A Year Experiment: Saving Money on Very Little Effort

In May of 2010 I started the experiment of seeing what a years worth of trying to save money would be on as little effort as possible. People were inspired by these posts, and I know I’ve gotten a few people to look up coupon codes through them in order to save money.

Some steps I took to save money:

  1. Planned my grocery list around what was on sale at my local grocer
  2. Took advantage of fuel discounts from my grocery store, sometimes getting up to 40 cents a gallon off
  3. A week before I was going shopping for groceries, I’d look up coupons on thecouponclippers.com for things I use regularly and spent $4 on coupons that would gradually save me $50 in the long run.
  4. When I was making a purchase online from different sites, I’d take a moment to google “coupon code for X”, usually it redirects me to retailmenot.com which is my favorite coupon site. But I’d do this for every purchase and it would only take a few seconds. Sometimes I’d find one, sometimes I wouldn’t, but I always looked.
  5. I took advantage of deals at local stores where available, like when I went shopping in March and got 55% off everything I bought.
  6. Occasionally I used my USAA credit card because it had a cash back option and I would pay off my purchases completely at the end of the month. My rebates were well worth it.
  7. Taking advantage of amazon.com’s free shipping feature can save a decent amount of money over the course of a year. Most things I didn’t need immediately so it didn’t matter to me if it took longer to ship. But lets be honest, even their free shipping feature is pretty quick, considering.
  8. I shopped around for cheaper prices on big ticket items, like dad’s compression socks.
  9. I reviewed my cellphone plan last year and found they had changed their pricing plans around to something cheaper, so I switched to the cheaper plan that provided the same stuff

Here is a rundown and the official total for the year:

May 2010 – $286.03
June 2010 – $174.48
July 2010 – $202.02
August 2010 – $387.79
September 2010 – $129.14
October 2010 – $145.24
November 2010 – $53.17
December 2010 – $143.94
January 2011 – $201.89
February 2011 – $92.09
March 2011 – $303.86
April 2011 – $60.72
May 2011 – $181.10

Total Saved in a Year: $2361.47

Not bad for hardly any effort 🙂

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Twitter: @crystalgroves

  • On our way home! 2.5 hour drive ahead of us & then @GameOBeards is gonna pass out. @TheDeadSouth4 are just a amazing & talented in person!about 1 hour ago
  • But we're pretty determined to see @TheDeadSouth4 so we're gonna go get food and come back. @GameOBeards went without sleep for this 💚5 hours ago
  • Well, we're here at a bar & grill to see @TheDeadSouth4, but the bar is standing room only & has no food. Band doesn't play for 2 hours :(5 hours ago
  • Just showed dad who @TheDeadSouth4 was since he was curious where we were going. He's a big fan and he's an old school bluegrasser11 hours ago
  • Us going to see @TheDeadSouth4 is my birthday present to him, so he doesn't want to miss it despite being exhausted. #HesAKeeper14 hours ago

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Crystal Groves Written by:

Crystal Groves is a farmer, web developer, musician, blogger, and personal finance enthusiast for the back hills of Maryland and Pennsylvania. She's an old-time blogger, starting just after 9/11, and has been blogging about technology, personal finance, health & wellness, and local news for the last several years.

One Comment

  1. June 19, 2011

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