NOT Using These? You’re Spending Too Much!

Dear Rich Lifer,

When it comes to living comfortably, you know that every penny counts. If you find yourself coming to the end of your budget before the month is over, then you’ve got two choices – either spend less money or make more. 

Now, making more money is the more fun option of the two, and we’ll talk about ways to make more money in future emails, but today, we’re tackling the first option: spending less.

Back in the day, spending less meant you either had to get creative, go without, or put in a little elbow grease in order to get a discount. 

I’m sure we all remember the days of wearing your brother’s hand-me-downs, enduring meatless meals, and scouring the newspaper to clip coupons for toothpaste in order to make ends meet. 

Luckily, we don’t have to do any of those things any more. Thanks to the internet, you can save money with just a few clicks!

Here are a few of my favorite websites that will help you save tons on just about everything you buy.

Right off the bat, food is expensive. Stats from the USDA tell us that in 2018, U.S. consumers, businesses, and government entities spent $1.71 trillion on food and beverages. 

And according to CreditDonkey, Americans spend more than 6% of their annual income on food alone. That’s a big piece of the pie, especially when you’re on a budget. 

That’s where Five Dollar Dinners comes in. This site has thousands of recipes, and all of them are designed to feed a family of four for just $5. No kids at home? Make it and save half for tomorrow. 

Where else can you get a full meal for just $1.25 per person? You can’t even get a plain McDonald’s hamburger for that these days!

Another major chunk of change is what we spend on gas. Of course, where you live and how much you drive both play a factor in how much you’ll spend… 

But no matter what your circumstances are, chances are good that it’s hundreds of dollars every month. 

Why not pay less at the pump? GasBuddy helps you find the lowest prices in your area. That one little hack alone can help you save tons over time, but there’s more. If you get their card, you’ll also get money towards free gas that you can redeem right at the pump. So far, they’ve helped people save $4.1 Million with the card alone.

Forget clipping coupons and just hoping your favorite brands are on sale. lets you pick coupons for exactly the items you want. Just select, print, and save.

Once you start saving with coupons, it can be addictive. The Krazy Coupon Lady helps you to get even deeper into the game by teaching you the art of extreme couponing. You’ll learn how to stack savings and where to look so you can get the items that you need the most on the cheap – or even free!

This is just the beginning, too, because this site will also keep you up to date on sales and apps that can help you save even more.

Speaking of apps, the Rakuten app is definitely one you want to add to your shopping repertoire. When you use Rakuten before you shop, you get a portion of your purchases back. 

Previously known as ebates, Rakuten has helped its members to save a collective $1 Billion in cash back from their favorite stores.

There are few things more frustrating than buying something and seeing it go on sale a week or two later – especially online where it’s hard to ask for a price adjustment. 

Camel Camel Camel helps to prevent that by showing you the price of an item on Amazon over time. Shopping through this site will let you know if you’re getting a good deal. You can even save items and create price alerts so you can keep an eye on what you want and snap it up when it does go on sale.

Everyone loves taking a vacation, but no one loves to pay for pricey hotels. Home Exchange aims to completely do away with that cost so you can travel without spending hundreds on lodging. When you become a HomeExchange member, you list your own house and then peruse the area you want to travel to. When a swap is arranged, you earn points – this way, you get to go where you want and stay for free.

If you need help with a task, but you don’t want to spend a ton on outsourcing, Mechanical Turk by Amazon has got your back. You can hire out all sorts of jobs at a fraction of the price of paying an employee.

Groupon is one of the original savings sites. Sure, sometimes the offers they have are for strange or niche things, but they also have great coupons that just about everyone can enjoy. 

The most common categories are food, experiences, and services. Sign up for their email list and you’ll receive a daily digest of what’s available.

The local library is a great place to save a couple of bucks, but they don’t always have the book you’re looking for in stock. With Paperback Swap, the whole world is your library. You can get rid of your old paperbacks, and choose from a stock of over a million titles – all you have to pay is postage. Best of all, you can keep any of the books you swapped, or relist them and start all over again.

While we’re on the topic of swapping, you don’t have to pay for anything ever again if you use Freecycle. This site helps you find a local freecycling community where people give away their unwanted goods – no strings attached. 

You can use Freecycle to find furniture, moving boxes, clothing, household items – you name it, someone’s probably giving it away.

If you’re bored and want to find something fun to do, Living On The Cheap is a blog site with tons of great ideas for cheap and free things to do in your area. 

They also have resources for just about anything you’d like to save money on. From home improvement to entertainment to health and beauty, they’ve got advice, coupons, and money saving strategies you can use right away.

Remember the good old days when you could get a phone for free? It’s not like that anymore – smartphones are coming up to the $1000 mark, and you can’t just hang on to your old freebie because they quickly become obsolete. 

That’s where Gazelle comes in. This marketplace helps you get rid of your unwanted tech items and get gently used ones at a significant discount. Just this one move can save you hundreds of dollars, so before you go to your local Apple or Android store, check Gazelle first. 

With all of these money saving resources at your fingertips, it’s never been easier to live a rich life without spending beyond your means. 

Bookmark your favorites and save them for later – you’ll be glad you did. 

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

Nilus Mattive

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Nilus Mattive

Nilus is the editor for the daily e-letter The Rich Life Roadmap and a Paradigm Press analyst.

Nilus began his professional career at Jono Steinberg’s Individual Investor Group, where he published his original research through a regular investment column. Later, he worked for a private equity business and spent five years editing Standard and Poor’s...

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