Save money series-Part 3
Oh, how I love to find creative ways to save money every day!
1. Get clever in the kitchen
Use small amounts of condiments to create new and exciting concoctions. Use them to create dips and sauces. Turn them into marinades. If they are not oil based, freeze them for later use. There are tons of things you can do with leftover condiments.
2. Unplug the unused electronics and appliances
Even when you are not actively using your appliances, as long as they are still plugged in, they are using “phantom electricity.” It might not cost you a lot per individual device plugged in, but think of how many things are plugged in, in your house at all times? Fans, toasters, computers, random chargers. Now that can really add up!
3. Freeze your meals
I could write a whole other post on this topic-future post maybe? I love being able to have meals planned AND prepped in advance! Not only does this save time, it also saves money. I can’t tell you how many times I have been ill-prepared to feed hungry children after school or a long day of running around, which then results in either going somewhere quick to get something or ordering in. Which can really add up with a large family! Even on the “cheap end” it costs us $30+!
4. Don’t spoil your kids!
So I know we are all guilty of this once and awhile. My husband and I both struggle with this because “we never got it growing up!” But let’s be realistic. Do my kids need expensive toys and the latest gadgets-NO! They use them for like 5 minutes and then they either wound up broken or just sitting in their rooms collecting dust. If you are looking for toys and other gadgets, try looking at second-hand stores, online auction sites, Facebook buy and sell groups. We have found some amazing deals through local buy and sell sites, and not just for kids stuff, but just about anything.
Still not sure what you should get the little ones for Christmas gifts, check out this post (*hint they only need 4!)
5. Pay your bills on time
Well, this one might seem like a no-brainer! However, life gets in the way and things get busy. Make sure you have a system for yourself to pay your bills on time so you aren’t racking up interest or late fees. Late fees suck! Something as simple as setting an alarm on your phone a couple days before the bills’ due date.
6. Give up your landline
Ok, even my parents did this years ago! My 83-year-old grandmother doesn’t even have a landline anymore! If you still have one, get rid of it! You do even really use it other than to try and avoid telemarketers? Yeah, I didn’t think so 🙂
7. Shop for Christmas early!
My oldest daughter always finds it weird when I am shopping for Christmas gifts in June. Hello, I can’t pass up a good deal! I personally think it is a lot less stressful to get gifts for people early, that way I don’t have to worry about crazy, busy stores. Being an introvert, busy stores just cause anxiety.
Also, I am able to take advantage of other sales throughout the year. I can take advantage of savings (and making a few extra bucks) in other ways, like shopping online through Ebates. If you haven’t heard of Ebates, check out my post on it here. I freaking LOVE using Ebates for online shopping! Without any extra work on my part, I earn cold, hard cash back for shopping like I normally would online. Cha-ching ?
8. Plan your grocery shopping around sales and coupons
So I used to be one of those crazy coupon ladies (which there is nothing wrong with!). However, I felt like it took up so much time and was causing more stress for me! Have you ever tried taking 3-4 kids to several grocery stores and having to scan a billion coupons when checking out? NOT FUN! We do now make sure that whichever store we are planning on going to we use the available coupons and take advantage of any additional sales they have going on. Things like “take an additional 10% off meat you can fit into this paper bag!”
9. Don’t always use your dryer
Even though the dryer may not use a TON of energy, when you are doing 20 loads in one day, that can really add up. Try and use a drying rack of some sort. I have a load of hangers that I hang clothes on from pipes in the basement. Simple yet effective.
10. Buy second hand online
When you are needing or wanting higher end brand clothing and accessories, turn to Poshmark. If you haven’t heard of it, PoshMark is a great online marketplace and buy (and sell) second-hand, brand name clothing and accessories. You can purchase some pretty high end, quality brands for WAY below the original price it would cost you at a regular retailer.
Check it out here and get a $5 credit just for signing up and using the code keegan_TDCJ.
11. Get handy at home
One of the many reasons I love my husband! He is pretty handy, and if he doesn’t know how to do something, he will do his best to figure it out. Also, it can be helpful to have friends or family that know their way around house repairs. So before you call a handyman, look to your friends and family for some assistance.
12. Change your own oil
Another task I leave up to the hubby! We used to take the vehicles in to get the oil changed, which would cost like $100! So he learned how to do it himself. Now, all we have to pay for is the oil and a new filter, which drastically cuts the cost.
13. Take up a profit-making hobby
Watch out for another post on this 🙂 People build businesses off of their hobbies ALL THE TIME! You may not want to go into business with your hobby, but it can bring in a few extra bucks! Like to sew? Try making some doll clothes to sell online or at a local farmer’s market. Know a thing or two about graphic and web design? Put it out there that you are looking for projects or start up some gigs on Fiverr! Or go thrifting and resell your awesome finds on eBay, I have heard of people making bank off of that!
14. Use store loyalty cards
Now I’m not a huge advocate of using credit cards. HOWEVER, when you use store credit or loyalty cards, you can get some pretty amazing deals! Like 30% off at Kohls! Yes, please! Just make sure you are being responsible and not maxing them out every time you are using them and paying them off/down.
15. Don’t forget to price match
Many times stores will price match a lower price to their competitor. I did this at Target once with an online price match, stacked with the Cartwheel app and got a Rosetta Stone level 1 language learning pack for like $17, when it would have been $99! SCORE!
16. Keep track of your finances
If you don’t already have a budget, start tracking EVERYTHING you are spending during the month. You might be surprised as to where your money is going. You can use softwares and apps like Personal Capital and Mint to track your spending. These programs break down your spending into categories, such as entertainment, utilities, etc. so you can get a quick overview of where your money is going.
17. Leave some room for fun!
Saving money is no fun if you have to live as a hermit forever. Make sure you are setting aside a little bit to spend on new clothes, entertainment, a date night (whatever that is…). If you are saving it specifically for fun money, that is guilt free spending 🙂Saving money is no fun if you have to live as a hermit forever. Click To Tweet
18. Don’t forget about warranties
Sometimes it pays to pay a little extra up front for a warranty if you think you might need it. For example, any kind of techy stuff for the kids, I generally try to get a warranty with it, especially if it is on the pricer side. You know, considering my kids seem to break EVERYTHING!
Lots of things come with warranties that you don’t have to pay extra for. Make sure you are keeping track of these and using them if needed rather than running out and buying a new replacement right away.
19. Make your own bread
This can be done with or without one of those fancy bread machines. There are tons of bread recipes out there to choose from. I always like to try a variety of homemade breads, although sourdough is one of my favorites 🙂
20. Buy a crockpot
Ok, I know we’re supposed to be saving money here, not spending money. But this will save you some cash, in the long run, I promise. Remember those freezer meals I talked about earlier? Yeah, make sure you have a crock pot for those, it just makes life a whole lot easier. Spend a few hours prepping everything, pop it in the crockpot after the kids leave for school, and voila-dinner is ready!
21. Buy quality products
When you are looking to make a larger purchase, make sure you look at the quality of the item rather than the overall price of the item. When you are purchasing things like larger appliances, it is better to spend a little more money up front rather than buying cheap and having it break down on you in a year. Although I do still own a vacuum that I purchased for $40 like 10 years ago that still works great!
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22. Hit up local rummage sales
Rummage sales can be a hit and miss kind of situation. There are times that I have found some great deals at rummage sales, especially on books! Rummage sales are also a great place to look for kids clothing or other things your kids might need, high chairs, cribs, beds, generally in good condition for very affordable prices.
23. Save water
I still have to remind my kids about this one. You don’t need to keep the water running when you brush your teeth! Think about it. If you are brushing your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes, twice per day, 365 days per year, times 3 kids that is 73 HOURS of running water! Yeah, that can save a few bucks turning the water off!
24. Sell your unused items online
Seems this post is a little saving and a little making money 🙂
I have dabbled in this a bit and found it pretty easy and fun. My husband had accumulated a lot of nerdy things that he couldn’t display anywhere or didn’t want anymore. So I turned to eBay. Turns out it is a great place to sell action figures, video games, and other random things around your house.
I took a course once on how to sell things on eBay and it said that the average person has about $1,300 worth of stuff just sitting around their house that they could sell on eBay. Not too bad. Not sure if what you have will sell? Just take a look at the site and see if other people have sold similar items. If so, give it a shot!The average person has about $1,300 worth of stuff just sitting around their house they could sell on eBay. Click To Tweet
25. Trade your skills with someone
I have done this before and it can be very helpful if you don’t have the money to spend on services. Like watching someone’s kids while in exchange for fixing my car. Nothing special, but it helped us both out. You might be thinking, well I don’t have any special skills, think again! Everyone is unique and has unique skills to offer-cooking, fixing a computer, changing the car oil, cleaning house-don’t underestimate yourself!
What are some creative ways you have saved or made a little extra money?
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