Spending money is so easy to do. Saving money is the hard part. Don't we all agree? I'm notorious for stressing out at the beginning of each month when rent is due. Ever since the beginning of the year, I've found ways to save a little money here and there with household and credit bills along with weekly groceries.
Here's how my husband and I make it work.
One // Eliminate the Unnecessary
For us, this was our DVR and our extra High Def box. Our bill was a whopping $150/mo, but now after letting go of recorded shows and nice, clear television in the bedroom, we only pay $95/mo. (Note: As long as you're staying with your current cable company and not terminating your contract, you won't have any fees if you downgrade.) Remember, depending on the family and household, this could be anything, and more than one thing you're already paying for.
Two // Be A Smart Shopper
This can be accomplished in multiple ways, depending on what works for you. First off, during the week if we think of something we want to try, or run out of that we use all the time, I write it down simply so I don't forget. Secondly, I (usually) write down what we already have at home, so I don't buy it while I'm at the store (which can add up depending on the product of course). Thirdly, I rarely coupon. And when I do, it's one here or there if I remember I have it. A lot of us do not have the time, patience or energy to coupon (thumbs up to those who do!). Of course, I will hardly ever pay full price for anything when it comes to groceries or hobby related items. If you can buy all of your household, cooking, and boxed food related items at Walmart I can guarantee you will save money. As far as Stop & Shop goes, I buy our lunch meat, hamburg, and chicken cutlets there. Since it's just me and my husband, we don't need a lot of food at once, so we like to freeze our meat that we don't use so it'll stay fresh and be there for the next use.
Three // DIY Projects
Now I know all of us are not crafty people out there. But DIY projects really can be a lifesaver when it comes to home decor and fashion. That burlap wreath you've always wanted? You can make yourself with the right tools from your local craft store (tip: use their 40% or 50% coupon daily so you don't pay full price for anything!). Calendars? Chalk Boards? Holiday garland? Such simple ideas and tutorials all found in one place... Pinterest. On the plus side, your home will be more unique than ever.
Four // Date Nights
As much as hubby and I like to go out to dinner to our favorite places, we really can't afford the extra expense when we don't have gift cards to use up. Make your favorite meals, rent a movie through Red Box (seriously the best thing ever, only a dollar and change per movie - if you bring it back on time!), cuddle up on the couch and snack on your favorite snack. Other ways we keep ourselves entertained are intense Monopoly games on the Wii and watching hysterical cat videos on YouTube (true story).
What ways do you and your household save money?
Thanks for the great tips Amy! Be sure to check out her blog for more great posts!