Save Money in 5 Minutes or Less

by Stephanie Berenbaum & Kathy Pape – October 18, 2010

5 Cash Saving Tips for Those on the Go

Sure, we’re all so busy these days we don’t know whether we’re coming or going.  Heck, half the time I look down after I leave the house just to make sure I remembered to put pants on.  So, you may wonder, how are you ever going to find time in your busy day to save money?  Well, the fab and fru good news is that there are tons of ways to save money – in just 5 minutes!  Sure, it may cut in to your web browsing time a wee bit, but we’re sure that these tips will save you more money than finding out the latest on Snooki ever will!

Use Your Time in the Checkout Line

You know how they say to always look at yourself in the mirror and take off one piece of jewelry before you leave the house?  Well, it’s wise to apply a similar rule to the 5 minutes you spend waiting in the checkout line at Target or the grocery store.  Chances are that you’ve grabbed something (or several things!) you don’t really need or even want.  Use that 5 minutes to go through your shopping cart and decide which item(s) you are NOT going to buy that day – the cashiers are usually happy to put it back, just ask them nicely and tell them you actually don’t need the $15 elephant shaped scented candle after all!

Another thing to Check Out…

Ok, so while we’re still in the checkout line, another tip!  Do not buy the items you see alluringly displayed at the checkout counter!  It is no accident they are placed there.  The stores make big bucks on your impulse magazine, candy, teeny-tiny hand sanitizer and novelty purchases.  Instead of using your time in checkout line to add even more stuff you don’t need to your basket, please see our first tip and actually save money in line!

Extra Credit

You’re running out the door to meet your friends – think you don’t have any time to get a money saving plan in place as you are rushing out?  Think again!  Just take a minute as you are sticking your lip gloss and cell phone in your purse to take your credit card OUT!  That’s right – taking just a second to plan – and prevent – credit card abuse can save you from offering to buy that next round of drinks for everyone, or may have you suggesting a less pricey restaurant for the group.  It may not be how you’re used to thinking, but keep in mind: credit cards should be used for emergencies – not to finance nights out on the town!

Buy a Smart Strip

The average household has 25 appliances plugged in at one time – whether they are being used or not.  I.T. guru Gregg Steiner suggests: Buy a Smart Strip! For about $25 or so, this product can save you about $20 a month (per surge protector)!  It automatically stops the electricity flow to appliances you don’t turn on often.  And there are a few spaces on each model to plug in those items like DVRs that you do want to keep going all the time.  It is worth taking a few minutes to plug it in and start saving!

Morning Stretch

You can really stretch your dollars by just taking 5 minutes to organize your spending in the morning.  We all have tons of gift cards and coupons that we forget about or don’t have with us when we go shopping.  Try this: keep a pocket or clip of them all in your kitchen – somewhere you certainly spend time in the morning!  I like to keep them in a magnetic pocket on a dry erase board right next to the fridge so they are visible.  Then, as you review your to-do list for the day, match up your errands with the gift cards and coupons you have and take only the ones you need with you.

So there are our five tips for starting out this Fab & Fru week with you.  But we’re thinking you may have a few of your own quick money saving tips up your sleeve — we’re love to hear from YOU!  Let us know how you have figured out how to save a few bucks in just a few minutes!

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2 Responses to “Save Money in 5 Minutes or Less”

  1. Celest says:

    Great tips. I have also found when I make a list and STICK TO IT I save a ton. I am always tempted to buy something I will need later, but if you buy just what you are going for, you will save.

  2. Sharon says:

    I keep a binder for coupons with dividers for the categories I shop most often. Then I use baseball card holder pockets to keep the coupons tucked away. I can view 9 at a time including the expiry dates and it beats having to flip through a whole pouch of little paper strips!

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