Frugal Tips for Saving Money
2014 begins the 5 years of saving money and paying off debt for us. We just purchased our house in November 2013 and our goal is to have it paid off (and all our other debts) in just 5 years. It sounds daunting and a little impossible but we are determined so we are going to give it our best shot!
Even being as frugal as we are, I decided to research more frugal tips for saving money. What I found was the same thing over and over and over. I found this pretty chart that talks about all the different ways you can save up to $11,244 a year! While that's impressive and the chart is very pretty, as I read it I just realized it was the same thing that I'd seen before. The same money saving tips that were supposed to help such as....
- Cut the Cable
- Carpool to Work
- Stop Drinking Coffee
- Don't Dry Clean
- Refinance Your Home
- Wash With Cold Water
- Don't Use the Gym
- Stop Smoking
- Don't Eat Out
- Turn Your Thermostat Down
- Don't Drink Bottled Water
- Don't Have a Landline
- Consolidate Debt
But what if.....
- You don't have cable anyways?
- You don't own a pair of clothes that is for dry cleaning?
- You can't carpool to work because you live in a rural area?
- You don't drink coffee...or at least you don't drink the drive thru version.
- Refinancing your home isn't a smart option for you? (And neither is consolidating debt?).
- You already wash in cold water.
- You don't smoke or eat out.
- You don't have a landline or drink bottled water.
- And your thermostat is already down as low as you can handle it (in the winter) and you don't even know where the nearest gym is located.
If you are like me and fit all those categories above, how are we supposed to further cut costs and save money? Well any frugal family knows that sometimes it takes more than the easy things (like those above) to really save money and cut costs! Sometimes it takes doing things that are more work or put us out of our comfort zone. In the chart linked above, they gave 13 ways to "save money". Below you will find my frugal tips for saving money that will actually help!
My Realistic Frugal Goals for Saving Money This Year
1. Frugal tip to do if you've already cut the cable. Cut out the movies altogether unless you can rent or borrow them for free. If you Google..."free Redbox rental codes" at about any given time you will find lots of free movie rental codes instead of having to pay for them! You could also organize a movie exchange with friends or family, I'm sure one of your friends has some movies you haven't seen yet! Better yet, switch family movie night into family game night instead.
Money Saved Per Year (based on 2 movie rentals per week at $3 per rental) = $312 per year
2. Frugal tip to do instead of carpooling to work. Stop making extra trips to town or to the grocery store. My goal for the new year is to only head to town a maximum of 2 times per month. Not only will this help save us money on gas but it will also save us money on un-necessary things we might buy while we are in town.
Money Saved Per Year (based on 2 gallons of gas (@$3 per gallon) per trip to town, 3 trips per week) = $936 per year
3. Frugal tip to do instead of stop drinking coffee. Why stop at drinking coffee from the store? Let's stop buying all things that are easily made at home from the store! For the sake of this article let's make that; Frozen Waffles, Applesauce, Pizza Crust, Hamburger Helper, and Rice Roni. (Of course there are SO many more things!)
Money Saved Per Year (based on 2 boxes/jars of each of the above per week, average priced) = $1248 per year (with the potential for SO much more savings!)
4. Frugal tip to do instead of stop dry cleaning. Let's make this year all about getting reasonably priced clothing. My goal for this year is to not spend ANY money on new clothes and buy used clothing only. Used clothing saves you at least 75% off the regular retail purchasing prices so if you normally spend $100 a month on new clothes, it would be like spending only 75% of that instead by purchasing the clothing new. (Of course your total saved may be much more or less depending on your clothing needs for your family.
Money Saved Per Year (based on saving $75 a month on clothing) = $900 per year
Money Saved Per Year = Varies
6. Frugal tip to do instead of washing in cold water. A good way to save money on washing clothing of course is to hang dry your clothes and not use the dryer, however if you have allergies that's not an option and if you don't have a yard that's not an option, and in the winter that's not an option. My favorite alternative? An indoor drying rack! If space is an issue for you like it is for me, you can always do a wall drying rack instead. (And we will have a DIY post on that here soon!)
Money Saved Per Year = $100 per year
7. Frugal tip to do instead of cutting smoking and eating out. If you've already cut these habits from your budget it's time to look for another way to save. How about cutting out paper goods? There are great alternatives to just about everything, cloth diapers, cloth pads, cloth napkins, and cloth towels! We already utilize all of these things and I've noticed a huge savings.
Money Saved Per Year (based one 3 packages of diapers, 1 package of pads, 2 packages of napkins, and 8 rolls of toweling purchased per month) = $504 per year
8. Frugal tip to do instead cutting bottled water and the landline. If you are like me you already don't have a landline and drink water from the tap or filtered so you are unable to cut out both of those things. How about this year we looking into saving on our cell phones? If your plan is up this year it's a good time to consider an alternative. Both of our phones are finished with their contracts this spring and we will not be renewing with the company we are with. If you already know of some great alternatives let us know in the comments!
Money Saved Per Year (based on average savings of switching plans) = $900 per year
9. Frugal tip to do instead of cutting the gym and turning down the thermostat. Better than both of those things...how about you take the time to see which appliances and items in your home are using the most electricity and cut them, find an alternative, or at least cut down the usage? A good way to do this is a pick up a Kill-A-Watt and actually see what is costing you the most money to run. You can read more about cutting down your energy usage on existing appliances here.
Money Saved Per Year = Varies
To sum up, here's where we are cutting the costs this year (and where I hope you will try to too!)
- Cut out movie rentals.
- Lessen trips to town.
- Make more things from scratch.
- Don't buy new clothing.
- Make extra debt payments.
- Dry clothes without a dryer.
- Cut out paper goods.
- Slash the costs of cellphones.
- Monitor and reduce energy usage.
Since I had 2 categories that varied greatly I couldn't add everything up neatly but just know that if we do all the thigns above, our savings per year will be more than this amount!
Total Saved Per Year = $4900+ per year!
[ois skin="Frugal/Saving Money"]
I don't know about you, but I would love to add an extra $4900 to our yearly income for things we don't need to spend money on!
Will you join me in saving money in these areas of your life this year? Which one will be the hardest for you? What additional frugal tips for saving money will you add to this list this year?
Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.6:00 am