1. Have fun without spending much money
Many people equate saving money with having less fun, but you don't need to sacrifice all forms of entertainment to save a buck. Here are some frugal activities that are sure to keep you and your family occupied:
Free activities in your neighbourhood
From farmers markets to street fairs, there are fun and free activities happening nearby. Check with your community centre or local library to see what's available.
Go on a picnic
A picnic can cost next to nothing if you're walking or biking to a nearby park, especially if you fill your basket with food you already have in your kitchen.
Visit the museum or zoo on “free days”
Many museums and zoos offer “free days” throughout the year. Check their websites for dates and prepare for a day filled with fun and learning!
Join a book or wine club
If your friends or neighbours share your passion for books or fine wine, why not organize monthly get-togethers? You'll make new friends, learn new things and participate in some fun discussions.
Enjoy the outdoors or explore your city
Consider exploring parts of your city you rarely visit. Pick an afternoon to stroll through a park or the artsy part of town you've always talked about visiting.
2. Repair instead of replacing items
Certain items can be repaired for significantly less than it would cost to buy a replacement. Plus, in addition to saving you money, repairing something also keeps it out of a landfill and contributes to a healthier planet. Here are some items you can fix for cheap:
Shoes, handbags and purses
Bring life back to your favourite shoes and handbags by reconditioning and repairing them. You can polish them up yourself or find a repair shop to replace heels and recondition leather items.
Well-made furniture can often be repaired or refinished to give it a new lease on life. If the repair is too complex or beyond your skill level, find a furniture repair shop in your neighbourhood.
Tools stored in your garden shed will accumulate dirt and corrode over time. Start by wiping them down and checking for any damage. Once clean, apply a general-purpose lubricant to any moving parts. Properly maintaining your tools will increase their lifespan and could save you money in the long run.
3. Become a one-car household
Cars are very expensive, so if you can manage without a second one, you could save thousands of dollars every year. Before you commit to being a single-vehicle family, just be sure to consider how your lifestyle and work situation will be impacted. If you have convenient public transportation options nearby, or both you and your spouse don't need to commute daily, it could be a good option for you.
4. Get rid of unnecessary subscriptions
Recurring payments for streaming services, gym memberships and apps can add up quickly. Help save money by trimming back on your subscriptions and cancelling automatic renewals to services you rarely use. Review your financial statements to find subscriptions you may be paying for, and decide which ones you want to keep and which you want to cancel. These are some common subscriptions that may be taking an unexpected bite out of your budget:
Video streaming services
These subscriptions can add up to hundreds of dollars a year. Cut down your list to the services you use most, or consider taking a break for a few months.
Each of these subscriptions can cost you more than $120 a year. If you don't mind listening to the occasional ad, why not use the free version of music services, where offered?
Thanks to fitness influencers, at-home workouts are now more accessible than ever. Not only will you save money on gym fees, but you'll also avoid the expenses associated with getting to the gym.
5. Buy used items
Saving money is one of the biggest reasons to buy used items, but there are plenty of other benefits, like keeping items out of landfills. When looking for used items, there are many online options to choose from. Check out nearby thrift and consignment stores for an in-person treasure hunting experience. Here are a few items you should consider buying second-hand:
- Home décor
- Toys and games
- Sport and exercise equipment
6. Cut Costs at the Grocery Store
A single trip to the grocery store can be a staggering expense these days. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can save money:
Shop at discount grocery stores
The store closest to your home may not always be the cheapest option. Do some price comparisons and find out if there are stores nearby that offer lower prices.
See what's on sale
Check nearby grocery stores' weekly flyers. You might find deals near you that aren't available at other stores.
Buy generic brands
Do your wallet a favour and try the store brand version of items you buy regularly. You might find these options taste just as good while also being more affordable.
Make a grocery list
One of the easiest ways to save money on groceries is to make a grocery list before leaving the house. It'll make it a lot easier to stay on budget.
7. Reduce household energy consumption
You can make small changes around your home that add up to big savings on your monthly utility bills. Try to:
Seal leaky windows and doors
Replacing worn caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors helps reduce drafts and keeps moisture out of your home. Not only will this improve your comfort, but it will help reduce your energy consumption and could lower your utility bills.
Upgrade your light bulbs
Switching to modern LED light bulbs is a simple way to reduce energy use. They will cost more to buy than regular light bulbs, but they last much longer and will deliver savings for years to come.
Use cold water in the washing machine
Washing laundry with cold water uses less energy and can even make your clothes last longer. This is because cold water is gentler on clothing and reduces the fading and shrinking that shortens the lifespan of many fabrics.
Use ceiling or floor fans instead of air conditioning
Air conditioners consume a lot of energy. To help reduce your energy bills during the summer months, try running ceiling and floor fans at the same time as the AC, and adjust the thermostat up a few degrees.
Following these simple tips can help you trim down your expenses and reduce the impact inflation has on your household budget and quality of life. Plus, don't forget – you can also save on your home and auto insurance by bundling your policies, installing a home security system, and more. Check out our full list of savings and discounts today!
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and The Personal cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.