These simple and easy ways to save money can help you stop wasting and start saving more of your paycheck every month.
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We are currently living off one income (and my very small blogging income!) so we try to be very careful of how we spend our money. But I know that sometimes it’s easier said than done.
Whether you’re saving for something special or can’t afford your current lifestyle, these tips can help you learn to live more frugally. Some of these can be major life changes, but still beneficial in every way.
round up on mortgage and loan payments ~
I always try to add a little bit to our mortgage payment, even if it’s just five dollars. I know that it’s not making a huge difference right now but some day I may be thankful for the extra money I added every month. Also every little bit that you can pay on a loan will help slowly bring down the interest.
cancel your cable ~
This is such an easy way to save money. And more and more people are catching on. I mean think about it, how many of those thousands of channels do you actually watch? If the answer is all of them then you don’t have to listen to me. But if the answer is only a few, this is something you should consider. Try subscribing to Netflix or Hulu instead, it’s way cheaper and there’s so many different shows or movies to choose from. All you need is a Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV Stick.
get rid of the landline ~
While you’re on the phone canceling the cable, just toss the landline too. Again, think about how often you use it. If you do use it a lot, do you have a cell phone? Can you switch to using just that instead? My parents had a landline for years but every person living in the house had their own cell phone. The only people to actually call the landline were telemarketers anyways so it was an easy decision to get rid of it.
stop buying bottled water ~
This is huge. People spend a ton of money continuously buying bottled water. I know because I used to do it. You don’t realize how much you actually spend until you add it all up. Now, you’re probably thinking, dude, I need to drink water and I can’t/won’t drink from the tap. We bought a Berkey Water Filter a few years ago and would never use anything else. All we do is fill it up in the morning and we drink fresh, clean water all day. It seems like a lot of money but when you add up everything you spend on bottled water, you end up saving money in the long run.
use Amazon Subscribe & Save ~
Amazon Subscribe & Save is a great way to save extra money every month and you don’t have to have a Prime membership to use it. All you have to do is set up regularly scheduled deliveries and earn savings with Subscribe & Save. Unlock extra savings on eligible subscriptions when you subscribe to five or more products at one address on your monthly delivery day. From diapers to toothpaste to dog treats, you can subscribe to thousands of everyday products.
don’t waste food ~
I hate wasting food more than anything but it still happens sometimes. For whatever reason, we don’t have a problem eating all the junk food but it’s the fruits, vegetables, and sometimes leftovers that get overlooked. I’ve realized if I don’t cut up the fruits and vegetables right after I buy them I never seem to get around to it and they go bad. So I’ve been trying to get into the habit of doing it the day I go grocery shopping to keep from wasting them. Another thing we don’t waste is leftovers. I won’t cook another meal until all the leftovers are gone so we can get at least two nights out of every meal.
cook from scratch ~
This is something that’s gotten easier for me since becoming a stay at home mom. As a working mom there’s no way I would’ve made things from scratch since it was already hard enough to get home and get dinner done. But since I’ve started making more and more things from scratch I’ve realized it really doesn’t take that much extra time. Not to mention it’s so much healthier and cheaper.
pack your lunch ~
My husband never buys lunch during the week when he’s at work. A few times he has gone out with coworkers for lunch but that happens very rarely. Even when the kids and I go out for the day, I usually pack a lunch for us. It saves so much money compared to eating out every day, and is usually healthier anyways.
freeze meals ~
Now you’re thinking, how could this possibly save me money? But when you’ve had a long day and don’t feel like cooking what do you do? You go out to eat or order take out. Considering the amount of long days you could have, this could add up quick. So instead, always keep something in the freezer for those days. If I don’t have any frozen leftovers in the freezer, I’ll make sure to keep some frozen pizzas in there for emergency dinners. So the $5 pizza in the freezer will save us the $25 pizza we would get from down the street (and the $5 delivery fee for those extra tough days).
