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My dear Frugalites, another year is upon us. I thought I would take some time to share some of my favorite ways to save money. In these uncertain times, it could almost be said that a penny saved is two pennies earned! If you need to save in 2022 rather than spend, I hope that these ideas inspire you in the coming year.
Wherever possible, I have provided an additional link to one of our Frugalite articles to support you on your journey. I wish you and yours the best in 2022: good health, happiness and peace, and of course, thriving frugality!
Budget Related Ways to Save in 2022
1. Set a goal.
I find that the best way to achieve something is to set a concrete goal. Why not get excited about your finances in 2022? Why not aim for something you dream of, a big goal? DREAM BIG for you!!! This will make saving all the more meaningful.
2. Reflect on wants vs. needs.
The holidays are a time when we often think about helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves. This kind of mindset can be helpful for allowing us to separate our wants from our needs, furthering our ability to save money. If you would like to take this further, check out this meditation on what is wealth.
3. Review your expenses and approach your bank and utilities for reductions.
I have used this approach with great success. Around once a year, I will contact my bank and cell phone company to ask if there are any further discounts I qualify for. It is helpful to know about what their competitors are offering. Would they be willing to match that deal? Don’t be afraid to escalate, especially if you have a long history with the company. You will be surprised at what you might receive.
4. Review all of your bills and consider cuts.
A great way to save is to do a thorough personal audit and reset your budget for the coming year. I recently completed mine, and assessed my ability to reach my “big goal” of paying for the steel siding for my eco-cabin. I have a monthly budget completed down to the dollar, and a monthly savings goal for every month up until October. Yes, my goal is a tough one to reach, but I do build a bit of wiggle room in and I am compassionate with myself if something unexpected comes up.
5. Bathe less often and do laundry less often.
OK, this is not the most glamorous item on the list. However, the truth is that maybe North Americans don’t need to bathe every day. (There, I said it!) The readily available nature of the water (hot and cold) that comes out of our taps means that we can develop a habit that is neither sustainable nor necessary. After living off-grid for over five years without running water, carrying every single drop of water into (and out of!) my tiny house meant that I just wasn’t willing to bathe every single day, even though I do heavy manual labor.
I took quick sponge baths, and guess what? The sky didn’t fall! I saved money on soap, and you might save money on hot water, water, and all your personal care items.
It is the same with laundry. There are many items that you might be able to wear again. Your clothes will thank you by living longer!
Food Related Ways to Save Money in 2022
6. Put extra cash into your pantry.
OK, I am telling you to save money by spending it. However, at this particular time in history, an investment in some basic food items is likely to pay more dividends than most stocks on the stock market.
7. Become a Producer
No green thumb? No problem! No skills? You will be surprised how changing your mindset to being a producer will allow you the develop new skills that can be quite enjoyable.
8. Bake your own Bread
Even if you are like me and find baking traditional bread a bit intimidating, there are very quick bread alternatives you can make with your pantry ingredients.
9. Buy a 10 lb. (or more!) bag of carrots, onions, and potatoes and be creative
A local discount grocery had a sale on 10 lb. bags of potatoes and onions before Christmas. I bought two of each and put them in my utility room. I have already gone through ten pounds of onions. I have almost finished all the carrots I grew in my garden now. You simply cannot go wrong with these basic whole foods.
Make soup! Roast them! Mash them! Make a big batch each week and then just reheat them. Be creative and have fun. You will be full and save money and you may expand your cooking repertoire.
Bigger Changes to Save Money in 2022
9. Be honest with yourself about where you are and rise to the occasion.
So, you would like to save money? Unfortunately, most of the messages in our society tell us to rack up debt and buy buy buy! But you would still like to save money? Check out this fantastic article that helps you not just live within your means, but beneath your means!
10. Stop buying clothes for X months.
Set a goal, and then just do it. Just stop. If you have any concerns, go back to item 2 and journal on your wants and needs. Do you need “fancy” clothing for work? Can you get by with what you have buying a few new accessories at a thrift shop? Try to not buy clothing for just one or two months and see if you can do it. Then, assess.
11. Get a side hustle.
This past fall, I ran into some financial issues that loomed large. So, I looked in the local newspaper for our small town and found a “Help Wanted” ad for a temporary side gig. It helped me get through a difficult time, and I learned a lot about gratitude from this job helping someone with personal care needs.
12. Pay cash for everything.
I find that tapping with my card just doesn’t seem like money. Therefore, I pay cash for everything. I make myself go to the bank. I take it out. If I need to, I separate the cash into different envelopes for each budget area. Because I can visibly see when the cash is getting low, it helps me stick to the budget.
