Need tips for saving money on day to day expenses? Has inflation completely crunched your budget? Need actionable, realistic ways to save money ASAP? We have TONS of tips for saving money on day to day expenses that you can implement RIGHT now to start saving money in this crazy, inflationary environment!
I think everyone reading this has felt the financial pinch of HIGH inflation wherever we go- food, restaurants, gas prices & vacation expenses. Many of us (myself included) are adjusting our spending habits and finding ways to cut down on the monthly spend. In this article we’ll be focusing on how to save money in some of crazy high inflation areas of today’s economy like food, gasoline & vacations. So let’s dive in and start trimming the low hanging fruit in your monthly expenses.
Break up with your grocery store. For example, if you shop at Whole Foods maybe it’s time to start shopping at lower priced stores such as Kroger, Walmart Supercenter, and Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. Many of these lower cost grocery stores offer natural and organic options just like high end “whole paycheck”…..*ahem* I mean Whole Foods.
Another option is using a combination of your preferred grocery store for fresh items (like fruits and vegetables) and shopping for all your packaged goods/shelf stable items from a low cost grocer like Walmart Supercenter or Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. This way you’re still getting all the organic/natural produce you love while saving money on items that just cost more at higher end grocery stores.
Prepare a list in advance before heading to the grocery store AND start making meal plans. By making a list of only the items you need and buying ONLY the items you need you can avoid impulse buying. Meal planning is a popular way to food budget for by the week or month. It allows you to utilize leftovers better and not waste food. We offer a printable shopping list and meal planning bundle in our that helps you meal plan and create shopping lists quickly and easily.
Also, learn how to get coupons and be sure to join grocery store loyalty programs to maximize your savings. Check out the app Flipp which pulls in coupons from local grocery stores when you enter your ZIP Code. This is a good way to shop sales without sorting through grocery store mailers.
Start examining all your subscriptions…like yesterday. Lots of us have monthly subscriptions to things like magazines, Amazon prime, Netflix, Sling, Fab Fit Fun…it’s time to take a close examination at these subscriptions and see if you can eliminate some of these to save some money. Often times subscription services have the option to put the subscription on a temporary hiatus. This will allow you to take a little break financially from your subscription service while still maintaining introductory or special pricing you may have associated with the subscription.
Unsubscribe to brand related emails that tempt you spend money. Personally, I love getting emails from Zulily (it’s like an online treasure hunt) and my favorite brands like Billabong and Roxy. But every time I look at these emails I am seriously tempted to spend money on something I can live without. By unsubscribing you’re removing that temptation from your inbox to spend! Trust me this can help you avoid serious spending temptation & save a lot of money in the long run.
If there is something that you really really need consider shopping secondhand. Take the time to explore gently used items at garage sales, thrift stores (check out all the things I find regularly to save money at Goodwill), Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for the items you need. I find tons of heavily discounted items from my neighbors on Facebook Marketplace (and there’s no shipping cost!). It’s the first place I look when I need to spend money on a large item.
Need to raise some cash quickly? consider hosting a garage sale ASAP…I have tons of pro garage sale tips to net you hundreds OR even thousands at your next sale.
See if you can borrow instead of buy. Some items like power tools or books can be borrowed from friends or neighbors. As an example the local library lends out magazines, DVDs and the most recent books. Borrowing instead of buying can save you a lot of money over time.
Dump your gym membership for FREE YouTube workout videos. This is one of my FAVORITE tips for saving money on day to day expenses. The recurring fees of a gym membership are real drain on the budget (I’m looking at you $100 per month CrossFit gym membership). But did you know that you can find tons of fun, free workout videos and strength training videos on YouTube? Crossfit, barre, yoga or whatever you are into is there! And ladies, you seriously gotta check out Jamie Kinkeade for fun at home workouts. By working out at home you can save on that monthly membership fee. If the weather is good in your area consider heading outside for your workout.
Adjust that thermostat. Maintaining a slightly warmer home in the summer and a slightly cooler home in the winter will help you save money on your electric bills bills. Even turning down the thermostat by 1° can make a huge difference over time. Also, take the time to unplug “zombie appliances” that aren’t being used. Even if something is plugged in but not ON it can still draw power and add to your electric bill.
Treat yo self…at home. Many of us head to the local nail salon for manicures and pedicures but eliminating this expense can save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars per year. Consider giving yourself at home manicures and pedicures to save some precious cash.
Throttle down your cable or satellite TV packages. You can save some money by eliminating channels like HBO and Showtime and switching from cable to providers such as Netflix or Hulu. If you don’t think you can POSSIBLY live without your cable subscription consider downgrading to cable packages with fewer channels. Check out Sling TV to purchase small TV packages that are focused around interest areas. Sling was a huge savings over cable for our household.
