Ways to save money seems like something everyone is looking for, and while it seems the economy has started to take a bit of a turn around. Have you noticed gas prices lately? It still doesn’t make sense that people would stop wanting to save money. If your house is like mine any penny you can save is cause for celebration. So it would make sense that finding ways to save a dollar is on everyone’s mind. Here are 3 ways you can start saving today.
Forget the Coupons
Every conversation you hear about saving money will undoubtedly touch on coupon clipping. It seems that the coupon craze has been slowing down a bit. And it has been said that people aren’t using coupons like they have in the past. That does not mean that we aren’t out there hunting for deals though!
So if we aren’t clipping coupons as much as before what ARE we doing to save money? Having spent my fair share of time trying to learn how to “Extreme Coupon” like the people I see on TLC, I found other ways to save money around the house. Here are the top 5 ways we have cut our spending.
Sell the Car – The most unpopular ways to save money
I work from home; I don’t commute to a job everyday. The truck that I had drooled over for years and frankly LOVED often sat unused in the garage. Just because it is expected for us to have two vehicles because we have a two-car garage is not a good enough reason to continue to throw money down the drain.
We have been without a second vehicle for about 7 months now. While my husband and I do have to communicate more about doctor’s appointments and other errands, I rarely miss having a second vehicle. In fact I quite like the extra storage space in the garage.
Around $500.00 per year. While we got a multi-car discount, it wasn’t as cheap as eliminating the second vehicle all together. Taxes, tags, car washes and maintenance expenses added up quickly.
Do Things Yourself
From planting your own seeds instead of buying annuals, to making your own body butter, as moms we have tons of ways to save money. The bonus of making your own luxury lotion is spending more time with our kids. The benefit of starting from scratch with seeds is that you also are able to get a bit of physical activity. Just because the world has everything ready made doesn’t mean that we have to buy it. Some times it makes more financial, and common sense to do things yourself.
Making your own cleaners is one of my favorite ‘from scratch’ activities. My absolute favorite is making my own laundry detergent. I had to try a few different recipes to get what worked for me. If you are able to let allow yourself to relax and enjoy the process, you will find the time you spend working out the kinks is time well spent.
Around $72.00 per year. That is on laundry detergent alone! Using store bought detergent you spend about .20 cents per load. By making your own detergent on average you spend about .02 cents per load. Your savings goes up with each item you choose to rethink and start from scratch.
Shop around to Save Money
We can save money by being more conscious of what we buy – and where we buy it. Simply buying items from a discount store doesn’t mean that you are going to save money. I have noticed that most time those stores round to the nearest dollar, while other places such as Wal-Mart are a few pennies cheaper.
Grocery G app is my favorite app to use to comparison shop. Your first go round in a store will take a bit longer (my first trip took about 30 minutes longer than average), but the pay off will be worth it.
Don’t laugh at pennies, they add up quickly. We save our pennies in a jar and then spend one evening rolling them. Once we have rolled the pennies we trade in the rolls at our local bank. Then the kids decide what we do. Maybe our pennies turn into pizza and a movie night. Maybe they turn into bowling night with the family. My kids will trip you trying to pick up a penny to put in our “Mystery Jar”
Around $66.00 per year. This is assuming you save .03 cents per item on average by comparing prices – and your shopping is similar to my families. On average our household buys about 85 items every two weeks. That number includes groceries and household items.
Forget the Joneses
Our emotions lead us in so many ways. Money is no different. When those around us up their game (or increase their debt) and start coming home in new cars, having swimming pools installed, and about 100 other things that you want but can’t afford – ignore it! The only person you need to keep up with is you!
Emotional spending is often the hardest to curtail. We spend money for so many reasons, and most of the time it isn’t because we have a need. Buying a new outfit makes us feel better, but it doesn’t cure whatever it is that was bothering us. Do yourself a favor before you spend $$ ask yourself why you need whatever it is you are planning to buy.
We all know that saving money is something we could probably do better. The bottom line is the best way to save is to fold your money in half, and put it back in your pocket. It is not always possible to do that, so try to look at saving money as a challenge.