9 WAYS TO SAVE WHEN YOU'RE ON A TIGHT BUDGET

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I’m excited to share 9 of the easiest ways to save money, especially when you’re on a tight budget.

Surviving off of one income takes planning & faith & I share some of our story here. These are simple steps that could really save you hundreds throughout the year.

Helpful hint!  I tell you how to make a quick $10 at the very end of this post!!

It's not easy living off of one income. To be honest, it takes a lot of faith & prayer, strategic planning & hard work, on all accounts. There are a lot times when I have to explain the kids why we can't get happy meals or go to see a flick, or whatever 'extras' don't make sense in the budget for the week.

We've learned a lot from our mistakes & I'm hoping our story encourages yours.  When on a tight budget, these are things you can do today, to start saving money over the long run.  I would love to get your money saving tips in the comments below!

Overall, I'm extremely grateful for my hard working husband & God's wisdom & direction.  Our family, means our standards & goals, which may look completely different from yours.

If you are wanting to stay home & are unsure how to get started, I suggest sitting down as a family & deciding what your family goals are.  If this is not the reality for you, I say pray & grow where you're planted.  Sometimes it's unclear why God has us in certain places, at certain seasons but you may be a blessing to a company or a co-worker.  I like that scripture that says, Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord.  Colossians 3:23.

I'm extremely grateful that I live in a country with an abundance & I have the ability to earn money blogging while my kids play at my feet.

I recently had the opportunity to guest post on the Tried and True Mom Jobs blog.  Here, I share some more resourceful tips on how we survive off of one income. You may find this article useful as well & you can find it here.

If you’re trying to earn money, I share five fun & flexible side hustles for busy moms, that you can start today, in this blog post. Hint, I carry a red bag & make people’s days when I show up, ha!

Find 25 super frugal ways to save here.

Find 5 fun & flexible part time jobs you can start today here.

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Money saving tip #1 // drive less. 

When I worked I didn't have any other choice but to pay for car maintenance, gas & higher car insurance premiums because I had to commute to and from work.  Initially, as a stay-at-home mom I felt the need to have my kids at every other story time & play date possible. After story time, I'd find myself at the store or running an errand & then stopping to get the kids happy meals because hello, no one wants to hear the screams of a hungry toddler.

I did the math & realized I could save about $20/week in gas (or more), plus the cost of eating out, if I stayed home a few days a week.  I'm an introvert so this is no problem for me, ha!  But the kids have school & activities so not realistic to stay home all day, every day.

We try & walk to the park to save gas & get some exercise. Also, the kids like the adventure. I try & explain to them that by walking we save money & it's better for the environment.

Money saving tip #2 // don't go to Target. 

I've saved about $500 in the last few months by not going to Target.  Yes, that's right, $500. It's my fault for overspending when I'm there, but it wasn't that I was doing it on purpose, I really thought I was buying things we needed.  After staying away, it was obvious that my kids could actually survive without juice boxes, goldfish & fruit snacks.  First world problems, sigh.

Money savings tip #3 // get a Prime membership.  

I know what you're thinking, you're crazy.  Let me convince you otherwise.  You can get pretty much anything you need on Amazon, heck you can buy cars & even a tiny house.  This can be bad if you're a shopper, but good because it alleviates going to different stores.  Hello gas money!!  Also, you avoid spending extra money on things your kids just had to have, a new nail polish color you had to have, or that bag of popcorn you worked up an appetite for, cause shopping!!   In the end, you can leave your Amazon cart alone overnight & come back with a fresh set of eyes in the morning.  You'd be surprised at how your emotions shift away from things you thought you just had to have.

It's also a really good platform to buy gifts.  Why?  You can have the gift shipped directly to your friend or family member at no cost to either of you, if you're a prime member.  This works extremely well with family that lives out of state, or even local friends & family.  We can't always make every event & it's nice to know that I won't have to sit on their gift until I see them again.  Amazon also has gift registries now.

The ultimate benefit is that I can shop online, while sticking to our budget, in the comfort of my own home.

If you use their subscribe & save feature, you can add 5 items to your monthly delivery & save 20% per item!!  You can also choose to space your shipments out, like I have hand soap shipped every 2 months.  Things are cheaper when you buy them in bulk.  Examples are some Amazon branded items below.  

Amazon brands are great quality & have competitive pricing.

Like these bulk items:

We like this toilet paper

These paper towels are sturdy

For sensitive bums, we love these baby wipes!

Money saving tip #4 // eat similar items all week.   

I see it everywhere and hear it often, having a meal plan & going to the store with a list are mandatory when it comes to sticking to your budget & saving money.  While you're writing your list & plan, try to incorporate the same items into different meals.  

