Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pinch Like You Mean It! Free eBook

Pinch Like You Mean It!  101 Ways to Spend Less Money Now

by Dr. Penny Pincher


Book cover


Read this free eBook it in its entirety here on Penny Pincher Journal, or download it to read on your favorite eReader.

Pinch Like You Mean It! is all about ways to spend less money.  Why give so much of your hard-earned money away by spending it?  Get 101 free tips on how to spend less right now.  Topics include duct tape and other cheap repairs, how to get furniture for almost free, what steps to take in a financial emergency, and many tips on practical ways to spend less money every day.  When can you save money by applying for a credit card?  Check out tip #82.  What frugal tip did Lizzy Borden's father teach Lizzy the night before the infamous ax incident?  Read tip #72 and find out...

Table of Contents

Dedication
Introduction
Disclaimer
Tip 1: Avoid sales tax on food
Tip 2: Save big at Kohl’s
Tip 3: Save 10% on milk
Tip 4: Make coffee at home, save over $500 per year
Tip 5: Pack lunch instead of eating out
Tip 6: Sharpen disposable razor blades
Tip 7: Cut cable TV or satellite TV
Tip 8: Buy less gas for your car
Tip 9: Enjoy cheap- or free- exercise
Tip 10: Save when eating out
Tip 11: Get pets at the animal shelter for almost free
Tip 12:  Have less stuff
Tip 13: Haircuts at home
Tip 14: Walk instead of drive
Tip 15: Credit card points
Tip 16: Avoid dry cleaning
Tip 17: A Subway $5 footlong is a good deal
Tip 18: Use energy efficient lighting
Tip 19: Improve home insulation
Tip 20: Reduce your house payments with a mortgage re-fi
Tip 21: Buy used items and save
Tip 22: Stop making car payments
Tip 23: Avoid recreational shopping
Tip 24: Cut small unnecessary purchases
Tip 25: Utilize free resources at your library
Tip 26: Free or cheap hobbies
Tip 27: Get an artificial Christmas tree
Tip 28: Plan meals, shop with coupons
Tip 29: Drop newspapers and magazines
Tip 30: Staycation instead of vacation
Tip 31: Stop buying lottery tickets
Tip 32: Stop smoking
Tip 33: Take shorter showers
Tip 34: Find out where your money is going
Tip 35: Avoid boarding your pets
Tip 36: Get multiple estimates for home improvement projects
Tip 37: Get enough sleep
Tip 38: Eat less
Tip 39: Cut down on travel
Tip 40: Install a programmable thermostat
Tip 41: Chew gum instead of eating a snack
Tip 42: Switch from soda to free water
Tip 43: Cut down on coffee
Tip 44: Pay off high interest credit cards first
Tip 45: Negotiate on hotel rates
Tip 46: Take advantage of kids eat free nights
Tip 47: Inexpensive foods that are healthy
Tip 48: Free stuff
Tip 49: Buy fewer things, but better quality
Tip 50: Avoid expensive clothing brands, especially jeans
Tip 51: When to buy food items at convenience stores
Tip 52: Sell unneeded appliances
Tip 53: Wait to buy materials for projects
Tip 54: Don't go for a test drive unless you want to buy a car
Tip 55: Watch out for high pressure sales pitches
Tip 56: Save on insurance with bundle discounts
Tip 57: Don't carry small bills
Tip 58: Wait 48 hours to buy
Tip 59: Use a black permanent marker to revive old clothes
Tip 60: Carry your best coupons in your wallet or purse
Tip 61: Spend more thought and less money on presents
Tip 62: Reduce/avoid knick knacks and collectables
Tip 63: Consider downsizing to reduce expenses
Tip 64: DIY projects to save money
Tip 65: Shop around for the best deal
Tip 66: Take good care of your teeth
Tip 67: Grow your own food in a vegetable garden
Tip 68: How to cut expenses quickly in a financial emergency
Tip 69: Carpool to save on vehicle expenses
Tip 70: Keep your car clean
Tip 71: Try not to move
Tip 72: Use old clothes for rags
Tip 73: Donate unneeded items and save money on taxes
Tip 74: Buy generic- why pay for advertising?
Tip 75: Don't go grocery shopping hungry
Tip 76: Get free checking, avoid bank fees
Tip 77: "Bank" at a credit union rather than a bank
Tip 78: Turn off unneeded lights and appliances
Tip 79: Can you eliminate an extra vehicle?
Tip 80: The art and science of the store return
Tip 81: Discount programs at grocery stores
Tip 82: When to apply for a credit card to save money
Tip 83: Fun night at home
Tip 84: Pizza can make you happy
Tip 85: Use coupons for oil changes
Tip 86: Get furniture for almost free
Tip 87: Shop on tax free day
Tip 88: No more late fees
Tip 89: No more postage
Tip 90: Duct tape and other cheap repairs
Tip 91: Repair shoes instead of throwing them away
Tip 92: Rent a truck instead of buying one
Tip 93: Get building materials for free
Tip 94: Save hardware odds and ends
Tip 95: Bake and decorate your own cakes
Tip 96: Stay off the hamster wheel
Tip 97: Avoid spending deathtraps
Tip 98: Don't throw away all the old batteries
Tip 99: Buy less stuff that is made to be thrown away
Tip 100: Use fans to lower your bills
Tip 101: Read Penny Pincher Journal
About the Author
Connect with Dr. Penny Pincher

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Dedication

Dedication


To my sons who impress me all the time with their smart decisions with money.  These guys really know how to save money and avoid wasteful spending.  I wonder where they learned to do that?


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Introduction

Introduction

Why would a guy who likes saving money write a free book?  I once read there are only two reasons to write:  to make money or to be read.  Giving this book away free sort of eliminates the first reason...  So I must be writing this book for the second reason- to be read.

