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When you’re trying to cut back on spending, it’s easy to look around at the big expenses—the vacations, the car payments, the weekly restaurant trips. But what if you’ve cut back on the big stuff and still feel like you need to trim more fat from your monthly budget? Take a look at your everyday expenses. Chances are, you can cut a good bit from your budget by cutting back on simple stuff.
We asked Dave’s Facebook fans how they save on everyday expenses. And, as always, they had some creative answers.
Steven said his family made some major adjustments when they decided his wife would stay at home full time. “When we wanted to start having kids, I challenged my wife to try to save what she used to make at her job,” he said.
“She uses cloth diapers, makes laundry detergent, spends time preparing a price-matching list for grocery shopping, and has learned how to make almost anything we need from home. We were able to survive on my $12/hour job at the time.”
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Related: Parenthood: 10 Ways to Financially Survive the First Year
Joy goes on a “fiscal fast” at the end of each month. “The last week of every month, we spend no money!” she said. “Delaying buying things, even necessities, as long as you can. Over time, that really does save money.”
A lot of people might confuse saving money with being cheap, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Look at Stephanie’s story as an example.
“I stopped buying low-quality clothes just because they were cheap,” she said. “They were always the clothes I liked the least, fell apart the soonest, and weren’t as comfortable. Now, I just wait patiently and watch for nice, staple items to go on clearance.”
Stephanie described one of her recent buys: “I’ve been watching for a long, grey cardigan for a few months, and I found one that was originally $130 but was marked down to $25. I got a beautiful, high quality item that will last me a long time for 80% off! You have to be patient, but it pays!” Stephanie said.
Related: Save or Splurge: 7 Items That Are Worth the Extra Money
When it comes to food, Dave’s Facebook fans get really creative.
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“My sister and I get together once a month, buy ingredients in bulk, prep full meals, and put in storage bags in the freezer,” Joy said. “Then we have at least two weeks each worth of meals for our families, ready to put in the crock pot.”
She said her motivation is to simply avoid those unhealthy on-the-go meals: “When you know you have a meal ready at home, you won’t stop for a quick to-go dinner after work.”
If you’re looking for other quick ways to save on food, Maryleen has some great advice. She said to “shop the perimeter of the store and avoid the processed crap in the middle. Making stuff from scratch is healthier and better for you in the long run!”
Also, Aaron just avoids grocery stores altogether. “I lock myself in the car at the store while my wife goes in,” he said. “Saves us about $40 every time.”
Related: Top Nashville Chefs Share 13 Secrets for Saving on Groceries
The ways you can save on everyday expenses are only limited by your creativity. Once you get started saving, it’s like an addiction—you won’t be able to stop. And both you and your budget will love it!
The ways you can save on everyday expenses are only limited by your creativity.
Looking for other ways to save on everyday expenses? Click here for tips on cutting your grocery bill—without clipping coupons.