With the holidays approaching, we are all looking for ways to cut costs and save money. I am a big proponent of creating a budget and sticking to it. Over the years, I’ve found creative ways to cut costs and pinch pennies when needed. Today, I’m sharing three of my best money-saving tips.
Be honest. How often do you sign up for a subscription service, a gym membership, workout program, or a paid app and never actually use it? Or better yet, you get the free seven-day trial and then forget to cancel it. I used to be guilty of this (and sometimes I still am.)
Every so often I like to sit down and go through our bank statements. I highlight all the things we are subscribed to and reevaluate if we truly need or use them. Sometimes I’m shocked to see how many things we are paying for that we don’t use or need. These small $5-$10 charges that come out of our accounts may not seem like much, but it adds up. You’d be surprised at how much money you can save your family just by canceling a few of these subscriptions.
Use Money Saving or Reward Apps
These days 90% of my shopping is done online. Between COVID and not wanting to drag two toddlers to the store, I buy almost everything on my computer. There are a few apps that I use to save as much money as possible.
- Rakuten: This app gives you cash back for shopping. Every time you buy something, a percentage of your purchase gets put into your Rakuten account. Four times a year the company mails you a check with the money you’ve accumulated. It’s a great way to get money back on purchases you would have made anyway.
- Honey: This app searches the internet for the best coupon available when you go to checkout online. I have the plugin installed on my computer, so it automatically pops up when I’m shopping. Now I don’t have to spend time looking for money-saving coupons because the best deals are delivered to me through Honey.
- Ibotta: This app is similar to Rakuten. The main difference is your cash back comes from only certain items that are available on the app as opposed to a percentage of your entire purchase. I find this app extremely helpful when grocery shopping or buying household items.
Be Smart in the Kitchen
The biggest way I have learned to save money in our budget is in the kitchen. There are many ways I make this happen but here are the three key things I always do:
- Meal planning based on the food we already have on hand in the fridge, pantry, and freezer is where I always start. I make sure to plan realistic meals based on our weekly schedule, so we aren’t tempted to scrap the plan and get takeout.
- I always cook extra food by doubling a recipe when I can. I then freeze some of the extras for another meal later on. We also take leftovers for lunch throughout the week. Eating out (even at lunch) gets expensive. Finally, leftovers are great for those busy weeknights when you don’t have time to cook. It prevents us from wasting money on takeout, too.
- I rarely go for prepackaged snacks or precut items. This might be a time-saver for busy moms, but it isn’t cost-effective. Buying foods in bulk and prepping them at home in reusable containers is much smarter (and it’s better for the environment). While this may be more expensive up front, but in the long run, it will save money.
I hope you find some of these money-saving tips helpful. Maybe you can even implement some of these suggestions to save your family a little money. Who doesn’t love that?!