10 Reasons to Save Money

Do you need a few good reasons to save money? Are you a hesitant saver?

Truthfully, I’ve always been a saver. I don’t like feeling like my money is controlling me. Therefore, I learned to control my money at an early age.

However, I understand how hesitant people feel because I’m married to one. He feels like he’ll regret denying himself today in case he doesn’t make it until tomorrow.

If you feel like this, I want to introduce you to a few reasons to save money. These reasons are what finally convinced my husband to stop spending and give saving money a try.

Here are a few reasons to save money:

1. Avoid a Life of Debt is One of Many Great Reasons to Save Money

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This first reason was the reason I chose to be a saver from a young age. I saw too many people get trapped in a life of debt, and I didn’t want this.

I’ve experienced debt in my life because I went with the flow on certain purchases instead of standing with what I knew to be the right thing. I’ve also paid the price of stress when the monthly bills were due.

Over the years, I learned to become more vocal on saving for things. My husband and I both agree we enjoy what we purchase now because we don’t have the dreaded stress of, “Great, now I have to pay for this next month.”

It’s a liberating experience to not be a servant of debt.

2. Set an Example is One of the Valuable Reasons to Save Money

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Another one of my reasons to save money is to set an example. Children aren’t born with the ability to know how to manage money.

In fact, we’re all born with a fleshly desire to serve ourselves. Therefore, debt is our knee-jerk reaction. We must teach our children a different way.

This is why our children are a part of our money-saving conversations. We teach them the importance of budgeting, saving, and giving. It’s our hope that our children will learn how to manage their money and prosper for it in the future.

3. Quit Working is One of the Prime Reasons to Save Money

My husband and I believe in hard work, so I’m not advocating for you to save money to avoid working in the long run.

However, I do hope to retire one day. I don’t just want to retire. I want to retire comfortably. I must save money for this dream to be my reality.

Some people are banking on social security to carry them through, and I hope it’s there when I’m too old to work. I plan on being prepared either way.

4. Living Your Life

Here is the reality of life. You only get one chance. Your ride could be short, or it can be long. However, you won’t be on your death bed thinking, “I’m so glad I purchased the house I couldn’t afford. It allowed me to work a ton of hours and do nothing else with my life, but I’m glad I had the nicest house on the block.”

By saving money and living a frugal lifestyle, you have the ability to have more life experiences. You should have money to take trips with loved ones, enjoy a few restful vacations, and have many memories when that’s all you have left.

If you don’t save your money, you won’t have those experiences. Wasting money on frivolous toys, or overextending yourself on mortgages and car payments, will hinder how many life experiences you get to enjoy while you’re still alive and well enough to enjoy things.

5. One of the Top Reasons to Save Money: In Case of an Emergency

There are times in life when the wheels fly off your cart. If an appliance breaks, you need a new HVAC system, you get a flat tire, have a larger car repair, and more, you’ll be glad you’re a saver.

Yes, you’ll pull the money from your savings account, and you will have to replace the money once it’s used.

However, you won’t have to fret where the money is going to come from or how you’ll afford an extra credit card bill every month.

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6. Create Gorgeous Spaces

One thing I love about saving money is creating gorgeous spaces around my home. I’ve focused on turning my home into my happy place, so I don’t have to travel to relax.

Leading a frugal lifestyle has helped us be able to afford a few DIY projects. We’ve also saved money through DIYing what we do.

These places allow me a space to relax and take in the scenery around us. I love resting around our firepit, on our back deck, or in my greenhouse.

7. You Control Money and Not the Other Way Around

I was raised by a single parent. My mom did everything right. She married her high school sweetheart, was married for almost ten years before they began having children and stayed married for twenty years.

Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out. She ended up raising two kids on her own, and she worked hard making sure we had everything we needed.

I saw how hard she worked, but she’ll admit that finances dictated her life. They determined how many jobs she worked or how many hours she had to put in if she was only working one job.

I’m mindful of these things because I don’t want money to control my life. It’s a necessary tool, but the carpenter controls the hammer. It was never meant to be the other way around. For this reason, I lead a frugal lifestyle.

8. Give More Money

When you save money, there’s more room in your budget to give. As I mentioned above, there are people in this world who do everything right but life still throws them a curveball.

Those people might need help from time to time. By managing our finances, we might be able to afford to go above our 10% tithe to the church.

Maybe you could sponsor a child who lives in poverty. You might be able to buy gift cards and leave them in random places around a grocery store and be a help to the single parent who makes too little to thrive but too much to receive any assistance.

This is important. It’s vital that we pour into the lives of those around us, even if done so anonymously. It’s also important we give to remain humble. Humility will always remind you how blessed you are and destroy the chances of the love of money taking over your life.

9. Less Stress: One of My Top Reasons to Save Money

Have you ever had more bills than money? Even as a saver, it has happened in my life. I’ve been thrown a few curveballs in my time as well.

I know the stress of wondering how I was going to meet the bills and take care of my family. The only way to stop the cycle was to make more money and live as though we had less.

Though this might sound counterintuitive, it equated to less stress for myself and my husband. We decided peace of mind was worth a lot and have continued to live as frugally as possible over the years.

10. More Enjoyment Out of Life

Stress kills joy. Buying more “stuff” equates to more bills, higher financial obligations, and more stress in your life.

Unfortunately, this is a vicious cycle too many fall prey to. Then they wonder why their life is so hard or miserable.

Ultimately, it’s because of bad financial decisions. Keep the joy in your life by learning how to control money and save more money than you spend.

These are ten good reasons as to why you should consider saving money. The tools we have in life are there to help us thrive and advance.

However, many times we let tools (like money) take over and dictate our lives. Learn to live within your means and anytime you need encouragement, to keep being a “saver” instead of a “spender”, let these ten reasons give you a boost.

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Save Money Now with These 26 Tips

Are you trying to save money now?

You’re in luck. I’ve been in your shoes before and want to share my tips on how you can start your money saving journey as soon as possible.

Whether you’re trying to save for a larger purchase, such as buying a home, or trying to make ends meet, hopefully these tips will point you in the right direction.

Here are my top tips on saving money:

1. Know How Much You Make to Save Money Now

When you’re trying to save money, you must start with understanding how much income is flowing into your home.

If you aren’t sure of how much you, or your spouse, make each month look at your bank statements and paycheck stubs. This is vital information you must have upfront.

2. Know How Much You Spend to Save Money Now

The next step in saving money is knowing how much money you’re spending. Look at your bank statement and add up how much money you spent last month.

It’s also helpful to see where you’re spending your money. This will give you clues as to where you can start trimming expenses first.

3. Make a Budget to Save Money Now

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Now that you know how much you make, how much you spend, and where you’re spending your money, you can create a budget.

Make a list of all the things you must pay each month. Also, note anything that is a necessity aside from bills. Create a space for every dollar brought into your home to ensure you have your finances by the reins.

4. Trim the Fat to Save Money Now

As I mentioned earlier, when you know where you’re spending your money, it’s time to start trimming the fat.

If you notice a lot of your money is going to the coffee shop, you need to stop going there as much. If you’re eating out a lot, it’s time to start eating at home. By doing these things, you’re trimming the fat.

5. Put Savings Out of Reach to Save Money Now

When you’re broke, it can be hard not to reach for your savings account. This is why it’s important to separate your savings account from your checking account.

Make it as difficult as possible to transfer funds from your savings to your checking account. This will require extra effort on your part to move money between accounts. It might help you hang on to your savings through the hard times.

6. Start Saving Automatically to Save Money Now

Another thing you can do to save more money is to make regular deposits into your savings account. You can arrange this with your bank or with the payroll department at your company.

Either way, if you make automatic deposits into your savings account, the money should add up. It also removes one more decision from your day because you decide how much to save one time, and it’s done automatically from there on out.

7. Save Your Change to Save Money Now

If you use cash, always round up how much you pay. This will mean you receive change back. The change should then be added to a jar in your home.

Overtime, it will add up to a decent amount of money. Plus, you’re less likely to spend change than you are dollar bills.

8. Cash Only to Save Money Now

In an effort to save money, try to use cash only. This will help you collect more change for savings, but it will also allow you to physically touch the money you’re budgeting.