We also like to have a theme for the week.  For example, on fiesta week, we'll make burritos, salads, or have nachos which means we'll be using similar items all week.  This helps with meal planning because we can use the same things over & over again.  We'll meal prep chicken & throw it into salads or burritos.  

Here's an easy & healthy dinner idea, Teriyaki Tri-Tip bowls.  & you really could use substitute the meat for so many options.  These are delicious & you could meal prep the items in here as well to use throughout the week or take leftovers to lunch.

On Mediterranean week, we make Hummus, which is super easy & costs about $1 for a can of garbanzo beans.  It doesn't feed very many so I would say to use at least 2 cans.  If you have olive oil, limes & the spices, wallah!  I've helped you prepare another side dish this week.  I love food posts so make sure you're signed up for my newsletter, at the end of this post, so you never miss out on my easy & healthy(ish) recipes.  Happy meal prepping!

Money savings tip #5 // only buy produce that it's in season. 

If you buy produce that's in season, then most likely it will be on sale.  We like to look at the ads & decide which items we'll be putting into our meal plan because they're on sale.  If we want cantaloupe, but it's not on sale, we don't buy it.  Plus changing things up week x week is always fun!  

We started shopping at two different stores recently & it saved us about $200/month. We buy produce at one store & only get what's on sale & in season. On a good shopping day, I can usually walk out of the store with two full bags of produce for $20. I have to really strategize before I get there, only get what is on the list & don't have the kids with me, ha!

Money saving tip #6 // ask for items you need.

In today’s social media age, we can ask for things in a few simple clicks. Need a good hairstylist? just ask for recommendations on Facebook. On vacation & need to find a good place to eat? Just ask! People love gifting old things to replace new ones. I know because I have family members who have gifted us cribs & clothes, you name it! Asking for things you need doesn’t mean you’re desperate or cheap, it means your thrifty! It means you care enough about the environment that you’ve decided that instead of choosing new, you’ve chosen recycled. You’d be surprised at how much help you could offer someone by creating space in their homes by taking older, gently used items from them. Maybe things they no longer need, but would like to serve a purpose for someone else. I appreciate people taking my used good & getting good use out of them, especially when it comes to toys, clothes & baby gear. These things are necessary, but only for short periods of time.

Money saving tip #7 // make your own gifts.

Whether it’s a birthday or Christmas people, especially kids, LOVE making things for other people. The truth, I kind of like receiving handmade goods. Gifts are not my love language, but they are my sons which means he loves to receive gifts, but he also LOVES giving gifts. When he knows that he’s making his grandma or one of his little friends something, he puts so much energy & love into that gift. It’s so special to watch him create with intention. I think we’ve adopted so much pressure surrounding gifts in our culture. I understand the importance of making others feel appreciated & valued, but when their value is measured by the gifts we give them, then that value is only temporary. I value kind words more than any gift I’d ever receive. I value a helpful hand, more than any gift I’d ever receive.

I love giving photos of our family as gifts, they are timeless & budget friendly gifts. I talk more about photos, as gifts, in this blog post.

Money saving tip #8 // give. 

Never in my life have I felt more fulfilled than when I give. We may not have control over things that come up like having to buy a new tire or pay to have the washing machine fixed, but we do have control over giving.  We can give in so many different capacities.  Like our time, our gently used goods, any extras that we no longer need.  I think giving is a good way to remind ourselves to be content, grateful & that there are always people with less.

Money saving tip #9 // eat rice & beans for the month.

This may sound boring & desperate, but if you're trying to save money fast, then this is a great tip! Originally I heard this from Dave Ramsey, but adding it to our meal plans, has been a grocery budget life saver! So I can tell you, from experience, that it can save you hundreds for the month & sparks creative energy when it comes to meals.

To change things up a little, we also like to meal prep Chipotle inspired lime rice! It’s white rice, add cilantro & lime , I share the recipe here. We love rice & beans & think they're absolutely life saving at the end of the month when we've blown the budget.  

If you haven't already, download the Ibotta app. 

This app is a great way to make some extra happy meal money.  I've made almost $5 in the last 2 days just by scanning my receipts.  You can get $10 just for signing up by clicking here.  

These are very basic money saving tips & if you have others you'd like to share, please put them in the comments below.

If you’re trying to earn money, I share five fun & flexible side hustles for busy moms, that you can start today, in this blog post. Hint, I carry a red bag & make people’s days when I show up, ha!

25 super frugal ways to save money this week. These money saving tips are small changes, that you can make this week, that will add up to a lot, over time.

With grace & coffee,

Waynna

Disclaimer:  There are affiliate links embedded in this post.  At no cost to you by shopping the images it may result in a small commission to me.  Enjoy!

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