We all like to save money. Bob says we’re working to get all of the kids off the payroll. It’s true! With one in college and one in law school, sometimes it feels like that day will never come.
Thankfully, we aren’t struggling to make ends meet, but when we save money, it does allow us to give more away to causes we’re passionate about, spend it on activities we enjoy, or plan for the future. When I figure out a good way to save money, it feels like I’ve got a secret that no one else knows! Do you feel that way too? Today, I’m spilling some of the secrets for saving money that I’ve learned over the years. (And hoping you’ll share some of your best ideas with me too!) Some of my secrets are big, and some are little, but the savings are there, for sure.
1. Practice Meatless Mondays
A recent study found that vegetarians save around $750 on their food bill every year! Don’t want to become a vegetarian? By skipping meat just one day per week, you should save around $100 annually.
2. Ditch the Gym for Free Online Workout Classes
If you’ve been hanging around here for awhile, you know how much I love Fitness Blender’s free online workouts. Bob and I do one of their 30-minute workouts together twice a week, which has turned out to be a time when we grunt, groan, and even giggle together—all while getting stronger.
3. Get Smart About Gas
First and foremost, download the free Gas Buddy app. It provides real-time fuel prices at more than 140,000 gas stations in the U.S, Canada, and even Australia. Make it a point to fill up on Mondays, which, according to the app, are the cheapest gas days in most states. (Thursdays are the most expensive.) Also, slow down! Speeding and slamming on the brakes can lower your gas mileage significantly.
4. Benefit on Your Birthday
Lots of restaurants offer free items to help you celebrate. (See the list here.) Some retailers also offer discounts or free gifts, like American Eagle Outfitters (15% the entire month), DSW ($5 gift certificate), J.Crew Factory (20% off+free shipping), and Sephora (free gift). Be aware that all of these require loyalty program sign-ups.
5. Make Some Simple Swaps
Use any cheap hair conditioner instead of shaving cream. Use baby oil to remove eye makeup. Use dryer balls instead of fabric softener. Switch to rechargeable batteries. They can be recharged hundreds of times for huge savings over time.
6. Look for Coupons Online
Headed out to eat? Stop for a hot sec and check out restaurant.com to see if there’s a discount offered at one of your favorite spots. Love Twitter? Follow @AmazonDeals and @RetailMeNot for great deals. (And follow @EmpTnestBlessed while you’re at it!) 🙂
7. Go With Gift Cards
Sites like GiftCardGranny.com will buy your unwanted gift cards and resell them at a discount. You can purchase other people’s cast-offs for significant savings too. Also, Sam’s Club and Costco offer discounted gift cards for multiple retailers. I just bought a 3-pack of $50 Disney gift cards at Sam’s Club for $142.98 in preparation for our upcoming trip. Hey, every bit helps, right? Love going to the movies? Both Sam’s Club and Costco offer savings on movie tickets as well.
How do you save money in the empty nest? I’d love to hear your quick and easy methods. Please leave me a comment below and share your best tips!