20 Ways to Save Money Everyday. I don’t coupon. I couldn’t tell you the last time I used one, but there are tons of ways to save money on a budget without scissors and paper cuts. So here are 20 tried and true ways to save big money every, single, day.
- Make a Budget and Stick to it
I know, I know! Nobody loves the “B” word. But there is a reason it is talked about as much as it is: it’s the best way to save money. It works! We have used a budget for all the years of our marriage. We stick to it better at certain times than others but in general it keeps us on track for our saving goals. Because of the budget we are able to set some money aside every month for family vacations instead of something silly I didn’t really need. It’s not as scary as it may seem.
- Use Cash for Anything you Buy at a Store
Every month we take out Cash from our checking account for anything that we will spend at the store for the month. You got it, groceries, toiletries, clothes, etc… But we don’t lump it into one wad of cash, it is divided into categories for each type of thing we buy at stores. We have an envelope for Groceries, Clothing, Non-Grocery essentials, date money, and Family entertainment. The idea behind this is that you always know how much you have in that category to spend. If you run out then you have to wait until the beginning of the next month or if absolutely necessary you can pull from another cash envelope. It teaches the importance of spending only what you have set aside instead of just swiping a card for everything. It’s hard to save money if you always have a card to back you up.
Here is how we break down our cash. We put the bulk of it into groceries and non-grocery essentials and the rest it carefully divided up into the rest.
$30 for our date night.
$15 for clothes . That is enough to buy a new shirt for the kids, socks, or a pair of shoes as needed.
$25 for Family Entertainment. This is just enough for us to go out as a family to a cheap movie or out to eat. We almost never spend our family money. We often spend our time riding bikes and picnics at the park. Instead of using it up each month we do free activities and we let that money build up and go spend the afternoon at an indoor amusement park.
- Stretch your Stuff a Little Further
Have you heard the saying, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” What can you do to save money by stretching your products a little further? Don’t just throw it away. Turn old towels into rags, ice cream buckets into toy bins, metal juice lids into a child’s matching game. Here are a few things I do regularly to stretch it a little further. When my mascera gets lumpy I add 4 drops of contact solution into the tube and mix it really well. I will get months more use out of it. I also put hair ties around the hand soap pump to only allow a small amount of soap out at a time.
- Learn a New Skill
Want to know one of the ways to save money for the rest of your life? Learn a new skill! Learn to sew simple things like a button or fix a zipper. Learn to decorate cakes instead of buying one from the store. I have discovered one of the many blessings of having a limited supply of money is the creativity it brings out in a person. There are millions of things to learn to give you more self-reliance. Especially now that we have YouTube!
I am a bit of an addict when it comes to thrift shopping. I am in love with antiques and vintage décor, especially vintage books and suitcases. I use them to decorate my house and also for photography props. I have done it enough that I know where to find the good deals and what is a good deal. We also have a library of over one thousand books. 99% of which I found at a thrift store paying an average of sixty-five cents for them instead of $10-15 each. I find children’s shoes there often many of which will still have original store tags on them.
Another one of the best ways to save money: Get creative. My neighbor had an old head-board that they were throwing away. I asked if I could have it. After sanding and scraping and painting I made it into an awesome bench for my yard. It cost me $10 in the end. I really believe one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. If only you have eyes to see it.
- Necessity or Luxury?
Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’! You know the Jones family has issues of their own! Haha. If you don’t need it, save yourself the guilt and money by putting that hard-earned cash where you will get the most use.
- Produce – Use it or Freeze it!
Produce is the number one wasted thing on our homes. RIGHT!?! I know that is so true in mine. I get really excited about using it up when I am purchasing it at the store but it seems to get hidden in the back, lost in the fridge, or left out on the counter too long or not used quickly enough. Most of the produce we buy can be frozen. If I have a bunch of veggies I know I won’t get to I will dice them all up and put them in a freezer bag. Then I add them to a stew, chicken noodle soup or pot pie. Do the same with fruit and toss the frozen pieces in smoothies.
- Wait to Buy Expensive Stuff until a Holiday Deal
If you have a big purchase to make, wait until there is a holiday special. We just moved to a new house and for the first time needed our own lawn mower. We had Labor day coming up so let our grass grow a little longer and bought a lawn mower for $80 less during the holiday sale. You will find great deals like this at home improvement stores, electronic stores and shopping malls.
