We all know that there are some obvious ways to save money. If you were to quit eating out and spending anything on entertainment, you could save a lot. But who wants to do that!!
I wanted to find ways to save without really changing our lifestyle. I started by looking at what I was spending money on that I could reduce rather than eliminate.
Here are my top ways to save money without changing your lifestyle:
- When out for dinner order water. Drinks can quickly rack up your bill. While I would most times prefer something other than water it is a better option than not going out at all. Ask for a slice of lemon or lime , heck go crazy and ask for both. This will give you a little flavor without the additional cost.
- When at sporting events skip the concession. My son likes to watch the local junior hockey team play weekly during the winter. Rather than tell him he can’t go as often we have stopped giving him an extra $5 each time for the concession.
- Instead of going out to the movie theatre, get Netflix. For the cost of one theatre ticket in most cities you can watch unlimited movies all month. If you really love the theatre – go – just skip the concession. Also watch for cheap nights.
- Hang at least your sheets to dry, better yet hang to dry towels. I love the smell of sheets that have been dried outside. (Tip – add approx. 1/4 cup vinegar to your load of towels. They will dry softer)
- Make your own fruit flavored water. Replace juice/pop etc. with fruit flavored water not only is it cheaper it is better for you! If you usually buy water, get yourself a Brita or ZeroWater filter and experiment with different fruit/herb combinations. Cucumber mint is one of my favorite. Involve your kids. Ask them to come up with different combinations to try. They will likely be excited to try their combinations and drink more water. I recently read of peach and watermelon being combined, I am going to try that next. (Tip – wash and peel your fruit first)
- Go to or download books and magazines from the library. Many people aren’t aware you can borrow magazines as well from libraries. See if your local library loans DVDs. While they will likely be older titles, chances are they have one you haven’t seen in a while and will want to watch again.
- Work out at home. The internet is full of videos, ideas and tips to working out at home without expensive equipment.
- Pack snacks to all outings. It seems for us, no matter where we go or for how long, the kids suddenly become “starving” even if they just ate at home. Hmm…starting to think they have us trained. Stopping at a convenience store or concession stand really adds up. Packing snacks also allows us to have healthier snacks. By packing fruit and veggie sticks we are cutting out the bag of chips to tie them over until we get home.
- Use coupons at least for toiletries. Don’t have the time or desire to really get into couponing? At least use them for toothpaste, shampoo and other toiletries. Companies like P&G (Procter & Gamble) make that easy with their quarterly coupon booklet we get in the newspaper. You can also find the coupons online at pgeveryday.ca or pgeveryday.com
- Instead of going out for an ice cream cone, Buy a tub of ice cream to make your own. Not only is this cheaper but you will get more than one serving out of it. Watch for fun flavors like Rolo and Oreo to go on sale or buy vanilla and toppings for your kids to choose from. Your kids will probably prefer making their own syrupy, sprinkled creation anyway and you will save money.
- Go out for lunch instead of dinner. If you plan on eating a meal out go out for lunch rather than dinner. Often restaurants will have the same items on their lunch menu for less. Don’t forget to order water as your beverage.
The above ideas allow you to save money without changing your lifestyle. While each item represents only a small savings, it is a start and all done together the savings can really add up.
Take a moment and think about your spending habits. Are there ways you can still keep doing what you do but spend less?