ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Personal Finance»
  • Family Budget

How To Save Money Every Day

Updated on September 21, 2014
Image License CC0 Public Domain --
Image License CC0 Public Domain -- | Source

Saving Money on Everyday Expenses

How to save money on food, entertainment, clothing, travel, financial planning, and even water. Easy tips, based on Voluntary Simplicity, trial and error, and years of practical research to help you save money on everyday expenses, making your budget easier to balance.

When the ends don't meet, these tips will show you how to shift them. When you have plenty of money to make ends meet, these tips will show you how to save more.

Up-cycle, re-cycle, plan ahead, stretch your budget, and save money everyday. Take time to evaluate how each of these ideas can fit into your lifestyle. We do not need to change much except how we perceive things.

In other words... I still have a delightful cup of coffee (like starbucks) now and then but it costs a few cents above what my regular coffee costs. Just one idea to give you something to think about.

How much would you save in a year if you could enjoy a wonderful cup of coffee for a quarter instead of three bucks (as of today that is the price of my favorite item at starbucks). You don't need to stop going out. Just reduce a bit while still enjoying what you love. Saving 75% on something often prompts us to buy even if we don't need it. This and more money saving tips are here!

Food and ideas for shopping and cooking for one or two people. You can use many of the ideas to adapt to your situation. These are offered from trial and error so try everything first on a small scale before investments are made. If you find an idea posted which is not working or needs to be edited please leave a note so the error, omission, or clarification can be made as soon as possible.

Voluntary Simplicity - The Great River Earth Institute

Fostering Personal and Cultural Transformation

"The Great River Earth Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering personal and cultural transformation through grassroots study and discussion that encourages individuals to examine their deeply held values, accept responsibility for the Earth and choose to live in ways that are as ecologically friendly as possible. We also work to provide opportunities for people who are in the process of Earth-centered personal transformation to get together for support, celebration and community."

Choosing Simplicity: Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World
Choosing Simplicity: Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World

This is a 9 Step Program to lower your spending by as much as 25%. This guide is not about making more money, it is about a new way of thinking about the money you already make. How to handle your existing paycheck and lowering your spending without sacrificing holistic living.

This is the best introduction to voluntary simplicity ever! You will find that you have more than enough and even some to save.

 

Your Money or Your Life

The Voluntary Simplicity way of Life

The 'voluntary simplicity' movement is a conception about how to live happier, healthier, and free of influences that are not by choice. Take back choice in spending and live with less stress and less debt.

Scott Simon says that 15% of Americans have adopted the 'voluntary simplicity' way of life. This results in renewal of our planetary resources and produces happier people. Simon also says that the 1960's were the beginning of the movement and baby boomers will lead the way into a healthier future for our planet.

Balancing the Budget

Budget in Balance Resources out Resources In

Each month we sit down and look at the resources that have come into the budget and compare them to the resources that have been paid out. This is how we determine what the next month's budget will be.

When things are tight, this may be a formality that causes stress and frustration. The resources going out are far more than the resources that are coming in. We may even start thinking that we need another job just to make ends meet.

Before you incorporate this kind of strategy into your budget planning, take a look at how you can save on everyday expenses and have more money left for saving every month.

Image License CC0 Public Domain --
Image License CC0 Public Domain -- | Source

Savings Opportunities

Tips for Saving Money Everyday

This is where we look at actual budget cuts that will provide you with more money at the end of each day. This translates into more money at the end of the month as well.

Some Tips:

*Buy After Season Close Outs.

You will save 50-70% (or more), on just about everything you buy, when you make your purchases off season. I have purchased a winter wardrobe in May for about 10 cents on the dollar. I shop for summer clothing in October. I like to treat myself to one 'store bought' christmas decoration on January 1st each year. Camping gear is at the lowest price at the end of the camping season (just after Christmas here - there is a large camping gear demand over Thanksgiving).

By evaluating the shopping and sales cycles in your area, you can save on clothing, seasonal household decor, outdoor living essentials, lawn and garden supplies, and even grocery items (canned goods are less expensive when the fresh counterpart is in season).

*Buy Gift Certificates/ Gift Cards:

Gift certificates are far less costly than using a credit card and save from spending the funds while you wait for the clearance prices. When you have planned a purchase, you can purchase a gift certificate and have the funds ready right when you find that deal you have been waiting for.

