Today we’re going to chat about some weird, out-of-the-box ways you can save some extra money. Over the years saving has become an art form around our house. We firmly believe saving money first starts as a mental game, and then you can get strategic with these tips we’re sharing today!
Save money around the house
Get cashback on your purchases online, by using ebates, in fact, if you sign up here you’ll automatically get $10 in your ebates account to start with!
Before you make a purchase in-store or online check retailmenot.com to see if there are any coupons available at that store.
Forget about cable or satellite TV, instead you can watch movies and TV shows for $8 a month for a hulu plus subscription.
Sign up for sites like swagbucks which allow you to earn a little extra money without too much effort. They have your typical surveys and such, but the reason I really love this one is that you can get rewarded for searching on the internet AND get cashback on many of your online purchases. It comes in really handy when ordering Christmas gifts, but I use it year round! Sign up for swagbucks here (it’s free, so no risk!) You could start earning money for searching online, watching music videos and ordering online, today!
You can also sign up to be a mystery shopper with bestmark! I love that you can get paid for shopping, eating out and having fun with your family!
When decorating your house, hit up the dollar store for picture frames. Dollar tree has pretty frames for just $1 – you’ll save a lot and still get to display all your favorite memories!
Use old t-shirts to make your own dog toys. She gives you a step by step tutorial on how to get it done, so easy!
Use Gasbuddy.com to check gas prices in your area. They will always direct you to the cheapest gas! I’ve found gas for 10 cents per gallon cheaper by driving an extra stoplight or two. Definitely worth checking into, especially if you are planning any road trips. They even have a free app!
If you own your home, pay extra towards the mortgage every chance you can get. Even just $20-$100 here and there can greatly reduce the interest you pay on your house over time.
Make your own laundry detergent – this ends up costing just over a penny per load and it’s so quick to make!
Save money on food
Stop getting your morning drink fix from Starbucks (those $5 coffees add up fast) and instead treat yourself to something special at home. Learn how to make your own cold brew, or instant iced coffee or my favorite, the iced caramel macchiato!
Making your own bread can save you a ton of money. We use $5+ worth of bread every week if we buy it from the store. But instead of paying a couple dollars per loaf, you can make your own for around $0.60 per loaf! It’s easier than you might think to make your own paleo sandwich bread too!
Another way to cut costs is to go meatless once a week. Meats are so often what cost the most in a meal, so serving up beans and rice or cheese enchiladas can really slash your grocery budget.
You can also simply half your meat. Instead of using a pound of beef for spaghetti, only use half a pound. This can do a lot to reduce your grocery budget.
Another grocery savings tip is to never shop end caps. If you see something you need on the end of an isle, go down the isle and get the cheaper brand. The ends are almost always stocked with the most expensive versions of whatever they are selling because people put it in their carts on impulse, not seeing the cheaper version a little bit down the isle.
Save money on restaurant prices by learning to make your favorite recipes at home.
Another way to save if you have kids is to use the master list of places kids eat free. She organizes them by day so you can figure out where you want to go, when!
Sharing meals is another way to make your budget stretch, even when eating out. We found that we could share a HUGE baked potato at Jason’s Deli and get away with around a $7 bill (no tip, because it’s a deli!).
There are also several ways you can avoid eating out to save money. Keeping spaghetti staples always on hand and investing in a frozen pizza or two for those nights when you just don’t want to cook are two of our favorite strategies.
Save money on baby/kids
Switch to cloth diapering. Back in the day cloth diapers were gross and difficult, but times have changed. It’s not as hard as you might think and can actually be a lot cleaner than using disposables. And it can save you over $1,000 throughout your child’s life. Learn more about how to cloth diaper here.
Get cash back when your kids outgrow their clothes by sending them to ThredUp. What I like about this company is that it allows you to throw everything into a bag and ship it to them (for free…they cover shipping AND send you the bag). Then, they give you cash or store credit to buy new clothes for the kiddos based off of what you sent.
While I’ve been a huge consignment store fan in the past, I prefer ThredUp now because it takes so much less time, I don’t have to leave my house OR put anything on hangers. You can sign up here for a free $10 AND order your clean out bag which they’ll send you for free so you can start “returning” yours and your kids’ clothes for cash!
Always ask your child’s pediatrician if they can prescribe off-brand medicines. They are often half or even on quarter of the price and most doctors will do it for you if you request it! I didn’t even realize this was something that was possible until our budget-savvy pediatrician explained it to me.
How to save on baby gear
You can also find amazing freebies for babies using a few cool discount codes I’ve found. You just have to pay shipping. I’ve found this to be awesome if you are expecting a baby OR they can work as baby shower gifts too!
You can get two FREE belly button bands or 1 FREE Belly button body. $40 value!!! We all know bellies and backs could use all the extra support they can get during pregnancy, so this is a great (and affordable) place to start! Click the link below and use the code: BELLY1 at check out to get your freebie!
Check out these adorable leg warmers! I love putting leg warmers on both of my babies. they go off an on so easily and make diaper changing much easier than dealing with dozens of snaps! You can get 5 pairs for free using the code BEAUTY1 at Baby Leggings.com
First off we have a FREE baby sling! After I had my 2nd baby my baby carrier went with me everywhere! Now you can get this little sling for free! Isn’t it cute? There are a variety of colors and patterns to choose from (though I really love this black & white one in the picture). Use my coupon code: BEAUTY1 This code does not expire, so you can share it with your friends and use it anytime you want!
Next up here’s a FREE Carseat cover! I honestly never used one of these, but I can see how it would be really handy, especially if you live somewhere with really cold winters! Again, there are plenty of color and pattern choices, so you can find one that matches your baby’s carseat! Use coupon code: BEAUTY1 This code does not expire, so you can share it with your friends and use it anytime you want!
Free Nursing Cover! We all know how much I hate nursing ;) but I still did it, and always used a cover when I was not at home. You can order a free cover by using my code below. (lots of color and pattern choices here too!) Use coupon code: BEAUTY1 This code does not expire, so you can share it with your friends and use it anytime you want!
Last, we have a Free nursing pillow. These are always nice to help prop up baby while nursing. My kids still sleep with the nursing pillows I used when they were babies. We used boppy brand because that’s what I got at my baby shower, but I would definitely order one of these if I didn’t already have mine! Use coupon code: BEAUTY1 This code does not expire, so you can share it with your friends and use it anytime you want!
You can also use sites like craigslist to find use cribs and more big ticket baby items, so you never pay full price!
You never want to get a carseat second hand since there no way of knowing if it had been in a wreck or not, but babies R us does trade in events annually where you can bring in an old car seat and get a HUGE discount on the next size up.
For car seat purchases you can also mark your favorites on your amazon watchlist and get emails if they go on sale. This is a great way to plan ahead for larger purchases that you know you’ll need to be making in the next year or so. We’ve gotten 60% discounts on big items this way!
Looking for more ways to save? Check out these favorite articles:
You can do what I did. I told our realtor that we only wanted to look at homes that we would qualify for using a 15 year fixed interest rate mortgage. I paid it off early. We are empty nesters, living the good life.