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Do you struggle to find ways to save money? You think that you can’t save money because you are just unwilling to give up certain things.
I get that. There are certain things that I just refused to give up to save money, mainly because I just love them or because I think that I can’t live without them.
We are all creatures of habit, it can be really hard to give up something that is part of our everyday lives and that we love.
One of the top reasons people fail to even attempt to save money is because they think that they will have to make major sacrifices.
The thing is, you don’t necessarily have to give up the things you love to find ways to save more money.
It is so much easier to find cheaper alternatives to save more money on things that you need and love so you don’t feel deprived, which in turn will help you to stick to your budget.
15 practical ways to save money without feeling deprived
Create a budget you can live with
If you want to start saving money, then you need a budget. There is just no way around this. The trick to budgeting is to create a budget you can live with so you are able to stick to your budget.
There are so many people that create a budget with the best intentions only to give up after a few months. The major reason that people fail at budgeting is that they create an unrealistic budget.
When you create a basic budget where every single penny is accounted for, you will end up failing. If you don’t give yourself some wiggle room in your budget, then one little surprise or unexpected expense will throw you off budget and ultimately lead you to fail and give up.
Another big reason people fail at budgeting is that they simply do not include everything needed in their budgets. There are many things that we pay bi-yearly or yearly that we just don’t think about until it’s time to pay the bill.
All these irregular payments need to be included in your budget. You can check out One Simple Reason You Fail At Budgeting to see what you may be missing in your budget.
Get your impulse spending under control
Impulse spending is a surefire way to blow your budget and you will definitely have a hard time to save money if you don’t get it under control.
If you consider yourself an impulse spender, you need to find a way to get your spending under control. If you do have some will power but just like buying stuff, then make a promise to yourself to wait 24 hours to think about your purchase.
By doing this, you will have time to think about if the purchase is really worth the cost. You can also think about how this will affect your budget and if it’s just something that you just want or if it’s a product that you really need.
If you just know that you won’t be able to control yourself, then you should consider using the cash envelope system. By using this system, you will simply have no choice to impulse buy because you won’t have the cash on your person to do so.
This system basically consists of you only carrying enough cash on you to purchase what you went out to purchase. You can read more about how to set up a cash envelope system in this post.
Plan your purchases
There are many ways that you can plan your purchases, the most common that you probably hear all the time is always shopping with a list. This is some great advice and is especially helpful to save money on groceries.
There are other ways to plan your purchases besides shopping with a list. A really big money saver is to plan ahead for major purchases. I’m not talking about a major purchase like buying a home because if that is what you want, you hopefully already have a plan.
I’m talking more about major purchases that you don’t really want to make but know that they are inevitable. Take for instance your large kitchen appliances such as a refrigerator or stove.
What about the car you are driving or the roof or plumbing in your home? All of these things need to be replaced at one time or another. Of course the later the better, but what if something happens tomorrow? Will you be prepared?
Think about all the major expenses that may come your way in the next few years. Do you have a “shopping list” for these things? Do you have a plan to pay for them when you do need to replace them?
It is really important to work these things into your budget so you have the money when needed. This will help to keep yourself out of debt or get further in debt.
Of course, there will be things that break down that you were not expecting and haven’t planned to purchase. This is why having decent-sized emergency savings is so important.
Finding cheaper alternatives to things you spend money on is one of my favorite & easiest ways to save money. When you find less expensive versions of things that you don’t want to give up, it makes it so much easier to save money without feeling deprived.
Maybe you have an addiction to specialty coffee. Instead of paying $5 for a cup of coffee, make it yourself. There are tons of starbucks copycat recipes that you can find with a quick Google or Pinterest search.
Don’t want to give up watching your favorite shows on TV, even though your cable bill is ridiculously high? Consider getting a [amazon_textlink asin=’B0776LKFZ7′ text=’digital TV antenna’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’moneymindedmo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3cffbe0c-2ceb-11e8-94ea-dbd983c29f15′] which is a small initial investment to get free TV. You can supplement it with a Netfix or Hulu subscription or if you have [amazon_textlink asin=’B00R20MPW2′ text=’Amazon Prime’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’moneymindedmo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e1ddb483-2ceb-11e8-9736-5f2934e8aeac’] you can get even more free TV shows.