Handling Cash

Economical Planning

*Get a Free Checking Account

Do not pay to cash a check. You will not only pay the check cashing fee (anywhere from 3-7%), you will also have cash in your pocket that will easily be spent without planning. If you do not like writing checks, a debit card fee is more resonable than check cashing fees. Some banks even pay you interest for maintaining a minimum balance.

Amazon.com $25 Gift Card in a Greeting Card (Birthday Balloons Design)
Amazon.com $25 Gift Card in a Greeting Card (Birthday Balloons Design)

You can have a gift card to email which will give them your gift right away or you can have a 'hard copy" of the card mailed to you or your loved one.

When you plan ahead this is a great option...

 

Gift Cards

Gift Card Benefits

*Redeemable for millions of items

*Ships for free, never expires

*Available in any amount from $5 to $5,000

I am a student and I have a limited budget for text books. When I am saving for books I will purchase gift certificates so that as soon as I find the books I can buy them quick. As with any high demand items, having the resources in place will always assure that you get the best price possible for what you need to buy.

Don't use High Fee Services

Why not get paid while you save?

More ways to pay and get paid!

Paypal is more than just a merchant resource for online billing, shopping cart solutions, gift certificate sales, mobile pay, credit card transactions processing, and invoices.

Paypal also offers a wide range of purchasing solutions. Shop online, send money to anyone with an email account (even if they do not have a paypal account yet), pay on e-bay, sign up for mastercard or debit card accounts.

This planned spending solution will help you to save the funds for planned purchases regardless of where you buy. Payment solutions accepted at E-bay as well as countless other online locations. And, now with the mastercard or debit card accounts you can use your savings to pay for purchases nearly anywhere. Some account solutions even offer cash back incentives.

Cook at Home

The average take out meal is about $6 and that is per person. What if you could provide yourself with a healthy meal for less than half the cost?

For two people that is a $6 a day savings that can really add up.

Hamilton Beach 33956 Set 'n Forget 5-Quart Slow Cooker, White
Hamilton Beach 33956 Set 'n Forget 5-Quart Slow Cooker, White

Set the timer and when you return home you will have a healthy and delicious meal waiting for you. No more quick drive through that cost a fortune and are full of empty calories.

Be sure to follow all safety tips (for the appliance as well as the food). I have been cooking this way for many years. The biggest challenges have been making sure the dish will not dry out (such as when cooking an absorbent recipe like rice or beans). Follow recipes and you should be fine.

 

Recipes are not limited to pot roast and potatos anymore.

When you use slow cooker recipes you can select from low-carb, low-sugar, vegetarian, and much more.

The slow cooker has the potential to make your life much easier while saving you money and your health in the process.

Buy a good cookbook. Or take your favorite book off of the shelf.

Take a look at the features of a cookbook. You are looking for a simple yet brilliant wealth of cooking recipes, tips, cooking terms, measurements substitutions, pantry basics, and much more.

Make sure the cookbook shows you how to cook from scratch.

You may not have time to cook everyday, but, you can spend a day once in a while making your own 'mixes' so you can make a fast meal on your busiest days.

Save on Meals Everyday

No need to sit in the take out drive through waiting (and burning fuel), only to receive for your time and money a less than adequate meal.

Slow Cooking

For less time (about 15 minutes in the morning for both slow cooker and bread maker), you can have a healthy home cooked meal with leftovers to take for lunch the next day.

Do Research

Is it safe to cook in a slow cooker, since it cooks at such a low temperature?

Yes, the slow cooker, a countertop appliance, cooks foods slowly at a low temperature -- generally between 170° and 280 °F. The low heat helps less expensive, leaner cuts of meat become tender and shrink less.

The direct heat from the pot, lengthy cooking and steam created within the tightly-covered container combine to destroy bacteria and make the slow cooker a safe process for cooking foods.

Source: Slow cookers and safety usda.gov

Sunbeam 5891 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker, White
Sunbeam 5891 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker, White

This delightful kitchen companion is programmable, easy to use, makes the most delicious breads, and you can adapt the recipes to your dietary needs. Set everything up in 10 minutes and set the timer so that your bread is ready when you walk in the door in the evening.

Take your time putting in the ingredients each time. This will give you more confidence and you will become familiar with the ingredients.

 

Simple Bread Maker Recipe I have another page you'll love...

