One-Month Clutter Challenge: Day One

As readers of this blog will know, I sell on eBay and Kijiji as well as other platforms items I already own, in order to clear the clutter and pay the mortgage, at the same time. Both are good for my wife and I’s sanity and peace of mind. We find the amount of stuff that we have accumulated throughout the years to weigh tremendously, not only physically cluttering our home but also mentally.

For the month of April, we are determined to kick it up a notch not only by selling unwanted goods, but also by pledging not to purchase anything that is not food or gas for the car, and that, for the entire month. This means we can do groceries, even in bulk at Costco, but we’re not buying anything we cannot eat. If I run out of body wash, I will finally have to use the small bars of soap I’ve pilfered from hotel rooms 10 years ago!

The goal here is start making a dent on the volume of our physical belongings, which can be overwhelming, and that’s not even counting the warehouse. With nothing coming in for a month and stuff going out, hopefully at an accelerated pace, we should be able to see a visible difference!

This will be tougher than it looks. We are conditioned and encouraged to purchase AT EVERY TURN.

We picked the month of April because no one in the immediate family has a birthday, so no gifts to buy and no parties to attend, and Christmas expenses from last year are all taken care of.

Every few days I’ll be posting an update here about how we are doing, how much money we spend and on what. There could be exceptions, of course. For example, we will buy medication if so required, as well as hygiene products if such are needed, but we shop at Costco, so we should be pretty set already.

Can you take the One-Month Clutter Challenge as well? Let me know in the comments below what you think of my project, and you’d be game to try. I’ll be sharing some exact numbers in the days ahead.

4 Easy Ways to Save Like Crazy at Costco

Costco Wholesale store

At The Lively Dollar, we LOVE Costco! There’s everything we need, and the value is always incredible. Here are a few tips to help you save a little bit more. These are techniques that we use every week, and there is nothing sneaky about them, Costco actually WANTS you to take advantage of these. You’ll be happy, because you save more, and so will Costco, because you’ll be in the store more often!

Use your Executive Coupons

One of the easiest ways to save at Costco without racking your brains is to use your Executive coupons! Unlike the coupons you receive at the door from the friendly people in red vests that greet you, Executive coupons are received at home, and must be presented to the cashier in order to receive the savings. They are only for Executive Members! If you do not have the Executive level membership, just upgrade – it costs more, but you can save tons just on the coupons, way more that the actual cost of the membership.

Some coupon booklets are sponsored by Procter & Gamble. These guys make everything we use, so it’s real easy to save – think toothpaste, deodorant, laundry detergent, et cetera. Others are sponsored by Kirkland Signature (Costco’s house brand) so you can get everything from frozen beef patties to coffee and more.

Buy Costco Gas

Buying gas at Costco is an easy to pay for your membership, and more, even without setting foot in the warehouse! Let’s say you buy 50 liters of gas a week, at an average savings of 5 cents a liter; you would save $130 a year. Doesn’t look like much, but you’ve just paid for your Executive membership at Costco! If you have the regular Gold Star membership, you’ve put $70 in your pocket! Try to time your gas fill-ups with your Costco runs so that you don’t waste time or fuel.

Buy Weekly Specials in Bulk

Except under very special circumstances, there are no buying limits at Costco. There is no “Limit per Customer’. Feel free to buy the whole pallet if you want! That’s why you should always stock up on regular specials – the ones that they hand at the door when you walk in. If you plan and purchase judiciously, you can make it so that items on special are the only ones you buy! You could cut 10% to 25% off of your bill every time, and that’s nothing to sneeze at!

Shop for Discounted and Clearance Items

Did you ever notice items that are priced ending in .97? Those are clearance items. Assuming that it’s something you would have bought anyways, you can safely stock up on these. Costco is clearing them out to make room for something else, and they are priced to move. We’ve seen savings of up to 90% on those, so know your stock, and your prices, and you can really save big!

In Conclusion

These are four ways to save on each and every one of your Costco runs. Do you have a favorite way to save at Costco? Tell us in the comments below!