7 Things We’re Doing That Save Us Over $5000 / Year

7 Things We’re Doing That Save Us Over $5000 / Year

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We’re all looking for ways to save money!

Recently (or a few months ago anyhow – time flies!) I wrote about my season of uncontrolled spending in the post 10 things I quit buying to save money. That post went crazy! It’s one of my most popular posts to date actually… (YAY!) It really drove home to me that we are all looking for more ways to make our money go further and SAVE a little.

We are all (for the most part, across the board) in the same boat. No one has a money tree and even if you are pretty financially successful I can almost guarantee you didn’t get there by throwing away your money on frivolous purchases or spending mindlessly. (more…)

10 1/2 Tips to Help You Stop Wasting Food

10 1/2 Tips to Help You Stop Wasting Food

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Oh the guilt…

Before we can have an honest conversation about how to stop wasting food, we need to look at some statistics. Did you know that just one quarter of all wasted food could feed the 795 million undernourished people around the world who suffer from hunger (source)?? What about the fact that In the USA, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month (source)?

More personally, the average American throws away between $28-433 in the form of about 20 pounds of food each month (source). That is an INCREDIBLE amount of money throughout the year! If we use the smaller numbers, 28×12= $336.00 per YEAR that we are just throwing away. (more…)

10 Things I Quit Buying (to Save Money)

10 Things I Quit Buying (to Save Money)

(This post probably contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here.)

You’ve probably heard that in most relationships, there is just one person who is largely in charge of the finances.

It’s a generalization, but one that hits the nail on the head with my husband and me. We make all our major money decisions together – house, car, investments, insurance… anything that costs more than a couple hundred bucks really.

But I, almost unilaterally, do all the spending. I pay the bills, I buy the groceries, I plan the holidays and I am absolutely not complaining. I love having free reign over the bank account – which, by the way, G contributes to far more than I do. (Update: this USED to be true, until I started this blog – last month I made over $5000 from home – read my October Blog Income report!)

We don’t have a perfect relationship, but we do have a pretty perfect financial relationship. I don’t believe a lot of people can say that. We do not fight about money.

Related: 6 Habits of People Who Stay Debt-Free
Related: The best LEGIT online survey companies that pay for your opinion

Now, I’m pretty financially responsible. G wouldn’t trust me with all the spending if I wasn’t. (Hopefully I can encourage you to be as well, if that’s a goal of yours!)

But I had an ugly blip. Over the past few years as we got older and somewhat financially secure and more lazy, I developed some very bad spending habits. Not bad enough to rack up a bunch of credit card debit (thank goodness) but bad enough that I was spending at least $5000.00 a year that should have gone into savings.

When I started on my intentional living journey I took a very long hard look at my spending. Maybe I’ve been spending poorly for around 5 years.

Maybe I have wasted $25,000. This thought makes me sick. It SHOULD make me sick; I don’t even make that in a year. The stark reality is that I have no way to know how much I have wasted and it’s likely far more than I think.

So I looked at my spending. I watched myself hand over my debit card again and again, and I asked myself to be honest about what I was buying that was unnecessary and not in keeping with intentionally minded spending. A few things were so glaringly obvious I couldn’t even pretend they were justifiable, and some things were a little harder to give up, but I did it. So here you go;

 Ten things I banished from my shopping list, to save money:

1. Shredded Cheese. I actually used to say “life is too short to grate cheese.” I am ashamed. Using a grater isn’t nearly as hard as I once imagined it to be.

2. Shaving Gel. I’ve always known that cheap hair conditioner works just as well or better than shave gel. It costs a fraction and lasts so much longer. I don’t even know how I was justifying buying the shaving gel.

3. New Books/Magazines. This is hard for me to post because I’m afraid to start an online battle about how authors deserve compensation. I totally agree. But I want this blog to be honest and at this point in my life, new books are something that I can’t justify for me. Thrift stores everywhere are a testament to how wasteful it is to buy new all the time. I usually get the newest books by my favorite authors within a few months to a year of their release. At the thrift store.  ← IDEA! If you read lots and can’t fathom not buying books, try Amazon KindleUlimited FREE for 30 days now. You don’t need a kindle to use it, you can install the app on any device, and the best part is that you get to try it for free. Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial!

(Since starting this blog I have no time to read anyway – LOL. But I LOVE blogging, and I am making money from it so I’m not complaining!)

