Monday, January 14, 2013

37 Easy Ways to Save Money

The busyness of the holidays, gift buying, and innumerable runs to the grocery store can all add up to a busted budget in December. If you've resolved to get back on budget in the new year, or if you're starting to budget for the first time as part of the No Spend Month Challenge, here are some ways to save money. Pick two or three to commit to, and you could save thousands of dollars this year. You may even become a little greener along the way.

*Update: Check out the expanded list of 97 Easy Ways to Save Money*


Check out this list of 37 easy ways to save money. www.growingslower.com #savemoney #savingmoneytips

37 Easy Ways to Save Money


1.  Switch to cloth napkins, save $4/mo
2.  Cancel your home phone, save $30/mo
3.  Cut down on Starbucks runs, save $15-100/mo
4.  Move to a cheaper home, save $200-2000/mo
5.  Cook dinner at home instead of eating out, save $150-500/mo
6.  Turn down the heat, save $10-20/mo
7.  Pack a lunch, save $40-200/mo
8.  Let your hair go back to its natural color, save $50/mo
9.  Take the bus, bike, or walk instead of driving, save $30-400/mo
10. Carpool, save $200/mo
11. Use family cloth instead of buying toilet paper, save $5-10/mo
12. Commit to being a one car family, save $400/mo
13. Combine errands into fewer trips, $10-50/mo
14. Shop for a better deal on insurance, save $10-50/mo
15. Make sure tires are properly inflated, save $30/mo
16. Use mama cloth or a diva cup instead of disposable products, save $10/mo
17. Don't carry a credit card balance, save $30/mo
18. Use in-network providers for healthcare, save $30-120/mo
19. Stop impulse and recreational shopping, save $50-300/mo
20. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable, save $50-100/mo
21. Save manicures and pedicures for special occasions only, save $30/mo
22. Shop for a cheaper cell phone plan, save $10-25/mo
23. Use cloth baby wipes instead of disposable, save $10/mo
24. Cook vegetarian once a week, save $20/month
25. Cancel the gym membership you don't use anyway, $30-60/mo
26. Quit smoking, save $50-200/mo plus healthcare expenses
27. Drive the speed limit, save $10/mo
28. Cancel cable, save $30-100/mo
29. Go to the library instead of buying books, save $10/mo
30. Buy clothes at thrift and consigment stores, save $100/mo
31. Stop buying lottery tickets, save $5-20/mo
32. Do your own home and car maintenance, save $60-200/mo
33. Make your own bread, save $10/mo
34. Use less water, save $5-10/mo
35. Downsize your garbge service, save $10/mo
36. Do your own yard work, $150/mo
37. Hang your clothes to dry instead of using the dryer, save $10/mo

What's one thing you could cut from your budget? 


Join the GrowingSlower Community!




Image Credit. This post is linked up with Tuesday Greens, Frugally Sustainable, Your Green Resource.


Welcome to the January 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Recovering from the Holidays This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about how their families get back to normal after the holidays are over.

***
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting this March!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:


