Want to know how to spend less and still buy everything you want? Thanks to the Internet, inventive people have been able to actively share tips that helped them reduce their expenses without changing too much of their lifestyle. They offer up tips like: don’t buy a new car before the end of the month, order food online to get rewards, discounts, and free deliveries, and get loyalty cards to redeem some of the money you spend.
Here at Bright Side, we have found some tips from Internet users who don’t earn millions of dollars but can now buy more than they used to.
10. For simple stains, use handmade detergent in your washing machine.
Mix 2 glasses of soda, 1/2 a cup of salt, and 1/2 a cup of lemon juice. Put the mixture into an ice tray, keep it in the fridge for the night and then put the cubes into a glass jar. Use them as regular washing machine tablets. Some people add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar. Buy store brand tablets only for the most serious stains.
How much you can save: anywhere from $5 a month if you use about 40 tablets throughout 20–25 days.
9. Buy a garbage disposal for under the kitchen sink so you don’t have to call the plumber as much.
In 9 situations out of 10, a serious clog is caused by food leftovers that get stuck inside a pipe and get worse when grease around the clog is formed. A regular garbage disposal can easily solve the problem.
How much you can save: anywhere from $100 for the services of a professional plumber. A garbage disposal will also help to get rid of unpleasant smells from the pipe.
8. Buy food online and pay for the order in 1-2 days.
Track which foods you throw away most often to learn which foods you couldn’t eat in time before they spoiled. Order food online following these simple rules:
- Buy any food (except for fruit, fish, and meat), personal hygiene products, and detergents in online stores that offer delivery (many stores offer this service for free if you order enough).
- When you have all the products in your cart, sign up and leave the website for 1-2 days. Firstly, it’s possible that you will reconsider your final shopping list, and secondly, many online stores give an additional discount 24-48 hours after you place an order without paying for it.
- Online stores often offer a 70% discount for some products, and some foods can be bought at a cheaper price if you buy a lot at once like rice, sugar, salt, shampoos, and soap, for example.
- Make your orders at the end of the month when there are additional discounts because stores are trying to get rid of certain foods.
Fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, and fish should be bought in street markets where you can check the quality of the food. Don’t forget about the season: certain foods are cheaper at certain times. And don’t forget to bargain: some sellers give discounts!
How much you can save: You can save anywhere from 30% to 60% a month. It’s even better to make orders for several families like for you and your parents (sometimes in these cases you can split the order for different addresses).
7. Make a calendar of good buys.
Learn more about seasonal sales and make a calendar of the best times to buy certain things. For example, office supplies are sold at the cheapest price right after the beginning of September, and bicycles, tents, and other items used for camping are cheaper in October. Skis and snowboards are at their cheapest in April, and jewelry can be sold at a good discount in July. Devices are cheaper in January.
Big companies have their own sales calendars.
- Every month, IKEA has sales according to groups. And if you have the IKEA Family card, you can get an additional discount, a cake, and free drinks if it’s your child’s birthday.
- The best prices in Chinese stores online can be found several days before the Chinese New Year, and AliExpress has a special sale on March 29, because it’s the birthday of the store. They give away coupons and the discounts are as big as 80%.
How much you can save: up to 80% + gifts. You can save even more if you pay with a credit card.
6. Learn to do the things that will reduce your expenses and increase your income.
There are hundreds of activities you can learn to do online. They can become an interesting hobby, a way to save on other people’s services, or a new source of stable income.
- Learn be a nail artist: maybe your friends will be your clients and you won’t have to go to the salon. Or you can have your nails done and then paint them yourself. Spend the saved money on food from a café or just put it away.
- Learn how the body and the muscles work, read about nutrition, or choose a good workout program and go to free classes. Many people go to parks to do yoga for free.
- Learn to decorate clothes, try knitting and beadwork, decorate your clothes, or create your own accessories.
- Try yourself as a confectioner: if you know a lot of families with children, this can be a good source of income. If you loved playing with play dough as a child, you may be really successful at it: most people order cakes from people who can make their favorite characters.
