We tend to not exactly stay in budget during Christmas/Winter time; parties, eating out, Christmas gifts! But now I am so ready to start being frugal again and save money. With birthdays coming up, summer and vacations. It just makes me feel so much better challenging myself to save and finding ways to get around spending money. Call it reverse shopping therapy! Truly saving/budgeting is so rewarding and not only when you look in your bank account!
Here are 17 ways we cut spending and save money each month;
- Dryer sheets. Cut (or tear) each one in half and only use a half, for even a full load. That’s all you really need.
- Make coffee at home. Very simple. Most coffee pots even have the option to preset the night before or if you like iced coffee there are some amazing recipes online to make ahead in a pitcher and store in the fridge for the week. Love the flavors from the coffee shop? They now sell so many options at the stores and even in the shops.
- Cable! Nah, save money and the hassle of dealing with the cable company. Over the past 5 years we have had cable for probably 2 seasons and we’re doing just fine ;) But seriously having cable is such a huge expense in my opinion, an expense that you absolutely don’t need. SO many ways to get around not having cable! Want to watch the news or a certain tv show? Most you can find on the internet, just look on the channels website. Even sports games! If you just like to have something to turn on and watch. Just naming a few; Amazon prime(about $100 a year), Hulu, or our favorite Netflix less than $10 a month you can find so many great shows and movies, new ones even. And it’s very easy to cancel just a click away, non of the hassle you’d get from canceling a cable membership.
- New movies at the library! I’ve been doing this for years, so many times I find brand new movies I was just going to rent at the Red Box and find them for FREE at the library. That’s right free and you get them for a whole week. I’ll let you in on a little secret that took me a while to learn ;) You can either place holds on the movies, movies that are not out yet on DVD just search “on order” and place a hold and wait for it to come to you! OR my favorite way, no this doesn’t guarantee you get that certain movie you are looking for but it is a fun surprise to see what you find and usually you will find at least one new movie. Arrive at the library right when they open, go straight to the movie section and start browsing, browse as quick as you can, best days to go Monday-Friday. Usually you will find a great selection!
- Grocery store rewards program! Why not sign up (one time thing) for your local grocery stores reward program, free and you just need your phone number to earn points. I shop a lot at Fred Meyers, they have everything from food to clothes – they are my favorite reward program. I get sent coupons in the mail, I can go online and load coupons to my reward card (no need to print them out), earn gas points (the other day I received 70 cents off each gal of gas), and the best part every couple months I earn a rewards rebate -like cash in the store (my latest was for $42)!!
- Meat can be a huge expense for your food budget, two easy ways to save a little money. 1) have a meatless dinner night once a week 2) use only half the meat you normally do in the recipe
- Whenever you leave the house, especially with children. DO NOT forget to grab food/water, it will definitely save you from stopping some place for those hungry bellies when they occur.
- When shopping for groceries, do not shop on an empty stomach you will definitely pick up at least one junk/extra thing you don’t really need AND don’t go in without a grocery list and really stick to it – unless you see an item that you regularly buy on clearance or sale.
- Pack a lunch! This applies to everyone, adults and children. A packed lunch will always be the best option. Not only will it save you money but you control what goes in it, lunch needs to be able to last you until dinner.
- A huge saving for us, all of you as well. Meal planning. I meal plan once a week, it definitely saves us from that feeling of not knowing what’s for dinner so a quick take out dinner it is. Just by planning your meals, writing them down, sticking to your grocery list, really saves a lot of money. If you want to go even further do all that, plan meals around what’s on sale at your grocery store.
- Generic brands! Did you know a lot of companies not only have those popular name brand items but store brands as well? So, either do some research to find what stuff you can buy the generic brand and it’s the same or start testing products yourself. You can TRULY save a ton of money by just buying the generic/off brand! For a while I was buying organic milk until I found out that Fred Meyers Mountain Dairy brand milk is free of rBST and for like $2 cheaper.
- If it’s a better price to buy in bulk and you’ll go through it or it’s non perishable, do it.
- Don’t be ashamed to shop at a discount world or wherever to save you money. Call me a cheapo, that’s okay :) I am not ashamed to say if a store is ridiculously priced or that I shop at so and so. Truly the ones who should be ashamed are people who pay twice as much as they should be.
- Try a month of No Fast Food, your body and wallet will thank you.
- Buy clothing at the end of the season sales, GREAT deals! This is what I’ve been doing for my kid since he was a baby, it’s very easy figure out children’s sizes and will save tons.
- Check out outlet department stores, stores near us are Burlington Coat Factory, TJMaxx, Ross, Marshalls. Find everything from clothing to household items.
- Dollar store! Party supplies, the number 1 thing you should buy at the Dollar Store and no where else. Same party supplies for $2 or more at the party store!