I saved well over $200 in the last week with the quick tips I outline below. If you save money with these ideas, let us know how much you save in the comments below so we can give you a big (virtual) round of applause for taking care of your bank account this week.
No matter how much money you make, everyone wants to save money, and no one wants to spend more than they need to.
Saving money and keeping an eye out for excess spending was woven into my experience growing up. These days, I don't mind paying extra sometimes for convenience, but I'm always on the lookout to make sure I'm not losing money when I could be saving.
When most people think about saving money, they think about depriving themselves in some way, but that doesn't have to be the case. Just like your physical health, a little thoughtful action goes a long way in keeping your bank account healthy, too.
Life gets busy and sometimes we forget to stop and think about what we're doing and how we're spending. This post is NOT about giving up coffee shops or not having fun. These are really simple ways to save money in just a few minutes without doing an entire lifestyle overhaul.
(FYI, this post is NOT sponsored. I am not being paid by these companies to write this post—these are simply things I use myself and love. There are affiliate links here that help keep blog content free.)
5 Ways I Saved Money This Week
1. Subscription Audit: iTunes (iPhone) Subscriptions
[Money Savings: $70+]
Do this right now! To be honest, I was a little mad at myself for how many subscriptions were in here that I didn't realize. TONS of apps charge you monthly or annually and you don't even know it.
I only know how to do this on an iPhone but if you use something different you can Google a similar process (and the steps might change, they're always changing the interface):
How to Audit Your iPhone/iTunes Subscriptions:
- Step 1: On your iPhone, go to your Settings (the icon looks like gears)
- Step 2: Click on your round image at the top where it says (Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes)
- Step 3: Click on Subscriptions, scroll through to see what you're paying for, and cancel anything you don't use or need.
I hadn't looked at this in over a year and I was SHOCKED to see how many things I'd forgotten about. I saved $70/month right off the bat.
Of course, no need to cancel what you use and love. But stay on top of this one, it can get out of hand quickly. (If you do this, come back and comment below on this blog post and let us know how much you're now saving per month!)
2. The Food Saver Mini
[Money Savings: Longterm]
Ok, this is one where I had to spend a little to save a lot. My mom has had a big food saver for a long time and I love the idea of keeping food fresh for longer, but they were always a big appliance on the counter that I just don't have room for. The new Handheld Food Saver is awesome. It's super small and fits in my drawer. You have to get the bags that go with it (I think it comes with a few) but they are reusable.
The Food Saver creates an airtight seal around food and keeps cheese, fruits, and veggies (and meat, though I haven't tried that yet) fresh for weeks longer than if you didn't suck the air out with the food saver. I love real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese because it's naturally lactose-free and doesn't bother my tummy, but the real stuff is pricy. But, it lasts for months in one of these food saver bags so I haven't had to throw any out for months.
I got mine at Target, but you can also find it on Amazon (here).
Another Option: The Blue Apple Produce Saver (or anything you put in your fridge drawers that absorbs ethylene gas) is also incredible at extending the life of your produce. I have one in each of my fridge drawers. You can get an extra week or two of produce sitting in your fridge drawers with these things (then use the Food Saver after that if you need it!).
3. Sneaker Washing
[Money Savings: $100+]
I was thinking it was time to get new sneakers, mostly because the ones I've been wearing were looking worse for the wear. (Anyone else who's only worn sneakers or flip flops since March?)
I thought I'd give these ones one last chance and thew them in the washing machine to see if I can get a few more months with them and save some money. WHOA. They look brand new! (I forgot to take a photo, sorry.) If the soles have worn out and you're a runner or train athletically, then you'll need to replace sneakers more often. But this was just a case of needing a good 'ol fashioned deep clean.
How to wash your sneakers in the washing machine:
- Use a brush or cloth to remove any big pieces of debris or dried on dirt if needed
- If they smell extra bad, you can fill each one with ½ cup of baking soda to sit overnight (8-24 hours) to absorb the odor; discard the baking soda then wash
- Remove the insoles (Yep, you can pull the insoles out of all sneakers—they will come out cleaner this way and you can pop them back in)
- Tie your shoelaces so they don't get tangled in the wash (if they are extremely dirty, remove them, and put them in a mesh laundry bag with the sneakers, but I usually don't do this.)
- Put the shoes in the washing machine WITH 2 old towels or small bathroom rungs, then add a regular amount of detergent and choose a LOW SPIN cycle. I have a front load and did the delicate cycle. Whatever you choose, just do low spin (or no spin) and make sure you add two towels or small bathroom rugs because only one heavy thing in a washer will throw it's calibration off. As a general rule of thumb, always have at least 3 items in a washer so they balance the weight while spinning.
- Set your new clean sneakers and insoles on tile or in the bathtub to dry overnight (I put a small fan on them to speed up the process. Don't put the insoles back in until they are fully dry.
4. Dirty Dozen (& Clean 15) Reminder
[Money Savings: Longterm]
I just updated and refreshed this blog post with the rankings of pesticide levels in the 47 most common fruits and veggies at the supermarket. I save both of the images on that post to my Favorites folder on my phone so I can easily decide what to buy organic at the store. I personally always choose organic if it's on the Dirty Dozen list (or choose an alternative on the clean list) and always save money when I refer to these lists.
Lucky for us, Avocados are at the top of the Clean 15 — Pea Guacamole for everyone!
5. Thrive Market Shopping
[Money Savings: at least $50/month]
I do a Thrive Market order about once a month and it saves me a boatload of money on groceries. I buy just about all of my non-perishables there (anything that doesn't go in the fridge) and I have to say, I'm hooked.
If you're new to online grocery shopping, you will be, too. At first, I wasn't sure if I'd like using an online grocery store, but after the past 18 months of shopping on Thrive Market, I don't think I'll ever go back. It saves me money, of course, but it also saves time with fewer trips to the grocery store. I stop into the grocery store now just once every week or two to pick up refrigerator or frozen items.
Here's what I always buy on Thrive Market:
- Extra virgin olive oil (The Thrive brand is great! A lot of olive oil is counterfeit, but I trust the Thrive Brand)
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc.)
- Seeds (chia, flax, hemp hearts, pumpkin, etc.)
- Beans (dried and prepared)
- All flours (almond, buckwheat, all-purpose)
- Baking soda & Baking powder
- Medjool dates
- Coconut oil
- Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Tortilla Chips
- Simple Mills crackers
- Simple Mills almond flour pizza crusts
- Feminine products (organic tampons, Diva cup, etc.)
- Natural dish soap (I like Seventh Generation)
- Natural dishwasher detergent (I use the Thrive brand)
- Natural hand soap (I like Seventh Generation)
- Natural laundry detergent (I like Seventh Generation)
- Natural Body Soap (I like Dr. Bronners)
- Parchment paper sheets (so handy!)
- My sisters also buy Annie's Mac & Cheese and other kid-approved items on Thrive
- There's probably more I buy and just can't think of it now
I really like the Thrive Market brand, and they also carry most of the brands that I see at Whole Foods, too. Thrive has the best prices around, and free shipping on orders of $50 or more. You can shop at your leisure when you're out of things, or choose their NO commitment autoship to save even more (I typically just shop at my leisure).
New customers get $25 off their first order and free shipping on orders over $50. And the savings alone are worth shopping there on the regular. Stock up on all of your pantry essentials (see the list above if you need ideas).
Over to you!
Let us know in the comments below if you implement any of these ideas and how much you saved, or if you have any money-saving ideas to share with other readers in our community.