compare unit prices ~
This is something I’m not sure if people actually take the time to do. But I did. It was exhausting. It’s all here. You’re welcome. Since I’m such a huge fan of Amazon Subscribe and Save I compared their prices to Target and Walmart. And guess what, Amazon was cheaper every single time.
make coffee at home ~
When I was working, there was a time period when I would stop and get coffee every single day. I don’t like to think about the amount of money I wasted especially when we had a perfectly good coffee maker at home. That was back when my husband didn’t drink coffee and I would only drink one cup a day. I decided to stop buying coffee and get a smaller Keurig Coffee Maker, and it was a really great investment. I know you’re thinking K-cups are expensive but they’re not as expensive as buying a coffee every day and Amazon sells them super cheap.
shop phone plans ~
For some reason I got the idea in my head that pre-paid phones were terrible. But after our Verizon bill started to get out of hand we decided to make the switch to Straight Talk. I so wish we had done it sooner. We got to keep our iPhones, have more than enough data each month, and it’s half the price of a contract phone plan. I would strongly suggest looking into it, because you could save a ton of money each month.
cut coupons ~
I don’t actually cut coupons. I shop at Wegmans so coupons are hard to come by anyways. But it’s a great way to save money if you’re willing to put the time in and learn how to do it well. Instead I just use ibotta. If you don’t know what that is, it’s sort of like coupons but instead of taking money off your total amount it gives you the cash back. It’s so simple I just add what I’m going to buy before I go shopping, take a picture of my receipt when I get home, and it adds the cash to my account. If you’re skeptical about trying it, so far I’ve saved $426.59 and average about $60 a month.
try different stores for groceries ~
I have shopped at Walmart, Tops, Aldi’s and Save a lot before, but Wegmans is my store. I’ve found it’s cheaper than Tops and Walmart but there’s a lot more available than Aldi’s or Save a Lot.
use a budget ~
It’s really important to use a budget to make sure you’re not spending more than you earn. It’s also easier to see what you’re spending too much money on and where you need to cut back. There are tons of different budget sheets on Pinterest or you can make your own. I like to use one that came with my Mac on the numbers app. If you don’t feel like doing it manually, you can upload all your accounts to Mint and they will track everything for you.
no spend weekends ~
With two kids, it can add up really fast if we go to the movies or a museum. Instead, we’ll look for new parks, go hiking, or just hang around the house on weekends. Once in a while we like to go do fun things as a family but we can’t afford to do it all the time and honestly, the kids don’t even notice.
change how you do laundry ~
Wash your clothes in cold water or use a clothes drying rack instead of throwing them in a dryer. I would’ve preferred a gas dryer since gas is cheaper than electric but we didn’t have a gas hook-up for it. An electric dryer uses so much electricity it’s worth the investment of the drying rack. Using cold water to wash your clothes will help save energy by not running the hot water tank. Plus most of your clothes labels will say it’s better to wash them in cool water anyways. Win win.
avoid taking out loans ~
For whatever reason it is completely acceptable in our society to be in a ton of debt. You want something expensive right now? Just take out a loan! But the amount of money you’ll waste on the interest makes whatever you’re buying way more expensive than it’s worth. It takes an unreal amount of patience in a world where you can get what you want when you want but it’s usually not the financially responsible thing to do.
buy clothes second hand ~
I love buying clothes second hand and trust me, I like name brand, expensive-ish clothes like Loft, Banana Republic, GAP, and Urban Outfitters. I can’t tell you how often I find these brands at thrift stores in like-new condition! After washing them, no one would ever know you got your clothes at a thrift store. Yes it takes some digging and searching to find these kinds of brands but it is possible! Also, it saves so much money to buy kids clothes second hand. Seriously, the first year they go through up to seven or eight different size ranges! Then after that you’re buying new clothes every year. Not to mention the rips, tears, and stains that are attracted to small children.
quit bad habits ~
This is one of those easier said than done ones. Smoking, drinking, and even gambling are not the healthiest habits and you can save so much money by letting go of them.
