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5 Ways to Save Money Using Pinterest

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With users pinning everything from fudge recipes to fashion shots, Pinterest has become a huge online influencer. The popular pinboard website had 70 million registered users as of June 2013, reports consumer insight company Semiocast.

It’s easy to get sucked in by aspirational photos of million-dollar homes or over-the-top celebrity-worthy weddings if you’re not careful, but Pinterest can also be a treasure trove of money-saving ideas, too. Alea Milham, founder of the blog Premeditated Leftovers, says she’s very strategic in how she uses the site, focusing on pins that can help her save money and avoiding the ones that feature silk throw pillows or pricey designer outfits.

Here’s how to save money using Pinterest.

1. Find do-it-yourself “pinspiration.”

Before rushing out to buy something new, search on Pinterest for ways to repurpose what you already have. Chalkboard paint is very popular on Pinterest, so Milham says she searched through pins and found instructions on making her own chalkboard paint to be used in DIY projects. She’s also found recipes for making natural cleaning products and beauty products on Pinterest.

2. Look for free printables.

Pinterest has tons of free fonts and printable cards, calendars, labels, and other items. Before a recent trip with her son, Milham searched for “airplane printables.” She printed out several line drawings of airplanes and created a mini coloring book to keep her son entertained.

3. Monitor prices.

Last summer, Pinterest introduced a new feature where it can notify you when the price of an item you’ve pinned drops. “You never know when something might go on clearance and it just happens to be in your size!” says Jenetta Penner, founder of the blog Frugal Living Mom.

4. Search for recipes.

Rather than ordering takeout or going to the grocery store for missing ingredients, Milham uses Pinterest to find recipes using the food in her cupboards and fridge. If she wanted to make cookies but doesn’t have eggs, she might search for “egg-free cookies,” for instance. “That saves me that trip to the store so I’m going to save money,” she says. “As soon as you walk into the store you’re not going to just buy the eggs.”

5. Create a “cooling off” board.

Instead of buying something on impulse when she first sees it, Milham created a secret board where she pins things she might want to buy. “Often I’ll go back and realize I really didn’t need that item,” she says. “It gives me time to think about purchases. I still feel like I did something useful because I pinned it and I know where it is.”

Image: Bunches and Bits {Karina}

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