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What does being frugal mean?
There are a lot of different ways to save money and takes effort to be more conscious of how you are spending on what. Being forced to call yourself out on how you spend carelessly will be difficult at first, but then you will appreciate yourself for doing so and be on the lookout for ways to save.
Careful, sparing, penny-wise…these all mean the same. No shame in being being wise .
***First off, you need to be taking advantage of cashback and coupon sites, they are there to help save money! If you partake in more than one of these, it is actually possibly possible to MAKE MONEY on some purchases.
Ebates is my favorite because you don't have to do anything, you just start your account and every website you go to, an little pop up appears on your screen telling you how much you can save.
You click on the link, and it will automatically put money into your Ebates account after you checkout.
Shopular is another great one to use, and you will get a $10 start up bonus here! The cashback rates for each store will fluctuate, but all your savings are collected in your account and you are payed via PayPal.
Ibotta is a cashback app that also has a focus on grocery purchases…and you will get a $10 bonus for opening your free account.
Start paying attention to all your little purchases throughout your day, each and every day. This is step one for insight into what you are really spending money on, and this will make it clear which buys can be substituted for something else, or not needed at all.
Know what you spend your money on:
This one thought alone opened my eyes to all the money I was wasting every single day.
The little things we spend on may seem little at that very moment, but when you calculate how much a certain item is costing you per week…well it can be quite a surprise.
Besides my previous daily purchase of a RedBull being TERRIBLE for my health, it was also TERRIBLE for my budget. At about $3 a day, I was spending about $100 a month on one little beverage every day!!!! Crazy. And completely unnecessary.
How many “Redbull” similar buys can you find that you make each day?
For one single week, keep a diary and write down everything that you buy. One week. Your journal. Not one single person will read it…but you. You will definitely notice some unnecessary buys, so maybe use a highlighter on those as you discover them. You will also notice some things you buy that you can either find a better deal on, or can buy something else to substitute and save money.
Related: SOS My Budget
This opened my eyes to a lot of the other crap I was carelessly spending money on each day. Try not to judge yourself, just simply keep a record for one week. Once you realize all the little things you could possibly find in a more cost conscience way, the quicker you can start to change the way you spend money.
Related: Meal Planning For Busy Families
The no judgement part is key…you will just have to change your perspective to change your bank account. As long as you pay attention to all the unnecessary buys, you will start to prioritize much easier in your mind.
🌻 Meal planning to save money right
Little decisions like buying coffee to make at home instead of grabbing it on the go, planning meals ahead of time so you are not forced to buy fast food or junk food that may be available at lunch or dinner time.
- Brandless has cold coffee brewing beans so you can have an entire pitcher of coffee to take with you whereever you go (will last you days) for only $3 instead of $3+ each drink.
Print out your meal planning worksheet below so you can start saving time and money on meals…
All of these things seemed so minuscule, but altogether I started saving HUNDREDS of dollars by breaking a few of my bad habits like buying daily RedBulls and coffee on the go. I started bringing my own lunch, buying a to-go coffee mug and bring my own coffee instead.
If the idea of meal planning makes you feel stressed already, I can totally relate. This is why I chose to try out the 5DollarMealPlan service. Erin sends you seven (budget loving) meals every week to save you time and money. You are only paying basically $1.25 per week to have someone plan out what to eat. SO GREAT! Plus, once you sign up, you have access to the vault of weekly recipes, so you will never ever run out. You are paying $5 a month for HUNDREDS of recipes, and can start or cancel anytime you want.
🌻NEW FIND for food and home goods:
Have you heard of Brandless? They are a website that offers certified organic food items, common household items, and beauty products…for $3. No item is priced over $3. AND, they will donate meals to those in need when you make an order or share their posts on social media (they will donate 10 meals in your name PER SHARE). Even if you don't shop there, just take a second to share so the word gets out.
🌻Places to find deals on clothes:
- PoshMark– You can buy OR sell clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. Have your account set in minutes. Everyone seems super supportive, and you can look up brand names, or the style you are looking for. (Adults and children). By FAR my favorite.Get $5 off your first purchase with code SERADIANE82 when you join me on Poshmark!
- Schoola-an online clothing store for gently used clothing for kids, and a portion of each purchase goes to schools in need.
- Shein– always has an awesome sale.
- Mercari– buy and sell just about anything. Secondhand awesomeness
- Vinted– clean out your closet! Sell and buy gently used clothes online with ease. And no fees.
- Swap.com– sell or buy gently used clothing and toys.
- Zulily – clothes, toys, household items, and so much more that is always on sale.($10 bonus through my link!)
🌻Games and crafts for children:
- Highlights Magazines for Children– they are known for their addicting search and find puzzles…but offer magazines for different age groups. Often times you will get a free gift with your subscription, they offer an awesome Podcast (FREE) for you and your little one to listen to, AND they have a really cool Pinterest board that offers up ideas to keep your little one busy and learning.
- MadeToBeAMomma– a sweet family related blog that gives you tons of craft ideas.
- MyBoredToddler– this blog will give you all kinds of ideas for activities and crafts to do with your little one.
- EasyPeasyAndFun– this blog is another great resource for teaching your children fun and cheap crafts to do at home, and also teaching them how to draw and offer coloring pages to print out.
- GrowingAJeweledRose– They offer all kinds of recipes for play. For every holiday, inside or out, and many more other categories.
🌻My top places for buying art
- etsy– great place to find whole sale suppliers if you sell your own jewelry
- Fabric.com– high quality fabrics at awesome prices…if you are a quilter, this website is heaven online.
- Blitsy– This store is home to calligraphers, hand lettering, scrapbooking, and more.
- Joanne's– make sure you download their smartphone app, every single trip you take or every single purchase, you will be able to use the 50% off coupon for one regular priced item.
- HobbyLobby-download the app to receive a 40% off one regular priced item coupon every time you shop.
- Dollar Store
- Bonanza– this one is similar to Etsy in that you can find just about anything you are looking for. There are constantly new sellers joining so you never what cool stuff you may find.
- Blick Art Materials – get free shipping with this link. Blick art materials has a great selection and high quality supplies that are good for both artists AND teachers. They even have a section you can print out lesson plan crafting ideas.
- PandaHall– beads, metals, and all kinds of jewelry making supplies at a crazy good cost.
- Utrecht Art Supplies– general art supplies store that is great for artists and teachers alike.
🌻great deals on books:
Some of my very first memories consist of my mom and dad reading me stories before bed. I LOVED it! There still to this day is nothing better than an awesome book. My two year old daughter and I read a story every night before bed, and I hope she has the same warm memories that I got to share with my parents.
The library is always a great option and most of them have some type of online accounts you can borrow from. Books I almost always buy used. Amazon, and Thriftbooks are my GO-Tos because they both will almost always have which book I am looking for at about $4 a pop. Every time!
Thriftbooks– free shipping when you spend $10 all the time, and there is an app you can download on your phone so you can easily look up books (AND you get a 15% discount for your first order through your app using code “APPWELCOME”
If you read a lot, then trying out Amazon Kindle Unlimited may be a huge money saver for you.
If you have a lot of books on your wish list but can't seem to find the time…try Audiobooks! Your commute everyday can turn into an awesome story-time.
Hope you found at least one new place to snag some awesome deals. If you have any suggestions, please comment below.
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