Here are 12 ways to save money with these money-savings areas.
If you’re trying to save money and cut expenses, this is a great place to start cutting expenses and save quickly. Spend wisely by using your money towards groceries to cook meals at home including breakfast, lunch, dinners, leftovers, frozen meals and packable snacks.
Grocery shopping can quickly get out of hand if you’re not shopping with a game plan. Are you menu planning and grocery shopping with a list? If you don’t, then you absolutely need to do this because you’re most likely throwing extras in your shopping basket that you don’t need. Here is a free printable weekly menu planning guide and shopping list to help you get organized for the week.
I have tried menu planning on a monthly, bi-weekly and weekly basis and for our family of five and have found that it works best for us to plan one week at a time. I go grocery shopping on Sundays to get ingredients we need for meals and snacks and before I go, I always make sure to make sure you check your pantry, fridge and freezer for items you already have and can cross off your grocery-shopping list.
Start packing a lunch for work or for the day out with your kids. That salad or sandwich is really tempting but also is a total waste of money since you’ve already paid for and have food at home. Any easy idea for lunch is to eat leftovers – instant lunch.
It’s Ok to have a Starbucks Coffee once in a while or as a treat, but when you’re swinging through the drive-through two or three times a week, that exponentially begins to add up. For example, you buy a yummy coffee twice a week at $4.50 each and by the end of the week you’ve spent $9, $36 for the month and $432 over the entire year! That’s just for coffee twice a week!
I know how yummy Starbucks and coffee shop coffee is. When I had twins, I was drinking coffee on the go several times a week, until I actually started tracking our expenses and was shocked and embarrassed by how much I was spending on coffee. Now, I buy two bags of ground coffee for $15 to brew my own coffee for the entire month and mix with coconut or almond milk. It doesn’t taste like Starbucks and it’s an acquired taste but it’s a healthier choice and smart cost-savings decision.
It’s easy to grab a bottle of water at the checkout line of a store, but instead of spending $2.00 per bottle, remember that it’s free at home. FREE.
Not loving the taste of tap water? Invest in a filtered water container system to store in your fridge. Also, invest a decent, BPA-free water bottle that you can refill at home and always have on hand so you don’t run into wanting to buy a bottle of water at the store. What’s even worse – buying a box of bottled water at the store. That $10 for a box of water that would have been free at home.
BOOKS + MAGAZINES
It’s pretty tempting to grab a magazine or two while you’re waiting at the check-out stand or order the latest book from your favorite author, but it’s a total waste of money when you can wait a few weeks and borrow them for free at your local library. Try your local library where you can borrow for several weeks at a time and are free with a library card. If the books are available, you can easily put it on hold and the library will notify you when it becomes available.
Still can’t live without a certain magazine? Get a subscription and save almost 90% off the cover price because magazines at the checkout line are the most expensive price you’ll pay anywhere.
This might be the hardest extra to give up at your house – it certainly would take a lot of convincing with my husband – but if you’re spending money on cable and looking for a quick way to cut your expenses, this is it. As long as you have an internet connection, you can subscribe to services like Netflix and Hulu that still offer current television programing and movies for as little as $8 a month. I’m pretty sure your cable isn’t that cheap, now is it.
I love a glass of wine or two, but if I’m watching my money, this is one area that can get expensive real quick. A $15 or $20 bottle of wine lasts one, maybe two nights but if you have a glass several nights a week, you’re easily looking at $80 – $160 per month. Consider cutting your consumption in half or just limit drinking to Friday and Saturday nights instead of multiple nights per week.
They may look pretty in a vase on your mantle but flowers bloom and last for a week and then they die. You are throwing away a $20 bill every time you have to dispose of a vase of flowers. Having flowers in your house look and smell great, but you can grow your own with a $1.00 packet of seeds and some patience.
If you are self-motivated and will set aside the time to work out, then having a home gym or using the outdoors to exercise, then kicking your gym membership may be a great fit for you. Hiking, biking, skating, walking and running can all be done outdoors and at no expense to your budget. If you like working out with weights or equipment, consider using a space in your home for a home gym and investing in equipment either by buying items on sale or second hand.
Dry cleaning each week can add up real fast! Invest in a decent hand steamer and get handy with the iron.
I have to literally avoid shopping at Target because I can never walk out without having made a cart full of impulse purchases and almost always, blow my budget. Do you have a store that you make most of your impulse purchases at? What about apps on your phone or websites you visit? If you’re online or on your phone, consider blocking or removing the apps so you’re not tempted to shop and buy things you don’t need.
Where do you cut expenses? Any tricks you can share with this Mom who loves to save?