Due to recent and rather unexpected circumstances, I’m even poorer now than I thought. Think “wondering if I’ll get to eat lunch tomorrow” kind of broke. We’re having a super low budget wedding already, our parents are helping with most of it, and what we are paying for is already paid for, so there’s nothing I can do about that now.
But I’m sure some of you Bees have been in as tight a spot (or tighter, at least I don’t have kids and some of you do) and have some great money saving tips. Which I will be using, and maybe some other Bees can benefit too.
So… what are your best money saving tips? List as many as you want, and anything you want.
A few of mine:
Plastic bags from grocery shopping as garbage bags
Look down- I find a lot of lost change that way
No cable TV
Don’t go grocery shopping hungry
There are tons…
No home phone.
Turn lights off
Keep freezer full of ice if not food- less energy
Was clothes in cold water
Rewear clothes you can
Rice and beans…
Think about transportation. Can you ride share? Walk further and not pay for parking or other expense
Get a part time job/ do studies found on Craigslist/ etc jobs etc
Call your cell plan and see what you are actually using. Can you downgrade?
Callyour insurances. Can they cut you a deal?
@galloway111:A couple days ago I was in the check out line at a grocery store and I watched the girl in front of me knock $42 off her $92 bill. She told me that she goes on vendor websites and prints coupons….
Those are good ones. I find that we save money when we need to by doing cheaper date nights (eg. skating, hot chocolates & a walk, at-home dinners). I also find that when I’m tight on cash, I let my roots grooooow baby grow, haha. Meaning, I don’t go to the salon to get my highlights done. Last year when I was more broke-ass (we were saving for a downpayment on our house) I dyed my hair a darker colour in between colourings just so my roots wouldn’t be as noticible in the mean time.
Other than that….turn off the lights, run the laundry/dishwasher/etc at night, & don’t drive around wasting gas! Look through the weekly flyers when planning your meals.
- No home phone
- Don’t use dryer/air-dry clothes, towels, etc
- Little electricity
- I buy big once (meats, chickens, etc) so I stock up in the freezer and make a ton of meals for a month. I have a ton of leftovers in the freezer as well.
…I know I have more, but I can’t think.
Reduce the money you spend on shampoo by washing less frequently (rinse in between) or eliminate shampoo altogether and just condition in between rinses.
Have your SO give your hair a trim or go to the hair dresser less frequently, and vice versa (as in you cut SO’s hair).
Hand clothes to dry.
Layer up to avoid turning up the heat.
Oatmel is very nutritious and has an incredible amount of servings. ($4 well spent)
Freeze all food items you can!
See if you can find a part time job–I photograph houses for a realtor and it brings me a few extra hundred a month. Dog walking places around here are always looking for help, and with the holidays coming, you could probably get some seasonal retail work.
On a short-term basis, I would suggest making chicken and yellow rice–very inexpensive, filling, and tasty. See if your local store sells bargain fruits and veggies–they might be bruised, but are still good. I got 3 huge bags of mushrooms for 50 cents each a while ago. Used them in spaghetti sauce, stir fry, and salad.
@MapleMoose: Yeah, I save so much on shampoo and conditioner because i only wash my hair once a week. That’s mostly because I have curly hair and that’s what works best for me anyways. It’s really nice. I bought a huge Dove shampoo and conditioner for $6 at Costco in September and it’s still full..
Meal planning and shopping with a list are HUGE savers. That way you get what you need and that’s it.
Definitely call your car insurance to see if you can get a lower rate, especially if you haven’t looked in awhile. Ask about good driver/good student type discounts. Got a clean driving record? Have they looked at that lately? I just saved myself $50 by doing this.
What about your car loan (if you have one?) I recently called and had them “refinance” my car loan to 2 monthly payments (less interest that way). It got me a new APR (a whopping 3% less), with the same payoff date as my previous loan, and I’m saving $35/mth.
Don’t forget to turn your thermostat off or turn it low. Grab them sockies!
And for me – I always pay my bills whether they are do or not RIGHT when I get paid. If I think bills first, I end up spending less money on frivolous things because there’s no excuses like, “well my phone bill can be a little late”.