It makes you more connected to your money and makes it easier to spend accordingly. If you use the envelope system, and you see the money is running low, it might cause you to rethink your choices before you go overboard on spending.

9. Generic is a Good Choice to Save Money Now

Some people get caught up on name brands. There are some items which taste or look different based upon the brand.

However, generic brands have come a long way since they were first introduced. Consider buying generic to save money.

10. Ditch Your TV

There are many different ways to view your favorite shows. You can choose between cable or streaming services.

Depending upon your situation, you might need to go with the cheapest option. If you’re looking to save even more money, stop paying for television services. You can find other ways to entertain yourself for less money.

11. 30-Day Fast

Have you been on a spending spree? This can happen when you’re building a home, moving between homes, or completing a project.

You get in such a habit of spending money, it can be hard to quit. When the build, move, or project is over, cleanse your mental state by spending thirty days where you only spend money on necessities. It will help you shift back into the mindset of saving money.

12. Stay Home (for Vacation)

Vacations are important. It doesn’t matter if you’re saving money or not. Everyone needs a break from their daily grind.

However, there are ways to take a vacation without breaking the bank. You can take a vacation on a budget or enjoy a relaxing staycation around your home.

13. Refinance

This tip on saving money will depend upon the amount of equity you have in your home or car, and the current interest rates.

However, if you have enough equity in your belongings to cover closing costs, and interest rates are good, you might be able to save serious money by refinancing.

14. Sell Unwanted Items

We all have things around our home that we no longer use. If items surrounding you are no longer in use and don’t bring you joy, why keep them?

Instead, you could sell these items and bring in extra money. This could be stashed in your savings account or put towards paying off debt.

15. Cancel Your Subscriptions

Automatic subscriptions are one of the biggest money-suckers on the market. When you can afford certain subscriptions, use them.

However, most of us have subscriptions we don’t even use. If this is the case, stop any unused monthly subscriptions to save serious money.

16. Open a Window

We’ve covered many of the basics on saving money, but one of the best ways to save money is to cut back on your electric bill.

One easy way to decrease the amount of electricity used around your home is to turn off the air conditioner and open a window. Can you think of any other ways to cut back on electricity? Try them out and see how much you save.

17. Drive Less

The price of gas keeps climbing which makes this money-saving tip even easier to use. Don’t drive around aimlessly.

Instead, be intentional about the times you drive. When you drive less, you spend less on gas. Therefore, these efforts can help save you money.

18. Eat at Home

Eating out can be delicious, but it’s also expensive. Stop wasting your money on food. If it’s a special occasion, go out to eat.

If going out to eat is something you do to avoid cooking, start learning how to cook. Otherwise, you’re going to continue eating your hard-earned money.

19. Pack Your Food

Whether you’re going to work, running errands, or planning a road trip, be sure to pack your food. Otherwise, you might be tempted to eat at a restaurant.

Again, if this is something you do occasionally, it isn’t a huge deal. However, if this is a regular habit, you’re spending a lot of money on unnecessary items.

20. No Credit Cards

Credit cards are one of the biggest debt traps out there. They encourage people to spend more money than they actually have.

Then you’re sucked into an added monthly bill and interest. Therefore, it’s best to operate on cash only and live within your means.

21. Ditch Your Debt

If you have any debt, it’s time to develop a plan to get rid of it. Debt means, in most cases, that you’re paying interest.

Plus, your monthly expenses are higher due to debt. Trim the fat by getting rid of all debt. This might be a process, depending upon how much debt you have, but it’s worth it to save money and gain financial freedom.

22. Cook from Scratch

If you go to the grocery store and buy convenience food, you’ll notice your grocery bill will be higher than if you purchase less expensive foods to cook from scratch.

Cooking from scratch tastes better and costs less. Skip the convenience in cooking because you’ll pay more.

23. Clear Your Inbox

I rarely sign up for email subscriptions because I don’t like having a cluttered inbox. However, I do have a few places I like to keep up with.

You must be careful when subscribing to anything with your email. If cute clothes and coupons are an enticement for you to spend money, delete the emails immediately.

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24. Shop for Insurance

People overpay for insurance all the time. You want to know why? It’s because we get comfortable where we are and shopping for insurance stinks.

However, it can save you quite a bit of money. Therefore, you should shop around for home, car, and renter’s insurance to be sure you’re paying the lowest rate possible.

25. Make Your Own Coffee

I mentioned this briefly before, but people spend so much money on coffee. I have my favorite coffee drink as well.

It’s difficult to adjust to making coffee at home, but it’s definitely a great way to save money. Consider making your own DIY coffee drinks to keep the flavor profile high and the prices low.

26. Free Entertainment

I didn’t realize how much free entertainment is out there until I started looking a few summers ago. If you like to read, the library is a great form of free entertainment. You can also rent movies for free at most libraries.

Many communities have a splash pad for children to play in. You should also check out your town’s social media profiles because it’s common for communities to have free concerts and movie nights as free entertainment for its residents.

This concludes the ways you can start saving money now. I know saving money is hard work. It’s also taxing mentally because it’s the opposite of what the world around us tells us to do.

Instead, we receive constant advertisements about spending money. Stop the cycle and start saving today.

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How to Save Money as a Teenager

Are you trying to save money as a teenager? 

If you’re a teenager, chances are you’re on the brink of getting your first job. You might be wondering how to start off on the right foot financially.

However, if you’re the parent of a teenager, you might be looking for ways to teach your child good money habits. Either way, you’re in the right place.

I’m going to walk you through a few ways teenagers can stretch their hard earned cash while learning good money management skills.

Here are a few ways to help save money as a teenager:

1. Create a Budget to Save Money as a Teenager

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The first step in saving money as a teenager, and learning responsible financial habits, is creating a budget. Even as a teenager, with minimal expenses, you still must learn how to live on what you make.

As you get older, your income will hopefully increase. Unfortunately, so will your bills. Therefore, you must learn how to manage money now.

Start by understanding how much money you make in a month, how much money you spend in a month, and start this new stage of your life living within your means.

2. Giving is Important When Learning to Save Money as a Teenager

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Saving money is important. Understanding how to manage your finances is also important. However, giving to others is important, too.

Start the habit of giving now. Whether you give 10% of your income to your church, sponsor a child, or give to another local organization, add this to your budget.

Why is giving so important? It helps to keep you humble. Pride is an ugly thing and when we feel as though we’re making plenty of money, and the world is ours, we get a little full of ourselves. Give part of your income away because money is only a tool.

It isn’t our value, and it can leave us as easily as it came. Therefore, ensure you always remain humble, help others, and give.

3. Only Use Cash to Save Money as a Teenager

One of the worst things you can do, as a teenager, is use a debit card. Why do I feel this way? When you swipe a card, it isn’t the same as looking at a wallet full of cash and watching it dwindle.

The more frequently you swipe a card, the more detached you get from how much you’re actually spending.

Therefore, I recommend using the cash envelope system. This will help you remain mindful of how much money you have to work with and how much you are spending.

4. Spend Half, Save Half

This was a helpful mentality for me when I was younger and trying to save money as a teenager. When I received a paycheck, I took it to the bank.

I’d create a budget based upon how much money I made within the last pay period. From there, I’d divide my money in half.

Half of my paycheck would go into savings while the other half was meant for entertainment, gas money, and any other expenses I had in the near future.

5. Avoid the Splurge When Saving Money as a Teenager

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When my husband was younger, his mother told him he could blow his entire first paycheck. This was a huge mistake because it instilled the wrong thought process in him from the start.

He never learned good money management skills because he had the “splurge mentality.” In reality, there’s no such thing as a splurge.

You either budget for something, or you’re blowing your money. Don’t treat yourself with gifts. It’s temporary happiness. Instead, know the things you might like to have, budget for them, and this will also help you gain wisdom.

After you work hard, save, and budget for something, it might not be as important to you as it once was.

6. Pack Your Food to Save Money as a Teenager

Eating out is not only a huge waste of money, but it’s rarely good for you. Therefore, I recommend packing your lunch.

Even if you work fast food, consider bringing food from home. This will allow you to avoid spending any money while at work.

You’ll feel better when you make healthy choices. Not to mention, if you don’t get in the habit of eating out, you won’t waste your money in this area.

