Today I am sharing 10 simple ways we save money as a minimalist family.
This morning I was talking to my husband while he was packing his lunch. I asked him, “does everyone at work bring their lunch and eat together?” He said “NO”. Telling me that everyone he works with goes out to lunch every day. He is the only one who brings his lunch! This is when I decided to share 10 simple tips on how we save money.
First of all, I love to save money! Don’t worry these tips can work for you. Even if you don’t love saving, because they are really simple.
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BRING YOUR LUNCH
If you bring your lunch you will save money. Now that I am a stay at home mom this still applies. I always pack everyone a lunch no matter where we go.
You will save money on the actual food that you aren’t buying and you will save gas money too. When I use to work a 9 to 5 job I brought my lunch and it only took me 30 minutes to eat. We had a mandatory one-hour lunch break, so for my other 30 minutes, I either went for a walk or I would read a book.
All my coworkers who bought their lunch spent that extra 30 minutes driving around trying to find something to eat.
Do this simple calculation!
Amount your lunch costs
Multiply by days in a week
Multiply by weeks in a year.
This is how much your lunch is costing you a year.
Now if you multiply this by the number of years you have been working, you will see how much you could have saved.
This simple calculation will show you exactly how much you are spending by going out to eat. Bringing your lunch is usually about half the price of going out.
I use to bring a healthy frozen dinner, which is a super simple solution if you don’t have time to prepare a meal. “The cost of eating out is $11 per meal on average, whereas preparing your own lunch costs around $6.30 per meal. Over the course of a year, you could save $1,222″ Says, Jill from Wealth Fit.
WATCH 10 Simple Ways to Save Money – How we SAVE as a Minimalist Family:
Making coffee at home saves so much money. The average coffee costs at least $3 or more dollars. For a large fancy ice coffee, it is more like $6 to $10!
If you get a large bag of coffee it is relatively cheap and can usually make 100 or more cups of coffee. Plus coffee is so easy to make and you can take it on the road with you.
Besides saving money you will also save time, especially if you are on your way to work. I like to program my coffee machine so when I wake up my coffee is ready and waiting.
I love to use the Bubba Cup! These cups can be used for cold or hot drinks, they keep your drink so hot for hours!
DON’T BUY WATER
Water is free (where we live) so why would you buy it? I never understood this, but for a long time, I was convinced I needed to buy water! The water companies make you think you need their “clean” water.
I will let you in on a secret I didn’t know about until recently. Most of the bottled water is the same water that comes out of our taps! All they do is run it through a filter (which you can do yourself) and they put it in a plastic bottle. P.S. the plastic bottles are not good for you either.
I drink a ton of water! We were buying a 36 pack of plastic water bottles at least once a month. By changing this habit we are saving money and we are saving the earth. Now we use a simple water filter system and we bring our water everywhere we go.
We used a Brita water system for a long time and it always worked great!
DON’T BUY DRINKS
If you really want to save money skip the soda and juice. We don’t need either of these drinks to survive and a lot of health sources say it’s really bad for you. I stopped drinking juice when I was a teenager.
Consuming a ton of extra calories for no reason was not the best idea. I stopped drinking soda and my mysterious stomach problems completely went away. So I can save money and it will make me healthier? Yay!
NO SNACK PACKS
I choose to pack up our snacks myself. When packing my kid’s lunch I take the extra 5 seconds to make a peanut butter and jam sandwich instead of buying the frozen ones. I understand a lot of people don’t have the time to do this, but if you do, you will save.
Look at the cost of those individual packs of apple sauce and compare it to the cost of a jar. There is a huge difference! I noticed a huge difference in the price of snack pack fruit too.
When shopping I like to look at the price per ounce. This will show you exactly how much you are saving. I promise you if you stop buying packaged food you will end up saving a lot of money over time.
We finally cut the cable! Two years ago our cable company started raising the price of our basic cable plan. At first, I thought, ok what is another 5 dollars, but then they started raising the price every other month.
I was really annoyed but, I was so afraid that I was going to miss my SHOWS! I kept thinking how will I know what is happening on HGTV? Well after 2 years of no cable it turns out we are fine!
We have Netflix, the basic free news channels, and we have the internet. I still know everything that is going on and we are saving $60. a month. That is a grand savings of $1440 for doing nothing but cutting cable.
MAKE SIDE INCOME
I am not going to lie and say “it’s so easy to make extra money”, but for us, it wasn’t that hard either. The first thing we did was tell everyone that we were looking to make some extra money. My husband told his boss and he has been offered quite a few weekend jobs. I cleaned my grandpa’s house!
If you look you can usually find some way to make some extra money here and there. It all adds up!
You could start a YouTube channel! (this is something that can take a long time before you make money). I started a minimalist channel and after a year and a half of making videos, I am finally starting to make a little money.
The good thing about starting a YouTube channel is it’s completely free. All it takes is a good idea. I started by filming on an old camera and using some free editing software. It takes time, but it is worth it because now I have a way to make extra money without having to rely on anyone else (besides YouTube LOL).
DIRECT DEPOSIT MONEY
Make sure you are saving this extra money. I have found it is easy to spend this extra money, so you want to make sure you are actually saving it! I opened a savings account and every month there is a direct deposit from my checking to my savings.
Decide how much you can save each month and set up the deposit so you don’t accidentally spend your savings.
USE THINGS UP
Use the stuff you have before you buy more. For years I would buy shampoo and soap without completely using up what I already had. It is always fun to start with a new product, but I found I never went back to use up the old stuff.
Eventually, I would throw out the old stuff and that was a waste. So now I only buy a replacement after everything is completely used up.
In the kitchen, it is also a great idea to use up all of your food before you shop. I have saved a lot of money by trying to get creative in the kitchen, using everything we have before we shop, this way less food is going to waste.
YES TO CREDIT CARDS
I say YES to credit cards. This will only allow you to save if you are on a strict budget and YOU PAY OFF THE CREDIT CARD IN FULL EVERY MONTH. All of our monthly charges go on our credit card.
We don’t use the card as credit. Only buy what you need and instead of using cash using the card and at the end of every month pay it off in full. This way the money in your bank makes interest and you get cashback at the end of the year from your credit card. I only suggest this system if you never buy anything you can’t afford.
I hope some of these tips help you to grow your savings account!