Bread

Fresh Homemade bread saves money and is healthier for you.

The cost of a loaf of bread has skyrocketed. This purchase will pay for itself in no time. And, from then on you will have fresher, more affordable, healthier home baked bread that your friends will show up for dinner for.

I have used my bread maker on the 'dough' cycle, and then hand pulled and twisted, then baked in the oven to make wonderful raised bread treats. Saving me from having to do the mixing and kneading myself.

The cost of gluten free breads are often higher than others. It is important to be prepared to make your own breads even if you are simply tossing the ingredients into a breadmaker.

Cooking at Home Question

Have you saved time and money cooking at home with slow cooker or bread maker?

See results

Whole Grain and Gluten Free Bread - Save more and eat better!

Healthy Bread Recipes

Whole grain and gluten free breads can be costly. But you can make your own at home with these great recipes and a breadmaker. Easy as putting all the ingredients you want into the bread machine and let it do all of the work.

The best thing is you don't put what you don't want in the mix.

Proper Storage Saves You Money

Proper storage during off season for any of your clothing, bedding, seasonal gear (beach towels, seasonal draperies) will save you from losing your investment to humidity, pests, or other common threats to stored items.

You can also use these to store and protect sleeping bags for camping, quilts that are only used in the winter, pillows for guests, extra bath towels, and more.

Consider using one for a bed in a bag to have handy for company (include a pillow, pillow case, sheets, blankets, Bath Towel, and Wash Cloth). Your visitor will feel pampered that you have freshened up the bedding for them.

Rubbermaid Durable 31-Piece Organizational Rack Set
Rubbermaid Durable 31-Piece Organizational Rack Set

Easy store rack with containers for keeping foods fresh that is micro-wave, dishwasher, and freezer safe.

 
2.3L MED RECTANGLE
2.3L MED RECTANGLE

Keep your freshly baked bread in this rectangle air tight storage container so that each slice is as good as the first.

 

Keeping Foods Fresh

I remember leftover night when little portions of every meal throughout the week were stewed together for a wonderful pot luck meal.

These were never to be savored again combinations that would be varied by a week long mix and match of this and that.

Make this simple by having an air tight container in the refrigerator to add the ingredients through the week. Then on Pot Luck day, you will simply warm it all up and add a cup of broth or other liquid to make your soup or add less liquid to make a stew type dish.

How about some fresh bread on the side?

Tip: Let leftovers cool before adding to the pot luck container so that you do not cause potential bacteria growth.

Tip: Put the date of your expected pot luck meal on the container and do not layer ingredients for longer than 5 days.

More Tips at http://www.fsis.usda.gov

Image License: CC0 Public Domain --
Image License: CC0 Public Domain -- | Source

Food Buying Tips

Consider Alternatives to Expensive Snack/Packaged Foods

This is a difficult topic to write about in the space provided. Everyone has their own needs and preferences when it comes to food. The following tips are going to be generalized so double check when you are out shopping to make sure that they apply to your particular location, product choice, and situation.

Generally Speaking

Popcorn is a much better buy than potatos chips (and usually healthier).

*Fruit is the best substitute for other sweets.

*Dried fruit is sweeter than candy.

*Real Fruit Juice (or extracts) can be mixed with a small amount of mineral water to give it a fizzle and is much less expensive and more healthy than soda pop.

(* Try mixing flavors of juices for some variety).

*

The top and bottom shelf at the grocery market will usually have the best product value. Eye level is where they will want to put the most profitable brands.

Larger containers usually are more cost effective per serving, but, also take into account if you are going to have to repackage anything. Most situations, the larger container of anything will be the best buy.

Look at UPC codes! I was in the grocery store the other day and saw two different prices on the shelf for what appeared to be the exact same thing. One price was twice that of the other. I noticed that the UPC codes were different. After looking at several of the items, I found one that had the UPC Code associated with the lower price. I might add that it was in back on the bottom shelf. My extra 5 minutes (at about $1.50 a minute savings) felt like a real savings adventure.

Money Saving Question

Have you discovered ways to save money on food?

See results
Image License: CC0 Public Domain --
Image License: CC0 Public Domain -- | Source

Shopping and Cooking for One or Two

It can be a challenge but with a little planning you can avoid spoilage and reduce money spent on going out and fast foods.

The grocery industry has addressed the single and couple cooking issues by providing convenience in smaller packages.

