Saving money isn’t hard, but finding new ways to do it so you can save more money is. We all know the tried and true ways of saving, like cutting out Starbucks, clipping coupons and brown bagging lunch. But these four creative tips are not only practical, they’ll make saving money feel more like having fun rather than a chore.
Organize a book swap
Cozying up with a good book and a glass of wine is one of life’s greatest pleasures. So what can be better than that? Not having to pay for the book, that’s what! No matter what format you use, paper or e-reader, reading pleasures can cost a pretty penny and add up quicker than you think. Instead of dishing out $10 or more per book, organize a book swap with your closest friends. By trading literature, you and your fellow bookworms can recommend authors to each other and pass around the latest novel du jour without having to spend a dime.
Buy bulk with a friend
Shopping at wholesale retailers like Costco or BJ's can save you a ton of money on groceries and household items… if you can use the purchases before they expire. As great a deal as it is, if you’re buying more than your household can use, you’re actually wasting money rather than saving. Before your next shopping trip, evaluate your needs and consider shopping with a friend and splitting perishables such as meat and dairy products. Savings and friend time: talk about getting the most bang for your buck!
Wrap gifts for free
It seems like every time we turn around, there's another special occasion to celebrate, which also means another gift to wrap. Gift wrap these days can be almost as expensive as the gift itself. But with a little creativity, you can present beautifully wrapped gifts to your loved ones at no cost at all! The most unique and beautiful wrapping paper may already be lying around your house. The next time you need to wrap a gift, try using an old scarf, newspaper/magazine, colorful cloth or pillow case. You can even layer and decorate your no-cost wrap with old ribbons or buttons.
Make organizers out of cereal boxes
This money-saving tip will really test your crafty side. You’ve already paid nearly $5 for the cereal, and now that it’s gone, it's time to really get your money’s worth. Make use of all the empty boxes by turning them into personalized organizers for your home. Large boxes work well for books, small ones for supplies. Simply cut the box with a utility knife at the desired angle and height; wrap decorative or contact paper around the box to see how much you'll need; then cut the paper to size. Secure the paper with double-sided tape, trim excess and voilà, new and inexpensive organizers!
Danielle Pointdujour is a native Brooklynite living and writing in the Big Apple. You can find Danielle sharing her personal outlook on love, life, careers and travel on various publications across the web.