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Ever wonder how your friends with multiple children, a mortgage and nice car do it? They have savings tips. I’m guessing they have so many that are just part of their way of life that may not even realize how to share their easiest ways to save with you. If we’re going to find realistic ways to save money and not have it ‘hurt’ we’ve got to make small sacrifices. We also have to make big changes to spending habits.
Easiest Ways to Save and Be Realistic.
Have you ever searched the intenet for Ways to Save More Money at Home? I just did. It showed 1, 630,000,000,000 results. No Lie! There are that many people talking about it in published articles! Then I further searched for Easy Ways to Save Money Every Day. One search showed me 18.4 million people searched this last month! (that was just one search, the real number is higher!)
The point is you are not alone when you’re looking to find the easiest ways to save at home, every day. Ways to save realistically are everywhere if we look and actually saving more money is only a matter of comitting to changing your habits. A little bit here, a lot there and before you know it, you have a savings account!
I originally wrote this 5 easy ways to save a few years ago. Economy driven changes got me to thinking it was time to update a lot of my easy money savings articles here on this site.
So, let’s start today with these, some of my favorite and easiest ways to save more, save now, save every single day. I think you’ll find realistic ways to save money, how to save money successfully and of course, ways to save money at home.
STOP Spending for a Weekend, a Week, a Month.
Have you thought about doing a no-spend month before? The goal here is not to hoard all of your money, but rather to spend your money only on the necessities and save all of your other money. You can use this money to replace the savings that you raided for holiday shopping, or pay down your credit cards that you put your purchases on. I’ve done no spend weekends and weeks many times. It’s much easier than you think and the rewards are awesome!
When you’re looking for ways to save money around the house, this is a GREAT exercise and future habit to create. It’s a great way to save money each month. You honestly stand to gain much more from this than you imagined.
Sell Your Old Stuff and Impulse Buys
Sell that ‘stuff’ after Birthdays and Christmas, even better if you do this before. Go through your ‘inventory’ of clothes, toys, household gadgets. If you haven’t used it for a year, sell it! The cash you’re about to earn is a great way to help you build that savings account.
The lesser bragged about benefit is more space, an organized life.
The easiest way to sell everything is to list on your local online yard sale. However, some people get much more money by listing on Ebay or Etsy . On Ebay you can avoid the risk of a friend finding out your selling something they may have gifted you a few years back. Remember, if it’s a loan, return it. If it’s a gift, you own it and it’s yours to decide what to do with it. I legit know people who got started in their full-time jobs this way. They make a living selling on eBay!
Benefits from making extra cash this way will give you more realistic ways to save money. Aside from a now less cluttered home, you’ll have found more ways to save money around the house. When you’re trying to save money each month this can really help add a good amount.
Learn to Bargain Shop and Find The Best Deals To Save More Money.
Use price comparison apps and online tools. Make it common practice to check clearance sections both online and in stores. For groceries check the ‘day old’ or ‘dinged and dented’ produce.
Check your area for discount ‘food stores’ We have a local bread store that sells boxed pasteries as well as breads. These are often sectioned by ‘expiration’ dates. Buy these at a HUGE discount and put directly in freezer. No shame in that! I save approximately 60-75% off our sandwich breads and bakery type snacks this way.
Some grocery stores will ‘freeze’ meats close to ‘use by’ dates. Keep frozen and be sure to cook fully before consumption. However, there is NOTHING else different about these products. Ask your butcher what days they do this and what is best time to check for deals like this.
Cut Back Your Spending on Eating Out and Coffee to Save More Money Daily.
Cutting back on your spending is an overall good idea for budgeting and saving money, but this is especially true if you are working toward paying off debt. Think about how much more you could pay if you just skipped your morning latte, or ate at home instead of going out to eat. A few years ago I read that the average American spends almost $3000 per year eating out. You can image that has skyrocketed in recent months.
I totaled how much I was spending on coffee a year when i was laid off. GAG!! (I drink i lot of take out coffee too) It was over $3k a year in just coffee!! That’s a huge amount of money to pay down your credit cards, don’t you think? Add in a take out lunch or two a week then a dinner out once or twice a month! Good lord, I could have been rich years ago!!
Eliminate or Cut Fees. Seeing is Believing!
There are fees everywhere. In your bank, your cable and cell phone, land line. Service fees for oil companies, delivery fees/charges. Have you noticed how gas stations charge 5cents per gallon MORE for non cash purchases.
I thought that had been outlawed. Apparently not. Businesses pay fees to banks for using debit and credit card processing services. The fee is negotiated with businesses and can be higher depending on volume. They are passing this directly on to YOU. I get why, but NOT my 5cents. I’ll pay cash for my gas, thank you.
Recently negotiated your cell phone or cable bill to a lower rate by cutting ‘fees’ and services? Check again. Seeing is believing. I don’t know why they think fast talking and playing cute or dumb is o.k. Last month I begun the first in many step by step cable cuts I’m making.
