9 Super-Easy Ways to Spend Less Money

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Money is tight. As a nation, many of us are struggling to pay bills and living paycheck to paycheck – myself included.

Below are some of the ways I work to save every penny I can. Some you might know already, and some might sound a little strange, but trust me, they all work for many people.

Shopping

Ah, the “evil” shopping. The necessity to most, and the detriment of many. While classic advice is “Just don’t do it!” That doesn’t exactly work for most people. Most people need to buy groceries. Their kids grow a size and there are no hand-me-downs to be found.

Regardless of the reason, shopping is just one of those necessary evils we almost must suffer through, and hope with all we’ve purchaed that we didn’t overspend. Here are a few of my tips and tricks when it comes to shopping.

Groceries

I’ve got a few good tips that I take advantage of on a regular basis.

  • Make sure you eat first! This is my number one rule for grocery shopping. I will not allow myself to go if I haven’t eaten in the past hour. Even if it’s just a quick banana or granola bar on my way out the door. Now, why is this so important? Well, have you ever gone grocery shopping when you’re hungry? Have you noticed that there tend to be a lot more impulse buys when you do? If you go shopping when you’re hungry, your mind wants to indulge in every craving insight, and you wind up buying a lot more than you budgeted for.
  • Write a list and stick to it. By writing a list and planning your meals ahead of time, you know exactly what you need and how much. This will help with impulse buying. Just remember to tell yourself; “If it’s not on the list, I don’t need it!”
  • Try for more ingredients and fewer premade dishes. Whether it’s a frozen lasagna,  a premade salad mix, or a box of mac and cheese (or if you’re Canadian like me, Kraft Dinner), buying this convenience food will rack up that grocery bill. While that grocery store salad might cost you $8 for a single serving, buying all the ingredients will cost half the price, while also giving you enough to make five of the same salad. Try learning how to make these awesome, and often simple dishes on your own. Trust me, you’ll thank me!
  • Try price matching. Now, not every store does price matching, but I always go to the ones that do. It’s an easy way to lower the cost of your grocery bill without going to a million stores. I personally use the flyer app Flipp, but I know a lot of people also use the flyers that come in the mail.

Other kinds of shopping

  • Clothing. It doesn’t matter if it’s your business attire for your new office job, a pair of jeans because your last ones wore out, or the next size up for your kids. Shop at thrift stores. In both Canada and the USA, thrift stores can be found all over the place, and they’re a fraction of the price of new. Now, I know some people get grossed out by clothes worn by others, but that’s why you use a washing machine. Buying clothes from your local thrift store versus a first-hand store will cost you a fraction of the price! Definitely worth having to run it through the wash if you ask me.
  • Furniture. This is another one of those things I tend to buy mostly second-hand. Brand new furniture can easily cost you into the thousands. That is not worth it to me. Heck, even if I had the money to spare, that sounds ridiculous. It is so easy to find good quality furniture on websites like Craigslist, Kijiji, or Facebook Marketplace. And often, you’ll find it dirt cheap, or even free! (And I love me some free stuff.) You can also try thrift stores and yard sales for some pretty great finds.

Other Ways to Save

There are numerous other things you can do to save money in your everyday life.

  • Cut the cord on cable. If you haven’t already done this, you should. The cost of cable television is huge, with many cable plans running upwards of $50 to $100 a month. Yes, I know, you probably still want to watch some television. Most of us already have at least one streaming service, and even 2 streaming services are cheaper than monthly cable. Look into Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, just to name a few.
  • Other forms of entertainment. Whether your thing is books, movies, or video games, have you checked out the library? Libraries are completely free to use, and most people don’t realize that a lot of them hold more than just plain old books. Is paper not your thing? Many public libraries are also connected to a free app called Overdrive – it works in both Canada and the States – that allows you to borrow ebooks and audiobooks right to your smart device or computer, and again, completely free! (I use Overdrive constantly! I am proud to say over the last 8 years, I’ve collected library cards at six different libraries for more variety too.)
  • Staying fit and healthy. Many people prefer workout classes and gym memberships. I get it. There’s just something about working out with a group of people to keep you constantly pushing harder. When money is tight though, find other ways to do it. Try walking around your neighborhood or on a hiking trail, and if you get a walking buddy even better! It’ll help keep you both motivated. Other things you can try, if you’re really missing that class experience is YouTube. It’s full of exercise videos. It’s how I personally do my once a week yoga and HIIT workouts. Heck, even my grandma does workout videos for seniors on YouTube almost daily.

Wrapping it Up

I know there are so many more amazing ways to save money in your everyday life. Heck, I’ve barely skimmed the surface! I just wanted to bring to you some of the ways I use on a regular basis that I love, and people don’t always think about it.

That being said, what are some of your favorite ways to save? (P.S. If they’re uncommon or unorthodox, even better!) Who knows, if there are lots, maybe we’ll do a reader round-up, and your idea could be posted in an article.

