Throwing Money


***updated 01/03/20

Setting a Family Budget

If you haven’t set a family budget yet we just can’t help but ask: Why not? It is the simplest and most effective way to get an understanding of your finances, spending habits and how to better manage your money.

We have written about how to begin with a budget here, what to do if your partner is a spender here, and the biggest budget tips we know here .

However, even if you haven’t gotten to a budget yet, let’s look at how you can still keep more money in your wallet.

The top 7 ways to save money every month.

Save On Groceries

Bananas in a market

We’d be lying if we said the grocery didn’t frustrate us. Blame it on growing children, but this line item of our budget just keeps getting bigger.  That’s partly because we struggle with comparison shopping (still)!

It’s hard to justify three separate trips to different stores even when it might save $30 for the week. Even if you don’t clip coupons and research where to get the best deals, you can still reduce your grocery bill significantly with the following 3 tweaks:

  • Make a menu before you shop – This is our easiest and best tip for the grocery store. Truly, you will save money by skipping unnecessary purchases when you have a plan in place. Your food lasts longer and stretches further and it’s helped us cut back on costly, unnecessary snack purchase. Don’t mess around here! If you do this we call but guarantee your grocery bill will go down. Want some menu planning printables to help you get started? Tip Junkie has a slew of them here.
  • Buy non-perishables in bulk – You don’t have to join Sam’s Club over Costco or Amazon Prime over Walmart. Just use any of them to stock up on your toilet paper, paper towels, etc in bulk.  Want some extra advice on just how to do that? Read this handy post by Simple Dollar.
  • Skip store brands – There may be some brands you simply cannot live without, but for everything else buy the generic version. 9 times out of 10, you will not tell a difference. Unless it’s chocolate; then buy the highest quality you can find.

Saving money at home

Piggy Bank coinsFor those who want to save money each month,  these minor tweaks can make a big difference when added together:

  • Change your thermostat – If you don’t have auto-programming, adjust your thermostat before you leave the house. In the summer, turn it up 5-6 degrees higher than you would if you were home. In the winter, turn it down. If you can handle it, do the same thing at night. Small change, but big monthly savings on your bill!
  • Make your own cleaning products –  It’s easier than you think, it’s natural and saves you money. Here’s how to get started.
  • Swap or barter – We love swapping and bartering for services.  Consider your own skill set is and what you need done around your home. Then check around for people willing to barter with you. Again, it is almost shocking how easy this can be and can save you literally hundreds. For example, a friend of ours often helps with minor repairs on a car, while we offer babysitting services for the occasional night out.

The number 1 way to save money each month

Finishing up shopping

This is a no-brainer. The simplest, most significant change that can be made for saving money is to never pay full price for anything! Why in the world would you want to? Check sales, outlet retailers, deep discount stores, theft stores and consignment shops first. And always, always look for a coupon first and here’s where to get started on that!

With these simple ways to save money every month, it’s pretty amazing to see how quickly a few little changes have given us extra savings!