The 5 Easiest Ways to Save Money

Between the holidays and New Years, we’re all looking to keep a little cash in our wallets. So, with that in mind, here are the easiest ways to save money.

1. Coin counter
Forget the fees from coin counting machines. Buy an inexpensive coin counter for easy coin rolling, or a digital piggy bank to just add up your total spare change. If you dump your coins in there every day for a month, you’ll be surprised by the amount of money you rack up. Just exchange the rolls at the bank and voila — cold, hard, bills at your fingertips — without paying any fees.

2. Manager’s Specials
You know the rack with reduced-price food goods at grocery stores? It’s hidden away in the back recesses like it’s something to be ashamed of.

Don’t ignore it, embrace it!

Things get marked down for packaging defects, discontinued items, and various other reasons, but they’re all still safe to consume. As someone who’s worked at a retailer, and who marks food down regularly, trust me when I say the food is perfectly fine; a retailer would never sell something that could harm a human being. This applies for Manager’s Specials throughout the store, as some retailers have meats, alcohol, and bakery products marked down, too. Just check the expiration dates and follow standard food safety guidelines.

3. Online Auctions
Everyone experiences buyer’s remorse at some point or another. You buy that one expensive shirt that looks great on you at home, but you wear it out and realize how foolish you look. Before tossing it in your pile of regret, try posting it on an online auction like eBay. Even if you don’t get all of your money back, getting something is better than nothing.

Looking to score a great deal of your own? TumbleDeal is a new concept in online auctions. TumbleDeal turns the traditional auction concept upside down by starting at the high price and working backwards. First, sign up for a free account, and then:

  • View items at already discounted prices
  • Watch as the price drops lower and lower; the longer you wait, the lower the price.
  • Freeze the item when it hits a price you like, and buy it.

The first shopper to “Freeze” the price gets the deal, so someone can grab it out from under you at any second. And with items like Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Coach and more typically selling at 25%-80% below retail, they go fast. (Full disclosure — TumbleDeal is an advertiser on First to Know; wemake a commission if you sign up through us.)

4. Pack your lunch
Sounds obvious, but people don’t do it enough.  The Accounting Principals’ Workonomix  Survey says 89% of American workers spend an average of $35 a week on lunch. That’s $1,820 a year on lunch! To save money and pack a lunch, prep on the weekends (for those who are cooking-challenged, invest in appliances that can make your life easier, like a crock pot). On each day, cook large portions for dinner and the leftovers can be packaged as lunch for the coming days. Some easy to create meals include salads, pasta, pizza, rotisserie chicken, and soups.

5. Make your own coffee
Buying coffee every morning puts a major drain on the wallet. According to Workonomix Survey, 82% of American workers spend about $20 a week on coffee; in a year, that ends up being $1,040. Ouch! If that isn’t enough of a motivator – think of all the trees you save by using your own mug.