Everybody is always wanting to save money. Everybody is always looking for easy ways to save money. Well I am naturally frugal and only recently did I realize some of the things I just do help that. I do them for other reasons like simplicity, speed, or enjoyment; but they also help me save money!
1. Only Wash Full Loads of Laundry I never really thought about it, but I only do laundry once a week or every two weeks, mostly when the hubby runs out of undergarments. I do sort out towels, jeans, sheets, and my gym clothes; but I wait until they are a full load, I’ll leave them for a month if it’s not a full load yet. This reduces water usage, electrical usage, and detergent waste.
2. Wear Clothing More Than Once At the end of the day I give my clothes the sniff test, if it doesn’t stink it goes back in the closet. Similarly, I use a towel more than once. When you get out of the shower aren’t you clean?! A new towel is completely unnecessary after every shower. Get a hook and hang it up for next time.
3. Fall in Love with Vinegar. I have fallen in love with vinegar, and my usual CostCo supply is SUPER cheap! I use it mixed with water (very diluted) to clean my floors. I use it to wash all my produce, again mixed with water. I made a concoction with lemon peels and use it as an all purpose cleaner. I use it instead of the JetDry in the dishwasher – and every once and a while I add an extra splash to clean out the dishwasher itself. There are so many other suggested uses for vinegar online too, check out this list from popsugar. I really want to try vinegar as fabric softener, but I want to use up my fleecy first.
4. Buy Groceries on Sale or skip them this week. It takes time, but learning what standard prices are for your groceries is SO IMPORTANT to not getting huge grocery bills. Another huge way you can manage your grocery bills is by planning your meals BEFORE you shop. If you do this you can also make your meal plan based on the meat (most expensive part of a meal) that is on sale!
I make grocery lists two different ways 1) I organize it based on the product’s location in the store, I do this for standard groceries that I buy all the time. 2) I organize it by meal, for x meal I need 3 things, for y meal I need 10 things. This allows me to gauge how bad I really want to make a meal. If I need 10 things and they all cost $10, I’ll cancel that from my meal plan.
5. Cook at home eating out consistently gets very expensive. Don’t believe me? check this article out. Also, it’s not nearly as good for you! Restaurants do not care what goes into your food as long as it tastes good. Check out some of my favorite recipes. When you make it you can make modifications to ensure it’s healthy too. I also make recipe modifications in order to keep the contents in my pantry cycling. I’m not going to buy grapeseed oil if I already have light olive oil. If i’m out of basmati but have quinoa, I’ll do that! I also save a couple bucks a week making my own bread, and I really enjoy it!
6. Buy Clothes on Sale unless you are a celebrity or work for vogue you never need to buy clothes regular price. You can wait, the clothing mark up is incredible! Ever wonder why employees get 50% discounts? Because the mark up is that high, wait for a sale.
7. Yellow Mellow sometimes. Think about it. If you flush two pees down the toilet every time, you are reducing your toilet water use by 50%… 50%!!! That’s significant. FYI, I don’t make my guests do it, and I always make sure that the toilets are empty before people come over.
8. DIY / Reuse. I regularly stock fresh bunches of spinach, I wash it and put it in a freezer Ziploc bag, which I will use two or three times before sending it on its way to the recycling plant. I also save glass jars for storing leftovers, homemade soups, dried beans, etc etc. I have done a lot of DIY’s check them out here – my biggest savings have been on my DIY furniture but a close second is my DIY Decor.
9. Collect Points That You Actually Use. Why does everyone collect Airmiles? Do you EVER use them? Do you realize you get 1 point for every $15 dollars you spend? That is crazy bad. I collect PC MasterCard points on everything I buy everywhere and I can redeem them at any Loblaws grocer. I subsidize almost every grocery trip with my points, in the six months alone we’ve gotten $200 in free groceries, just from using our credit card. I also collect Shoppers Optimum points, on 20x the points days, stocking up on pharmacy, and health items that are on sale. About once a year I get $100 in free goods from Shoppers Drug Mart shopping that way. Sorry Americans these are both Canadian only retailers.
10. Ditch the Gym About a year ago the hubby and I decided to invest in some at home gym equipment. The initial spend was daunting but in the long term WAY cheaper, and WAY more convenient. My gym membership was $50 a month + an annual maintenance fee of about $50-75 dollars. So in 1 year that’s a average cost of $650 dollars per person. Our equipment costs in the first year were about $1,000, but we got a full Olympic weight set and a cage and saved money immediately. This year we bought a recumbent bike for only $450. Huge savings if you’re a gym rat.
11. Research Large Purchases make sure you are getting what you pay for! I might surprise you on this one. Cheapest option isn’t always the best option. Yes, you might save in the short term, but look into things like warranty and always check out online reviews (amazon.com is a great place to start). You don’t want to end up having to spend the same money again to replace a low quality product when you could have just spent 10% more and had it last you several years.
Do you do anything I didn’t list? I love to find a new way to be frugal! Gimme your tips! I’m also interested in other uses for vinegar!