Creative Ways to Save Money will give you the advice you need to to put you on the path of frugality from people who’ve been in your shoes.
A dash of frugality is a good thing for everyone. – Jason Chaffetz
In a frugal living group, a question that was asked was, “What’s the one thing that you changed in your life that saved you a lot of money?”
There were hundreds of responses. I loved how everyone had their own “thing” that they mastered to help save their family money. Some of the answers were brilliant.
We could all use more money. Even if you find one idea you hadn’t thought of before, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Whether you’re looking for creative ways to save money for vacation or you’re just trying to look for ways to save money on a tight budget, you should be able to find one or two new ideas to get you there.
While your reasons why it is important to save money is different from someone else’s reasons, finding easy ideas on how to live frugally and save money at the same time can make it more achievable.
One of the group members gave her top three rules for saving money:
1) Her family rarely went out to eat. When they did, everyone could only order water for the beverage.
2) Before her family would buy ANYTHING, they would ask themselves if they really needed it.
3) Stick to their budget.
Saving on one thing, year after year can add up to lots of extra money that would have thoughtlessly gone down the drain.
Some of the members put themselves on a savings challenge and had fun with the process.
They put together a money saving chart and documented their progress.
Since you like saving money and home life, I’m guessing you like all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 6,000 like-minded souls.
It’s a group where we share recipes, pictures of things that leave you in awe, and ideas on how to make your life just a little bit more snug. Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.
Here are the Creative Ways to Save Money answers:
1) Save money by ordering groceries online for pick-up.
This was one answer that was repeated again and again. The reason it saved everyone so much money was because there were no impulse purchases added to the bill.
Between the kids, your significant other and yourself, how many times have you ended up with more in your cart then you intended to?
I can’t even begin to wonder how much money I would have saved over the years if I implemented this strategy.
2) Save money by getting the Flipp Mobile App.
A few of the people in the group mentioned getting the Flipp Mobile App on their smartphone.
It’s an app that shows all your local store sales ads at the same time and you can compare prices before going into the store.
There are thousands of flyers available. You type in your zip code and it will show you all the weekly ads and deals. It also works in Canada.
Sometimes lack of time can outweigh the importance of saving money. With this app you can do both.
This was news to me. Most of the people in the group hadn’t heard of this app, so if you hadn’t, you’re not alone.
3) Save Money by making your own toiletries
Several people loved making their own toiletries. It’s one of the best ways to save money on a tight budget.
After learning a few good recipes, they bought the ingredients in bulk and made their own lotions, toothpaste, bath bombs, soaps, lip balms and deodorant.
I thought that might be a fun and practical thing to do.
To get started, you can try my recipe for DIY Coffee Lover’s Sugar Scrub here.
4) Save Money by making your own cleaning products.
I’ve been doing this for years. I don’t understand spending a lot of money on cleaners when you can easily make your own at home that don’t have any chemicals in them.
I love to add essential oils to my cleaners to freshen the air at the same time.
To get started, you can try my Homemade Lavender Linen Spray here.
5) Save Money by learning to make your favorite restaurant dishes at home.
This could be a challenge for you to enhance your culinary skills. How many times have you went and got take-out because you craved a particular dish?
Probably more times than you can count. Why not try to recreate the recipes at home?
Figuring out the ingredients in a dish is something that my sister likes to do. She takes this challenge seriously.
Test several recipes until you get the closest results to your favorite restaurant’s meals.
6) Save money by dropping cable.
This answer was one of the top two answers that were given. Most of the group learned to live without cable comfortably.
I’m one of those people. I gave up cable years ago.
Other options for entertainment are Hulu, Netflix, Qello and Fire TV Stick from Amazon (go here to find out more about Fire TV Stick.)
YouTube will also have some shows uploaded for the time being before they are taken down. I like to watch Hallmark movies, and that’s where I usually find them for free.
7) Check the Amazon Prime Pantry Clearance section to save money
There’s a minimum order of $35 on Amazon Prime pantry, but there were several people who used this strategy to keep their food prices down.
One money saving mom bought most of her groceries this way.
I just went online to check out what they had on sale and there was a vast variety of products to pick. I ended up putting in an order myself because of the deals I found.
