With inflation being as insane as it is right now (especially at the grocery store), it can be hard to know who, what, and how to budget for the rise in prices. Even though there are things you can still do to keep inflation from completely wrecking your grocery budget, we’re going to talk about ways to help you save on household things.
Because right now, it’s hard to know what the price of eggs will be tomorrow, and we need those things. And we’re typically going grocery shopping once a week. So the impact on our money is different. But we aren’t always buying household items so it can be a little bit easier to save in this area. And when we save in one area, that allows us to have the wiggly room needed for other areas of our budget that are taking a hit from inflation.
1. Always think secondhand first.
It doesn’t matter if it’s kids’ clothes, a designer purse for mom (my personal weakness), home decor, or kitchen appliances – always think secondhand first. Instead of going to Amazon (did you join us on our No Amazon August challenge? It’s not too late to do it!) or running out to Target, try Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Nextdoor, your local thrift store, or online consignment shops like ThredUp. You can save yourself hundreds of dollars a year just by doing this!
I know you may be worried about quality, but the reality is most things can be purchased used. Think about all the clothes you’ve given away that we’re still 100% wearable. Same with that toaster you gave away because you only used it once. You’re not the only one that’s getting rid of stuff they simply don’t use. Therefore, don’t be afraid to shop secondhand first!
2. Download the Rakuten Chrome Extension
If you’re going to be doing online shopping, you might as well be getting some cashback on that purchase! And the best part? The Rakuten Chrome Extension will pop us if the item you’re looking to buy is cheaper elsewhere. That one feature has saved us so much money just by allowing Rakuten to compare prices for us. Another amazing feature? Rakuten is FREE! We’ve been using Rakuten for five years and have earned over $3,000 in cashback from our online purchases. Right now, Rakuten is offering a $30 bonus when you sign up and then make a $30 purchase online. Head here to sign up!
See the screenshot below to see how much cashback we’ve earned in five years! $3,663 – all just by using Rakuten! No credit card. No hassle. Just using it for our regular shopping when we need to make an online purchase.
3. Not handy? Try this.
Okay, so I’m married to a contractor so my man is incredibly handy so I know I’m blessed. But it’s okay if you’re not blessed with that gift of handiness! You can still learn – for FREE! One way? YouTube! My husband will watch a YouTube video on how to fix something that he doesn’t know how to fix and then bam! He’s fixed it (like when he fixed my car a few weeks ago – he’s not a mechanic. He swings a hammer for a living.).
Not only is YouTube a fantastic place to learn how to do something that you don’t know how to do but so is The Home Depot! HD has FREE virtual workshops! Seriously. You can learn how to do so many home upgrades by yourself for FREE! Need to install new flooring? No problem! They’ve got you covered!
The point here is to not be afraid of a limited budget when it comes to trying to fix or upgrade something yourself. Obviously, there are times when it’s wise to hire a professional to do things but when it doesn’t make sense you could always educate yourself. There’s nothing wrong with a little determination, grit, and a willingness to try!
4. Idenifty money pits.
We all have them, and none of us want to talk about them. We all have money pits – things that we keep spending money on, and we don’t even understand why! Several weeks ago, I identified one of our money pits – batteries. I don’t know about you, but my kids can go through some batteries! So I decided to start slowly purchasing rechargeable batteries instead of disposables. This may not seem like savings, but in the long run, it adds up!
I don’t know what your money pit is, but you need to identify it and then work to figure out whys to reduce the impact of those money pits.
Other common money pits:
- Paying for a landline phone that no one uses.
- Not replacing your air filter as recommended (did you know that the cheapo air filters need to be replaced every month? Yep. It may be time to buy the ones that last longer that don’t need to be replaced as often). If you don’t regularly change out your air filter, your HVAC system will work harder than it needs to.
- Unwatch cable/satellite/streaming services. Cancel those ones you’re not watching.
- Timeshare. If you’re not using this you need to find a way to sell it and get out of it.
- Not keeping up with regular car maintenance. Yep, those oil changes are necessary as is getting your tires rotated. Regular maintenance on your cars no matter how old they are will keep them running better and longer.
5. Decide what you can do without.
Many years ago, I made a very crazy decision. I took down the paper towel holder in our kitchen and put the roll of paper towels in the cabinet. Why? Because I realized one day that we wasted so much because instead of grabbing one sheet from the roll, we grabbed two or more. And we’re talking about wiping up a small mess or dry hands when there’s a perfectly clean kitchen towel hanging on the oven handle.
And you know what happened? Nothing. Sure there were a few inconveniences when starting out, but nothing crazy happened. Instead, we started using fewer and fewer paper towels. And now? I only purchase a big pack of paper towels twice a year. That’s it! Before, I was purchasing a huge pack every other week!
So, what is something that you’ve identified as an area you could save on? Or at least try for a few months to go without? Now do it! You may just surprise yourself.
More ideas on doing without:
- Switching to cloth napkins instead of paper ones.
- Using the dishwasher more (it seriously saves on your water bill!)
- Stop buying water bottles (maybe invest in a quality filter instead)
- Using reusable sandwich bags instead of disposable sandwich bags.
- Dryer sheets (we switched to dryer balls and haven’t had to buy any in over a year)
- Buying new books (the library is amazing!)
- Individually packaged anything (come up with ways to ditch those and look for alternatives)
Alright, friend! What would you add to the list above?
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