5.08.2014

Ten Tips for Saving Money


After M and I moved across the country, our financial situation was rough- despite the fact that we had saved a LOT for the move. He hadn't found a great paying job, my stipend hadn't yet come through, we had to buy books, security deposits and so on. Not to mention planning a wedding. This would put anyone is a tight financial situation. So when this happened, I started looking into ways to save us money, here are a few of my favorite ways to save money. Disclaimer: we are not living large like Heisenberg up there, but we're doing pretty well thanks to these tips.

1. Get rid of cable. Cable is SO expensive, and totally not worth the distraction. We started saving close to $40 a month without cable. We recently got Netflix ($8 a month), which still allows us to save $32 every month. Additionally, channels like A&E have apps that allow you to watch episodes for free from your devices.


2. Ebates! I have talked about Ebates before, but basically it is a third party website that allows you to get cash back for shopping online (with no strings attached, seriously). PLUS, when you sign up and make your first purchase, you get a $10 Target gift card. Talk about a deal. Since we are planning a wedding, I made a lot of purchases online so I could get cash back!

3. Commute. M and I commute to work. We typically cycle if the weather it nice (a we totally ride our bikes like Pee Wee), but on the days that it is not, we carpool. This allows us to only purchase one parking pass AND save on gas. We typically take my car because it has great gas mileage. We also use Drivewise through Allstate, which allows us to get discounted insurance rates for not driving our cars during peak hours, etc.


4. Do all of your own cooking. We have ONE date night a month, and we don't even eat out all the time for it. We try to keep our eating out (and coffee habits) to a minimum. The $40 it would cost to eat out can feed one of us for almost an entire week if we simply buy from the grocery store! This includes packing our own lunches most days of the week. I know this can be time consuming, but just try to make big dinners the night before so there are leftovers (or meal prep).

5. Cut down on your meat intake. M and I usually buy a package of Sam's Club chicken breasts (one of them feeds both of us because they are HUGE) and some sort of fish (tilapia or ahi) at the begging of each month, and it usually lasts us through the entire month and sometimes longer. When I meal plan for the month, I try to keep meat to a minimum and only eat it once or twice a week. It's amazing how much money this can save you.


6. Start a garden. I know this isn't possible for everyone, but even having potted herbs can make a difference. The price of fresh basil at the store is RIDICULOUS. A little can go a long way with gardening.

7. TRACK EVERYTHING. We use the Mint app to track all of our purchases (and to budget). Even though we do not have combined bank accounts yet, we can still have both of our accounts merged through this app. It allows us to be more conscious of where our money is going. I have yet to commit to the envelope system because this works really well for us!

8. Try to keep electricity use to a minimum. When things were really tough, I was going as far as to unplug appliances that were not in use (this is a pain but helps a little). We try not to turn on the heat/air if we do not need to. We are very conscious about turning lights off when we leave the room, and so on. Just being cognizant can make a huge difference.



9. Ask for discounts. A lot of the time, businesses rather lose a little money by giving you a discount than lose your service all together. This might not always work (like with Verizon), but it often does. I had to get past the whole idea of being a pest for "complaining" but it is your money and you deserve to get the most out of it. For example, we cancelled our internet/cable through Mediacom and just got Internet through Socket. After we left Mediacom, they continued to call us (and show up at our door...numerous times) trying to give us a discount to come back. People want your business and will often times help you out to get it!

10. Set goals. Think about what big events you would like to save up for. For us, it was just reaching a certain amount in our savings for now. It's important to start saving for things early, so set realistic goals and stick to them!

What's your favorite way to save money?

And for the sake of hilarity, Pearl really wants her money. I hear you Pearl, I hear you.

5 comments :

  1. I love the meal planning for an entire month! I usually try to do a few days at a time because a week seems hard, but a month would be great! We have a freezer in the garage with the meat they we buy at Costco, but then I would thaw things in time!

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  2. hahahahahaha!!!! That first photo had me laughing so hard!

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  3. This is a GREAT post, Cassie! I agree with everything you said! This is what I'm passionate about :) I wrote a post about how money is wasted a while back that was kind of similar. Tracking your expenses is my biggest one :) I wish I could start a garden and use public transportation. That would definitely help. Love this!

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  4. I could never convince my husband to only eat meat once or twice a week--I'm lucky if he'll go without it once or twice a week! But food can be such a big area where there's room to save. I've recently been focusing more on that and have gotten a lot better at using ingredients in creative ways to get more meals out of them!

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  5. Ah too bad, I'm lucky my fiancé is ok with it! He told me the other day that it was his fault he craves vegetables now hahaha

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