Simplyfing Life: 68 Ways to Save Money

  1. Live on a budget-knowing exactly how much income you have, what your bills are and when they are due, planning ahead for things like birthdays, holidays, vacations will ease the impact of all of those when they come. There are many ideas of budgeting out there, it takes finding one that works for you. We use the 10/10/80 method: Give 10%, Save 10%, Spend 80%. Not all of that 80% is blow off money…out of that 80% comes EVERYTHING you need to spend money on: bills, groceries, gas, extra curricular activities, family nights, etc.
  2. Ask a friend to help us with putting a budget together. Honestly, we didn’t know how. It was a lightbulb moment. We’ve tweaked here and there over the years as we’ve understood more about finances, but it’s been a fun journey.
  3. Stick to the budget
  4. Learn to cook-cooking at home can be so much healthier and cost effective
  5. Stop eating out-refer to #3 (except for special occasions)
  6. Splurge every once in a while on something you really want-not like a “spend every penny of the savings account” kind of splurge but something you’ve saved money for, head out for ice cream with the kids, etc.
  7. Shut off lights in rooms that aren’t being used, and especially during the day.
  8. Hang clothes to dry-our dryer was broken for about 2 months this fall/winter. We spent 10$ on a drying rack and lived to tell about it.
  9. Host potluck get togethers. Offer your home for a get together. Provide drinks and plasticware, let everyone bring a dish or two to share and enjoy not only a variety of foods, but good company
  10. Shop Farmers Markets-not only are they local, but prices will be cheaper than grocery stores.
  11. Preserve your own food-freezing, canning, drying foods bought in bulk from farmer’s markets or grown in your own garden save tons of money in the middle of winter. Start up costs can be pricey depending on what you need to buy but things like canners and freezers should last for years. Which leads us to #11…..
  12. Grow a garden-start small with one patio tomato plant or go gung-ho and dig up the dirt.
  13. Carpool
  14. Save 25$ (or more) each week for Christmas shopping.
  15. Save 25$ (or more) each week for vacations.
  16. Enjoy at home dates-send the kids to bed early, have dinner or dessert or pop a movie in.
  17. Rent movies rather than theater watching-so we have to wait a bit for movies to come to the Redbox….we will survive.
  18. Stay at home-seriously…just stay home. There are plenty of things to be done or enjoyed at home that cost nothing.
  19. Family Game Nights!-make a favorite family dinner-something casual and hang out around the kitchen table. No phones, no tv’s no radios…just focus on each other.
  20. Stop buying cereal-really…it adds up quickly, even with coupon usage it can still be more expensive than oatmeal or homemade pancakes. Or heck…spend $3.00 on a dozen eggs.
  21. Shop thrift stores-I discovered thrifting after I stopped working and became a full-time mom. I had no idea the items you can buy in a thrift store, often brand new or used but name brand items, for a fraction of the cost of a retail store.  (or even if they aren’t name brand…who cares….)
  22. Learn to redo furniture-great finds from thrift stores or hand-me-downs sometimes just need some TLC. 
  23. Accept hand me downs from siblings and friends-baby clothes galore. Kaitlyn (the youngest) is 11 and we are just now getting rid of hand me downs that her sister got from a family of three years ago…..
  24. Use coupons-A few years ago I got into semi-extreme couponing. It was a blast catching great deals, but at one point I realized I had 15 boxes of cereal in the cupboard and I felt like a hoarder. I stopped shopping that way and now only use coupons that I KNOW is for something we will use. I don’t buy it just to buy it or just to get a great deal.
  25. Throw “homemade” birthday parties-make that cake and load it with sprinkles,have the younger siblings make hand drawn Happy Birthday signs to hang around the house and invite a few friends over.
  26. Cut cable.
  27. If you must have cable, use services like Netflix or Amazon Prime. We don’t use either (though the kids are begging for Netflix..it might happen one of these days), so I have no opinion yet on which is better. We haven’t had cable for 14 years.