That’s all I have…
Ditto on the coupons. they are amazing!
Some of my tips:
Cut the cable. Most of the shows you can catch online. I would cut the internet (with so many wifi hotspots available everywhere), but I need it for work.
Make a list when you go grocery shopping and stick with it! Giving in to buying “little” treats adds up.
When possible, buy generic store items rather than brand names–food and medicine especially. The FDA requires generic manufacturers to include the same active ingredients as those brand names.
Buy in bulk for items you know you will use. Though bulk items may seem to carry a higher price tag than the convenience size, the price per ounce/unit will be less.
Make your coffee at home!
Use distilled vinegar for a multitude of uses. It replaces most harsh chemical cleaning products. Can be used in laundry to brighten colors. It has homeopathic uses, such as treats ear infections, athletes foot, and inflammation.
Find free alternatives for entertainment. Instead of buying a book or magazine, go to the local library. Look online to see what activities your community centers are offering.
If you find you can’t live without some perks in life like Starbucks coffee or whatnot, enroll in any privelege program the company may have. After so many purchases you get rewards.
Thanks for all the quick repsonses
I’m sure these tips can help a lot of Bees out, they’re great. For me personally… the only thing listed that I don’t do is buy and bulk and freeze because I have almost no freezer space, it’s super tiny. I was thinking of investing in a mini freezer but that’s not an option anymore. And thanks to my super well insulated apartment, I haven’t turned the heat on yet No idea how that happened. I don’t even pay for heat though, lol.
And I do work 30+ hours a week, but my rent cost is basically the exact same as my income. I’m also in school full time… at this point debating skipping another semester for financial reasons (I already did this for a year though) and just working…
@MrsLongcoatPeacoat: Do you have photography experience or were they looking for anyone? And how did you get a job like that?
If you have student loans you can maybe change your repayment plan? government loans have like 6 repayment options ranging from standard to extended, graduated, or even income-based depending on your circumstances. That could be a big chunk of money if you could switch to a lower-cost plan right now (you will pay more interest in the end so I wouldn’t leave it that way longer than necessary, but it could get you through a rough year!).
Also of course couponing, etc. And I find meal planning really saves money. Plan to use the same ingredients for multiple meals so you don’t waste anything. Like, if I plan to use half an onion for tacos, I also plan to make a pizza that takes half an onion later in the week so I don’t waste half my onion. I also buy meat in bulk and cook it up at once then portion and freeze it in single-meal servings. Also check out Aldis if you have them near you. You can’t really do ALL your shopping there but you can get non-perishables for cheap and you don’t need a membership.
And if you’re REALLY strapped for cash maybe call some local hot-spot restaurants or wedding venue type places and see if they need valets. My friend used to valet randomly when he was broke. A lot of people will hire people on a per-day basis and you can make $100+ in tips in one busy night. And you can always sell your plasma. I know it sounds super creepy but its not much different than giving blood except it takes a little longer and you get money for it.
Hope it all works out for you!
Unplug appliances when you’re not using them – you save electricity that way. DH and I unplug our TV when we go away for anything longer than during the day and it does save you money.
Vinegar is a great fabric softener and super, super cheap.
Are there any discount grocery stores in your area? Here is a list by state. Boxes with dents, flavors that weren’t popular (but still good), things close to expiration but still fine, etc. I go there frequently and easily save 50%. For example, I just got boxes of Crystal Light packets for .50 a box.
Can you pick up babysitting jobs on the side? That’s an easy way to make some extra cash, plus it’s a very flexible job.
Do any grocery stores offer a gas rewards card? The one I go to for my dairy/perishables offers one that gives you points based on what you spend. I also have one connected to the gas station where I buy my coffee in the mornings. Between the two of them, I rarely pay full price at the pump and usually save .10-.20 a gallon.
@galloway111: I have a tiny freezer too. I ran out of room once. I’m looking into the mini freezer idea as well. I love going to Costco and buying meats and such in bulk. It really does help though the prices are higher. It saves me from going to the grocery store so many times and end up buying more things than I need to.