  • Pinterest Inspiration for Easier Winter Holidays Shannon, writing at Natural Parents Network, shares inspiration for having more relaxed winter holidays from their Handmade Holidays Pinterest board.
  • Seven Recipes for Beans - Post Holiday Cleaning — Destany at They Are All of Me shares her favorite bean recipes that she hopes will help her body recover from overindulging her sweet tooth during the holidays.
  • The Recovery in the Change — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen made changes in her life and attitude throughout 2012 and was pleasantly surprised at how those changes impacted her holiday recovery!
  • Could this question change your life for ever? — To get your new year off on the right footing, Mrs Green of Little Green Blog is challenging us all to love ourselves with commitment and discipline. She asks you to focus on a simple question which might just bring you back in balance...
  • Holiday Recovery — Meegs at A New Day talks about how the holidays can be overwhelming for a toddler, and how she's helping her 3 year old recover.
  • 5 Ways to Detox After the Holidays — Brittany at The Pistachio Project gives a few ways to help you detox and get back on track after the holiday season has passed.
  • 3 Simple Ways to Establishing Rhythm After the Holidays or Any Time — Sheila at A Living Family shares 3 simple ways to reestablish a rhythm of connection and calm in your family after holidays, visitors, travel or any time.
  • Gemstones For Holiday Hangoverss — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama delves into the power of gemstones as an often overlooked means of dealing with the holiday letdown.
  • Getting back to Healthy — Bess at A Warrior Mom talks about the struggle of getting young ones back to eating healthy after several days to weeks of getting more candy and sweets than normal for the holidays and gives some suggestions on how to get them back to eating healthy in the new year.
  • Post Christmas Juice Feast — Sam at Love Parenting explains why she has created a new tradition of juice feasting, and how she includes her toddler when detoxing.
  • The Java Monkey On My Back — Christy at Eco Journey in the Burbs realizes it is time to kick her cup of Joe habit as a first step toward detoxing.
  • Minimalist Holidays — Jorje of Momma Jorje doesn't find much need for recovery after her minimalist version of the holidays.
  • Do something for you — Lauren at Hobo Mama urges you to find a silly and indulgent reward of me-time — and she has hers.
  • do we recover? — Kenna at Million Tiny Things wonders what recovery really means in the context of the tragedies of this past holiday season.
  • 37 Easy Ways to Save Money — Shannon at GrowingSlower is sharing these money-saving tips to help get your budget back on track after the holidays.
  • A Two Year Old's ResolutionsThat Mama Gretchen is putting the holidays behind her with a spin on traditional resolutions — New Year's goals for her two-year-old! Sound crazy? Read on for an explanation!
  • How to Find Balance after the Holidays — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her favorite ways to start a new year with hope and calmness.
  • Fresh Awakening — For Luschka at Diary of a First Child, the new year has coincided with a return to restful nights. With sleep, she's found new directions in life, but while she can't make too many changes to her life right now, she's inspired and excited about the future.
  • Learning to slow down after a busy Festive Season Stoneageparent describes the joys and lows of this year's festive season, as well as her New Year's resolutions.
  • Detoxing' Your Toddler After the Holidays — Does your family suffer side effects from the holidays? Join Christine from African Babies Don't Cry to learn how she detoxed herself and her toddler off the treats and festivities of the season.
  • Scheduling is OK! — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep explores the possibilities of the — SCHEDULE!!
  • We're Saving their First Christmas for Next Time — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot takes it easy after moving with her husband and new babies to Scotland.
  • A Vacation from the World — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children retreats with her family at the end of every year in order to recuperate and enjoy one another.
  • On the Road to Recovery — Dionna at Code Name: Mama isn't just recovering from the holidays, she's recovering from a lifestyle.
  • We Never Left the GrindErika Gebhardt compares a typical day pre-holidays and post-holidays.
  • Remembering and Recovering from the Holidays (One day at a time) — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM is recovering from holidays slowly--taking one day at a time--while trying to remember all the sweet moments that passed too quickly.
  • 5 a Day — To get back on track Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy needed a simple system to help her family learn new values.
  • Holiday Detox & Healing: Bieler Broth — Megan at The Boho Mama shares her secret for a gentle, whole-foods-based post-holiday detox: Bieler Broth!
  • I'm Mama Not Supermom — After a year filled with changes Angela at EarthMamas World has to remind herself that she does not have to be supermom while recovering from the holiday chaos.

51 comments:

  1. Great Resource! I shared so hopefully others will be aware of ways they can save money!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad that we're doing *most* of the things on your list. We're pretty conscious about how we spend out money, but we have to be in a household where only one parent works full-time. I would love to eat out less - my husband loves to eat out, and it's an easy way for me to take a break ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great tips here. I could definitely cut down on going out to eat. I'd love to cancel my home phone and cable too. I barely even watch TV and the kids could go without it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. These are great ideas. I always forget about turning down the heat - need to do that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great list! It's amazing how the little things add up. One alternative to canceling your land line and shopping for a cheaper cell plan is to keep the land line but live without a cell phone--it depends on what your priorities are.

    Here are my <a href="http://articles.earthlingshandbook.org/2012/03/07/thrifty-tips/>Thrifty Tips</a>.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Its great to see that we do plenty off your list already :) And you have reminded me to check my tyre pressure... its scary how much of a difference that makes!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I need to do the car tire tip. I only hang on to our landline because so many were without cell service in Hurricane Sandy. Otherwise, it would be out the door as an expense. I am definitely pinning this one and seeing how we can do better.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wonderful tips! We do plenty of those things now, but it's always a good reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sharing on FB now :) I've recently started using cloth napkins (love it!) and am actually making my first batch of homemade bread today! Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great tips. We already do many of these. I've really been wanting to switch to cloth napkins though and haven't done it yet.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love your listing of ways to save money, Shannon! My husband and I became a one-car family once we were empty nesters. That alone has made a huge difference. And we've both been vegetarians for almost 40 years now (our kids are lifelong vegetarians), so that's helped tremendously over the years, too! :) Deb @ LivingMontessoriNow.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. thanks for your tips about how to savem money, there are a few I haven't tried that we should this year. Check out my new year's resolutions at stoneageparent.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I meant www.stoneageparenting.com! sorry

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is a great list. So comprehensive. Starbucks is a pet-peeve of mine. I make a nice mug of coffee that's just as good at home. Takes me two minutes. That said, I'm guilty of NOT doing a lot of the other things too. And I should!