I was at the store this week. All of the fall clothes are out and Halloween is happening everywhere. But It is still warm and my girls needed sandals. So I found what was left of the summer clearance isle where I found $13 sandals for $2. I could have bought 7 pairs for the price of one just a week ago. This is why shopping out of season is fun. I bought myself and my kids each one pair of shoes for next summer (getting them a size or two bigger than they wear now) . I spent a total of $10 for 5 pairs of good sandals. This is one of the brilliant ways to save money, but it takes practice. Don’t buy things you don’t need, just because they are on clearance.
- Price Match
Best Buy, Walmart, and many other stores will price match with their competitors. I bought my laptop at Best Buy for $300 less because they price match with select companies who sell through Amazon.com. Shopping around for good deals is the best of ways to save money.
- Handy Man
I am so grateful for a smart husband who really takes pride in learning to do something himself. He has saved us thousands of dollars by repairing minor things on your vehicles. He simply types in the problem on the internet. Once he finds the proper diagnosis he will look up a youtube tutorial for fixing the issue. If it looks doable he will buy the parts he needs and will watch the tutorial again step by step. Then he has a new skill in his tool belt and we save big bucks.
- “How much will I use this?”
Asking yourself this question may save you from splurging on something you might not even use. We all have those things that sit around our house and with no real purpose. Ask yourself, “Will I truly get some good use out of it?” If the answer is yes, then it may be worth the purchase, but if you can’, then just walk away!
- Shop the Dollar Store
I mean a real $1 store. There is definitely some junk at the dollar store but there are tons of TREASURES! Here are my favorite things to buy at dollar store and never buy these things anywhere else. Nail polish, stickers, popsicle sticks, hot glue sticks, coloring books, puzzles, Velcro, super glue, beads, hair ties, paper party supplies, bandaids, first aid kits supplies, and so many more things! All of this stuff at Walmart for $2-4 each. You are saving a lot of money.
- Meal Plan
We have 14 family favorite meals that we eat regularly. I put them on the calendar leaving every other day blank because I love to make enough for at least one day of left overs. I am happy to have home cooked meals every day, but even happier that half the days I just have to warm it back up. Next to the meal calendar I have the grocery list that I add to as I run out of something. I know that around the same time next month I will need these groceries again. Also knowing my meals ahead of time keep those ingredients in my mind as I look through the weekly ads.
- Not on the List, Not Going in the Cart
It is an accomplishment itself sometimes to make a grocery list instead of just wandering the isles looking for what your tummy wants. But making a list throughout the week and sticking to only what you have on the list will save you so much money. Throwing items into your cart that weren’t on your list will add up to be more than you were planning on and will throw off your budget and menu. So make a list and stick to it.
- Talk to Your Spouse about Bigger Purchases
We decided a long time ago that if we had something we were going to purchase that was more than $25 we would talk to each other first. This is not to ask for permission but as a couple deciding if it is something you need or really could use, or if it is a good deal. My husband doesn’t know if a lot of household type things are a good deal or good quality but I do. And when it comes to tools or fixing things I don’t know what is a good brand or if we already have it.
- Buy it Used
Something that we have done a lot of lately is buying and selling on apps like Offer up, KSL Classified, and letgo. We have gotten rid of a lot of stuff and found some really great quality furniture. We bought a microfiber Ashley Furniture sectional for $200 that was a few years old. We have now owned it for 7 years and it still looks as great as it did when we first got it.
- Make Eating out an Occasional Thing
When you go out to eat for a date or even with that family. It is so rare that we eat out at a restaurant, that our kids have a little celebration when we go to Chick-fil-a. They love it and it makes it feel like a special family trip, instead of part of a routine. We also save a ton of money by not eating out. I have a friend who goes out with her family of 4 to dinner at least 3 times a week and spends over $500 in a month just on dinner. That is nearly all my grocery money for the month for my family of 6. That is CRAZY to me! And when you do go out, share a meal. Too many times my husband and I go to dinner before our movie, and stuff ourselves, then feel ill during the film. Not worth it. Portions are huge at most restaurants and you will feel better, have more money in your pocket and might even have a little room for popcorn.
- Pay It Off Early
Now with all that money you have saved by doing the other 19 things, save yourself some big money on interest by making extra payments on your debt and get them paid off. We just finished paying off our Graduate school debt and there is nothing more exciting that freeing yourself from your lender and feeling that ownership is yours.
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