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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!
16 thoughts on “22 Ways to Save in 2022”
I’d also add taking an objective look at what possessions one has. If you no longer use/need it OR could rent on the rare occasion you need it, might be time to sell it. We sold some tools that we no longer needed. Didn’t make us rich but got a few bucks and gained the space where it was stored.
Recycling is another option to bring in more cash. And of course always a garage sale. If you don’t have enough to warrant your own sale, find a (trustworthy) buddy who’ll let you participate in their sale. We’ve done that before also. Then what doesn’t sell can be stored again or donated if no longer needed. It is amazing what sells at garage sales.
Hi Selena, Thank you so much. This is a FANTASTIC addition to our list. You are quite right to point out the dual benefits here, too: more space and more cash! Wishing you a frugal and happy new year!
Instead of cash/envelope system I still use my debit card because I get cash reward every month for making ___+ purchases with card, so free money since this usually is my bills, gas, & food exspenses (though I have been using my gift cards up because of less money). My bank account is sub divided into different categories (checking/savings/xmas club/student loan payments/auto loan/mortgage/credit card) & after payroll direct deposited is done money automatically sent to different accounts. I use xmas club as extra savings because gets higher intrest rate & can not access until distribution time.
sign up for (store/online) rewards where you shop. my grocery store has weekly digital & monthly paper coupons (including free items & rewards) on top of sale prices. we grow lots of food & try toget locally from farmers as much as possible because actually cheaper & healthier.
check out local free store/sites for items you need.
check with local community organizations to see if have resources available for help with your needs. Most high schoolers have to complete ___ hours community service before graduation & many do not do until very last minute. mine did most hours in short time doing snow removal/yard work for senior citizens in area.
senior’s needing help also have many opportunities available that are unaware of.
Hi Regina, Wow! You are clearly a Frugalite! Thank you for sharing these suggestions for saving. I loved the idea of xmas club and wasn’t aware that was available. Thanks for making readers aware of all fo these opportunities to save. Wishing you a frugal and happy new year!
Cash is a classic and wonderful way to do business when that’s possible, but sometimes with a planet full of online opportunities, using cash simply is not an option. Part of the problem with charge cards is knowing how to minimize the risk of loss. Most people don’t know the legal issues if your card number gets stolen and misused. In the US, the laws are more favorable for getting your money back after a credit card loss — but pitiful regarding a debit card loss. And … most people don’t know about the free-to-use services of privacy.com that lets you create an intermediate charge card number for use by one vendor, or selected vendors, for one time only, or multiple use times. If you combine the use of a credit card with the limited use intermediate charge card number method via privacy.com, your odds of protecting your money from charge card identity theft goes way up.
Sometimes earning extra money online is a welcome addition to all your money saving efforts. As one example, it’s well worthwhile looking over the free-lancing services marketplace called fiverr.com to see if there are services you might benefit from more economically — or provide for extra income. And neither is a cash transaction.
However sometimes saving money is an unexpected benefit of something undertaken for other reasons. In recent years the IF (intermittent fasting) body of knowledge has assumed much greater prominence in the market for better health. Just today I saw the latest edition of one related book highly recommended. On Amazon it is short titled “Eat, Stop, Eat ….” by Brad Pilon via this link:
although there are other authors using that same short title. In any event, learning how to intelligently eat a little less for better health benefits just might happen to save a little cash at the same time.
Finally, the concept of sharing things with your neighbors was nicely fleshed out in this article about using tool libraries (even if it didn’t mention renting tools from places like Home Depot):
Plus 6 comments.
Hi Lewis, I just checked out the lifehacker article on tool libraries. I did rent a $4,000 jackhammer to break down the rock preventing the proper burial of my well line. It cost less than $200 for the days I needed it. I love the idea of local shared resources. I will look into options for sharing tools in my area. A great tip. Many thanks! BTW, my Country Beans book that you recommended now sits proudly on my bookshelf. I am ready to grind my new beans to make their wonderful recipes. Your comments are much appreciated!
Great ideas. However, for those of us approaching our expiration date – for us 5-10years – there are some other money saving ideas.
Our water/sewer bill increased by 7% each year for the last 3 years (to pay for the incompetence of a private company before the county bought it). So for 2 people we pay about $80/month. We use 1 unit monthly. Our neighbors use 2-3 units monthly, I’ve checked. Shower every 2-3 days. Laundry is done on a schedule of 2x a month for clothes, bedding, towels. We save rain water in 2 55gal containers for outdoor use, we save all water used for cooking, washing dishes, etc to use for watering plants outside. I use the water from growing sprouts for cooking.
I grow as much as possible in containers outside and inside it’s sprouts and microgreens.
Clothes I buy at a church thrift store for either 2/$1 or $1 including shoes and they are name brands.
I cut my own hair and a neighbor cuts my husband’s for trade of use of tools.
We do as much as possible ourselves – lawn & landscape maintenance, pool maintenance, home repairs, wash our car (in the rain), clothing repairs & alterations.
And in that vein, we are simplifying as much to make it possible for us to continue to care for ourselves.