    ReplyDelete
  15. We do a lot of tose thing but I really need to get more disciplined with #19! When I'm stressed (which Ive been lately) I tend to shop! :(

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great ideas! Thanks for compiling them all here.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Seriously??? Commit to a one car family would loose is $110,000 annually. Does anyone really buy books anymore? Most of them are online for free or under $1. Have not bought paper anything in 5 years. You list is very out dated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think what you're saying is that if you didn't have the second car, you would lose your second income? Of course, not all of the ways to save money will be right for every family. It's amazing how much we do spend to go to work though. As I noted in my How to Afford to be a Stay at Home Mom post, the average person spends $400/month on transportation to work alone. The cost of a second vehicle can be shockingly high when you consider a loan or lease payment, insurance, maintenance, registration, and gas.

      The average American spends $118 a year on reading materials. I guess that's not much, but every little bit helps. It's wonderful that there are so many free and inexpensive books available now. If you want the latest Grisham or Rowling for instance, it's still $9-13 even on kindle.

      Delete
    2. When we first got our second vehicle a little over 4 years ago our vehicle expenses went up to almost double what our rent was. We had two car payments, two insurance payments and a lot of money to gas. We lived in a cabin in the woods though so it took us 45 minutes one way to get into town and home. Having the second vehicle meant I could go into town on a whim instead of planning it out, which meant that we went into town daily. In Nov 2011 a an uninsured unlicensed young man crashed into my van head on and we just never replaced it. We don't ever plan to be a 2 car family again.

      Delete
  18. Love your list! I find it intriguing that we do so many of them already. I did have a twinge of guilt that I need to check our tire pressure — the little symbol in our car went on for that. And I really do want to curb (again) the impulse shopping.

    Sharon's comment is so weird! Is she saying she and her partner each make $110,000? Then why would she be reading a list of ways to save money, lol? Also, my mom buys every book at the bookstore, sometimes multiple copies of the same one to lend to friends. I can't convince her to use the library, even though I always try!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Has a lot to do with saving some of it. Where you live is related to the cost of living. lol

      Delete
    2. To save more of it. lol. The cost of living can and is related to where a person lives.

      Delete
    3. The best way to stay rich is to be smart about your money. Why WOULDN'T you follow this list if you have money? Smart Family that Sharon has, if you ask me.

      Delete
    4. Lauren, I adore our library! It's so nice to be able to bring home fresh books for E to read every week. Actually, it's probably nicer for me than for him even, so I don't get so tired of reading the same ones all the time. It has so many amenities besides just books too. We just brought home two baby-signing time DVDs. They even have preschool packs put together with a whole bunch of activities and lessons on one theme. Since I doubt we'll be able to afford real preschool, that will be perfect!

      Sharon & Anon, it's so true, you've got to save money to have it. As far as cost of living, that makes a huge difference. I could see $200K/ year easily getting gobbled up if you had say a modest townhouse in the city with 2 or 3 kids in sports or activities.

      Delete
  19. Use "Family Cloth" instead of toilet paper to save a measly $5-10?? That's pretty disgusting. No thanks, I will fork over the extra money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! I haven't tried it yet, though I wouldn't be surprised if it's on the crunchy horizon. Since I'm already washing cloth diapers a couple times a week, it doesn't seem so gross.

      Delete
    2. It's really not that bad when you're already doing cloth diapers. My husband isn't down for the cloth wipes, but he said if we install a bidet sprayer he'd be fine with using that and the cloth to dry up.

      Delete
  20. We do most of the things on your list, and survive on a very small income... but I must admit, I haven't gone the family cloth way. I just can't see it in our future. Love your list. Some great tips.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Found you on Frugal Ways, Sustainable Days. Adding to my bookmarks and will come back with a pen and paper - why did I not think of allowing my hair to return to its natural colours?!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow. I do all of these and I'm still poor. It's still a great list for most!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lots of great tips...thanks for sharing these, they can and do make a difference!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Move to a cheaper home? Really?
    First the cost of moving even if you do it yourself is expensive. You need the money for deposits on your apartment & utilities usually. You need to rent a moving truck or hire movers. Also, if you own your home, it's not that easy to just pick up and move. Most people's homes have lost value so you would be losing money and have to come up with money at closing. Even to refinance would cost you up front or on the backend.
    Use in-network providers? Well yes of course! Tired of the whole latte factor tip. I think most people that need to save money don't go to Starbucks every day.
    I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just tired of these types of lists that are a re-hash of information found else where.
    I'd rather have a list of 5 original ideas than a long list that I can(and have) find anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote the moving to a cheaper home advice based on personal experience. We recently moved to a home that reduced our monthly expenses by about 70%. God blessed us to find a place that didn't require any upfront costs like a deposit. We did all the moving ourselves with the help of lots of friends and family and the cost was under $1000, so we'll recoup our cost very quickly.

