10 Easy Ways to Save Extra Money

My mom would be proud to know that when I step foot in a store, I head straight for the clearance racks. Because of her, I enjoy the rush of a good bargain, and have learned the value of a hard-earned dollar. I consider myself an above average frugal person, so I'm always looking for multiple ways to save money. Here a few that have worked for me:

Head to the park w/ friends for a free, fun activity
[Callie's catching & I'm kicking!]
1. Monthly Budgets - I know we all have those moments where you just don't understand where all your money goes. Mint.com links up to your bank account and puts your purchases into categories (restaurants, groceries, gas, ect.) every time your card is swept. I was amazed at how much I spent at coffee shops!

2. Air is Always Free! - Instead of finding something to do on the weekend that involves loads of cash, go outside and enjoy the fresh air! Parks are always flooding with people engaging in a fun activity. You can always get a group of friends together to get some sort of game going. Find a hike or walking trail.. perfect if you have a dog!

3. Closet Liquidations - Those shirts and shoes with cobwebs on them are not doing any good by sitting in your closet. Pack up a garbage bag of things you haven't worn in the past year and bring it to your local consignment shop like Plato's Closet to see if they'll give you any cash for it. If your clothes are in good condition, it's an easy $50. If you have to ask yourself, "But what if I need this for Bob & Betty's engagement party?" please toss it.

4. Stay Away From the Theater - Going out to see movies can get pricey, but if you create an account with GoFobo, you can get special RSVP invites to watch movies in your area for free. The best part.. sometimes the movies haven't even been released yet! Another go-to.. redbox it. Nowadays, you can easily find a redbox or Block Buster kiosk at a grocery store or drugstore where you can rent for $1... Pretty much close to free!

5. Got Apps? - Download some good money saving apps (they're FREE)! Groupon, Scoutmob, and Living Social want you to have fun with your friends for half the cost.. it's their mission! You just have to keep your eyes open for the deals of the day.

6. Dine-In -  "I don't know how to cook" is not a cop-out. If you've made it past the fourth grade, you know how to follow directions. The easiest way to cut your food costs down is by cooking. It doesn't need to be anything fancy.. could be as simple as tacos. You can also dumb-down a recipe, so you also can't use the "Well, I don't have all of the ingredients" excuse. I grab a lot of recipes from foodnetwork.com and always cut ingredients out if the recipe only calls for a small amount.

7. Sign-up for Newsletters - If you have three minutes of your life to spare, sign-up for a newsletter. Some stores offer you an incentive if you sign-up to receive their promotional emails. Old Navy sends you $10 off that you can use online or in their store. If you don't want to receive them anymore, you can always unsubscribe!

8. Cut the Cord -  I've been living without cable for two years now. It's not the end of the world, and the easiest utility to cut out of your expenses. If you have internet, you can watch any shows you've missed online, so it's not the end of the world. Plus, you will most likely find yourself being more productive with your time.

9. Feed Your Piggy - Keep a jar around for spare change. It all adds up to a nice chunk of change!

10. Being Thrifty is Nifty - Don't be afraid of the thrift store. I've found that they can be a hit or miss, but if you're patient, you can snatch some good finds. You could hit jackpot if you want to be creative and re-purpose items like furniture pieces.

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