Random Ways I Love to Save Money

4 Different Ways to Save Money

I have been wanting to write about some of my random ways to save money, and this week’s Ask the Readers question over at Wisebread inspired me to finally get to writing about some of my favorite ways to save. I hope that these ideas help inspire others to save money in new ways!

As you are reading this remember that everyone’s level of thriftiness is different- where I don’t mind doing certain things to save money they may be way out of your comfort zone, just like many things are out of my comfort zone. (Have you seen that show on tv about cheapskates? I couldn’t do most of the things that they do to save money!)

Make What You Would Otherwise Buy-

This can be food, crafts or anything really. I do a little of both. It helps that I usually enjoy cooking and DIY crafts but many times you will realize how easy it is to do something that you could pay to be done instead. When you see something you want just ask yourself “Can I make that?” and see if it is a feasible way to save some money. I was totally thinking this after driving by the tamale stand last week, so I will probably be making tamales soon.

I joined the 15 Minute Suppers group where we post new dinner ideas on Fridays that take 15 Minutes or Less- the idea is to make something at home in the amount of time it would take to order delivery. Cooking these easy meals saves us money because instead we would be eating out way too often. I try to do the same with packing my husband lunches, but lately I have had way too hard of a time getting up in time to make him something. When I do make him lunches I will sometimes make him Homemade Lunchables or Homemade Chicken Snack Wraps– both things I can easily make at home for way less than what you would buy them for.

I also try to make all sorts of DIY projects at home. Check out some of my Best Tutorials to see what kinds of things you could make instead of buying. My latest DIY projects have been Jeep-related, but I need to get to making new carseat strap covers and fixing up a playmat for the new baby before he comes in a couple of weeks. For me the time and materials to make most of these things is way less than buying them new, plus they are personalized so many times I am more happy with them and less likely to buy replacements.

Water Bottles-

Reuse Water Bottles to Save MoneyReusable water bottles are nice, but they can also be expensive and a pain in the butt. Our compromise is to use bottled water and refill them a bunch of times before tossing them. I love the convenience of just being able to grab a cold water bottle whenever I want and being able to throw it away if I need to.  I don’t worry about losing it  or breaking it but at the same time we aren’t just thowing away money. I probably buy a case of water bottles once a month or less.

Be Lazy-

How to Stop ShoppingBe lazy at going shopping and wait to buy stuff. Don’t go straight to the store when you need something, wait a few days or so. You might realize you don’t need whatever it was in the first place. I have written about Ways to Stop Shopping but I’ve taken it to a whole new level- I am just lazy and haven’t wanted to take the time to go shopping for things we need, let alone things we don’t need. It has saved me money because by the time I actually do go to the store I realize that I have lived a few days or a few weeks without whatever was on my list and I probably don’t need it at all.

Hide the Paper Goods-

Paper Goods=Money Wasters They are easy to hide for special occasions though!
A basket is an easy way to store paper goods/fine china until they are pulled out for special occasions or a special lazy day!

We do have paper towels, paper plates and even *real* tissues but we don’t have them out where they are easy to access. I hide them from myself and my family mainly. Visitors are usually confused, some of my family even gets a little upset that I hide the paper towels. Hiding the paper towels, and paper plates and things makes you stop to think about how easy it is to grab a dish cloth instead of a paper towel or to wipe your nose on TP instead of more expensive tissues.

I love using our “fine china” aka paper plates because it saves me from doing dishes, but having them set out of the way keeps me from being lazy and grabbing them for every meal. Saving the paper goods are all little things but the savings really do add up. What are a couple more dirty dish rags or dirty dishes when you are already doing a load of wash anyway?

On the other side of things, when we get a bad cold I will bring out the nice tissues (I buy the expensive ones with lotion) for when your nose gets too raw. Otherwise my TP Tissue Box is out and works great. When my father or guests come over and ask for paper towels I don’t mind grabbing them from their hiding place and letting them use them. If anyone wants to use my “fine china” I am happy to bring it out. I just try to save everything for special occasions so that we aren’t constantly wasting money on paper goods every week.

These are just a few of the ways that I try to save money around the house. I figure that being a stay at home mom means that saving money is my job, and most of the time I am good at it. So tell me, am I going overboard with saving money or do you do any of these things too?