Hi Bellen, Thank you for sharing all of these great ideas on saving. The church thrift store you have locally sounds AMAZING! We have one locally in a very small town run by the local Anglican parish. They know virtually all of the local people and are able to price based on need and ability to pay. Your use of only 1 unit of water per month is an indicator of all of the thrifty activities you have shared. Good for you!
With regard to #5, things are a little different in Texas. It gets hot here. Even with A/C it is damned hot. So, not showering every day saves you what, four gallons of water? Even at exhorbitant Houston water rates, that’s four cents. Heating the water for your shower. Another penny. Okay, let’s make it two cents if you’re all electric. Six cents, every other day. Over the course of a month you save 90 cents. $10.80 a year.
You’d save a ton more money by re-negotiating your cable bill, or better yet cutting the cord.
#2, on the other hand is incredibly important! Most people reflexively say “I need” when they really mean, “I want.”
Here’s a #23: Meal plan and prep. Plan your menu for the week, after reviewing what you have. Go grocery shopping. Prep those meals to save time later. Also, make the occasional double batch to save both time and money (Make sure you have the freezer space!).
Hi Bill, Thanks so much for sharing the Texas perspective. It is very helpful to have readers from different locales chime in, especially with the details and the costs you have offered. In my eco-cabin, I have my own well with a propane hot water on demand unit now. I still use water in a thrifty way, as I feel it is better for the planet overall. I love your #23! I agree that good planning will save a ton of money. Especially, it will prevent those night when there’s “nothing to eat/nothing to cook” which leads to ordering Skip the Dishes or pizza or the like. This is a fantastic addition to our list. Many thanks!
Re carrots, potatoes and onions: I like to cook carrots and mash and make a pie with my pumpkin pie recipe. Potatoes: I make baked potatoes in microwave and pop them in oven if using it. I always make an extra one and slice it down and freeze sliced on a tray and then bag. I no longer buy french fries or other frozen potato products. I just use my slices in a fry pan with some margarine and Old Bay seasoning or Don Caccherie. Fry slowly and turn and they get crispy.
If you need to buy your lunch out if you work or like to go out to eat once a week try the local hospital cafeteria. Usually their prices are cheaper than a restaurant and their food is usually tasty. Anybody is usually welcome as they cater to people who are visiting patients. With Covid this trick may no longer be possible.
Hi Dolores, I never knew you could make a carrot pie like that! Thank you for sharing that tip. Like you, I cook up my potatoes in some kind of batch and then use them throughout the week. I love to fry my chopped potatoes and get them really crispy. Yum yum! Hopefully, hospital cafeterias will become available some time in the future. I find they often have great salad bars! Thanks again.
I bought coats for my grandkids at thrift stores and from friends selling what their kids outgrew. All were expensive name brands that I wouldn’t have ever paid full price for. The baby got a snowsuit for $1.50, and four of the older ones got coats and snow pants for $3-$8. The oldest now has an Eddie Bauer coat for $15. All of the parents and kids are thrilled. I also got two sizes of clothes, enough for all seasons (and coats for two more kids), for $100. A lot of the clothes were brand new with tags.
My daughter does a clothes swap with a friend whose daughter is older and bigger. She gets the clothes, A & M wear the clothes, anything they get is added, and everything is returned for the friend’s younger daughter to wear. My adult kids have good incomes, but we don’t waste money. And kids outgrow clothes too quickly to spend much money on them.
Hi PG, I was gasping in delight at your thrifty purchases! I also am so pleased your mentioned the clothes swap idea. I have an aunt who collects clothing from extended family and it sits in piles on one of her couches. As we all drop in to see her, she welcomes us to take a look for anything we might need. She is so thoughtful and sets asides particular items for people she knows could use them. Then, anything left over periodically gets sent to a local charity thrift shop. We find this is a great way to share amongst all of us cousins and extended family, and help others. Wishing you the best for the coming year!
Loved this column!
I stopped using all hair products except hair spray, which I buy at the dollar store. I do not color my hair either, since I am 72 and decided that my natural look is better. My local hair dresser charges me $12 for a trim. I also stopped my nail gel appointments, saving $25 more a month. My make up was cut to blush, lipstick, and occasional shadow and liner. Less is much better as we age. Clothing is minimal since I wear jeans and tops every day, but I do keep about 2 church outfits per season.
I found new curtains at Walmart for less than I could make them. These were wants, not needs, as I had two first floor windows that were bare. I found two rods in a consignment shop, so for less than $10 I got my privacy back.
Probably the most important thing I did was take in a friend who had no place to go. She pays the utility bill, helps with cleaning and cooking, and splits the food bill, and has been a delight. 2 can live cheaply with sharing costs.
#22 is my new mantra.
Hi Marie, Thank you so much for the lovely feedback and your comments. Your thrifty savings are great tips for everyone….I can see that your savings are also adding up each month. Good for you! Like you, I wear mainly casual clothing and have a pile of “go to” gardening clothing. However, I also like to keep a nice outfit or two for church or family gatherings. Your curtain story is a great example of how having some patience and shopping carefully can lead to big savings. Good for you regarding #22 as your mantra. Keep us posted on your big and small savings wins! Wishing you a great year!