The 'Just Add Water" four serving size or 'microwave' single serving items have become commonplace in just about every grocery market across the U.S.A

The advantages are many but there are a few disadvantages to this kind of solution. One is cost per serving. Another is the increasing amount of preservatives added to the 'easy quick no hassle' type of foods. But the one thing we are focusing on is saving money, so I'll skip over all the health benefits of cooking at home and get right to the savings and how it can be adapted for those of us who are cooking for one or two people.

First tip:

Most cooking for two tips can be divided to accommodate one person.

So if you find a great cooking for two book or website you can usually easily adapt it to one person. When the tips are about storing foods you would divide what they are recommending in half. If the storage containers required are 12 ounce times 4 then you would need to use 8 ounce times 8 (or to be mathematically correct that would be 6 ounce containers times 8 however you are going to use 8 ounce containers more often so save some money and use those for this -- hypothetically speaking)

Reuse items (such as containers) to create mini tools in the kitchen.

Here is an example:

I purchased the Peach Nectar to flavor some Iced Green Tea

The container (16.9 ounces) can be divided into 'ice cubes' in an ice cube tray. Then when frozen put into a twist tie bag. When you make a batch of tea (two green tea bags per two quart container) you can add a peach nectar ice cube to each batch.

Then wash out the container and let dry well. Now you have a shaker for your powdered drinks and other mixes.

Then for breakfast (with a slice of raisin toast -- from the bread maker -- which I slice and freeze two slices to a twist tie from each loaf) I was able to make this to have with my breakfast...

Using the nectar container and a scoop of dry milk and a scoop of breakfast drink with about half a container of water. Shake well. Then pour over ice. Rinse and let drip dry the shaker immediately to avoid breakdown of the coating because when these start to wear out they will rust. OK that reminds me... be sure to check inside and out for any damage to your 'shaker' before each use to eliminate any problems. These are built really well and will keep the drink that comes in them for awhile... wonder where that expiration date is? I am still trying to find it.

Now you have two or three ways to save on cooking for one or two.

1. Bake a loaf of raisin break in the breadmaker and slice it then store two slices (four if for two people) in each package and freeze it. You can take it out of the freezer (between half an hour and overnight) before you put it in the toaster.

2. Make ice cubes with peach nectar (store in twist tie bag after frozen) then add a cube to a green tea (two quarts equals two green tea bags cold brew or sun tea)

3. Instant Breakfast (made with non-fat dry milk, carnation instant breakfast or any other drink mix you like) use the empty peach nectar container as a single serving shaker then rinse and dry immediately. Serve your mix over ice.

Brita Pacifica Smart Pitcher Water Filtration System with Bonuses
Brita Pacifica Smart Pitcher Water Filtration System with Bonuses

Great for having filtered water in a few minutes (or less). Leave this in the fridge for cool refreshment or to mix up your favorite drink mixes.

 

Replace Bottled Water With These Economical Alternatives

The Cost of Water - Why Pay Extra for an Everyday Need?

*Simple Everyday Tips

*Trade your bottled water in on an affordable water tap filtration system or a Picher filtration gadget such as found in the exceptional Brita line of products.

Why choose Brita over bottled water?

Brita filters are inexpensive--a fraction of the cost of bottled water.

Brita is NSF certified--verifying that Brita's claims are true. Not all bottled water is verified by an independent agency.

Some research shows that certain bottled waters contain impurities such as bacteria that people find undesirable and unhealthy.

Brita systems are reusable and last for years.

Bottled water containers often end up in landfills.

Brita is fast, easy and convenient--accessible right at your tap.

You have to go to the market, buy, carry and store bottled water.

"For optimum performance, change your filter every two months or 40 gallons."

Clothing Expenses

Take into account:

Cost of clothing item,

Cost of cleaning,

Expected life expectancy (quality),

A style that you will love for years to come.

Save on Clothing and Household Items

More Simple Ways to Save Money Everyday

*Clothing

When you are shopping for clothing look at longevity of style, quality, cleaning requirements, and preservation during times when items are out of season. By reducing the upkeep and extending the life expectency of each item you can save from having to make additional purchases over time.

*Household Items

When you are shopping for household items (appliances and items that are usually more expensive to purchase), look for simplicity and company reputation. A product that will last 12 years is worth spending a bit more on.

