New Money Saving Ideas!

There are tons of ways online to save money and make more money but everyone lives and has different priorities. For my husband and me the big one is eating good food, that’s where we honestly spend the most money, aside from regular bills of course. We’ve cut way down on eating out/ordering online, but my husband is trying to eat healthy which is a little hard because that means we almost never eat the same meal. I have friends who spend money on trips or video games, where as we rarely go anywhere, but are certainly gamers and do spend money (but on rare occasions, every 3-6 months).

There are certain things we do to make our money stretch to the best of our abilities and I know we could do a ton more but here are some (hopefully) new ideas.

  • 1st and foremost buying in bulk and getting a deep freezer! In our house we’re meat eaters, so buying good meat in bulk and storing a good bit in our deep freezer (MASSIVE thank you to Jeff and Kim for the beloved freezer which they gave it to us when we helped them move, you guys are the best for so many reasons) is a must. It’s saved us from misplacing all sorts of food lost to the depths of our freezer. Things still get lost but that’s mainly because we both are getting progressively more forgetful.

  • Restaurant Depot. Personal game changer. I’ve known about Restaurant Depot for a while but I’ve never really thought much about actually trying to shop there. We got lucky and one of my husband’s co-workers actually has a membership with Restaurant Depot and lets us use his card (there’s a whole membership section on their site). We only get a few essentials and it adds up VERY quick, but it’s ALWAYS WORTH IT! Each trip usually yields a case of chicken at about $1.20ish/lbs., cases of coke (look, I know it’s not good for you but I need a can or 2 a day, don’t worry I also drink a lot of water too), Arizona Tea and flavored water, a slab of uncut steak (flank may be the correct term, you know what I mean), 1 or 2 pack of baby back ribs at $2.39/lbs., pork butt, milk or heavy cream and high quality salmon. We don’t normally get snacks there because it’s just too large a quantity for me alone to handle. But the QUALITY of the food, well, it’s restaurant quality! It helps us not eat out because we can make what we want at home and store for future use and for my husband to eat at work. Though when we make ribs or pulled pork we do give some away to his coworkers and our neighbor because sharing is WAY better than getting super tired of a particular meal after you’ve had for every meal for a week straight. We make this trip on average once a month, twice sometimes if we’re craving ribs.

  • I have a Costco membership (which I do love) but when things are full price and in bulk it gets expensive, for good reason, but I try to be very mindful about food spoilage. For instance I love Costco baguettes and muffins but hate frozen bread and my other half isn’t eating bread right now (he’s not a huge bread person to begin with though). Usually we buy eggs, snacks, hamburger, some ‘smaller’ meals (roast beef usually) and frozen food. Our newest staple is frozen cauliflower rice for my husband. At about $9/bag he can easily sub this in for rice consumption and even has a pizza recipe on the bag which my husband liked. Now I do always know what is on sale and I’m sure to stock up if, say, frozen pizza or motor oil is on sale. I use the Costco app on my phone to track the sales and make a list of sale items.

  • A ‘won’t live without’ one we’ve come across over the past few years is quite different but specifically directed at pet owners. We found out by pure luck that major pet stores regularly mark down/discount pet food and other supplies. The best place for our area is Petsmart or Petco. Understand I’m not talking 10-20% off like you can regularly find online through pretty much any simple Google search – now if you’re not near a bunch of these pet stores I’d HIGHLY recommend that you find a convenient source that discounts online, paying full price for items like this goes against my basic beliefs when savings are SO EASY TO FIND! For us though we have a lot of options and rarely hit up a place where things aren’t discounted by normally 50-70% off normal price. The best we got is a 90% reduction when we first started this practice. My dogs range from 25lbs to almost 70lbs, and when I can I like them to have good food. Now this will not work if your dog is picky, or has allergies, but it’s always worth a try. The reasons for these discounts are because the items are either getting close to the expiration date or the items had a rebranding. When we had our most recent move we found 15lbs Blue Buffalo with storage/pour containers + wet food for $15/each- needless to say we bought 4 of those and gave one to our neighbor when he was going through a rough time. I still use those containers to store food in well over a year later. Why were they so cheap? They came with a coupon inside that was set to expire. This tip alone saves us a lot on dog food, and sometime cleaning supplies. Our stores have a few ways to ‘display’ mark downs: some have a dedicated area for mark downs and most just slap yellow stickers on the bags of food and show what the discount is in with all the regular stacks of food. We walk down every dog food aisle looking for yellow stickers but only buy ones at least 50% off, otherwise we wait another week or two and try again because as the expiration gets closer the more they have to mark it down to get it out the door otherwise it goes in the trash or (hopefully) donation. EXCEPTION!! Science Diet or any other prescribed food you have to have a actually prescription for – we didn’t know this and found a bag 80% or so off on Science Diet but couldn’t buy it without a vet’s note. We both didn’t know that was an actual thing. The more you know, right??

  • Now this one is a little off the wall, and I will have many other posts on the subject – Estate sales. I’m fortunate to work for an estate sale company and have for over 4 years, thus amounting not only a good deal knowledge but also many useful things. Now I won’t go over too much but there are things I always target and constantly laugh at customers who give me smack saying things like “well, I’m sure you guys always get the best stuff” the idea being we take all the ‘best things’ home before customers get to shop. My ‘best’ things? Soap, salt, magic erasers (for my mom), unopened hydrogen peroxide, cleaning supplies, kitchen towels and pizza cutters (though I only have 1 large and 1 small one now because we had a customer who really needed one – who was very nice - and I brought him 2 the next day from my home). I am stoked when I grab some Swiffer dusters from a sale and nice kitchen towels. My collection means I will have enough to last at least 2 years and I haven’t even considered buying paper towels for 3 years easy. None of the regular shoppers understand this, and I’ve made a few people really mad because I’ll make an excited noise across a house when I find something I need – rust remover, tub of new tootsie rolls, roll of patio screen – and people actually hurrying over to me only to find something mundane. You’d think I found a gold bar or something. Nope just something I needed. Check out to see what is in your area!

  • We always try to do our own repairs/maintenance. Actually my husband has a project car he’s been working on for years and has learned a lot in the process. We've only taken our cars into the shop for alignments which I always make sure we pay for a 3-5 year plan which means any time I go in the alignment has already been paid for. As a person who paid thousands and thousands of dollars at mechanics for my first few cars, few things makes me happier then walking out of an auto shop without paying a dime. Oil changes, brakes, belts add up and are beyond important! If you’re not comfortable doing these, I totally get that, but that doesn’t mean don’t do it. I actually know someone who blew a brand new car because they NEVER changed their oil; I believe it was in less than a year. Don’t be that guy (and yes, it was a guy).

There are all sorts of things you can do to learn new things and find ways to save a little money while living the lifestyle you want. I know this is a short list, and yet a little wordy so I’ll include some links to other lists for you to check out. Please let me know if you all have any off the wall saving ideas in the comments below! - I follow this site RELIGIOUSLY, seriously. Even when I know I can't buy anything I always check it out for free stuff. I've gotten all sorts of this for free from this site. My latest score? Free bag of cold brew Dunkin' Donuts coffee in the mail with a $3 off coupon. Didn't even pay for shipping! - My newest site to check into regularly. Don't know it? Get to know it. From saving money to find jobs, this site has it all.

#MoneySavingIdeas #Saving #Shopping

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