There are a lot of blog posts out there with money saving ideas. But this blog post is different because it has ideas you probably won’t see anywhere else, because, let’s just say they’re a little bit unique.
My husband and I do all of the things on this list, except that we are no longer a 1-car family. We now own two cars outright that we paid cash for.
What we discovered in our savings journey, is that the things we do to save money have really ended up making us better people and more conscious consumers along the way. We leave a much smaller footprint as we go through life because we reduce, reuse, recycle, and make do.
1. Use single-ply toilet paper.
You know, the thin stuff that nobody wants to buy. Not only does it last forever on the roll, but it’s biodegradable and environmentally friendly. I only have to buy toilet paper about twice a year. I just can’t bring myself to spend more money on something I wipe my bum with than I do on the clothing I wear.
2. Go foraging.
Mushrooms are delicious and plentiful around here in the spring. Just make sure you know what you’re looking for. I’ve also picked fresh dandelion greens from my yard to use in salads and for dandelion tea.
4. Become a 1-car family.
This isn’t for everyone, but you can make it work. We did. By becoming a one car family, we were able to save hundreds of dollars on car payments, insurance, gas and maintenance. We did this at a time when we were both working full time, on opposite sides of town, and I had a middle-schooler who I had to drive out of our school district each day. It took planning. But it was so worth it. Eliminating that revolving payment from our debt-to-income ratio allowed us to buy our dream home.
5. Sell your stuff.
In our efforts to save money for a house, I sold my tanning bed, my car, my stash of Louis Vuitton bags, jewelry, clothing, shoes, and more. Yeah…I USED to be high-maintenance in my former life (not anymore!!) Never once have I looked at my home and thought, “This place sure is nice, but I wish I had my stuff back.”
6. Accept hand-me-downs with a grateful heart.
I love it when friends and family bring me a bag full of toddler clothes that their kids have outgrown, or when my friend gives me a sweater she no longer wears. I’m so thankful that people are thoughtful enough to bless me with their awesome stuff that’s new-to-us.
7. Do your own nails always, always, always.
It costs about $45 for a spa pedicure where I lived. I can buy 45 bottles of nail polish at Dollar Tree for that amount! I can buy everything needed to give myself my own pedi for about $3, AND I get the added bonus that I know where my pedi tools have been, and that they’re clean.
8. Go fishing.
We LOVE to fish, and it’s a super cheap way to stock your freezer with wild-caught, healthy protein. There are very little up-front costs. A yearly fishing license is about $19, and you can find cheap or free fishing poles at garage sales and on Craigslist. There’s a ton of free bait crawling around in the dirt right now, and even if you purchase it, it’s pretty darn cheap.
9. Say yes to free meals.
The parents invite us for dinner? Yes please! Church fellowship potluck? Uh-huh! Give a work presentation with lunch catored in? Sign me up! A volunteer opportunity with free lunch for the helpers? Ok!! Saying yes to these commitments makes us better people and there’s the added perk of saving us money on food.
10. Shop at Goodwill, thrift stores, and Craigslist.
Even though we’re in a financially happy place, years of being frugal has caused me to have a severe aversion to paying more than $3 for a shirt. I buy ALL my cute pajama sets at Goodwill for under $4 and wouldn’t have it any other way.