Money is a tricky thing to stay on top of.
It is so easy to have money fly out of your wallet (or bank account) and not even realize where it is going. Thankfully, there are simple ways to save money.
Below are the first little places I go to look when re-calculating my budget.
It is crazy how so many “little things” add up to huge things and suddenly, you can have hundreds of extra dollars at the end of the month to put towards savings, debt payoff or a family vacation.
1. Cut hair at home
Haircuts can become expensive- especially if you have a family of 4 or 5. Suddenly that $20 haircut each is turning into a healthy chunk of change every couple of weeks. An easy way to scale back is to buy a great pair of clippers and cut hair in the backyard.
Obviously if you have 3 daughters, this probably won’t work as well but if you have a bunch of boys- this is an easy way to cut back on some expense.
2. Compare prices at the grocery store
As a frequent at my local grocery store, I have learned a few tricks on how to save money on groceries.
- I normally buy store brand- it usually has all of the same ingredients but is priced more affordably.
- I compare the unit price. Comparing unit prices are a way to see if you’re getting the most product for money. In other words, if you’re buying laundry detergent, how much is it per ounce? The numbers will shock you.
- Take advantage of sales
- I stick to my list
- Download Ibotta- this is the modern age for coupon clipping. I have saved money from getting milk to ordering an Uber. At first, I didn’t think that the coins here and there would do anything, but my lifetime of Ibotta saves has hit a staggering amount in a short time.
3. Rescue, don’t buy from animal stores
Dogs and cats are great pets to have as companions or to add to the family.
Remember, everyone needs a home, even the older dogs and cats. When looking around for a pet, go to the shelter- they desperately need a home and they aren’t going to cost thousands to get.
It’s a win/win for everyone involved.
4. At home manicures/pedicures
A constant mani/pedi addiction will wreak havoc on your savings.
It gets incredibly pricey to be going once or twice a month to get your nails done.
Instead, buy some nice polish at the drug store and a mani/ pedi station to do it yourself. Save your splurges for something special- like a birthday, vacation or wedding you are going to.
This will help you save money and make it more appreciated when you do go to the salon.
5. Walk/ ride your bike
Riding your bike or walking is a healthier way to work in a workout into your day. It is completely free and depending on traffic, it could potentially be quicker.
6. Buy on sale- after holiday sales
Are you looking to just have some chocolate around the house?
Nothing is worse than buying yourself a big chocolate rabbit for $10 and then a few days later seeing that same rabbit on sale for $2. Hold off a few days and wait for the holiday candy sale.
7. Have emergency gifts
For years I would see my mom hoard gifts in every spare closet she had in her house and I never understood as to why.
Now, that I am an adult and am always running from one wedding shower to the next birthday party, I rarely have the time (or energy) to go look for a gift.
That’s when she told me her secret: buy gifts throughout the year and keep them hidden away. This way when you’re busy or caught off guard, you still have a gift. Also, this is a great way to take advantage of the sales you see going on.
8. Good ways to save money – Go to the local library
I feel like this is such an under-rated/ forgotten resource. Local libraries offer all kinds of free programs other than just books. Many local libraries have story time for kids, free DVD rentals and current magazines that you can checkout to read.
9. How to spend less money? – Shop at thrift stores
Every time I have gone to a thrift store, I find amazing deals. It takes a little searching for what you’re looking for, but usually you can find brand new things (with the tags on) for significantly cheaper.
10. Saving advice – Buy used books
A book is a book. As long as it isn’t colored in or pages ripped out, why waste money on a brand new book?
11. Precook your food
We all know the age old story- there is nothing to eat in the fridge so you order out. When you order out, you are more likely to order food that is overpriced and has low nutritional value.
To remedy this, when you make your favorite foods, make 2 batches and freeze one. This way when you’re hungry and feeling lazy, you are able to just pop something delicious and nutritious in the oven.
12. How to budget and save money – Make your own art
Whether you are “creative” or not, art is exactly that. Why pay hundreds or thousands of dollars on someone else’s reprinted painting.
With the amount of Youtube videos out there now a days, buy a canvas, some paint and a brush. Invite some friends over and you have a whole evening planned and at the end, you have a great, one of a kind piece of art that you can show off.
13. Skip the junk food
Pre-packaged cookies, donuts and chips are so expensive! Rather make them from scratch. It is only slightly more work than opening a bag but in the long run, it is cheaper and you know exactly what ingredients are in it.
I made homemade potato chips with this mandolin slicer tonight, I literally could not stop eating them they were so good.
14. Turn the lights off
I used to “light up the house like a Christmas tree” as my mother would say when I was growing up. I was so wasteful of electricity. Then, I started paying my own electric bill and now, if I am not in a room, I turn the lights off.
Now, you don’t need to live in a cave but if you are downstairs, do you really need the upstairs bathroom light on?
15. Do your own house/ yard work
There is a sense of pride that I feel when I have a perfectly clean house or a beautiful garden with a nicely mowed yard. Why pay someone else to do the job and get the satisfaction?
A one-time lawn mower purchase is way cheaper than paying the kid down the street $40 per cut and doesn’t even do a good job.
16. Cancel memberships
Memberships are one of the biggest things that people waste their money on. Why?
Honestly, because so many people have memberships to things that they aren’t even aware that they are paying for. A $15 subscription here and a $45 gym membership there really starts to add up month after month- especially if you aren’t going to the gym regularly.
Another idea on how to save up money is to check your credit card statement and see which memberships you can live without/ which you completely forgot about.
17. Money tricks – Shop on clearance
As an adult, nothing makes me happier than finding a new pair of jeans or a sweater on sale.
New clothes are expensive and most likely in a few months that $75 pair of jeans will be pushed to the back of your closet and forgotten about. Or you’ll find a sweater with only two weeks of cold weather left and wear it one time before swapping out your closet for your “summer” clothes.
Rather save some money and browse through the clearance rack and see if you can’t find a good deal on something.
18. Trade clothes with friends
If you want to be really crafty with your money but want some “new” clothes but thrift stores aren’t your thing, trade with your friends.
We all have that stylish friend who always has way too many shirts that they don’t wear. Suggest that they pick a few things out that they don’t want and take a look. You can do the same thing back to them.
Honestly, this is how I got “new clothes” for years. I had a friend that would bring over whole laundry baskets full of clothes and say “whatever you don’t want, just donate”. I still wear some of those shirts today.
19. Eat healthy
We all know that eating junk is not the best diet plan. You wouldn’t expect to put cheap fuel into a machine and have it work at its best function. You cannot do it with your body either. If you stick to a healthy diet, you are sure to avoid lots of unnecessary health problems.
If grocery shopping isn’t your thing, there is still hope for you! $5 meal plan puts great tasting and healthy meals together for you.
20. Trade parental duties
Being a parent is a ton of work. Emergencies happen and family members are not always available at the drop of a hat.
Make friends with at least one other parent friend who you both can lean on when stuff happens and you need someone who you can watch your kid.
If you don’t have anyone local that you can call, Care.com has great people on their team that could help you out in a pinch.
Seems simple, right? That’s because these are simple ways to save lots of money.
What do you think?
What other ways have you tried to save money?
Leave a message in the comments with your money saving ideas and tips – I’d love to see what other ways we can all save some cash.