Making 2013 the year you will save money

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When you start thinking about making New Year’s resolutions, you’re thinking about fresh starts and the year ahead. Make 2013 the year you will save money.

Here are 3 ways to make saving money easier in 2013.

1. Budget

This is the very first step in being successful. You need to know what money is coming in (income) and what your expenses are and what your output is. You need to be sure you are accounting each dollar. Keep receipts and use a budgeting tool like Quicken. If your income and your expenses don’t match there is a problem. I highly recommend putting your budget in various places around your house, keep in the car and/or purse or wallet so you are reminded you are living within a budget now. 2. Clip and Organize your Coupons

Be sure to get a Sunday newspaper subscription so you can start clipping coupons to shave 30-50% or more off your grocery budget each week. Also find an organization method that helps you keep your coupons organized. If your coupons are not organized you won’t use them and you won’t save money.

Here are a few organization options to use:

a. Accordion Style Coupon File -You can find these wallet style coupon files at stores such as Walmart and Target for $1-$5. These files allow you to sort your coupons by the categories of your choice and are often small and easy to carry with you to the store. I do this method and I cut my coupons out and sort them by the first letter of the item. Secure with a paperclip and alphabetize each pile into the coupon file. That way I just have to look up the first letter of whatever I am looking for. You can also organize by category or by the aisles in the store.

b. Coupon Box – You can make your own coupon box using a recipe box or other small storage container and your choice of dividers and/or envelopes.

c. Professional Coupon Organizing Systems
– There are several pre-packaged coupon organizing systems available online and in stores. One that I am familiar with is the Couponizer. This system comes with a spiral notebook with pockets, a coupon sorting mat, shopping lists and several other features.

d. Coupon Binder – It is a binder with page protectors that store all of your coupons in one place. This is a popular way to organize coupons. I have quite a few friends that use this system.

3. Menu Plan

Each week make your menu from what is on sale in the ad as well as what coupons are available. I recommend starting with what meat is on sale and make your menu around that. Each week I post the weekly match-ups listing the sale prices along with all the coupons available for each item.

By menu planning you can save money so you are prepared as well as you avoid the “What’s for dinner?” dilemma and in turn order a pizza or take out which costs more than cooking at home would be. Try eMeals which is an online menu planning service. You pick the meal plan and store based on your needs. It gives you a weekly menu as well as a grocery list as well. Use coupon code NEWYEAR to get 15% off when you sign up.

Melissa Cox aka-Frugalissa is a wife and mom to 2 elementary aged children. Her motto is “Frugal does not mean I have to be cheap”. She is into natural living, being green and tries to feed her family healthy, wholesome food while still couponing and saving a buck or two. She teaches workshops where she teaches people how to coupon, save money and make their dollars stretch. She is also an advocate for teaching people to give to those in need through couponing. She writes the blog Frugalissa Finds.

 (Source: Savings.com)

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