Then there is your cell phone, if you are anything like me, you are not going to give it up. Guess what? There are so many cheaper alternatives to save money on your cell phone bill, especially if you have a plan with one of the major providers.
I recently switched my family over to Republic Wireless and I am saving $165 a month, that’s almost $2000 in savings a year and I don’t feel deprived at all. In fact, I don’t even notice the difference.
Check out my post 6 Simple Ways to Save $1000+ Every Month for more great tips on finding cheaper alternatives to save more money every month.
Meal planning can save you some serious money every single month. For one, you always have a plan for dinner time, which will save money on taking out on those busy days.
And two, it will save you a bunch of time because you always have a plan. I always say, time is money and anytime I can save both, it’s a win-win.
Meal planning will also help you save money on groceries. You can plan your meals around sale items, which can really save you hundreds of dollars a month. You can find more great tips in my article How I Cut My Grocery Bill In Half (and you can too).
I do have to admit, I did struggle at meal planning in the beginning. Then I found a great course called The Grocery Budget Makeover which taught me everything I needed to easily cut my grocery bill in half without feeling deprived.
GBM is for real people, it’s not about having to sit and clip hundreds of coupons every week to save money on groceries. And you won’t have to give up an entire room in your home to store a massive stockpile that could feed a small country for a week.
Shop Thrift Stores
Thrift stores are a great way to save money on clothing, housewares, and even furniture. You literally pay pennies on the dollar for items that you need all the time. You can even make good money by flipping great finds.
I know that thrift store shopping may turn some people off, but you can find some really good deal on brand new stuff as well. I see it all the time when I walk into a thrift store, there’s a bunch of clothes and household items that still have their original price tags on them.
Of Course, there are some thrift stores that you might visit that are just a huge pile of garbage. But there are others that I shop at that are just as clean and organized like a department store.
Shopping thrift stores will also save you a small fortune if you have young children. As I’m sure you know, they outgrow clothing so fast it’s impossible to get your money’s worth when buying new clothes for them. You can check out 10 Brilliant Ways To Save Money On Children’s Clothing for more great tips.
Don’t just stop at thrift store shopping, you can save even more money shopping garage sales, yard sales, and flea markets too.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is a great way to save money if you are buying things that you use and need all the time.
It just makes more sense to buy this thing in bulk because you are paying way less than purchasing them individually and it’s also a huge time saver too.
You can start off slow and work your way up to build a sensible stockpile of things that you use all the time.
The key to saving money when you buy in bulk is to only buy things that you know you are going to use before they go bad or expire.
If you go crazy and buy bulk items that will take you years to use, then you will just end up wasting more money than you save. Check out my list of 23 Items You Should Always Buy in Bulk to get you started.
Why would you ever pay full price for anything when you can get it on sale? Seriously, this is something that just doesn’t make any kind of financial sense to me.
You probably look for sale items that you are in need of when you go shopping. But if you need that item again in say, two weeks, do you think you’ll get it on sale again? Probably not.
Most stores have sales cycles for when things go on sale. Typical store sale cycles are usually between 6 and 8 weeks.
So when you are shopping and find a great deal on products you use regularly; why not stock up to last long enough until you can buy it on sale again? This way you will never have to pay full price again.
Use a Cash Back Site
Do you love shopping online just as much as I do? I really have no choice a lot of the time. We live in a rural area with only one small department store and one major name drugstore.
I can’t just run out and pick up certain things I need whenever I want to. Plus, it just doesn’t make any sense to spend time and money traveling 50 miles away to the nearest Walmart or other big box stores.
It’s for this very reason that I use Ebates to save money on my online shopping purchases. I can’t think of any reason why someone would not use a cashback site when shopping online.
In addition to Ebates, I use PriceBlink which is an extension that alerts me if the item is available for a lower price on another site.
