Last week, we discussed ways to stretch kitchen budgets.
Today, let’s discuss other savings tips. I feel like we all develop individual ways to live within our budgets. These are a few of mine. Some I have practiced for years and some are new to my arsenal. With Covid, inflation, gas prices, etc. I am all for finding new ways to stretch income. I would guess many of you are as well.
We can do it! Making less do more is achievable. It’s not always fun or easy, or comfortable. We get used to our spending habits; the way our household functions. My suggestion… pick a way that seems easiest for you and start there! Set goals to build on your start.
Some may have to go after the budget with a butcher knife, some may need just a butter knife. Whichever it is, be honest with yourself and get the right knife out of the drawer, or the results will disappoint you. If you don’t rework your budget and your household can’t manage the inflation we are under, you may end up with unexpected debt, which is a burden to carry! Cut where you can to keep that from happening. It is so hard to get debt off your back! I do not wish that for you and your family!
The very first thing I did years ago when we were staring at an income gap was:
1. CUT CABLE TV!
It was an instant $100 savings a month. Maybe more now! Wow, that felt great!
Our daughter gave us a ROKU years before, so we have relied on it ever since. Yes, apps have subscription fees, but our family shares them. I pay for Netflix, one member Hulu, another Disney+, another Peacock, we all share our log ins. I pay $15 per month and have lots of variety. Amazon Prime is free for me as a member. YouTube, NOT YouTube TV (that has a fee) has lots of offerings for free. I get news there when we want it.
We have had no problem living without cable!!
I also suggest…
2. Compare When Shopping Online.
I assume almost all of us shop online these days. Covid layered that into our practices.
Amazon is not always cheapest. If you find something you want, copy the name of the product. Put it in the web search bar and see if any place has it cheaper! Remember to include shipping costs into the price to compare fairly.
If some place is offering free shipping for over $35 (for instance) and you are a few dollars under, it may be worth it to find another item to get free shipping. Do you want to pay for shipping or a product in hand?
When this happens…
3. Hint: I go to the sale category and see if there is a low price option I could use for a gift, Christmas stocking, or something I need.
I very well may purchase this later anyway, so to get free shipping would be worth it. Especially with shipping costs increasing.
4. Search for Online Coupons.
I never finish checkout at any store online before I search for a coupon! Sometimes, I just can’t find one, but often I do! Many times, it covers the shipping costs at least!
Amazon does not offer outside coupons, but sometimes there will be a coupon you can use on the item… see below….
5. Use Cash Back Apps
These are a little extra work, but can add up. Time is money. My neighbor shared she used this first one all year, and it paid for a chunk of her Christmas shopping. I’ve started using it too!!
Please know, I am not referring these to get benefits. If you know me, you know I would never do that. I’m letting you know of some extra benefits. You choose how you do it!!
A. FETCH REWARDS
With this one you set up an account, linking it to Amazon and Target. When you make an Amazon or Target purchase online and it ships, ask it to search for online purchases. Your email address is used to do this. Once they ship, it will capture them. The last 30 days are what it will search for.
ALSO, every purchase you make anywhere, get a receipt, open the app and snap a picture. It will give you points for every receipt you input, no matter where or what it is. Sometime, you’ll get extra points if they have a promotion for a product on your receipt … I snap grocery, gas, restaurant, stores… ANYTHING!!!
You have 14 days to input the receipt from the date on the receipt.
We have been snapping away over here! Thanks Kelly!
B. IBOTTA APP
This is another cash back app. It’s a little more involved than Fetch. I haven’t started using it yet, but it has great reviews and I know people who use it!
C. RAKUTEN APP
This is another cash back App. For this one, you go into the online store through the app and when you complete a purchase, they gave a small percentage back to your account.
Here’s something cool: You can get Cash Back for shopping at your favorite stores! Just join Rakuten for free. You’ll also get a $30 bonus when you use my invite link to join and spend $30:
D. “GET UPSIDE” APP
⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is for GAS!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️
They are adding restaurants and grocery stores to the app, but not in my area yet.
After you set up your profile, it will show you gas deals in your area. You can claim a discount and have four hours to get there and fill up. I have seen $.20 – $.40 per gallon back.
When you get to the location, you tap on the app that you are there. You pay full price at the pump. Later, the discount/gallon shows up in your account!
If you use this referral code, you’ll get an extra $.15/gallon on your first use of the app (and so will I)….
6. Inventory What You Have
Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve bought a lot of unneeded duplicates in my time. With my smaller house and pantry, I am much more careful. I keep a few extras, but not multiples of extras!
Also, clothes, shoes, cleaners,… everything!
I don’t purchase replacements till needed. Yes, there may be a time I am caught short, no worries. Life goes on!
I think I had a “multiple” “stockpile” mentality from years of running our household for larger numbers. It’s unnecessary to have backups for the backups and will save the monthly budget for that month’s needs.
7. USE WHAT YOU HAVE
Look around your house, frig, pantry, closet… use what you have and be happy! Your pocketbook will show the difference.
SHOP YOUR HOUSE!
This can be a real mental shift. If you love to shop, like fashion, are in the habit of using specific expensive ingredients, can’t get enough decor, etc. whatever your habit is, decide you have enough. Or put specific limits on yourself according to your budget.
Help yourself by saving for what you want and realize these restrictions won’t last forever. Hopefully, inflation and gas prices will find their ways back to normal. But on the way there, you may find new habits that serve your life even better than the older ones.
I have not perfected this! I’m growing!!
If you want to give back….
8. USE AMAZON SMILE
Using Amazon Smile rather than just Amazon, a percentage of your purchases will go to the non-profit of your choice! Lots and lots of non-profits are listed for you to choose. If your favorite non-profit isn’t listed, you can ask them to register and they will get checks from Amazon!
Everybody could give to a non-profit from their Amazon purchases. Amazon will give the money, we just have to let them know where we want to give through Amazon Smile! I love this option!
Individually, it is not a ton, but if the organization encourages other people to sign-up, it will multiply their budgets! And make you smile at being able to give, even when your budget is so challenging!!
One last idea…
9. Add Water to Dish soap, Hand soap, Shampoo, etc. and/or use less.
You will barely notice and it will still accomplish its purpose!
Shout out where you’ve found savings!
We are all ears!
We are here to help each other!! Life can be challenging!
We’ve got this!
Praying for Ukraine🇺🇦,