It’s January and if you are anything like me you are probably looking for ways to tighten your spending after the holidays.
I have come up with a substantial list of things to try out. Some of them I have already done, I just need to get back to doing them. Also, I made this list by sitting down and thinking about where WE as a family could tighten up. Some of these ideas may not be feasible for your family. Only you can be the judge of that.
These tips are not going to save you millions but if you do enough of them on a regular basis you should be able to see some savings.
Related Article: Top 10 Tips for Saving Money on Groceries
Here’s an example…
All of 2017 I drank very expensive gourmet coffee. We are talking to the tune of 17-25 dollars a pound. I also went through 3 pounds of coffee beans a month. My average expenditure for COFFEE a month was roughly 65 dollars a month. Multiply that by 12 and I spent about 890 dollars on coffee for 2017! That is almost a thousand dollars.
The majority of the year I justified it because I wasn’t drinking booze anymore. What I was spending on coffee was less than half of what I was spending on booze. After nearly a year of sobriety, it is beginning to seem a bit frivolous. I am not ditching coffee completely. Just not gonna spend that much on it anymore.
Let me tell ya, going from gourmet coffee to store brand coffee is hard. So hard that I am taking the opportunity to cut back on my consumption. I drink a lot of coffee…
Related Article: How to Break Your Caffeine Addiction
Okay, okay…the list!
Creative Ways to Save Money
- Coffee: Coffeeshop->make it at home or expensive-> cheap coffee
- Soda: Buy store brand->cut back by half->stop drinking it
- Reduce milk consumption
- Don’t buy pre-packaged lunch stuff
- Cut back on meat consumption
- Reduce your laundry detergent to the minimum amount
- Eat oatmeal instead of cold cereal
- Buy generic vs name brand
- Shop your sales flyers and base your meal plan off of what’s on sale
- Buy your long-term medication through a mail order service.
- Have a monthly “use it up” week to clear out your pantry
- Cancel subscription services, including cable
- Have family movie nights at home
- Institute a spending hold on purchases you think you need (or just want)
- Get hair cut every 3 months instead of monthly
- Cut the boy’s hair at home
- Hang clothes to dry
- Drive Less
- Use cash back apps
- Save your bread and veggie scraps for crumbs and stock
- DIY what you can ie: popcorn, cocoa, seasoning mixes
- Extend the life of your razors: dry them completely and apply a tiny bit of vaseline to the blades with a cotton swab
- Get organized. How many times have you bought something you KNEW you had but couldn’t find?
- Grow your own- herbs and aloe are a great place to start.
- Reuse as much as possible
- Eat at home
- Buy in bulk- but only if it is a good deal AND your family will eat/use it
- Don’t overeat
- Stop buying nutritionally empty snacks like chips and cookies
- Learn how to reduce your ingredients in meals
- Have a “no spend” month
- Pick up loose change everywhere you go
- Install a water heater timer
- “make it due” instead of running out to replace stuff
- Plan ahead and know the sales cycles- this allows us to make better use of sales
- Replace weather stripping around doors and windows
- Buy used as much as possible
- Switch light bulbs to LED
- Use a heat reclaimer for your clothes dryer- this is for electric dyers only
- Set hot water temp to 125F*F
- Install low flow showerheads
- Set a shower timer
- Unplug things not in use
- Keep dryer lint free for best performance- get the “lint lizard”
- Keep a daily expense log- you will be much more aware of your spending
- Use small appliances for cooking meals (think crock pot, toaster oven…)
- Always weigh your per pound produce. Weigh the “by the bag” produce and buy the heavier bag
- Never waste food: get a good set of rubber spatulas and scrape all your containers and mixing bowls clean
- Round your account down to the nearest dollar each night. ie: you have 509.57 put the 57 cents in your savings account.
- Do the “five dollar challenge” every time you get a five dollar bill or five ones put it in a piggy bank and don’t touch. Continue for a year.
Related Article: Frugal Family Meals
Some of these may sound a bit silly, like the milk thing. However, our kids (and my hubby) drink a ton of milk. They are not drinking it for nutrition, they just don’t want to drink water and I am not going to allow them to pour juice or soda down their gullets every day.
It will be interesting to see just how much we can save this year. Hopefully, it doesn’t just get spent on dumb stuff :/ We have some remodelling plans and the money has to come from somewhere!
Do you have any savings goals for the year? If so let me know in the comments below I love hearing about all the things my readers do!