I talk a lot about money-saving on here because it seems that is still the number one reason why people can’t travel.  It’s not that they don’t want to, or don’t have the time, it’s just that they don’t have the funds. Recently, I posted about ways you can cut down on your actual travel budget.  I wanted to share with you ways that I’ve cut down on my every day spending. 

Savings can be used for anything, but we often like to spend our savings on travel. My husband and I have our ups and downs when it comes to getting serious about saving money.  Some weeks we do real well, and other weeks we through caution to the wind and go straight to the mall and out to eat wherever we feel like.

Recently, we’ve been finding ways to save a little here and there and it’s been going a long way.

1.  Not buying more groceries until we eat everything we had.  That sounds like a no brainer, but we often will go buy more food if we’re craving something, instead of just eating whatever we have until it’s gone.  There was a whole two weeks where we decided we wouldn’t buy anything, we would just eat what we had.  You’d be surprised how much food is actually in your cabinets that just sits there. We made a crock pot of soup and put all the canned veggies and beans we could find.  We used up every bag and box of rice and noodles that we’d been storing.  We made muffins from a mix we had, we had oatmeal for breakfast… we ate everything.  I challenge you to try this and let your creative side come out and see what you can make with what you have.  This is fun even if you’re not trying to save money.

2.  Pack your lunch or go home for lunch.  I have the ability to go home for lunch, so I always do.  My husband is a little further away and used to buy lunch at least 2-3 times a week.  Mostly because it was easier.  Now, we opt to pack the majority of the time.  This also saves money because you end up eating ALL the leftovers.  

3.  Ordering cheaper and smaller drinks at Starbucks.  I love lattes and the new Flat Whites.  However, I don’t love to spend $5 on a drink.  I’ve been getting Americanos, or just regular coffee in small sizes and for as often as I buy Starbucks, it ends up saving some $$$.  I have also decided to stop going as often as I have, and make coffee on my lunch break.  I recently got an espresso maker so I can even make my own at home before I go back to work, which should save me even more money.

4.  Going to the thrift store first before buying something brand new.  I have always been a thrifter, because I love vintage things.  But if I need something like a picture frame, a kitchen utensil or a household item, you can often find quality items for really inexpensive.  A lot of my favorite kitchen pieces, like a crystal creamer, I bought from a thrift store for less than $2.  I have found brand new pots and pans and hand towels at the thrift store too.  I also got a small table for our living room that had already been repainted for $10.  Always go there to see if you can find something before dropping $50-$100 at the store for the same thing.

5.  Acquiring hand-me-downs.  I’ve recently hosted a clothing exchange party and a home goods exchange.  In a nut shell, people bring things they don’t need or use anymore and everyone looks through the items brought and takes what they would like.  At the clothing party, I got a great jacket I could use for travel and at the home goods party I got a great a great set of new pans.  A lot of us have things that we don’t use lying around that we can give away and if we need something, maybe someone else has that and then you don’t have to go buy it.

Do you have ways you can cut down on your spending? 

Nina Thomas

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