More Money Saving Ideas:

How to Stop Shopping (Curb Your Spending!)
Our Family Dinner Idea List
Motivational Credit Card Sleeves

What I Forgot on Our Cruise

I usually am very prepared when I go on vacation. I have multiple lists to remind me of what I need to bring, and I use them almost every time. This time we went on a vacation during our vacation and apparently traveling without my toddler makes me forget a lot of stuff.

More Money- We spent tons more than I planned for. It was worth it though!

Stuff for Sea Sickness- We ended up buying Sea Bands and a small vial of tea tree oil, both of those totaled $30

Camera Cards- We had one, but forgot to transfer everything to the computer before we left

Laundry Soap, Quarters- I knew I needed to do laundry but forgot this stuff

Beach Bag/Purse- I haven’t been carrying a real purse, just a small clutch but I needed one while traveling. I ended up buying one at Bubba Gump’s.

Sun Screen & Aloe- Closer to the equator you burn easier.. we were in alot of pain for the last few days of the cruise!

Case of Water- We found out later that you could bring your own water to keep from buying their bottled water. I would have used the free water but it really didn’t taste that great.

Books/Magazines- I usually just read stuff online but without internet I was a little bored at times.

Walkie Talkies- We didn’t need these all that much but they would have been useful to use because I wasn’t paying to use my cell phone

Ballet Flats- I brought sneakers, flip flops and heels but I would have liked something to wear on formal night when my feet were done with heels.

Jacket- I would have really appreciated having a nice looking jacket with me, I was cold most of the time but didn’t want to dress down with my one long sleeve shirt

Watch- I needed mine because I wasn’t carrying around my phone. We always needed to know the time so we could get to dinner and shows and stuff on time.

Hair Ties/Clips- I took these with me but I needed the reminder to keep one on my wrist at all times, incase we wandered to an open deck

Swim Cover Up- I should have used this dress as one, but I just forgot it.

Goggles- It was so cool to see things in the ocean once we bought some goggles. I just wish I brought some from home instead of paying a ton at the beach

No Soda Card- We paid for the soda card for the week but found out it wasn’t worth it. It might be worth it daily but the days we spent at the different ports we didn’t order any soda or anything. The days we did order soda it was still kinda iffy about if we would have saved money on it or not.

Other Travel Tips:
Eating Out Of a Hotel Room: Vacation Money Saving Ideas
Airport Traveling Tips
DIY Personalized Suitcase
Motivational Credit Card Sleeves {Saving for Vacation Idea}

Motivational Credit Card Sleeves

I am trying to be on a spending fast. It’s not working too well, so I decided to make myself reminders of why I am saving. We are saving so that we can go on a cruise and lay on the beach for a few days. I started with putting this picture everywhere I can, my desktop background, on my social media pages, on my fridge, etc.

I wanted to get it printed so that I could put it more places, but that cost money. So I started my next project by cutting out pictures from magazines and travel brochures. The idea was to wrap the pictures around each of my credit cards so that I had a visual reminder why I shouldn’t use them. This is what I cam up with instead:

Materials:
Colored Paper
Magazine Clippings
Pen
Packing Tape

Directions:
1. Cut your paper 3 1/2 inches x 4 3/4 inches. Fold it in half.

 2. Cut your pictures and label to size. (And yes, I know my “motivational phrases” suck but they work as labels to that I know which card is which.) (Also, Costco deserves a sleeve too because that is a dangerous place! I usually can’t walk out of there without spending less than $100.)

3. Rip off a piece of packing tape, and place your picture and motivational phrase face down onto the tape.

4. Next, place that tape onto the folded paper. Cut slits in the tape so that it is easier to fold around the edges.

5. Use a second piece of tape to cover up the rest of the picture and fold all of the edges of the tape down.

6. Slide your card in, and hide it in your wallet.

Now that I’m not traveling I need to leave my credit card at home, but otherwise I like having my debit cards on me for emergencies and for the regular stuff that still has to be bought (like gas and groceries). Hopefully the reminders will help me buy less unnecessary stuff! What other ways do you try to motivate yourself to save money?