      As for coffee, ABC reported that the average worker spends $1100 per year at coffee shops. I have a hard time imagining that every one of those people can afford the extra expense of coffee, especially since it's such an addictive substance. As someone else added in the comments, you have to save money to have money. Even a person with a higher income can quickly become poor if they routinely waste all their money. So we could all stand to save a little more.

      I guess everyone's situation is just a little bit different, and what works for some people won't be right for others. I wrote this list hoping to help people rethink their expenses. I'd love to hear your 5 original ideas and add them to the list!

      Delete
    2. Sounds like the last commenter just needs to get a job. There are lots of ways to save money but if you don't earn any you can't save it.

      Delete
  25. Great list. Do most of them. But, yes, some luxuries I am willing to pay. Feminine products and toilet paper would rank right at the top. Maybe in the 1800s our great-great grandparents had to go this route. But we have other options--thank God! Also, water, soap and bleach to wash the cloths would weigh out any savings of toilet paper, I'd think. Just buy the 1,000-sheet paper like Scott. You can get an even cheaper brand at Aldis. The 1000-sheet lasts about four times longer and ends up being much cheaper than other smaller rolls, let alone you aren't having to change the roll every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I lived my childhood and youth in Soviet Union and yes, I agree 100%! Thank God for the invention of feminine disposables. Anyone disagreeing should try living without them when you are in high school.

      Delete
  26. One great way our family has saved money since I quit my job to stay home with the darling daughter is I've learned to coupon. It has been a blessing, but it can also be work. But the way I figure it, I spend 3 or 4 hours getting ready and going shopping and save over $100, I'm making at least $25 an hour for my time. It's not for everyone, but if you have the time and want to save the money, it can help immensely.

    ReplyDelete
  27. You lost me at "use family cloth" instead of toilet paper. You can't be serious! That is beyond disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
  28. These are great! We've used family cloth for two years now, no problam. The other ideas are great!

    ReplyDelete
  29. We do most of these things, but I'd love to be able to hang my clothes to dry. When we lived in Uruguay, we didn't have a dryer, but where we live now, it's too cold half of the year to hang our clothes outside.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I like that you spelled out the savings amount for me! :) We're doing most of those things already. yeah!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love shopping at Goodwill, but I still like my toilet paper lol

    ReplyDelete
  32. Interesting list. My philosphy on reading blogs, tips or anything on the internet is to be positive and to not bash someone else's ideas. So what if I don't agree with everything, I can choose to keep negative opinions to myself. Thank you for your ideas and good for you for saving money anyway you are are able and willing to. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great list. Some people are so cruel. If they don't like your list, exit the webpage. As you can tell, a lot of people agree with you and are willing to try new methods to save. Thanks for the help! We are going to be trying some of these.

    ReplyDelete
  34. We cut our cable ($50) and got netflix streaming ($10). We save $40 a month on it and buy a lot less advertised junk.

    ReplyDelete
  35. A oouple of things not on your list:
    Take military showers, or cut back on showers all together. Sorry, folks, you do not need to shower every day.
    Just like turning down the heat in the winter, cut back on your air conditioner use in the summer. It's healthier to open some windows and get fresh air (ok, that does depend on where you live).
    Don't flush the toilet after each use. Isn't there a saying "when it's yellow let it mellow, when it's brown flush is down".
    I won't however be using the cloth toilet paper or feminine products. I would challenge everyone to cut back on how many sheets of TP they use at a time though.

    ReplyDelete
  36. A oouple of things not on your list:
    Take military showers, or cut back on showers all together. Sorry, folks, you do not need to shower every day.
    Just like turning down the heat in the winter, cut back on your air conditioner use in the summer. It's healthier to open some windows and get fresh air (ok, that does depend on where you live).
    Don't flush the toilet after each use. Isn't there a saying "when it's yellow let it mellow, when it's brown flush is down".
    I won't however be using the cloth toilet paper or feminine products. I would challenge everyone to cut back on how many sheets of TP they use at a time though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With diva cups (instead of tampons), it isn't cloth or anything, it's kind of like rubber-ish....

      Delete
  37. Great tips - thanks for sharing! We do a lot of things already, but I'm sure we could improve.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Here is what I did to cut down on phone costs. I got MagicJack Plus for the home phone. It's @ $20.00 per year. I also have a cell phone. I chose a Track Phone that has triple minutes. This way I have no contract and only buy minutes when I need them. I use the cell for only important calls I need to make away from home and my home phone for all calls that can wait until I am home.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Here is what I did to cut down on phone costs. I use MagicJack Plus for a home phone. I costs @ $20.00 per year. For a cell phone, I chose a Track Phone that has triple minutes. This way there is no contract and I only buy minutes when I need them. I use the cell for only important calls I need to make away from home and use the home phone for all calls that can wait until I get home.

    ReplyDelete

Recent Posts