Let’s face it, not many of us like being stuck in our homes for days and weeks on end. Add to that the fact that money is a worry and it’s a recipe for unhappiness. But there are a few things you can do that will help you feel more in control of things and help you save money at the same time. Let’s take a look at a few.
- Coupons, Coupons, Coupons (both paper and digital)
This one is one of the obvious ones that you can get started on right away. Search online for coupons and look in your local paper. Join Facebook groups that specialize in couponing; they can often provide leads, tips and information as well as swapping.
Check out our (*coupon page) for both printable and digital coupons from resources such as Coupons.com, Smart Source and Saving Star.
Another good idea is to download apps for stores you use regularly. For example, if you tend to shop at one grocery store, search to see if they have an app. They will often have all their coupons listed digitally so you won’t have to carry coupons around. This works no matter how many stores you frequent.
- Cashback Apps
These apps are great because you get cash back just for doing your regular shopping. The trick is to make sure you have a cashback app that has stores you already use. It won’t save you money in the long run if you start doing additional shopping for things you wouldn’t normally purchase.
Two I like and recommend are: Dosh and iBotta – they’re both super easy to use and set up. You simply create an account and connect your credit/bank cards. That’s it. From then on, whenever you spend money at a participating restaurant or store, it credits you cash back. What a great way to save and or get a bit of money back every time you spend.
- Ask – or Negotiate Your Way To a Discount
For example, do you recall when you first signed up for your car insurance and they asked how many miles a day you travel to work? Chances are, if you are in quarantine, that amount has gone down drastically. Let your insurance carrier know and ask them to adjust (and possibly discount) your insurance for the length of time you are at home. After all, why pay more than you need to? This also works for your credit cards, mortgage loan, student loan, etc.
- Cancel What You Don’t Use
There are so many things you can do now that you have a bit of extra time on your hands. Why not start by going through your credit card and identifying any recurring subscriptions that you forgot about?
Maybe you subscribed to an online app that you no longer use? Cancel it. How did you end up with two Netflix accounts? Cancel one (or both if you don’t use it). Doing this, I managed to cancel ongoing subscriptions that were costing me $50 per month. That amounts to $600 a year I was flushing down the proverbial toilet.
- Meal Preparation
What a great time to take all those groceries you purchased at such a good price and make it go as far as possible? If you do some research online, you can find some excellent recipes that help you prepare food ahead of time, so you are never scrambling and having to resort to take out. Whether you like doing meal prep with a crock-pot, insta-pot or old school on your stove-top, it’s a great (at home) money saver.
These are just a few ways you can use your time in quarantine to save some hard-earned dollars. There are many other ways such as starting a garden (so you have your own veggies), using the time to phone and shop around for things like better insurance and mortgage rates. The sky is the limit.
Carla Howatt (contributed this guest piece) and is the mother of three adult children, a husband and two cats. She spends her time writing for her blog Once a Parent and dreaming of tropical vacations.
Thank you Carla!
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