While standing in line at the grocery store the other day, I overheard a woman talking about finances, and how it costs too much to be healthy. It was really sad to hear and it is something I know all too well. Personally, I have made a lot of changes in my own life that help me save money. Some are simple and make a little impact, while others make a bigger impact on my wallet. Something that I really want to do more of is travel, therefore it was time for me to get frugal. Cutting back in certain areas will give you some extra breathing room, especially if you are living paycheck to paycheck. Figuring out finances can be hard, that’s why I am sharing 20 ways to get frugal in 2020!
1. Meal planning. Plan out your meals for the week, so you know what items you need to put on your grocery list. Select meals that allow you to use some of the same ingredients to prevent waste.
2. Create a grocery list. Do not stray from the list, and never shop without the list.
3. Avoid pre-packaged foods. Yes, they’re convenient, but they so much more money than if you were to package the same food yourself.
4. Eat leftovers, seriously I know it sucks sometimes but it is a money-saving hack.
5. Don’t buy bottled water. If you prefer the taste of filtered water buy a Brita pitcher or faucet.
6. Shop your pantry. Before you head out shopping, see if you have in your pantry and use up what is there first.
7. Meal prep. Take one or two days a week and meal prep for the entire week. Typically I meal prep on Sunday and Wednesday, I don’t like a refrigerator stacked with food for the week – I honestly will let it go to waste before I eat it. Be sure to cut up fruits and vegetables to make them easily accessible.
8. Pack your own lunch. Buying lunch every single day can get expensive, even if you’re making a simple PB&J sandwich with a bag of chips it’s a whole lot cheaper than eating out. Someone at my work spends an average of $10 EVERY day at lunch. That is $50 a week and $2,600 every single year – on eating out for lunch alone!
9. Buy generic. Often times store brands are just as good (or even better), than name brands. I actually prefer most Kroger brands over name brand items.
10. Negotiate bills. My parent’s neighbors actually change their cable company every year based on who is running the best deals.
11. Cancel cable. Some of you may be thinking that this is crazy, while others are thinking it’s no big deal. Cable is expensive and could put an extra $100 in your pocket each month.
12. Grab some vinegar. Not only is vinegar cheap, but it makes a great cleaning agent when diluted with water. In fact, I love using it on my windows, floors as well as to clean the shower. This simple trick has allowed me to cut down on over $100 in cleaning supplies a year.
13. Unplug items. Did you know, if you have items plugged in (even if you are not using them) they’re sucking energy? Me neither. I started unplugged items and have seen a slight change in my electricity bill.
14. Programmable thermostat. This alone can save you a lot of money. During the day while I am gone the temperature in the house goes down to 64 degrees and when I get home it goes back up to 69 degrees. This little dip makes a huge difference.
14. Find free local activities. Did you know some museums have free days? Museums can get pricey, so why not wait until they have free days?
15. Shop at the Dollar Tree for cards and wrapping paper. I must admit, when my mum told me she does this I thought she was absolutely nuts. Hallmark cards are EXPENSIVE at the Dollar Tree you can get sweet, funny and everything in between 2 for $1! Can you believe that! The Dollar Tree also has great wrapping supplies as well year-round.
16. Outlet shop. Outlet stores offer last season goods at a lower price. I love shopping at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, J Crew Factory, The Loft and more.
17. Stop shopping on Amazon. Amazon offers mindless shopping, you don’t need that Prime membership it’s just extra money out of your pocket that you could be using elsewhere.
18. Chose alternate stores. Do not buy things like gift bags, wrapping paper and card at stores like Target or Hallmark. Instead, explore Dollar Stores like Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree is the home base for frugal hacks and one of my favorite places to buy these items.
19. Staycation. I know taking vacations are a lot of fun, and it’s hard to watch others go on lavish trips when your bank account tells you that you can basically vacation in your backyard. An alternative to this is a staycation. Explore your city as tourist, or take some day trips to save money. Detroit has a lot of fancy boutique style hotels that I cannot wait to have an overnight stay in!
20. Pay cash. This is by far my favorite frugal hack. Not only will you spend less, but you will actually pay attention to what things cost!