While some have tighter budgets than others, the truth is we all have one. If you’re anything like me, you may need some new budgeting and money saving ideas to consider. I decided to reach out to 12 ladies and ask for the best ways to save money on a tight budget.
I have not yet tried each and every one of these tips, but you can be sure that I plan to work these into my routine so that I can save money on a tight budget.
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and decide to make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission.
So let’s dive right in and talk about ways to save money on a tight budget.
Cash Back and Price Drop Services
Diana from Mastering the Side Jam says,
I use cash back and price drop services with EVERYTHING I buy online. Realizing when you’re on a tight budget, you won’t be doing a lot of extravagant shopping.
If you are accustomed to shopping online (or would like to become so) there are definitely services that help you save money while continuing your normal spending habits!
Take Ebates for example. Instead of spending hours clipping coupons and reviewing store deals, Ebates provides an online solution to find all of the best deals in one place.
Give Ebates a try! You can earn $10 just for signing up and getting started.
Ebates Review: How Does Ebates work? Proof of Payment Included!
Credit Card Rewards
Earning cash back or points rewards from a credit card is also a huge money saver! I have earned thousands of dollars worth of cash back and reward points over the last four years without changing my spending habits.
Apply through my link and get 100,000 reward points if approved and meet certain qualifications.
Credit card debt, however, should not be taken lightly because the interest rates can set you far back in your finances. But if paid off at the end of each month (only spend what you have in the bank), then you can use a credit card to your advantage!
Read how I took my family on 3 FREE vacations using credit card rewards.
“Use It Up”, Meatless and $10 Meal Plans
Amy from Practical Cash says,
When money is tight, I make a “use it up” meal plan for the week to help reduce the amount of groceries we buy. Fruit we already have gets added to oatmeal, that frozen roast I never cooked gets defrosted and used up, and extra eggs get turned into quiche.
Use It Up
I am so guilty of throwing leftovers and perishables in the trash that go bad before I can use them. Having a plan to use this food up before it goes bad could literally save hundreds of dollars each month (depending on the size of your family). Fresh produce is not cheap and making sure that every bit of it is used and enjoyed is imperative to saving money on a tight budget.
Free Grocery Pickup
If time is short and you feel forced to over spend in order to save an extra trip to the store a few days later, perhaps a free grocery pickup service could help you order fresh food in the right quantities at the right times.
Walmart Grocery Pickup is perfect for busy moms. Simply order exactly what you need and Walmart does the shopping and loads your car for FREE. You can also get $10 just for trying it out. This free services saves you so much time and money because it allows you to order only what you need when you need it.
Anna from Abrazo and Coze says,
I make a menu plan to save money. I start by writing out the meals we typically eat. Then I figure out what each costs – my limit for supper is $10 for a family of four. Any meals on the list that are more expensive, I figure out how to cut the cost down to $10.
It’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds to ensure that every meal costs $10 or less. Substituting ingredients such as spices, meats or sides can make all the difference. One of my favorite meat substitutes is to use ground venison in place of ground beef. Food substitutes are a great way to save money on a tight budget.
Kendra from Savvy At Home Mom says,
Meal planning and including vegetarian fare in our weekly dinner menu (even though we are not strictly vegetarian).
Imagine how much money you could save by planning at least two vegetarian meals per week. You could work these meals around your “use it up” meal plans in order to ensure that no fresh produce goes to waste at the end of each week! You are also saving a significant amount of money by eliminating meat from a couple of meals each week.
Shop Sales, Sales, Sales!
I never tire of a good sale. But catching the great sales does take time and planning!
Crystal from MommyIsAWino.com says,
I monitor sales circulars for my grocery store and monitor the pricing of favorite items. I stock up on certain items when they are at their absolutely lowest price.
Some mommy’s find the best deals by stacking store points with store coupons and manufacturer coupons. With a lot of diligence and a willingness to learn the “secrets” of couponing, I’ve known mom friends who get paid to find the best deals possible.