Finally, I use Honey which is an extension that scans for money saving coupon codes that I can use to save even more.
Are you rolling your eyes because you think this is way to time-consuming? It really isn’t any more work then if you wouldn’t use them because there is an extension for each of these apps.
This means no more searching for coupon codes, no more starting to shop through a specific site to get cashback and no more having to comparison shop because these extensions do the work for you.
Check out how easy it is to save money online shopping, read my article One Online Shopping Trick That Will Save You a Ton Of Money.
Develop a frugal lifestyle
A lot of people have a misconception of what frugal living is. They may think that it’s all about growing your own food and raising chickens.
Although this is a frugal way of living, you don’t have to do these things to develop a frugal lifestyle.
Here is the definition of frugality from Wikipedia
“Frugality is the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the consumption of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.”
Simply put, it’s all about not being wasteful of how you spend your time, money and energy. Who wants to do that. Right?
Check out 99 Frugal Living Tips to get your frugal on.
Brown Bag It
Eating out for lunch every workday is a huge money suck. Bringing your lunch to work with you can literally save you over $3500 every year. That is just for one person!!
No, you don’t have to eat soggy bologna sandwiches all week long. Yuck!!!
It really doesn’t take much more prep time to bring your own lunch to work or pack your children’s lunches.
What I like to do is make a bit extra when I’m cooking dinner so there are leftovers that can be packed up for lunches during the week.
Even better, if the meal is freezer friendly, I double up my recipes and freeze them so they keep longer. This way if you are not digging eating the same meals more than once a week, you have alternatives.
So start packing your lunches, go to a nice park during your lunch break, breath in some fresh air and relax for a while.
This is so much better than going into crowded restaurants and rushing through your lunch so you can get back to work on time.
Get Rid Unnecessary Expenses
We are all guilty of this, we just get in the habit of paying for things that really are not worth the cost or even things we no longer need anymore.
I don’t even know how long I keep paying for our landline before I realized that nobody even uses it anymore. We all had cell phones. Our landline was basically obsolete in our home.
I also remember not canceling a service I was paying for because there was no way to cancel it from the website. I just didn’t want to take the time to deal with someone who would just try to convince me to stay.
These things are a ridiculous waste of money. The truth is, it didn’t take more than 5 minutes of my time to cancel that subscription because I was firm about my request with the salesperson.
It’s an easy fix to save money on unnecessary expenses. Simply go over your bank statements every 6 months and ask yourself “Do I really need to be paying for this?” or “Do I use it enough to justify paying for it month after month?”
I’m willing to bet that you can find ways to save money and you won’t even miss having them.
Shop Out Of Season
Shopping out of season is a great way to save more money on stuff that you need. You could easily save 75% or more off the regular price.
You probably already shop out of season for Christmas supplies like wrapping paper, bows and such; but there are many other out of season sales where you can save money all year long.
Think of the many other holidays throughout the year where you can save as much money as Christmas sales. Why not stock up on outdoor party supplies right after the 4th of July. Need some nice dinnerware? Shop for that right after Thanksgiving.
Then there are seasonal clothing sales which are great for getting clothes and footwear at rock bottom prices.
Another great thing about seasonal clothing is that stores start lowering prices before the season is even over, so you don’t have to wait almost a year to save on an updated wardrobe.
Build a Gift Closet
We are all so busy all the time and you’ve probably totally flaked on picking up a gift item that you knew you would need but forgot until the last minute. This used to be me, all the time.
I’d end up having to run out at the last minute and try to find a gift, which of course is not on sale, and end up paying way more than I needed to. Sound familiar?
This is when having a gift closet comes in really handy. In case you don’t know, a gift closet is basically a small stockpile of gifts that you purchase, on sale (of course) throughout the year for all kinds of occasions that may arise.
This way when a birthday party or other gift-giving occasion blindsides you, you’ll be prepared. Plus, you will never have to pay full price for gifts that you know your family and friends will love.
Every time I go shopping, I always check out the clearance isles and shelves for things that would make great gifts. Shopping out of season, as we just discussed is a great time to stock up your gift closet as well.
