Save money series-Part 2
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Here are 25 MORE ways to save money every day!
1. Dilute your Conditioner
Did you know that you can dilute your conditioner and it will still be just as effective? I did this the other day when we were just about out of conditioner and my oldest daughter (the picky 13-year-old didn’t even notice ?).
2. Use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets
Although if you read the previous post I shared a link to a post on how to make your own dryer sheets-which is also a great way to save money. However, dryer balls are also another option. You can purchase a pack for 6 here for under $10 or if you would prefer to make your own, check out this post by The Seasoned Homemaker. Also adding a little bit of essential oil before popping them into the dryer gives your clothes a great scent boost!
3. Consider giving personal gifts for Holidays
I used to do this all the time when I was younger and seemed to have more free time (free time? What is that?!?)
And this was before Pinterest was a thing! I would DIY my Christmas gifts.Even before Pinterest was a thing, I DIYed my Christmas gifts-frugal and meaningful! Click To Tweet
One year I made each of my grandmothers a little rocking chair out of clothespins with a cute little stuffed bear in a straw hat. How many years later, they still have them!
As I got older I did things that included the kids. Framed handprints in clay for my husband’s first father’s day. Nice framed pictures of the kids with their handprints for grandmas and grandpas. Every time I have MADE my husband something for Christmas, his birthday, or father’s day he has appreciated it 1000 times more than anything I have ever bought him. PLUS it is more frugal!
Last year there was a gift that I wanted to get him that I found on Etsy-which was listed for $145! Now I am all for supporting people on Etsy, but I couldn’t afford it at the time. So I improvised, well more like copied the idea and made the gift myself. The total cost? $12! Yup, a savings of $133! Pretty darn frugal if you ask me!
4. Eat seasonally
When you are at the grocery store, make sure you are looking for things that are in season. They tend to be cheaper that way! A pint of strawberries in Wisconsin in the middle of winter can run $5 or more, while during the summer they are at least half that!
5. Tailor your own clothes
Ok, so I admit, I normally hand this task off to my grandmother.
First off she is much better at it than I am. Gotta learn to outsource those kinda things right?
Secondly, she already has her sewing stuff set up 24/7, while I have to drag mine out of the basement and set it up every time. If I do plan on fixing clothes that are torn, too long, or need to be sewn in some way, I just pile them up until I have a good amount that makes it worthwhile to drag out my sewing machine.
But it really is a way to save. There have been many times where my kids just get a small tear in their clothes, or I get a rip in the seam of my pants. Should I just toss them? NEVER! Fix the darn things rather than going out and buying a whole new pair!
Or better yet-upcycle the garment into something new! Feel free to check out my board from my personal Pinterest account where I have like 1000 different ideas saved on how to upcycle old clothes! (Don’t judge my boards-I am slowly working to reorganize them!)
6. Don’t toss your outdated clothing
If you find that your clothes are outdated, a little stained or ripped, don’t throw them out. Wear them around the house or for pajamas. I have quite a few random pants and shirts that I use for when I paint, dye my hair, or know that I will be working on something potentially messy.
7. Trade for babysitting
So I really hate paying for babysitters. Unless it’s a teenager (who I know well) that is looking to make some extra cash-support the side hustle! I have plenty of friends with kids around the same age as my kids. Trade off nights to watch each other’s kids. Or plan sleepovers for the little ones at their friends’ houses 🙂 I have one friend in particular who is a lifesaver when it comes to watching my kids and even though she hardly ever asks me to watch her kids, she will gladly take mine anytime. You know who you are 😉
8. Keep the heat turned down
Wisconsin winters can get pretty darn cold! My mother tends to turn up her heat so much I am sweating just sitting in her house. We prefer to save a few bucks and keep the heat turned a little lower. Nothing a few layers of sweaters can’t fix!
9. Do a clothing swap
I heard about this idea a while ago and I have yet to try it. I have an entire room in my basement filled with clothes. Everything from newborn girls to adult women’s to boys and men’s clothes. Instead of donating the things you don’t wear anymore, get together with some other moms (or dads) and swap clothes.
This can work really well for kids clothes especially. But if you have some girlfriends that are around the same size as you, or you have clothes that you have grown out of (or maternity clothes) see what you can trade. You never know what you might find!
10. Stockpile great deals!
Find any amazing deals recently you can get a bunch of stuff for really cheap? Like toothpaste for $1 a tube? Stock up on it! This is where couponing can come in really handy! I have found this particularly helpful when it comes to donating items. Homeless or Women’s shelters are always in need of personal care type items. But frugal, but give back! Even though you think you may have it bad, there is always someone out there who has it worse.Even though you think you may have it bad, there is always someone out there who has it worse. Click To Tweet
11. Purge things that are taking up space
My husband and I go through spurts of purging things. Which is really liberating actually.
We will start in one room and look at all the crap we never use, like that cake pop maker my daughter wanted so badly and only used once. Or the plethora of Monster High Dolls we have accumulated over the years that just sits in the basement.
There are two advantages to this.
- You are decluttering.
