This post is part of an editorial series, “Money Matters.“
No matter how much money you make each month, everyone can celebrate when it comes to saving money on monthly expenses. These expenses can often be the toughest to cut, but with just a couple changes in how you shop, you can save a ton!
Cut your food budget by up to 40 percent or more. Food is something no household can live without. As food costs rise, it can be tough to trim expenses in this area. A few simple changes to how you shop can save you more than you imagine on weekly shopping.
One thing many look over when shopping is the price per pound, ounce, or gallon when they buy food. Savvy marketers know how to reel shoppers in with flashy “family size” advertising that often costs more than it saves. To find out the price per ounce, for example, you simply take the total dollar amount of the product and then divide it by the number of ounces (or the weight) listed on the package. You can use this same method when buying diapers, toilet paper, dog food, or even razors. I even use it when comparing the costs of various meals, like tacos over spaghetti, when we meal plan.
You can take your savings even further by embracing meal planning. By planning out what your family will eat at each meal, you’ll be less likely to order out. When you plan ahead, you can buy ingredients in bulk, which can be a huge money saver. Meal planning also lets the whole family get involved in meal prep!
When it comes to grocery shopping, there are a ton of apps that can help you save money. Although a few cents at a time might not seem like a lot, it can add up over the course of a month. Target’s “Cartwheel” App is a favorite among frugal shoppers because it allows you to save in every department of the store!
By following these tips, I was able to take our monthly food/toiletries budget from $1000 a month for a family of five, to right around $525.
Find your inner DIY Diva side. Doing things yourself will always be a money saver. This means washing your own car, mowing your own lawn, and taking care of your own pool are all huge money savers. Maintaining your home, rather than waiting for something to break and then fixing it, is also a smart money saving choice. One way to stay on top of this and maintain a budget is to schedule a few home maintenance tasks every month.
Many people have started to use YouTube or a simple Google search to find out how to make repairs on their own. From fixing the dryer to repairing a garage door, you can find out how repair just about anything on the Internet today! Even if you don’t consider yourself a DIY Diva, anyone can follow directions when it means saving tons of cash.
Ditch high cost contracts. At one point my family’s monthly cable bill was $210 a month. We cut the cord and switched to Amazon Fire TV paired with Hulu and Sling, and now pay $48 a month. That’s a savings of $162 each month, and we still get to watch all the shows we watched before (and more) — often times without commercials.
You can easily save on your cell phone bill too by shopping around for the best deal. If you can take just 10 minutes a month to manage your data and read your billing statement, you can adjust your monthly bill for a savings of up to 30 percent by avoiding overages and having the right data plan.
Saving money is easier when you embrace the challenge and learn to look at everything as an opportunity to save yourself some cash!
Born and raised in California, Richel moved to Texas with her family in 2014. The great state of Texas allowed her to take her blooming freelance business to the next level. In 2015, Richel and her husband Dan created a full-service social media business that they run from home. The two have three beautiful children, and on top of running a business full time, they also homeschool all three kids! Richel is also the editor of the website togetherhood.com where she and other parents help those managing day-to-day life with quirky kids (kids with non-visible disabilities). When not volunteering as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader, you can find her cooking away in the kitchen, doing crafts, and surfing Pinterest!