SLIDER

EXTREME FRUGALITY TIPS THAT CAN DOUBLE YOUR SAVINGS

Serious about saving? Whether you're desperately needing to pay off interest-incurring loans or planning a summer trip, the tactics listed here are guaranteed to get you closer to your financial goals. Over time, these seemingly insignificant changes have a huge impact on your ability to put aside enough money.

SALES

The first rule in extreme frugality is to buy only when there's a sale. It takes more effort to schedule your shopping trips during sales events, but it will save you the most money. Sprouts Market holds cyclical promotions for different product categories. Every four months, their vitamin section offers a generous 25% off. All year round, grocery stores cut prices on select items to quickly sell off perishables before they expire. Nordstrom is known for their half-yearly sale, held every July. Department stores need to constantly make room for the upcoming season's collections. Even the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, admits to taking advantage of huge discounts at the popular luxury chain (Business Insider video). With continued diligence, your shopping habits will seamlessly adhere to this principle. Saving then becomes second nature.


Online clothing merchants hold spontaneous short-term flash sales. Keeping webpages bookmarked helps keep tabs on limited-time offers. Be sure to check your favorite online shops on other occasions besides Cyber Monday or Black Friday. Beauty stores might do a Mother's Day special. Gyms usually do a summer promotion to capitalize on swimsuit season. Some sites like Vitacost.com offer long-term bargain prices. I recommend this seller for greener product options. The initial effort that you put in, will eventually pay you back in compounded extra savings.

USAGE

Use a reasonable amount of product. Commercials show kids topping their toothbrush bristles with a generous heap of toothpaste. This is just for looks. In reality, you only need a dime-sized amount of toothpaste. Using a durable toothbrush with a large head reduces the need for more toothpaste and rigorous brushing. The Radius Scuba brush lasts for up to a year and cleans more efficiently than an electric toothbrush.


Gauge how much you really need by starting small. This applies to everything from lotion to pasta. A nifty trick when using a serum or moisturizer is to apply it on a damp face. This allows the product to spread out evenly and absorb more deeply into the skin. You'll waste less, while still getting the full effect. Determining how much you really need extends the life of a purchase, preventing you from spending too soon after the last shopping trip.

STORAGE & CARE

Store items properly. Choosing the right container prevents wastefulness. Check all  pepper shakers and ketchup dispensers. Do they release the right amount? If they don't, consider switching them out. Edibles expire more quickly if they are not properly preserved. Produce must be kept in waterless containers to prevent molds. Make sure all "best before" dates are visible. These labels remind you to finish them before they go bad. Don't buy more than what you can consume. Resist purchasing the larger bundle to avoid wasting excess perishables.


It's also important to store clothes and other items, like electronics, properly. Folding instead of hanging clothes saves space and prevents them from stretching out. I recommend looking up the Konmari method for additional organization tips. Electronics should be used and kept in the coldest areas in the home. Heat causes tech gadgets and equipment to deteriorate faster.

The same is true for beauty products. Keeping serums and moisturizers in the refrigerator extends their usability. Make sure all bottles and containers are closed properly after every use. Cleaning beauty tools regularly prevents them from wearing out and rusting. Maintenance and care improves longevity and effectiveness. The longer they last, the longer you are able to put off spending for another refill or backup.

Most of these habits may seem like tedious work, but the benefits they reap in the long run has an immense ability to compound. Every penny saved really does add up over time. A consistent savings of 25% on necessities generates a rate of wealth accumulation greater than the stock market's 7% average yearly return.

PLACES TO SHOP


B & H Photo
This online retailer is a haven for techies. On top of discounts, items are sold tax-free if you don't live in New York, and ships free. They sell a broad variety of products. The website is among the few that still sell older software versions with perpetual licensing, which means it doesn't require a subscription. B & H offers everything from computer adapters to extremely high-end DSLR cameras.

Sprouts
The rapidly growing farmers market offers an abundance of affordable organic food. Its vitamin and beauty sections offer a vast array of certified organic and all-natural alternatives. They also sell freshly-made baked pastries, as well as made-to-order artisanal sandwiches. The grains and legumes section has a wide selection to choose from.

Target
For fresh meats and berries, discerning grocery shoppers prefer this outlet. Target tends to draw a large volume of buyers, so their edible items get sold and replaced quickly. The produce you're picking up is likely a new batch. Dry goods is sometimes a mixed bag. Some medicines are cheaper at Target while Walmart offers cheaper toiletries.

Target is also a great source for rare fashion finds. The brand will occasionally collaborate with well-known designers in creating exclusive yet affordable clothing lines. Many vouch for the durability and quality of their wearable merchandise.

Walmart
The behemoth retail chain is great for basic necessities. This warehouse offers the best pricing for generic items like cleaning supplies and toiletries. Most people aren't too fussy about these disposable goods.

RESEARCH RESOURCES


The Wirecutter
Run by the New York Times, this informative resource ranks the best and most affordable in every imaginable tech category. It also covers services like phone plans. They test thousands of options offered by an extensive range of brands. Top-rated products are listed based on consumer preference. Whether performance or cost is your priority, this site hones in on the cheapest and rarest finds.

Google Shopping Tab
When looking for a specific product on google, type out the name on Google's search window. After the search results are done loading, click on the shopping tab on the menu bar. You'll see a list of online sellers, as well as brick-and-mortar ones nearby. Prices are conveniently displayed side by side for comparison. This allows for a more efficient and expansive search.


Photos by Jakub Kapisnakrawpixel, Tookapic & Christin Hume

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