Today I’m sharing 5 ways to save money in case you’re looking for some simple ways to cut back expenses this month!
So Jay and I have recently started the conversation about buying a house (yay!). We weren’t planning on starting this conversation until the fall or winter, but after talking it over with some people way smarter than us, it looks like buying sooner rather than later could be good for us. I’ve been dying to have a home of our own for years now, but part of the compromise of living in Southern California is that because the cost of living is so high, we’ve had to push back our home ownership way later in life than if we had stayed in Texas. It’s been a bit of a struggle being so patient, so I’m super excited about this next step for us!
Since we’re beginning our house search 6 months earlier than we anticipated, we’ve been brainstorming simple ways for us to cut back to help us get that down payment! At our date night last week, we wrote down a list of about 10 things we could do to save, and have started implementing them the past few weeks. So I wanted to share a few of them with y’all in case you’re in a similar “saving” situation like us!
|| 5 Ways to Save Money ||
Obviously, there are way more than 5 ways to save money, but these are some of the areas where we were spending “unnecessary” money that we decided we could cut back on for the time being.
1 || Plan Out Your Meals for the Week
This one might be a no-brainer for some of y’all, but we haven’t been very good at this. But obviously, the better you are about planning out your meals, the better grocery shopper you are, the more you’ll reuse the same ingredients for meals instead of wasting all that leftover cilantro, the less you’ll be tempted to eat out, and therefore the more money you’ll save!
We’ve honestly never really planned out each individual meal for the week. When we go to the grocery store, we just grab the “basics” to create our simple, go-to meals (tacos, spaghetti, asian chicken and rice, and sandwiches). While it’s worked fine for us, it does allow dangerous space for roaming each aisle at the grocery store and tossing in a bunch of unnecessary items. And it means we’ve been kind of wasteful with some of the ingredients we buy. For example, if I decide that I need orange juice for a certain recipe, I’ll buy a big thing of it for that one meal, then won’t use the rest of it. It’s been so good planning out our meals on Monday mornings before I grocery shop so that I can make sure I use up all of the ingredients by the end of the week (i.e., planning other meals/snacks that use orange juice too!).
Not only has this meal planning prevented me from buying unnecessary things at the store/eliminated waste, but it’s also minimized the amount we eat out. I think when you don’t have anything planned for dinner that night, it’s super easy to just resort to eating out or grabbing something on your way home. But we’ve learned that all of those meals add up! So planning out meals that we actually enjoy at home has proven to be pretty beneficial for us so far!
2 || Reevaluate Your Cable and Video Streaming Needs
I’ll be honest with you guys – Jay and I have just about everything you can imagine in this area. Yikes! We have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and cable where you get a million channels and can record multiple shows at a time. We’ve had all of these since we were first married because there’s, like, one show on each platform that we like to watch. But now we’re reevaluating which ones of these we actually need. We 100% are keeping Netflix because of our obsession with The Office and my personal obsession with Friends, but Hulu can definitely go. I believe Amazon coincides with our Prime membership (which is something we’ll never get rid of because we love it so much!). As far as cable goes, we really only use it during football season for Jay to watch/record games and for all of my Real Housewives shows. But I’m sure I can find those shows somewhere online, so I think we’re saying goodbye to cable for a while too!
3 || Paint Your Own Nails
This one’s hard for me because I absolutely love getting my nails done! I love the pampering, time alone, and having pretty, feminine nails all the time. However, I’m willing to let it go for a little while to work towards our house. Depending on whether or not I get pedicures too, that’s $40-70 we can save each month! Side note: If you’re a mom/don’t have much time to yourself and getting your nails done is how you spoil yourself, I wouldn’t recommend giving it up. We all need a little bit of self-love because it’s super important for our sanity. But since we don’t have kiddos right now and I work from home, I’m getting plenty of that alone time and can sacrifice a few minutes each week to do my own nails.
4 || Use Those Old Gift Cards
We all have them – Those random gift cards we got years ago that we shoved in a drawer or wallet somewhere. Get ’em out and make ’em work! There have been quite a few of them that I’ve stored away thinking, “Eh, this isn’t my favorite place to eat” or “I’d rather go shopping somewhere else”, but it’s their time to shine! I found my stash of cards this weekend and was actually pleasantly surprised! Even though the restaurants might not be the first place I would’ve chosen to eat dinner that week, that’s a free date night for me and Jay! And even though I’d rather shop at Nordstrom, other stores have cute things too. It’s probably just a little more hit-or-miss. So start digging and see what you come up with!
5 || Reevaluate Those Recurring Monthly Charges
Okay, it’s very sad, but after going through our bank statements, we realized that we had so many of those recurring charges that we had kind of forgotten about! Random advertising things that I’d done for my blog a while back, monthly subscription boxes that are fun but I really don’t need, and a few others. Another random one was Sirius XM for Jay’s car. While it’s neat to have, it’s not necessary for us these days since we’re all about Spotify. Oh, which reminds me: We had both Spotify and Pandora. Not necessary. I know we’re not alone in these random subscriptions and recurring charges, so it’d probably be worth it to check over your bank statements to see what you can cancel and live without.
|| SHOP THE POST ||
If you found this “5 Ways to Save Money” post helpful, would you pin the first image below to your life hacks board or your budgeting board?
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Thanks for checking out my “5 Ways to Save Money” post! What are some of the ways y’all save money? I’d love to hear about them in the comments – Maybe we’ll start implementing those ideas too! Anything for that house 😉