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7. Choose Free 

As a teenager, there seems to be many things to do. You could go to the movies with friends, get a gym membership, and much more.

When possible, choose free forms of entertainment and exercise. Instead of going to a movie, watch a movie at home with friends.

Instead of purchasing a gym membership, go for a walk in the park or work out using YouTube videos. There are also many fun community events that are free, healthy, and entertaining. Check your town’s social media pages to see what’s happening near you.

8. Appetizers are Great 

There are occasions when friends want to get together, catch up, and go out to eat. What should you do then?

Don’t fall into the trap of ordering a full meal. Instead, drink water and order an appetizer. This is not only saving you money, but it will help you make healthier choices.

Appetizers are usually the appropriate portion for a meal. Therefore, you’re avoiding overeating while saving money.

9. Save Your Change to Save Money as a Teenager

I never did this until I was in my 20s, but I wish I had started sooner. When you use cash, don’t provide exact change.

Instead, let the cashier give you change. When you go home, place all of your coins in a container. Save them until the container is full and cash it in.

You’ll be amazed at how much your change can add up to. Even as an adult, I save my change and end up with hundreds of dollars at the end of each year.

10. Take Care of What You Have to Save Money as a Teenager

One of the easiest ways to save money is to not spend your money. The top way of avoiding spending money is taking care of what you have.

Buy a durable case for your cell phone. This could stop you from breaking yours if you accidentally drop it.

Be sure to perform regular maintenance on your vehicle, so your car will last. Be gentle on your clothing to extend their lifespan. There are many ways you can care for what you have to avoid needing new things.

11. Less Might Actually Be More 

Dave Ramsey said, “The more stuff you own, the more repair people you must know.” The amount of truth in this statement is overwhelming.

Basically, the more stuff you own, the more repairs you’re going to need done. Keep this in mind as you ponder over everything you think you need.

Maintenance is a reality when we own, and care for, our belongings. If you want less, you’ll need to pay less to maintain it. Therefore, saving yourself money.

As a teenager, it can be difficult to save money. You’re working for the first time in your life, it’s exciting to make your own money, and you want to buy everything.

Control your spending urges, practice budgeting, and make a few different choices on entertainment with friends to save money and develop good spending habits.

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Freezer Breakfast Ideas to Simplify Your Mornings

Mornings are tough, but they can become much easier thanks to freezer breakfast ideas.

It can be hard to get everyone moving in the same direction, even with the best family schedule. One way my family stays ahead of the chaos is by creating make-ahead breakfasts.

There are many fun breakfast recipes which are a great way to start your day. Once you have the recipe, make it, freeze it, and pull it out when you need it.

You won’t need to scour the internet looking for your own recipes. I’ve got them right here in one convenient location.

Here are freezer breakfast ideas sure to make your mornings easier:

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1. Freezer Bagel Breakfast Sandwiches

Do you enjoy a good breakfast sandwich to start your day? Check out this recipe for bagel breakfast sandwiches. It’s a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a bagel.

Unfamiliar with freezer cooking? Check out this video to find out how you can begin freezer cooking.

2. Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

It shouldn’t be surprising how many people want a breakfast sandwich to start their day. They’re easy-to-make, filling, versatile, and great for eating on the run. This tutorial shows you how to make a variety of breakfast sandwiches to get your morning started on the right foot.

Use this recipe binder to organize your favorite recipes! 

3. Freezer Ready French Toast Sticks

When you buy French toast sticks from the store, they’re expensive for the quantities you get. Instead, make these French toast sticks which are ready for the freezer and much more cost-effective.

4. Freezer Breakfast Quesadillas

This tutorial walks you through how to make (and freeze) breakfast quesadillas in four different ways. You won’t get bored with this many options.

5. Freezer Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie Bags

If your mornings are like mine, I don’t have time to cut up fruit to make smoothies. This is where these bags come into play. The fruit is cut, frozen, and proportioned into a bag.

Yogurt is frozen in ice cube trays and proportioned into the bags too. On busy mornings, dump the bags into a blender, and you’ve got smoothies!

6. Sausage and Cheese Biscuits

These biscuits remind me of sausage balls, only bigger. They’re made from shredded hash browns, cheese, sausage, and a few other basic ingredients. You can have an entire breakfast in one bite.

7. Freezer Pancakes

Freezer pancakes are one of my go-to breakfast ideas for my kids. They’re easy-to-make, frugal, and the kids love them!

8. Veggie Packed Freezer Ready Breakfast Sandwiches

This breakfast sandwich is made from English muffins and a scrambled egg mixture. The mixture contains eggs, spinach, and roasted red peppers. Once the concoction is piled on the muffin, it’s topped with cheese.

9. Freezer Breakfast Bowls

Breakfast bowls are a great way to cook in bulk, freeze, and save money. They consist of potatoes, veggies, cheese, and eggs. Cook it all together, and you’ve got an amazing breakfast when you’re in a hurry.

10. Scrambled Egg Bites

These egg bites have as much variety as you do imagination. Scramble eggs, add salt and pepper, and top them off with any meat, vegetable, or cheese you desire.

Keep up with all your freezer meals with this helpful freezer inventory list. 

11. Make and Freeze Waffles

When my kids get bored with pancakes, we switch to waffles. I love making and freezing waffles because they’re another frugal and easy breakfast recipe my kids will devour any morning of the week.

Need a waffle maker? Check this one out! 

12. Freezer Friendly Banana Bread Muffins

Do you love the scrumptious taste of banana bread? It’s one of my favorites and easy to make, too! Make these freezer friendly banana bread muffins to enjoy even on the busiest of mornings.

13. 15-Minute Make Ahead Breakfast Pizza

If you enjoy pizza, even for breakfast, you’re going to love this freezer breakfast idea. It’s a breakfast pizza which contains bagels, eggs, bacon, and cheese. They freeze beautifully and are great for your busy mornings.

14. Freezer Breakfast Pastries

When I was growing up, one of my favorite breakfasts was a Toaster Strudel. This is what this recipe reminds me of. It’s a puff pastry filled with your choice of jam. How easy and delicious!

15. A Quiche to Build a Dream On

This quiche is a pie crust filled with eggs, meats, cheeses, and veggies. It’s great for dinner or a freezer breakfast. The best thing about this quiche is you can pull it straight from the freezer and bake. No thawing necessary!

16. Freezer Breakfast Cupcakes

Don’t get too excited by the name. These “cupcakes” are actually a savory breakfast muffin. They consist of toast, sausage, eggs, cheese, and seasonings. Though they aren’t a sweet cupcake, it’s still an awesome way to start your day.

17. Freezer Baked Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a fan-favorite around my house. If your family enjoys baked oatmeal, you must try this freezer friendly breakfast idea. It’s great for a quick breakfast and healthy too!

18. Easy Parfait Breakfast Popsicles

Do you enjoy a good popsicle from time to time? Why not have popsicles for breakfast? Thanks to this parfait recipe, you can enjoy popsicles any time of the day.

19. Freezer Cinnamon Rolls

When I first began freezer cooking, cinnamon rolls were one of the first items I made. My family loved them. If your family loves cinnamon rolls, too, you must check out these homemade cinnamon rolls which freeze beautifully.

20. Freezer French Toast Casserole

Do you love French toast but don’t have time to make it regularly? You can now have the flavors you love in this delicious (and freezer-friendly) French toast casserole.

21.  Low Carb Freezer Breakfast Burritos

If you love the taste of a breakfast burrito, but need it to be healthy and convenient, this is your recipe. These burritos are filled with veggies, cheese, and meat. Even better, they can be made with a low-carb tortilla for fewer carbs.

You now have over 20 different freezer-friendly breakfast ideas. Hopefully this will help you and your family to eat healthier and save money by skipping the drive-thru on busy mornings.

Since you have these delicious recipes, pick your favorites, buy the ingredients, and start cooking. Bona-petite!

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32 Cheap Foods to Add to Your Grocery List Today

Are you trying to save money on groceries? Are you looking for cheap foods to purchase on your grocery trips?

If you buy certain types of foods, you may be able to shrink your budget easier than you once thought. I’m going to bring you a list of cheap foods you can buy at the grocery store.

