If you haven’t noticed, the DIY projects have slowed down a bit since we’ve been holding on with white knuckles to summertime at our house.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a tiny bit eager to pick up a paint brush and a power tool already though. Okay, you caught me. I don’t really do much of the power tools. I just chase Robert with a camera while he schools me on them.
But waaaaay back when I asked y’all what you wanted to see more of on this blog, some of you had mentioned wanting to know more about ways we save money outside of the whole home improvement scene. And I realized, I might have some great budgeting tricks I use that could help some people.
So here they are… 10 Ways We Save Money on our Everyday Budget:
1. Shopping Consignment Sales
Pretty much 90% of Olivia’s year-round wardrobe, birthday presents, and Christmas presents come from children’s consignment sales. There’s one locally here in the Charlotte area called The Upscale Weesale that I always go to twice per year. And I can consign some of her still in great condition clothes she outgrows to get money back.
I even shared some of my awesome toy finds for Olivia last Christmas that were big hits as presents. There are lots of huge consignment sales all over the U.S., and I’m sure in other countries.
I just recently discovered a site called ThredUp too where I can buy consignment clothing for myself and for her online (sadly, no mens’ clothing though… poor Robert).
2. Clipping Coupons and Shopping Groceries Online
I almost feel guilty admitting this one. I don’t shop for groceries in the grocery store. My nearby supermarket, Harris Teeter, has an online shopping program where I can just hop onto their website and plan my food buying list around the weekly sales and stack coupons on top of their specials. Then, I just pick up my bags at the store.
When I’m searching for an item, I can just sort by “unit price” to find the cheapest option. It helps me find the best deals without the temptation of impulse buying. And shopping for groceries from my couch after Olivia is in bed for the night is pretty sweet too.
3. Living Without Cable/Satellite
Nope. We don’t have cable TV or a satellite dish. When we first moved in, we never got around to calling the cable company, and after a while, we realized we didn’t really need to be watching hours of TV anyway.
We have a Playstation that we use for watching DVDs and streaming Netflix that only costs us $7.99 per month. For local channels, we have a digital antenna that cost us just $20 when we first bought it two years ago, so we don’t have to pay anything monthly now. I honestly haven’t even missed satellite at all… except catching episodes of Fixer Upper, but I’ll survive.
4. Using Ebates.com for Cash Back and HoneyGold for Coupons
I shared this tip before, but I use Ebates.com and HoneyGold ALL the time since I do a lot of my shopping online. I’m able to click two buttons and get cash back and add automatic discounts at checkout. I explained all the details about them in this post a few months ago.
5. Shopping Craigslist and Thrift Stores for Furniture and Home Items
If you’ve followed this blog for a while, this is most likely old news, but a big chunk of our furniture and home decor have come from Craigslist and thrift stores. I shared all about my best Craigslisting tips here and ways to find the best thrift store scores here.
6. Coloring Hair at Home
Maybe it’s a sin in cosmetology world, but I color my own hair at home using this coloring kit for around $12 as opposed to the $80ish it would take for me to go to the salon regularly. On the rare occasion that I’ve gone to a professional, I still end up liking the out-of-the-box way better.
7. Planning Weekly Meals
I love the chalkboard in our kitchen mainly because I can use it every week to plan out our dinners. I base our meal plan around what’s on sale at the grocery store that week to prevent us from eating out since it always makes our wallet (and our waistlines) take a hit.
8. Taking Advantage of Cheap Entertainment
When Robert and I want a date night, we usually check out what events are happening around town or come up with ideas that are free or really cheap- free outdoor concerts, summer festivals, inviting friends over for game nights, wine night on our patio, at-home movie nights, going antiquing, visiting farmer’s markets, taking scenic drives, anything and everything that is el cheapo.
9. Purging Clutter and Selling
Every so often, I go on a purging spree and start selling items in closets that are just taking up space and are never used. You can list items with your local Facebook buy/sell/trade groups, Craigslist, eBay, or have a yard sale. A couple of summers ago I sold my old saxophone from high school that I hadn’t played in 10 years and used the money for a family vacation. Free up space + make money = win/win
10. Doing Our Own Handiwork and Saving Up Cash for Home Improvements
This blog pretty much wouldn’t exist without this one, but I couldn’t even begin to calculate how much money we have saved by doing home improvement projects ourselves instead of hiring out. (But there are budget breakdowns at the bottom of every one of our room reveals if you really have a hankering to bust out your calculator.)
It can be risky if you’re very novice, but learning a new skill is priceless. And we never pay for projects with credit cards. It might take longer than we’d like, but we save up for any of the big projects we want to tackle.
Do you have any budgeting tips that you use that are super helpful? Or do you already use some of these in this post? I’m always down to learn more tricks.