The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Cutting Expenses

These days figuring out ways to spend less money is one of the most significant challenges. Nearly everyone looks for ways to cut down on monthly expenses. While some of our usual bills might seem small on their own, their cumulation can make an impact and drain on our resources.

Many people look for ways to trim expenses to minimize the monthly impact or find a way to add to their savings. Here are a few easy and effective ways to save money. They won’t take a lot of extra effort or time. Try one by one and calculate the savings. Maybe you’ll be able to pay off that nagging bill or save for a trip to Hawaii. Here are my 24, no-brainer tips for saving some dosh.

  1. Stop eating out (do the math). If you need breakfast to be on the go, try overnight oats, they’re easy to make.
  2. Make simple meals at home (for some easy recipes check here). Simple meals don’t need a lot of ingredients and still taste delicious.
  3. Cook from scratch and only make what you are going to eat (a lot of leftovers go to waste). I cook up a big batch of rice and then use it a number of ways during the week, like stir-fry, fried rice, and soup. You can do the same thing for beans, pasta or potatoes.
  4. Don’t buy processed foods, shop the outer aisles of the store. We all know the crappy processed food in the center is only expediting your death.
  5. Shop the store sales, buy in bulk when you can. If your family is small (like mine) share a Costco membership.
  6. Regrow your own food. Click the link to find several foods you can regrow easily (most in just water). It’s like gardening without the commitment!
  7. Pack Your lunch to work. You can save $1,500 a year or more per person and that just if you are spending $6 per meal.
  8. Make your own delicious coffee at home. I know, we are a Starbucks culture, but seriously when did it become okay to spend $5 for a coffee?
  9. Stop buying soda, sports drinks and juice, stick to water, tea and coffee. Stop and think how much you are paying for sugar water.
  10. Make Your Own Cleaning Products.
    (In a spray bottle add, 1/3 c ammonia, 1/3 c rubbing alcohol, 1/3 c white vinegar and top the rest up with water, best all-purpose cleaner ever!)
  11. Make Your Own Laundry Detergent.
    (In a gallon of hot water add 3 TBS Washing Soda, 3 TBS Borax, 3 TBS Blue Dawn, add the dawn last or you’ll be sorry!)
  12. Dry your clothes at night, some utility providers offer reduced rates during off-peak hours. Do your laundry in the evening and throw them in the dryer before you go to bed. Consider air drying things like jeans that take longer to dry. You can tumble them on no heat after they dry for a couple of minutes to get the stiffness out.
  13. Turn down the temperature on your hot water heater, if the thermostat is set over 120°F, dial it back. You’ll save 3-5% for every 10 degrees you reduce it. We usually have our water so hot we have to add cold water to cool it down. Why are we paying to have it up that high?
  14. Turn off the lights/appliances/computer/tv when you aren’t in the room. Even I’m not that lazy. It doesn’t take but a second to turn things off.
  15. Turn your thermostat down at night. According to Sleep.Org, the optimum temperature for sleep is 60-67. Personally, my family has acclimated to 60 just fine.
  16. Cancel subscriptions. You get just about everything online and for free. You can find recipes and DIY ideas on Pinterest.
  17. Take advantage of your library. If you read on an e-reader, it can save you a ton of money over buying. My very nice friends even let me check out ebooks on their library accounts from larger, more extensive libraries.
  18. Use Redbox or Netflix instead of going to the movies. You’ll save on snacks too.
  19. Cut out cable. I just can’t pay $80 for 20% commercial content when I can pay $15 for Netflix and have zero commercials.
  20. Take a walk or go for a hike instead of paying for the gym.  If you live kinda close to work, walk or bike to work. In the winter, workout in front of a video on youTube. There is something for everyone.
  21. Buy second hand, check why here. I’m not just talking about clothes. You can buy just about everything you need second hand.
  22. Use SearchRx to get big discounts on prescriptions. You can also compare prices.
  23. Stay at home. Bring back the family game night or movie night. Don’t you think it’s time we slowed our jets and spent some quality time with the family?
  24. Consider having a “no spend” week once a month. Check here for pointers. This might seem revolutionary, but I have faith you can do it!

 

What ways do you use to cut corners? Let me hear your best ideas in the comments below!

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