Not too long ago I went shopping a few days after Christmas and picked up $125 worth of Bath gift sets and only paid a little over $20. These make great gifts for other occasions besides Christmas.
Want to learn more about building a gift closet? Read my article “How To Build a Gift Closet to Save Money“.
Learn to Coupon
Couponing is a huge money saver. If you can learn to coupon, you can buy things for so much less money and even get them for free when done right.
You don’t necessarily have to go overboard as you see in those extreme couponing shows. This is just not realistic for most people unless you spend hours strategizing. Who has time for that…
You don’t even have to buy the Sunday paper if you don’t want to. But it doesn’t hurt to see what coupons are available to print from home at sites like Coupons.com or RedPlum.com.
If you are the type of person who just doesn’t want to bother clipping coupons, then there are some pretty nifty coupon apps that can help you save.
A few of my favorite are Ibotta, SavingStar, and CheckOut51. These apps require no clipping, simply pick the offers you want and either take a pic of your receipt or they can get loaded onto your store’s loyalty card for instant savings.
Invest in money-saving products
Invest in money saving products that are a great way to save money over time. It does require an upfront investment but ends up saving you way more money in the long run.
Here are a few examples of money saving products…
[amazon_textlink asin=’B06Y2WCHDV’ text=’Coffee Maker’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’moneymindedmo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b921090b-2d55-11e8-91c5-f3bcb1e7ad77′] ~ Make your own fancy coffee at home instead of paying $5 a pop at a coffee shop.
[amazon_textlink asin=’B004P2NG0K’ text=’Slow Cooker’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’moneymindedmo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e342b5ce-2d55-11e8-8237-b7cc05f95e7e’] ~ Allows you to have dinner ready and waiting when you get home on those busy days to avoid pickup takeout.
[amazon_textlink asin=’B07589KPQ3′ text=’Programmable Thermostat’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’moneymindedmo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0ccbcc06-2d56-11e8-aca1-5bb98152d1e1′] ~ Save money on heating and cooling cost by strategically having it turn the temp up and down when needed.
[amazon_textlink asin=’B015SY3VGM’ text=’Water Filtration Pitcher’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’moneymindedmo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’360c19b8-2d56-11e8-84d6-1bcdbb6f2253′] ~ No more buying bottled water and helps to keep the environment cleaner too.
[amazon_textlink asin=’B06XG1HZT5′ text=’Power Strips’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’moneymindedmo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7500bcde-2d56-11e8-ad87-b1ae1a81fa43′] ~ Reduce wasted money on energy when electronics and appliances are not in use.
[amazon_textlink asin=’B0776LKFZ7′ text=’Digital TV Antenna’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’moneymindedmo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8ae80a04-2d56-11e8-bc06-cd3d23d18e1f’] ~ Cut your cable and watch free TV.
[amazon_textlink asin=’B00OGPF85M’ text=’CFL Light Bulbs’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’moneymindedmo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ab89c482-2d56-11e8-913e-933c83a8af1f’] ~ Replace you light bulbs with CLF bulbs to reduce energy use.
Finding ways to save money is not as difficult as many people think it is. There are many practical ways to save that you can do very easily and they won’t leave you feeling deprived one bit. You just really need to look around and put in some effort because it won’t happen just because you want it to.
Do you have more ways to save money without feeling deprived? Please share them with us, we’d love to hear them.
I love the idea of a making sure you use your programmable thermostat. You can also save money on your electric bill if you replace your air filters for your hvac on a regular basis. They cost about 6 bucks and prevent your ac from overworking. This will also help you avoid costly ac repairs, because you are putting less stress on it. A real win win.
You can also lower your electric bill by turning your water heater off at night and turning it on in the morning. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see the results.
That’s great advice!! Than you so much. We used to turn our water heater off at night as well and it save us sooo much money. What’s even better is getting an on demand water heater (which we now have). You don’t have to think about turning your water heater on or off and you don’t have to wait for the water to warm up either.