Until next time, and stay frugal my friends.

9 Super-Easy Ways to Spend Less Money
Chloe Morgan

Chloe Morgan

Chloe Morgan grew up living with a tight budget. In her late teens and early 20’s all the lessons she’d learned started to slip, like it does for many college age students on their own for the first time, and with their first credit card. As she’s gotten older, she’s started to deal with the repercussions and has taken on a frugal way of living, keeping her costs low, as she pays off debt and saves for her future.

3 thoughts on “9 Super-Easy Ways to Spend Less Money”

  1. How about signing up for store rewards programs–they send you coupons for items you already purchase & when you buy $____ you get $___ free cash reward off next purchase. Of course I am lucky that most of my grocery stores are not far apart & I check weekly ads to get best price for what I need. And I only buy what’s on sale that I need that week, unless out of something & can’t wait for next sale cycle. I’m lucky that I have a freezer that I can stock up on sale items & have made a nice pantry in my basement. Grocery stores are the best. Love getting a different free item each month. Cash back apps are also another resouce that you can combine with you online shopping in addition to discounts for your particular store. Don’t forget apps like receipt pal, swagbucks, rakuten, & fetch rewards (just to name a few) that you earn points for shopping online or scanning your receipts everytime to earn free gift cards/paypal.
    Bargaining is making a comeback. Trading something you have for soemthing someone else has that you want/need. My neighbor has chickens & I have lots of kids stuff that we trade for that each needs. Of course, we talk about each time if items change.

  2. I’ve made a game of seeing how efficiently I can use the oven. On Sunday, I made oven fries while inexpensive chicken pieces cooked with a homemade savory sauce. At the same time, I roasted sweet potatoes for another meal, and cooked the remainder of the chicken pieces in a Mexican sauce for tonight’s dinner. A sweet baked alongside the chicken dishes. In a divided dish, I heated canned green beans/spiced canned apples. Basically, I got two meals of cooking done with one full oven and a few minutes in the microwave. I try to fill the oven completely so I am cooking two or more meals at once.

  3. Small ways and big ways

    One small way in the US is use the free interlibrary loan process (in place via US Mail since before 1900) to access print books from other libraries across the country that your local library doesn’t have. Once a book has passed the six months point since it was first published, it’s fair game for an interlibrary loan request. There are some exceptions such as reference books and very high value or very rare books that libraries wisely won’t turn loose. Lots of older books (once they’re past copyright age) may sometimes be freely found on books.google.com and sometimes if you suspect that either Amazon is trying to rip you off with high prices OR if they simply don’t carry a title you really want to buy, you can run a global booksellers’ search by title and/or author on gettextbooks.com to see a range of prices and booksellers in many countries (including the US) that might be offering the title you want.

    US libraries will not ship to out-of-country locations. I don’t know if Canadian libraries have a similar system.

    Another way to save is to figure out how to keep your relatives from breaking into your house “to help” while you are stuck in an emergency/surprise hospital stay. All my close friends (and me) who have been through such surprise hospital events have suffered from relatives breaking in and throwing out things that had been saved up for many years. In some cases they simply box up or hide things that may take you years to find … and there’s never an inventory made so you can’t know if items were trashed, stored somewhere that you may never find, or flat out stolen. For preparedness oriented people especially who highly value their ability to reuse, repair, or repurpose many things … such an invasion can be a disaster. A consistent theme to such break-ins is that there’s never an apology, an explanation, or an inventory.

    A really huge way to economize relates to medical bills. The last couple of decades are full of stories of horrendous medical billing that is often double billing, billing for services not provided, sky-high billing for simple low-cost procedures, or other egregious behavior. You need to know that there are organizations that can either teach you how to fight, mitigate or re-negotiate such horror bills — OR do that job for you. There are also some organizations that pick up some such bills on a charity basis. Finally, there are sometimes successful fund-raising efforts online to help with seemingly hopeless cases.

    There is also the possibility of using “medical tourism” to either get costs down to way less than in the US, or access successful treatment methods that the FDA won’t allow in the US. Since the medical cartel provides a lot of cash to the FDA one might suspect that a lot of FDA rulings are intended to preserve that cartel’s profit margins. Medical tourism may be more difficult to access with the US State Department cutting back on passport application or renewal processing clerks plus more and more airlines insisting on Covid-19 vaccination proof before allowing you to fly.

    It’s a lot easier to learn about such things BEFORE you are going through the shock of hospital recovery, sudden sky-high bills that your insurance (if you have any) may not cover, short-fuse time frames to protest incorrect billing, and lack of knowledge of some of the mitigating possibilities I’ve described above.

    –Lewis

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Elsewhere

Related Posts

6 Thrifty Ways to Wear It Out

Wearing it out is one of the most important frugality lessons you can learn. You might be surprised at how much more use you can get from an item someone else would simply throw away.

Malcare WordPress Security