Guest post from Jenny of One Loved American Girl
For many years, I was not the thrifty woman I am today. In my early college years, I stayed up on trends by staying under a burgeoning credit card bill. When I finally climbed my way out, I vowed never to go back. I am still learning my lesson by using thrifty spending habits to pay off those looming student loans and evidence of my former self.
Some of the easiest ways to save money are so downright common sense I wondered why I didn’t start with them before!
I love crafts. I have turned an old photo frame into a cute dry erase board. Currently turning an old t-shirt in to some tree wall art for my son’s room and an old tablecloth into a decorative canvas for my bedroom.
I have found creative ways to reuse dinners — like making Shepard’s Pie with last nights mashed potatoes and a can of beef stew or potato pancakes. My favorite thing to cook is chicken and I love its variety of uses. There are dozens of ways to re-purpose a roasted chicken breast.
Clear out what you do not use! Since I’ve switched to ebooks, I’ve been selling books we no longer need or use on Amazon.com. Ebay is a great resource for those old baby clothes. Consignment shops, thrift stores, and having a yard sale are other ways to eliminate things that are still usable that you no longer need.
4. Search the internet.
I love couponing blogs and local Facebook groups that keep up with freebies. Often times you can get beauty and household goods freebies that come with a coupon to purchase a really cheap full-sized item.
When my friend (who is admittedly forgetful) came this weekend, I set out some little sample size shampoo, conditioners, and lotions that I receive from a freebie I found online. She thought it was so thoughtful (and did, in fact, forget her shampoo!)
5. Make friends with other thrifty shoppers.
Many groups help share deals they find, swap coupons, and keep each other up on store policies. They have helped me shave even more off of my already slim shopping bills.
6. Limit trips to the store.
This one is a big one for my family. If I ask my husband to bring home milk, he usually brings home milk and a variety of other things. So I make sure I get everything I need in few trips.
7. Stay organized.
I keep up on my pantry and fridge by rotating products that will expire soon. I also keep all my cleaning products in one place instead of under every sink like I did previously.
Another big help for my family is our “community dry erase board”. I put my list of groceries on it and allow my husband to add to it before I go shopping. I also put a list of things we hope to accomplish every day and every month. When I keep track of things — like upcoming birthdays — I never have to run out and buy a last minute present.
These super simple tips have helped me save so much more each month.
What little common sense do you do to help you save more?
Jenny is an Army wife, mother of one, savings enthusiast, attempting to learn cook, active crafter/sewer, and believer. She follows her husband where ever his job may take them and loves the military life. This year she will be attempting to savor every moment before her husband heads to deployment. Visit her blog, One Loved American Girl.