Let’s jump right in with a small handful of simple ways to save money!
These are simple things that I’ve done myself over the years, enough that I rarely think about them anymore. Once frugal living, or living on a budget, becomes your norm, it’s almost kind of difficult to create a list!
Just getting started? Check out these few ways to save some money:
90% of the clothing our household buys is used. For me personally, it’s more like 98%. I love thrift stores!
Our dishwasher broke, but I’m not buying a new one until we’re out of debt. We wash dishes by hand.
We have never cut cable because we’ve never had cable. We did cut Netflix this year. During the school year, we don’t watch it enough to justify the cost.
We’ve not skipped salon visits, because we don’t go to the salon. Never really have.
We go out to eat once a month (usually somewhere cheap like In N Out). We take each other out to eat on our birthdays.
For meat, we generally eat chicken or pork since it tends to be much cheaper. I buy boneless skinless chicken breasts in bulk when they are on sale for $0.99 per pound.
We will occasionally buy a nicer cut of meat from Smith’s when they mark the price down.
We go to the movies 2-3 times a year. My son doesn’t like movies so it’s not hard to stay home. 🙂
We use the library for any book reading, CD listening to, and occasional movies.
Once a year at the end of the year my local libraries hold a clearance sale. It’s “Fill a Bag for $1” and I will usually fill a bag with cookbooks, self-help, gardening, etc style books to keep.
We grow an heirloom garden and save the seeds from year to year to help cut down costs.
When gardening, we generally buy seeds to save money. There is a local nursery we’ll hit during their last week open because they discount plants to an extreme in an effort to clear out.
With our garden, we can our own salsa, spaghetti sauce, and grape juice. We haven’t bought salsa in years. Last year I grew a lot of basil and dried it out. I just ran out, so I know what I need to grow more of next year! 🙂
In the winter I keep the heat down really low while the kids are at school. I work from home so I bundle up while home alone. When they’re home we generally keep it at 67 degrees, unless someone is sick or it’s Christmas or something.
I use a zero-based budgeting app to budget every penny. During the savings challenge, I put every extra penny into savings. For this year I’m focusing on our debt, so every extra penny will go there.
I used to use the cash/envelope system (before COVID). Every month I would pull out $500 of cash. It goes into our different envelopes. The grocery envelope gets an allotment, as does the car gas envelope. We have envelopes for medical (co-pays), restaurant, school, gifts, auto care, home & garden, etc. When the envelope is empty, we don’t spend in that category, unless we’re willing to take money from another category’s envelope.
I hope these ideas get your creative juices flowing. Let’s start saving!