Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult—try one of these 5 creative ways to save money!
1. Plan Your Meals
Food can be very expensive, but can also be cheap if done properly. Set aside time at the beginning of each week to plan your meals. Once you’ve planned your meals, make a list and go grocery shopping. Shopping with a list and specific meals in mind will make it easier to avoid unnecessary impulse purchases. To make the most of your planned meals, it may be wise to set aside a day for eating leftovers. Planning meals makes it easier for you to pack lunch for work and avoid eating out during the week. Cooking meals at home is healthier and less expensive than eating out so you’ll protect your waist and your wallet.
2. Look For Cheaper Alternatives
You can save a lot of money by making clever substitutions. You don’t have to completely give up the things you need and want, just find cheaper alternatives. Here are great creative ways to save money:
- Opt for generic brands. Often we are paying much more for the same product.
- Go to the movies during matinee hours, or find deals through your local movie theatre.
- Make meals from scratch instead of buying prepackaged mixes.
- Drink water instead of soda.
- Go hiking with friends instead of paying for other activities.
- Plan a picnic at a nearby park for your next date.
- Borrow books and movies from the local library instead of buying them.
- Ride your bike to work or take public transit.
- Trade off babysitting duty with a neighbor every other week instead of hiring a babysitter when you go out.
- Switch to a lower data plan on your phone.
- Look for clothes at thrift stores.
- Settle for a smaller TV or an older model computer.
3. Socialize At Home
Spending time with friends can quickly chew through your wallet—but saving money doesn’t mean you have to give up your social life. You can have lots of fun at home, and save a lot of money. Here are some great examples of being social at home:
- Invite friends over for a potluck dinner and have everyone bring something to share.
- Plan a game night with your friends and play board games or silly party games (depending on the crowd). Have each friend recommend a favorite game and teach it to the rest.
- Cook dinner together at home for your weekly date night.
4. Give Homemade Gifts
Thoughtful, homemade gifts can save you money and tell your loved ones you care about them. Use your time and talents to come up with gifts your family and friends will appreciate. Homemade gifts are great for saving money.
- If you are an artist, draw or paint something for your friends.
- If you love knitting, make your family scarves or hats for the winter.
- If you love crafting, make holiday wreaths to give to your friends.
- If you are a photographer, take photos of your friends or family members for free.
- If you enjoy woodworking, carve small toy animals for your nieces and nephews.
- If you love cooking, prepare a book of family recipes to give to a friend who loves cooking.
Homemade gifts have a personal touch that you can never find at a store. Save money while creating a personalized gift for someone you care about.
5. Be Patient
Part of saving money is good, old-fashioned, patience. Learn to wait for the things you don’t really need. If you find something new you want to purchase, but can do without, wait thirty days. This will give you time to be sure you want the item, and it also gives you time to save up for it.
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. Just make small lifestyle changes and watch the little things add up.