1. Cook from scratch. I know I know, it’s time consuming and convenience food is so…convenient! But you will save SO much money by cooking from scratch. For the price of a can of beans you can buy a 1lb bag of dried beans and make the equivalent of 4 cans of beans. It will be healthier for you too. Freeze what you won’t use immediately and for $.99 you will have already cooked beans for your next 3-4 meals.
Here are some recipes your family might enjoy:
- Bacon Cheddar Low Carb Instant Pot Chicken Recipe
- Creamy Garlic & Mozzarella Smothered Chicken Recipe
- Make Your Own Homemade Baking Mix
- Slow Cooker Pinto Beans – Easy, Cheap and Adaptable!
2. Learn a craft or skill that cuts some fat off your budget. When things were really lean, my husband taught himself to cut his own hair (okay, he buzzed it with the razor…but it does take some learning! Trust me, he learned the hard way a few times.), that easily saved us around $20 every 6 weeks. I taught myself to sew which means I actually used to make a LOT of my daughter’s clothes. This saved us a LOT of money. I used to make her boutique style clothing. I loved dressing her up in boutique clothes, but would never pay those prices!!
Some other options:
- Woodworking (this could actually help with #5 as well!)
- Make your own cleaning supplies
- Learn to knit or crochet
- Start a home garden
3. Remember that some things are investments. Don’t buy something cheap that will just fall apart when you can pay a bit more up front and have it last years and years. Sometimes this is tough. You see the $100 product sitting next to the $300 product and your price savvy side is screaming to go for the cheaper. Cheaper is not always best. Especially when you have to go out and buy a new one in a few months because the cheap one broke.
4. Never buy anything without checking for coupons first. Chances are there will be a coupon, or a sale, or an unadvertised deal. And pay it forward, if you find a good deal, pass it on. Don’t be stingy with your savings! An easy way to save money when you are out shopping is to download an app (my favorite is Coupon Sherpa) and always check for coupons that you can use in stores. For grocery coupons, you can easily save some money by using my coupon database to check your grocery list for matching coupons before you head to the store.
Read this: Learn how to use coupons
5. Find ways to get paid for stuff you’d do anyway. Now I’m not talking about charging your sister to watch her kids when you know you’d do it for free. I’m talking about simple things. Do you need to get rid of clutter? Rather than throwing stuff away, sell it on EBay or have a garage sale. Use Ibotta or Checkout 51 when you grocery shop (they offer rebates based on products you buy). Sign up for a Target Debit Card and save 5% on your purchases.
These are all small things that can really add up over time. I encourage you to try just one (or 5!) and see if it gives you just a bit more wiggle room in your budget.