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1. Buy nothing. Many times, not buying anything at all will save you more than buying something on sale.
2. Consider all your options. Instead of purchasing something could you make it, get it used, fix something you already own, or do without? Could you use a less expensive alternative or a generic or house brand item?
3. Know what you want. Write things down while you're at home, where you'll most likely be using most of your purchases. 
4. Research larger purchases. You don't have to study every loaf of bread, but if you're thinking of buying an appliance, an automobile, a computer, etc., it can be well worth your time to familiarize yourself.
5. Keep a list. If it's more than two items, write them down. 
Writing things down while you're at home helps you not to forget them when you're at the store, thus saving you trips, time and money. This is especially true for day-to-day purchases.
Lists of larger purchases or potential can help you to distinguish between needs and wants, and to consider larger purchases more carefully before buying them.
A list can be a good place to leave things you're still considering. You may learn more about a particular item or decide you don't need it later on.
6. Know what a good price is. 
For items that you buy routinely, such as groceries, watch the advertisements and know what good prices are and what very low sale prices are. You can keep a notebook with prices at different stores if it helps.
For items you purchase less frequently, do a price comparison. Call or shop around to a few different stores. Look online, too, but don't forget to figure in the extra costs of shipping and taxes.
7. Stick to the list. Stores go out of their way to put the basic items in the back so that you have to wander past prominently placed, colorful bargains. If you didn't need junk food, colorful sandals, or an extra 100-foot extension cord when you were at home, you don't need it in the store.
8. Stock up, but be selective about what you stock up on. Bulk pricing can get you a good deal, but if you end up with 25 pounds of flour and you never bake, it's not really a good deal. Buy in bulk if you use it, if it will last long enough for you to use it, if you have the space to store it, and if the price is really better than you'd get buying a more moderate quantity.
9. Consider bargains carefully. Is it really a good deal, or is somebody trying to up sell you or persuade you to buy something you don't need?
10. Learn to recognize a sales pitch and resist it.
11. Spend cash. Seeing yourself Part Company with your money, and parting company only with money you have, can often remind you to spend less. It can certainly help you keep from overextending yourself.
12. Think through the lifetime of your purchase. Will this purchase become clutter? Will you be able to go on using it for a long time? Can you do without it for now?
13. Remember that not all purchases are objects. A restaurant meal, a gym membership, and a monthly cell phone bill are all purchases you should evaluate carefully. Scrutinize anything with a monthly bill or monthly payment with special care, since a few dollars a month can quickly turn into many dollars per year.
14. Figure in all costs when considering a purchase. Include taxes, subscriptions, shipping, upkeep, and your own time to use or set up whatever you are purchasing.
15.Ask for a better price. Not all prices are negotiable, but it doesn't cost you anything to ask. Simply asking "Is this the best price you can offer?" can often bring the price down, but depending on the situation, you may want to haggle a bit.


Feeling Crafty? You’re not alone. As a country, we have rekindled our love through the Arts and Crafts made in America. From knitted scarves to ceramic birdhouses to felted baby booties, American’s are getting more and more hands on.
According to a 2011 Craft & Hobby Association report, more than half of U.S. households take part in at least one crafting activity, whether it’s canning, sewing baby booties from scraps of felt, fashioning coffee clay mugs,  to our young kids making the newest craze fun loom bracelets. Did you know American’s spend more than $29 billion a year on crafting-a figure that has remained pretty stable in spite of the wobbly economy.
People are creating personalized things rather than going out and spending money on the same items, says Keri Cunningham, the association’s director of marketing. “When life is crazy, it’s good to take time to do something that relaxes them.”
New things are being learned everyday in the crafting world. At skills fair in Seattle this year participants learned to make soap, nut milks, and solar cookers. People are recognizing the joy and satisfaction and security of being able to provide for our own needs, proclaimed a flyer for the event. It is kind of like relearning the skills our grandparents knew!
Crafting is not just good for the soul; it’s also good for the body and mind, according to researchers at the University of Florida’s Center for Arts in Medicine. So if you have a burning desire to do a craft find what you are good at and do it. You might make it your next full time job. The most important part is enjoy what you make and do every day.

Article provided by Parade and Teri Reuvers


Here are some more ways to save that you may not have thought of.

· Start a budget, stick to it:  This may seem like an obvious tip on how to save, but it’s something that not a ton of people do. Just keeping track of where your money is going has a tendency to help you realize a lot of areas that you can save.

· Wash your own car:  Instead of going to the car wash and spending between $15-30 every time you go, wash your own car!

· Do your own maintenance: If you’re handy with all things automotive, change your own oil to save on a trip to the service station.  Maintain your own home appliances with help from the internet!

· Stop a bad habit:  Are you a smoker?  Quit! It’s better for your  health and will save a ton of money.  Drink lots of soda?  Stop! Drink more water instead.

· Don’t pay for extras:  Renting a car? Don’t pay for the extra insurance if your own insurance covers it.  Going on a flight? Don’t pay for first class, but try to get an exit row with extra leg room instead.

· Save by reducing your taxable income:  Take advantage of deductions, make deductible contributions to retirement accounts or increase amount sent to flexible spending or health savings accounts.

This list is just the beginning. Saving money can really become a way of life if you want it to be. You just have to be creative, have a reason and a goal for why you’re trying to save, and think consciously about the decisions that you’re making.