It seems as though now, more than ever before, we are all trying to cut back on spending and ensure that we’re saving a little more every month. In times of severe inflation, it’s even more important that we are being frugal and responsible with our cash flow. With that in mind, we’ve compiled 18 wars to reduce your spending and plump up our savings accounts.
#18: Meal Plan and Prep
Plan and prep your meals ahead of time. You can do this easily for both breakfast and lunch—for yourself and the rest of the family. It saves you time, money on grocery bills, and you are less likely to frivolously spend money on lunches out.
#17: Use Cash Back Apps
Start using cash back apps on your online purchases. With every checkout you produce, you can gain a cash rebate back that will eventually be placed back into your bank account. For example, Rakuten (formerly known as ebates), has saved people hundreds over the course of three months of shopping online!
Check out this list from Nerd Wallet to learn about some other great cash back app options.
#16: Cancel Your Subscriptions
Download Trim immediately. So many of us are out here spending a bunch of money we don’t even know we’re losing because of monthly subscriptions we have forgotten about and don’t use. With the aforementioned app, you’ll be able to keep up with and cancel those monthly bills. Only keep what you use, what you like, and what is essential.
#15: Use Less Energy
Why do it? You will save money on your monthly utility bills!
How do you do this? Well, there are some simple switches around the house that will get this done. For example, you can switch out your light bulbs for LED bulbs, as they use 90% less energy than regular bulbs and will last much longer—even if you have to shell out more cash for the initial purchase.
You can also install a “smart” thermostat and allow it to do the energy-saving for you on a daily basis.
#14: Implement No-Spending Weeks
We have actually gushed about the idea of non-spending days in previous posts about saving money. And it’s actually becoming more and more popular to have entire no-spending weeks!
Plan these weeks out in advance so as to not stress yourself out. Put them on your calendar, and then have yourself and the fam rolling in extra dough after the end of your routines. This is a great time for meal prepping and getting all those at-work to-do lists completed.
#13: Quit Cable
Think about it—do you really need cable anymore? With all the streaming platforms we use on a daily basis (and the ability to get local stations through services like Hulu), why spend extra on outdated cable providers? Instead, stick with your Fire Sticks and Rokus, and save big every month.
#12: Budget Correctly
Sit down and budget your earnings correctly. Too many people go in blind every month with their spending and think because they have a bit leftover every month that they’re doing okay. But in reality, they could be doing so much better. Do some research on a budgeting plan that works best for you, but we advise beginning with the 50/30/20 rule.
With this idea, you will be spending roughly 50% of your earnings on necessities, no more than 30% of your earnings on things you want to do or purchase, and then at least 20% should go to your savings accounts or thinning out your debt.
#11: Always Use Lists
Lists will save you from spending excessively and going home with unneeded items. It’s imperative that you never go to the grocery store without a list in hand (and never go when you’re hungry)—and that goes the same for other kinds of shopping as well.
Those trusty trips to Target should involve a list of necessities that you’re there to shop for! Or you might go home with a bunch of stuff and probably forget the item that led you to go in the first place!
#10: Pay with Cash
Paying with cash is like preparing yourself for success before the event takes place. If you plan to pay with only dollar bills, you are less likely to overspend when you go grocery shopping (or even shopping for clothes or shoes)—because you have an actual limit that you’re working with.
#9: Cut Coupons
Cutting coupons works. And even though you don’t hear about them too often anymore, coupons still exist, and they still have the potential to save you big!
Grab the Sunday newspaper and clip those coupons before your weekly grocery trip. There are also apps like Target’s Cartwheel or even Kroger that have digital coupons to work with.
#8: Price Check
Shop around for the right price. Check between Target, Walmart, and Amazon before you purchase a new laptop. Check between Ulta, Sephora, and Marshall’s before your purchase of that new makeup palette. The little extra energy it takes to check prices will have you reducing your spending on the less necessary items.
#7: Join a Club
Costco and Sam’s Club have a price to join, but the benefits are worth every penny—especially when you will save so much by joining. Over the course of the year, you will be so surprised by how much you save by buying the family’s needs in bulk rather than smaller purchases made more often.
#6: Make Coffee at Home
Stop dropping $7 on a coffee every morning on the way to work—and wasting time in drive-thru lines. Instead, make your coffee at home and save the extra cash. You can buy all the right ingredients to ensure it tastes just as you like it in the comfort of your own home. Even Starbucks’ vanilla sweet cream cold brew can be purchased online now.
#5: Free Date Nights
When date night comes calling, get creative by planning out “free” date nights with your significant other. There are a lot of options out there where you can make memories, spend quality time together, and still save for that future home (or for a rainy day).
For example, grab snacks from the pantry and have a picnic in the park. Play board games by the fireplace. Check out free local music spots you can go to. Or go test-drive your dream cars!
#4: Shop for Staples
Keep your staples in your pantry. If you are stocked up on these staples, you won’t ever have to spend extra on last minute dinners because you’ll have everything you need when you are in a pinch. Most items of this kind have a long shelf life too, so you won’t have to worry about them going bad before you use them.
#3: Resell Your Items
It’s important that you purge every so often. Whether that’s every six months or every season, go through your closets and get rid of the things that aren’t working for you anymore. Once you purge, sell your gently used items for extra cash!
#2: Automate Your Savings
It’s time to auto-save off everything you are earning. Do not even give yourself a chance to spend what you could be putting away for a rainy day. It’s such a simple process, too. All you have to do is set up your checking account to auto-save your money.
There are a lot of different ways to go about your savings, and it’s completely up to you what percentage of your paycheck you want to take out during every pay period.
#1: DIY Your Necessities
Finally, you can learn how to DIY your necessities and never spend an arm or a leg for them again. This goes for items such as dishwashers or laundry detergent. And there are so many DIY recipes you can snag from the Internet and try at home.