About four times a year I do a top to bottom cleaning of my house– both literally and financially. I love these quarterly check-ins as I’m always able to find ways to save more money or where I can cut back. This month-long money saving challenge is a great way to jump-start your savings. Here’s a list of 30 money saving ideas– 1 task to tackle each day!
All of these are super simple, easy to implement changes. And while simple, the end result can be significant. The goal is to free up extra cash in your budget that you can use for other things!
30 Days to Saving More Money
- Purchase quality. When you need to purchase something– make sure it’s quality. I know it may seem a little counterintuitive to start off my 30 days of money saving with a tip on purchasing, but it’s worth pointing out. Buying a quality item that will last you, ends up being less expensive in the long run versus the cheapest item that you will probably end up having to replace sooner rather than later.
- Using up your leftovers. When you don’t use up your leftovers, you are essentially throwing money in the trash. Wanna know my 1 simple trick to save money and stop food waste?
- Make your own cleaning products. Not only is this a healthier living option- but it’s also a cheaper one. Megan Patiry from Paleo Hacks offers recipes for 9 Natural DIY Cleaning Products.
- Skip the paper products. Paper plates, paper towels, paper cups, long-term are costing you a fortune. Try switching to reusable options. I ran across an article from Natalie at Labient about Moving to a Zero Waste Kitchen and while some of her suggestions were ones I’d been implementing– her suggestion for paper towels replacement was new to me.
- Say goodbye to plastic wrap and plastic bags. Plastic wrap alternatives- my sister has been hard selling me on these for months. She swears by them. You can find resuable bags almost anywhere– the trick is remembering to keep those beauties in the car! #thestruggleisreal
- Buying in bulk. Check the price per unit, but buying in bulk can often save you a bit of money. I particularly like being my meat from Costco and then saving it in serving size portions.
- Stock the freezer. Save yourself time and money by doubling your recipes and saving half for another dinner. As I mentioned before, buying in bulk is almost always cheaper when you compare price per unit, so why not go ahead and make it a double win by freezing for a future meal? Saving money + working smarter, not harder = total win.
- Make your own seasoning mixes.
- Think before you buy. We have a rule around our house that if we want something, we have to have needed it at least twice and given ourselves three days to think about it once we are ready to purchase to make sure we really need the item. Many purchases happen based on emotion. This simple rule helps to take the emotion out of the purchasing process.
- Shop around. I’m not just talking about toasters! Cable, internet, insurance +. You should be reevaluating on a pretty consistent basis to make sure you aren’t paying more than you should. Companies all the time are running promotions and offers, why not get in on that?!
- Declutter. Did you know clutter can contribute to stress? There have actually been studies done showing that high clutter can lead to stress. While stress in an of itself is a good reason to declutter, clutter can also cost you money. When your house is cluttered and unorganized, it’s hard to really know what you have. Have you ever found yourself with 4 jars of pickles because the jars kept getting pushed around your fridge and you kept thinking you were out?? #askingforafriend The other side of this argument for decluttering is that once you have minimized your house, you are less inclined to junk it up again with more crap. You can become more deliberate about your purchases.
- Turning off the electronics. No, this is not a push about turning off appliances when you aren’t using them– although you definitely should be doing that!– but cable TV and subscription services can really add up. Try conversation, reading, board games, getting outside as cheap or free alternatives.
- Repurposing. Take a look around your house and see what you’ve got that can be reused for some other purpose. I first really tried working on this when my kids came home from school talking about recycling. They were keen to give it a go and were looking for other ways to save. Some of my favorite ideas they implemented: reusing milk cartons for planters (DIY spice garden– double savings), jelly jars repurposed into food storage, we save the toilet paper rolls for crafts, baby food jars for craft organization, cookie or coffee tins for toy storage. You can really get creative and save yourself money at the same time!
- Track Your Spending. Want to really save money? Check out where its been going! If you haven’t already started budgeting your money– you’re missing the boat, my friend. If you don’t know what your weekly budget is, you’re really missing the boat, my friends!
