Twenty-Seven Ways To Save Money

There are a million and one ways to save money. But for the average household, frugality doesn’t have to be nearly that complicated. ;)

Having learned how to save money from childhood, and having spent all my adult years practicing what I learned, I want to pass some money saving tips on to you. The list is far from comprehensive, but includes ideas that are easy to implement in each of five categories.

1. Household frugality

  • Buy a house you can afford on no more than two-thirds of your household income; half is better. And for crying out loud, do not get an interest-only loan!
  • Use homemade cleaners, like vinegar and baking soda for the toilet and a vinegar-essential oil solution for all-purpose surface cleaning.
  • Furnish and accessorize your house from consignment store findings.
  • Keep the thermostat set to below 71 degrees F. during the winter, and above 78 degrees during the summer.
  • Unplug appliances when they are not in use, including the water heater (write a note to remind you to turn it on an hour before you need hot water!)
  • Make your own accessories. Buying the raw materials and a book on crafts often ends up being much cheaper than buying store-bought knick-knacks.

Transportation

These ways to save money will help you save on everything from gas to the car itself.

  • Slow down. Forty-five miles an hour on the freeway will make you an annoyance; but slowing down from seventy to fifty-five will make you more responsible, safer, and richer.
  • Combine errands. And when you get home from Lowe’s and remember the thing you knew you had forgotten, ask yourself: Do I really need this now, or can it wait until my next errand run?
  • Buy cars with cash. At the very least, buy slightly used cars that are both inexpensive and reliable. And don’t ever lease.
  • Give your car the regular maintenance it needs. Oil changes, tune-ups, and an occasional overall check of the brakes and various fluids will go all long way in keeping car costs down.
  • Carpool. Easier said than done, I know, but if you can do this even just a couple days a week, over a year it will make a difference in your gas expenditure.

Food

  • Start a garden. (It doesn’t have to be nearly as time- or labor-intensive as you may fear.)
  • Use coupons and take advantage of specials. When Whole Foods is selling grass-fed beef for a dollar less a pound than usual, you better believe I buy extra!
  • Stock up. I recently heard that because of rising food prices, to stock up six months to a year’s worth of non-perishables is like getting some sort of crazy return on investments in the stock market. Fresh and frozen produce can also be bought in bulk and dehydrated for several years of storage life.
  • Use leftovers. When our son refuses to finish a salad, my husband will put it in his lunch to take to work the next day. boild meat bones in water to make a stock for soups. Freeze leftover steamed veggies for future use in said soups. Compost kitchen scraps for the garden you started at the beginning of this list. ;)
  • Go vegetarian. See how you and your family handle with a meal consisting of eggs, cheese, and/or rice and beans three or four times per week. This is especially helpful to the budget when you are picky like me and refuse to eat conventional meat.

Personal needs

  • Buy clothes form thrift store or on consignment. (Learning to buy and enjoy used items is one of the best ways to save money!). Yes, you can dress stylishly this way, and you will never have to worry about accidentally buying the same outfit as a co-worker.
  • Use almond or coconut oil as a moisturizer.
  • Shower every other day.
  • Instead of tissues, use handkerchiefs made from old t-shirts.
  • Buy towels from close-out bargain stores, rather than department stores.
  • Exercise regularly. You will look and feel better, and – this one is mainly for the ladies – therefore be less inclined to feel like you have to pile tons of gunk on your skin every day to feel confident enough to leave your house.

Entertainment

  • Cancel your cable. There’s nothing good on anyway. Subscribe to Netflix, or- even cheaper – decide to be happy with whatever DVDs you can scrounge up from your local library. Speaking of the library…
  • Use the library. Our city’s libraries have something fun for kids at least once a month, from family movies to storytellers to magicians. The town just to the north of us additionally has free concerts that adults can enjoy.
  • Browse a bookstore. Allow every one in the family to come home with one brand-new book. The total cost of the outing will probably be less than paying for movie tickets, and the books will be able to be enjoyed many times over.
  • Attend entertainment facilities – paintball, bowling, miniature golf, etc. – only if you have a coupon. In fact, most of these places provide group discounts, so always try to utilize such facilities with a bunch of other friends.
  • Play in the park.

If your finances are not where they need to be – i. e., you’re in debt, have no savings, etc. – you are headed for a lot of stress and heartache. Click here for a great resource to get you back on track – it teaches you how my husband and I became completely financially free by age 40. Financial freedom can be yours, too!