13. Pool your resources with others.
In our society, individualism is emphasized over collectivism. This isn’t the case the world over. The people selling stuff all benefit when we all think we need to own widget X (especially to keep up with the Jones’). Maybe it’s time to break down some of these barriers and be creative. Could you and a few neighbors share a snowblower? Are there other ways you could pool your resources?
14. Find ways to reduce your rent or mortgage.
These times have been hard on everyone. Rent is simply skyrocketing in the area I live in. Rents in small towns of under 5,000 have rent costs similar to much much larger cities, and it can be even more difficult to find an apartment in a small town. If you want to save money and live beneath your means, finding some way to reduce the rent you pay is a great place to start!
Health-Related Ways to Save in 2022
15. Walk as much as possible.
This is great for your health. In the city, you could save subway tokens or bus fare. While there aren’t too many places I can walk in my rural area, when I do go to the city, I park in one place in the mega malls and walk around to the different stores. It saves my car one or two cold starts in the winter and I know it is good for me. In the new year, I plan to visit a local Provincial Park to go for a walk. It’s free in the winter (summer fees are outrageous!) and I know a bit of cardio will be good for me.
16. What are you doing with your hair in 2022?
When I lived in the city, I used to go to a hair salon that gave you a free cappuccino while you waited for your hairdresser. That will give you an idea of how much I was spending on my hair! Now, I have gone “au naturel,” growing my hair long throughout the pandemic. My most recent hair care expense? My hair dresser cut 3 inches off my hair for $12.
“You are good until spring,” he said.
17. Consider natural options for beauty and skin care.
Around 10 years ago, I used to spend a significant amount of my monthly budget in a drugstore, buying make up and beauty care items. Now, I rarely cross the threshold of this store, except to buy bulk Epsom salts. Whatever beauty items I “need,” I generally make myself from natural oils and food items and homegrown/wild-crafted herbs. Here are some tips to move towards a no to low cost beauty routine.
18. Turn down that thermostat.
Last winter, my solar batteries were aging out and I barely had a working furnace as a result. Evenings after I came home from milking on the farm were pretty miserable, until I got into bed. Under the right combination of cozy covers, you can sleep very cozily in quite cold temperatures! Don’t be afraid to turn down that thermostat at night. You may even find that you sleep better.
19. Practice gratitude daily.
If you reflect on what is really great about your life, and what really matters to you, I think that it is much easier not to spend money. This is a type of mindset practice not encouraged by our society. People selling things want you to feel off-kilter and like you really really need that widget x or you won’t be complete. A daily gratitude practice is like an antidote to being a fish swimming in materialistic waters.
20. Consider natural remedies instead of OTC medications.
What do you turn to when faced with a headache? A scratchy throat? A cold sore? You will be amazed at how effective natural remedies can be. You may even have some of these potent anti-virals right in your kitchen right now! You can save a bundle by buying fewer OTCs and making your own remedies for common health issues.
21. There is a Tibetan proverb, “The secret to living well and longer is to eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure.”
If we chew our food thoroughly, and pay attention to the signals from our body, we will learn to stop eating before we are full. While eating half may be difficult for most of us, and I’m not sure I would recommend this, I do think that eating less food, with more mindfulness will give us huge benefits and save some of our food budget!
22. Celebrate big and small savings wins.
Remember at the beginning of the article, where you were going to set a goal? Don’t forget to assess your progress towards reaching your goal. For example, I had set a goal of how much I wanted to have saved in my checking account by the end of this year. When I recently looked at my balance and realized I had reached my goal, I let out a “whoop” of delight. This little celebration was a big boost for me, and it was free.
Even if you keep a pickle jar and aim to throw a dollar or two in each week, you could have $100 – 200 saved up by next year! Check in with your big goal and celebrate your success. Do this for yourself, and you will reap the benefits in satisfaction and motivation.
22 Ways to Save in 2022 and Counting…
I have shared my favorite ways to save in 2022. Could you see yourself trying any of the thrifty tips offered here? Do you have one you can share with us? Please tell us in the comments below.
Colette is passionate about sharing her knowledge of thrifty living and self-sufficiency. She has developed her skills in self-reliance living in the suburbs, the city, and more recently, on her own Half-Acre Homestead. Colette lived five years completely off-grid and without running water in an eight by 24 foot tiny home while designing and building her own 18 by 24-foot eco-cabin. She has just launched her website, Half Acre Homestead. Colette invites you to stop by and visit this work in progress! Coming soon in February 2022 is her exciting new online program. Interested in Resiliency, Preventative Health, and Self-Sufficient/Off-Grid Housing (to name a few!)? Stay tuned for more details!