Need easy ways to save money that actually work? I’m a frugal mom of 4 and these are my favorite ways to save! And they can help you trim your budget too.
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I’m one of those people that has frugality in their DNA, probably quite literally. I’m often reminded of that when I listen to my dad tell our children about when he was younger. My dad is a great story teller and does so well at including interesting little details, which our children love. It’s probably one of the main reasons they are always begging him for stories! I love listening in and it’s fascinating to learn about who he was as a little boy and young man. And one of the things that comes through many times in the details, without him even meaning it too, is how mindful he was of living frugally and saving money. And I just have to smile, because so often the way he talks about things is how I would think about it too!
So yeah, I think it’s safe to say that I got my love of saving money honestly from my Dad and I tend to look at most of life through that lens. But there are so, so many ways that you can save and cut your expenses, and if you aren’t a natural at saving money, it probably quickly can feel overwhelming! And I can totally understand why.
That’s why I wanted to share my favorite easy ways to save money with you. I tried to think of things that are relatively simple to do but that will make a significant impact on your budget. I’m a busy mom, after all, so I get it. Most of the time if it isn’t simple, I won’t do it! I want you to be able to do it and enjoy the feeling of success when you see the savings.
One word of caution though. If you happen to be new to thinking about saving money and find that don’t already do any of the things that I mention here, I recommend choosing just two or three to focus on instead of trying to take on all 25. You want to make it easy to succeed, not set yourself up for failure! Once you get those 2 to 3 in place, try doing a few more thing. Little by little you’ll see the savings increase!
Easy Ways to Save Money- a Frugal Mom’s Favorites
Use money saving grocery apps
Grocery apps are such an easy way to save a little extra on your groceries! And one of my favorite things is that they often have savings offers that are good on any brand of product such as milk, bread, fruit, diapers and more.
Here are my favorites:
- Ibotta (sign up and get $10 when you redeem your first offer!)
- Checkout 51
- Saving Star
- Fetch Rewards (use referral code GE0EG to get 2,000 free points!)
– This one is the absolute easiest to use…you just scan your receipt and that’s it- they will figure out if you bought qualifying items. I’ve only used it for a couple of weeks and I already have earned $9 in Amazon gift cards!
- Shopkick (use invite code BEST562848 to get 250 kicks free at sign up!)
– This one isn’t really a grocery app per say, but I like to use it when I’m at the grocery score to earn points (or kicks as they call them) that I can redeem for gift cards. It only take a couple of extra minutes and if I’m not pushed for time it’s worth it for me!
Buy produce on sale or buy what’s in season
It’s no secret that produce is one of those things that can quickly rack up your grocery bill! Instead of grabbing whatever catches your eye, stop and look to see what’s on sale and buy that instead. Even just thinking about what is in season is often helpful since that will most likely be less expensive.
Unless I have a coupon for a brand name item and can get it cheaper, I pretty much always buy the generic version. Most of the time I can’t tell much of a difference in quality anyway. And I highly recommend shopping at Aldi if you have one in your area! They are inexpensive and even have a money back guarantee on their products (all of which are generic brand), so if for some reason you try something and really don’t like it, you have nothing to lose!
Go meatless at least once a week
Since meat is so expensive, choosing to go meatless at least once a week is a super easy way to save! Need recipe ideas? Check out my Meatless Meal Ideas Pinterest Board!
Buy meat in bulk
When you do buy meat, it’s almost always cheaper to buy it in bulk! At a grocery store, look for family size packs which are typically at least 5 lbs. in weight, but are priced less per pound than the smaller packages. If you don’t think you’ll use it all within a couple of days, package the remaining portion in a freezer bag and save for another meal later!
You also should check out Zaycon Fresh! They’re one of my favorite places to get good quality inexpensive meat- especially boneless, skinless chicken breast, which they sell for around $1.79/lb. and often run sales for $1.49/lb. And here’s a little tip for you: if you don’t think you’ll be able to use 40 lbs. of meat in a decent amount of time, find a friend to split the box with!
Make your own convenience foods
This is such an easy way to save money and be healthier! A few of my favorite convenience foods to make are: Homemade Bisquick Mix, Homemade Cream Soup Mix, Homemade Salad Dressing, Easy Healthier Alfredo Sauce and Homemade Chocolate Syrup.
Stop eating out
View eating out as a special privilege that only happens at most a couple of times a month. Instead, start cooking your own meals and even if you cheat and buy a few frozen pizzas here and there, you’ll still be spending less than you would if you went out to eat! Need some easy meal ideas? Checkout my $225 a Month Menu Plans!
Pack your lunches
Even if you spend $7 a day on lunch just 3 days a week, that ends up being an expense of over $1,000 a year! Wow! Packing your own lunch is obviously a great way to save.
Stop throwing away food
Believe it or not, most Americans throw out over $1,ooo worth of food annually! Thankfully, there are lots of easy things you can do to reduce your food waste. And I love this list of practical uses for 8 foods that you very likely are throwing out! Such a simple way to save.