Shop Online - Save Gas & Waiting in Long Lines

Why Drive? Let Your Purchases Come to You

Your purchased can come right to your door. Or, better yet, send them to the recipient (include a gift card). You will save all around!

Shop On Amazon

Entertainment Savings

Rent or Buy?

One of the most common entertainment mediums is the movies. You can save by cutting late fees on rentals by using a service that will not charge late fees. Netflix for example.

If you are good at returning movies on time, you can get many great titles at your local library for free. But, if you are not as timely, you will find late fees using this option as well.

If you love a movie and are going to rent it multiple times...

Consider Buying it. Even buying a used DVD is often a great alternative to renting the same movie two or three times.

Money Saving Question

Did you discover a new way to save money?

See results

More Ways to Save Money

MORE Great Ideas for You To Save Money Everyday

Up-cycle recycle re-purpose and any other way to extend the life of what might have been tossed out. This is our task to reduce waste and bring back to life those things which might not serve us as they are but will be fabulous as something else. Think about it. If we kept and up-cycled half of what we toss out then we could save every day. Not only that... make something and donate it to your favorite charity driven thrift store. That way someone else can benefit from your re-purpose idea and you are saving the planet and contributing to the finances of your favorite charity.

All with a little brainstorming and a therapeutic craft weekend project.

Gift Cards from Target

A Gift Card for Gifts or For Your Future Purchases.

Forget about Layaway plans.

Have you ever lost your layaway items? I have from simply forgetting about them. What about the layaway purchases that turned out to be the wrong item after you finally paid off the account?

Start today. Purchase a Gift Card. Then buy one every payday and hand on to them. The Target Gift Card never expires and never charges you any service fee!

In about two months (in time for back to school shopping), or in 5 months (in time for the holidays), you have yourself just what you need to get what you need when you need it.

And... it will be the newest selection and just the right styles and sizes. What about those growth spurts the kiddos go through in the summer? No problem!

And... if you are out holiday shopping and really can not find just the right gift for Uncle Joe or Billy's teacher, just wrap up the Gift Card.

Auctions In Progress - Coupons, Gift Certificates, and more.

Do You Clip Coupons? Do You Save Discounts?

If you find or are recepient of discounts, coupons, etc. and they are not exactly what you are looking for. You can sell them on eBay. You can also find great coupons and discounts on eBay for the things that you do need.

Save Money Everyday Guestbook

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    anonymous 4 years ago

    Great tips. I empty change everyday from my totes. By the end of the year you have quite a bit of savings.

  • profile image

    infoprogirl 4 years ago

    These are really great tips. I do go over my budget quite often in hopes of finding ways to save money. Thanks for sharing!

  • profile image

    porfin 5 years ago

    Great tips on how to save money everyday, very useful lense!

  • Joan Haines profile image

    Joan Haines 5 years ago

    This lens is great because it not only tells how to save money, but also how to reduce waste and eat a more healthy diet. It is blessed by this "Squid Angel."

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    We really need tips on saving, with money in short supply for many these day! great Lens, thank you for sharing.

  • grandma deal profile image

    grandma deal 6 years ago

    A lot of good resources and ideas. You've done a great job here. Thanks for sharing.

  • profile image

    anonymous 8 years ago

    Very insightful lens indeed. 5*

  • profile image

    brokeragentspeakers 9 years ago

    very helpful lens! five stars:)

  • Mihaela Vrban profile image

    Mihaela Vrban 9 years ago from Croatia

    I see You have also find a book on Extraordinary uses for ordinary things! :-)) I made a lens about this book offering some tips from inside.

    This is very good lens with some valuable tips and I'm lensrolling it to my lens!

  • RuthCoffee profile image

    RuthCoffee 9 years ago

    Living simply is smart. I also lensrolled you to my Spend Less lens...it's a good fit.

  • kellywissink lm profile image

    kellywissink lm 9 years ago

    Great Lens!

    With gas prices so high we are staying home more.

    5 stars!

  • profile image

    oneorganizedlife 9 years ago

    Wonderful lens! You have a lot of great information on here. I will definitely have to check back and digest it all more carefully.

  • LaraineRoses profile image

    Laraine Sims 9 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

    Thank you for linking my 'Out, Damned Spot, Out, I Say' lens to this fine lens of yours. I have given you 5 stars, favorite, fan and lensrolled you to my Stain Removal lens. Thanks again.