Fill your meal plan using the cheap foods from this list, and you might be surprised how much money you can save by eating differently.

Here are the cheapest foods at most grocery stores:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Cheap Foods: Eggs

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Eggs are a great source of protein and inexpensive to boot. Some eggs can come with a higher price tag if you purchase the organic or cage free options.

Take this into account when purchasing eggs. If you desire cage free or organic eggs it might be less expensive to buy them from a local farmer.

2. Bananas

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Bananas are full of potassium and most people love their sweet flavor. If you’re working on a budget, don’t pass up the bananas in the produce section.

They can make a great snack or used to make a variety of delicious desserts.

3. Rice

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Rice makes a great side dish or can be used as part of a main course. Either way, it’s a cheap food perfect for your grocery list.

If you purchase white rice, it’s generally less expensive than brown rice. Keep in mind, white rice isn’t as sturdy as brown rice which can cause blood sugar spikes.

4. Oatmeal

We love oatmeal around our house. The kids and I eat it for breakfast at least three times per week. You can add fruit to the hot cereal for a healthy treat, and it’s one of our favorite cheap foods.

However, oatmeal is also great to bake with. If you need a versatile and inexpensive item for your grocery list, go with oatmeal.

5. Cheap Foods: Frozen Vegetables

Fresh vegetables can add up quickly when grocery shopping. This is why frozen vegetables are recommended.

They’re less expensive and in many cases, fresher than the unfrozen produce. If you need vegetables, hit the frozen food aisle.

6. Cheap Foods: Dry Beans

I’m not a huge fan of dried beans, but my husband loves them. Nothing makes him happier than a crock pot of pinto beans, fried potatoes, and cornbread.

If you need a frugal protein source which is shelf-stable and healthy, consider buying dried beans.

7. Spinach

Spinach is considered one of the superfoods of the world. It’s excellent for you and is jam packed with vitamins.

If you need a healthy food but are working on a tight budget, reach for fresh or frozen spinach. It’s delicious too!

8. Carrots

I know what it is to work with a tight budget. At one point, I fed six people per week on around $50. It took lots of creativity on my part.

Carrots were used around my house a great deal during this time because they were fresh, healthy, they stored for longer periods, and were affordable.

9. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is another frugal and shelf-stable form of protein. Whether you enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, celery and peanut butter, or peanut butter in your smoothie, it’s a great choice.

You can purchase different brands and sizes to make peanut butter fit into your budget, but it’s a necessity around my household.

10. Garlic

Garlic is a great way to add flavor to your dishes without adding a ton of calories. You can purchase fresh garlic or minced.

I prefer to purchase the minced garlic because it’s easier to store and use whenever needed.

11. Cabbage

Cabbage is a vegetable which should land on every frugal grocery list. It’s inexpensive and able to be utilized in many ways.

You can fry it, boil it, and even ferment it for a healthy condiment. Plus, cabbage lasts for months when stored properly in your refrigerator.

12. Chicken Thighs

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of chicken thighs because I don’t like dark meat. If you do like it, you’re in luck because chicken thighs are an affordable cut.

If you need protein but are working on a tight grocery budget, be sure to add chicken thighs to your list. Keep an eye out for Manager’s Specials. This is a great time to buy chicken thighs to freeze and an inexpensive way to stockpile them.

13. All-Purpose Flour

Flour is a great staple to keep around because it can be used for a variety of things in the kitchen. All-purpose flour can be used for baking in desserts or breads.

However, you can also use it when cooking because it’s great for frying or using in a thickener. When shopping on a budget, it’s vital to buy items which are versatile.

14. Canned Fish

Buying enough protein when working on a budget can be the hardest part because many items high in protein are also expensive.

If you need protein, don’t miss the canned fish. You can purchase canned tuna fish or salmon. They’re an affordable protein option and can be put on your salad at lunch or fried into patties.

15. Canned Chicken

Canned chicken is a great way to enjoy white meat chicken without breaking the bank. You can use it in gumbo style recipes.

But it’s also great for making chicken salad. The best thing about canned chicken is it comes fully cooked which cuts down on your prep time.

16. Cheap Foods: White Potatoes

When we were living on an extremely tight budget, potatoes were one of my go-to options at the grocery store.

The reason being, I could purchase them in large quantities for little money. Plus, potatoes are a versatile vegetable.

17. Pasta

It’s important to say at this point, if you’re buying cheap foods from this list, you should purchase a variety.

If you live strictly off pasta, you won’t be healthy. Pasta is versatile and inexpensive but be sure to pair it with other items on this list.

18. Cheap Foods: Apples

When we need healthy fresh foods, it can be expensive. This is why apples are an amazing food. They’re fresh (and when purchased in-season) they aren’t expensive.

You can slice them up for a snack. They can also be used in desserts or fried to become a favorite side dish.

19. Cheap Foods: Onions

You don’t realize how seasonings add up until you’re working on a meager grocery budget. Suddenly, you don’t have much room for the items which add flavor to a dish.

This is where onions come into play. They’re inexpensive, last for long periods of time when stored properly, and add a ton of flavor.

20. Lettuce

Lettuce doesn’t have a ton of nutritional value, but it’s inexpensive and can help you choose healthier eating habits.

It’s great for salads, toppings on a taco, or used in the place of sandwich bread. There are different lettuce varieties. Be sure to choose the one which will best fit your needs.

21. Cheap Foods: Green Bell Peppers

Green bell peppers make a great snack with ranch dressing, a wonderful topping on a salad, or go well cooked in a dish.

However, notice I pointed out the bell peppers should be green. When you start adding colors to the bell peppers, they become more expensive.

22. Cheap Foods: Hot Dogs

I’ve tried to make this list as healthy as possible, but we’re going to move into the less healthy options because many convenience foods are cheap.

One convenience food which is affordable is hot dogs. You can grill them, boil them, fry them, or bake them to have a quick bite of protein in your meal.

23. Boxed Mac and Cheese

Not all boxed mac and cheese is inexpensive. If you want a quick side dish to go with your hot dogs, be sure to look for the less expensive options.

In most cases, it’s the store brand which uses the powdered cheese. You may have to buy a few extra ingredients to make it, but it’s cheap and shelf-stable.

24. Ramen Noodles

I didn’t eat Ramen noodles until I was married and moved to a different state. It was the first time in my life when money was extremely tight, and I was desperate to feed my family cheaply.

This is when I discovered how ramen noodles could be morphed into great dinners. Add a few inexpensive veggies to the mix, and it’s a quick and delicious meal.

25. Milk

There was a time when milk was getting expensive. Over the past few years, the prices of milk in my area have dropped.

Milk is needed for cooking, drinking, and even baking. Plus, you can drink a glass of milk in the place of a snack to get healthy nutrients and a few calories to fuel your body until the next meal.

26. Sliced Cheese

Some sliced cheese is expensive, but if you buy the processed sliced cheese it’s more affordable. You should check your brands to get the best deal.

Sliced cheese is great as a snack on crackers, or it can be used to make grilled cheese. Either way, it’s affordable and versatile.

27. Saltine Crackers

When you need something to snack on but don’t have a ton of room in the budget for snack-food, where should you turn?

The cracker aisle of course. Saltine crackers are affordable and go well with peanut butter or cheese for an easy snack.

28. Cheap Foods: Chips

Chips are an easy snack and also go well as a side dish to hot dogs or other sandwiches. They also aren’t expensive anymore.

If you shop the store brand, you might be surprised to find how inexpensive potato chips can be.

29. Polish Sausage

It’s obvious there’s plenty of side items and snack foods which are affordable. Protein has always been the biggest hurdle for me when grocery shopping on the cheap.

This is why (even now during my quarterly grocery shopping trips) I still stock up on cheap proteins. Polish sausage is a less expensive protein, which is great for gumbo recipes, cooked with cabbage, or used as a breakfast food.

30. Pork Sausage

Pork sausage is another inexpensive protein. You’ll need to shop brands to make sure you’re buying the least expensive option.

However, pork sausage can be used in rice with seasonings and a sautéed bell pepper for a delicious dinner. You can also use it as a traditional breakfast food or to make sausage balls for a snack.

31. Sandwich Meat

Some sandwich meat can be expensive, but when I needed to pack my husband less expensive lunches, I turned to bologna.