Related: How to start a blog for profit and work from home

4. Bottled Water. Another “how did I ever justify this?!” item. I have great tasting tap water, from a well and chemical free. Oh and also actually FREE. Shame on me for not taking every advantage of that. Plus my new habit of filling my bottle before I leave the house is so much better for the environment. Extra intentional points. I have these freaking awesome Contigo water bottles… 5 of them. Seriously.

5. Convenience Food. I can admit those first four things were pretty easy to give up, and I don’t miss them very often. Now it gets trickier. Giving up pre-packaged foods was not entirely budget related. It also had a great deal to do with intentional health and doing things that were good for our bodies, but unless your an extreme coupon-er and getting almost all your canned soup and hamburger helpers for free… convenience food is actually really expensive. (But I do miss just putting a pizza in the oven sometimes, or microwaving a cup of noodles. *sigh*) But really, why would you buy pre-made potato wedges for 10x the cost when you can make AMAZING WEDGES at home for pennies (+ they have no weird additives).

6. Specific Brands. We all know that brand loyalty could be costing us big bucks. Open your mind, save money. (With the exception of my three exceptions, see next point.)

7. Toiletries that aren’t on sale. This isn’t one specific item, but much like the brand loyalty point, I can not justify buying full price soap, shampoo, deodorant, ect. These things go on sale, and they go on sale often. I love it when the brand I prefer goes on sale, and I stock up then… but when I NEED something and I don’t have it in the house – I buy the one that’s 50% off. There are three things in this category that I make an exception for. Q-tips, big sexy hairspray and Bioderma Hydrabio Serum moisturizer – Because I love those things with my whole heart and they have proven their worth over and over 😉

8. Curcumen Pills. This is one of my most proudest money saving revelations – I’m sure some one else has thought of it before, but that doesn’t make me any less thrilled about it. Anyhow. Curcumen is the active agent in turmeric that makes everybody talk about how great turmeric is for you. “They’ve” processed it into a supplement mainly used for inflammation. The thing is, turmeric is available in great big bags (and organic) for a fraction of the cost of the pills. I add a tsp – tbsp of turmeric to my shake every morning now, and I don’t need to buy $60.00 bottles of Curcumen pills. It is not, like, the most yummy thing I’ve ever done, but I take a lot of supplements so finding a way to save money this big in this area in a huge win.

9. Almond Milk for my smoothie. I thought I needed it. We don’t drink dairy milk in our house, I have a smoothie for breakfast every morning and I never gave any thought to not having almond milk. One day I was out so I made it using water and honestly with all the fruit and seeds and protein powder in there already – I really couldn’t tell the difference. I was buying it in bulk for a bit of a savings, so it only cost me $10.00 for 6 cartons, but saving $10.00 every month is saving $120.00 a year. I think about you once in a while, almond milk.

10. Manicures. I invested in a gel nails kit from the cosmo proff store and taught myself to do gel nails. And they look professional.  Well, they usually look professional. When they don’t, they still look like 50 bucks that stayed in my bank account, minimum 12 times per year.

So there you go. 10 things that I have deemed too downright wasteful of our hard earned money. Are there any frivolous regular purchases in your life that need to go? (I asked myself this question, and did a self-audit of the things I DO still buy.)

(Since we are talking about saving money, I thought I’d share this new app with you – You know Checkout 51 / ibotta ect? This is another one of those – but with this one you get coupons to use and THEN CASH BACK ON TOP! The reviews since it’s release are fantastic; I am just starting to use it myself so I can’t report back with my own experience yet, but it’s totally free so why not try it?! Try piggy with me!

And share your money saving epiphanies with me – I’m always looking to build my frugal muscle and save money!

More from Carly on Purpose:

10 things I always buy in bulk to save money
7 things we do that save us over $5000 / year
15 little ways we save big bucks

10 things I quit buying (to save money)

Travel Hacking for Beginners

Travel Hacking for Beginners

(This post probably contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here.)

What is Travel Hacking?

Travel Hacking is becoming such a popular phrase. Especially in the budget travel world. I get it – I mean, who doesn’t want to travel for FREE? And possibly travel in style for free?

On the off chance that it’s a new to you phrase, Travel Hacking is the (refined) art of using credit card rewards and membership point programs to travel for FREE. It is legal. It works. It can be complicated.

There are entire websites dedicated to helping you master the art of the travel hack. (more…)