10 Ways to Save
American lifestyles have certainly changed over the years. The Millennial generation is the largest in debt EVER. Me being a millennial, I have lots of school loans that if I pay the minimum payment, will not be paid off until I am 45! That’s not including the other debt I have, just school loans. It is hard to imagine that I will be middle aged before I can live comfortably without worrying about by school loans. Luckily I have lots of tips for saving money without living utterly miserable in the process of doing so. Here I list my top 10 ways to save!
Leaving appliances plugged in will still eat up electricity. Remember to unplug items you rarely use. Do you really need to keep the electric wine opener plugged in? How about the TV in the spare room, or the printer you use once a month? ALL of these pieces add up on your electricity bill. By leaving these unplugged you can easily save money
Adjust Your Thermostat
Another way to easily lower your electricity or gas bill is to lower the thermostat for the heat and raise it for the AC. I like to keep my Thermostat at 66 in the winter, I even brave the cold and get it to 64 at night! I found myself sleeping in short and tank tops in the winter, and I’m not sure why. 4 blankets were on my bed, but I would refuse put on sweatpants and a long sleeve shirt?! I have since learned to sleep in a long shirt and sometimes a sweatshirt too, pants and socks. Now I feel warm and cozy and hardly notice a difference. The summer is a bit harder to get used to. I like to keep the AC at about 78 and lower it to 75 at night. For me, I find that I get headaches if I’m too hot at night.
Now I am a big advocate for a complete and nutritious diet. That being said, it is okay to skip the meat for a day or two a week. Many foods are full of protein that are meatless. I particularly like to include beans, eggs, cheese, and yogurt on my meatless days to incorporate a balanced protein diet. One of my favorites is to make a smoothie with yogurt, milk, and fruit to get my day started.
Want to know my secret to a great money saver?! Do NOT buy drinks at a store. Stick to water! If you really need to change it up infuse the water with natural fruit. You can always make fresh lemonade! I used to drink 2 cans of soda a day, that’s 14 cans a week, Two 24 packs a month @ $8 each. I was spending $192 on drinks per year! It was tough to ween myself back and I did get many caffeine headaches, but I am very happy to say that I have not had a soda (unless at a restaurant) for over a year now
This might be something that is overlooked easily but can save you money that adds up over time. I rarely use plastic to store food or other items. I love the Pyrex glass containers (this is not an affiliated post, just my experience). With the plastic containers I found that they start to melt, smell, or turn color quickly. The glass ones last much longer and cleanup is a breeze in the dishwasher.
Do it Yourself! This is such an easy way to save money, but it will take your time. I recently ran into a lady at work who told me how excited she was that she got a cheap deal on house cleaners. I’m thinking …a deal on Lysol… “Where”?! and she told me all about a company she hired to wash her walls on the first floor of her home for $400… there are so many things I can think of to do with that!! Another great thing to do is take local classes for DIY project, or ask a friend for help. I recently needed help hanging some things around my house. Luckily I had a friend come over and teach me how to do a few then I was set to finish the rest and I now have a new shelving system!
When I go shopping My first thought is, would I work one or two hours just to buy that, do I want this item bad enough? I find the answer is often no! I tend to have better luck at thrift stores with my wants vs needs debate. Last week I was able to find a cardigan from Gap and Ralph Lauren, 2 blouses, and a skirt for $20, now that to me was valued at an hours’ worth of work.
Cook from Scratch
One of my favorite things to do is to cook! I find that cooking things from scratch can save you money, taste better, and keep your diet healthy. I have recently set a goal to lower my sodium intake. This is difficult since I love pasta sauce and tend to eat a lot of it. It turns out, tomatoes themselves are not high in sodium! So, I decided to set out and make my own sauce. I used tomatoes, onions, and garlic which cost me a total of $4.88, which doesn’t seem like a great money saver but… I got 8 jars from this! At a store those 8 jars would have been $17.52, Now that is what I call a deal!!! Another great money saver is my Frugal Friendly Banana Bread.
Watch your sales and shop for a different household product once a month. Look for all the deals all month long and when a good one comes along stock up on the item. Walgreens had a deal this week on Lysol products, BOGO! I got 2 bottles of each. Lysol multipurpose, shower cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, and wipes. By stocking up on items every month you ensure you get the best price for the items. Be sure to check expiration dates to make them last until the next sale.
Sticking to a meal plan is very important when saving money. Many people go to the store without a plan and buy items they want not items they need. Ever go to the store and buy items that just look good?! that is what I call an impulse buy and you don’t really need it. If by the next week I still want the item I will include it on the upcoming meal plan. Keeping to the plan makes it easy to set a budget and save money while shopping.
Thanks for sticking with me through these ridiculously easy ways to save money! Please comment below with your go-to way to save money.