I am always looking for tips to save money. When you don’t have extra money, and you have financial goals, finding ways to trim the edges are important. Most of the time, you are paying for convenience with many of these things, but if you can catch a few extra minutes in your day to make saving money a priority, these ideas will do just that. My husband has always said, “We have more time than money.” I enjoy tracking all the money saved.
I have come up with 31 tips to save money by spending a little more time. There is always a trade-off. You either spend your time or pay someone else to spend their time. Depending on how much money you have will determine who gets the job. In our house, many convenience foods are just not worth the money spent.
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As I was writing this post, I was also reminded that being frugal goes hand and hand with being a better partner with the environment. Making your own is so many times, cutting down on wastes that can harm the environment like plastics and toxins.
I also realized (again) that saving money could be better for your health. By making your own, all those preservatives and dyes are not making their way into your body. It is a win/win! Tips to save money and be healthy.
Managing Money in 2021
Before I get into all of my tips for saving money, I wanted to quickly touch base on long term financial freedom.
All of these savings hacks are really going to help when you are trying to pay off your student loan, build an emergency fund, pay off your credit card debt (that a lot of people have).
But having a clear picture of what you want your future to look like will give you the motivation to carry out these tricks in the long run.
Spending habits and savings goals should be considered when building a life that you love. Paying off debt needs to be considered a high priority.
And there is always the side hustle.
Tips To Save Money In The Kitchen
- Bottled water – we all know this one. Refill a reusable water bottle and if you chose to, buy a water filtration pitcher.
- Paper towels -We still buy them, but I rarely use them. I dry my hands on a towel and use cleaning cloths to clean with.
- Napkins – I have made a bunch of fabric napkins out of fabric that I have either already had or found on clearance. They have worked well for YEARS!!!
- Plastic wrap – invest in glass containers with lids. It will save you in the long run. Again, better for you and better for the environment.
How to Cut Expenses On Food
- Shredded cheese – Many times you are paying more at the grocery store for the convenience of the cheese already shredded. If you can find the same ounces at the same price, buy the shredded. If not, grab a grater and shred your own. It only takes a few minutes.
- Deli meat – with the price of good deli turkey at around $9 a pound, you could buy your meat and slicer for a lot less. You could buy a whole turkey for $1.49 a pound, or even turkey cutlets are less than $5 a pound. Probably much better for you, too!
- K cups – this one is a tough one for me. I like the convenience but not the environmental impact or the cost! Use a drip coffee maker with a timer or a percolator. You could even stick with the single serve and refill your k cup.
- Salad dressing- make your own. The internet is FULL of great recipes at the touch of a screen! Store it in a fancy bottle for next time.
- Cookies and baked goods -again, make your own. It is cheaper and healthier. Don’t forget those silicone baking liners for PERFECT cookies!
- Pizza delivery – This is something I struggle with. For me, it is a night off from cooking. I want to try to make a big batch of pizza crusts, dress, and freeze. This way, I can pull it out of the freezer and pop it in the oven. Make sure you have a good pizza pan. It makes all the difference in a crispy crust!
- Bread – a basic bread recipe is straightforward to make. It will cost you pennies on the dollar. And who doesn’t love homemade bread? To make it easier, bread makers are a great way to get a perfect loaf of bread. Or go old school and bake them in the oven with regular bread pans!
- Bagged salads- stop buying the pre-made salad kits and make your own.
- Meal Plan – Really. It’s the best way to cut out unnecessary food spending when grocery shopping. If you create a meal plan, then you have a solid idea of all the items you will need for the week.
Save Money Quickly On Personal Care
- Glasses at the eye doctor – Without insurance, you can pay $1,000 for a pair of glasses. With proper insurance, you can still pay $300! Grab your script and look online at places like Googles4you and Coastal Contacts to get frames and lenses for under $50.
- Shaving cream – I bought a rechargeable razor that can be used dry. That razor works well. I have also used hair conditioner that is pretty outstanding, too. Also, there has been something I have heard of lately called the “PinkTax” which means the same thing marketed toward women is more expensive than it is for men. Shaving cream is one of them. Buy men’s.
Frugal Living Secrets With Kids
- Juice boxes 54 ounces of juice in 8 boxes for $2.50 compared to 64 ounces of juice for $1.89. Buy refillable bottles to travel with if you want a single portion.
- One serving snacks – a six pack of animal crackers totaling 9 ounces is $2.99. For $2.39, you can get 16 ounces!!!! Just take the time to portion out your snacks in refillable snack bags.
- Sandwich bags – use containers, reusable snack bags, or make your cloth sandwich wrap bag.
- Thrift stores – shopping at thrift stores for kids (or anyone) is smart. The majority of us find clothes to be expendable. We wear it a few times and then decide we don’t care for it so we donate it. Kids grow so fast that many times clothes are in great condition when donated. Cut the expense of paying full price.
Things I Don’t Buy Anymore – Cleaning Supplies And Laundry
- Fabric softener – just don’t use it. I don’t find a need for it.
- Dryer sheets- I use wool dryer balls. They also help with drying time and static cling. If you would like to, you can add essential oils for smell goods!
- Cleaning wipes – those Clorox cleaning wipes may not work like you think they work. The surface has to remain damp for a certain amount of time to kill the germs that they say they do and rarely does that happen. They may be a waste of money. Use a microfiber cloth instead.
- Laundry soap – for years I made my laundry soap. I loved it, but then I got lazy. A simple, quick google search will yield dozens of recipes for both liquid and powder versions.
- Cleaning products – you can make your versions of just about everything. From white vinegar for surfaces and glass to leather cleaner. You can find a nice write up about that here.
Other Thrifty Hacks
- Cable – when did cable become so expensive??? Turn it off. There are so many other options if you have internet from Netflix to Sling to Youtube. Grab an antenna or go directly to the channel websites to watch your favorite shows – no more cable bill!
- Gym memberships. Go for a walk, lift your children, plank at home.
- Books – used bookstores, garage sales, and libraries are tremendous places to get books for cheap or free. Stop buying books at full price.
- Greeting cards – I am amazed at how much a greeting card is when I go to Target. Try finding alternatives. Make your own. This is great for the family when you have children. They can make their own and it adds a unique touch that no Hallmark can compete with. Dollar stores sell their cards 2/$1. Check out other favorites to buy at the Dollar Tree!
- Try a no spend weekend – cut unnecessary shopping for an entire weekend. Learn more in this article: How To Do A Spending Freeze To Improve Your Life
- Collect gift cards – ask for gift cards for holidays instead of things you don’t really need. That wat you can cut out take out, coffee, clothes, and book spending while appreciating the thoughtful gifts your loved ones give you.
- Evaluate your bank accounts – make sure your checking account is not imposing high fees. If it is, consider an alternate bank, credit union, or online source. Also, check those savings accounts. Are you earning a little on that emergency fund with a high yield savings account? It may not be a lot of money but every penny helps.
Final Thoughts on Things to Stop Buying and How to Save Money in 2020
Those are the things to stop buying to save money. Whether you incorporate a few of these suggestions to save money or all of them, you will undoubtedly be able to use this money for other things. But, it is a trade-off. You have to be willing (in many of these cases) to put the TIME in to SAVE.
Sometimes, saving money requires a little money spent upfront. Investing in a water bottle or cleaning cloths may be an initial expense right now, but the future costs for bottled water and paper towels will be non-existent.
Also, the impact of all that plastic and paper were both produced and recycled or disposed of, would be greatly reduced or eliminated. It could be a win all around.