Hello, hopeful wives! I’m excited to welcome Sabrina from Finding Joy with BrinaLynn here today! A big part of wife life is dealing with money, and I’ve learned so many ways to save money from her. Sabrina is a homeschooling mom of seven, so she knows a thing or two about making ends meet. She also has a heart for encouraging wives and moms when life gets hard.
Sometimes it’s easy for people to talk about saving money and cutting spending, but they forget to tell you how to actually do that. I’ve offered some suggestions on my blog in a series of posts about getting a handle on your finances, but today, I’m giving practical ways to save money. Are you ready for these easy money-saving hacks?
All of these things we have done or are doing. Not all of these ways to save money are easy or fun; nevertheless, if you need to cut the fat, here we go! Here are ways to save money right now!
Ways to Save Money
1. Develop a budget
You have to have a budget in place! We use the EveryDollar app now, but in the past, we had a plain old pen and paper budget.
2. Pay attention to the thermostat
Keep the thermostat at the highest temp you can stand. We do 74-75 during the day, 72 at night. Fans will help you stay cooler, too!
3. Cut the cable
There are so many free or cheap ways to watch our favorite shows that we (after 7 years of no cable) can’t make ourselves pick that expense back up. Check out this list of cable alternatives.
4. Turn off the lights
Seems simple enough, but with kids, I’m constantly reminding someone to turn off their light.
5. Change the lightbulbs
The CFL are supposed to help lower your light bill. We did this, and every light in our house had these. Honestly, I didn’t seem much of a difference on our bill, but maybe that’s because these people don’t know how to turn out the lights? They do last longer than regular bulbs; perhaps that’s where the savings come in.
6. Change the air filter often
So simple, yet we forget this all. the. time! Our A/C man told us that if it is already full of dust, it’s past time to change it. Having a clean filter means the unit doesn’t have to work as hard.
7. Make showers short & turn off water when brushing teeth
We have a well, so if water is running, so is the pump and most likely the water heater. That’s a double whammy on our power bill.
8. Close doors & blinds in the Summer
I hate having the blinds and doors closed. Ugh! It feels so dark, but when it gets really hot in the summer, we have to. The a/c is already working super hard, and every little bit helps.
9. Turn off the TV
I’m not saying don’t watch it, but when no one is watching, hit the power button. We have a picture slideshow as our screensaver, so it would roll through for hours. I realized one day how much heat the TV was putting off. The slideshow as our screensaver, so it would roll for hours. I realized one day how much heat the TV was putting off. The slideshow is nice, but not worth adding unwanted heat to my house.
10. Welcome those hand-me-downs
I love a nice big bag of hand-me-downs! It’s better than buying new to me. First of all, I hate shopping, so I get to just “shop” in my own house. Secondly, most of the time, they are free!
11. Be content with your wardrobe
This is tough, too. I get so sick of walking into my closet only to see the same things all the time. Do your best to mix it up, and put off the shopping until you really need something. When you do go shopping, be sure it fits into your budget, but also be sure to only buy what you LOVE!
Ways to save money in the kitchen
12. Reuse Ziploc bags
Of the ways to save money, I hate doing this one. But then, I also hate throwing away a bag that only had a piece of bread or a cucumber in it. I have never kept bags that are greasy or had meat in it. But, I have done this to save a few bucks.
13. Avoid using the oven & stove
As much as you can in the summer, avoid the stove and oven. Try using the crockpot instead or throw something on the grill. You can also eat more fresh veggies and salads.
14. Wash dishes
When we were cutting back like crazy, we didn’t use paper plates. I bought cheap plastic plates that were lightweight and easy to wash. I couldn’t see throwing money in the trash in the form of a paper plate.
15. Meal plan
I know it’s hard, and you hate it. But it’s necessary if you want to save money. This is probably the single most important step in saving money in your kitchen!
16. Shop the grocery sales
This goes hand in hand with meal planning. It takes time and effort, but I promise it’s worth it!
17. Make homemade bread
While not a hard task, especially if you have a bread machine, it takes time. I get that, but it does save money, and homemade bread…your family will thank you!
18. Cook from scratch
As much as possible, cook from scratch. I learned a lot about cooking from scratch from Miserly Moms: Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy. I read this book when we first decided I would come home to be with the kids. It helped me get a jump start on this money saving thing.
19. Make homemade spices
I almost never buy a spice packet. I’ve been making my own taco and chili seasonings for years. And ranch dressing? I make that, too, and anyone who ever tries it wants my recipe. It’s not always convenient, but it’s not hard to throw together your own seasonings.
Ingredients for my super easy Ranch recipe:
1 cup mayo
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp salt
2 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper (optional)
milk to desired consistency
Directions for my super easy Ranch recipe:
Mix mayo and sour cream together.
Add all seasonings.
Add milk to desired consistency.
Ways to save money in the laundry room
20. Make homemade laundry detergent
I’m personally not good at this. I don’t know if I haven’t found the right recipe to work for us, but our clothes seemed dingy and didn’t smell nice at all when I made our detergent. We have hard water, too, so maybe that’s part of it. Some people swear by it, so I think it’s worth trying.
21. Wash the laundry in cold water
I know there are some situations, like diaper laundry or whites, that need hot water, but use it sparingly.
22. Avoid using the clothes dryer
HUGE money saver. Have the hubs put up a clothesline if you have space. Anytime you can avoid using the dryer, you score! A neighbor once told me her daddy told her that he could just see the money rolling around in that dryer. At the time, I didn’t get it, but now I do after having saved a good bit on our power bill by not using the dryer.
23. Cut dryer sheets in half
Literally. If you need to use the dryer, make your dryer sheets last twice as long by cutting them in half. I couldn’t believe that only have would do the trick, but it does!
The most important thing to do to save money is to implement a budget – Right away! Even if you know where your money is going, a budget can help you really see and put limits where you may need limits. Do this first. If you have no idea how to create a budget (that’s ok, we didn’t either!), I recommend Dave Ramsey or Crown Financial Ministries. Both are amazing and will help you get your budget in place. If you are ready to jump in with both feet, check out Dave’s book The Total Money Makeover. It’s easy to read and very motivating!
Remember, a long journey begins with a single step. Take the first step, then the next, then the next. One step, one day at a time. You can do this!
So, if you are serious about getting your finances in order, refer back to these practical money-saving tips! Which ways to save money did we miss? Are there any that you’ve had success with?