I’m always on the lookout for ways to cut back on spending to save a few pennies! Being frugal is one of my favorite things to do, and over the years I have learned many different ways to cut back on spending-without having to sacrifice necessary items or the things I really enjoy having. Keep on reading to learn my secrets and what I do to keep my wallet limited and my savings account happy!
1. Avoid Impulse Purchases
So many things we buy are impulse purchases! One of the ways to cut back on spending is to really stop and think about a purchase before you complete it. Do you really need it? Will you use it? Can you afford it? Would you rather have the item over the money you could save on it? If you can answer these questions with a yes, then go for it! Otherwise, put it back.
2. Shop Secondhand
Thrift stores are a great place to find bargain buys on almost anything, from clothes, to home décor, to furniture. If the thought of shopping at a secondhand store doesn’t sit well with you, remind yourself that if you can save money, it may be worth it! You can always wash and sanitize things you find to bring home if that brings you any peace of mind.
3. Use a Clothesline
If you live in a place where you can use a clothesline, don’t hesitate to try this awesome tip! Using a clothesline can slash your utility bill by 10% or more, depending on how often you use your dryer. And just think of the energy you will save!
4. Join Rewards Programs
One of the niftiest ways to cut back on spending these days is to join rewards/benefits programs! Most drugstores or grocery stores have some type of savings plan, just ask the cashier when you check out! And there are plenty of online rewards programs, such as Swagbucks or travel rewards. Get signed up, and take advantage of these awesome offers!
5. Try Swapping Instead of Shopping
What to do with all your unwanted clothes and other items you have lying around the house? You could donate them, or have a yard sale, but the best idea would be to host a swap party with your friends! Have them bring over bags of stuff they no longer need or want, and together you can all have fun sorting things out! This is a great tip for moms who need new clothes and shoes for their growing children.
6. Use Coupons
If you haven’t jumped on board the coupon club, now would be a great time to do so! Coupons can save you up to 20% or more on your grocery bill, depending on how many you have. Sign up to receive coupons in the mail or print them online for a large variety.
7. Shop Sales
The best time to rack up on new clothes is when the seasons are changing and there are clearances going on! Keep your eyes peeled for these sales around the end of summer and winter. The same applies for grocery stores! If there is something you use often on sale, buy several of them and freeze or store them for future use!
8. Special Offers
One of my top ways to save a little extra is to always be on the lookout for freebies! Some things to check into are discounts. Military, senior citizens, and teachers almost always get a discount at stores or restaurants. If you have a family, look for places where kids eat free! And of course, buy one get one free is a fantastic offer to always take advantage of!
9. Rule for Eating out
My family doesn’t eat out often because of the cost, but when we do eat out, here is the rule we apply! We never order appetizers, and we always order water to drink! Most restaurants won’t charge for water, and we choose places that serve salad or bread while we wait for our meal so we don’t miss the appetizer! We save around ten dollars on our bill this way.
10. Plant a Garden
My family eats a lot of produce, and buying it each week can get expensive. So, to save money on buying fresh produce, plant a garden! It’s a simple solution that is practical and even fun. If you don’t have a nice area of soil, try a raised bed or even flower pots with a plant or two in them. You’ll love growing your own food to feed your family!
11. Learn to Can
Many people get intimidated at the thought of canning their own food, but in reality, it’s not as difficult as it may seem! You can either can foods fresh from your own garden, or you may can produce from a neighbor’s garden or straight from the grocery store! Canning food helps to preserve it in large quantities for use later down the road, and is much healthier than purchasing canned goods from the store with preservatives added.
12. Check for Deli/Bakery Deals
One way to really cut back on spending is to keep your eye on the deli and bakery in your local supermarket. After a certain time of day, you can get markdown prices on whole rotisserie chickens or day-old bread. These items are great to take home and freeze, then use them in a casserole or a soup, or even a crock-pot meal. All for a great value!
13. Do It Yourself
In this modern day and age, with the Internet right at our fingertips, it has never been easier to Do-It-Yourself. If something needs to be fixed or updated, think twice before you call a handyman or toss it out. Can you fix it yourself? If you can tackle it, go right ahead! Just be careful when it comes to electrical wiring or plumbing. Those things may be better left to a professional.
14. Swap with a Friend
Here’s a bright idea: Rather than pay for services such as house sitting or pet sitting, why not swap out with a friend? You can get creative with your swap! If your friend doesn’t have pets, maybe she has a talent she can put to use. Let her make you a new scarf or a piece of art for your wall in exchange for her helping you out with housework or walking your dog.
15. Try Beauty Schools
If you’re in desperate need of a massage or a pedicure, but don’t have the cash, there is still a chance you may get your heart's desire! Local beauty schools charge little to nothing for their services as the students are still in training. Don’t worry; a professional always closely supervises students! Check into prices for massages, pedis/manis, haircuts, and other services for deals on the low!
16. Buy in Bulk
One super way to cut back on your expenses is to buy things in bulk. If you have a large family, or if you use certain items quite a bit, it would be worth investing in a membership to a Sam’s Club or a Costco. Only buy items you know your family will use! Here’s an extra tip: bring a friend along and the two of you can split the bill, and then split the purchases!
17. Dump Your Gym Membership
Even if you use your gym every single day, take my advice and cancel your membership. You can get exercise without a gym! Look into purchasing gym equipment for your home. You can also buy great exercise programs on DVD to help you stay fit. During nice weather, look for opportunities to walk, run, or play sports outdoors. Canceling your gym membership will save you money without sacrificing your fitness if you keep working on it!
18. Re-purpose Old Stuff
Don’t toss out that old dresser! Instead, sand it down, repaint it, and use it as a TV stand for your living room! Or use that old trunk from your attic as a vintage coffee table. Get creative with the stuff you are planning to toss out, and you may find you don’t need to buy new furniture after all! The same rule can apply to clothing or dishes. A little sewing, hot glue, and paint can go a long way.
19. Use the Web
Saving money has never been easier with the web so accessible these days! Hundreds of budgeting blogs, tips for cutting back your spending and saving more, and websites with freebie offers or coupons for print are literally just a click away. Take advantage of these offers and start searching for ways you can save online!
20. Free or Cheap Entertainment
Going out for a night on the town can get expensive, especially if you have little ones in tow. Keep your eyes peeled for entertainment options that will cost you little to nothing. Your local school or church may be putting on programs for no cost, or community centers may have play-groups you can get involved with. Most theaters will have a day once a month where they play older movies and include popcorn and a drink with your admission price, which is usually only a few dollars.
Whew, that’s a lot of ways to save some greenbacks and stop spending so many! If you can pick at least 10 things from this list to try out next month, you may be amazed at how much you will save! Please comment below if you know of any other super ways to save, and thanks for reading!