Wow, two comments and two followers already! And my blog hasn’t been online for 24 hours! This is very encouraging, thank you guys! I will get started right away. Here is 10 ways that I use to save money. I plan on writing more on each topic later on, but I figured I’d throw some ideas at you now, just to get started.
Make a budget
No, the act itself of making a budget is not going to save you money, but it will shine a light on where all your money is going. I for instance found that I can save 2.000 Danish kroner (That’s 360 usd or 220 gbp!) every year, just by wearing glasses and cancelling my contact lenses subscription. It takes a little getting used to, but I’ve learned to love my glasses. Maybe there’s other things that you can save a bunch of money on? It is scary how much some people spend on cigarettes or candy for instance.
Stocking up when the things you use often are affordable can be a great way to save money AND time. It allows you to plan ahead and it saves you from having to go to the store as often. The less you go to the store, the less stuff you will buy impulsively. I stock up when ever I can. It can even be little things like a few extra cans of tomatoes or and extra bag of rice here and there.
Sell stuff you don’t need anymore
Perhaps you are like me and get a little too optimistic when you buy clothes? I have quite a bit of clothes that I thought for sure I could fit into, or thought that it would look great on me. Sadly, I was wrong. The same goes for shoes. I have so many pairs of shoes, yet I always wear the same old boots winter after winter and the same two pairs of shoes and sandals in the summer. I even bought stilettos, knowing full well that I can’t stand – quite literally – wearing stilettos! So it is all gonna get posted for sale online. Anything I may make on selling things, will go straight into my savings account.
Learn about some of the wild edibles growing where you live. Go for a walk and bring home free, local and healthy goodies to munch on. I obviously can’t tell you what to look for, that changes with your location and climate. But here you can find wild apples and cherries, raspberries, blackberries and edible chestnuts amongst other things. One of my favorite wild eats is stinging nettles, so delicious! Be smart and don’t eat anything that you aren’t sure of!
Cut your hair yourself
Or have a friend do it for you. It is really not very difficult and it will save you quite a bit of money. I’ve had my hair cut once by a professional, last year at the age of 28 I paid my very first visit to a hair dresser, with great regret. It was somewhat cheap (180 sek /25 usd /16gbp, that is cheap for over here) so I thought why not. I ended up wearing a bandana for 3 days and then finally cutting it myself.
Coupons are not as big here in Sweden as they seem to be in America. But all through December last year, my boyfriend and I won a lot of coupons in a Christmas game that was put up by store brand company. There are apps available where you can get coupons on your smart phone and try different products different products for cheaper – sometimes even for free. Just in December we got probably 1.000 sek (150 usd /90 gbp) worth of food for free, using coupons. Of course there is always more stuff in December – with stores being in an all christmassy giving gifts mood – but if you look for them, you will find some here and there. Remember getting something for free is also a way of saving money. Don’t forget to spend your coupons before they expire!
Make food from scratch
That includes baking your own bread. The cost of homemade bread is just a fraction of the price you pay at a bakery. Making your own food from scratch is also a lot cheaper – and healthier – than readymade meals and most take-away foods. And when it comes down to it, it is really not that difficult or time consuming as you may think. When I remember to bring my camera into the kitchen with me, I will post recipes for some absurdly cheap meals.
One for the ladies (or a friendly suggestion for your lady friend)
Do you know how much money you spend on female hygiene products every year? Yeah, you probably do. A “menstrual cup” is a great little invention, it is a small investment, but considering how much money you spend every year on sanitary pads, tampons and panty liners, it is surely worth it. It also minimizes how much waste you create. Good for the environment, your conscience and your health as it doesn’t contain bleach or other toxins. And last but not least, good for your wallet 🙂
Grow your own food
Or if you live in a small apartment like I do, just grow some of it. Some things will grow for a long time as long as you keep using them. For instance garlic and onions, if you just cut the green parts it will grow back again very quickly and it tastes great to add fresh onion greens to your food. Other things I’ve grown in my home is spinach, tomatoes and even physalis. All of my windows are facing North West in this apartment, so I probably can’t grow tomatoes and physalis here. But I will grow some spinach soon.
Make a food plan
And stick to it. Having a plan on what to cook during the week also gives you an idea of what to buy. You don’t have to go to the store every day, trying to come up with an idea for dinner while at the supermarket. Make sure to plan it wisely and make use of all leftovers.
Okay, those are my 10 ideas for today. Like I said, I will work on writing more in depth about each topic, maybe as one blog post at a time. I will be back with many, many more ideas and if you can think of something I should write about, let me know 🙂