5 Quick Ways to Save Money (Frugal Friday)

Saving money in little ways can help you reach your financial goals.

Sometimes people mistakenly believe that saving money takes too much effort. It can be hard work. It can be challenging to maintain money-saving stamina.

But, it can also go a long way to helping you stretch your budget, pay down debt, save for the future, and make it through an economic crisis.

Here are 5 relatively quick and painless ways to save money:

1. Eat at home.

Eating your meals at home, brewing your own coffee, and otherwise avoiding take-out and restaurants is a sure-fire way to save some cash. Unless you’ve got FREE coupons, eating out will cost more money than cooking the same food at home. And it doesn’t have to be complicated!

Check out these posts for inspiration:

library books 2

2. Use the library.

Last night I was reading a friend’s review of a book to my husband. He thought it sounded interesting. Rather than pay big bucks to buy the book that we may or may not like, I checked the library. In a few clicks I was able to locate the book, “borrow” the digital version from our local library, and download it to our Kindle.

Free information in an instant!

Check out what your library offers; there may be more choices and resources than you thought imaginable. They’re not technically “free”; your tax dollars pay for it. But, you won’t be out any cash provided you return the item in time.

clothes closet before

3. Shop your closet.

Feeling blah about your clothes? Think a little retail therapy will cure what ails you. Consider doing a closet clean out instead. You might find things that you forgot you had as well as find new inspiration for how to put things together.

Do a little scrolling on pinterest to see what catches your eye. You might be able to recreate the looks you like based on items you already own!

candle

4. Turn off the lights.

Last summer we participated in SDGE’s program to reduce our use. Being mindful of what devices were plugged in and running — and then unplugging them when not in use — made a big difference in our energy usage.

So, go through your house on a regular basis and unplug what’s not being used. If you can, install timers in rooms that have a lot of in and out traffic. Use fewer light bulbs in rooms that don’t need the extra light.

Electricity is one of those silent and invisible expenses. It’s hard to track, but the price can certainly add up.

sorbet in ice cream maker

5. Borrow it.

If you don’t need something long term or aren’t sure that you’ll use it to make it worth it, then borrow or rent the item. A friend’s son needed a special shirt for a school presentation. Rather than go out and buy one, she posted a call to borrow on Facebook.

Need special shoes for a wedding? Ask your friends to see if someone has a pair languishing in a closet. Think you want to become a connoisseur of homemade ice cream? Borrow a friend’s machine before you plunk down the cash to buy one, not sure that you’ll actually use it.

A drop of water doesn’t seem like much, but a steady stream of drops can fill a mighty bucket. Likewise, little ways to save money will help you get to your financial goal.

FrugalFriday

This is Frugal Friday. In an effort to make these weekly financial discussions more interactive, I’m no longer posting a link-up. Feel free to leave a link in the comments. But better yet, chat with us on today’s topic.

What are some easy ways that YOU save money?

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Comments

  1. Here are three of my favorite tips: 1) paint yourself into a monetary corner so you can save 2) keep your kitchen clean 3) save on gas by walking/carpooling/use the bus etc….I go more in depth here: http://practical-stewardship.com/2012/05/31/three-practical-money-saving-tips-more/ Blessings to you all in your saving endeavors!

  2. I try not to use the credit card…it is hard but if I let go and use it usually I end up buying something I don’t really need.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      We got rid of our credit cards. That makes it really hard to use. ;) And I’m still stunned to say that.

  3. A few simple things I have discovered to save money. 1. Buy second hand when you can and when you can’t buy it on sale 2. Purchase foaming soap dispensers or reuse already filled ones. Fill them with 1/4 liquid soap and 3/4 water. Don’t just do it with hand soap in the bathroom, do it with the kitchen dish soap and the body wash in the shower. I calculated the savings once and I save $90 in kitchen dish soap alone per year just because my teenager was squishing out way too much soap each time he was doing the dishes with foam it is hard to over use. I use this trick in 4 different places meaning I am saving my house hold around $350 in soap (give or take for the more frugal parents who were not taking gobs of soap each time the washed their hands and body). 3. Make your own laundry detergent it is really not that hard and saves a tonne plus my sensitive skin child is finally rash free. 4. Ditch cable, you can watch pretty much all you want on line (except if you are a sports nut or are married to one, then consider what channels you really need to watch the game and at least cut back) 5. When eating out enforce a water only rule (for our family of 5 that saves on average $10 per meal).

  4. Yes, Jessica, these really do work. We especially focus on 1-3, but this summer we’re going to be working harder on saving electricity as well.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Last summer we made a very conscious effort on the Reduce Your Use days. We don’t have an air conditioner, so that made it easy. LOL. But, it was amazing how much we unconsciously use.

  5. I never thought of borrowing a shirt for a school presentation. I just purchased a white dress shirt for my son because he needed it for a school band concert. He won’t need it again until next years concert and it probably won’t fit. I love the idea of borrowing and will use it in the future!

  6. I don’t look at the ad circulars that come in the Sunday paper. They just tempt me to get stuff I don’t need. Things look pretty and I want to update something. If I don’t even look at them, it helps me to be more content with what I have. It may be 25 years old, but it still works fine.

  7. My husband found out that our electric company offers discounts on electricity if you schedule an appt with them to come out to your house and look it over for energy-saving opportunities. My husband signed us up! We haven’t had the appt yet, but we’re kinda excited to see if this actually saves us some money on electricity.

  8. Heather says:

    I make my own laundry detergent and it is really worth it. I just started using it but so far I can tell a difference. I am sure it will save me tons, since I do laundry everyday. Thanks for the idea about the dish soap and hand soap, very useful.

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