7 tips to spend less without using coupons

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Millennials Need to Save More, Spend Less
If you're looking to cut back on your spending in 2016 but you don't want to dig into coupons, then these ideas can help you:

1. Exercise from home.
So many people join the gym at this time of year but fail to consistently show up. The hype of the new year draws people in and drains their wallets. Unless you get your money's worth on a regular basis, consider working out at home. Running and walking are free. So are random workout videos on YouTube. Look up Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, Insanity and more to try out a digital fitness sampler to see what's right for you completely gratis.

2. Ditch cable.
The average American watches roughly five hours of television daily. Unless television is your bestie and you're tied at the hip with the tube, consider calling it quits on your relationship. This can free up cash in your budget and allow you to spend more time doing other things. If you can't bear the thought of ditching it all together, look into downgrading your service.

3. Embrace beverages.
While many people have ditched purchasing expensive coffee from the coffee shops on a daily basis after discovering how it can severely throw your spending into a tizzy, why not bring it back on less frequently and give it special treat status? You'll potentially have a newfound appreciation for it and you can actually sit down at the coffee shop, and catch up with an old friend.

If you're not motivated by java, you can also meet a friend out for a quick drink, getting one or two reasonably priced beers can still be cheaper than an entree. You can also catch up on the latest sporting events and hang out in a lively atmosphere for less. If you want to go the non-alcoholic route, smoothies and shakes are popular, too.

RELATED: Money-saving online shopping hacks
Money-saving online shopping hacks
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7 tips to spend less without using coupons

1. Clear your browser history

Some retailers might sneakily increase prices based on your browsing patterns and demand - so make sure to always clear your history and cookies before shopping! 

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2. Use an alternate email address

When you log in to a retailer's site with a new email address, retailers will often welcome you as a new customer with exciting new promotions and discounts. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

3. Note price changes throughout the week

Another pro tip: Prices and deals can fluctuate based on the day of the week. For instance, if you're purchasing a flight, monitor prices for around a week to see if they take a dip on any particular day before purchasing. 

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4. Let items linger in your cart

Here's a hack: Add items to your cart, but let them sit for 24 hours before purchasing. The retailer might attempt to lure you back with additional discounts.

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5. Check out multiple sites

Do some research! Don't settle for the first price you see - poke around on a search engine and find the best deal. 

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6. Bargain with customer service

Use customer service to your advantage. If you ask (politely!) about an expired coupon, you'll often find yourself pleasantly surprised by an extension or new code! 

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7. Don't purchase impulsively

Try this shopping hack - don't buy that shiny, new toy right away. Step away for a few hours, and if you find yourself itching to go back and click 'purchase', then you know you won't regret your investment!

Photo credit: FogStock

8. Avoid shipping fees

Take advantage of free shipping! If you are a few dollars below the free shipping price point, add a low-cost filler item you need anyway (like socks!) and make the math work out in your favor. 

Photo credit: Alamy


4. Get your just desserts.
While eating an entree or meal out is enjoyable, consider heading out after a meal from home and just get dessert. It no longer has to be the caboose of your dining out plans and can be the main focus of your meet up.

If you normally spend $100 each weekend eating out, that is roughly $400 a month. If you made a plan to just get dessert, you can easily just spend $10 for two people each weekend and that would only cost about $40 a month. You would drastically reduce your spending and would still have something fun to do. You can free up $360 just by switching what you order.

5. Dining out.
If you dine out every week, consider scaling back. Try to cut how much you spend in half or cut the amount of times you visit in half. You can also reduce your bill by ordering water and skipping dessert. You can try going out for breakfast or lunch which tend to cost less than dinner. It's cheaper to seek out restaurants that don't have a wait staff, too. You can sit and eat without having to spend extra on a tip.

6. Be a loner at the mall.
I also suggest shopping alone. I found that I spent more money when shopping with others. If they saw a great deal, I wanted to get that deal, too. I'm also guilty of buying things that may have been on sale, but weren't in my budget. Others may also not care about your financial goals and coax you on into buying something you wouldn't have.

7. Get your head straight.
Henry Ford once said, "If you think you can or think you can't, you're right."

Linda P. Jones, also known as America's Wealth Mentor, believes this quote applies to money and your mindset about it. If you have to use alternative ways to cut back, then so be it.
Couponing and deals still rank supreme in the frugal shopping sphere, but it still pays to think about spending less in other ways. Prioritize what you spend and decide to cut back without compromising your lifestyle too much. Carefully consider what social plans you say yes to and use the tips mentioned as a guide.

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