Makayla Ballman’s FAVE 3 ways to save money

Growing up, before my dad worked at a distribution center (and later retired), he was a farmer (wheat, corn, tobacco) and my mom was a bus driver. We live in rural Meade County, about 20 minutes from the nearest large grocery store. As payday came for my dad, that also meant most of the hard earned money was gone within a few hours. As a bus driver, mom only got paid once a month. Money was tight most of the time and we learned to live without some of life's luxury items. My mom and I would always go grocery shopping together. And to this day, one of my favorite things to do with my mom is grocery shop. She taught me the tips, tricks and ways to always crunch pennies, because back then, those pennies could have meant the difference between having electric or not having electric. I'm thankful the constant days about worrying for money are over, but those days also taught me to appreciate the little, and the big things in life.

So, here are my FAVE 3 ways to save money. Enjoy!

Don't be ashamed to use coupons!

I do most, if not all of my grocery shopping at Kroger. First off you need a Kroger card if you want the really good deals. Once you’ve got that (just signup for one at the service desk) create an account online and clip digital coupons to your card. They’ve got hundreds. Once you start shopping, they’ll also start to mail you coupons based on your previous purchases. They cater those physical coupons to what you purchase instore, so you save even more money on the items you already buy. They also send out magazines with coupons and recipes too. Those e-coupons can also get you 2X or 4X the fuel points, which is great because every dollar spent at Kroger = 1 point. Every 100 points is 10 cents off a gallon of gas. Not only are you saving money on your groceries, you’re also saving money on gas! Seriously, if you don’t shop at Kroger, you’re spending too much money on groceries.

Check out Kroger's Digital Coupons

Choosing generic chips over name brand could save your some money in the long run.

Go generic

Like I side earlier, we didn’t always get the luxuries in life. If you’re looking to save a buck or two, buy generic items! I grew up on generic and still buy generic. Store brand soda rather than Coke or Pepsi, store brand cheese insted of Kraft or Sargento, store brand chips instead of Lays. You get where I’m going with this. Unless you absolutly can’t part with the name brand (mine is Kraft Sweet Honey BBQ sauce) buy the generic or store brand. They’re often times much cheaper (and if you use Kroger, most of the coupons are for store brands which are really good) and they taste just the same, or often times even better than name brand.

If you shop at stores that offer reward programs, sign up for them. You get rewarded for shopping!

Reward systems

If you’re shopping there anyway, you might as well sign up for the rewards. Stores will reward you for shopping at their store. If you frequent a store often, like Walgreens, Amazon, Macy’s, or Kohls sign up for their rewards programs. Every time you shop, you earn points that are redeemable. Even major credit cards like Discover or an Amazon Rewards Card gives you points every time you swipe your card. I also use a couple of apps as well, called Shopkick and Ibotta. Shopkick gives you “kicks” or points every time you walk into a store. If you scan a barcode of certian items you also get the points. If you purchase the item, you get even more points. Just choose what your prize is, rack up enough points to redeem that prize and that’s it. I’m currently stacking points for an Amazon gift card. Ibotta gives your money back if you purchase what they’ve got on their app. All you have to do is take a photo of your receipt and they’ll give you your money back, when it gets to a certian ammount. The only bad thing…it’s all name brand items.