Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Easy Ways to Save Money Everyday

Hey y'all!  I'm linking up with Momfessionals today to share with you a few ways that we save money.  I'm sure my husband will laugh at this post because he doesn't think I know what the word "save" means, but when I sat and thought about it, I was surprised at just how many things we (I) do that saves us money each day!

1. Meal Planning
Every Friday, I create a meal plan and grocery list for the week.  I make one big grocery trip on Saturday mornings and then make quick trips a couple times per week, mainly for bananas.  We go through bananas like whoa, y'all.  This keeps me out of the grocery store, therefore I'm not buying things I don't need.

2.  Cooking from Scratch
 I would say that 90% of the recipes I make are from scratch.  I purchase a very limited amount of processed foods.  I make all of our peanut butter, hummus, pita bread, taco seasoning, vanilla extract, hamburger buns, and even apple cider vinegar, just to name a few.  And, it doesn't have to stop at food - you can make your own beauty products too.  Check out my Vanilla Peppermint Lip Balm.

3. Shopping at Aldi
Aldi's price on both produce and cheese can't be beat at any other stores in my town.  I also love going in there because you never know what random (cheap!) things you're going to find.  Example - I found an awesome pineapple corer/cutter for $2.99!  I've seen the same thing elsewhere for over $10!

4. Ibotta
If you haven't signed up for Ibotta yet, you should!  It's an app on your phone that pays you for buying certain items.  Once you purchase said items, you scan the barcode and send a picture of your receipt and you get paid for it!  They hold the money until you decide where you want it to go - Paypal, Amazon, iTunes, etc.  Plus, they are always running little bonuses where you can earn even more money.  It is slightly time consuming (we're talking like 5-10 minutes), but I think it's worth it.  I've been using it for a couple years and have made almost $600!  If you want to sign up, click here.

5. Eating at Home
We eat out, on average, once per week.  We've found that food at home just tastes better.  This is a huge money saver.  For the 4 of us to go out to eat, we will easily spend $30-$60.  I can make the same meal at home - and have it taste better - for less than $15.  Jason also packs his lunch every day.  When I plan the menu for the week, I purposely make enough of each dinner so there is enough left over for him to have lunch the next day.

6. Using Glass & Metal
Over the last few years we have been replacing all of our plastic ware with glass and/or stainless steel.  Glass and stainless steel are more durable, last longer, don't stain, and, well, are just better for your health in general.  I recently published a post with some of my favorite non-plastic everyday items.  Check it out here!
These are two of my favorites - Meadowcraft Tumbler and Ello Water Bottle

7. Reusable Sandwich Bags
These are great, guys!  Now that I've got a kindergartener (*sniff, sniff*), I'm packing a lunch every day.  If it wasn't for these bad boys I would have already gone through a two or three boxes of plastic sandwich/snack bags. I have two favorites - Lunchskins with velcro and Nordic by Nature with a zipper.
Lunchskins (velcro) and Nordic by Nature (zippered)

 8. Gardening
If you poke around my blog enough, you'll see that we're gardeners.  We're learning as we go, but there is better than fresh veggies and fruit picked right from your own backyard!  When we're in harvest season, I hardly buy any produce at the store.  Well.....except bananas.....


9. Canning
To go right along with gardening - I also preserve a lot of our crops by canning and freezing.  Tomatoes, pasta and pizza sauce, tomato juice, jams, jellies, relishes, salsa, cherries, peaches, apple pie filling, etc.  As our garden grows, so will our stash of both canned goods and freezer items.


10. Raising Chickens
I sure do love my ladies!  We added chickens to our homestead in late March of 2015.  They started laying five months later....we haven't bought eggs since! They are low maintenance and fairly cheap to feed.  Plus, they eat a lot of our scraps that would otherwise fill our trash can or be composted.


11. Composting & Recycling
By creating our own compost (another thing chickens are great for!), we don't need to purchase fertilizer or additional soil for our garden.  And, by recycling, you're not only saving the landfills, but you're cutting back on the amount of trash bags you use.  We have a 6 gallon trash can in our kitchen.  We average one bag of trash per week.  By composting and recycling, a box of trash bags lasts us months!

Check out our DIY compost bin here!

12.  Diva Cup and Reusable Pads
I know, I know, people don't want to talk about this kind of stuff.  The looks I got from some of my girlfriends one night when I brought it up were hilarious!  But, I'm here to tell you, these items are life changers!  Not only are they better for your health, but also the environment.  They do take a little getting used to, but now I can't imagine going back.  Using both the Diva Cup and these Bamboo pads saves us money each and every month!

Now on to the good stuff - our splurges!

Now, I'm sure if you asked Jason he'd say I splurge on everything :)  But, there are two things that we definitely splurge on:

When we take a trip, we fully enjoy our time away.  We stay at nice hotels, eat at good restaurants, do whatever touristy things we want to do.  We're there to enjoy ourselves, relax, and have a great time.  We want to make sure that's exactly what we do!


Dining Out
When we do go out to eat, it's never fast food.  If we're eating out, we're sitting down, having a few cocktails/beers, and enjoying our meal and each other.  We have no problem paying money for food when it's good, quality food.

Florence, Italy - 2008

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Sara :)

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