Throttle down your minutes & data plans. If you are on a prepaid cell phone plan consider pairing back the amount of minutes you purchase each month. If you are on an unlimited data plan or minutes plan it’s time to shop around with other cell phone providers and see if you can get a better deal. Sometimes just calling your current provider and telling them that you are going to be switching will trigger them to offer you a better price. Not a lot of people know that their cell phone bill can be negotiated.
Look for free local events in your community. Hit up the parks department and your local city to see what free events they have coming up. Most parks and municipalities have lots of free events (like movies, fireworks or concerts in the park) especially over the summer. Call your Local museums and national parks and ask when their next free entry day is (this usually happens once a year).
Make your own coffee at home. This is one of many EASY ways to save money. Making your own coffee at home instead of spending five dollars at your local Starbucks every day can save you $1800 a year. Do a little tally for yourself and see how much you’re spending every day, month and year on your daily fix…I bet you’ll be shocked by the answer!
Reduce or eliminate your dining out expenses by cooking some or all of your meals at home this can save you $100-$200 a month. If you Typically buy your lunch at work consider brown bagging it for awhile.
Carpool or use public transit. With record high gas prices…the quickest way to cut down on your monthly expenses is finding a way to reduce your overall gasoline usage. If possible in your area find somebody to carpool with or take part in local transit options. Walk or ride your bike if possible to save on gas and stay in shape!
Look into a mortgage refinance. Check the interest rate of your mortgage against today’s rates. Technically rates have gone up recently but if your mortgage is 10 years or older you may still benefit from a mortgage refinance. It’s easy to find today’s rates online with a simple Google search. It’s important to do the business case and make sure that the cost of a refinance will be paid off before any plans to move out of your home.
See if refinancing your student loan or car loan could save you money. Check and see what the interest rate you’re paying is versus what you could pay with a refinance or student loan consolidation. Doing a little research here could save you a lot of money on interest in the long run.
DIY your gifts instead of buying them. You can save a lot of money by making your own DIY gifts at home…baking cookies, pies or making a homemade gift can mean so much more to your giftee then a store bought gift. You can check out lots of homemade DIY gifts HERE.
Put in the extra hours at work OR by volunteering. When you’re trying to save money or not spend as much…it can help to pick up a few extra hours at work or spend some of your spare time volunteering. You’ll stay busy and won’t have the extra time on your hands to spend. If you’re volunteering, you’ll get that feel good feeling at no cost!
Do a social media detox. It’s easy to fall victim to “I WANT THAT!” when you’re constantly exposed to the Kardashians on Instagram. Take a social media break so that you’re not tempted to make purchases in order to keep up with the Kardashians.
Use the 30 day rule. This is one of my favorite tips for saving money on day to day expenses! If you see something that you really really want…wait 30 days before you buy it. This will help you distinguish between a purchase you really need or want and a purchase that’s just an impulse buy.
Do a “no spend” challenge month. It may seem hard to think of this as “fun” when it seems like all the fun is being cut out of your life. Reframing the situation may be helpful…this of this as challenging yourself! So, challenge yourself to a no spend month and see it as a challenge you can win. Even cutting back on expenses for a month or two can make a big difference in the short or long run.
Use cash and/or the cash envelope system. Paying with cash or using a cash envelope system (see video below for how it works) allows you to physically see what you are spending and eliminates the spending of money you don’t have. It’s a strict budgeting system that actucally WORKS.
Delay the vacation or take a staycation. I know this one is gonna hurt after 2 years of pandemic lockdown BUT airline tickets, hotel rooms & gasoline for road trips is THE HIGHEST it’s EVER been. Delaying that vacation for 6 months or a year could make a huge difference in the cost to you in the long run. Staying local and doing a staycation can save money as well.
Use what you have instead of buying more. Most of the readers on our site are crafters and creatives with a huge stash of crafting and art supplies sitting somewhere WAITING to be used. Use this uber budget unfriendly time to dig into your craft stash and start a new crafty project.
Record your monthly expenses and start a monthly budget ASAP. If you haven’t already, it’s time to think about creating a monthly budget that you can stick to. You can use our free printable budget worksheets to create one. It’s simple and only takes about 15 minutes to figure out what’s going out every month and what’s coming in. This can be a good starting point for eliminating unnecessary expenses.
I hope that you found lots of actionable, realistic tips for saving money on day to day expenses. We give away tons of FREE printables here at our website (which also saves you a lot of money)…you can start checking out all our free printables here! Do you have ideas for clever ways to save money? Leave us a comment below and let me know your ways to save money at home.