- Get rid of cell phone by contract. Pay as you go is where it’s at! There are tons of great deals to be had outside of a contract which are incredibly reasonable. I’ve found some plans as low as $15/month for talk + text.
- Cashback rewards, coupons, and sales.
- Ibotta* and Checkout51. You can upload your receipt and earn cash back on certain items that you purchased! You should check what items are earning cash back prior to going to the store to see if anything you need would qualify.
- Honey. Helps you find the best price on Amazon. It shows you available coupons for the website you are shopping on. It’s as easy as clicking “apply coupons” button on your taskbar (You have to install Honey plugin on your computer). Bonus! When Honey makes a commission from the sale of an item, they split it with you, it’s called “Honey Gold”. Once you receive a certain level of “honey gold” you can redeem for gift cards to a variety of vendors (Target, Amazon, etc.).
- Rakuten. Want to earn cash back for shopping online buying things that you would have purchased anyway? Then this is for you. Rakuten is huge. You get a certain percentage (it’s different with each vendor) and once a month you’ll get the cash back on the purchases you made. You can use this for booking hotels, airfare, buying clothes, toiletries, groceries, etc. Who doesn’t love free money!! You can join for free and with my referral link, you get $10 after your first purchase of $25 or more! I booked our summer vacation and got $225 back– winning!
- RetailMeNot. Download the plugin or search through their website and find coupons and promo codes to help save you money at checkout online.
- Free fun. Many cities have exhibits, concerts, shows etc, that are sponsored by the city. Check out the local paper or website for what’s happening in your city!
- Public transportation. Consider public transportation. If you could figure out ways to either carpool or cut out having a car altogether, you could really save quite a bit of money (No gas, insurance, car payment= $$$). If thats not an option, figure out ways to optimize your trips to save your self the most amount of gas and try to take trips less frequently. Grocery delivery is a thing now, ya’ll!
- Meal Plan. If you aren’t making a meal plan, you are probably overspending on groceries. Knowing what you are going to be making for the week/ month and then shopping with that list can keep you from overspending. It is a little work up front, but worth it!
- Know your weaknesses! For me? It’s Target. I can go in there with all the lists in the world and I’m still coming out with something from the clearance section, and about 12 things I never knew I always wanted. So I avoid, avoid, avoid!
- Organize the maintenance schedule for your car, appliances, furnace, A/C, etc. It is far easier and cheaper, in the long run, to maintain what you’ve got than it is for expensive repairs or replacements. If you haven’t been introduced to the magic that is Google Calendar to organize your life, you are missing out on a whole lot of win!
- A small footnote here: If you own your own car, please check with the manufacturer about the maintenance schedule for your car and upload it to your Google Calendar. If you are taking your car to one of those quick oil change places, they won’t always follow specific maintenance plans for your car, better for you to be armed with the knowledge beforehand, PLUS you have the benefit of not being surprise AND looking out for promotions, coupons, etc.
- Cold water to wash your laundry.
- Banking and ATM fees. If you are still banking with a bank who charges you for the privilege of holding your money and then charges you to take it out– it’s time to look at other options. It’s not you, it’s them!
- Increase your insurance deductible. If you don’t already have sinking funds you should. With sinking funds in place, you can easily increase your insurance deductible and save yourself money every month.
- Cutting expensive habits. Consider giving up smoking, drinking alcohol, sodas, Starbucks every morning, etc.
- Instead of eating out, trying taking a picnic.
- Share and swap. Borrow books or movies from friends and family.
- Save your change. One way I contribute to saving money is taking all my coins and putting them aside after I’ve got quite a bit, I roll it, take it to the bank and deposit it. It’s an easy way to save that I don’t really need to think about and that I don’t really miss.
- Check out beauty schools to get your hair done. You can often get deeply discounted or even sometimes free haircuts!
- Take care of yourself. Much like your furnace or car– you need to take care of yourself (drinking lots of water, making good food choices, getting in your exercise, enough sleep, etc.) Hopefully, you can avoid expensive medical bills down the road.
How are you saving money? I’d love to hear from you, please comment below!