N is for Not Spending Money on Over-Inflated Items.

Stop wasting money concept

Let’s face it – we can all fall for great marketing campaigns and often pay more for items than their true worth. We are also willing to pay extra for conveniences in many areas of our lives.

The question remains, should we continue to overpay for items that are common everyday purchases?  If you want to be a bit more cautious, consider the following:

Bottled Water — a huge part of the cost of bottled water is in the packaging.  According to Food & Water Watch, an advocacy group, more than 17 million barrels of oil are needed each year in the US to make all those plastic bottles. Keep in mind tap water is a safe and cost-efficient way to save big!

Coffee — we know as consumers that buying coffee out increases the cost dramatically — so why not save and make your coffee at home. The occasional splurge can be quiet enjoyable and you can save those lattes and cappuccinos as a special treat.

Pre-cut vegetables and fruits — although this will save you the time involved in cutting these items — it also increases the cost and may not guarantee freshest. Try buying produce at the farmer’s market or local grocery store and cut them at home.

Movie Snacks — a bag of theater popcorn and a soda can cost you upwards of $10 plus.  Have a healthy snack or schedule a meal before you enter a movie theatre, then sit back and enjoy the show.

Brand name drugs — it is no secret buying generic will help save you considerably at the checkout counter.

Cosmetics — needless to say you will pay more for designer makeup. You may want to check some less expensive alternatives at your local drug store or makeup counter. If this is not an option be smart and make your purchases at bonus gift time.

Greeting Cards — why are we paying upwards of six dollars for a single greeting card? Especially when we all love to keep and cherish those handmade treasures? Take a moment – break open the markers – get creative – and make those cards with a personal touch.

With a small amount of effort, you can watch as your monthly expenses go down — which in turn may help your savings go up!

Answers from AZ

About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™). If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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