If you’re a naturally frugal person or have been frugal for a while you have no doubt caught on that so many money saving tips are repeated over and over.
With all of the money saving tips on repeat and being overplayed, it’s hard to filter through for the true smart money gems we didn’t know we needed.
You could argue that there are only so many ways that you can trim costs, but is that really a valid argument?
With so many different ways to bring in money through jobs or side hustles, can there really be a limit to how many ways you can save money?
Here are some money saving tips that you’re tired of seeing and reasons for why they aren’t the greatest.
Don’t buy coffee every day
You see this one mentioned often, but how many people actually buy a coffee every day of the week? I know that people like this exist but I feel it’s in the minority because more people make coffee at home and only treat themselves to Starbucks once in a while.
With coffee costing $5 a cup, you could save over $1000 a year by not buying a cup of joe every morning. That’s enough to pay for a nice vacation! For those of us frugal people that already don’t do this, we just wish we could see that money in our wallets and the sand between our toes.
I personally use a programmable 12 cup coffee maker because I can set it to start brewing before my morning alarm. Waking up to the smell of coffee and being able to pour a hot cup before I finish getting dressed is such a great feeling.
To save even more money on my coffee, I buy my grounds in bulk, creamer that’s on sale (I like the flavored ones) and I have a reusable coffee filter that I rinse out every night and reuse every day. It doubles as eco-friendly and I never have to worry about running out of paper filters because I don’t need them.
Skip getting your nails done
Getting your nails done professionally is a great treat for many. The feeling of sitting in the comfy chairs and the joy of having beautiful nails is one that feels spa-like to so many women. Unfortunately, it can get pretty costly.
The original set and fills, maintenance or upkeep are all costs that may not be thought of. Then you have the tip at the end to thank the nail tech for their service, which is another good chunk of money.
It’s no wonder people say to try and do your nails at home instead. It not only helps you to save money but it can also help you to learn a skill or two on your own.
Thankfully Walmart and other stores have easy nail applications that you can buy and glue on so you get a great looking nail at a fraction of the price.
Go longer between hair appointments
So many frugal living tips are meant for females (why is that?) unlike a man that could walk into a barbershop for an $8 trim, women are left paying so much more. Pink tax or simply because we have more to work with? You decide.
For women, it’s a trim, layering and styling. There can be hair washing or coloring adding to the costs too. Going a little longer between appointments can really help to make the costs feel cheaper.
I’ll be honest here, I’m about as frugal as a gal can get when it comes to luxuries like this, so seeing money saving tips like this does nothing for me. My last haircut was August 2018 and that was a gift from my mom.
6 years prior to that was the only time I ever paid for a haircut as an adult and all of the other times have been my husband chopping it off and getting the ends straight. (This takes a lot of trust ladies! Haha)
I don’t think I know a single person (besides the senior community) that keeps a regular standing hair appointment. Do younger people still do this?
Pack your own lunch
If you go to work and buy lunch every day you could be wasting a lot of money. Bringing your own lunch means that you can bring in leftovers, eat more frugally, and pocket the cash instead.
[Related] Check out these ways to repurpose leftovers into new meals.
Not only that but when you pack your own lunch, you know you’re going to get your own order correct. Nothing stinks more than when you look forward to a food order only to find out that something is missing and you can’t go back and fix it.
Stop eating out at restaurants
I have met one person that goes out to eat at a restaurant of some sort for every meal of the day. This is because they don’t know how to cook and don’t want to learn and as a result, their monthly bills for food are costing them a fortune every month.
Frugal people don’t do this though. Can you remember the last time you actually sat down to eat at a restaurant or swung through a fast food line? If you only do this once or twice a month you may not notice big savings by stopping this habit.
If you do find a chance to pay for a nice restaurant meal, there are plenty of tips you can take with you to save money on your meals and make it a more frugal experience.
How many times do you see this one? I swear that line “if I had a dime” comes to mind. (This is possibly one of the most repeated money saving tips).
Cutting cable can save you a bundle if done correctly, but it can also do nothing for your budget if you do it wrong. -Yes, you can do it wrong.
The year is 2020 and the number of tv streaming devices is constantly increasing. With Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, and countless others all getting their slice of the pie, and all costing a few bucks each, it’s easy to get yourself hooked up with multiple streaming options at once.
When you have several services, you have several bills and at one point or another, you’re going to realize you aren’t actually saving money. What’s the cost of cable vs the cost of all of your current streaming devices?
While you can choose a non-ethical option and get a jailbroken hacker remote to see tv cheaply every month, I’m going to stick to giving out legal advice.
To save money on cutting out cable, consider only paying for one or two streaming devices at a time. When you want to try a new one, cancel payments for one that you have before applying for another. This way you can keep your monthly subscriptions manageable and frugal.
I don’t know about you, but this one is really hard for so many people to even try to do! For those of us working side hustles from home trying to make a living, the internet kind of helps to pay the bills.
If I didn’t have internet I wouldn’t have a successful blog or be making money freelance writing every month.
Then you have homeschool families- they need the internet too. Beyond that, you also have a ton of technology and devices that stream and use internet as well.
