30 Things We Do To Save Money

For "Money Monday" I decided to share a few things my husband and I do to save money… It can be hard to come up with new ways to save, but maybe some of my suggestions will be beneficial to you and help you save more.

Decorate with what you have on hand!

1. Display items you occasionally use (or regularly, as the case may be – like plates and mugs, jewelry, scarves, etc…) as decorative pieces in your home. Saves money and space.
2. Use the internet to find out more about travel destinations over buying a book. Save valuable advice to pinterest rather than printing.
3. Buy meat and frozen entrees in bulk. You don't need a freezer full, but enough to get you through a month or two at a cheaper price is always better than having to go out and buy things last minute.
4. DO NOT buy fruits and veggies in bulk unless you have a plan. If you can't eat that much and it's cheaper in smaller quantities, buy that instead.
5. Alternatively, if you have left over fruit, you can always make homemade jam! Yum! :)
6. Use the plastic grocery bags you get from the grocery store as garbage bags for your bathroom, bedroom, or office. (Or take your own bags when you go to the grocery store to cut down on waste.)
7. Plan your meals ahead. If you know what you have in your kitchen and what you need for the week, you can avoid buying things that you don't need and save money.
8. Use rechargeable batteries.

Don't wait until the last minute to buy gifts!

9. Shop early for birthday and Christmas gifts. – Come up with ideas and buy things when they are on sale as opposed to waiting until the last minute.
10. Use the dishwasher rather than washing dishes by hand or using paper plates. You will save money in the long run, I promise. :)
11. Consider cloth napkins to use at dinner and wash rags for cleaning up kitchen messes rather than paper towels and paper napkins. (Personally, I don't even really like sponges either…) The cloth napkins and rags can be washed and reused; paper products can not.
12. Buy a soda siphon if you drink a lot of sparkling water. At a low cost of 50¢ per charger (less if you buy in bulk), it doesn't cost much to make and you don't have to worry about recycling glass bottles or purchasing plastic ones.
13. Print what you need to print when you need to print it at the local library, school, or work. Often 25¢ or 50¢ a page once every two or three months is cheaper than having a printer. Less convenient though, I might add.
14. Use your phone as your alarm clock.
15. And cut your home phone bill from your life. Do you really need to pay for a cell phone and a home phone?
16. Take up mystery shopping. Do the things you do and then get paid back for reviewing the service. Companies want to know what you think, and you want free dinner/movies/hotel stays/alcohol, so why not?
17. Use candles at night. It will help you wind down from a hectic day and save on energy. Just don't try to read using those same candles or the money you save could wind up paying for reading glasses instead. (Carrot, anybody?)
18. Instead of paying for cable, watch movies and tv shows online. If you have an amazon prime membership and agree to receive your items within a week instead of 2 days, you receive $1 off any online movie rental or song purchase. Over time that adds up.  Amazon Prime also offers a bunch of tv shows that come free with a subscription. Over time $50 a month (for regular cable) will cost you a lot while $100 a year (for Amazon Prime) can save you a lot.

Stay hydrated!

19. Drink water rather than soda. Out at restaurants and at home.
20. Kick the coffee habit. First off, I advocate hot tea over coffee any and every day! But second off, ordering a $2 coffee every morning can get expensive – $14/7 days or $56/month. You could keep your cable at that price!
21. Use credit cards. They are a necessary evil that can get you a minimum of 2% back and a maximum of … who knows? Point is – 2% back is much better than no % back UNLESS you can't pay your bills on time. Then, by all means, please do not get a credit card.
22. Consider buying things like glasses and contact lenses from Wal Mart or Sam's Club rather than your optometrist.
23. Cook in bulk and freeze leftovers for a quick dinner on nights you don't have time to cook.
24. Take your lunch. $5 or $10 a day adds up fast. $50 spent over the course of a week could add up to a very nice date night dinner if it hadn't been spent on lunch instead…
25. Work around your typical budget when traveling. If you usually spend $200 a week on food, try not to go over that.
26. If you rent a home, apartment, or condo through AirBnb or VRBO (or one of the many, many others!) you can always go grocery shopping and cook as if you were at home. Keep in mind though that you are trading time for money. You may not get to go to as many museums if you are cooking fancy meals at home. BUT then again, you will have the chance to cook with local ingredients which may make it worth it…
27. I recommend reading books on your ipad or kindle to save paper. (Plus they are cheaper.) However, if you do buy books, consider buying them used and then reselling them or donating them. They just take up space in your home if you aren't actually actively using them. You can use the donation as a tax write off or the money you earn toward buying a replacement book.
28. Drive the car that gets the best gas mileage. Or take public transportation.
29. Buy nice things and then take care of them. If you have to constantly replace items, you aren't saving money by buying cheaply. :-/

Stay home! – Pull up a chair and relax. You don't need more!

30. Don't go shopping when you don't need to. And when you do go shopping, try to get all of your errands done in one trip without driving back and forth from location to location. If possible, create a route before you leave the house to save gas and time.

These thirty things are just the tip of the iceberg! What do you do to save money?

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