Save Money In Five Fabulous Minutes: 5 Tips For The Busy Saver

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Fabulous & Frugal has 5 money-saving tips perfect for the woman on the go—they can be done in only 5 minutes!

1. 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 five 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 five 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!

2. 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!

3. 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—a 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!

4. 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 that you 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!

5. Morning Stretch

You can really stretch your dollars by just taking five 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 spend time in the morning! We 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.

We’re thinking you may have a few of your own quick money saving tips up your sleeve—we would love to hear from you!

In the comments, let us know how you have figured out how to save a few bucks in just a few minutes!

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  • Anonymous

    We are all about saving you money and time today at LV! Smartest quick saving move I’ve done is call my cell phone provider to see how I could lower my bill. Anyone else done this?nCheers,nCaroline nLearnVest’s Chief Content & Community Officer

    • ssilva

      yeah, I recently found out my neighbor was paying almost $60.00 less for cable/internet services. We live in a gated community and were required to have a contract. The contract is no longer required but in order to lower my bill they wanted to sign me up for a two year plan, I refused, cancelled the old service and got a new service paying $60.00 less plus free movie channels for one year. Nice!

  • Anonymous

    I have so done that! Target (aside from being a corporate political backer that I’m currently v. annoyed with) is a black hole of purchasing. Whenever I used to go there, I would end up with a whole basket of stuff I didn’t need! So before I left the store, I would put a bunch of stuff back… and I never missed it.

  • Casey

    The one thing I do to save money at the start of every day is fill up my water bottle! I always get so thirsty during the day, and if I don’t pack my own, I end up buying one. And if I find myself in the store getting water, I will almost always buy something else, too! What a money pit.

    • Sitch907

      Good thought — I never considered it as saving money, more like being environmentally conscious. But you’re right, it IS a money-saving measure!

  • sueb

    THe Public Library is an amazing resource, and I am sure i have saved thousands of dolalrs over the years using it. You can walk out of the library with an armful of books, CD’s, DVDs without paying a dime (unless they are overdue, and, of course you DO have to return them). For books, i save space, moving expenses and cash. With CD’s, I can listen before buying and make a decision before spending money on something i end up hating. The DVD collection is great for both old and new favorites. In New York, you can go online and reserve any item, from the latest bestsellers to classics. It will be sent to the library of your choice (near home or work — both good), and you will be notified when they’ve arrived. it’s a great deal!

    • Maddie

      so true! I have my library card on my keys :)