I found a large package of bologna at one of my local grocery stores. I asked the butcher to slice it, brought it home to package in freezer bags, and for approximately $6, I had enough sandwich meat to last for a month or more.

32. Cheap Foods: Specific Types of Cereal

Many cereals are expensive, so again, you’ll need to shop brands when adding cereal to your list. Yet, cereal is a quick breakfast or a good snack.

If you shop store brands, I’ve found rice cereal is usually the most affordable. Check your grocery store sales and look for coupons to make purchasing cereal even more affordable.

This concludes our list of cheap foods to add to your grocery list. Hopefully these 32 foods will help you to slash your grocery bill without a ton of extra effort.

Now that you have these cheap foods, check out recipes where they can be used, and start saving money on your grocery budget. 

Looking for more ways to save on your groceries? Check out these 40 tips!

You can also learn more about saving time and money with quarterly grocery shopping in these two posts:

Preserving Your Own Food: 8 Reasons to Start Now

Do you have a friend who’s in their kitchen constantly during the summer months? Are they preserving their own food?

I understand because I’m this friend to my friends. During the summer months I disappear because I’m busy in my garden and kitchen.

It’s vital I preserve enough food to sustain my family throughout the year. This helps us save money and makes it easier to quarterly grocery shop.

If you’ve ever wondered why people preserve their own food, you’re in luck! I’m going to share a few insights with you on why people put in the work to preserve their own food and why you should get started now:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Less Dough

When you preserve your own food, you save a ton of money. You can grow a large garden or purchase produce in bulk.

Either way, it makes the food less expensive than buying it as needed from your local grocery store. By preserving a great deal of my family’s own food, I’m able to have enough of a stockpile where I can grocery shop only once per quarter.

When I grocery shop at these times, I still only spend approximately what most do in a month because I’ve produced and preserved the majority of what we need.

Check out how my family saves approximately $500 per month on groceries with quarterly grocery shopping.

2. Healthier

Preserving your own food is much healthier than what you buy at the store. You know exactly what’s going into the food you eat, and in many cases, you’ve raised the food from a seed.

There’s no hidden surprises.

Plus, the food is stored in glass jars, no preservatives are used (besides natural canning salt), and the lids are BPA free.

If you’re concerned about the quality of food your family is consuming and their health, preserving your own food is the way to go.

3. Preserving Your Own Food is Delicious!

I tell my husband all the time, when my kids are grown, the first thing I’m going to do is take our tractor and run straight through our two large gardens.

Why? Because they’re a ton of work! When it’s only my husband and I, we won’t need such large plots to raise our own food.

However, I won’t quit gardening all together (until I’m too old to safely do it anymore.) We’ll switch to a nice raised bed garden, have a few containers, and I’ll keep my perennial crops. I’ll still raise enough food to preserve for us.

After canning my own green beans and tomatoes for almost a decade, I can’t go back to the store for these items.

They don’t taste as good from the store (in my humble opinion.) These crops don’t require much effort to grow, canning them isn’t difficult, and they taste amazing!

4. Preserving Your Own Food is Great for Preparedness

Whether it be a storm or a world crisis (such as this pandemic) my family and I don’t have to worry. The reason being is we preserve most of our own food and stockpile the rest with quarterly grocery shopping.

When you preserve most of your own food, you’re ready. You shouldn’t worry when trouble hits because your family has enough food to sustain them.

Plus, if you can start a fire, you can eat. This goes for canned and frozen foods. Preserving your own food always makes sure you’re ready for whatever may happen in life.

5. Preserving Your Own Food is Easier on the Earth

If you’re environmentally mindful, you’ll be glad to know preserving your own food is much easier on the earth.

When you purchase goods from the grocery store, there’s a ton of packaging which comes with it. Even if you recycle the cans, plastic, or other packaging, it doesn’t answer for the packaging the product ships in.

As you preserve your own food, you’ll find you’re able to reuse the containers you store your food in. I’ve had the same canning jars for almost ten years.

We recently purchased the reusable Tattler lids which should last us another couple of decades.

Plus, when you store foods in the freezer or by dehydrating you can use reusable containers or minimal amounts of plastic bags which can later be recycled.

Need food preservation equipment? Check out this dehydrator! 

6. The Original Convenience Foods Were Created by Preserving Your Own Food

Are you constantly frustrated because you feel as though you don’t have enough time to prepare your family home cooked meals?

Therefore, your bank account keeps dropping, the health of your family is concerning, and the food you eat doesn’t make you feel good?

Preserving your own food can help with this. Canning is the original way our ancestors had convenience foods.

You can produce quality meals in less than 30 minutes by opening a few jars of precooked foods. These foods are healthy because you know what’s in them and how they were preserved.

There’s no guilt in this style of convenience food.

Need a healthy meal plan? Check out my carb-friendly meal plan with FREE printable! 

7. Preserving Your Own Food Is a Skillset

Preserving your own food takes time, and it takes the patience of learning a new skill set. Here’s the amazing thing: none of it is hard.

Once you learn how to operate a dehydrator and canner, you’ve gained the skills you need to store food for yourself and your family for the year to come.

It does take an investment when purchasing the necessary materials. Plus, it takes the investment of time.

Deciding whether to invest the time and money to learn to preserve food is up to you, but it certainly can provide a great return on your investment. 

8. Do It Now!

If you’re interested in learning to preserve your own food, the time is now. I say this with a sense of urgency.

As this pandemic rolls through, you begin to see a side of people you didn’t know was there. People are panicked and looking out for themselves.

You don’t want to be at your local store’s mercy when trouble hits. We’ve already seen this isn’t an efficient plan.

The same people who are panicked in the stores have headed online and started stocking up on the equipment necessary to preserve their own food.

It’s nearly impossible to find a good deal on canning jars, canners, or canning lids right now because of the panic many are still feeling.

However, if you’re going to begin preserving food, I encourage you to get your supplies sooner rather than later.

Start learning the skills because unfortunately, the chaos of this world is going to keep happening. You should be prepared for the next round of it.

The best way to be prepared is to practice becoming more self-sufficient and learn to preserve your own food.

Hopefully this sheds some light on why many people go the extra mile to preserve their own food each year.

It’s a great skill to have when being prepared, but it can also help you to save money and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Now that you know the perks of preserving your own food, what are you waiting for? Figure out how to garden on the cheap and start preserving your own foods. 

Create Frugal Window Boxes and Gorgeous Outdoor Decor with These 4 Tips

Do you want to add character to your home without spending a ton of money?

Start with frugal window boxes. You can buy or build your own, and you don’t have to spend a fortune planting in them.

I love window boxes and have had them at most of my homes. The only downside was how much money I spent on flowers each year to make them look good.

This year, we set different goals where I needed to save as much money as possible. One of my husband’s friends told me how to have gorgeous frugal window boxes without spending a fortune.

Here’s how you can have fantastic window boxes without breaking the bank:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Pick Your Window Boxes

Finding window boxes is easy. You can buy them online or purchase them from most big box stores. If you’d rather build your own window boxes, you can.

Decide how many window boxes you want, where they’ll be placed, and note the amount of sunlight the boxes will get throughout the day.

Once you have your flower containers and decide on placement, you’re ready to start creating your frugal window boxes.

2. What Will You Grow?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You can use window boxes as gardening space for herbs and vegetables.

I use my window boxes to grow flowers because I have plenty of inground gardening space around my house for fresh veggies and herbs.

What you will grow in your window boxes is up to you. If you choose to go with herbs or vegetables, don’t overcrowd your boxes. You can grow:

·       Patio tomatoes

·       Peppers

·       Basil

·       Cilantro

·       Parsley

·       Strawberries

·       Squash

·       Pickling cucumbers

·       Chives

·       Lavender

·       Mint

If you prefer to go with flowers, you can choose to plant a variety in each box. You can also grow wildflower mixtures or plants which flow like wave petunias. There are a variety of flowers which can work well in your frugal window boxes.

3. Place and Sow

Once you know what you’ll be growing in your window boxes, it’s time to fill them with quality soil and sow the seed.

You can save a ton of money by growing the plants yourself instead of purchasing seedlings.