  28. Stop spending money-take a spending fast, a no spend month…where you only pay the essentials, eat from the pantry (except milk/diary, etc.) or freezer and be intentional about saving money or paying down debt.
  29. Watch portion control
  30. Eliminate food waste-freeze those left over veggies and fruit to use in smoothies. Eat leftovers, throw together random items and call it a casserole. If it tastes good…no one will ever know….;)
  31. Walk more rather than drive.
  32. Plan errands on one day rather than multiple trips.
  33. Stop buying all-processed foods-the health benefits outweigh everything here. In the long run it’s the best choice.
  34. Vacation with family or friends-share the cost of a vacation home or travel expenses
  35. Vacation at family’s house-this is possible for us because we live far away from my family in Maine. Mom and Dad’s house is free.
  36. Drink water
  37. Let children choose one extracurricular activity-I’m not a proponent of allowing kids to be involved with 14 million activities at one time. We let the girls be involved in one sport, one art at a time and they have to have music lessons. It’s a little different now that they are older. We are a little more flexible with extra curricular activities, but I see zero reason to be running little kids to one sport or activity after another and wearing them out.
  38. Play outside-grab a ball, go for a walk, let your kids get dirty. 
  39. Utilize what you can teach your own kids rather than paying for lessons-Jeremy is a musician and has a degree in Music Education so he teaches the girls music. This wasn’t always the case-we have had other piano teachers for them at times, but now he is their main instructor.
  40. Learn to sew. I bought a brand new dress at the thrift store a few months ago, still had it’s tags on, but needed a hem resewn. I can do that…so I got a 60$ dress for $5 and a few minutes of my time.
  41. Participate in a community garden
  42. Take to social media when needing or selling items
  43. Take care of belongings now to keep them in good shape
  44. Purchase items of quality (in the long run they will last longer)
  45. Don’t live on credit. Just don’t.
  46. Pay bills immediately (no interest or late fees)
  47. Make coffee at home.
  48. Use gift cards for things you need or want…saving cash for other items.
  49. Live in community-share resources like babysitting, tools, garden surplus
  50. Swap books with others
  51. Shop book sales that benefit local libraries (win/win!)
  52. Keep in mind local colleges or high school activities. If they aren’t free they may be cost effective.
  53. Use kiddo’s artwork to decorate.
  54. Stay organized-knowing how many vases you have or where that roll of tape is comes in handy so you don’t go and buy another one that you don’t need.
  55. Read-read about world health issues, human trafficking issues, clean water issues…it helps to put priorities in order.
  56. Sign up for a book review program..you get free books for a simple review online.
  57. Utilize the local library. Often they will have summer reading programs, preschool programs, youth programs, crafting groups, Lego groups, etc. for no or low cost.
  58. Cyber School-many cyber schools are free for the students. We use PACyber.
  59. Decorate with a simple color scheme…mix and matching items is easier this way.
  60. Read together-it provides quality time, use of imagination, a common storyline to discuss
  61. Pray. Pray for your financial health. Pray God will show you where you can save, where you can give, how to use your money wisely.
  62. Live simply.
  63. Do arts and crafts with preschoolers-we spent hours when the girls were little doing crafts from things we had around the house. Cotton balls and glue are awesome.
  64. Swap babysitting nights-one night you get all the kids while the other couples have date nights, then they get your kids while you have date night.
  65. Meal plan-consider what you already have in the cupboards and freezer and build on those.
  66. Find an accountant to do your taxes. I know…this cost money to pay someone, but unless you are really great at taxes just pay them to do it right.
  67. DIY. Pinterest people, pinterest.
  68. Celebrate! If a person knows they will be celebrated regularly (this doesn’t mean splurged on every day) and appreciated, NOT spending money won’t matter so much.

There are 1,000 more ways to save money..this is the tip of the iceberg. We will update as we go!

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