Friday, January 7, 2011

7 Ways to Save More Money in 2011

I came across this article on yesterday, and found the tips to be pretty handy. I wanted to pass them on, because I think just about anyone would find them useful. Who couldn’t stand to save a little extra money?

January is a period of self review, filled with promises and new financial goals. But the post-holiday cocktail of disorganization and unrealistic expectations can sabotage self-improvement plans, including efforts to save money.

Fortunately, January has been tagged Get Organized Month by the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). It makes sense. Lack of organization costs time and money, according to a recent NAPO survey of consumer behavior. Cutting through clutter is important to my money-saving goals for 2011.

Coupon System
Too often, my newspaper pile becomes a graveyard for coupons. Potential savings die an early death because of clutter. For instance, I have squandered store coupons sporting savings of $1 to $10 due to missed deadlines or misplaced coupons. For 2011, I've begun to store coupons in a side pocket of my purse, which is always with me. Wallets and glove-compartments in cars are also a great place to store coupons.

Green Savings
The trendy push to live a greener life can be overwhelming, especially with the wide assortment of eco-friendly products, services and strategies on the market. Organization, however, can simplify green living goals. My strategy involves a disciplined room-by-room plan to reduce my family's carbon footprint. For the first three months of 2011, I plan to focus on the kitchen, with green steps that will save the environment and my cash. For example, during the January discount sales on linens, I plan to purchase additional dish clothes and towels for the kitchen, which will save money in the long-run, because I will spend far less on short-lived paper products. Every three months, I'll target a different area of my home.

Register Alert
In the checkout line, it's easy to meditate or daydream. But being alert can pay off. On a regular basis, I have spotted errors in cash register receipts, including incorrect prices for sale items. Sometimes, the errors are my fault. For instance, I recently took advantage of a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) free promotion for toys. Unfortunately, one of the games I had selected did not qualify for the BOGO discount. I spotted the error, when I studied the receipt and noticed the double charge for the toys. And now with every purchase, I scan the sales receipt before leaving the store.

Unplug Chargers
Even when not used, cell phone chargers, coffee makers, micro-wave ovens and other appliances drain energy when plugged into wall sockets. Conserving cash and energy is my January goal, and I've been teaching my kids to unplug idle appliances. But this step requires organization and constant awareness. When we are running late, we leave the house in a whirlwind of anxiety and fail to take energy-saving steps. An earlier wake-up call will preserve energy and create less stress.

Late fees and other financial penalties are the byproduct of disorganization. To avoid missed deadlines, I plan to raise my financial IQ with my smartphone and laptop. Both devices provide digital calendars that can be programmed with bill reminders and deadline alerts. There are also a variety of online services that offer e-mail notices about approaching deadlines. Online bill-paying programs also add organization and efficiency.

With better organization some household chores and personal tasks can become money-saving, do-it-yourself projects. For example, if you have the talent and the right tools, you can save money with DIY haircuts, manicures, pedicures and other personal grooming chores. Car-washing, lawn mowing and house-painting duties can also represent frugal home projects. But calculate the cost of your time, and honestly evaluate your skills. Home projects can become money pits if you have to hire a professional to fix DIY errors

During January, NAPO chapters in different regions of the country are hosting public events, including "Organize to Economize in the New Year" workshops, "Shred-and-Organize" gatherings and "Ask-the-Organizer" panels. To find a local event, go to


Xenia said...

Such great tips! I would love to be more organized this year... I think I need to do a good cleaning and get rid of the clutter first!

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Kristy said...

Hi, this is my first time on your blog so I just wanted to stop and say hi! I love your post today, so much great info and advice! If I could only be talented enough to cut and color my own hair, I would save a fortune! lol :)

Karen said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Hope you have a great weekend. Enjoyed reading your blog. Take care-


Hey Nicole, Thank you so much for the lovely comment you left on my birthday post. Have a great weekend.

Lisa xx

Mummahh said...

Hi following back from

steufel said...

thank you For stepping by! great article, thanks for Sharing!

*Andrea* said...

;) thank you for following!! im now following yu back! LOVE your blog!

Daphne said...

Great tips. Thanks for visiting and following my blog. Can't wait to see what recipees you will post.

JamericanSpice said...

These are very good tips. We always try to do many of these in our household.

I'm already a follower of your blog :)

Looking forward to visiting again.

Crystal said...

Just wanted to thank you for stopping by and saying Hi. It's always nice to get a friendly just stopping by comment.
BTW great post I need to take some of these tips and REALLY apply them!


Miss M said...

Thanks for telling me you were following :) It's important to me to follow back everyone that has a blog of their own! :) I'm following back!

The Frugal Free Gal said...

Hi Nicole!

Ha--my husband used to think I was strange when I went around unplugging literally EVERYTHING around the house in attempts to save money. He drew the line when everytime he wanted to watch the TV he had to plug it in first ;) I need to start doing this again, maybe not so extreme this time!!! :)

Following back,
The Frugal Free Gal
Twitter: @frugalfreegal

Bobbi said...

Thanks for the follow, I'm doing the same in return from BJ

Mommy said...

Thanks for following I'm now doing the same :)

Alliejean said...

Hey, Im your newest GFC follower from Following Friday! I would love it if you could follow me also

Melinda said...

Thanks for stopping by and saying 'hi' and for leaving such a nice comment. I really enjoy your blog also. Have a great weekend.

CinnyBBS said...

Hi there,

Thanks for stopping by. :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Let's Just Give it Away said...

Great tips. I am following you back from following friday. Thanks for taking part!


Jen @ 400 Calorie Dinners said...

Thanks for the follow! I am now following you back.

These are great tips! Especially about the coupons. I always hate it when I come across an expired coupon, especially if it was for a free item.