- You can make a few extra bucks by listing these items on local Facebook buy/sell sites.
12. Buy in bulk
One of the things that I absolutely love that stores are doing now is putting how much the cost per unit or ounce is on the labels on the shelves. Saves me from doing any math! When you are buying in bulk you can save quite a bit. As long as you are purchasing things that aren’t going to go bad. Plus it is a good life lesson when I take the kids shopping, we can talk about comparing prices. Just because it might be listed as less expensive doesn’t actually mean that it is.
13. Volunteer your time instead of purchasing gifts
Many years ago I worked as a CNA in a nursing home and it would break my heart when the holidays would roll around and some of the residents had no visitors. If you can, instead of purchasing gifts for people, give your time instead.
Go volunteer your time at nursing homes, humane societies, daycares, or other organizations that tend to be short on volunteers. Especially during the holidays. For many people, giving your time is priceless and means so much more to them over a physical gift.
14. You don’t have to buy gifts for everyone
When my husband and I first got together we would get gifts for everyone in our families. There were his 6 sisters, about another 6 nieces and nephews, my brother and his girlfriend, my 7 aunts and uncles, a bunch of cousins, their kids, the list went on. It would cost us a fortune just trying to be nice to everyone during the holidays. Not that I don’t like being nice and giving to others during the holidays, but let’s get real here!
Now, our list is very limited-parents, grandparents, and kids. Plus we have 5 kids to buy for, that is enough right there! And again, my parents and grandparents would prefer something more meaningful that the kids and I make over anything we can buy.
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15. Use a bike or walk where you can
I know this can be a lot more difficult with kids, but there are times when it is nice out that we can bike to the store or walk to the playground instead of driving.
This is one we try to do when going out of town for gymnastics meets. Gas can get expensive when you are driving 3 hours one way! Of if you live out of town, see if your work has any type of carpool program. Plus if your not driving, that’s more time you can get in reading the latest posts on your favorite blogs 😉
17. Start a compost
Even if you live in an apartment, you can start a compost for even the smallest garden with these cute little countertop compost bins.
I hate throwing away food scraps just as much as I hate throwing away food. I hope to one day have a nice little hobby farm with pigs that I can feed all my scraps to and create an almost zero waste homestead. Future goals!
18. Find free entertainment
If you look hard enough I am sure there are things in your community that you can find to do, for FREE! Remember from the previous post I talked about checking out the library? Just search around the web or find a Facebook group in your area that keeps track of free events in your area.
19. Don’t impulse buy!
Have you ever heard of shoppers remorse? You get so excited about buying something and then a day or two later you wish you wouldn’t have made the purchase.
If you see something that you really want to buy, whether it’s a new TV or the latest “business opportunity” that your friend has been talking to you about, wait on it. Wait at least 72 hours and seriously consider if it is something that you really need.
There have been times where I found a software that I knew would just take my business to the next level (great sales copy is meant to sell right?) bought it and then realized I didn’t actually need it or it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be after I tried it out.
Although I never purchase anything like that unless there is a money back guarantee. That way if it sucks I can get my money back!
20. Workout at home
There is a quote that I really love:
“If you really want to do something you’ll find a way. If you don’t you’ll find an excuse” by Jim Rohn.
I could find a dozen different reasons to keep my gym membership and not workout at home-not enough room, the kids are in my way, the dogs get in my way, I don’t know where to start, blah blah blah. But let’s be real, these are excuses, and ditching the gym membership to save like $65 a month is worth it. Especially if I’m not using it like everyday.
21. Pick quality over quantity
If you are going to make any type or larger purchase, make sure you are really looking at the quality of the item. Don’t buy something just because it’s the latest thing or all your friends are buying it. Make sure you are checking online reviews of things. There have been plenty of times that I have passed up a purchase after doing some due diligence on a purchase. Yeah it may look great on the outside, but after reading reviews you realize that it’s only the packaging your paying for.
22. Create a budget and stick to it
I go a lot more in depth as to how to create a budget in this post. You need to be in control of your money and tell it where to go. Try out something like Personal Capital or Mint to track your spending. They even give you fancy little pie charts!
23. Meal plan
Meal planning can save you a ton! It does take some advanced planning but is well worth it! Check out my post on meal planning here to see how and why you should meal plan to save both time and energy every month.
24. Make a shopping list
Along with making a meal plan, make sure you include a grocery shopping list. It is so easy to go to the store, even more so when you’re hungry, and way overspend. *Tip-don’t send an 8-month pregnant lady to the store alone at night when she hasn’t eaten, all you will get is ice cream and cookies! If you stick to your list you will be less likely to purchase items you don’t actually need.
25. Don’t use credit or debit cards when shopping
When you go shopping, whether it’s grocery shopping or school shopping, try to use cash instead of using a debit or credit card. When you are using cash you have a limited amount that you can spend so you don’t have to worry about overspending. Just make sure that you are adding up everything you buy as you are shopping so you don’t get to the checkout and realize you are short. Annoying and embarrassing!
What are some creative ways that you save money every month?
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