Disclosure: This is a paid endorsement. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and not directed by Capital One. Thanks, Capital One, for sponsoring this post!
As moms we wear many hats. We are cooks, healthcare providers, conflict negotiators, peace officers, the judge, jury and housekeepers…just to name a few.
Most importantly, we are also accountants. And as said accountant, our job to make sure the bills are paid and checkbook is balanced and the household budget is in check. But with the prices of food, gas prices on the rise and other cost of living expenses, it’s becoming a challenge to do, right?
A friend of mine used to live in Hawaii and when she told me the cost of a cheeseburger combo averaged about $8 (that was years ago, can you imagine how much it is now!), I thanked my luck stars I live in Houston. The cost of living here is affordable for the most part and we’re able to keep a little more change in our pocket. It’s no wonder Houston was ranked number four on GoBankingRates.com‘s list of best cities for saving money and we ranked number nine on Credit Donkey’s list of best cities for frugal living.
But even with stats like the ones I just shared with you, I have to find ways to keep more money in my bank account without making it seem like a tedious task. Here’s the thing. Saving money doesn’t have to be a stressful. As a matter of fact, there are some creative things you can do to save money and I’m about to share those with you in a bit.
Going from two incomes to one was a real eye opener for me. If I learned anything during that tough time, it’s how to be creative and resourceful when it comes to saving money – without making it seem like I am.
Capital One asked me if I would like to partner up with them and share my money saving tips with you and I was happy to accept! Here are 10 ways I save money and save time and I hope they’ll be just as help to you, too.
10 Ways to Save Money and Save Time
1 – Clip coupons. You’ll find them in your Sunday paper or you can find them here on the coupons page. Checkout grocery stores for specials like double or triple coupon programs for added savings. Organize them in a binder (I use baseball card holders) for easier access.
2 – Put a weekly menu together using budget-friendly recipes. I love kraftfoods.com and The Menu Mom. They use everyday ingredients and the recipes don’t require a lot of prep/cook time, which is my favorite part!
3 – As much fun as it may be spending time with the kiddos, the one thing I learned is when the kiddos go with you to the grocery store there is a possibility you’ll end up putting items in your shopping cart that wasn’t on your list. Happens to me whenever I take my grandsons and the hubs, hehe.
4 – Put the numbers together before heading to the store. I like price matching but I also have my go-to store that I regularly go to. If you have a set budget for groceries, it’s a good idea to go the store you’re familiar with the prices so you can put you list together and calculate how much you anticipate spending, less any coupons you might use.
5 – Recycle your change. Grab a jar and collect your spare change, even your one dollar bills. You’d be surprised at how much you can collect. We just cashed out our change after saving for over 6 months. We had over six hundred dollars in change and one-dollar bills!
6 – Take advantage store reward programs. For example, if you shop at Kroger and use their card, you score points for your purchases and can use at any participating Shell gas station for 10 cents off per gallon (instead of paying $3.83 you’d pay $3.73 a gallon). Walmart has a price comparison program that’s great, too and many times worth the extra trip.
7 – Reduce energy costs by unplugging unused appliances and turning off lights. My kids are always leaving the lights on and there I am behind them turning them off! I know you know where I’m comin’ from, ladies!
8 – Replace light bulbs with an energy star-approved CFL or compact fluorescent light bulb or LED. According to energystar.gov, you can save about $6 a year in energy costs and use about 75% less energy.
9 – Always keep looking for better deals on auto and mortgage insurance. More companies are offering discounts for multiple policies so when you’re policy is about to expire, start shopping around and see if you can find a better deal.
10 – Finally, I’m making more home-cooked meals but when we do go for take-out, I look for restaurant coupons. I don’t have little ones but I do have grandkids so I look for specials like “kids eat free”.
Other Ways to Save Money
Capital One also partnered with Digital Lifestyle Expert Katie Linendoll. Katie said
We live in a day and age where new technologies afford us the ability to improve our lives in new, offbeat ways. By applying that same principle to our personal finance routines, we’re better poised to cut unnecessary costs while saving precious time and hard earned money, too.
She provided some financial life hacks to help you save and bank using the latest technology and digital tools already at your fingertips. Here are Katie’s top ways to bank and save more ways.
- Make your home smarter. Strengthening your financial IQ begins at home. Enhancing your home life with smart products can save you time, energy and money. By switching to a smart thermostat, which can turn on and off when you need to, you’ll save up to $145/year.* *SOURCE: Nest
- Cut the cord. The average cable bill per household is around $99 per month, and most people only watch a handful of those channels. A one-time purchase of a media streaming device costs about the same as a single month of cable. Subscribe to your favorites and you can save around $1,000 a year*. *SOURCE: An annual survey by Leichtman Research Group
- Trade in your old tech for cash. Have some old phones and tablets lying around? They could be worth a couple hundred bucks. Many internet trade-in sites and retail stores will offer gift cards and even free shipping for your old tech through something called “recommerce,” aka reverse commerce. If you can make money off old things lying around, do it!
- Take charge of your spending (and saving). Many Americans struggle to come up with emergency expenses, which makes having the flexibility to bank more ways all the more critical. Enroll with a bank like Capital One, which offers great digital tools and services – such as Online BillPay, Enhanced Transactions, Mobile Check Deposit and Personalized Alerts – which ultimately work harder for you and your bottom line.
Over To You
I really hope these money-saving and time-saving tips will be helpful to you. I know what it’s like to struggle to save money. But as long as there are tools and resources like the ones I shared in this post, I know we’ll be okay.
What are some of the things you do get more bang for your buck and keep those bucks in the bank? Scroll down to the comments section below and let us know what has helped you.