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Tip: Never go to the grocery store hungry.

It’s a simple rule to keep from over-buying and one sure to keep you from blowing the week’s budget on cravings at your local grocer.  But, aside from controlling your appetite as you peruse the baked goods aisle, there are a seemingly infinite number of ways to help control your spending and stretch your dollar a bit further.

Don’t be hasty in your online purchases.  There are a lot of online retailers that offer free shipping for purchases over a certain dollar amount.  This can be a great deal, but, before clicking to finalize your purchase, be sure to shop around.  Not all deals are created equally.  The cost of some items may be raised to accommodate for the ‘Free’ shipping.  Make it a habit of checking other sites to see if a similar item of same quality can be found at a lower price with free or lower shipping costs.

Take advantage of retail club memberships and actually use the discounts.  All households require paper towels, toilet paper and infinite bottles of ketchup and mustard—buy in bulk.  You’ll not only save over the long-run on items like these, you’ll also save yourself a few trips to the store for these staples.  Along with most retail club memberships come discounts with partner companies and local and national services.  Your $40 annual membership could land you even deeper discounts on entertainment like theme park passes and savings on cellular, television, optical, vacation package and much more.  And speaking of memberships, if you’re not using gym or other club memberships, cancel them.  You’re unnecessarily spending money each month on services you’re not using that could be used elsewhere.

Talk with your home insurance company about bundling services.  If you’re paying home owner’s, renter’s, auto and life insurance through multiple agencies, consider bundling these policies with one company.  Often times, because one company is gaining a large amount of your business, you’ll not only receive discounts on the rates you pay, but some companies will offer an additional discount when you choose to set up automatic payments or choose to receive an e-statement vs. paper statement.

High-rate loans, credit cards and fee-heavy checking accounts are like a black hole for extra cash.  Slim down your loan and credit card rates and be sure you’re not paying fees to participate in these services while you’re at it.  You should never pay for services like online banking and bill pay.  Make sure you and your family members are taking full advantage of our low interest loan solutions and our no-fee and direct deposit checking accounts.  Ask us today how you can transfer these services to MembersFirst.

Is it really necessary to have the highest or fastest level of internet, television and mobile service plans?  Think about the channels you really watch or need.  Consider downgrading your plan with the cable company and turn certain entertainment packages on and off when you need them.  If you’re a big football fan, turn on the sports package just during the season.  For mobile users, ask your provider what your average data use is and go with a plan that’s just above your average.  You may even want to talk with these providers or find a new one which offers money-saving bundling packages for these services.

What are some of the ways you and your family make your money go even further?  Let us know in the comments below.  While you’re here, read up on other money-savings ideas, budgeting tips and ways to protect your information and finances.

Don’t forget joining a Credit Union is a GREAT way to cut back on unnecessary expenses like monthly fees and high interest… we just so happen to know a great one.