Saving money is hard to do. But you want to kind of…and you need to. Only problem is where to start. If it were so easy, you’d already be doing it. There are a ton of ways on how to save money.
Here are fifteen ways that I use to save money.
Of course the list could longer, but I wanted to give you a starting point of some normal every day stuff that you have complete control of and can manage easily.
Limit the number of pets you have
If money is an issue and you’re struggling to pay your bills, it seems strange to have 4 dogs, 3 cats and a hedgehog. I can hear someone saying “but they’re family and I’m not giving them up”.
I hear what you’re saying, they’re a priority.
I’m only giving you suggestions on how to save money which translated: stop paying $200 a month on pet food if your family is suffering financially.
2. Track your spending using a budget app
This could really open your eyes to where you’re money is going. Unless you keep every receipt and write down every expense, do you really even remember where all you spend money?
There are free apps just check out these examples
If you don’t want to use an app, at least go online and print out your debit amounts. Going to Walmart, CVS and Dairy Queen every other day will eat up your money before you have a chance to say goodbye to it.
3. Quit Smoking or Dipping Snuff
In Virginia, a pack of cigarets cost about $4. But that super low price is because it’s the tobacco-growing state. What are you coughing up every time you buy a pack? Isn’t it close to $7 in most places now?
So if you’re a disciplined and only smoke up to a pack a day that’s just $50 a week, $200 a month and $2400 a year. That figure didn’t include tax. So instead of making a car payment or saving up for something awesome like a house, you’re smoking. OK!
4. Money-saving apps like Walmart savings catcher and Ibotta
Walmart is the closest store to me which is why it’s such a big deal when I use the savings catcher. So to be clear, this is what I want to do: shop, use my coupons, use my Walmart savings catcher and then finish with Ibotta.
The savings really start to build quickly and you can cash out the Walmart money at any time.
5. Shop at thrift stores for clothes.
My favorites are the Salvation Army and ThredUp. (my affiliate signup link) I chose the Salvation Army over Goodwill because they hold themselves more accountable to the public and are more transparent. They have a great staff and locations everywhere.
My best find was a vintage looking Coca-Cola T-shirt. Did you know they have great furniture and housewares?
The ThredUp store is an online thrift store that offers brand-name clothes for women and children. What ThredUp doesn’t advertise right away, and they really should, is all the awesome brand-name purses. Some still have their tags on them.
Coach lover? I’ve bought two already.
6. Use the library.
I’m the first to admit, I totally underutilized the public library. Besides free children’s programs, they have computers, printers and of course all the books you could ever read.
Instead of buying that $20 hardback book, go to your local library and check it out. Did you know that some libraries also have DVD’s and audiobooks to you? Skip Redbox and go rent your movies from the library.
At some of the bigger libraries, they also offer various classes or tutorials for adults all free of charge except maybe for the cost of supplies.
7. Cut cable.
After much haggling with our cable company, we canceled our service. At first, I was really sad about it because it meant I wouldn’t get the newest shows of HGTV or Walking Dead. We bought an antenna so we could get the local news and we subscribe to Netflix.
The Netflix we access through an Apple TV device that we bought from Best Buy. We saved over $1000 the first year, even after buying the antenna and Apple TV box. Just knowing we fired our cable company gives me great satisfaction and saving $1000 the first year is the icing on the cake.
It’s been three years since we had cable so it brings our money saved to $3400. That’s significant right!
8. Cancel gym membership.
I did the whole gym thing a couple of times. The last go round, I rationalized that it had free childcare. After my baby became really sick three separate times for three months in a row, I stopped going.
Canceling the membership was easy though. There was a no-fault cancellation policy but because I didn’t follow the right steps and stay diligent about checking on it, I was auto charge for several more months.
I’m almost positive they were glad to let me quit but still wanted the monthly fee. I’ve discovered walking around my neighborhood is much more enjoyable for me and is free.
9. Limit the number of toys for your children.
We very rarely buy toys for my son. He’s two and doesn’t need a toy every pay-day. He has grandparents they are very generous and buy him plenty of stuff on gift-giving holidays.
Resist the urge to buy something every time you go to the store. If you just can’t help yourself because Walmart has got the newest thing, shop somewhere else. Limit the number of toys to keep the clutter under control too.
