By Brian Loman

Do you want to save money? Well, who doesn’t?

I know what you’re thinking. You’ve read thousands of lists online that promised the same thing, and they didn’t work. This article takes a look at four methods of becoming more frugal so that you can have money saved for an emergency.

There are no apps to download, and these four methods can help you save money immediately.

Let’s get started!

1. Shop Smart

How do you save money at the grocery store? Planning ahead can be a great way of doing this. But what does that mean? Here are some tips that can help you shop smart.

· Compare the cost of items. Buying items in bulk may not be the cheapest option. You can use the calculator on your smartphone to calculate the cost per unit at the store and compare it to single items to see how much you’re saving. Many stores even calculate this for you on the pricing label, so check this out the next time you’re at the grocery store.

· Plan ahead. Before the start of the week, write out a list of meals that you want to make. Take a look at what you already have in the house first so that you’re not wasting money duplicating what you already have or wasting food already purchase. That way you can write up a shopping list before you leave the house.

UMass also released some smart shopping tips as well. While geared towards college students, many of these tips can also be useful for your family.

2. Coupons

Have you seen shows about extreme couponing? These people save hundreds of dollars with each trip to the store. You don’t have to spend hours clipping coupons to become a little more frugal and save some money. Here are some tips for couponing.

· Search for coupons online. For years, many manufacturers and stores have been releasing digital coupons that you can print off or send to your smartphone.

· Read the coupons carefully. Don’t just look at the amount of money that the coupon saves. Most coupons with large savings require you to purchase large quantities to qualify for the discount. If you were already going to purchase that quantity then you’re fine, but it is something to be aware of.

· Check out store ads. You can either purchase the local Sunday newspaper, or you can usually visit the website of the stores that you visit. You can often find discounts on everyday items that you use and can use coupons on those items for maximum savings.

Want to find some other tips for saving money with coupons? Here are some additional tips from the blog Live Like You Are Rich.

Being frugal doesn’t always mean giving up on the items that you enjoy. Being frugal gives you money that you can save for emergencies. When you don’t have enough for an emergency, you can also take a look at getting a payday loan that has a period of 2 weeks to 30 days.

3. Visit your local library

Libraries can be a great place for finding activities for your children.

Each month, libraries host events like movies, reading events, crafting days, host authors/performers and more.

You can usually find these events on their website or by stopping at the library to check out their calendar.

The best thing about these events? They’re free.

Another way that libraries can save you money is their collection of books.

Did your favorite author just publish their latest mystery thriller?

Most libraries will purchase several copies of newly released books.

There can sometimes be a waiting list for popular books, but this can be a great option to save $20+.

What’s even better – you can often rent audio books, DVDs, magazines and more at no charge or a small fee compared to buying them.

US News published a great article about other services your library can provide to you.

4. Buy Used

How many times have you purchased an item only to no longer need it six months later?

Items like booster seats, strollers, and other items for your new little ones can be expensive and grown out of quite quickly.

Here are some tips for finding the best deals on used items:

· Know how much money you want to spend. Look online to see how much the item costs brand new. This will give you a good idea on if you’re getting a good deal on a used item.

· Ask questions. When you’re searching for items on websites like Craigslist, this can save you from getting a lemon. Watch out for posts that only have a photo from a retail website. The seller should be able to provide pictures of the item in their home. Also, ask for what’s included/not included so you have an idea of what to expect.

· Bring cash. We’re used to going to the store or online and purchasing items with our debit/credit card. Unless the seller has a brick and mortar store, cash is going to be the only option. Having cash also makes people more willing to negotiate as well.

You can find some really great used items while searching online. Here are some tips from blogger Andrea Dekker on purchasing used items online.

What did you enjoy the most from these tips today?

I know how important it is to save money on everyday items without having to jump through all of the hoops to save a few dollars.

I use each of these tips in my own life and I hope that you’re able to use at least one of them to become a little more frugal.

What do you think about the article?

I would love to hear about your own experiences with saving money, so share your thoughts in the comments below.

I know that each of you has friends and family that would also like to save money.

So if you found this article helpful, feel free to share it so that even more people can save on everyday items and put money back into their pockets.

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