When's the last time you sat down to think about all of the silly, senseless spending that you do!? You know...coffee, food stops, manicures & pedicures, smoothies...all the little things that, in the moment, just seem like a few bucks here & there, but once you take a closer look, say, over the course of the month, add up to be quite a lot of money!
Over the last year+ , I couldn't be prouder of how much I have cut back on this stupid spending! In the beginning, it might seem tough to cut out the things that you just love so much, but like anything else in life, this simply comes down to establishing new habits. Pulling into Starbucks, Whole Foods or whatever it may be on a daily basis is nothing more than something we habitually do out of convenience. Creating new, money-saving habits are easier to do than you think - I promise!
So! Let's jump into this post and let me share with you, in no particular order, how I've been saving a lot of money over the last year or so!
1. PACK YOUR LUNCH. I'm putting this one first because it truly has been one of the top money savers for me over the last year! And, I would imagine it is for most people. I am constantly on the go and I realized that I was stopping in for salads off the salad bar at Whole Foods, snacks & smoothies WAY TOO OFTEN!! For years now, I have always left the house with something healthy to nosh on - apple & raw almonds, mostly - but that definitely doesn't get me thru my day where I leave the house in the morning, workout, train clients and get back home at 5-6pm or sometimes later. Now, I honestly cannot remember the last time I didn't pack my lunch! One of the easiest things to do is make a little extra for dinner to take for lunch the next day.
I make & take my lunch in these Joesph & Joseph containers every day. I absolutely love this nesting storage set!
Check out the posts below for some lunch packing inspiration.
Meal Prep & Planning No. 1
Meal Prep & Planning No. 2
2. MAKE/DRINK YOUR COFFEE AT HOME. For me, that afternoon coffee was my weakness. I've always made/drank my morning coffee at home. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of money saved if your one of those people who does the am & afternoon coffee stop - YIKES! Now, stopping for an afternoon latte (coffee or matcha) has become a treat!
Here are a couple money savers if you just can't begin to fathom cutting out your coffee runs:
LATTE DRINKER!? Switch to a simple cup of joe - Its basically half the price, not to mention less calories if you happen to drink some type of flavored (with artificial sweetener/syrup) latte.
SWITCH TO TEA. Even cheaper than coffee + so many health benefits AND won't keep you up at night.
BIGGER THE BETTER?? Switch to a medium or small ;)
If your reading & live here in Charlotte, Rush Espresso (locations in Ballantyne & Uptown) does Happy Hour from 3-4pm everyday where all coffee & tea beverages are half price!
3. COOK AT HOME & LEARN TO LOVE LEFTOVERS. Somewhat of a repeat from #1, but cooking dinner at home deserves its own place on the list. When Adam & I first started dating, we were going out to dinner like 3-4x a week. Over the last year+, and I guess once we moved in together, really, we totally got into the routine of cooking at home. We both love to cook so I don't really know why it took us so long to fall into the cook-dinner-at-home thing, but I absolutely love it. We actually even cook & do date-night-in on Friday & Saturday nights, too! I grew up doing leftovers and don't mind them at all, but Adam isn't exactly the biggest leftover lover, but we've made some progress in that department! lol
4. REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE. Before I bought my BKR Bottle (I have/love the 1L Bottle - Its super easy to keep track of how much water your drinking each day. I drink 1 Gallon every day) I can't tell you how many BPA Free water bottles I would go thru. My sister actually just got me a Swell Bottle (I LOVE this white marble swell bottle) monogrammed with my initials for my birthday and I absolutely love it! So I'm using both my BKR & Swell Bottle depending on what I'm doing bc the BKR is heavier & chunkier.
5. HANG DRY YOUR CLOTHES. I would say that Adam & I hang dry 50% of our clothes. Especially our workout clothes, which dry so quickly its kind of silly to put them in the dryer. This not only preserves your clothes - shape, color, shrinkage - but cuts back on energy costs, big time! Another tip is to use cold water whenever possible, to save money/energy even further. We use this Laundry Drying Rack, which holds a ton & easily folds up to stick in a closet when not using. But! if your like us, the rack will just be out all.the.time because we are like a laundromat. Seriously, tho!
6. MAKE YOUR SMOOTHIES/JUICES AT HOME. Ok guys, if you know me personally and/or have been following along for a while you know I LOVE my smoothies! I have a smoothie / smoothie bowl almost everyday, if not twice! This was a tough one for me to cut out/back on, but I did it! Smoothies are just so damn good and obviously stopping for one is so quick & easy but my gosh are they expensive - some cost up to $12-14! Smoothies, like a latte, have become a treat. I only stop for one here & there and I will pretty much only get one at Earth Fare or Whole Foods because they are nearly half the price of many smoothies you'll find at a local smoothie shop.
7. MANICURES / PEDICURES. I've never really been much of a manicure girl. My nails grow like weeds - I cut & file them 2x a week - and I love to keep my nails short, square & natural. I will have them polished once & a while, which is only $6-8 depending on where you go. When it comes to my pedicures, every other time I go to my nail salon, I'll have a full pedicure and for those in between visits, I simply have my nails polished. This is again, $8 vs $25 a pop. Also, my nail salon takes 10% off if you pay cash.
8. WAXING. Another item in salon services - waxing. First, I have to share that I've never had my eyebrows waxed in my life! Crazy, right!? I've always been a plucker. And I am SO happy that when I was 14 years old sitting on the counter in my parents bathroom, I never plucked my eyebrows right off. Second, that oh-so-fun lip wax, I simply do it at home! I love Sally Beauty for things like this - I've been using Gigi Cream Wax for years and love it! Pop it in the microwave for 60-90 seconds, grab your wax strips & sticks and your ready to go!
P.S. I've learned over the last several years that waxing is actually super traumatic to our delicate skin & can cause premature wrinkling & aging - especially around the super thin skin around our eyes. I've had several electrolysis treatments on my lip & face and now I only wax maybe 1x a month - so worth the money, loves! ;)
9. HAIR CUTS. For the last several years, like 6 at least, I've been getting my hair trimmed at Great Clips. Gasp!! I know. Notice I wrote TRIMMED. I do absolutely nothing to my hair, you guys. I've never colored or highlighted my hair and the only thing I do every time I sit in that salon chair is get 1/4-1/2 inch trimmed off my ends to keep my hair healthy & avoid split ends. I was SO over paying $75 for a trim at the Aveda Salon I went to for so long, so I figured I'd give Great Clips a chance and here I am years later...one happy customer.
10. SALE SHOPPER. I've always been a sale shopper & pretty sure I always will be no matter how much money I earn in life.. I love a good deal & pay close attention to sales (especially when the sale is on sale - yes!) at some of my favorite stores like Madewell, Anthropologie, Nordstrom & Neiman Marcus. Retail mark up is pretty ridiculous & I just have a hard time paying full price for something when you know its going to go on sale within a week or so after purchasing. I spent so much money on bad, impulse buys in my 20's and definitely learned my lesson. If it isn't a classic wear-for-years-to-come, investment piece - handbags, shoes, jeans, coats - you'll very rarely catch me paying full price for anything.
Hope you guys enjoyed this post & found some new ways to put a little extra money in your pocket! Happy Saving! xx