Are you looking for easy ways to save money? The cost-of-living crisis is certainly taking its toll on our monthly budget, and I am sure that we are not alone.
As my husband and I had coffee this morning, we came up with a plan on how we could cut spending and therefore save some money.
We wanted to share our ideas with you!
Cut unnecessary subscriptions and memberships
One effective way to save money is to review your latest bank and credit card statements and look for outgoings that are no longer necessary.
For example, we eliminated several subscriptions and memberships that we enjoyed but didn’t really need, such as Amazon Kindle and Apple Music.
In just one hour, we saved over £50 by making this simple adjustment.
Eat at home!
Eating out can really add up, so we started cooking all our meals at home. We have become skilled cooks, experimenting with homemade pizzas and trying out new recipes.
To make things even cheaper, we go grocery shopping after 3pm when local supermarkets reduce the cost of fresh food. In the UK, this is known as “yellow ticketed items,” and depending on where you shop, the savings can be significant.
Take your lunch to work
Similar to the previous tip, taking your lunch to work can save you a lot of money. To get a clearer picture of your spending habits, keep a money diary and record everything you spend over seven days.
You’ll likely be surprised by how much money you spend on coffee, snacks, and lunch. Packing your lunch not only saves money but also allows you to have more control over your food choices.
Search for free activities
Many local libraries and places of worship offer free activities for families, especially during school holidays.
It’s worth gathering a few friends together and trying out these free or low-cost options for entertainment and recreation.
One of the easiest ways to save money is by buying generic products.
Whether it’s medicine or food items like tinned tomatoes, opting for store-brand or generic options can significantly reduce your expenses compared to well-known brands.
Coupons can be a game-changer when it comes to saving money.
Take advantage of coupon websites and enjoy quality items at discounted prices. With a little bit of planning, you can maximise your savings by using coupons for essential purchases.
Consider switching to a cash-only budget. While it may not always be convenient, paying with cash rather than cards can help you realise the true cost of things.
It makes you more mindful of your purchases and encourages you to stick to your budget. Implementing a cash-only budget can be facilitated by using the envelope system, where you allocate specific amounts of cash to different categories of your budget.
If you’re a smoker, quitting can have a significant impact on your finances. Cigarettes are expensive, and the cost adds up over time.
By quitting smoking, you not only save money but also improve your overall health and well-being.
Stop drinking alcohol
Alcohol consumption can also take a toll on your budget. When going out for a meal, opting for a non-alcoholic drink can help reduce your expenses.
Not only does it save you money, but it also has potential health benefits.
Stop trying to keep up with the neighbours and have a staycation.
It’s easy to feel pressured to keep up with others’ lifestyles, especially when it comes to holidays. However, choosing a staycation instead of an expensive trip can help you save a significant amount of money.
Embrace the opportunity to explore your local area, discover new attractions, and create unique experiences without breaking the bank.
Say “No” or “Not yet.”
Resisting the temptation to make impulsive purchases is crucial in saving money. Whether you’re at the supermarket, a shopping mall, or browsing your favorite website, saying “No” or “Not yet” to yourself and your family can help develop better spending habits.
Delaying gratification allows you to evaluate your actual needs and avoid unnecessary expenses.
Try a spending freeze
A spending freeze involves temporarily refraining from buying nonessential items. It could be for a week, a month, or even just one day a week.
By avoiding stores where you tend to impulse buy and saying no to unnecessary purchases, you can challenge yourself to make do with what you already have and discover creative alternatives.
Unsubscribe from mailing lists!
To complement tips 11 and 12, unsubscribe from mailing lists that tempt you to spend. Clear your inbox of promotional emails and consider deleting shopping apps from your devices to reduce the chances of impulse buying.
Shop for clothes at your local charity shop
Charity stores offer great bargains, and you may be surprised by the quality and variety of items you can find. Instead of buying brand-new clothes at full price, explore charity shops stores in your area and give pre-loved items a second chance.
You might discover unique pieces and significantly reduce your clothing expenses.
Join a library
Libraries are fantastic resources for entertainment, education, and leisure activities. By joining a library, you gain access to a vast collection of books, magazines, movies, and more, all for free. Some libraries also offer additional perks like games, puzzles, and community events.
Have a family game night
Instead of going out to expensive entertainment venues, consider having a family game night at home.
Dust off your board games or borrow new ones from the library. It’s an enjoyable and cost-effective way to spend quality time together.
Calculate purchases by hours worked instead of cost
This strategy is particularly effective for keeping impulsive buying in check. Calculate the cost of an item in terms of how many hours you need to work to afford it.
When you realise the amount of time and effort it takes to earn the money, you might reconsider whether the purchase is truly worth it.
Place a note/washi tape in your wallet that reads: “Do I really need this?”
A simple but effective reminder can be the key to making more mindful spending choices.
Add a note or attach a piece of washi tape to your wallet with a message that prompts you to pause and reflect before making a purchase. This visual cue can help you stay focused on your financial goals.
Organise a neighbourhood swap meet
Engage your community by organising a neighbourhood swap meet. Encourage friends and neighbours to bring items they no longer need or use, such as clothes, books, toys, and more. Each participant receives a ticket for each item they contribute, and they can use these tickets to “purchase” items from others. Any leftover items can be donated to a local charity shop, ensuring that nothing goes to waste.
Save time and money by doubling the recipe
When preparing meals, consider doubling the recipe and freezing the leftovers. This approach not only saves money on heating the oven and using ingredients more efficiently but also reduces the time and effort spent on cooking.
You’ll have ready-made meals for busy days, eliminating the need for expensive takeout or delivery options.
Grow your own vegetables and herbs
Starting a small garden to grow your own vegetables and herbs can be a rewarding and cost-effective endeavour.
Seeds are relatively inexpensive compared to store-bought produce, and the satisfaction of harvesting your own crops adds to the overall experience.
Whether you have a backyard or a windowsill, you can find ways to incorporate gardening into your life.
Buy a water filter
Investing in a water filter can save you money in the long run compared to regularly purchasing bottled water.
By filtering your tap water, you’ll have access to clean and safe drinking water while minimising plastic waste. It’s an environmentally friendly and cost-effective choice.
Cut laundry detergent in half
Most laundry detergents are highly concentrated, and using the recommended amount is usually sufficient for clean clothes.
Consider cutting the amount of detergent in half and see if it still provides satisfactory results. You’ll be surprised by how little is actually needed to achieve clean and fresh-smelling laundry.
Have a budget meeting with the family
Regular budget meetings are essential for keeping track of your income and expenses. Involve your entire family in the process, discussing financial goals and identifying areas where you can cut back on spending.
By collectively monitoring your finances and making informed decisions, you can work together towards a more secure financial future.
Check out my blog on Why Budgeting is Essential.
If you’re looking for a super, simple Excel spreadsheet to help you, then check out my Excel Spreadsheet HERE!
Make some financial goals
After understanding your budget and expenditure, it’s important to set financial goals.
Whether it’s paying off debt, creating an emergency fund, or saving for a specific purpose like a holiday, having clear goals helps guide your spending and encourages saving habits. When everyone in the family shares the same financial objectives and values, it becomes easier to make responsible financial choices.
Remember, these tips are just starting points, and there are many other ways to save money. Feel free to share your own ideas and suggestions in the comments below. By working together and being mindful of our spending habits, we can all achieve greater financial stability and reach our savings goals.
Hi, I’m Karen, I am a blogger and finance coach. My speciality is helping couples get on the same financial page and win with money and marriage.