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Inflation Nation Series: Money Hoarding (how to save, part 2)

Updated: Jul 16, 2022

In a previous post we discussed ways to cut corners. It's hard to write about saving money because truthfully, as a family here that uses all the tips and tricks you could find on the internet, we're still searching for those money saving schemes. In this post, some suggestions may come up that you haven't considered, but might want to. For readability and convenience, this will just be a long list to browse until something seems right.

  1. Budgeting can be difficult to do on paper, but if you get the Living Well Planner that may be your best go to if you're the person that needs it all written out. If you need different visuals, then link your bank account to apps like Mint or Nerdwallet since these apps automatically track your budget as you go. You may have to go through and recategorize some transactions to get it to be more accurate, but sometimes writing it all out doesn't help as much as seeing a color coded big picture of what you're doing with your money and how it compares to your income. Bottom line, saving begins with at least getting a general idea of what you're actually spending and making.

  2. Couponing takes a lot of time and you could end up buying things just for the hype and end up not needing it. However, you can use apps like Flipp, select your preferred stores and you'll get the weekly ads for everything all in one place. It's not efficient with gas prices to go from one store to the next just to get the best deals on everything, but you can at least see if one store has deals on most of the things you'd want.

  3. Try these cashback apps and see if cash back is helpful for you. These are some to start with but as you know, there's tons more. You can get cash back on all the following apps: Rakuten - several shops; Fetch - several shops; Ibotta - groceries; Upside - gas

  4. If ever the stars would align, you could always combine deals on weekly ads (Flipp) with your handy cash back apps (Ibotta), and if you happen to already have a credit or debit card that offers cash back, using all these together could add up to serious savings. Although, we do not recommend you go out and sign up for a credit card just to bank on cash back.

  5. Do a clothes swap with your friends. This must be something that was popular in the 90's and just went away. But if you have a group of friends and you all have clothes you want to get rid of but are in decent condition, have a clothing swap party (maybe with wine) and you can get several new outfits while cleaning out your closet. And no one had to spend a dime (except on that wine).

  6. Go on a money fast. Much like a fasting diet where you go a period of time without eating, or like a vow of silence where you work to not speak for a set period of time, try going on a money fast where you don't go shopping outside of necessities (no fun shopping, no going out to eat, no activities that cost money like the movies) for a period of time you can handle. Try a month, see how much you actually spend on real necessities and what has been going to recreation.

  7. Always check Ebay, Poshmark, Craigslist, Swap, any second hand or private seller website when buying stuff that usually has a high cost brand new. You could get a flat screen television that was originally worth over $2,000 for only $700 depending on if you find someone desperate enough that they need to get rid of their things. For this strategy, don't buy just to buy. Look for things that you need, check out normal retail price, and compare on Ebay to see if you can get a better deal. Beware, sometimes people actually sell items on Ebay for more than what they're work.

  8. Getting veggies at the store is best, but not if you're going to let them go to waste. Some veggies that last the longest: potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers, poblano peppers, tomatillos, tomatoes (if refrigerated) can last a couple weeks, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, pretty much any fall squash, turnips (can be used to replace potatoes in any recipe), carrots, parsnips, cabbage, broccoli and celery. Some foods that go bad fast: zucchini/squash, lettuce and greens, green beans, avocados, bananas, herbs, mushrooms (use within the week if you love them that damn much).

  9. Use tons of veggie filler in your dinners. If you're making tacos, instead of just making meat and Pico, sauté some potatoes, peppers, even carrots to add to the mix. Making a stir fry? Throw in some broccoli, carrots, peppers, celery with a meat and you'll be overloaded with plenty of food. Meat being the most expensive part of a meal makes this strategy worth trying.

  10. Got pets? Use Chewy's autoship system to save 5% on your pet products for recurring needs. If you need dog shampoo, dog food, and other things on a regular basis, you can set up a regular shipment for a small discount. If a shipment is scheduled and you don't need those things, you can change the order or cancel it for that period. Their prices in general are competitive with local brick and mortar shops, so might be worth checking out!

  11. Cut out unnecessary costs. If you can manage without cable, stick with internet streaming, or if you feel like you can even go without all of that, go for it. Internet at your local library is free, and if you have a cellphone with data you can always rely on that. If you have minimal need for internet, consider a hot spot with your cellphone carrier. This route is not recommended for those of you that plan to stream several devices or are into gaming.

  12. Cut out unnecessary subscriptions and jump on subscriptions that matter. Soap box here, have you noticed that shaving razors are so expensive they'll make you want to cry? That's why some subscriptions like Dollar Shave Club are worth it. If you want to be a minimalist, set up your subscription for once every other month, and you're looking at spending maybe $50 a year on razors (about $8 per pack of 4 for the 4 blade razors), compared to store bought razors that cost $16 (twice as much) for a set of three (if you want the nice kind). Level up by using your conditioner or shampoo as shaving cream instead of buying that stuff separately.

  13. Make your cleaning supplies. Buy a half gallon bottle of vinegar at the store for $3, a $1 spray bottle, mix 1 part vinegar with maybe 3 or 4 parts water, or whatever strength you desire, and you have a non-toxic cleaner that can degrease pretty much anything and will last you several months to a year. It's also multipurpose, with the exception of hardwood floors (it will damage those).

  14. Free activities. If you're the kind of person that likes to do things, but you notice you spend a bit every weekend to do that, spend some time looking at local activities that cost nothing. Go to the library instead of buying books. Take a hike at a nearby park. Play a board game with your friends. Have a movie marathon at home. Try to have an Iron Chef competition at home using ONLY the ingredients currently in your pantry. Pick up a new hobby like writing or drawing, even if you're not good at those things, trying will still be good for your brain. Plus there's plenty of instructional videos online to do just about anything.

  15. If you're pretty sure you won't overdraft, try this trick: When your paycheck hits your account, calculate how much you had left or "rolled over" from the previous paycheck. Could be $2, could be $50, whatever it is, roll that extra over into your savings account so you're sure to only spend how much you make or less because when your paycheck comes around, you immediately save what was leftover from the last one.

Other articles you find may suggest signing up for apps that have you look at videos or play games for money. If that's your thing, go for it! We don't list those options here simply because those strategies often have you give information and sign up for things that you didn't want, might sell your information, take valuable time for little return, OR don't make due on promises of money leaving you disappointed and defeated. The above strategies are real people strategies for individuals who don't want to look at a screen all day or sign up for a bunch of sketchy websites/games just to make a few bucks. In fact, the above options are ones that even these vixens have or are willing to use for themselves, and not just listed here to fill space for content!

Stop by the forum and share with your fellow vixens how YOU save your money.

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