12 Ways to Stretch Your Budget
Hey friends, we’re talking budget stretching today!
What does that mean anyway? Stretching your budget means you’re figuring out ways to make your budget last.
It’s super important to review your finances on a regular basis to make sure you’re staying on track. While budget-busters like gas costs are completely out of your control, there are other things that affect your budget that you can take control of.
Check out 12 super simple ways to make your budget stretch further:
1. Bring snacks: This is something so easy that can be overlooked. Take a bottle of water and a snack wherever you go. This way you won’t be so tempted to stop for pricey fast food or snacks.
2. Buy in bulk: Big box bulk stores like Costco and Sams Warehouse are great for this! Get your household staples bulk. Things like paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and even things like ketchup, peanut butter, spices, and canned goods can all be purchased in bulk for some huge savings.
Be aware though, those stores can be super addictive! I’ve gone in many times with the intent on buying 1 or 2 items for $20 or $30 total and leave spending $300, yikes! The good news is, those items I bought last forever (literally, like 6 months-1 year or longer).
3. Learn to cook: This is one of the easiest ways to save money! Buying whole foods and cooking at home is far cheaper than buying packaged foods (like frozen dinners, junk food, etc.). Dining on nutritious home-cooked meals taste better too. Skip eating out and learn how to cook! You can save so much money doing this!
4. Use your freezer: Freezing or canning, my dear. Do this for food you don’t use right away. It’s a great way to save money and keep your grocery budget in check. You can also do food prep by preparing food in big batches and freezing your leftovers in individual servings. Homemade freezer meals! Just put the freezer meal in the microwave and you’re done! A hot, yummy homemade meal in no time.
5. Couponing: Couponing is all the rage. You don’t have to be a super couponer and buy 25 toothpastes to save big. Here are some easy tips to get you started:
- Start clipping from your local newspaper
- Head online and check out deals and online clippables from manufacturer websites
- Target stores that offer double or triple coupon offers
Want more tricks?
My favorite couponing articles:
6. Buy Necessities Only: This can be tough. Want some examples? Disinfectant wipes, paper towels, napkins, etc. These handy goods are not necessary but they aren’t necessary. You can use cloth napkins and vinegar for cleaning. There are all kinds of grocery goods savings hacks.
7. Catch rainwater: Yes, this is a thing! Lower your water bill by catching rainwater. Use it to water plans, boil water for potatoes, shampooing your hair, etc. Check out these ideas for naturally catching rainwater.
8. Unplug your electronics when not in use: Electronics like coffee makers, cell phone chargers, small appliances, etc. can use power even when not in use! Bet you didn’t know that. Do a before and after on this one and compare your electric bill after you practice unplugging so you can see the difference!
9. Adjust your hot water heater thermostat: Do this to up to 10% on your monthly bill.
10. Wash your laundry in cold water and line dry your clothes: This majorly cuts energy consumption and as an added perk, extends the life of your garments. Win win!
11. Thrifting: Buy at thrift shops or consignment stores. You can find some really awesome deals on gently worn clothes.
12. Try public transportation: Save big here on gas costs and vehicle upkeep (oil changes, etc.). Or, try carpooling.
Small changes can make a noticeable impact on your budget. It’s not too hard to make your money stretch if you have the right mindset. Plus, once it becomes a habit, you won’t even miss your old (more expensive) way of life.
That wraps it up Friends. What are your favorite budget-stretching hacks?