If you’re looking for new and creative ways to save money this year, this post is for you! There are simple things that you can do that can drastically change how much money you spend.
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Creative Ways to Save Money #1 — Use TRIP
The TRIP (Tuition Reduction Incentive Program) can be a way to save money.
What TRIP is
This program (which may have different names at different places) is usually in place at private schools, parochial schools, and preschools.
Basically if you have a child that attends a private or parochial school or even some preschools, you buy gift cards to a variety of places and a percentage of the money goes toward your child’s tuition.
Our church preschool, the Christian school near our house, and another school in our area all use TRIP.
There is a huge variety of gift cards you can get from department stores, grocery stores, restaurants, veterinarians, plus much more.
How we use TRIP
We don’t have a child at one of these places, but anyone can use the gift card service.
One of the schools that is near my house uses TRIP, and I like to buy gas gift cards there.
I know people who have children at the school. I write their names on the form when I go to buy gift cards, so they receive the TRIP credits towards their child’s tuition.
It benefits me in several ways:
- I am giving something to another person to help them out
- I can get gift cards at one place to use for gifts (this was helpful at Christmas time since they had many small $5 gift cards for restaurants and stores)
- The gas gift cards I get, besides being handy, take 5¢ or 7¢ off per gallon of gas, which saves me money
- There isn’t any extra charge for the gift cards like some places
We also could save even more with this program if we had children attending one of the places offering this program.
If you do have children that attend a school where TRIP is used, you could invite other family members to use the program as well to give you even more money towards tuition.
Creative Ways to Save Money #2 — Purchase Puzzle Books in Bulk
If you enjoy doing crosswords, Sudoku, or other puzzles, then this is a great way for you to save money and continue your hobby.
Why buying in bulk is a good idea
I have always liked to do a variety of puzzles. I like word puzzles (not necessarily crosswords) and logic problems.
Years ago, I used to buy a puzzle book every 2-3 weeks at the grocery store. These books cost $3.99-5.99 each.
The dollar store does have some puzzle books but only crosswords, word search, or Sudoku. I don’t really like doing these puzzles.
I started ordering the bulk puzzle books from PennyDell.
Just recently, I ordered a lot of 40 variety puzzle books for $34.95 with free shipping. That is less than $1 per book!
These are usually leftover books that no one bought from previous months. There are no duplicates.
It is a really good deal and will last me at least 6 months.
It saves me money because I don’t have to pay full price for them at the store.
Creative Ways to Save Money #3 — Buy a Commercial Vacuum Cleaner
About ten years ago, we got tired of having plastic parts on every vacuum cleaner break.
We had multiple vacuums that one part or another would break because it was made of plastic.
We went to a local vacuum cleaner store and he recommend we purchase a commercial vacuum.
The vacuum cleaner we bought was an upright Sanitare. It has a 50 foot cord and most parts are metal.
There aren’t a lot of parts to it actually. It is easy to take off the beater brush (which is metal) to clean it or to change the belt.
The bags last a long time and are easy to change. We have only changed the belt once in ten years.
We have multiple pets, and this vacuum cleaner works great for picking up pet hair.
We bought the vacuum, 3 belts, and a box of 18 bags for around $200.
Although the vacuum cleaner is heavier to take up stairs, it is so worth it.
What’s nice about commercial vacuum cleaners is that they are made better, yet they don’t cost a fortune.
Check out other commercial vacuum cleaners available on Amazon.
Creative Ways to Save Money #4 — Off Season Clearance Items
One way I like to save money is to buy items that I know I will use when they are on clearance.
I especially look for things that will be out of season.
For example, I use a humidifier every day once I turn on the furnace for cold weather. A humidifier helps the air not be so dry which means less static and less colds.
I like the tabletop humidifiers because they don’t take up a lot of room.
I clean my humidifier regularly, but because of our hard water, it only lasts 3-4 years. You can use distilled water to make it last longer, but that can be expensive.
I buy the humidifier when it is on clearance at the end of the season; it’s usually $20 off the normal price.
My favorite humidifiers are the kids line by Crane. They come in different animal and other kid-friendly styles.
Fans are another thing I buy on clearance.
We don’t have air conditioning and use a lot of fans in the summer.
I buy clearance fans at the end of summer for the next summer. This way if one breaks, I have another ready to go.
Creative Ways to Save Money #5 — Cheap Paint
I like to make crafts, paint chairs and other furniture, make dollhouses out of junk, and I make cardboard decorations out of boxes.
For all of these things, I use paint. Paint can be kind of expensive.
I use leftover paint from when I have painted rooms in my house. Another way I save money on paint is to look at the clearance section of paint at department stores like Walmart or at home improvement stores like Lowes.
Just because paint is on clearance doesn’t mean it is old. Sometimes people have a certain color made up and then decide they don’t want it.
I have bought small cans of paint for a $1.00 which is pretty cheap.
If your project is small, you can buy paint at a craft store like Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics and use a coupon.
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What are some of your favorite creative ways to save money?
Comment down below what you do to save money in your life.