meal plan ~
I really like meal planning. I use a simple monthly calendar and just write what we’re having for dinner every day. It takes the stress out of trying to figure out what to make everyday. It gives you a set list of groceries you need for every meal so you’re not buying a bunch of stuff just to throw it out. Plus if your meal plan doesn’t work with your budget you can just adjust it to stay under your limit.
use the library or kindle unlimited ~
I used to have a really bad problem of buying books. I love books but I would read them once then they would sit on the shelf for years. This is even harder now because I love buying the kids books. Now we love going to the library because we can read whatever we want for free and we don’t have the clutter of tons of books everywhere. Another great way to read books is Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans.
shop insurance ~
I know they have discounts the longer you’re with an insurance company but usually it’s not much. You’re probably better off getting a quote somewhere else and seeing how much you can save right now. I shop around about once a year. Especially when I go a whole year without a ticket or accident and my insurance doesn’t drop a penny.
Amazon Family is a really great way to save money when you have babies and toddlers. You can save so much money on diapers, baby food, children’s books and children’s apparel. You also get exclusive coupons and deals, and exclusive baby registry benefits. We’ve saved so much money in the past few years just by being able to get 20% off diapers every month.
swap babysitting with friends or family ~
My mom always said when she was a kid she would make like five dollars an hour to babysit. Nowadays a good babysitter is at least ten to fifteen an hour, which can get very expensive very quickly. So instead trade babysitting nights with friends or family. This way you don’t have to pay for it, you know and trust the people you’re leaving your kids with, and you’re also helping your friends or family out too.
cancel the gym membership ~
Unless you like live at the gym and really really get your money’s worth out of your membership, just cancel it. There’s so many youtube fitness channels and even Pinterest guides to different workouts now. You’ll save on the membership, the gas to the gym, and even the babysitter if you have kids.
grow a garden ~
It is one of my dreams to one day have a big enough garden to not have to buy produce for the whole summer. This year we had a tiny little garden and were able to not have to buy romaine lettuce for a week. Baby steps. Even if you don’t have a yard you can still grow a few of your favorite things inside in pots.
shop on Facebook Marketplace first ~
Whenever I think of something I would like for the house or the kids I always go to Facebook Marketplace first. This was super handy at Christmas time because we got some of the kids’ gifts, like new and very cheap, from people just trying to get rid of stuff. We were able to save a lot of money while also getting them great gifts. It also won’t hurt as much when they stop playing with the toys a few weeks later.
try using cash only ~
Otherwise know as the envelope system. This is something I haven’t tried but have been seriously thinking about switching to. I am a huge fan of credit cards. I believe in using them when you have the money in your account to pay it off and collecting all the points or rewards cash. Including sign up rewards we’ve probably made a couple thousand dollars in rewards cash over the years. Lately, they seem to be getting harder and harder to pay off so I’ve been thinking about ditching the credit cards for a while until we get better control of our finances again.
turn off or unplug ~
Have you ever heard appliances are still using electricity even when you’re not using them? Well it’s true and it is a huge waste of money but it has an easy fix. Unplug things when you’re not using them. If you have a ton of stuff to unplug in one area try using a Power Strip to turn everything off and on at once. This way you’re not unplugging and plugging things in all day long.
only use reusable ~
I avoid using paper plates, plastic baggies, and paper towels at all costs. We use Plastic Food Containers for leftovers, cut fruits, and vegetables. We use 3 compartment ones for Jake’s lunches. We all have our own water bottles we use throughout the day. I use dishcloths and dishtowels instead of paper towels or napkins to wipe things. And of course we have reusable plates and silverware. We have disposable things just in case but rarely do I buy them because we take so long to go through them.
weatherstrip windows and doors ~
Keeps the cold out and the heat in during the winter and the heat out and the cold in during the summer. These weather strips aren’t expensive and can end up saving you tons of money on your utility bills all year long. I’ve also heard they can help keep out bugs and spiders so that’s all it took to win me over.