At this season of our lives living on a strict budget is a necessity for our family, and still very much a work in progress. And since I don’t coupon and we are primarily a single-income family, we must find creative ways to optimize our income and stretch our dollars as much as possible.
In light of that, the following are 7 things I do to save money. My hope is that my list can help inspire you to think outside the box for creative ways to save money in your own budget that will work for you and your family!
1. My friend cuts and highlights my hair.
I am lucky enough to have an amazingly talented BFF who also just so happens to be a hair stylist. She’s totally awesome and cuts my hair at my house, and also gives me a great deal!
I know I’m getting a high quality cut and highlighting for a great price. Her friendship is such a blessing.
2. I go grocery shopping once a week or less.
This saves me so much money in the long run. Whenever I go to a store (I’m looking at you, Target…), I can inadvertently end up spending a lot of extra money on things we don’t really need. If I go shopping too often, those extra little things add up really quickly.
The less often I put myself in a tempting position, the better off our monthly bottom line.
3. We don’t go out to eat.
Seriously, we never do. Mostly because we don’t have the extra money to do so right now. But even if we did, I doubt we’d make going out to eat a habit.
Aside from the occasional Starbucks trip, the only time we eat at a restaurant is if we have a gift card, and that’s usually saved for a date night.
I know many families who really struggle in this area. I came from a family that did. While I can completely understand how convenient going out to eat can be, I don’t wish to make that a habit!
4. We pack our lunches.
This is kind of an obvious savings. I work two days per week and don’t take a lunch break, so packing a lunch to eat at my desk is essential. My husband and I will usually take the previous night’s leftovers for lunch. We allow our oldest son (who’s our only child in school) to buy lunch once a week because he enjoys it so much, but other than that I pack a lunch for him as well.
It’s not much of a hassle at all. All my children are creatures of habit and like to have the same exact thing for lunch every single day. I’m pretty sure my middle son would have peanut butter and jelly for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I let him! Don’t worry, I limit it to just lunchtime. 🙂
5. I group all of our errands together in one trip.
This can’t always be a reality, because life happens and things come up. But I try to make a concerted effort to pre-plan and make as few trips into town as possible.
This includes trips to the bank, dropping off books at the library, and hitting up Target- all in one fell swoop.
This not only saves money on gas and convenience (see #2!), but it’s also much easier to only have to bring the kids along once or twice.
6. We shop at Costco
This one is funny, because I also put it on my splurge list, too!
Depending on who you talk to, shopping at Costco could be a splurge or a savings. Some might consider buying in bulk as unnecessary, but as I’ve talked about before, buying in bulk actually saves us quite a bit of money monthly!
7. We regularly call our bills to ask about extra savings
This can actually add incredible savings to our monthly budget! A couple of weeks ago, I called our cable company asking if there was any promotions we qualified for because our bill had gotten pretty high. While speaking with the customer service representative, she was able to tack on a promotional offer, as well as recommended trading in our current DVR for their newest version which would qualify us for an additional promotional offer! It ended up saving us $70 per month!
Here’s another example. my husband and I were recently due for upgrades on our cell phones. We waited for a while, but then we both started having issues with our phones, so we decided it was time to upgrade. While we were in the store, we decided to consolidate and combine our cell phone plan. With the combination of upgrading our phones and receiving a promotional offer and combining our cell phone plans, we were able to save $80 on our monthly bill! And that included getting brand new phones!
By simply asking regarding these two bills, we are now able to save an additional $150 per month! My point is that it never hurts to ask. You might be surprised where you are able to find additional savings. I have heard of people having luck with insurance rates, credit card interest rates, cable, Internet, or phone rates as well.
Some of these things might not work or be feasible for you or your family, and that’s okay!
The point is to think outside the box! Find creative ways that will work for you and your family to save and stretch your money.
What are some things you do to save money?
*** If you loved this post, please share below!***
Do you need structure and organization, but still crave daily encouragement?
Make sure to grab your FREE 7-Day Devotional Planner here - which includes a full week's devotional enclosed in a planner-inspired format!