Unless somewhere along the way you managed to escape currency and are still bartering for things you need, you’re in the same boat as the rest of us.  You want more money.  It doesn’t really matter how does it?  Whether you make it or save it – the point is that it ends up in your pocket at the end of the day. And since trying to save money is by far easier than trying to get a promotion or a higher paying job tomorrow, we’re going to talk about that. Lucky for you we’ve got a few hacks to save money up our sleeve.

However, in the case of my three-year-old… Her nana gave her a twenty to spend on a toy. We put it in her back pocket and headed directly to the store. By the time we got to the store, she had lost it.  We tore the car apart. I checked her pocket until I almost ripped a hole in it. No luck. That twenty was gone.  To whoever finds it, I hope it helps and you’re welcome.

Now, where were we?  Oh yes, those hacks to save money… let’s get started.

1. Be sneaky about saving

One thing that my husband and I started doing before our kids were born was to set aside ten or twenty dollars from each paycheck into a separate account. We set it up so that it automatically transferred and we didn’t have to worry about it.  And guess what? We didn’t notice it was missing! With both of us saving, we ended up with over two thousand dollars at the end of the first year.  Seriously!  And we really didn’t miss it!

2. Say hello to home cookin’

Seriously.  You can save major cash just by eating at home.  Yes, I love a good meal at a restaurant, and I love the thought of not having any of that prep work or dishes and clean up afterward believe me. But what if I told you that you could save about $3000 per year.  Yeah, 3 thousand dollars per year. (According to CNBC) That’s a crazy amount of money! Here’s to savings… and dishes.

3. Go minimalist and sell it all

Okay, don’t sell everything. But chances are you’ve got quite a few things just laying around that you haven’t used in a long time.  Those old textbooks from college?  Sell them. Or how about that old gaming console, sell it.  Hit up eBay or Amazon or even your local GameStop.

4. Stock up

When you see a sale, jump on it!  Many times our local grocery store will have 10 for $10 deals.  Yes, you can mix and match, but I’m going to eventually eat 10 boxes of whatever they’re selling, so I might as well go all in.  While the expense is more upfront (who really wants to buy 10 boxes of mac and cheese at a time?) you’ll save in the long run.

5. Use Social Media

Okay, trust us on this one.  So one of the big things that brands are trying to figure out is how to get people to follow them on different social media channels.  Believe it or not, there’s a person or a group at the company that actually has to report on this stuff (I’ve been one of them.) so giving them an extra “like” or “follow” can’t hurt either.

But brands are doing a really good job of giving you reasons to follow them. As in, exclusive coupons, discounts or deals that they only share with their social media followers. So be sure to follow brands that you buy all the time – you might find yourself with a discount of your own.

6. Get money back

My absolute favorite way to do this is a site called Ebates. (Click and sign up!) They’ve got a chrome extension, but you can always go through their website.  Once you sign up, you can search their site for the store you want. Click through to the stores website, and make your purchase… BOOM. Done. Money back in your pocket.  I’ve been using it for about two years now and I’ve gotten back over $600 dollars. For shopping.

7. Check out Facebook’s Marketplace & Buy, Sell, Trade Groups

I am in love with this.  Facebook’s marketplace is like a better version of Craigslist (sorry my friend) where you can buy and sell items of all kinds. I’ve used it to sell some of my baby clothes and items that my children have grown out of. I’ve used it to buy furniture at way lower prices than new. There are so many great things I told you to check it out.

As far as Facebook groups go, if you do a Facebook search chances are you’ve got a buy, sell, trade group in your area. These groups are filled with people who are essentially doing a localized Marketplace. When you post something for sale On Facebook Marketplace, you can also have your items for sale pushed out to these groups. This way your items will reach more members and sell faster.

8. Take advantage of the dollar store

Don’t get me wrong, there are many items that I will not buy at the dollar store, but that’s my preference. However, one thing that they have that I love is cleaning supplies. Most of them are name-brand, and work just as well as the ones you buy at a local retailer. I also purchase their food storage containers.  They are bpa-free, you can throw them in the dishwasher, and you can get four or five of them for a dollar. What could be better than that? So why not head on over to your local Dollar Store and see what you can find that works for you?

9. Use another bank

To be honest, when I was younger I was really bad with money. It would just burn a hole in my pocket. And if I saw it in my bank account I just want to go spend it all. So one thing that I did was go to a separate bank and open a savings account. That way I could transfer money to that seperate savings account, but to get it out I had to physically go to that bank and withdraw it.

Doing this helped me in two ways. One, it made it more difficult for me to actually get the money in my hands. And since the money wasn’t connected to a debit card, I couldn’t spend freely. And two, it kept that money out of my sight. So that way it was easy for me to forget about it and easier for me to save. It also wasn’t burning a hole in my pocket that way.

10. Buy out of season

I really wish I had known about this a long time ago. This idea didn’t set in with me until I had children. And while I realize that some of you won’t be parents already, this still applies to you too.

So one way that you can save a ton of money is buying things when they’re not in season. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you are an avid snowboarder. you need a number of things to be able to snowboard every winter. Like a warm jacket, snowboarding pants, and all of the other things that go into it. Well, if you buy those items in the fall or at the start of winter, you’re paying full price. You might get a little bit of a deal if you shop around for sales, but you’re still paying a lot. Now, in the spring or summer, when those things aren’t in high demand, if you shop for them then you’re going to get them at a steal.

And for those parents out there, think ahead, especially for holidays. Usually, after Halloween, I go out and I buy my kids costumes for the following year. I’m getting them at at least 50 or 60% off and I literally have nothing else to worry about until the next year. Same goes for winter clothing and things like jackets and boots.

So definitely think about that and start planning your purchases for the year ahead. If you know you’re going to need a new swimming suit for next summer, buy it in the fall.

11. Meal planning

Okay, I know this one takes a little bit of work and it’s not that fun. But, it is almost a guaranteed way to save money. Plus it’ll save you time too.

One thing that I was able to do and I was meal planning, with only buy groceries once a month. Now, when I say once a month I mean one giant grocery shopping trip. There were a few times within that month that I had to run back to the store for a few small things, that obviously wouldn’t last the entire month such as fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, and other things like that.

So, To get started meal planning one of the things that I always did was check my local circular. Find out what items are on sale, especially big ticket items like meat. I have a family of four, so feeding all of us can be a challenge. If you’re single or it’s just you and your significant other, this will probably be a little easier for you.

Definitely take the time to download a meal planning template, and think about everything that you’re going to make for the next month. Or, take baby steps and start with the next week. Figure out everything that you need for those recipes, and make yourself a list. To save yourself extra money make sure that you’re using some of the same ingredients multiple days in the week. For example, often our local grocery store will put ground beef on sale in three-pound packages are more. So a lot of time, we will split that package up and it will feed us for two meals during the week.

12. Cut out the extras

I know you were probably hoping that I would skip this one, but it really is an effective way to save money. And don’t worry, I’m guilty of this too, believe me.

So if you want to save money, cutting out the extras is almost a must. To give you an example, I’m an avid Starbucks store. I’m there every morning, and I used to get a $7 drink. $7? Since I decided that that was just way too much money to spend, but I didn’t want to give up going to Starbucks completely, but I did was changed my preferences. So now instead of my $7 drink, I get a regular coffee which gets me through the day. And it cost me under $3.

Even though I lessened the amount of money I was spending, I’m still spending the national average. That is $3 a day on coffee, which equates to about $1,100 per year. so if I cut that out completely I’d have another $1,100 in my pocket every year. And just think, you could too.

What other things can you think of to save money?  Let us know in the comments!

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