What are some of your life hacks for saving money? For example, I deleted shopping and food delivery apps from my phone, and it has reduced ridiculous financial waste. After someone asked an online financial community for their best hacks, here are their tips for saving and avoiding overspending.
1. Meal Prep
Meal prepping helps you to eat healthier and budget better. Selecting items that effortlessly combine with other meals prevents the monotony of the same meal every day.
As one money-saving person suggested, mixing meats, rice, and veggies mean you can fashion three different meals: “rice bowl, burrito, and a sandwich.”
2. Bring Cash
If you're an impulse buyer, often lamenting an unnecessary spur-of-the-moment purchase, leave the credit cards at home. Instead, take a set amount of cash you can afford to spend. That immediately halts your ability to purchase above what you can afford to pay. “Give each dollar a job,” another explained, instead of spending it all.
3. Use a Rewards Credit Cards
The previous is for impulse buyers who must leave the cards at home. For those who shop for what they need, plenty of people mention getting them when and if your credit card has rewards.
If you need something, wait for a bargain like increased cash back for purchases or flyer miles if you love traveling. Wisely exercising your card brings you the essentials with a little something extra. Even using them to pay bills can earn you rewards; pay it off as soon as it clears.
4. Cook More, Dine Out Less
Restaurant meals are pricey, and it adds up if you do this regularly. So instead, enjoy cooking at home. It's healthier in the long run as you can portion what you need to eat and, if you have a vacuum sealer, freeze the rest to enjoy later.
Plenty of posters emphasized cooking meals rather than eating out with friends. You can even bring some of that home-cooked deliciousness to work so you have lunch the following day.
5. Do Everything In Bulk
If you have the space, buy in bulk, cook in bulk, and get ingredients in bulk. Items like toilet paper are cheaper in bulk; you always use it, so rather than buying two or four rolls, go big at twenty or more.
The same goes for pet food, coffee, and various other items. Buy bulk meat when it's cheap and freeze it. You'll save more and shop less.
6. Save and Save Some More
Saving doesn't always need to be a considerable sum to start, or at all. A few said to take the difference you saved on a sale and put it into savings. For example, if you purchase a product that's $22 but was initially $26, put that four-dollar difference into a savings account.
For paychecks, set up an amount to automatically withdraw from your checking to savings. If you want to invest, apps like Acorns round up card purchases to the next dollar and invest the difference.
7. Sleep On It
To limit impulsive buying, set a budget that allows you some funds for frivolous purchases, and save the rest. Also, analyze your spending while making your budget to see how much goes to non-essentials, and that's where you start to cut things from your spending habits, as an intelligent saver explained.
Many offered this gem to avoid impulse buying, “Sleep on it,” because when you do, you'll realize you “don't need it.”
8. Enjoy The Outdoors
Take some food you prepared and meet friends outdoors. There are always fun activities to do that do not require purchasing anything. My friend and I adore just walking around and talking.
We'll stop for a coffee or a meal if we haven't seen each other in a while. But we rarely do anything else that costs a hefty sum. As one nature lover noted, “it's free!”
9. No Waste
A big one that ties into everything is to keep waste to a minimum—this includes groceries, other shopping, and utilities, a wise commenter explained.
Buy what you need, and enjoy perishables before other foods. Conserve electricity, water, and gas. Wear your clothing out before purchasing more. You'll buy less and waste less, getting more bang for your buck.
10. Shop Secondhand
Finally, someone suggested that when you must purchase a necessity, be it clothing or other products, look to secondhand or used. You can find unique items without the exorbitant price tag, particularly with clothes.
Research the best places, online or in-person, to purchase items secondhand. There are even apps out there that allow you to trade stuff. Look to those to get rid of something you no longer want and find something you do.
This thread inspired this post.