Hayley from Missmanypennies says,
We save money on groceries by doing brand downshifting experiments: looking at which items we buy branded versions of and trying the next cheapest. If we don’t notice the difference, or don’t mind it, we buy that instead. Rinse and repeat.
When it comes to name brand versus store brand, I almost always choose store brand because of the savings. This is one of my top ways to save money on a tight budget. Some store brand food products are just as delicious as name brand products. If there are some name brands that you can’t go without, simply limit how many of these you work into your budget each week.
If you’re not ready to ditch name brand items all at once, then try experimenting with your options little by little! You could end up finding so many delicious replacements that you didn’t even know existed.
Cut or Bundle Monthly Subscriptions
June from This Simple Balance says,
We decided to cut Netflix. It sounds unconventional, but we already have Amazon Prime, which includes movies and TV shows for kids. We already have several free apps that provide other shows.
There are so many monthly services that we can either eliminate or downgrade in order to save money every single month. Netflix, Cable, Internet, store memberships, gym memberships, home phone, Xbox, and any other reoccurring plan that you no longer use or require an upgraded plan for could really add up! It is so easy to setup a reoccurring payment for a service and then forget about it. I have done this many times. Let’s clean up those bad boys once and for all!
Shop Second Hand
Amy White from Daily Successful Living says,
I love using Thredup to save money on my clothing budget. Thredup is a great way to purchase used clothing online. I can get very nice quality clothing for a fraction of the price.
There is absolutely no shame in buying second hand clothing. This is another one of my top ways to save money on a tight budget!
Here’s a helpful tip: figure out the day(s) that your local Salvation Army offers store-wide discounts and make sure to check out the deals when your kids are in need of new play clothes!
If you can’t find all the clothing you need second hand, you can still find some great deals on brand new items. Mommy Jhy says, “We have 3 kids so we only buy clothes and shoes if they are on buy 1 free 1 promos.”
Make and/or Grow Your Own Food
I am not comfortable in the kitchen and I do not have a green thumb, but the amount of money that can be saved by learning these skills is incredible!
Make Your Own
Bri from Frugal Minimalist Kitchen says,
I bake my own sourdough bread. A loaf costs me about $1 to make, but to buy a similar bread in the store or market it costs $5-$7! Since we eat a loaf a week, we end up saving $16-$24 a month just on bread, while not sacrificing quality or taste!
Make a list of the foods that your family enjoys and eats often. Now search for some recipes for each of those foods. Research ingredient costs and compare to the total cost of the store bought food item. How much could you save by replacing some favorites with homemade foods?
Grow Your Own
Dana from Piwakawaka Valley Homestead says,
[We] grow our vegetables, herbs and eggs. Even a window box can grow lettuce or fresh herbs.
How many fresh vegetables could you grow that would save money on your weekly grocery trips? There are certainly a wide variety of veggies that can be grown from home. Instead of overwhelming yourself and growing all produce at home, consider choosing two or three of your favorites and start there. If you love it, you can always add in more variety each year.
Negotiate Purchases and Save Money
Lucky Mojito says,
People don’t realize how much they can save just by asking. Compare and offer to pay cash if it’s cheaper. We just saved money fixing our house and our car by negotiating. Every bit helps when you’re on a budget.
Don’t underestimate one of the most effective ways to save money on a tight budget. Negotiating prices by requesting multiple estimates and shopping multiple vendors is a great way to save money.
Any time I have a large purchase to make, you better believe I’ll be checking around and negotiating the best price! Work this into your purchasing routine and you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.
How Do You Save Money on a Tight Budget?
For me it is easy to “ignore” where money is overly spent and “forget” to keep a close look on the budget. But ultimately, monitoring our budget and adding in new ways to save is the best way to keep my family’s money in check.
What are your favorite ways to save money on a tight budget that I haven’t mentioned? I know that I’ve only scratched the surface by sharing these 7 tips to save money.