Happy Friday, friends! This week feels like it’s been a short one, since Josh took off Monday and Tuesday so we could have a mini vacation, but still…I’m happy it’s Friday. Does anyone else crave weekends more the older you get? Seriously, looking forward to the weekends are sometimes what get me through the week, even if all we’re doing is staying in and being lazy. And it’s nice to have Josh to help take care of Adelaide too, not gonna lie. Also, this Sunday is Mother’s Day, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Anyway, the theme of this post may not seem like it fits with minimalism, but if you think about it, minimalism is about having only what you need and love, and that can be a good formula for saving money. I know it’s definitely helped me to curb my spending habits!
I’m always looking for ways to save money, especially now that I’m a stay at home mama and we have to be a little more careful with our spending. Here are some of the ways I’ve learned to cut costs:
- Meal plan. This is a very easy way to cut down on your grocery store spending. Once a week, sit down with a sheet of paper or your phone, and write out what you’re going to eat each day for at least a week (I like to do two weeks, because grocery shopping with a baby can be rough!)–breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then make a list of everything you need for those meals. I also try and do a quick inventory as I’m doing this to see what we already have so we don’t buy excess. This is a really good way to keep yourself only buying what you need. And it makes cooking so much easier because you already know what you’re making that night!
- Nix eating out and cut down on Starbucks. Josh and I used to eat out a lot. At least twice a week. Depending on where we ate, that’s $50+ a week. The realization that I could make our dinners for $5 (or less!) at home helped to really put that into perspective. After Adelaide was born, we cut eating out entirely, and I started making a couple bigger meals so we could just eat leftovers on the weekends. Now, we keep eating out to once, maybe twice a month, and we leave Starbucks for a treat. Neither of us are huge coffee drinkers anyway, so that one wasn’t too difficult.
- Avoid impulse buys. Making the move towards minimalism often helps to change your perspective on spending money, because you’re focused on only bringing things into your home that you need and love. You can try setting a shopping ban for things outside of necessities, and see how your shopping habits change. Currently, when I’m shopping, I like to walk around with the items in my basket for a bit, then reevaluate them before I check out to see if it’s something I really need/love. Usually I will wind up putting it back. I’ve also stopped buying things before trying them on, and I’ve cut online shopping for clothes unless free returns are offered.
- Shop at thrift stores for quality used items. I love thrifting, and it can be a great way to save money and find unique pieces. Still, be careful of falling into the trap of buying something simply because it’s cheap!
- Utilize your local library. The library is a great option to borrow the books, CDs, and DVDs that have been on your lists! This saves money and prevents you from bringing excess clutter into your home. Josh and I used to buy movies that we wanted to watch because when they went on sale, it was cheaper than renting them on iTunes or Amazon…We now have quite a large DVD collection, and only about half of those movies are ones that we really loved. Borrowing is a much more cost effective option. My library also has an app that allows you to download books to your phone or tablet, which I have recently been making good use of!
Those are five small ways we save money, and they have made a big impact!What are your favorite money-saving tips? I’d love to hear them!