I checked the bill the other day. Now they’re charging me for an additional two pieces of equipment plus associated fees. No, I have NEVER OWNED nor needed these newly added items to my bill. NOT ever! Maybe the person I spoke to was new? Whatever the case, I stood to lose another $12/month for eternity if I had not been checking.
Start a Gift Stash
Once you get your budget in order and some savings in place you’ll want to spend with caution. It’s o.k. to budget year round for annual expenses. Do these on a super frugal budget with smart planning.
Start planning now for next Christmas. You can do that by budgeting a certain amount of money each month for holidays, even birthdays. You can either save it in an account that is specific to holidays and wait to spend it, or you can start buying clearance and other deals as you see them and storing them in your gift closet throughout the year.
Shopping clearance deals throughout the year is a great way to cut down on your overall holiday spending. I do this for extended family and friends Christmas gifts as well as birthday gifts.
Chalk this up to ways to save money around the house. Do this with a limited budget and come th holidays not only will you have much less stress you would have found more tips on how to save money at home.
Buy Gift Cards
What? I’m telling you to spend money now, have I flipped my lid? Why? Well, you can buy gift cards for promo deals throughout the year. Drug Stores and Grocery stores will occasionally have Kohls gift cards spend $50 get $10. My grocery store does this for grocery credit or gas savings.
Target frequently offers gift cards for promotional purchases. Spend $50 on xyz and get a $5 gift card. SMART. They keep you coming back. These are legit gift cards, in Massachusetts they do not expire. Kohls is famous for their Kohl’s cash. Just use caution not to lose those free benefits. Remember, most of these can be used in store AND online.
I also buy discount gift cards at places like Raise.com for a huge saving. Buying gift cards from stores I know I’ll shop at for gifts saves me ‘before’ I even shop their clearance racks.
Think about it. If I buy a $100 gift card (from a discount card site) for $85 that’s a 15% savings. Now I use that gift card to purchase an on sale item (maybe even using a coupon or loyalty rewards) I’ve now increased my store savings even more. That is what we call stacking our savings.
This is seriously my favorite way to save when I have to spend. This goes into my Best tips for how to save money successfully! You can use this same technique for ways to save money around the house.
Check your states laws. Here in Massachusetts gift cards do not expire. Rewards cards, however do expire.
Clip Coupons to Store Card Often. Use ALL The Rewards Programs
Unless you live outside the US you know you should be using coupons, clipping to card with your store apps. This should be a part of your ‘things to do a few times a week’ routine.
When I”m on hold on a call or a commercial comes on during a movie, I grab my phone and make sure all the coupons available are checked off and added to my account (loyalty program).
I do 95% of my shopping online. This is a huge help. When I do print coupons, I put in envelope to give store when I pick up my groceries. The days of stacking printed coupons on top of store ‘electronic’ coupons are gone for the most part. There are instances like a BOGO can have a coupon making it a huge savings.
Also remember to redeem any rewards you earn. For me, I earn points for every dollar saved. I add this to my order and it takes even more money off my order. For CVS extra cash bucks be sure you’ve loaded them/sent to your loyalty account.
The rare meal out, use a coupon. Taking the kids to an amusment park over summer vacation? Go to Groupon. Don’t pay full price. EVER.
So much money gets wasted with our vehicles. Proper maitenance of your vehicle will save you a good amount over time. Checking tire pressure, this can help you save on gas. Oil Changes.
Did you know you can buy discounted oil changes through Groupon.com! Same goes for regular tune ups. Check Groupon. Do you know you’ll need new tires this year. Start checking sales cycles now. I only buy tires when they are buy 2 get 2 plus I always ask if they’ll throw in a free oil change. SCORE!
Shop Used or Repurpose What You’ve Got. Always a Great Way to Save More.
I bought 25cent crockpot at a church sale. TRUTH and it lasted 25+ years! (cost = less than a penny a year to buy!) I have my bathroom mirror from a yard sale, this cost $5 but worth every nickel. I’ve moved this with us too. I’ve had this $5 mirror for about 38 years now. (oh, yes.. i just dated myself didn’t I?). In the summer I cook a lot of zucchini bread and do much garden preserving (freezing, canning, etc.. ). I borrow some items I know I’ll never use during the rest of the year. Canning jars I buy new lids always but have inherited from a friend over 100 mason jars of various sizes. These are great to repurpose for salad meals or even cookie gifts and desserts!
Upcycled Decor. I’d place money you’ve got some old jeans or t-shirts not good enough to resell. Grab a wire coat hanger or dismantle an old wreath. Get cutting and start your first ever rag wreath!
Reduce Utility Costs; One of The Easiest Ways To Save Money at Home Daily.
I’m not saying walk around in the dark. I am saying you need to call your utility company and ask about having a free energy audit. Most areas offer these. When we had this done a few years back we saw a huge savings.
For starters, every single light bulb in our home was changed out to a more energy efficient, longer lasting alternative for FREE. Biggest educational moment and financial benefit was how much electrical usage was going into NOT using our TV’s. Simply having them plugged in was sucking up all kinds of juice for no reason whatsoever. A new surge protector is a simple change and saves so much. We are able to keep our cable box/DVR turned on and it will continue to be able to record those oh so precious must see TV shows. However, we can now shut off our television seperately with the power cord/ surge protector. This equals significant electrical usage and decreases quite a bit.
