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10 Clever Ways to Save Money this Month

Quick and easy ways to cut down on your monthly budget.

10 Clever Ways to Save Money this Month

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Life is expensive these days! According to CTV News, food alone will cost families $700 more than in years past. Then there are all the additional costs, like interest and mortgage rates, as well as kids’ extracurriculars, to name just a few. It all adds up, and quickly! So, here are 10 quick and easy ways to cut down on your monthly budget.

Monitor streaming subscriptions

Review your current streaming and other “extra” services, and see which one you can cut. Cut just one, even if it’s $10 a month; in a year, that’s $120! I know my husband and I love catching up on the latest series. If we don’t have the network streaming it, we’ll subscribe with the intention of canceling after a few weeks. But do we? We also subscribe to music and video game services. It's time to reevaluate just how many entertainment sources we need.

Cut back on coffee

Reduce your morning to-go coffee (or give it up altogether). We all need a little treat once in a while, but when a fancy coffee can cost more than $5, there are ways to scale back a bit. Get a smaller size or eliminate the extra shot of whatever. If you want a little “somethin’ somethin’,” get the whipped cream, which is usually free.

adult friends at a cafe talking iStock

Go to markets

Yes, it’s an extra “to do,” but it’ll pay off (literally). Buying fruits and veggies is much cheaper at a market than at the grocery store. It’s also usually fresher too, meaning you’ll get more bang for your buck with produce that lasts longer and won’t go bad before you get to eat it, meaning less food waste.

Swap clothing

Gather up your girlfriends and organize a clothing swap. Have them bring their hand-me-downs, their kid’s second-hand stuff, or both. It’s a great way to get a second life out of gently used clothes, switch up your wardrobe, and avoid spending money on clothing for a while.

Sell old items

It’s time to finally list those items for sale that are sitting in the bottom of your bedroom closet. We all have those things we know we could sell, but we just haven’t taken the time to photograph them, write the descriptions, and post them online. Now is the time. It’ll clear out some clutter and add extra cash to your wallet.

Pack snacks from home

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It’s easy to grab things on the go when we’re out and about, but it’s also costly – those seemingly small purchases add up. Keep a few granola or protein bars, bags of nuts or seeds, or other self-contained snacks in your purse or car glovebox to always have something on hand for those “I’m hungry” requests.

Use reusable products

Invest in something reusable. There are things in our household that we constantly buy and use, but they come in reusable versions. For example, I purchased washable silicone sealable bags and elasticized bowl covers for my house to cut back on buying plastic like Ziploc baggies and Saran Wrap. I bought them six months ago and they’re all still in perfect shape. Other suggestions include reusable paper towels, washable cosmetic pads, a metal or glass water bottle (in lieu of disposable plastic water bottles), and Tupperware containers (to replace all those snack baggies in school lunches).

Start a garden

Growing your own edibles is fun and can provide you with fresh fruits and veggies all summer long (and all year if you want to buy a small grow light for growing stuff indoors). Things like lettuce, peppers, and cherry tomatoes are easy to grow and can either be put into the ground or planted in pots – it can save you a lot of money when you don’t have to stock up on produce all season. If you have the space, beets, potatoes, and carrots are also relatively simple to cultivate in the ground. Herbs are effortless to grow too. If you really have the space, things like raspberries and blueberries will spread like crazy, giving you bowlfuls of beautiful berries every summer.

family does gardening together iStock

Redeem loyalty points

If things are feeling a bit tight this month money-wise, maybe it’s time to cash in those points you’ve been accumulating. Whether it’s fast-food points, points on a grocery card, or redeemed points from a credit card, all those “extras” can ease the financial pressure a bit. Also, make sure you’re taking advantage of point systems where you shop and spend money – if they offer a fun incentive, take it!

Shop the sales

For a long time, I was frivolous with my spending and paid little attention to sale prices – I hit up my local grocery store to get everything on my list, not bothering to shop around. However, with the rising costs of food items, I find myself perusing flyers to at least find some of the stores offering the best deals on the things I need that week. While I favour my local grocery store because I know its layout and staff, I will veer away from it when another store has a lot of items I need on sale.

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You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle to save a few bucks. There are lots of easy little things we can do to change up our monthly budget. With a cut here and a trim there, we can spend less money on things we don’t necessarily need and keep more of those funds where we need it the most right now: in the bank.

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