Money Saving Tips That Helped Us Save Every Year!
It was the day that my son asked for a brother or sister. My husband was working hard to bring in $17,000 a year ($1,416 take-home pay each month). And we needed a bigger house. It was then and there that we made our first budget that would ultimately change our lives.
Since then, we’ve bought our house, had 3 more children, and my husband has the best job he could have ever asked for. But I’m still taking a hacksaw to our expenses.
I’m a saver by nature. Some people get a rush from roller coasters or from shopping, I get a rush from saving as much money as possible. Weird? Absolutely. But it works for us.
Since we started focusing on our finances, we’ve made a lot of changes. None of the changes were earth-shattering or dramatic… but the results in our budget were shocking!
Ultimately, we save almost $22,000 a year!
These are all things that I personally do in my home. We’re already fairly frugal, but even we can tighten our belts when we need to. None of these money saving tips that helped us save were painful, dramatic, or really even that difficult.
More than anything, I want you to see that every little bit counts and helps. I can’t tell you how many times I hear “but I can only save $20 a month doing this… or $10 a week doing that.”
If you think that only saving $10 a week is silly, that weekly $10 is up to $520 by the end of the year. That little change can really leave a big impact in the amount of money that you can save.
While I am a
cheapskate frugalista, there are just some things where I won’t sacrifice. I won’t stop using toilet paper, or live in a tiny house, or only eat foraged food. Life is too short to hate!
So, without further ado, check out the changes that we made to cut down on spending so that we could build up our savings, stay out of debt, and live on one low income.
The goal in taking control of your budget and your money is to build a life that you love while staying on budget. Let me emphasize that one more time: build a life you love and stay on budget. It can be done!
Back to the important part: every year, these money saving tips helped us save $21,972. TWENTY ONE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY TWO DOLLARS!
More ways to save money:
- 13 Apps That Will Help You Save Money Easily
- Money Saving Hacks from an Extreme Cheapskate
- 11 Expenses to Stop Spending Money On
- 10 Ways to Cut Your Expenses $1 at a Time
- How to Talk With Your Husband About Money
- 10 Amazing Bullet Journal Ideas to Organize Your Money
- 10 Crazy Money Saving Amazon Hacks
- How To Save Money When You Can’t Afford It
- 10 Money Saving Challenges to Start Today!
The Money Saving Tips That Helped Us When We Sucked at Saving
Eliminated eating lunches out at work, for better-packed lunches that save time and calories, and taste better.
- Buying lunches: $75/ week = $3,900/ year
- Packing lunches: $10/ week = $520/ year
- Savings = $3,380/ year
Related post: Cheap and Easy Instant Pot Recipes
Started menu planning and using the $5 Meal Plan to help me figure out how to buy exactly what I needed.
- Wasted food from aimless shopping: $200/ week = $10,400/ year
- $5 meal plan and planned shopping ($75 for groceries, $15 for meal planning) = $90/ week = $4,680/ year
- Savings (hold onto your seat!) = $5,720/ year
Stopped shopping at our regular grocery store and started shopping at discount grocery stores like Aldi
- Average monthly grocery budget at a regular grocery store ($100 per person per week) for our family of 5: $125/ week = $6,500/ year
- Shopping at discount stores: $75/ week = $3,900/ year
- Savings = $2,600/ year
Used the library and free Redbox coupons instead of buying or going out to movies
- Going out to the movies, or buying movies: $100/ month (2 date nights, 2-3 bought movies) = $1,200/ year
- Renting movies for free: $0
- Savings = $1,200/ year
Stopped buying bottled water and used a refillable water bottle and countertop water filter (it’s expensive to start – I won’t lie, but this thing is amazing!).
- Buying bottled water weekly: $15/ week = $780/ year
- Water filter, water bottles = $150 one time expense
- Savings = $630
Cancelled cable and use Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and Netflix exclusively.
- Cable: $185/ month = $2,200/ year
- Netflix ($9), Hulu ($7) and Amazon Instant video (about $8) = $24/ month = $288/ year
- Savings = $1,912
Cancelled the expensive gym membership, got a membership to Planet Fitness, and started using Youtube videos for fitness classes.
- Expensive gym membership: $125/ month = $1,500/ year
- Planet Fitness and free Youtube: $10/ month = $120/ year
- Savings = $1,380/ year
Started using coupons from Groupon and Restuarant.com to go out instead of buying out of pocket.
- No coupon date nights: $100/ month = $1,200/ year
- Groupon and Restaurant.com coupon date night: $35/ month = $420/ year
- Savings = $780/ year
Stopped buying laundry detergent, and started making our own detergent with just 2 ingredients.
- Regular store-bought detergent: $30/ month = $360/year
- Homemade detergent: $25/ year
- Savings = $335/ year
Related post: I Haven’t Spent a PENNY on Laundry All Year
Stopped buying fabric softener and started using white vinegar instead.
- Fabric softener: $10/month = $120/ year
- White vinegar: $1/month = $12/year
- Savings = $108/ year
Stopped buying dryer sheets and started using wool dryer balls (also cut down on dry time).
- Dryer sheets: $10/ month = $120/year
- Wool dryer balls: $15 (and can last 2 years)
- Savings = $105/ year
Related post: Top Laundry Hacks for Frugal Families on a Budget
Exclusively bought all clothes for my family of 5 from thrift stores, yard sales, and consignment stores.
- Buying clothes new from retailers for 5 people: $200/ month = $2,400/ year
- Thrift shopping: $50/ month = $600/ year
- Savings = $1,800/ year
Stopped using disposable diapers for my 2 boys in diapers, and switched to cloth diapers.
- Disposable diapers for 2 children: $60/ month = $720/ year
- Cloth diapers: $276 total for 2+ years worth of diapering supplies = $138/ year
- Savings = $582/ year
Related post: How to Get Cloth Diapers for FREE
Stopped buying CDs or MP3s and started using free Spotify or Pandora. (Note: you can buy Spotify for $9.99/ month. This way, you can download playlists without using up all of your phone’s data!)
- Buying new CDs or MP3s: $20/ month = $240/ year
- Free streaming service: $0
- Savings = $240/ year
Do a spending freeze for at least 1 week each month (where you don’t buy anything except for paying for bills for a full week)
Savings = at least $100/ month = $1,200/ year
Total savings in ONE YEAR from these money saving tips alone…
Y’all. I was BLOWN AWAY by this number. I knew I was being frugal, but I didn’t know I was being THAT frugal!!
My next challenge is to add another find more ways to save to add another $5,000-10,000 to that savings by the end of the year.
Little by little, everything adds up! This is proof that even making little changes, can really add up over time to be a lot of money!
What’s the biggest way that you save money?