It’s the beginning of a new year and I’ve been taking a closer look my finances. I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to be more disciplined and discover more ways to save. I’m all about saving money and finding areas where I can cut costs.
Below I’ve listed some tips that have helped me while on my debt free journey. Remember small changes can add up to big savings. Once you see the savings you will be motivated to find other creative ways to help you save more money.
Build a stockpile
There are certain products that we will typically need around the house. Paper towels, toilet paper, detergent, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. I hate paying full price for these items. I got into coupons back in 2008 when I was living on my own and had to make ends meet. I realized you could get these items for cheap or better yet for free! Whenever these items are on sale I use coupons & I stock up until the next sale comes around. It has helped me save so much money.
With some simple ingredients and a spray bottle you can create your own chemical-free cleaning solutions at home. You can simply mix vinegar & water together to make an everyday natural cleaning solution. For the living room I use a mix of baking soda and lavender essential oil to deodorize the carpet. I haven’t ventured into making my own laundry detergent, but have come across a lot of bloggers that have. I typically just use coupons to get detergent at a cheap price. Do what works for you & your family.
Cook from scratch
I’ve found that not only is cooking from scratch healthier for you because you are able to manage exactly what you put in your food, but it also helps to save money in the long run. That pizza you want to order? Make it at home. Making pizza dough from scratch doesn’t take long and the basic ingredients aren’t expensive. Make it fun by changing up toppings you use – you can make a Greek pizza one night and then a pepperoni pizza the next time.
One Chicken, Multiple Meals
Cooking a whole chicken is very cost effective because you can stretch the amount of meals you make. I’ve made at least 3 meals out of one whole chicken. The opportunities are endless with a quick Pinterest search. When there’s no more meat left you can use the bones to make your own chicken broth. Super simple to make especially overnight in the crockpot.
Substitutions while cooking/baking
There have been plenty of times when I was in the midst of cooking or baking and I realized that I was out of an ingredient. So instead of running to the store to find an ingredient, I will google to see if I can substitute it. Some examples that I have tried were using applesauce/coconut oil instead of butter and adding vinegar to milk to make buttermilk. So next time just try googling a substitute – save yourself a quick to the store & money.
Whenever an appliance is not being used in the house, I will unplug it. I noticed a drop in my electricity bill when I started doing this.
Pack your lunch
Make it a habit to pack your lunch & snacks to bring into work. Eating out everyday definitely adds up. If you find that you don’t have the time throughout the week to prepare your lunches, try meal prepping on Sunday for the whole week.
Make your own coffee
Oh Starbucks how I love you so, but my wallet doesn’t feel the same way. I remember the days of purchasing Starbucks coffee everyday when I was at work. Sometimes it was twice a day. That addiction added up quickly. Luckily now where I work we have free coffee so I’m not as tempted to go out and purchase coffee. The weekends are when the temptation comes knocking again, but since I’ve perfected my own caramel latte recipe I don’t visit Starbucks as often. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t given up Starbucks completely. When I do go it’s a treat.
I hope that these tips help you in some way or encourage you to think of other ways you can save in your own household.