I think the price of my first book published about 10 months ago at $3.99 has kept a lot of people from getting to read it.  People looking to spend less money are not eager to spend money buying a book, even one that is a great value at $3.99...  A free book about spending less money should be far more appealing to those trying to spend less money than a book that you have to pay to read.

I started writing this book on my cell phone on an airplane flight- with my phone in “airplane mode”, of course...  While trapped in my seat for a couple hours I started typing a list of ways to spend less money and ended up with 101 tips. After I landed, I added some description, stories, and details to each tip to create a resource to help people spend less money.

The tips on saving money in this book can be used to save money, of course, but they can also help you think about money and spending in a different way.  Things look different when you have your debt and spending under control.  New possibilities open up.  You have more freedom and less stress.

I currently use many of the tips provided in this book to save money.  A few of the tips are good ideas that I am working to accomplish as I improve my penny pinching abilities.  Sometimes life happens and I spend money that maybe I shouldn’t.  Just this week I spent quite a bit of time and money at the vet’s office helping my sick dog.  There is always a balance between trying to avoid spending money and doing what you really want to do.  Use these 101 tips to help find and eliminate wasteful spending, leaving you with more money to do the meaningful things you want to accomplish and save for a bright future.

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer

The information presented in the book is for informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute financial, accounting, medical or legal advice.

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Tip 1: Avoid sales tax on food

Tip 1: Avoid sales tax on food


Buying food at a convenience store is rarely a good idea, but if you do, here is a tip to avoid paying sales tax on food items.  Back in college, I would sometimes get a "grinder" burrito at a convenience store, not a bad lunch for about $1.00.  If you paid for the burrito before microwaving it, it was considered a grocery item and there was no sales tax.  If you microwaved it first and then paid for it, you were charged 6% sales tax since it was considered a prepared food item.

Of course, saving 6 cents on a burrito is not going to change your life, but if you can save 6 cents every time you get a burrito, savings can add up over time.  The point is not to pay more than you need to pay for anything and hold on to the savings, no matter how small.  Wasting money is a bad habit- I try to adopt a "zero-tolerance" policy for wasting money.  I suppose some would say I could save even more money by either not buying the burrito, or by buying the burrito somewhere else- you can get a burrito for 79 cents at Taco John's on "Taco Tuesday", or probably make one at home for about 35 cents.

It is always a fuzzy line between "needs" and "wants".  If you want to participate in the world, you need to spend some money.  You have to find the right balance for yourself.  On that particular day, buying the $1.00 burrito at a convenience store was just what I needed.  I could have spent less on lunch that day, but it would have taken more time and I wanted to use my time for studying and other things.  At least I spent the least I could on the burrito by avoiding paying sales tax.

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Tip 2: Save big at Kohl’s

Tip 2: Save big at Kohl’s

Kohl’s is a national chain store that sells clothes and small appliances.  They have lots of clearance sale items and also have great coupons.  Kohl’s has coupons for 15%, 20%, and 30% off that apply to all items in the store, including clearance items.  When I get a 30% coupon, I like to keep it in my wallet in case I need to buy something- 30% off is usually a pretty good deal.  I have picked up some really cheap clothes at Kohl’s from the clearance rack and then 30% more off of the clearance price.  Another benefit of shopping at Kohl’s is Kohl’s cash.  You get $10 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 that can be used during a certain time window.  I once got a nice polo shirt for free with Kohl’s cash I received from buying clearance items.

Believe it or not, I found the hat that I wear in all of my Dr. Penny Pincher photos in the clearance section at Kohl’s.  With all of my coupons, I ended by paying less than $3 for my favorite hat.  It seems really appropriate that Dr. Penny Pincher wears such a cheap hat!

One time, my brother was visiting from out of town and was interested in looking for a coat.  He is particular about the design of the clothes he buys and also insists on spending very little money.  We went to Kohl’s and went through their clearance racks of many, many coats.  We found one that was just right, and not very expensive.  Kohl’s was the right place to shop for clearance coats.

If you have Kohl’s in your area, check it out.  Explore the store and look for the clearance racks and bargain areas- you might be able to find some cheap clothes and good deals there.

Stores give out coupons to make money for the store- how does that work?  The coupons get shoppers into the store who otherwise would not be there.  The store may lose some money on people who buy only items with coupons, but many people will buy other items as well and result in a profit for the store.  The stores know what they are doing- be careful chasing bargains with coupons.  Once you are in the buying mode, you may end up buying extra items and spending more money than you planned as a result of coupons.

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Tip 3: Save 10% on milk

Tip 3: Save 10% on milk

My local independent grocery store has a punch card for milk.  You get a punch for each gallon you buy.  When you get 10 punches, you get a free gallon.  This is a savings of 10% or about 30 cents per gallon.  The savings on each gallon isn't much, but over time it adds up.  See if you can find a store that is handy and has milk punch cards or other discount programs that you can use to save money.

Some people are not willing to bother carrying coupons or punch cards- it is too much trouble.  I am not one of those people.  I carry a few coupons and punch cards in my wallet all the time, and have probably saved hundreds of dollars over the years doing this.  I have a small accordion file that I use to keep a larger collection of coupons.  Much to the embarrassment of my family, I sometimes carry the accordion file with me in stores when shopping.

A little inconvenience can go a long way.  Whenever I see a punch card or other discount program offered at a store, I check it out.  Often, programs do not help me with items I already purchase, so I don't sign up.  But sometimes I find one that works for me- like the milk punch card.  See if you can find extra discounts that work for you on items you already buy.  I would much rather keep that 30 cents per gallon of milk for myself instead of giving it to the store.

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