If you want vegetables, herbs, or a variety of plants, start the seeds indoors until they’re big enough to transplant outdoors in your window boxes.

However, I chose to go with a wildflower mixture this year. It made things a ton easier. I sprinkled the seeds over the dirt and waited.

If you live in a colder climate, you may want to move your window boxes into your garage, greenhouse, or inside your home to give them enough warmth to germinate.

Otherwise, sprinkle the seeds in the boxes outdoors, water regularly, and wait. If you go with a wildflower mixture, they’ll look like weeds for the first month of growing.

After this stage, they’re gorgeous!

4. Watch Them Grow

It’s important to continue to water and fertilize your flowers over the grow season. If you’d like to have frugal window boxes to decorate your home for other seasons, build or buy a few extra boxes.

This will allow you to start the next season’s flowers without cutting your current décor short. Be sure to choose flowers which will flourish in your planting zone and growing conditions.

In my case, my front porch receives mostly shade. Therefore, a wildflower mixture which prefers shade is an optimal choice. Your situation may be different.

Let’s review:

·       Shop the seed section at your local store or buy seeds online

·       Start the seeds indoors or in the window boxes

·       Water and fertilize as needed

·       Choose flowers which work well for your planting zone and growing conditions

By growing your window boxes from seed, you can save yourself a great deal of money and still have gorgeous natural décor around your home.

I hope this helps you to have gorgeous frugal window boxes without busting your budget. Happy growing! 

Be sure to check out these 7 frugal gardening methods to grow vegetables and flowers on the cheap!

5 Effortless Steps to Use Old Tires in Your Garden

Do you need grow-space but are short on time and money?

I’ve been there. Gardening is a necessity for some, when you’re trying to live within your means or save money each month.

It’s important to use what you have available, educate yourself about the frugal gardening methods, and learn which crops are easiest to grow.

One way I made gardening affordable was to use what I already had available. I’m sure you’ve seen people garden in old chairs, toilets, or even buckets.

Have you tried to use old tires to create a garden?

There are many ways to go about it. Here’s how I use tires as raised beds in my garden:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Locate Old Tires

I use old tires as part of my herb garden. It allows me to separate some of the herbs which have a reputation for taking over their grow space.

Therefore, I plant them in the tires to make sure they don’t take over whole raised beds. I’m able to do this because I located old tires.

You may be able to find them at a junkyard, through social media, or around your own property. If you live on a farm, you may be surprised what’s been left there.

I was fortunate to have an entire stack of old tires on a part of our farm that hadn’t been used in years. We hauled them up to the front of the property with a tractor, and I put them to work.

If you don’t live on a farm, don’t lose hope. Old tires aren’t difficult to come by in most places.  

2. Become an Architect

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When gardening with old tires, you may still want them to appear nicely in your garden or yard. You should figure out where you’re going to place them and how they should look.

In my case, I placed them alongside larger raised beds. They work well for us, and it gives our farm a uniform look.

This part is completely up to you. Decide if you want to stack them, line them up, make them into a neat design, or place them sporadically around your property.

3. Channel Your Inner Artist

Once you have the tires placed where you’re going to use them, you may want to decorate them. I’ll be honest, our farm keeps me pretty busy.

Therefore, I didn’t take the time to paint them. If you want your tires to look better, you could apply a layer of paint.

This is a great way to add some color to your gardening area.

4. Play in the Dirt

After your tires are placed and decorated, it’s time to add the dirt. Use any quality soil you have and pour it in the center of the tire.

 I should mention here, you’re growing only in the rubber portion. The wheel should be removed. This provides more grow-space.

After the tire is filled with quality dirt, it’s time to plant your seeds or seedlings. Care for them as you would in any container garden.

Check out this germination mat to help get your garden started!

5. Uses

You may be wondering what you can grow inside a tire. Here are a few suggestions to help you use old tires you have on hand:

·       Mint

·       Lavender

·       Basil

·       Cilantro

·       Chives

·       Parsley

·       Tomatoes

·       Peppers

·       Squash

·       Cucumbers

·       Green beans

·       Small flowers

Hopefully, these tips help you use old tires which are available to you. They’re great for growing vertically or sporadically around your property.

By using what you have on hand and planting a few easy crops, you could be gardening on a budget in no time flat.

Good luck to you and your gardening efforts.

Live Within Your Means with These 13 Tips

Live Within Your Means with These 13 Tips

Are you struggling to live within your means?

Do you even truly understand what this saying involves?

If you haven’t been taught, it isn’t an ability that most are naturally born with. It takes time, study, and understanding to learn how to keep your lifestyle within the confines of your budget.

Don’t become overwhelmed by this idea. I’m going to share some tips I’ve learned through my own life lessons.

Disclaimer: I’m not a financial professional. These are simply lessons and tips I’ve learned through the school of life! This is not meant to be professional advice. Please seek out a professional for any financial assistance you may need.

Here’s what you must know when embracing the concept of living within your means:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. How Much is Coming In?

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To be able to live within your means, you first must know what your means are. Basically, you need to know how much money is coming into your home on a regular basis.

This is going to look different for everyone. Some people get paid like clockwork and make the same amount each pay period.

Others work on commission, piecework, or work for themselves. This means that income is sporadic, and the amounts vary.

I’ve been on both sides of this equation. If you’re part of the latter group, try to average how much income comes into your home on a weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis.

This will help you have a ballpark figure as to what you’re working with.

Need ideas to make more money from home? Check out my post on flexible jobs!

2. Make the Budget to Live Within Your Means

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

Once you know how much money you have, it’s vital to create a budget. This will help you organize your finances.

You can create a budget via Google Docs, write it down on a piece of paper, or create a spreadsheet.

Check out this budget planner to help you keep your finances organized. 

I’ve done all three methods. I’m more old-fashioned and prefer to keep a financial folder where I can store my budget (on paper) inside the folder.

However, I keep a copy on my computer as a back-up. Your budget is where you’ll document how much money you make and also all of your expenditures.

This will show you where you stand financially, where you need to make changes, and how much money you have allotted for different necessities in your life.

3. Embrace Frugality When Living Within Your Means

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Once you know where you stand financially, it’s time to make the necessary changes to ensure you live within your means no matter what life throws your way.

Life is funny. You can be up on a mountain, doing well one moment. The next, you’re in a valley and flat broke.

You can avoid such drastic dips by living below your means on a regular basis.

Again, this will look different for everyone. Don’t base your frugal lifestyle by what you see around you. This is not a one-size-fits-all concept.

I need to insert a disclaimer here: Even if you live below your means your entire life, it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t feel financial hurts along the way. You could still end up busted broke.

However, it’s a good idea to embrace frugality by choice instead of by necessity. If you live below your means, it should make the financial hiccups (you may or may not face in your lifetime) a little easier to deal with.   

Read my tips on saving money each month to help you get started with a frugal lifestyle.

4. Try to Avoid Debt to Live Within Your Means

It’s important to try and avoid debt. This can be difficult because in our current society much of what we do is based upon our credit history.  

Therefore, you might deem it a good idea to keep some type of credit rolling on a regular basis.

However, you must be responsible. My husband and I maintain credit through a car payment, house payment, and we put as many of our monthly bills on credit cards as possible.

This ensures the balances get paid every month, but it also keeps our credit scores in a healthy range.

If you carry debt, you should be intentional about it and make sure it doesn’t grow out of control.

5. Have a Plan to Live Within Your Means

There are some cases when going into debt may actually be the smarter move. A few examples are purchasing a home or purchasing certain items with 0% interest.

When buying a home, you should make sure you have plenty of equity in the purchase from the start. This will make sure you’re never upside down in your purchase.

If something happens that throws your finances through a loop, where you need to get rid of the house, you should be able to. It could also help rectify your financial problem because of the positive equity you hold.

0% interest is another way of ensuring you save for an item. We’ve used 0% interest loans to purchase a tractor and when installing a DIY pool. This made sure that the items we needed or wanted were added into the budget and couldn’t be pushed off if life threw us a curve ball.

However, if you purchase an item for 0% interest, make sure you have a decent down payment, or you have the cash to backup the loan in case life gets tough.

6. Develop the Mindset of Living Within Your Means

Living within your means is a mindset. It doesn’t have to be hard, but it does include financial maturity. You shouldn’t run around racking up debt for things and not have a plan on how you’re going to pay them off quickly.

