How to Save Money on Popular Expenses


Even the wealthiest of people want to save money. Saving money in an account designed for that purpose provides one of the important basics of building wealth. Instead of spending needlessly, you comparison shop and use coupons and gift certificates.

How do you save on the big ticket service items though? Can you still save on the grocery bill like your grandmother did? Let’s consider the many ways to save money on the big stuff first, then we’ll delve into how to save money on the everyday purchases that make life easier.

1. Homeowners Insurance

Instead of paying a lot for home insurance, shop around the smart way to save big. If you have never owned a home before, but you already have another type of insurance, such as auto insurance, use your current insurance carrier as your homeowners insurance company, too. When you create an insurance package, it results in an overall discount. Even if you already earned a multiple-vehicle discount on your auto policy, most carriers offer an added discount if you create a package of various types of insurance with them.

Let’s say you don’t already own an insurance policy. You can still save money on homeowners insurance. Check the homeowners association website ( HOA website) for your subdivision for any group rate insurance options. If it doesn’t provide a group rate option, look for recommended insurers who offer discounted rates to owners in that subdivision.

Ask each insurance carrier that you contact for a quote on how to lower the rate. Some carriers offer a discount if you install a security system, others if you install fire extinguishers. Find out what your potential carriers require to earn a discount, then implement those items.

2. Medical Services

Buying medical insurance offers the best surefire way to save money on medical costs. Insurance companies negotiate reduced rates with medical providers and hospitals so their policyholders don’t pay full price. Shop around for the right policy for you by phoning any specialists you want to use, such as hair specialists, and finding out which insurance carriers they accept. This one task saves you time on insurance research because you will know which carriers offer a policy that covers what you want.

Obtain quotes from the insurance carriers that cover the activities at the med spas you want to use. Compare costs and check the healthcare marketplace for any of those carriers and plans. This can help you more easily obtain your policy if you qualify for self-employment discounts or the income tax break for the US self-employed. The same marketplace contains the application for Medicaid coverage, which makes medical care free. If you can’t apply for these items for any reason, consider a sliding scale clinic; locate the nearest one to you by phoning your local Community Action Agency.

3. Dental Services

Approach finding the right dental services insurance the same way. Phone the dentists you want to use and find out what insurance they accept. Contact those companies for quotes. This method lets you save money while ensuring that you can obtain the dental crown you need from a dentist you trust.

4. Auto Repairs

Save money on auto repairs by sticking with chain auto repair shop options. They’re more likely than independent auto repair shops to offer coupons and discounts. Did you know that most chain shops offer a webpage on their website full of monthly coupons and discounts?

It’s a fact. You can use these discounts to save money on everything from a new car muffler to oil changes. Look in the back pages of your local phonebook, too. Phonebook publishers typically offer a coupons section behind the business listings, so raid it for big savings.

5. Weddings

Rumor has it that weddings cost a small fortune, but they don’t have to cost that much. Knowing how to shop for what you need can help. Start with discounts on your wedding venue. Ask your church about member discounts for renting the chapel.

Save money on everything from candle filling to the cake by shopping online service comparison websites. These websites offer reviews of each service provider by people who genuinely hired them through the website.

Shop at bulk marketing promo items shops online to nab deep discounts on personalized items. Originally developed for businesses to buy promotional items for giveaways and corporate gifts, you can use them to purchase your wedding items for much less than the companies your wedding planner suggests. Nab your napkins, bridesmaids, and groomsmen gifts at these online shops like 4Imprint and ePrinted. Get t-shirts or sweatshirts for your wedding party, too.

6. Everyday Items

While you do need to save money when purchasing the big stuff, the small items matter, too. They consist of groceries, prescriptions, and dining out. Some ways exist to save on all three, while others apply to only one item.

First, let’s consider how to save on all three categories. Register with My Points, Fetch, and similar services that pay you cash back for your purchases. At My Points, the store must register with the rewards company to appear on its website and app. Before you shop at a site, visit My Points and click on the earning link for the store you want to shop. On the page with the link, My Points reveals how many points per dollar you’ll earn, typically ranging from one to eight.

The site lists hundreds of stores, so whether you need to buy groceries at Walmart, a rug at Target, or camping gear at REI, you will earn cash back by shopping online through the links. Once you accrue enough points to cash out, you can trade-in for a gift card at your favorite retail store, a payment to your PayPal account, a Visa gift card, or a donation to a charity.

My Points offers exclusive coupons and offers from the stores that use its loyalty service. Some of these you use in physical stores. It also offers a receipt scanning option that lets members earn a few points on each purchase from certain stores.

Fetch works similarly but eschews the points scale for a flat rate. Members earn 25 points per receipt scanned. That essentially amounts to ¢25 per receipt. There’s no store list; every receipt counts.

