Saturday, 10 July 2010

How Do You Save Money?

Currently on my personal blog, I'm running a series about 100 ways to save money! Thinking about it, a lot of the actions I take to live a more frugal lifestyle also help my home run more simply and more environmentally friendly. I certainly use less water, electricity and gas (petrol) than most and try to reuse or refuse as a part of my life choices.

My top 10 tips for beginners trying to save money are:

1. Write everything down that you spend and review it at the end of the day and week. Are you making the best use of your spending?

2. Commit to no-spending days - something I now live by! Begin with 1 a week, followed by 2, 3, is amazing how much you can save!

3. Take cash grocery shopping with you and only spend that cash!

4. Cut 10% off your grocery bill (if you usually spend $100 a week, commit to only taking $90 a week with you) - use what is in your cupboards, planning your meals, making meals from scratch. My tips alone made me slash 75% off my budget!

5. Reduce your laundry costs by wearing most things several times before washing them and hanging clothes outside to dry.

6. Use money jars to budget your spending for the week!

7. Define everything as a need or a want and if you find something you want like makeup or a new book, force yourself to wait 48 hours before you purchase it!

8. Commit to saving, even if initially you can only put $30 a month into an account, once you see that money building it makes you think about ways in which you can save more

9. Use the library and community recycle/swap programs

10. Always be prepared - I spend money when I don't have lunch with me at work or need a quick snack or tissue or lip gloss. I now make sure I always take lunch, a snack, lip gloss, tissues, wet wipes, gum and anything else I/we may need with me.

11. Commit to making meals from scratch, starting with one night per week. I personally have soup night one night per week, I make a large batch of soup and it is our meal one night a week (with a simple salad) and one lunch per week, the leftovers are frozen and we then have a pick of great soups for Saturday lunch - with a buffet style salad. This alone cuts about $7 a week off of the grocery bill. Today's soup is broccoli!

12. Have a leftover night, pull all leftovers out the fridge and make that your main meal!

13. Shop local

14. Before you buy something new, check out your local thrift shops and freecycle.

15. Watch how much water you use, I shower after I swim (at my local pool) but at home I am still very mindful of how much water is used. I make sure taps are off, showers are short, laundry is washed at 30 degrees and the kettle is only boiled with how much water is needed.

I'd love to hear some of your tips for beginners looking to save money! I'm always amazed at just how many ways there are to save!!