You won’t believe some of the prices on things!
8) Saving money by meal planning.
Several of the people in the group were master meal planners. They had the rotation of meals their families would eat on 30-day charts.
By creating a monthly meal plan, they knew what ingredients they would need and would stock up on items when they got the best deals.
I found by sticking to just a few different choices for breakfast, I have saved a significant amount of money.
Making sure you eat nutritious food is a smart way to spend because you’ll be saving on doctor bills later on down the road.
Here’s the recipe I use the most (adapted from Medical Medium’s Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie Recipe.)
2 bananas (I usually freeze my bananas, so they are never wasted.)
1 cup wild blueberries (better for you than regular blueberries, and they are often the same price. You can find them in the frozen food section of your grocery store.)
Ingredients for the Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie:
1 cup frozen cherries
1 cup cilantro (cilantro haters can replace this with Italian parsley.)
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon barley grass juice powder
1 teaspoon organic spirulina powder
2 teaspoons organic Atlantic dulse flakes
Water to blend.
Directions for the Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie:
Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Add water if you would like a thinner consistency.
Some of these ingredients are expensive to begin with, but since you use so little of it daily – they go a long way.
Save money live better by making a healthy breakfast.
9) Saving money by cutting the family member’s hair at home.
Thank goodness for YouTube! Now you can learn to be an expert at something from the comfort of your own home.
Several of the moms learned how to give their kids and husband haircuts at home. They were quite proud of their ability and thought they did a better job than when their family members got haircuts they paid for from experts.
You could also groom your dogs at home. I do this and save tons of money.
Confession: Sometimes my dogs look like they got a homemade bowl haircut
10) Saving money by minimal use of plastic wraps, paper towels and tissues.
Not only do you save money by avoiding using disposables, buy you help the environment at the same time.
I rarely buy paper towels because I clean with rags instead. This one thing has saved me tons of money. I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to change this one simple habit?
The best thing to do is to purchase Microfiber cleaning towels. You can find them here.
Another huge savings is to stop using throw-away wraps for your bowls and dishes.
You have several different options on buying these covers once and never having to use plastic or foil wrap again. Here are some ideas on Amazon:
11) Saving money by drying clothes on the line.
One of the group members experimented with drying all their clothes outside on clothing lines. She found that her average savings were $20 per month.
I’m also a big fan of using wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets to save money on laundry.
Several of the members made their own laundry detergent. I would caution you to do some research on this because I’ve also heard that some homemade laundry detergents clog up washing machines.
12) Saving money by adding a food garden to your yard.
When I first bought my house, I spent a lot of money working on my front yard. I turned it into a gorgeous flower garden. (It was even described as “magical” from a few of my neighbors.)
While I’m happy I took the time to create such a beautiful space, I wish I spent more time focusing on growing my own food.
I already had three apple trees on the property, so I added two cherry trees. That was about it.
Fresh herbs have always been a big thing for me, so I did add lots of different herbs to my front yard.
I won’t make the same mistake twice. Now that I’m moving somewhere else, my number one priority will be adding fruit trees, bushes and herbs to my landscape.
I will also section off a spot for a vegetable garden. Many of the frugal members were big on canning, pickling and preserving their produce they grew from their own yards.
They love canning their spaghetti sauce, making pickles, canning green beans, canning jars of jam, and making pickled jalapeños.
They also use a dehydrator to preserve their own seasoning blends.
Even if you have a small space, you can get started with a small herb garden or growing your own micro greens.
Here’s some articles I’ve written about growing your own food:
13) Saving money by eliminating all beverages except water.
This idea is a great money saving challenge but it has merits. You could start tapering off buying bottled beverages.
I pretty much just drink tea or water, but others might have a hard time going cold-turkey.
One frugal member mentioned purchasing a SodaStream on Amazon and how it saved them lots of money over time.
By purchasing loose tea instead of buying boxes of tea bags, you will also be able to enjoy your beverages at a lower cost.
14) Saving money by purchasing a freezer and dehydrator.
These two things can add up to lots money saved over time. I have both.
One of the members stressed the importance of not wasting food and how valuable having both a freezer and dehydrator saved them tons of money.