Stop using paper towels
I know, they’re so handy to grab but they aren’t exactly the cheapest thing around, especially considering the fact that you throw them out once you use them! Use rags instead. Cut up old towels, tshirts and sheets into whatever size you like and you have handy, washable rags!
Stretch your hand soap
And no, I’m not meaning that you should skip washing your hands. Yuck! I’m talking about making your own foaming soap. It’s super easy and it will make one small bottle of regular soap last at least 4 times as long!which will make one bottle of soap last at least 4 times as long.
Use homemade cleaners
I love using my homemade bathroom cleaner– it’s super effective and way less expensive! I also use a lot of vinegar and water for cleaning. You can’t get much cheaper than that!
Wash only full loads of laundry
Most people use the same amount of detergent no matter what size load they do…and even if you cut it back, you are still using only a tad less than you would for a full load. Doing only full loads will also save you electricity and if you pay for water, you’ll save a quite a few gallons too in the long run by doing only full loads!
Change light bulbs
We switched to nearly all CFL light bulbs about a year ago and were amazed at how much it lowered our electric bill! We easily saved at least $15 a month. And while they do cost a bit more up front, the savings definitely makes them worth it!
Switch your razors
Love quality razors but hate the high cost? Switch to Dollar Shave Club and enjoy the best of both worlds!
Use the library
Unless it’s a book that you know you really want to own, stop buying books and borrow them from your library instead! I also just discovered Hoopla. It’s a great way to borrow ebooks, audiobooks and movies from your local library, but from the convenience of your home. So great!
Swap the hotel
Most times when we travel, we like to use Airbnb for our accommodations. Not only is it often cheaper, it’s also a lot more personal and we can usually find a place that has a kitchen or kitchenette too, which allows us to save money on food by making some of our own meals.
New to Airbnb? Sign up here and you’ll get a $40 travel credit. How’s that for helping you save money? 🙂
Skip the bought coffee and coffee drinks
Obviously regular coffee is easy to brew at home, but did you know that you can also easily make your own frappes too? And a quick search on Pinterest will help you discover lots of easy to make homemade lattes as well.
Drink more water
Not only will you be healthier, you’ll save big bucks if you skip the beverages both at home and when you go out to eat.
Eat out for less
When you do decide to eat out, watch for coupons that you can use to save on your bill. Another great option is to join restaurant fan clubs (usually links can be found on their website) to receive money saving offers. And if you have children, learn where they can eat free or for half price and dine at those places. For chain restaurants, we also love saving by buying discounted gift cards from Raise.com and then using them to pay for our meal.
If you create an account at Raise.com through this link, you’ll also get $5 to use toward your first purchase as long as the transaction is within 30 days of signing up!
Save on Gas
Ride you bike or walk when possible. If you are using your car, combine errands to save on gas. If you are heading to an appointment or the grocery store, think what other stops you could make while heading in that direction. It’s amazing how those little changes can add up to big savings!
Switch to a cheaper cell phone provider
Chances are you are spending way more on your phone bill than you’d need to. There are lots of great inexpensive options available that could easily save you $100 a month! We’ve been using Ting for cheap cellphone service for close to 5 years now and don’t spend more than $35 a month for my husband and I total. Yes, total. It’s awesome!
Get cash back when shopping online
If you’re going to shop online anyway, why not save in every way you can? I love earning cash back with Ebates. Basically, just by using them I can earn an average of 5% cash back on almost all of my purchases!
Interested in earning money with Ebates too? You’ll get $10 automatically if you create an Ebates account through my link!
If you’re like most parents, one of the big things that makes it hard to go on dates is finding a babysitter or being able to afford the cost of one. An easy solution is to find another family that you trust and swap babysitting with them. This has been a big lifesaver, or maybe I should say marriage saver, for us!
Buy greeting cards at Dollar Tree
I’ve been buying almost all of my greeting cards at Dollar Tree for years. You really can’t beat two cards for $1.00! That’s easily less than half of what you’d pay anywhere else. Along the same line, I also like to buy gift bags and wrap there as well.
Shop Discount First
I don’t have time these days to go out and do a lot of shopping, but when I do, I usually first check places like Marshall’s and Burlington for the items that I need since they consistently have good prices! I also like to check sites like Zulily and One King’s Lane.
Use Daily Deal Sites
Love shopping online? Then daily deal sites are a great option for you to save money! There are lots of different daily deal sites out there. Some of my favorites are One Kings Lane (great for home decor and kitchen items), Groopdealz (home decor, baby & kids and a little clothing too) Zulily (clothing, home decor, household items, toys and more) and Groupon (savings on experiences and restaurants).
The only downside of these sites is that the deals are for a limited time and so you have to constantly be watching them. Or you can do like I do and just occasionally pop in to see what they have to offer. Sure, you might miss some great buys, but you can still benefit without investing quite as much time.
What are your favorite ways to save money? Do you do any of these things?
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