If you’re basing your whole financial security around affording minimum payments, you’re racing towards a problem.

Therefore, get in the mindset of saving, spending less, paying down debt quickly, and putting away your credit cards.

Operate on cash as much as possible and be determined to not spend more money than you’re making. The goal is to actually spend much less than what you make.

Let this cash envelope system help you!

Get in this mindset, and you’re well on your way to living comfortably within your means.

7. Saving is Important When Living Within Your Means

If you aren’t saving, you aren’t living within your means. It took me years to learn how to save money when raising a family.

In our early years of marriage, it was easy. There were only two of us, we were healthy, and we had two incomes.

When you add kids in the mix, there’s always expenses. It’s worth it, but it can still be hard to learn how to juggle all the added financial responsibility.

Don’t get some percentage or figure in your head. Instead, see what you can realistically save from your budget.

If it’s $5 per week, be thankful. If you can do more, that’s great too.

The idea is to make sure you’re saving something every time you get paid and developing the habit of saving.

You can use this savings account as an emergency fund, a new car fund, a house fund, part of your clothing budget, or as a nest egg for the future.

8. Cars

Cars are such a difficult thing to deal with in life. You need a reliable car, but you don’t want to be strapped to some massive car payment for ten years.

You can use the Dave Ramsey method where you pay cash for cars and keep trading up until you get the car you want and avoid a car payment.

This may not work for you, though. Only you know your financial situation.

To stay within your means when purchasing a car, make sure you provide enough of a down payment that you’ll have positive equity in the vehicle.

Many people get in trouble with cars because they make choices that put them upside down. Try to have a dependable car, with either no payment or an affordable loan you can pay off quickly, and don’t owe more than the car is worth.

9. Vacations

There are a variety of ways to take vacations on a budget. If you can afford to vacation while sticking within your means, you should take the opportunities available to you to get some enjoyment out of life.

Make sure you don’t overextend yourself. Vacations are meant to be enjoyable, not wreak havoc on your finances.

Do your research to ensure that you can take vacations without blowing your budget.

Living within your means is all about balance. You can’t be so busy working to build a life that you forget to actually build a life.

But you can’t be so careless with everything you work for to throw it away because you want to live the high life a few weeks out of the year.

Again, only you know your finances. Strike a balance on vacations to ensure you stay within your means.

10. Clothing

Clothing is another item that can throw people through a loop when they’re trying to live within their means.

Clothes are a necessity, but they don’t have to destroy your budget.

Be sure to incorporate clothing into your budget. Once you know what you have to spend, be sure to shop sales, use coupons, or purchase second hand.

Budgeting for clothes was always difficult for me once I had a growing family. I made sure to save all of my kids’ clothing to pass down.

I also stopped trying to buy full wardrobes at the start of each season. Now, I budget $50 per week for clothing.

At the start of each season I make a list of what my kids need. As sales come around, I pull the money from savings and buy what they need.

I usually save more money than I spend on clothing, but it ensures I always have money on hand to purchase clothes for our family.

11. Food

Groceries are one of the biggest budget busters. There are a variety of ways to save money when grocery shopping.

Shopping sales is important, not going to the store hungry, and figuring out how to grow a few beginner crops are all great ways to save money when grocery shopping.

We started quarterly grocery shopping a while ago, and it has saved us a ton of money. Figure out what methods of grocery shopping work for you.

Whatever works for your life and keeps you living within your means is what you should do. There’s no one-size-fits-all.

12. Your Home

Where we live is another important expense that can either keep us living within our means, below our means, or above them.

We’ve always lived below our means when it comes to our homes. The reason being is my husband is extremely gifted with carpentry skills, and I enjoy designing things myself.

Looking back, we could’ve built a house, but our dreams have shifted as we’ve gotten older. We started life in the suburbs.

Next, we moved to a fixer upper home in the country. It was a gorgeous home by the time we sold it.

Our last (and hopefully final) move was to a small farm. The house wasn’t in disrepair (per say), but it wasn’t glamorous either.

We’ve spent the past three years transforming this home.

Why do all of this work? Because I’d rather pay cash for my upgrades and not be stuck with a huge mortgage for the next 20-30 years for a turnkey property.

You must decide what works for you and your budget. Renting could be a solid option until you save enough money for a down payment and figure out what type of house would work best for you and your family long-term.

Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid of a little bit of work when it comes to purchasing a home. It may not be within your means to buy the glamorous house your heart desires.

Yet, there’s nothing that says you can’t purchase a less expensive home and pour into it over the next decade to make it what you want.

This method may make it easier for you to live within (or below) your means and own a home sooner.

13. Think About Your Future When Living Within Your Means

Our last stop on the “Live Within Your Means Tour” is to consider your future. It’s important to save for a rainy day.

You should invest in your home to help build equity. There are other things you should invest in as well.

Consider life insurance and retirement. If something unexpectedly happens to you, your family needs to be covered.

If you’re fortunate enough to live to an older age, you’re going to want to retire at some point. Make sure you’re making wise choices now to ensure these areas are covered.

These items should be included in your budget, but you should make sure that when you’re working towards living within your means that you don’t ditch these items in an effort to save money.

Your future matters.

I hope these 13 tips help you wrap your head around what it means to live within your means. There are great programs out there to help you dive deeper into wrapping your head around your finances.

Living within your means ultimately comes down to your situation, your goals, gaining wisdom, and utilizing discernment.

Remember, these are only tips. If you need help budgeting or financial planning, seek out a professional.

Good luck as you embrace living within your means!

Are you striving to save money, live within your means, and become more self-sufficient in the process? Check out these helpful tips!

How to Save Money: 30 Tips to Help You Save

Are you looking for ways to save money each month?

We all go through times when our budgets get a little tight. What can you do about it to make sure this is a season and not a lifestyle?

You’ve come to the right place. I’ve got 30 tips to help you learn how to save money each month. You may embrace these tips, adapt and choose a lifelong frugal lifestyle.

Or they could be enough to get you over the financial hump you’re facing.

Either way, check out this list, and see which tips might work to help you save money:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Budget, Budget, Budget to Save Money

Photo by Alexander Mils on Pexels.com

It’s nearly impossible to save money without having a functional budget. I know I harp on this a good bit, but you must know how much money is coming in and how much is going out.

Create a budget so you know what you’re working with. From here, you can develop a game plan to get your financial life back on solid footing.

2. Dine In is an Easy Way to Save Money

Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

Most families waste a ton of money by eating out. I know it’s easier, but at the same time, it’s expensive and less healthy.

If you’re short on time, buy a crockpot.

A crock pot is one of my kitchen essentials!

 If you love the social aspect of dining out, start hosting get-togethers at your home or even at a local park. There are many ways to eat better, save money, and not miss out on seeing those you love.

3. Turn Off the Lights to Save Money

Photo by Sahir Sujahudeen on Pexels.com

Your electric bill is a bill that will fluctuate. Make this work for you. Be sure to turn off all the lights when they aren’t in use.

Be mindful of energy suckers and do what you can to cut down on the amount of electricity you use each month. Consider line drying your clothes or unplugging items not in use. Many electric companies have an app to show you your daily usage. Take advantage of it.

4. Start Streaming

There once was a time that everyone had to have cable. You had few choices and were stuck paying what these companies wanted to charge.

Those days are long gone. Cut your cable and go with streaming services because they’re less expensive. You could skip streaming all together by casting YouTube to your TV for free.

 Some cell phone companies are even offering DisneyPlus FREE for one year. You could stream it on your phone, TV, tablet, or other devices. Check around and see what options you have available to you.

5. Drop the Plan

Some cell phone plans are better than others. Shop around for your cell service. You might be able to get unlimited calls, texts, and data for much cheaper than what you pay for limited services.

Plus, if you have unlimited data/ hotspot use, you may be able to skip your internet bill by using your phone as a hotspot. Don’t forget to check for prepay packages too. Many times, they’re much more affordable than contracts.

6. Catch the Rain

If you live where you have a water bill, it can eat into your budget. Start finding ways to save on your water usage.

