15 Creative ways to spend less and save more
You have probably heard all of the typical savings tips, like take your lunch to work and don’t buy coffee. You might even already be following some of these tips. But what if you already know the basics, and still want to save even more? Then these tips are for you.
Here are 15 creative ways to spend less and save more.
Put something back
It’s easy to get carried way at the shops, and buy things that you probably didn’t really want in the first place anyway. Before you head to the checkout, make a point of putting back one item. That’s one less item you will regret buying when you get home, and more money in your pocket.
Turn off appliances at the wall
You know those little lights on appliances when they switch to standby mode? They use electricity to run, and all these little lights add up to a surprisingly large amount. Get yourself into the habit of switching off appliances at the wall when they are not being used. Turning off power points helped me cut my electricity bills in half.
Cut unused subscriptions
Regularly go through your credit card statements and bank account statements and look for any subscriptions or ongoing charges that are not really giving you value for money. These small but regular charges could add up to hundreds of dollars per year.
Create an inspiration board
It can be extremely hard to save if you don’t remind yourself of what you are saving for. Create an inspiration board filled with images that remind you of your goals, and you might just find it that bit easier to save.
Make your own snacks
Rather than buy pre-packaged, store bought snacks, make an effort to make them yourself instead. The only snacks I tend to buy ready to eat are rice crackers, other than that I make my own snacks like muesli bars and popcorn. Popcorn is one of my favourites, I just buy a bag of popcorn kernels, which I then pop in a saucepan with olive oil and finish with a sprinkle of salt. So much cheaper than pre-made, and healthier too.
Go vegetarian a few times a week
There is no rule saying that you need to have meat with every meal. There are some great meat-free recipes around, chances are your family won’t even notice they contain no meat. Some of my favourites are Roasted Sweet Potato Soup and Easy Spinach and Tomato Tortellini.
Pack a weekend lunch
You probably pack your lunch during the week, so why not do the same on the weekend. Buying lunch while out and about can sure add up, but even taking some snacks and a drink with you can help keep away those eating out cravings.
Carry a water bottle
Bottled water is a massive waste of money, when you consider that you can get the same thing out of a tap for next to nothing. Invest in a good water bottle and take it with you every time you go out.
Keep track of what’s in the freezer
It’s s easy to loose track of what’s in your freezer, and how many times have you frozen meat only to discover it a few months later and wonder just what that lump of meat is. Instead, keep a piece of paper on the side of your fridge listing what’s in your freezer. You will never throw out those mystery lumps of frozen meat again.
Turn off technology
Every so often, get everyone to turn off the tvs and computers, and spend a few hours together talking, playing board games or going for a walk. You will save a little electricity, and get some quality family time.
Take turns babysitting
Instead of paying for babysitting, get together with other parents and swap babysitting duties. Everyone gets a night out at some stage and no one pays a cent.
Swap toys with friends
Toys can be expensive. Once your kids get sick of their toys, get together with a friend who has kids of similar ages and swap toys with them. The kids then get new (to them) toys to play with without it costing you anything.
This is my favourite way to not cook dinner for half the week. When you cook a meal that can easily be frozen, cook a double batch then eat half that night and freeze the remaining half for another night. You will then always have a stash of ready to go meals in the freezer. No more takeaway on busy nights.
Pay off your mortgage
While it won’t save you money in the short term, paying of your mortgage as quickly as possible could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the long term. I’m working hard to pay off my own mortgage by making use of our redraw facility and keeping every cent of our savings in it.
Eat leftovers for lunch
Eating leftovers for lunch makes a great break from the usual sandwiches, and doesn’t cost a small fortune like buying lunch. You could even cook a little extra the night before to ensure there is enough left for the next day.