Easy and Practical Ways to Save Money part 2

Welcome to part 2 of the money saving series!  In the last post I shared some easy tips for saving money around the home and in entertainment.  This post will give you more ideas for saving when you grocery shop and buy personal items, like clothing and toiletries.  Let’s dive right in!

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*Plan your meals in advance and shop only once or twice a month.  By planning your meals for the month you can ensure you buy only what you need and don’t make unnecessary, and costly,  trips to the store for ingredients.  Pinterest has great resources to help you meal plan and I wrote a whole series on monthly grocery shopping.

*When buying meats look at the price per kilogram/pound instead of the price for that product. When David and I shopped this month I noticed that a whole chicken costs more per kilogram than the package of chicken legs.  Instead of spending $10 on a small, whole chicken we bought more than twice the amount of meat in leg form, for the cost of a whole chicken.

*If possible buy store prepared meats instead of big brands.  The big brands are usually more expensive and seem more likely to be recalled than the store prepared cuts.

*Whole turkeys and hams are usually on sale around the holidays or shortly after, so stock up on them if possible.  We bought half a dozen mini hams for a very good price at the beginning of April and have them stored in our freezer.  We can save them for any upcoming holiday meals we have or whenever we feel like ham.  We may have spent a lot on ham right now but it is considerably less expensive than buying it around the holidays.

*Instead of buying microwave popcorn packages pick up some loose kernels at the bulk food store.  Simply place 1/3 cup kernels in a paper bag, bunch the top shut, lay flat in the microwave and cook for a couple minutes.  Easy and cheap microwave popcorn with NO additives!

*Buy in season produce because it is considerably less expensive than when it is out of season.  Or purchase frozen instead of fresh.  The cost is comparable and the quality is excellent!  We like buying frozen wild blueberries year round.

*Instead of buying cartons of juice look for the frozen concentrated juice.  We picked up some frozen orange juice (pure juice! no added water, sugar or other juices) for $1 and it made us a few liters of juice.  The same amount of premade juice of similar quality could cost between $5-7!  It took me seconds to prepare the frozen juice and I saved a few dollars.  Win win!

*If your grocery store offers it, purchase day old breads and baked goods at a discounted price.  You can freeze the bread right away and only take out what you need to prevent the whole package from going moldy.

*Shop at bulk stores but be aware of the prices of items in regular grocery stores.  We buy loose leaf tea, dried beans, rice, flour, sugar and spices at a bulk food chain (not Costco!) where the prices are definitely cheaper!!
Total savings per month on grocery: $100-200

*Instead of buying brand new clothes, see if you can swap items with your mom, sister, friend, etc.  I’ve obtained dresses, belts and shoes from my mom’s closet and in turn I traded gave her some dresses and blouses I was no longer wearing.

*Shop at thrift stores but be aware of prices and don’t get caught up in buying things you don’t need.  My tip for thrift store shopping is to make a list of exactly what you want/need and familiarize yourself with the store’s return policy.  I have found great quality, long skirts for a fraction of the cost of a new one.  Thrift stores are pretty hit and miss since their inventory changes almost daily, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t find anything right away.

*When buying new clothes shop towards the middle or end of the season for the best prices.  I have bought brand new shorts from the mall for $2 in August because they are trying to make room for fall items.  Don’t be afraid to join the store’s email list too, to stay in the loop about sales.

*If possible, purchase items with the phrase quality over quantity in mind.  I find this is especially important to remember with shoes.

*Determine what pieces of clothing you need or want and write them down.  Keep your list with you whenever you shop to ensure you don’t end up buying things impulsively.

*When shopping for men’s dress clothes avoid specialty stores and look at the mall.  David doesn’t have a need to dress up often so I’m reluctant to spend a lot of money for clothes he wears maybe twice a year.  This outfit (clicky) cost less than $100 including the shoes!
Total savings per month on clothing: varies, depending on how much you usually spend.  I buy clothes a couple times a year or when I get birthday/Christmas money.  

Personal Care
*Find a hair dresser that cuts hair out of her home because she is likely far cheaper than going to a salon. My hairdresser charges less than half of what the average salon does and she is amazing.
Savings per month: $30 (my hair dresser charges $20 for her services, but the salon I used to visit charged $50 for the exact same work.  I’m saving even more money on gas because my new hair dresser lives near me).

*Consider washing your hair every other day.  You will save money on hair care products, plus washing every other day helps keep your hair healthier.
Savings per month: at least $5, which isn’t much but it adds up over a year!

*Ditch the shampoo, conditioner and facial wash…use a simple bar of glycerin soap instead.  I buy mine from the bulk food store for $1.99, but the soap is also sold online.  The whole bar lasts me about a month and I use it for my hair, face and body.
Savings per month: varies depending on how complex your beauty routine was to begin with! I saved myself about $15.

I have personally done every single thing I listed above! If you follow these tips you could be saving at least $150 per month, which is $1800 annually. Add that to the $4800 you could save per year if you follow my tips for saving around the home and on entertainment and you’ve got over $6500 in savings per year!  Once again, you’ll notice that the list above isn’t anything drastic.  It’s simply making a few changes to how you shop that could save you a lot of money.

In the next post I’ll be giving some tips for saving money when it comes to gardening and landscaping. Plant season is around the corner and I know how expensive it can be sprucing up the yard!

Could you shop for groceries once a month? Do you set a budget for yourself when you buy new clothes?  How often do you wash your hair and what’s the longest amount of time you’ve gone without washing (I think I’ve gone 3-4 days!)?

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

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