Take shorter showers, don’t leave the water running, and if you garden, start collecting rainwater. It’s great for watering your plants. Be mindful of HOAs and county regulations on harvesting rainwater.

7. DIY Laundry Detergent

I’m a laundry detergent snob. I’ll be the first to admit it. In my early days of marriage, I bought the cheap brands until I realized it truly didn’t work as well as the more expensive brands.

However, if you’re trying to save money each month, you may have to bite the bullet and use the cheaper detergents. You could also make your own laundry detergent and save even more money.

8. DIY Cleaning Products

A portion of your grocery bill probably goes to cleaning supplies. It can eat into your grocery budget quickly.

Either shop the dollar stores for your cleaning supplies, buy them in bulk, or make your own cleaning products. It’s easy and much less expensive.

9. DIY Beauty Products

While we’re on the DIY train, let’s talk about beauty products. Some products are expensive and can eat into your budget.

Start making some of your own products at home. You can make DIY deodorant, DIY toothpaste, and even DIY soaps.

10. Grocery Shop Mindfully

Groceries can be one of the biggest budget-busters in any given household. The reason is because we all eat, we all love delicious food, and we all get carried away.

Make sure you grocery shop mindfully to avoid busting your budget. You can still eat well on a budget. It just takes a little more planning.

Check out my tips for grocery shopping on a budget.

11. Think Before You Buy

If you have a tendency to buy things on a whim, you’re overspending. When you make purchases without truly thinking about them, it rarely ends well for your financial situation.

Stop doing this. Instead, put a note in your phone of the item you want to buy. Think about it for 48 hours.

 If you still want it, still think you have a use for it, have shopped around for the best price, and have figured out how to responsibly pay for it, go get it.

12. Grow It Yourself

As stated above, the grocery store can get a large chunk of your money if you aren’t careful. This is why I recommend growing as much of your own groceries as possible when you’re trying to figure out how to save money each month.

This doesn’t have to be hard. You can start a small garden, grow easier vegetables, and even get a few chickens for eggs. Even if you live in the city, some people container garden and raise chickens on rooftops. Yes, city chickens exist, my friends! 😉

13. Shop Secondhand

You don’t have to buy everything brand new. Thanks to social media, buying items secondhand is a ton easier than it once was.

You can now buy clothing secondhand without ever leaving your home. You can also buy used appliances and even cars online. Be sure to do your homework to make sure you’re buying a quality item.

14. Get Creative

Creativity is a necessity when trying to figure out how to save money each month. You may have to think outside of the box.

One instance in my own life is when we began homeschooling. I had to learn how to homeschool on a budget. I came up with some ideas, found many useful resources, and was able to homeschool my children without breaking the bank.

15. Shop Sales

I’ll be real, my husband is the king at finding good deals on used items. I’m not quite as good at it. Therefore, I use my talents for finding good sales.

If you’ll take the time to do some research online, you may find lots of good deals on items you need. Don’t be afraid to use coupons either. I use SouthernSavers.com to help me match sales and coupons.

Check out my post on the major deal I hit when buying homeschool curriculum this year. We’re homeschooling the whole family for under $200!

16. Open the Windows

This takes us back to saving on electricity, but if you have a few cool days in your area, don’t turn on your air conditioner.

Instead, open your doors and windows. The breeze could keep your house cool without using any electricity.

17. Heat Naturally

Six years ago, money was super tight in our household. We lived in a bigger home, and it was killing us to heat it.

My husband installed a wood stove. It kept our home warm, and it cut our electric bill drastically.

We moved to a larger farm a few years ago, and we installed another wood stove because they heat well and save us money. Look for natural and alternative heating sources to shave money from your electric bill.

18. Stay Home

We’ve all had our fill of staying home this year, but it can save you a lot of money. Staying home doesn’t have to be boring.

Instead, get creative and find fun ways to entertain the whole family while staying in. By staying home, you’re spending less on entertainment and less on gas too!

19. Ditch What You Don’t Need

This goes along with budgeting. When you create a budget, you may be shocked to see how little money you have left over each month.

Don’t panic. Instead, start slashing bills. If you don’t need something, get rid of it. For instance, a monthly gym membership may be optional during a financial crisis. You may have to work out at home or via YouTube.

20. Shop for Better Prices

When we had a new baby in the household, my husband and I were interested in making sure we didn’t have money being wasted. Having a new life to take care of will certainly make you mindful of your finances.

I started shopping around for home and car insurance. I was amazed to see how much we were overpaying.

We ended up getting more coverage for less money. It never hurts to shop around and even change insurance companies from time to time.

21. Utilize Acorns

Sometimes saving money each month is more about tricking your mind than anything. My husband had a hard time learning how to manage finances. If he saw money piling up in a savings account, he’d want to spend it.

Instead, we got an account with Acorns. It rounds up each dollar you spend and puts it into a separate account. My husband was able to train himself to save money this way.

 I’m happy to report, he can now stand seeing money in our savings account and not want to spend it! Woot!!

22. Grocery Shop Less

One way to spend less money at the grocery store is to not go as frequently. You can do this by exploring quarterly grocery shopping.

My family and I had many reasons to start this journey, and we save money every month by quarterly grocery shopping. You should check into it and see if it’ll work for your family.

23. Eat Cheaper

Let’s say you don’t cook, or you’ve tried saving money at the grocery store in the past, but it never seems to work.

An easy solution is to simply eat cheaper. If you must eat out, find the best deals. If you head to the grocery store, check out the cheapest foods to buy, and make them fill the bulk of your grocery list.

24. Edible Landscape

Edible landscaping is a great way to save money each month. You plant it once, and as long as it lives, you have food continually.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. You could plant fruit bushes in the place of ornamental. Instead of an ornamental tree, plant fruit trees. Hide asparagus behind some shrubs. You could also use your window boxes to grow herbs or vegetables.

25. Brew It at Home

People spend so much money on buying coffee. I get it. Coffee is amazing, but do you realize how much time and money you waste buying it at a restaurant?

Instead, get a coffee pot and start making your coffee at home. My favorite coffee beverage is a bulletproof coffee. It’s filling and much less expensive than some of the coffee beverages at restaurants.

26. Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk isn’t cheaper every time. You can do the math, find out the unit price, and if it’s cheaper you should try to buy the item in bulk.

This is convenient because you’ll have to shop less, and it saves you money. Anything that saves you both time and money is a winner in my book.

27. Shop Online

I love shopping online. It’s more relaxed and convenient. Plus, I save money! I get special online sales, coupon codes, and I don’t have as many impulse buys.

Not to mention, you can take time to look at your budget while shopping. If you know you’ve gone overboard, one click, and the items can be removed from your cart. Online shopping makes my life a ton easier.

28. Stay Ahead of the Game

Staying ahead of the game is essential when trying to save money on a monthly basis. Be sure to plan ahead for emergencies because they’re going to happen. Acorns is great for this!

Another example is vacations. If you want to take vacations, plan ahead, and figure out how to take them on a budget. The bottom line, the more organized you are, the less likely you are to use credit cards. This will save you interest and another monthly payment.

29. DIY Your Fun

Even if you aren’t a carpenter, take on some small projects to grow your skills. You can DIY lots of fun things to do around your home.

For instance, build a DIY fire pit. We’re actually DIYing a swimming pond this summer. (Tutorial to come soon!) 

You can even have fun and frugal family nights that don’t have to cost you a ton of money. Doing things yourself can save you money each month and still allow room for lots of fun in your life.

30. Invest Wisely

I’m not talking about investing in stocks and bonds. I’m not a financial professional, so you don’t want advice from me on this subject.

However, I have learned it’s a good idea to invest in some items upfront to save money in the long run. For our fun family nights, we purchased a projector and a tent to have outdoor movie nights and camp outs at home.

Though I spent money upfront, we will get many fun family nights from these purchases.

Know what items to invest in that will give you many fun times with your family without costing an arm and a leg every time you want to do something fun. Those are usually wise investments.

Hopefully these 30 tips will show you how to save money each month. Every idea may not work for every situation.

It’s my hope that they’ll at least inspire you and give you ideas on how you can save money.

Good luck to you in your money saving efforts. Remember, hard seasons come and go. Learn from the hard times but know that brighter days are coming! 

Interested in learning how to become more self-sufficient? Check out my post!