- You can learn the basics of some professions like an artist or an electrician and can choose to do it professionally down the line.
5. Buy a used car in rainy weather or move into a new house in winter.
When buying a used car, meet with the seller when the weather is rainy: in such weather, you can see the damage better, you can understand if the car is good on a wet road, and whether or not the roof has a leak. If any of that happens, the seller may want to offer a discount. The best months for a bargain are January, February, and March. If you are buying a new car, buy it at the end of the month.
The same goes for renting houses and apartments: it’s best to look for a new apartment when it’s cold and rainy. This way, you can check if the place if warm or not. There are fewer apartments to choose from in such weather but more discounts.
How much you can save: If you find a problem with a car, you can negotiate the price in order not to pay for the repairs later. Or you can just refuse to buy the car at all. The same goes for renting an apartment.
4. Look for expensive presents in flea markets and secondhand stores.
- Once every 2 months, go to a flea market or several secondhand stores: sometimes, there are really rare and cool things at extremely low prices. Paintings by unknown artists, vintage stuff, someone’s poems, Christmas tree decorations, lamps, hats, and bags are all things that can make an elegant and memorable gift.
- You can get an additional discount at flea markets if you come there early in the morning on a weekday.
How much you can save: you can pay 10% of the original price of an item. In other words, if you want to buy a vinyl record at a store, it will cost $50-$100, and at a flea market, it can cost around $5.
3. Use as little water as possible to reduce bills.
2. Cook foods from leftovers and learn tips from real chefs.
- In order to cook food using leftovers, you need to know the basic principles of cooking: tomatoes are very good with cheese, boiled or fried chicken meat is a great addition to a vegetable salad, watermelon or avocado go great with bread, etc.
- Cook a lot and freeze the rest. This way, it’s cheaper.
- It’s smart to buy universal foods that can work well with anything — like rice, for example.
- Save money on food, but eat enough: 1-2 times a week you should eat fish or seafood and meat should be eaten 1-2 times a week. The rest of the time, eat beans and eggs as a source of protein. Eat more rice and noodles with vegetables, simple soups, and cereals.
- If a carton of milk is about to spoil, pour it into an ice tray and use it for coffee or sauce. You can freeze wine to make a sauce or cook meat.
- Try some recipes for cheap and unusual foods. If you eat out, compare the prices. Sometimes, you can buy 2 small cups of coffee at a cheaper price that one big cup.
How much you can save: you can save up to 50% if you cook using the foods you already have.
1. Become eco-friendly.
If you live in a cool place and you have a balcony without direct sunlight, turn off the fridge in winter and keep your food on the balcony. This will save you some money on electricity depending on the model of your fridge and your electricity prices.
In summer, you can use solar ovens: they are portable, don’t need a lot of space, and don’t require electricity or gas.
How much you can save: you can cut down electricity expenses by 30% to 50%.
Bonus: how to save almost $2,000 in 147 days
Internet user Atlas_Black told us some tips that helped him save almost $2,000 in 147 days.
- His grocery list was comprised of items like eggs, milk, cereal, cheese, bread, sandwich meat, some vegetables, and noodles. He sometimes added more expensive foods like meat or fish if he was able to spend less than the amount he wanted.
- He reconsidered his list of subscriptions and stopped all of the ones he wasn’t using at the moment even if they were really cheap.
- To save more, he took his old board games and invited his friends over in order not to spend a lot on bars and cafés.
- He turned off the lights as soon as he left the room.
- He tried to earn some extra money doing what he could. Thanks to drawing logos, he once managed to earn $50 after just several hours of work.
- He worked at a restaurant and never refused free food, so he spent less money on food in general.
- He didn’t buy new stuff and only invested in necessary things: he pinpointed what needed improvement in his life, he saved money for it and spent money it on it. For example, he bought new good knives and a set of dishes, but he didn’t buy a new phone because the new model wasn’t that different from the old one.
Do you have your own saving tips? Share them in the comment section below.