4 Ways to Stay Thrifty and Still Afford the Things You Want Most

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Each person can afford the things he or she wants with a little hard work. By making smart choices and planning ahead, you could save enough for a next generation game console or even a European vacation. Here are a few tips to save money fast.

Pinch Pennies on Groceries

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Image via Flickr by Matt MacGillivray

Grocery money takes away from the things people want most in life, such as an English bulldog or NBA game tickets. Here are the best ways to save on your grocery bills:

  • Clip Coupons Online & in Newspapers
  • Get a Loyalty Card at Your Favorite Store
  • Use a Cash-Back Credit Card
  • Buy in Bulk
  • Plan Meals a Month Out

While planning meals a month out can be tricky, it can save you hundreds. People who buy one or two items a day spend much more than those who know they will eat spaghetti noodles three times a month and shop in bulk. If you want to find out if your spending habits are normal, check out Mother Jones’ calculator to compare your spending to others’.

Save Money on Electronics

By using savvy sites to save on necessary electronics you can eventually save up for gadgets that you dream of owning. The best site for online electronics and appliances is Pricegrabber; it even offers local deals so you can check items out before buying. Get items like an iPhone 5 with 16MB of storage for as little as $219 when you shop wisely.

Another way to save money on electronics is to re-sell your old devices. An average, working smartphone will get about $50 from any pawn shop. You could sell your old laptops, tablets, phones, and advanced calculators for money to apply towards your new devices. Remember to wipe your devices completely before selling them to prevent identity theft, though.

Look for Tax Deductions and Credits

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Image via Flickr by 401(k) 2012

Certain purchases earn you tax credits or deductions. If you don’t know about it, then you won’t get that money from the government. Here are a few examples that could save you thousands of dollars a year:

  • Buying a Hybrid Car
  • Adopting a Child
  • Work Clothes Expenses
  • Gasoline Usage for Work
  • Meals for Meetings
  • Work or Education-Related Travel Expenses
  • Charitable Donations
  • Volunteer-Related Expenses

Check out the IRS website for information about the ever-changing tax credits and deductions. While most people trust their tax accountant to know this information, it never hurts to ensure your accountant knows all of the deductions that apply to you.

Cash-In on Group Discounts

There are many exciting websites that gather groups of people in order to earn group rates on popular purchases. Examples include Groupon, Living Social, and Woot. However, these kinds of group discounts don’t just occur online: many communities have MeetUp clubs that shop together to save a lot of money each month. For example, in Las Vegas there is a vegetable-buying co-op that saves buyers hundreds a month on organic vegetables.

When you truly want something, whether it’s a luxury car or a weekend trip to Cancun, you can earn it by shopping wisely and spending conservatively. Follow the tips in this article and soon you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labor.