Ever get stuck in Pinterest’s wave of big-family based money saving tips? I know I did.
It seemed as if whenever I looked for money saving tricks it was either by double couponing (illegal in my state) or meal prep for large families.But for many people much like myself, there are only one or two people in a household.
Over the years I’ve tried a lot of different things to save that $$, and I think I’ve come up with some pretty good tricks, so stay tuned if you would like to hear them!
- Safeway Just for You Coupon System: This one is for my California natives especially, since we cant use that fabulous double-coupon technique that gets you an absurd amount of free groceries. As many other grocery stores have a club card savings program as well, Safeway decided to one up the game by allowing you to “digitally clip” coupons on the app or online and they just attach to your card, so when you enter in your phone number as per usual it will attach the coupon. So no muss, no fuss when it comes to dealing with paper coupons. It also tracks the items you purchase a lot, and offers you personalized coupons for the things you buy the most. On top of that, just this last week they have changed their gas rewards points into being an option between gas rewards, or you can use your “Reward points” for free stuff! There is a list of items worth 1-5 points you can choose from, and it is awesome.
- Go grocery shopping more often to prevent waste: Look, I know this sounds weird, but hear me out. I used to think i was the most brilliant person on earth for going to the grocery store ” once every two weeks” and shopping by creating a meticulous list and dinner menu and doing all this whacky planning. Realistically, fruits, veggies, and meats, just do NOT last that long. Even then so, a lot of people don’t know how to properly store certain produce items (hello old me) so they perished almost immediately. I was wasting so much food just because it would go bad so quick, and I felt so guilty about it being wasted and also because i was spending so, so much more money than was necessary. And id end up going to the store 2 times more to replace the goods! Now, I go every 3-4 days. I plan 3 or 4 meals ahead, and I always try and think of what I can re-use from a recipe for the next meal. I’m not a fan of leftovers unless it can be reheated in the oven or on the stove, so that effects my decision as well. Its harder to cook for two people than for my whole family for me, and its been a rough journey learning portion sizes (pasta, looking at you.). But now I have a hang of those things, I know how to shop better, which in turn saves me a TON of money.
- Re-sale furnishings: Look, I’m sorry, but until you reach a really sustainable point in your finances, you do not need that gold rimmed glass top end table that costs $245 for “aesthetic” purposes. I love home decor, but there are ways around those steep prices! There are so many people giving away high quality stuff for dirt cheap prices that are, yes used, but worth the amount you will save. Facebook now has “Market place”, which posts all sorts of things from people all over your area. Couches are outrageously expensive brand new, so if you are needing one look for a used first. If you want a style upgrade, look for couch covers! There are tons of options for a low cost. There are also now re furnishing items such as a vinyl “wallpaper” type item that can turn pretty much any surface into “marble” or whatever style preference you would like. I found some at Walmart for only ten bucks! Also, take advantage of Ross and Marshall’s. They have awesome super-discounted stuff in their home decor sections that are half the price of what you would pay at even Target for the same style stuff. (they also have great cookware)
- Share!: Want to go out to eat? Have an obligatory birthday dinner out? find a friend and split that meal! My best friend and I are constantly doing this because we not only love food and going out to eat, we like to save money while doing it! A lot of restaurants offer HUGE portions you could never dream of eating anyway (Cheesecake Factory is our thing, one of their plates could feed four), and a lot of the time when you split a meal they will give each person a regular serving of sides and split the main part of the entree for like 2 or 3 dollars extra. And to be honest, I eat a freaking lot. My husband even likes to brag bout how I “Eat like a man”, as I often eat a lot more than him around our house. Splitting a plate has never left me hungry, so it shouldn’t with you!
- Bank Smart: A lot of checking accounts with various bank chains now allow you to choose a program in which it will automatically deposit an amount into your savings based on certain factors. With my Wells Fargo account, they put a dollar into my savings every time I swipe my card for something. Some put a dollar in every day. Its really surprising how much I don’t notice and how much accumulates. It takes the action of putting funds into your savings out of your hands, which I was always terrible about!
I hope you guys enjoyed my tips and I hope it inspired you to get saving! Its so easy to cut budget costs with the right tools. Have any other tips for me you use? Let me know!
Ill be back soon,