Hello everyone! Today I’m going to talk about some ways to save money this year! Let me know what you think, or add your suggestions in the comments!
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1. Coupons and Cashback
I have done a huge post on this, so I won’t go over it again – but don’t be embarrassed to do coupons, rebates or cash back offers! Why spend more money when ways to save are available?
2. Make your coffee/tea at home, and bring a water bottle!
Did you know that you can saves HUNDREDS of dollars a year just by making your coffee or tea (or other chosen beverage) at home and bringing a reusable water bottle with you? It’s also WAY better for the environment (I’m going to have a whole post on the ways our family are moving towards being as environmentally friendly as possible). If you get yourself a good Stainless Steel water bottle and a travel mug that holds heat well, you can save yourself SO much money!
3. Ditch the disposables!
Disposable products can take up A LOT of your monthly budget, so why not eliminate the ones you can? Just in the last few months we have eliminated:
- Bounce Sheets, which we have replaced with Wool Dryer Balls
- Paper Towel, which we have replaced with Dish Cloths and Dish Towels
- Swiffer and Swiffer Pads, which we have replaced with a Simple Mop, Microfiber Cloths and a Spray Bottle with cleaner
4. Cancel (or reduce) your cable!
Do you actually watch all of the channels you pay for? We cancelled our cable when we moved out of our Thompson house, and didn’t get cable when we moved to Alberta – I can’t say we miss it! We have Netflix and Prime Video, and we take trips to the Library to get new movies for G so we aren’t streaming on the internet all day. It is WAY easier on our budget this way, and we don’t have channels sitting unwatched, and we have a constant variety without having to buy new movies all the time (also saving some shelf space too!)
TIP: your library will also have free activities for you and the kids to participate in, as well as access to ebooks and other digital content – all for free!
5. Make some of your food from scratch
I make all of our bread, muffins and cookies out of ingredients that we regularly buy as part of our groceries – and buy huge bags of flour every few months!
We regularly have blueberries, raisins and oatmeal in the house, so oatmeal raisins and blueberry muffins are easy to make!
I also have a Bread Machine, and I make bread usually two times a week. I like the convenience of the bread machine, and while it is costly up front, you won’t be buying bread each grocery shop (or more if your family eats a lot of bread). You also have complete control of what ingredients go in, and can experiment will all sorts of fun flavours!
6. Sign up for Samples
Who doesn’t love getting mail that isn’t a bill? I get samples in the mail at least once a week, and since I don’t make a lot of money consistently (ah the life of a blogger/influencer..), I can get samples for me, and it takes away the urge to spend some of the little money I bring in on a luxury item for myself!
Sites like TopBox Circle, FamilyRated and Chick Advisor look for people to try and review products for companies, and send out applications for missions weekly if not more. If chosen you will be sent either sample or full sized samples to try – NOTE: these will have time limits on them to review, and often have obligations to post about on social media. If you do not follow the terms of a mission, you will NOT get chosen for future missions. Once I received my first few missions on each of these, I get chosen way more often!
Sites such as Sampler and SampleSource send out zero-obligation samples, but supplies are limited! Watch your emails regularly for chances to get samples from them! These samples are more often sample sized, but free is free!
7. Watch for Free events in your area
Most of the events that we’ve gone to since moving to Alberta have been free or inexpensive events – you do not need to spend a lot of money to have fun with your family! Join local Facebook groups, check the “Events” tab on Facebook, look at community bulletin boards or your local paper and you’ll find events that you can enjoy with the family without killing the budget! One event that we’ve done for free is head to a petting zoo at West Edmonton Mall, and in March we’ll be seeing Fred Penner (one of my personal favourites) for free!
8. Choose recipes based on the food you have at home
How often do you decide to have something for supper and realize that you don’t have the ingredients you need? We’ve all done it – then a quick trip to the grocery store (likely hungry) results in a lot of stuff bought that you didn’t necessarily need. Or How many times have you forgotten something was in the fridge and it went bad before you had a chance to use it (RIP forgotten produce). Food that we buy just to throw out in a few weeks time having never eaten it is killing our budgets! We’ve had a habit of doing “Whatever’s in the fridge” stir fry (usually turns out pretty good!) or soup (which can be divided up and frozen for later!)
- Write a list of the foods you have in the freezer and cross things off as you use them
- Try “inspired cooking”, google the ingredients you have and see what meals come up!
- Buying food items with no intended purpose often get wasted
- Buying items in bulk and vacuum sealing them in manageable portions for your family results in lower amounts of waste (ex meat)
9. Check out Groupon for discounts on Events, Services or Products You Want
Groupon has discounted tickets for events, activities, products and services on their website. If you check their website it’ll give you deals in your area, or you can search places that you’re going to visit! You could get admission into places you want to go, car rentals, deals at restaurants and more!
10. Repurpose or Consign Your Unused Clothing
I said in my Sewing Goals post that I wanted to repurpose a bunch of my old clothes into stuff for G – clothing and items for him! I am also turning a set of curtains into produce bags, so we can stop getting plastic bags from the grocery store. You can also take your old clothes to a consignment store and they will give you (varying amounts of) money for your old clothes!
What ways do YOU save money? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,