Your children don’t really need the latest $50 gadget, I promise.
10. Stop eating out so much.
Consider why you’re eating out? Is this a special occasion or are you craving Chipotle? I’m not telling you to stop eating out completely, but if you’re going to restaurants more than your refrigerator, you might be wrecking any chance of ever saving any money.
I make a homemade version of Chipotle’s burrito-bowl that in my opinion is far superior to theirs. Do I like being cooked for with no cleanup, sure I do. But I’m not going to eat out three times a week and spend up to $60 of what could have been part of my grocery budget.
11. Don’t grocery shop hungry.
Oh man, I’ve ruined plenty of weekly grocery budgets by forgetting to eat a little something before I went shopping. You’ve done it too.
You’ll come home with all kinds of stuff you probably didn’t need because your eyes and stomach started screaming they were starving. And now my famous; I’ll just buy it this once. Ha ha, that’s how Doritos end up in my buggy right next to the boxes of Little Debbies and Nilla wafers.
It would be one thing if I had all that for a dinner party. Nope, blew the budget by 30 bucks and it all was eaten up by the end of the week, not cool.
12. Refuse to buy junk food.
This is the quickest way to screw up a budget and a diet. Empty calorie foods are easiest to find at the store. And not just in stores, your fast food places are the same thing.
My big junk-food must-have was a little snack cake called Banana Twins. If the store had them, I was buying them. So for the price of a bag of apples, I was buying high calorie junk food. Since I wasn’t sharing them, it was even more of a waste.
Know your triggers. Maybe you just stop going down the aisle with potato chips in it. Stop buying junk-food and your grocery bill will be much lower.
13. Eat leftovers.
How many husbands, boyfriends or kids want to refuse eating leftovers? Nip that in the bud. Really, wrap up your leftovers from supper for lunch the next day or freeze it for another day.
You can save a fortune by cooking a little extra and saving it for another time. Plus, it’s a great way to give you a break in the kitchen.
No cooking and minimum cleanup are the highlight of my day. It’s like I gained three hours of time.
14. Don’t use expensive hair products.
Unless you’re advised by a doctor to use something specific, stop using the high dollar shampoo and conditioners. I’ve never been able to tell the difference in any products I’ve ever used except the price.
The pricey stuff is banking on the fact that people have the “you get what you pay for mentality”. And while this is true to a certain extent, I’m not sure how some companies can charge $20 for a bottle of shampoo and not go out of business.
I’ve used Suave almost exclusively for the last five years and my hair is just fine. Suave is about $3 for the economy size.
One more tip for you is, you don’t need a quarter cup of shampoo to wash your hair, you’re wasting it if you use more than a silver dollar size dollop.
15. Drink water.
Yes water. Replace all your other drinks with good old-fashioned water. I can hear the groans now. I hate the taste of tap-water. How do I know water from my sink is safe to drink? But I like bottled water.
Don’t buy your water, that defeats the purpose of replacing the other high dollar drinks. If you’re worried about your water quality, buy a Britta filter. It’ll pay for itself after two grocery trips.
Also, investing in a reusable water bottle will help long-term save you money. An added bonus to this is: you’re saving on calories too.
Let’s recap on all the 15 ways to save money.
1. Limit the number of pets you have
2. Track your spending using a budget app
3. Stop smoking or dipping snuff
4. Use money-saving apps like the Walmart Savings Catcher or Ibotta
5. Shop at thrift stores
6. Utilize your library
7. Cut cable service
8. Cancel your gym membership
9. Curb the number of children’s toys
10. Refrain from eating out too often
11. Don’t shop hungry
12. Refuse to buy junk food
13. Eat leftovers
14. Try cheaper hair products
15. Drink water
Make a list and prioritize what you’re willing to cut out and what you’re not. Try making small changes at first and then see how much you can accept.
Changing shampoos might be a big deal to you but I just want you to try it. If you have the internet, you can still watch TV if you discontinue your cable service and start using an HDMI cable tethered to your laptop.
Start somewhere and see how it helps your budget. Learn by making mistakes, that just means you’re trying. This is a process not an overnight band-aid. You will be successful if you make the effort. Come on now, I’ve got complete faith in ya 🙂