We were also advised on keeping things like phone chargers and coffee pots plugged in. Shutting them off isn’t good enough. You’re not saving a dime by not using them if you leave them plugged in. UNPLUG today and save right away! OH, these power strips/ surge protectors were FREE.
We were also counselled on insulation, peak vs non peak hours for things like running dishwashers (another huge water bill savings), washers and dryers.
It was an easy non invasive visit. We took notes but they presented us with a full printed report (along with a ton of freebies) of all their findings, recommendations and approximate savings we would be seeing. Our electric meter showed us right away it was working!!
Show Me The Money! Realistic and Easy to Follow Savings Challenges.
So, you ready to power up that savings account and set some great money saving habits in the process? You’ve heard of the savings challenges, right? Let’s re-cap a few of these great great ways to be accountable to yourself and have fun saving! Check off the boxes as you go, add them up, color them in. Do this your way. I’m going to drop some ideas below. Pick one or do a combination of two or more.
52 WEEK Savings Challenge
I’m going to show you this one upside down. Reason being that many of you got cash gifts for Christmas and still have this on January 1st. Not to worry if you don’t. The goal is to save. If you go out of order you’re still winning as long as you keep saving each week one or more boxes! At the end of this challenge you’ll have really started living your new savings lifestyle. You have now increased your savings an extra $1,378.
|WEEK #||AMOUNT $||WEEK #||AMOUNT $|
|1||$ 52.00||27||$ 26.00|
|2||$ 51.00||28||$ 25.00|
|3||$ 50.00||29||$ 24.00|
|4||$ 49.00||30||$ 23.00|
|5||$ 48.00||31||$ 22.00|
|6||$ 47.00||32||$ 21.00|
|7||$ 46.00||33||$ 20.00|
|8||$ 45.00||34||$ 19.00|
|9||$ 44.00||35||$ 18.00|
|10||$ 43.00||36||$ 17.00|
|11||$ 42.00||37||$ 16.00|
|12||$ 41.00||38||$ 15.00|
|13||$ 40.00||39||$ 14.00|
|14||$ 39.00||40||$ 13.00|
|15||$ 38.00||41||$ 12.00|
|16||$ 37.00||42||$ 11.00|
|17||$ 36.00||43||$ 10.00|
|18||$ 35.00||44||$ 9.00|
|19||$ 34.00||45||$ 8.00|
|20||$ 33.00||46||$ 7.00|
|21||$ 32.00||47||$ 6.00|
|22||$ 31.00||48||$ 5.00|
|23||$ 30.00||48||$ 4.00|
|24||$ 29.00||50||$ 3.00|
|25||$ 28.00||51||$ 2.00|
|26||$ 27.00||52||$ 1.00|
365 Day Penny Challenge
Save ALL your change. It may just be me, but the noise of change rattling around gives me a rush of a winning slot machine! You know, the saying of “a penny saved is a penny earned” is so true. Create a space in your home that you can toss that change into, and save it up for a rainy day. Change really does add up quicker than you think. Take it to your bank to deposit it or use it for a few bills that you need to pay off. Don’t discard your change as ‘chump change’ this is the future of your savings! I have a jar in my kitchen and a cup in my car for loose change.
During the peak of the pandemic, there was a sharp decline in the use of ‘paper money’ and coins. This was a good time to ’round up’ your savings. Check for apps as well as your very own bank!
Mark these days off in order or randomly. You will surprisingly and find this is the easiest way to save $667.95!
|DAY/ $||DAY/ $||DAY/ $||DAY/ $||DAY/ $||DAY/ $||DAY/ $||DAY/ $||DAY/ $||DAY/ $|
30 Day $300 Dollar Bingo Style Savings Challenge (weekends off!)
|$ 8.00||$ 9.00||$ 24.00||$ 13.00||$ 1.00|
|$ 10.00||$ 21.00||$ 23.00||$ 15.00||$ 3.00|
|$ 12.00||$ 16.00||FREE||$ 17.00||$ 5.00|
|$ 11.00||$ 6.00||$ 22.00||$ 18.00||$ 19.00|
|$ 7.00||$ 4.00||$ 20.00||$ 14.00||$ 2.00|
Set It & Forget It Savings
Automate your savings. Don’t put pressure on yourself to transfer money from your checking account into your savings account. Why? Because some months….we may be tempted to not do it.
If you take that choice out of your control and have it done automatically, then it happens. No issues, no questions, no going back and forth on whether to add to your savings or not. The best part? Each time you get paid, you are saving money as well. It’s a solid plan to grow your savings game.
I’m going to add in here, do NOT put a debit card on that savings account. You’ll have to make a conscious decision to take it out if you have to go to bank. I also put mine in a different bank altogether. When you reach minimum amount in savings, remove it and place into a CD or Savings Bond for a higher interest rate (do your research first)