores themselves carrying the products you want to get.

This way, you can find out if the store has its own promotion. And if it has a better deal, then you can save up the coupon for your next hugely-discounted shopping expedition.

4. Matchmaking Time

Here’s a must-remember how to coupon for beginners trick: Learn the art and science of coupon matchups!

Sometimes, there are items you can use multiple coupons on. By matching these up, you’re on your way to getting even more savings. A few examples of stores that allow this coupon matchmaking technique are Walmart, While Foods, Walgreens, Target, and Rite Aid among many others.

Since you’re most likely doing your shopping in one go, it’s best you plan for the matchups a few days before. It takes time to determine which coupons match with what, but the huge savings you’ll get is definitely worth the time.

5. Focus on Your Needs

Coupons are definitely some of the most ingenious money-saving inventions for consumers. However, incorrect use can lead to you spending more than your initial goal.

As a newcomer to the world of couponing, a problem you most likely will encounter is sorting through all the rubble of coupons you may not need. Especially those that will make you spend more despite your goal of actually pinching pennies.

So, a how to coupon for beginners you should never forget is to prioritize clipping for items you have the greatest need for. And it starts with figuring out what exactly you need right away.

Perhaps you need children’s milk, such as Enfamil, for your kids. Or maybe you’re low on household supplies, like detergents, bath soaps, dishwashing liquids, etc. Whichever the case is, it’s a good idea to check your pantry and supply storage to find out what you’re lacking or low on supply in.

And from there, focus your coupon search on just these items.

6. Make a List

Making a “To-Do List” is crucial to productivity. It lets you organize and prioritize your tasks. Following this list then results not just in timely completion of your tasks, but better output too.

The same applies to couponing. When you create a list of items you need based on your needs’ urgency, you’ll have an easier time finding coupons and getting those that give you the greatest savings.

In addition, you can use the same list when you do the shopping itself, as it lets you avoid the pitfalls of the aisles. Not having a list puts you at risk of forgetting your main goal, not to mention the possibility of impulse buying.

So, before you head out to your next extreme couponing adventure, don’t forget this list. It can make a huge difference in your expedition’s success, as well as your wallet’s thickness.

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