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Saving money or figuring out where to save money can be tricky.
When money is tight it looks almost impossible to save anymore. You have cut back on eating out. The grocery budget is as tight as it possibly can be.
You have turned down the thermostat and added a few blankets. How can you possibly save anymore money?
Learning to cut back.
After money got tight we cut back on anything and everything. Including skipping the morning drive thru and bringing coffee from home.
We stopped going away every few months and started enjoying more family time at home. We started embracing a more frugal lifestyle and we have more money in the bank now because of it.
Once we took a good, hard, honest look at where we were spending our money it was easier to figure out where we could cut back and save.
We took a weeks worth of receipts to start, then a months worth and figured out where all our money was going. Then we cut back and set a budget.
It was an adjustment in the beginning. When you buy all your pastries and get breakfast on the go, eat out once or twice a week and plan a weekend away every few months.
You just need to come up with a new plan, one that works.
I will let you know as I write this there is fresh bread baking in the kitchen and it smells so good. The Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker one of the best money saving investments we have done lately.
7 Things We Do To Save Money:
1. Skip the pastry aisle and bake our own.
If you have read a post or two before you know half our household is gluten free and the other half eats just about anything. Gluten free goods are expensive. Four muffins or a loaf of bread can be $6.99 which is getting up there.
So we invested in some great pastry recipes and an amazing bread maker. I set aside time once or twice a week to bake some muffins, pastries or bread depending on the week. This saves us over $50 a week on average.
2. Brown bag it.
On average unless you are getting fast food most lunch meals run over $10 plus drinks. Save yourself the money and brown bag it from home. If you work on the road or in the construction field, invest in a portable oven like we did and have warm lunches on the road.
3. Have coffee will travel.
Are you up real early for work like we are and the drive thru is your wake up call? Invest in a great coffee maker and a portable coffee cup or a thermos. My husband uses his Stanley Thermos on the road and loves that it keeps his coffee warm all day.
4. Alternate vacations.
Holidays and vacations can get expensive with hotels, meals, attractions and travel. One way our family saves money is by using Airbnb. We select accommodations that will work with our needs and saved significantly versus hotel fees.
Getting an apartment, suite or home with a kitchen can also help you save on meals. Also look into staying just outside the city center to save even more money.
Or maybe a staycation is more your style and vacation in your own backyard. Relax, enjoy, visit with friends and save money.
5. Out with the paper.
Let’s face it paper products cost money and make a lot of waste. Skip the cost and kick the paper to the curb. Invest in reusable cloth napkins, cloth cleaning rags and kitchen towels.
6. Car sharing.
I will admit we are a two car household mainly because we live in a city where public transit really doesn’t cover our needs. However, when we can we group together all our family activities and rely on one vehicle. This saves us money on gas, car repairs and time.
7. We budget.
Yes, I said the budget word. My husband and I will budget out our month and generally pay with cash so we know where all our money is going. Budgeting has helped us pay down our debt and increase our savings.
I know the items above sound like real simple changes to make in your everyday but honestly they make a huge difference in your pocket book.
Think about it if you skipped the coffee shop this week and brought coffee from home instead of grabbing a latte to go you would be saving $25-$30 now add in lunch at $10 a day and the savings are really starting to add up.
Cut your cable and run your washer on the cool cycle and you will be saving more money. The savings do add up.
Have an amazing day,