The other day, my wife came out of the grocery store with two pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – and she didn’t even pay for it! She does that kind of thing regularly. No, I wasn’t ashamed that she had just pulled the five-finger discount on our ice cream. She had some coupons that allowed her to get the ice cream for free. Sweet! I love ice cream.

Actually, my wife gets about $275 worth of groceries each week but only pays around $125 for them. She stays home with our three girls and still makes us about $7,800 per year… by saving money. She often amazes the cashiers, other customers and ME! She even gets stores to pay her for products because her combined coupons and savings actually totaled more than the cost of the product! Wow!

As I’ve watched her perform these amazing feats of coupon agility, I’ve seen a few points (after she taught me her secrets) that can be potentially applied to your business to help you save money too:

  1. You Can’t Be Brand Loyal. Saving money is all about buying what’s on sale when it’s on sale. You don’t pick your favorites and buy it when you want it. If you do, then you are paying a higher premium to retailers for the convenience of having your wants met immediately. You have to show some restraint and buy the things that are discounted. Same for business – you may not get the brand you want, but you may get something that meets your needs. That’s good enough.
  2. Saving Money Takes Time… Just Like a Job. The cashiers and other customers often say, “How do you do that?” Well, it takes about 3 to 5 hours per week to cut coupons, follow blogs, search for online coupons and plan her grocery trips and what she’ll buy. People often want the savings, but they don’t want to put in the time it takes to create the savings. Saving money is a job for my wife… and she is good at it. Saving money in your business is one of the hats you must wear in your business.
  3. Organized People Make More Money. My wife has a huge notebook filled with all sorts of coupons in 40 different categories. And if you touch her notebook, you are going to have the wrath of the “coupon queen” come down on you. She put many hours of work into her notebook so she knows where everything is located. She can whip out a coupon on a moment’s notice and argue any cashier into fearful submission with knowledge about the store’s own coupon policies (which, of course, the cashier has not been trained in). She approaches these savings in such an organized way, she makes more money than if she just kept her coupons in a drawer somewhere and was unaware of the strategies and time it took to save money. Likewise for your business, your organizational abilities will allow you to (1) apply for loans more quickly, (2) know where your expenditures stand as compared to your budget on a daily basis, (3) pull out properly filed documentation when a client says they’ve already paid you, (4) keep from paying the same bill twice, (5) avoid late fees and penalties to governmental agencies for paying your taxes late, (6) be more prepared for upcoming client projects and payments, etc.
  4. You Earn Money When You Save Money. People often want to make more money. So they consider getting an extra job, bringing in more clients or increasing their marketing. But once you make more money, part of it goes to overhead, part goes to pay you and then you might have some left over. But if you save money instead, then every dollar you save is a dollar-for-dollar increase to the bottom line. As Ben said, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Think about how you can save money in your business today, THEN go get new clients second. You’ll make more money.
  5. Keep At It And Be Consistent. If my wife saves $150 one week, but overspends by $200 the next week, then she is down by $50 for the two week period. But the fact that she is consistent over time means her savings and knowledge one week turn into savings and knowledge the next week. And this process continues to build on itself. Savings add up over time. Saving $100 per week turns into $5,200 every year… but you have to be consistent to realize this savings. You may need to hire someone (virtual assistant, back-office help, etc.) to help you be consistent and organized in your business, but that individual may ultimately pay for themselves over time.

Can you think of any points I’ve left out? Maybe I’ll run them by my wife and see what she thinks of them.

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer