Save money series-Part 4
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Welcome to the fourth installment of the “25 Ways to Save Money Everyday” series!
1. Make your own cleaning supplies
Baking soda and vinegar can clean just about anything! This can be as simple as using vinegar or using essential oils. It both benefits your wallet and your health!
2. Make your own gifts
You don’t even have to be “crafty” to make your own gifts, especially if you have kids! Grandparents generally LOVE to get homemade gifts from their grandkids. It can be as simple as a picture of the kids and their handprints in a frame. I did this one year with my two younger kids and my parents and grandparents LOVED it!
This doesn’t apply to just Christmas either. Think Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving!
3. Make simple and cheap meals
When you are meal planning, take into account your budget. If you are running low on your grocery budget, make sure you have a couple cheap and easy go-to meals. There are a couple go-to meals that we have in our meal planning rotation that are cheap and feed everyone. Mac and cheese and hot dogs anyone?
4. Patch up your own jeans
My kids and my husband go through jeans like crazy! I have learned a thing or two about patching up jeans over the years. Why go out and buy a new pair if you can fix the ones you already have…if they are fixable that is. My husband always seems to rip his in the worst spots that make it next to impossible to repair.
5. Make shorts out of old jeans
When the jeans start to get too holey, or too short but fit around the waist, make them into shorts! I did this with my oldest daughter a lot, her waist never seemed to get bigger, her legs would just get longer! This doesn’t just apply to girls either, this also works well for boys jeans too.
6. Use old shirts as rags
I don’t know about you, but I have a TON of old t-shirts lying around. They are either ripped, too small or just never get worn.
If you have some old t-shirts that aren’t really wearable anymore, turn them into rags-cleaning rags, burp rags, rags for staining furniture, whatever kind of rags you might need!
7. Make your own bags
If you are the crafty type, you can get really creative with this one!
I have seen some pretty cool upcycled bags on Pinterest! Bags made from old t-shirts, or from plastic bags, and even old food bags-time to get creative!
8. Balance your checkbook
Ok, this is probably the least fun topic on this list…but important!
Make sure you are keeping up with your checkbook or online checking account so you don’t write a check that you forget about and end up in the red. I try to avoid writing checks at all costs only because I hate having to balance my checkbook and wait for checks to clear. But, if I do write a check for something, I make sure I keep track of it!
9. Avoid using the central air or air conditioning units
I’ll be honest, this one is hard for us! LOL
In the summer we like to keep it really cool in the house.
If you can open some windows and use some fans that will help to save on your electric bill. My husband likes to crank the A/C in the summer and it can really show in our electric bill ?.
10. Do your nails at home
I love having my nails done, but I hate paying for it! A while ago I had purchased a gel kit with one of those UV lights, like this. It was very economical and easy to do myself. For the price of ONE nail appointment in a salon, I can do my nails at home multiple times! Most of the time I have one of my daughters do it for me and we have a little “at home spa time” together. Plus, this is great for girls that tend to bite their nails without worrying about spending too much on a manicure.
11. Make your own yogurt
I promise this is not as scary as it sounds!
One of my kid’s go to snacks or breakfasts is yogurt and granola. But when you are buying that stuff from the store is can easily add up quickly!
I am amazed at how much those “fancy” yogurts cost, like $2 for 4 ounces! I can make my own at home-2 quarts (that’s 64 ounces) for about the same price! It’s not complicated either. It’s a matter of heating and cooling the milk to certain temps, adding a “starter” and keeping it warm for about 24 hours…voila…homemade yogurt!
12. Shop at the dollar store
I used to hate going to the dollar store, honestly, it made me feel “poor”.
But I quickly learned it is super frugal!
You might be amazed as to what you can find at the dollar store-you know where EVERYTHING is only $1! In fact our last trip there we picked up: snacks for my husband at work, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, clipboards to make chore charts, and snacks and soda for an upcoming birthday party and spent less than $20!
Don’t discount your local dollar stores people, they are full of frugal surprises!
13. Shop at multiple grocery stores
Depending on what is on the meal plan, we go grocery shopping every week or every other week.
The only downfall with our method of grocery shopping is I feel like it can take forever!
When we do our grocery shopping we tend to hit 3-4 different stores. Each local grocery store has different deals and store coupons. Our last grocery trip-for one week of groceries which included breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for a whole week for a family of 7 was less than $200!
14. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
I’m stubborn…big surprise.? I generally don’t like to ask for help, HOWEVER, when you put it out there that you are looking for something you might be surprised at the deals you can get!
For example, I was talking to a close friend of mine and mentioned that I needed a chest freezer, and she gave me one that she just had sitting around…for FREE! I looked at buying one and it would have cost around $200!
You can also post in local buy/sell/trade groups that you are “ISO” or “in search of” to try and find good deals!
Sometimes people are just looking to get rid of things and you can get amazing deals of even stuff for free. Just don’t be that annoying person that is obviously asking for handouts.
15. Repurpose leftovers
When you are meal planning use what would be just plain leftovers for a new meal. For example this past week I made refried beans as a side, we had a lot left over, so I made bean and cheese freezer burritos for the kids for a quick meal.
There are plenty of ways to repurpose leftovers, plus it’s fun to get creative in the kitchen!
16. Use Swagbucks for your search engine
Who doesn’t love a little extra money in their pocket? Using SwagBucks as your search engine and to complete other various tasks on earn you real money! 2500 Swagbucks equals a $25 Paypal payout! Not too shabby for doing things you already do online. And of course, invite your friends and earn even more!
17. Invest small amounts
You don’t need thousands of dollars to start investing.
A few cents here and a couple dollars there might not seem like a lot, but it can really add up! Have you heard of micro-investing? It is easy to start investing with your spare change with several apps on the market that do all the hard work for you, you don’t have to worry about all that investing mumbo-jumbo!
18. Buy cheap dog food
I know some of you dog lovers out there are gasping at this right now! “But I love my dog(s)”, yeah so do it, but they aren’t helping me around the house to save money now, are they?! With 5 kids and 3 dogs (one of them is a Mastiff!) I try to save on food costs wherever I can, and that includes the dogs!
Luckily none of my dogs need to be on any special diet and their cheap food seems to be just as good to them as the expensive stuff! a 52-pound bag of dog food cost me $18.99 and that lasts at least a week, not too bad in my book!
I just recently discovered this money-saving chrome extension, and I LOVE it! When you are shopping online it works in the background to find you money saving coupons. What’s even better than saving money while you shop? Making money while you shop! You can combine Honey and Ebates while shopping online!
100 Ways to Save!
Check it out! Get the detailed PDF on 100 ways to save more money everyday!
20. Use Ibotta while shopping
Ibotta is another one of those stupid simple apps to use to save /make you some extra cash! All you have to do is link you store card to the app, go shopping, take a picture of your receipt, and get cash back! Easy peasy! Want to know more, check it out here!
21. Find wellness clinics for your pets
Here’s another one for the pet lovers! I’m not sure if this is a thing in other states, but in Wisconsin, there is a “wellness clinic” in the Madison area that offers vet services at very affordable prices. This works especially well if you only need a rabies shot for example and not a full exam.
Also, check to see if there are vet schools in your area that might offer discounted services from students.
22. Go to the local cosmetology school
Cosmetology students need live heads to work on also! You could get your nails done, hair cut and colored, spa treatments all for steeply discounted prices! But just beware that they are still learning, so that cut and color you wanted might turn out EXACTLY like the picture.
I f…ing LOVE Groupon! I didn’t even really know what it was till fairly recently. I had heard about it but never really had given it a second thought. I am so glad that I looked into it more. Groupon is great for so many things-spas, going out to eat, singing lessons, you name it! I also love that they have physical products and online courses!
You never quite know what you will find on there!
You can even combine Groupon and SwagBucks to earn cash back ON TOP of your savings!
24. Build up your emergency fund
This is important for so many reasons and can save you money in the long run!
If you have an emergency fund saved up-whether it’s $1,000 or $5,000, it will help you to avoid using credit cards in case of an emergency-like a busted water heater.
25. Never give up!
This is probably the most important of all the tips! It can be difficult to stick with money saving tips and tricks when it feels life is against you! I can’t tell you how many times we thought we were fine…then…BOOM! Something horrible and random happens!
- An account get hacked and we are out $900
- The engine in the car goes out
- A tire falls off the truck
- Someone gets sicks and needs to be hospitalized for a few days
It can be very easy to just say F-IT and give up and continue living in your old ways. But your old ways are not going to get you out of debt, or fix your money problems!
Just remember to take it one day at a time and keep your head up!
Did I miss anything? What are some creative ways that you save or make a few extra bucks?
Give me the goods!
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