With Fetch, once you register, you can scan every receipt from any purchase to earn a minimum of 25 points each. This applies to gas receipts, grocery purchases, pharmacy receipts, bills from restaurants and cafes, purchases of sundries, etc. If you buy lumber at Lowe’s, you can scan the receipt to earn 25 points.

Fetch also features special offers from manufacturers, so no matter where you shop, you can earn extra by purchasing what you need. Examples of these items include dental care products and toilet paper, so the site sticks to things that people genuinely need and buy regularly. These manufacturer incentives typically range from 100 to 500 points, with the occasional 1,000-point offer.

Cash out for gift cards at the same stores you like to shop or a Visa gift card. If you shop only four times per week (and receipts for coffee at Starbucks count), you can earn 25 points back on each one. That equals $52 in a year, enough for a week of groceries. Most gift cards come with a 250-point processing fee, but this comes from saved points, not your wallet.

7. Groceries

Save money on groceries by clipping physical coupons and collecting virtual ones. Ask friends and family who purchase the Sunday newspaper for their inserts, which frequently contain high-dollar coupons. Many stores now offer an app, including Walmart and Dollar General. Both apps offer exclusive digital coupons. Walmart’s you use for online shopping, while Dollar General’s you use in-store.

If you didn’t know that Dollar General carries groceries, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Try the store’s imprint brand, Clover Valley, to find tasty alternatives to major and regional brands that aren’t available nationally. Try their K-cups to save big on early morning coffee convenience.

Each week when shoppers stop by on weekdays, the store prints a receipt with a $5 coupon attached good only on that Saturday. Purchase $25 of items to qualify to use the coupon. If you use this one coupon while buying groceries each week, in one year you save $260.

Join Walmart+ for mega savings on everything the store offers. For less than $12 per month, you get free delivery and shipping on any order. It does away with the $35 minimum for shipping making it easier for those of us who inevitably forget one needed item almost every time. Having your groceries shipped to you for free savings you gas.

Speaking of gas, a Walmart+ membership also saves you ¢10 per gallon at every Walmart and Sam’s Club gas station. If you haven’t yet switched to an electric vehicle, this can save you money on your commute and errands. The retailer sometimes offers bigger incentives, which it publishes in its app and on its website.

But wait; there’s more. The Walmart+ membership also includes a Paramount+ membership, which now includes Showtime. That gets you two subscription online TV providers packaged with your shopping club membership.

Follow the advice of the mom of 2024 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Ethel Skakel Kennedy and her husband, Robert F. Kennedy Sr. had 11 children, making for a large grocery list. Mrs. Kennedy purchased items in bulk when rearing her household. Look for the massive quart and gallon cans used by schools and summer camps, so you can purchase for the lowest per-ounce cost possible.

8. Dining Out

Yes, you can save money on dining out, too. Scan all of your restaurant receipts in Fetch, but also get paid back for the loyalty you show your favorite restaurants. Join each eatery’s loyalty program to earn free meals, coffee, and more.

Chains and local cafes offer loyalty programs. From Pizza Hut to IHOP, chains have an app with a loyalty program embedded. Free registration often earns you your first free meal, an order of pancakes in the case of IHOP. Like the Starbucks program gives away a free coffee on your birthday, the other loyalty programs do the same.

Order and pay through the app to accrue points. Redeem the points for free food when ordering with the app. What better way is there to save money than to eat for free?

Local cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants typically create simpler loyalty programs. They use a small business card with icons rubber stamped on it which they punch out using a hole punch when you pay your bill at the end of a visit. When you collect the appropriate amount of card punches, you earn a free coffee or food item. The cards provide free advertising for the independent business and free food and drinks for you.

9. Saving Money on Your Favorite Brands

Marketers constantly come up with new ways to advertise businesses and many of them help you save money. Manufacturers offer loyalty programs, too. Visit the websites of your favorite brands to suss out their loyalty programs. Just for registering, they typically provide you with an exclusive coupon. The program then emails you discounts throughout the year.

10. Shop Via Catalogs

Sure, everyone shops online today, but your grandmother’s favorite catalogs still exist. From Montgomery Ward to Brylane Home, you can shop sales that no one else knows about. These catalogs offer exclusive clearance sales and discounts, so you can buy a new down comforter for about 75% off of retail. Sign up for their email list to get news of flash sales that offer savings of up to 90% off.

Saving big on huge and everyday purchases doesn’t require too many sacrifices. Combine comparison shopping, group and bulk purchasing, loyalty programs, and shopping club memberships to save big money on everything you buy. Put the money in your savings account and watch your wealth grow.

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