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I think I have hinted in the past that Mike and I have some pretty big financial goals for the next year or two. In order to obtain these goals we need to make our already
cheap thrifty lifestyle even thriftier. I decided I wanted to focus on just a few things I could do to save money each week. We have all read the posts that say “save $100 this year by cutting our your morning latte” or “stop eating out” and those are great, but we don’t drink coffee, and we already do a lot of those tips. I sat down at the beginning of this week and decided I needed to find 7 things I could do to save money this week. These are things that almost anybody can do, even if you are already thrifty. Not only that, these are things that will save you money this week, or at least this month, rather than having to wait a year or so to see the savings.
- Cook with what you have. We have all been in that situation where we “have no food in the house” but really, that isn’t true. What we mean is there isn’t anything that sounds appetizing, or nothing we feel like making. This week, take inventory of what is in your cupboard and make a goal to cook with those ingredients. Pick up any produce you may need to make it through the week, but plan your meals around your pantry. If you need inspiration, the AllRecipes app lets you put in the ingredients you have, and comes up with what you can make from those ingredients.
- Run errands in one day if possible. If you have errands to run, try to run them all in one day. Also try to figure out the best route for your errands. Even though it can make for a long day, or lunch hour, running around one time during the week rather than multiple times will save you gas, and probably help you have a more relaxing week every other day. I even went so far to call and reschedule a few appointments for this week so everything could be done in one day.
- If it isn’t full don’t run it. Laundry and dishes are something many of us feel need to be done often, but a good rule of thumb is if it isn’t full – don’t run it. This can apply to dishwashers and washing machines. If you really need to do dishes, wash them by hand. Not only will it save you the energy, but liquid dish soap is usually more cost-effective than dishwasher detergent.
- Call your internet provider. I am almost embarrassed how much we were paying for our internet. I finally sat down this week, got on the internet, and acted like I was a new customer to see what kind of deals our internet provider was giving out. Guess what? New customers were getting deals that were 1/3 the cost of our service. I called our provider, and they not only reduced our bill almost down to the new customer offer, they gave us a higher speed of internet as well. This is a savings I will see within 2 weeks when our new bill is sent to us.
- Get more sleep. This might sound strange as a money saving tip, but if you are like me, you probably stay up pretty late after the kids go to bed, working, relaxing, cleaning. Head to bed earlier so your lights are shut off. Do more of your housework, etc during daylight hours when you don’t need to use extra electricity for lights. Also, going to bed early can curb late night snacking, saving you more money on food.
- Have Date Night In. If you have weekly date nights with your significant other that is awesome! I think date nights are very important for many relationships. However, instead of going out weekly, maybe try going out only monthly and the other weeks have date night in on the couch. DVR a movie or watch one you already own, maybe even rent from RedBox. Pop some popcorn and curl up together on the couch. It will save you money from the activities you would have done, and if you have kids, it will also save you money on a sitter.
- Cut the cable, suspend streaming services. Now days one of the best ways to save money is to cut the cable/satellite. Smart TVs, streaming devices (like the Roku or Fire TV) make it easy to get Netflix, Hulu and even Amazon Prime (and more) on your television. If you are one of the many who have already said bye-bye to cable, try putting a suspension on your streaming accounts. Hulu allows you to suspend your account for up to 12 weeks (perfect if your shows are between seasons like in the summer and winter breaks) and lets you start right back up with the same price. Netflix can easily be turned off and resumed, though your price may not be guaranteed when you return. Instead of streaming and watching television, play games, read books, watch movies/DVDs you already own, or even rent from redbox or borrow from your library.
There you have it. 7 things you can do to save money this week. Some of these things may not be doable long term (like cooking with what you have, the errands, or even cutting the streaming if it is what you really like to do in your spare time) BUT you can do almost anything for one week right? Then next week, pick 7 new things (or maybe some of the same things) that you would like to do to save money. Try and pick items that will show you pretty immediate savings and maybe even make a game out of how much you can save every week.
Do you have other ideas on something somebody can do for just one week to save money? Leave them in a comment down below and maybe I will share them in a future post (and give you credit of course).