Here are 25 more ways to continue to be conscious savers and spenders:
1. Cancel memberships and subscriptions you don’t use or need.
2. When you buy perishable items, go ahead and make several meals with them so they don’t go bad.
3. Set up automated payments to avoid wasteful late fees. Write down on a calendar when payments are expected to come out of your account, and subtract the amount in your check register to ensure you don’t spend it.
4. Old T-shirts make great cleaning rags, which reduces the amount spent on disposable products like paper towels.
5. Be honest with your friends and family about your budget. If they’re not supportive, they’re probably not people you want to hang with regularly anyway.
6. Learn the basics of using a needle and thread to mend your own clothes. Remember, YouTube is your friend.
7. Even though we both enjoy cooking, there are days when we’re just too lazy to face the kitchen. Make sure you have some easy meals on hand that don’t require too much prep or cook time. This will minimize the temptation to go to Zaxby’s.
8. Keep a record of your grocery spending. We spent $81 on our last big grocery shop, but we know we can spend less. We wrote the total on a whiteboard to remind us of the number we’re trying to reduce.
9. If you’re going to the movies, try to get tickets to the matinée showing. And look for free tickets for advance showings.
10. Get over Starbucks. It’s expensive, and it’s not that good anyway (at least that’s what we tell ourselves).
11. Volunteer at shelters or soup kitchens. There’s something about seeing people in distress that remind you to be giving and grateful for what you have.
12. Crock-Pots are the bomb.com. If you don’t have one, consider looking one at your local thrift store — then using it often to make cheap meals that stretch over multiple days.
13. Plan a weekly menu. We often do a “big cook” on Sundays where we prepare a time-consuming meal, and plan a couple of quick meals each week that don’t take more than 30-45 minutes.
14. There are tons of inexpensive ways to make your own beauty products, if you have the time. Check out books from your local library for ideas, tips and tricks.
15. Search meetup.com to find free events and activities that you might be interested in.
16. Look into your local Community Supported Agriculture options (online at fma.alabama.gov). It can be much cheaper than buying fresh produce from the supermarket. But do your research — not all CSAs are affordable or well-run.
17. Unsubscribe from the mailing lists of your favorite stores. You’ll be less tempted to go on a shopping spree if you’re not constantly bombarded with ads and promos.
18. An RSS feed service is a simple way to sort through blogs and websites that will keep you motivated to spend less.
19. Declutter — if you know what you have, you’re less likely to buy duplicates.
20. Take an inventory of the cupboards and fridge before going to the grocery store so you know exactly what and how much is already there.
21. Shop in bulk — but only if it makes sense for your household. Buying in bulk isn’t always cost effective, so find out what is and buy only those things.
22. Set up automatic deposits into a savings account.
23. When traveling, try Hotwire for hotel rooms, rental car, etc. Sure, you don’t know exactly what you’re getting ahead of time, but you can save up to 80 percent.
24. Set up some type of financial tool (we recommend mint.com) and check it weekly to see where your money is going. Reese set an alert on her calendar to check her mint.com account every Sunday, and Ricks gets a weekly summary.
25. Now for the BIG ONE: Continuously work on changing your mindset. Remember, you’re not depriving yourself. You’re living within your means.
It’s never too late to start doing the right thing with your finances. Resolve to incorporate these tips into your own thrifty lifestyle and get saving.