Going to a public library or somewhere where there is free internet means opening yourself up to the chance you’ll talk yourself into stopping for food, buy something or the costs of gas and transportation to get there.
When you add up all of the potential costs, driving out to a place with free internet every day sounds a little crazy and extreme. Especially when you can get basic internet for pretty cheap.
Drink tap water
Honestly, this is good advice and eco-friendly when you compare the cost of tap water to plastic water bottles. But having lived all over the country, I can honestly say that not all tap water is created equally.
Not to mention, there are even places in the US with unsafe drinking water and under boil advisory warnings. So this tip doesn’t work for everybody.
But for those of us that can use this tip, making water more palatable can be a good way to encourage drinking tap. Having tasted fluoride filled water, water that smells heavily like chlorine or even tasted soapy feeling tap water sometimes investing in a sink faucet water filter can be a good way to get rid of the grossness and make the water more inviting to drinking.
Don’t go to the movies
Frugal people already don’t go to the movies, right? Or is that just me? I swear it’s been over 6 years since I last went to the movie theater and as much as I want to go back, I just can’t justify the expense in my budget. Not to mention the kids can’t sit still long enough.
So the piece of advice often given is to rent a movie and watch it at home instead of going out. But, as expensive as going to the movies can be, there are several ways that you can save money on your next movie night.
- Groupon often has discounts for movie tickets, and this helps to trim the cost on admission.
- T Mobile Tuesdays often gives out free or discounted movie tickets as well.
- There are also different times per day where movie ticket prices are cheaper. Earlier in the afternoons, for example, are much cheaper than evenings.
Saving money walking in the door is nice, but the biggest cost of a movie theater is their concessions. Splitting popcorn and a drink can set you back a pretty penny, but watching a movie without snacks feels like you aren’t getting a full experience.
If you can handle the film without popcorn, eat prior to going so that you feel full, or plan a meal afterward so you can not be hungry for too long. Some movie theaters allow outside food and drink, so keep an eye out for those as well.
Don’t impulse buy
An often repeated piece of advice is not to impulse buy. This is so much easier said than done though! For so many people (myself included) it’s practically impossible to avoid impulse buying 100%.
A smart way to impulse buy is to make sure that the item is something you actually need. If you’re going to use it, and it’s not a waste of money, and you can afford to get it, it can be a smart impulse buy.
If you find yourself tossing too many in your cart during any trip and blowing your budget, consider ordering groceries for pickup or delivery to keep yourself from ruining your grocery budget.
Buy discounted meal kit services
You’ve seen them, I know you have. It’s impossible not to have seen an advertisement for one of these meal kit services especially with all of the celebrity endorsement.
Several people claim that these boxes could help to trim a food budget, but could they really?
The costs of these meals and weird ingredients are often the same (if not more) expensive than a meal at a restaurant, and you still have to do all of the work. Plus side, you get to keep a recipe card at the end.
With this luxury purchase you only really save money if you use it in place of a night out. Instead of going to a restaurant to eat, you make your own meal with the kit at home and save some cash.
If you’re a naturally frugal person, you already know how to feed a family for cheap and how to stretch a food budget pretty far with cheap recipe ideas.
The big money saving tip here is that if you’re going to get one of these boxes, you want it to be as discounted as possible in order to really feel like its financially worth it. Getting a discounted trial plus referral credits from having friends sign up is pretty much the only way to do this.
A lot of the people that sign up for these things quit after the discounts run out. For obvious frugal reasons.
Give up paper products
Reusable products are a great way to save money and to help the earth, but sometimes the luxury of disposable is nice.
When you’re sick and need a tissue 24/7 as you suffer from the latest cold or flu, doesn’t it feel so much better to rub your nose with a sheet of 2 ply Puffs Plus with Lotion than it would to rub it with a washrag? Your poor nose would be rubbed raw and red.
Not to mention, when you’re sick and exhausted, doing laundry to wash your snot rags is the last thing you want to do.
For the parents that work long hours only to come home and cook and clean every evening before bed, paper plates make life a little easier on the hard days.
While I cloth diapered my youngest, not everyone can handle the stress of it all. Constantly having the perfect wash routine, dry time, stuffing, folding, fitting, and teaching others to do it when you’re not around. It’s a lot going on at any one time and as cute as fluff butts are, it’s not for everybody.
Buy in bulk
For so many people buying in bulk is a great way to save money, but this piece of advice is also often overused. Not everybody can or should buy in bulk.
The single person, a family of 2 or small frugal family isn’t going to get the same enjoyment or financial benefits of a Costco or Sams Club membership as a family of 5+ would.
There are a few times per year where the cost of a membership to Costco is made discounted and loaded with freebies so that it is “worth it.” But if you are paying money on bulk food that won’t be eaten before it spoils, paying gas to get out there and back and keeping up with membership dues, it may not be worth it to continue.
While there may be a few good purchase prices at a bulk store, you can often find better prices at a regular grocery store if you compare store ads and pay attention to sales cycles.
While saving money is a great way to stretch your income and budget, finding rare or unique ways to save money feels impossible to many.
What are some over-used pieces of money saving tips and advice you keep seeing everywhere? Share in the comments below!
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