15 Simple Ways To Save Money

15 Simple Ways To Save Money

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I have dreams of shelves lined with stockpiles of shampoo and tomato sauce…

Maybe one day I will reach my dream of becoming an extreme couponer, but right now I can barely remember to bring along the few coupons that I do clip.  So to make up for my lack of effort in the couponing department I have found other ways to save money on our single income.

These are some easy {coupon free} ways to save your family money:

Choose store brands  

Generics are a great way to save money. In all honesty, there are a few name brands that I won’t budge on (Dawn will always be my one and only dish soap), but I’d say a good 90% of our pantry is full of Aldi and Walmart store brands.

There’s no Jolly Green Giant veggies in this house… that’s right, there’s no shame in my green bean game.

Meal planning

There are so many different ways to organize and schedule your meals. No matter which method you use, the main idea is to plan your meals out for at least the week and you will inevitably save money. You will save by only buying what you need for the week’s meals and snacks.

You’ll also save money on gas since you will only be making one trip to the grocery store instead of a couple stops throughout the week for missed and forgotten items. 

Check out my Sticky Meal Planning Method and grab your own printable meal planner right here!

Get the full 200+ page 2019-2020 Homeschooling To Homemaking Life Planner here!

Save plastic containers

Build up your cool whip and sour cream container stockpile! I have never purchased real Tupperware, and very rarely will I buy reusable containers – but when I do I get these. Our leftovers go right into (cleaned out) margarine containers.

Using these stylish containers saves money, makes sending leftovers home with guests worry free, and best of all they make finding the container with leftovers like a game of memory to see which container really contains margarine!

Eliminate disposables

See how to easily cut disposables from your shopping list and save $600 a year!

Cut your sponges in half 

I eliminated a lot of disposables in my quest to save money, but I’m ready to eliminate sponges. So to make them last longer (without growing new strains of mold) I snip them down the middle and tada… two for one sponges every time! I didn’t even use a calculator for that math problem.

Stop buying convenience freezer foods

Hot Pockets, burritos, pizzas, frozen PB&Js, TV dinners… all of these and more can easily be made from scratch and frozen for a fraction of the cost. Trust me, you can make them taste wayyy better and with much less processed stuff! Not to mention save yourself some money.

Change the way you buy meat 

Support your local farmer and save some moo-lah! Beef and pork tastes so much better when you buy it freshly butchered. It’s also a lot cheaper per pound. Our farmer cuts and wraps the meat to fit our needs. Then we simply freeze it until we are ready yo use it.

Another way to save money on meat is to buy bulk packages at your local grocery store. Break the large packages down into Ziplocks and freeze for later use.

Honest Momma Moment: I looove buying reduced meat at the grocery store. I found out what day of the week our grocery store marks down their meat and I make a point to stock up once a month. They take off up to $3 a package and that can bring the cost down to less than $1/lb! The meat isn’t spoiled, it’s just getting close to the sell by date. I take it home, re-wrap it, and toss it in the freezer.

Grow a garden 

I have very basic skills in the gardening area. But there are some plants out there that are super easy to grow, even for the unskilled like me.

This year we planted: zucchini, beef steak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, watermelon, basil, and parsley. All of these were baby plants were purchased for $20 at Lowe’s and they provided around $100 worth of produce… more than enough to share with neighbors!

Learn to can 

This will allow you to make the most of your gardening venture as well as making the most of your visit to the local you-pick farms. Strawberries and apples are our faves and they are great for beginner canners.

Invest in a few different sizes of mason jars, both wide mouth and regular. Like these Ball pint jars.

And they are definitely an investment because you can reuse the jars next canning season, use them for glassware, and of course for crafting! I used them as a main theme in our family friendly baby shower for Bubby, super cute!

Stop buying small trash can bags

Save and reuse your store bags for bathroom trash cans – I love the self checkout aisles because I double bag our groceries and grab a few extra bags without being judged by the cashier when I ask for extra bags. 

photo credit: memes.com

Recycle 

It’s not just good for the environment, but it’s easy on the wallet too! Recycling isn’t a requirement in the little borough we live in, so we didn’t start to recycle until last year. At that time we had a financial situation where I had to look at our spending and cut corners where ever possible.

And when your budget is shaped like an oval it’s very challenging to find corners to cut. But one of the small changes I was able to make was to buy the cheap store brand trash bags. I can’t stuff them like you can the stretchy bags, but they do the job. This made me become picky with what I actually put in the bags.

This is where the recycling came into play. Milk gallons and water bottles take up a lot of real estate in the trash so by simply recycling these, as well as cans and boxes, I have cut our trash bag use in half. That put $10 a month back into my grocery budget. Not much, but every little bit helps.

Cut your cable or satellite TV 

Put a big chunk of change back into your budget by switching to streaming TV and enjoy your shows contract free! See How We Saved $1000 By Ditching Traditional TV.

It’s easy to pause your service as needed when money is tight and there’s no late fees! 

Use a no contract phone service

This doesn’t mean you’ll be rockin’ a burner phone like you see on Breaking Bad. Big L has an AT&T Samsung S5 from Amazon and it’s enough for his Facebook, Pandora, and email use. And AT&T phones will work on most no contract service plans. The plan works out to $44 a month after taxes and that includes a discount for Autopay and includes roll over data.

Change the way you buy your kids clothes

Try to anticipate their size for the next year and buy when the clothes are on sale.

About mid-season Walmart marks down their seasonal clothes. This is when we like to buy the kids clothes for the next year as well as a pair or two of play sneakers. The shoes normally go for $16 and we grab ‘em up when they get to $5 or even $3! Their quality isn’t the greatest but I don’t feel bad letting the kids tear ‘em up for that price.

Buying second hand clothes is also a big money saver. Swap with friends, check out local yard sales, use Facebook Marketplace, etc – If you use Facebook or Craigslist be sure to meet in a safe public spot. I always arrange meets so Big L is with me. You can never be too safe!

Swap.com is another great option for kids clothes shopping! It’s like hitting up the thrift store, without leaving your couch! Seriously, go check ’em out…

Refurbish outdated and hand me down furniture instead of buying new 

This is one place a healthy Pinterest addiction will come in handy. There are so many tutorials on updating your furniture, and it costs a fraction of what it would cost to buy new stuff! 

Don’t be afraid to pick up furniture freebies from the side of the road. My hubby thought this was an odd habit when we first got together, but now he is happy to bring home his own roadside treasures.

I found this gem on the side of the road. With a little elbow grease it now has a new home in my living room!

 

Looking for even more ways to save money?  Check out my post 3 Ways To Stretch Your Heating Oil!

What are your favorite ways to save money? Comment below!

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