Because she had a large separate freezer, she was able to buy in bulk during meat sales. She used her dehydrator on any produce she thought might go to waste.
I have the three apple trees that keep on giving throughout the year because of my dehydrator. Who doesn’t love dried apples?
Investing in a good machine was essential to me because I knew I would be using it all the time. Here’s the dehydrator that I love.
15) Saving money by switching to a whole foods plant-based diet.
Several of the families in the frugal group started eat less meat than they used to eat.
They slowly started transforming what they ate and felt better because of the changes.
Once they started on the plant-based journey, they continued because they actually liked the taste of the food better.
Some of the things they raved about was creating a chickpea salad that ended up tasting like a “mock tuna salad.” Lentil sloppy joes were also a big hit.
I just bought a gigantic bag of organic brown rice at Costco for under $10, so I can see how that savings can add up.
16) Saving money by looking for free events in your area.
Many towns and cities put on free events throughout the year, you have to keep a lookout for some fun things that will appeal to your family.
Several people made a game of it, challenging family members to come up with ideas on how to have fun together as a family for free.
17) Save money by shopping the Craiglist “free section” when you want to look for the stuff you don’t need.
When you get that urge to shop, why not see what type of treasures you can find in the free sections of various online selling sites?
Some of the most popular ways to find free stuff is to look at Offerup, Facebook Marketplace, local buying groups on Facebook, Let It Go, and Craigslist.
Finding unlovable items and transforming them into something useful and fun can be your superpower!
18) Saving money by getting your car wiring wrapped with pepper tape.
This little nugget is from me. Let me tell you, I wish someone had let me know about this valuable tip.
About a year ago, I went out to my car and was greeted by the “check engine” light when I turned it in. I made an appointment with my dealership because my car was still under warranty.
It turns out that mice had chewed on my car’s wiring and caused a lot of damage. The bill to fix the installation was around $700.
I read everything online about how to keep rodents away from my car and implemented several suggestions.
A few months later, I got another “check engine” light notice. You guessed it, more wires that fell victim to a rodent buffet and another $700 later.
One of the service guys let a secret slip that most dealerships know is a problem. He said, “Yes, rats and mice just love soy wiring.” What?????
What does soy wiring have to do with anything? Here’s the deal. Several manufacturers of cars used soy to cover the wiring of their vehicles between certain years. The year range depends on the type of car you own.
They realized their mistake and coated their wiring with different products in later years. It was not that long ago. My car is a Honda and I owned one of the lucky soy-coated wiring vehicles.
Having soy on your wiring is like slathering peanut butter on them. Not only is your car a nice cozy, warm place to hide – but it has delicious-tasting wiring to grind their teeth on too! It’s like a vehicle bed-and-breakfast.
None of the car manufacturers will take responsibility for damage caused by rodent damage. Prevention is up to you.
It turns out Honda has hot pepper tape that they put out to combat this problem. The tape has to be put on by professionals because it’s super hot and mishandling it can injure you.
Did my dealership let me know about this magical tape? No. Research online did. I insisted they put on the tape before I picked up the car again.
It cost about $200 to have it put on, but it was worth it in my book. I was lucky before that the damage to my vehicle was only $700 each time. Others weren’t so lucky.
One guy bought a brand new car and had $6,000 worth of damage within a month of driving it off the lot.
The service guy told me I wouldn’t believe how many cars come in to be repaired for this problem.
Google your car online to see if you have the soy wiring.
If you plan on keeping your car for a while and you find out you have it, you now can decide whether you want to take a gamble of preventing an occurrence or taking the risk that nothing will happen.
19) Saving money with natural pest control.
The situation with my car got me motivated on keeping pests at bay. I found simple ways on how to landscape your yard as a natural deterrent for rodents and bugs.
Adding the right plants to your yard is the best way to save money in the long term.
You can find out more about How to Grow an Insect Repellent Garden here.
We’ve reached the end of Creative Ways to Save Money.
I hope you got a tip or two that you hadn’t thought of to implement into your own life. We all know the reasons why saving money is important.
Let me know in the comments below what your favorite ways to save money are.
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