A list of 16 ways to save money
The topic of today's blog is how we have saved money over the years. We used to play a game to see who could save the most money in a week. Look for methods to cut costs. Never think of yourself as cheap. Money management is a spiritual gift. Being prudent with your funds reflects well on you, and you will be rewarded with more.
Coupons: We continuously use coupons. At one point, my wife was very successful at extreme couponing. We use them to save money and try new restaurants or services.
We ditched satellite for streaming services. Switching to streaming saved us close to $70 a month. We had DirecTV in three rooms before switching.
Boise has dollar movie theaters; we still get the same movie experience for much cheaper. Just last week, we spent $6 on two tickets to a new movie.
Buying in bulk: Costco or Sam’s Club. If that is too much, talk to your neighbor and split it. Having friends to split the cost in bulk even saves you more.
Food prepping: buying in bulk and then making freezer meals for the month.
One of the hardest things for me was packing a lunch. It was so easy to hit the café at work, but there was so much savings to be had when I started packing my lunch.
Buying a cow or pig directly from a rancher gets your freezer filled for a year or so. In our experience, paying the rancher and the butcher is much cheaper than the price per pound you pay at the grocery store. My first time doing this was through our local 4 H program. Later, we became friends with a local rancher.
Canning: My wife has become skilled at canning. It is a small investment upfront, but has saved us hundreds over the years.
You might think this is expensive, but companies like emeals.com (a food planning service) can save you time and energy, and it will save you money if you stick with it. For families with both parents working full-time, it can really be worth it.
Skilled? Trade your skills. Over the years, I’ve traded out my IT skills for various other services in return.
As previously mentioned, I’m good with IT. In the era of people always wanting the latest and greatest gadgets, I’d buy and use 1–2-year-old equipment. For example, getting a good used router, can save you monthly rental fees with your internet provider.
Many establishments offer specials like "buy a $25 gift card, get $30" or some other variation. Since we are going to spend money there anyway, why not get a free 5–10 bucks? Fred Meyer's, where we shop often, gives us triple or quadruple points towards lower gas prices when you buy gift cards through them. A few times, we have gotten as much as $.40 off per gallon when we filled up the tank. Example: Triple points towards lower gas prices for every dollar spent on gift cards. Buy a Fred Meyer Gift Card for $100. That's $300 worth of points on lower gas. We turn around and use the $100 gift card to pay for our standard groceries. Then, we still get the points for the $100 worth of groceries.
Carpooling and/or biking to work.
I like to golf, and it can be an expensive habit. Sometimes, getting a golf pass or playing in a league saves you money and lets you get that golf fix. Also, all the public golf courses in town have practice greens with free chipping and putting; nothing improves your game and frees your mind more than an hour of free practice around the green.
Buying (with cash) used cars is the only way to go. Stay away from new cars that depreciate as soon as you drive off the lot. We also have connections with people who can buy at the auctions, another way to save money on vehicles. It’s how we bought one of our favorite cars, an S-type Jaguar. It was a fun and sweet ride, bought at the auction.
There are many second-hand stores for kids' clothes in our area. Our kids had name brands most of the time, and we never paid the brand prices.