Everyone is super busy nowadays but we still want to save money. But how do you save money without wasting your time?
I want to share with you what works for me, as a busy wife and mom of 2, who also runs this blog and a YouTube channel. Some of my tips below will help you save money month after month after doing the work just once!
If I’ve gotten your attention, read on…
1. Compare Prices
Look at the things that you buy the most and spend the most money on each month. Then compare prices on those things.
Don’t waste time comparing prices on every single thing that you buy! The key here is to figure out where you can get the most savings on stuff that you spend the most money on.
For us, we spend a lot on diapers (until my son is fully potty trained, fingers crossed). So I compared prices on diapers, using the per unit price. I checked prices at stores near me like Target, Costco, Safeway, and of course, Amazon.com. Safeway and Target had low prices for regular diapers and Costco was the lowest for PULL-UPS.
I use a grocery price list, like the one pictured below, to figure this out.
How to use a Grocery Price List
- Track the prices of 5 – 10 items you buy most often.
- Use a calculator to figure out the unit price (price divided by unit). Example: $24.99 divided by 20 lbs = $1.25/lb.
- Highlight which store has the lowest price.
You can make your own and snag a copy of my Grocery Price List below.
2. Buy in Bulk
We all know that Costco is a great place to get things in bulk. But you have to watch out for impulse buys that can make you go over budget!
Yes, it has a ton of cool new stuff every time you go. Sometimes the cool stuff sells out too. So strike a balance by allotting extra money for impulse buys and give yourself a time limit.
Great things to get in bulk are toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, and other stuff your family uses the most.
3. Shop at Trader Joe’s
If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, move on to the next tip.
Trader Joe’s is a better priced Whole Foods with a curated selection of popular items.
What’s great about Trader Joe’s is that their prices are competitive, since they negotiate the best prices and deal directly with the food manufacturers. Everything also has a fixed price like for produce so you never have to weigh anything or guess prices.
They also have a variety of snacks, specialty items, frozen foods, etc. Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell a ton of different things like an average grocery store, but what they do carry, is really, really good!
I love that when I go there to buy something, I don’t have to decide among 5 different brands. They make it easy for me. Most of the stuff is from their own house label and they also have a few other brands for certain things.
They only sell things that people want to buy and they constantly add new items. And things that don’t sell well, get discontinued.
I love buying chicken here because their prices are low and the chicken is always fresh. They get daily deliveries and sell out of their chicken by the end of the day (at least at my Trader Joe’s) so the chicken never just sits there for days.
Other favorite things I love are their snacks, ice cream, desserts, breads, and more.
4. Cut Expenses that Don’t Matter to You
Know what you like and don’t like. This matters because when you focus your budget to spend more on things you care about and less money on things you don’t, that’s how you “live richly.”
Other blogs will tell you to cut spending on everything, even the things you care about. But if you do, you won’t be happy!
You have to be able to enjoy your money and things that make you happy. That totally matters!
Don’t compare yourself to what other people are doing. I know it’s hard with social media nowadays. But it’s about what YOU like, not what someone else tells you to like or what someone else is doing.
If you love coffee from Starbucks every morning, then budget for it. And then cut spending elsewhere on something that doesn’t matter to you like cable.
Seriously, don’t spend time worrying about what other people think of you! They aren’t paying your bills so why does their opinion matter? You are more mature and evolved than that.
Live your life for yourself and do what you want with YOUR money!!!
Get more money saving tips:
5. Meal Plan
Start a meal plan because guess what? Whether you have a written meal plan or not, you still are “meal planning” when you’re at the grocery store. Meal planning happens in your head at the grocery store, if you haven’t written it down and it makes it more stressful, especially if you’re shopping with kids!
Check out my posts about Meal Planning to get ideas and get started.
- Meal Planning 101
- 20 Meal Planning Ideas for Beginners
- How to Get Organized with Meal Planning
- 7 Simple Menu Planning Ideas
- How to Menu Plan with Grocery Sales
6. Buy Organic on a Budget
If you want to eat healthy but still save money, how do you buy organic on a budget? Focus on the buying organic for the Dirty Dozen (foods with the most pesticides) and buy conventional for the Clean Fifteen (foods that have the least pesticides). FYI: this is applies for the US only.
The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen comes from the Environmental Working Group at ewg.org.
Grab your free printable of the Organic Shopper’s Guide pictured above.
7. Budget and Partition Your Money
My last tip is to budget your money, of course! Budgeting is not for poor people but for people who want to manage their money well!
Every company and corporation has a budget and even feature films rely on a budget. Wealthy people use a budget too so that they can stay wealthy. So why not you too?
Also, it’s helpful to separate your money. Like have a separate account for the bills and another one for variable spending. Or use cash envelopes to keep things under control.
Learn more about budgeting below: