How I Save Money on Necessities Without Sacrificing Brands
As I’ve mentioned, I have an autoimmune disease that requires a lot of health maintenance. I usually run out of my flexible spending ($5000 per year) by April, max out prescription and maximum out-of-pocket expenses by September. Since we spend so much on my medical maintenance, we try to find ways to save money in other areas without sacrificing brand preference.
I’m not a huge bargain hunter. I prefer to spend money on high quality new items than to save money by buying off-brands or used items. There’s nothing wrong with those things, I just prefer certain brands. Since I don’t want to compromise on my preferred brands, I look for opportunities to save money on what I like.
Easy Ways to Save Money on Necessities
There are certain items that are necessities, but we don’t need to purchase frequently. I try to save money when it comes to these purchases by finding deals and stocking up when I can.
- New Car Savings:
I credit my friend for this tip that has saved us thousands on new cars. Did you know you can buy a new car through Costco? I had no idea you could save money on cars at Costco, but since discovering this, we have purchased three cars through their Car Buying program. We have saved at least $5,000 on each car and the best part is, no haggling.
You fill out the online form and the fleet sales department from the dealership you chose contacts you to confirm they have the car you want available. You can use whatever financing you chose and test-drive the car before purchase. The only difference is, you’re dealing with fleet sales, not your typical car sales person.
Before booking a vacation, I usually check AAA and Costco to see if I can save money on our hotel or find a package deal. I also use Kayak for flight deals, but I still check airline websites just in case. Additionally, I sign up for every reward program for hotels and airlines. You can earn points and use them towards future trips. In many cases, hotels will have special discounts or freebies (breakfast, spa credits, etc.) for members. It’s an easy way to save money with very little effort
- Furniture and Housewares:
I have two young boys so I can’t stomach paying full retail price for furniture or housewares at this stage in our lives. Furniture will get stained. Things will break. That’s just life with young kids. Since housewares and furniture aren’t urgent needs, I just keep an eye out for what I want at stores such as Marshalls, TJ Max and online sites like Wayfair and Overstock to save money.
I have gotten really nice pieces for a fraction of the retail price. Just recently, I bought a real wood (no particle board) five drawer dresser for the boys’ room for less than $200 on Wayfair. I also bought myself a beautiful vanity and stool for $200 from Overstock. We have purchased leather ottomans, chairs, book shelves, lamps and desks from online retailers. Online shopping is a lifesaver for me since shopping can take a lot out of me and I can’t lift large purchases.
- Children’s Clothing:
I’m really sad that my 7 year old is about to outgrow Carter’s because that is my go-to children’s clothing store to save money. Carter’s usually has a 50% off sale at the beginning spring and the beginning of fall. In addition to the 50% off sale, if you are on their email list, you will receive a 20 or 25% email coupon. They also do Carter’s reward so you essentially get cash back to use on your next purchase, which you can make during the sale.
I buy the entire wardrobe for both boys each season during this sale. There is no way I can beat 70% off of everything from pajamas, socks, outerwear and everything in between. I even buy my nieces their Christmas and birthday gifts during these sales. Mom tip – make sure you buy pants and winter pajamas in the current size and the next size up because stores don’t carry those items in February, even though your kids will likely still need pants!
I have gotten so good at my once-a-season shopping that I buy the next size up and vary the shirt colors to plan for spirit weeks at school where the kids have to wear a certain color on a certain day.
- Entertainment Savings:
I sign up for emails from our favorite entertainment providers (local train adventures, puppet show theater, etc.) to keep up on what events they have coming up and save money on the tickets. They usually offer tickets at a discount to subscribers, so I purchase them at a discount.
I sign up for community newsletters and general savings sites like Goldstar, Groupon and Living Social to keep up on what is happening in the community. Those sites all offer discounted tickets, so I always purchase through them. I have gotten tickets to theatrical performances, the Harlem Globetrotters and pop up events in our community.
- Email Newsletters:
This savings technique takes discipline. I basically sign up for newsletters from clothing sites and online stores that I purchase from regularly to save money. The challenge is, it can be tempting to buy something every time you get an email. I may have done that in the past. OK, there was a time where a delivery arrived almost daily and my UPS driver got to know me well. Thankfully, I no longer buy everything that is discounted. I buy what we need or what we will need.
For example, I just bought a Clinique moisturizer from Rue La La for $15 off the regular price. I use it nightly and I am about ¾ done with my current jar. I could wait until I’m out and pay full price, or I can buy it when the opportunity arises and save it for later. I have also bought jeans for both boys in the next size up when they were on sale for $8 per pair at Crazy 8. I know my kids will grow. That is a given, so buying the next size up will not go to waste. Buying their current size if they already have two pairs would be a waste of money.
You can save money on your preferred brand names and items if you research and plan properly. Since most of the deals come to my inbox, I don’t have to do a lot of online hunting. In addition to the tips above, my favorite online shopping tip to save money is to research coupon codes before finalizing your purchase. Just go to Google, type in online coupon + store and chose from the coupon codes that come up.
I hope these tips will help you save money on your favorite items. Do you have shopping tips that save you a ton of money?