5 Easy Tips to Spending Less this Weekend

The weekend is coming let’s do what we can to spend less and nurture our relationships more. Below are 5 easy tips that will help you spend less.

If eating out on the weekend is something you normally do, try making a special meal inside. Use your slow-cooker throw in some chicken breasts, open a jar of pesto sauce, pour it over the top, and cook it on LOW for 6 hours. It’s great over pasta, rice, or mashed cauliflower. Open a bottle of wine and you have a special meal.

If you normally go out to a movie with the family, try having a family-read together. Get a book that you have been dying to read. If you have a family, make sure the book is appropriate for the ages of your children. After dinner, gather up all the pillows, throw them on the floor with piles of blankets, and take turns reading the book.

Family reading together

If you spend your weekends shopping, go on a nature hike or walk around your town. Spending some time outside helps you appreciate the simple things in life. Let your children take photos with your phone to see life from at their level.

Steps

If you’re looking for free entertainment, check with your local library. The library always has a board of free entertainment and talks. I found one at my library for a chocolate seminar that gave away free chocolates and coupons for factory tours.

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If you’re spending your weekend at a bar, you’re probably dealing with an alcohol rental factor, renting beer if you know what I mean. Have you ever thought about a beer tasting at your place with all your friends? Have them bring at least one bottle of a beer they haven’t tasted yet, a micro-brew maybe. Then have some snacks and you have a party. You can do this with Coffee, Teas, Wines, gourmet sodas, or even some healthy flavored homemade waters.

If we make saving money difficult, we won’t do it for long. Saving money while still having the finer things in life just means that we need to think out of the box. Let’s get creative about how we spend our time because that is what it comes down to. Let’s spend our weekends nurturing our relationships.

Wishing you wellness for a new day!

TIP #19: MONEY SUCKERS

Recently I had a conversation with a very wealthy friend of mine who made the comment, “A person with money problems shouldn’t be spending money on muffins, bags of chips, or going out to restaurants.” His comment has stayed with me for quite some time and I’ve been questioning all the purchases I’ve made in the last three weeks. Saving receipts on everything I bought. I found out that I’ve also been throwing my hard earned money to the money suckers without thinking about it. We all have our own money suckers they are unique to our lives but one thing is certain they will continue to suck money out of our pockets until we stop the behavior and say “NO MORE!”

Money Suckers

 I stopped  buying a cup of coffee at my local coffee house. I love their coffee but realized that a pound of their coffee ($14) was cheaper than a three visits to their coffee house. Because I don’t just order their coffee; I have to get a treat too.  So I still have my favorite coffee but only pay a fraction for it. Plus, I’m saving calories when don’t go into the coffee house.

Another area that stopped the money suckers in their tracks has been any convenient purchases. It used to be that I would run to the gourmet grocery store every time I got a craving for something sweet, salty, or didn’t feel like making dinner.   It’s difficult for me because this store within two blocks from my house and I love all their healthy but expensive treats. So now I just keep things on hand to make my own treats. If I feel the need for chocolate: I make a chocolate protein shake. If I want something salty: I cut up a cucumber and sprinkle salt on it. Both are much cheaper because I already have them in the house, and both are a whole lot healthier for me.

Then I got to wondering how many times in a month do I say “I don’t feel like cooking!” “I didn’t have the time to cook!” So both of us would go to our favorite restaurant in town and order a salad and end up spending more than $20. Or we’d end up at the gourmet store and order one of their sandwiches and drop $15. When all along I had the fixings for a good meal in my refrigerator and pantry. All I needed to do was plan better and use my cooking skills to come up with simple meals.

So what’s changed so far in the last month? I’ve spent less money, and have become more creative with what I have on hand. Yes, it’s difficult to walk past my favorite store every day (it’s on my walking route), but I’m saving my checking account and my health. 

It’s simple: The money suckers will always be there. You can give in and have no money left. Or you can stand strong and stop the money suckers from sucking your life away.

It’s your choice. Choose wisely.

TIP #13: SECOND HAND SALLY

When I was growing up, my father would give me nicknames that centered around what I was doing at the time. When I was clipping coupons every Sunday he called me Hector, Hector the Coupon Collector. When I would make my rounds of thrift stores, garage sales, and junking he called me Second Hand Sally. Second Hand Sally was what he would normally call me in the summer because I loved shopping in second had stores, and would always get more than my monies worth.

Thrift Shopping

One time I came home from my walk to the thrift store to show my mom and dad the cool suit jacket I found. They were looking at and wondering out loud,”What on earth is she going to do with a man’s suit jacket?” I put the jacket on my sewing table and began cleaning out the pockets when I found $20 in one of the inside pockets. What’s not to love…saving money and finding money at the same time?

Seriously second hand stores are not just for thrift anymore, although when you have small children it’s the best way to shop because kids grow out of their clothing faster than they wear it out. It’s also great for people who are losing weight, and don’t have the money to spend on a whole new wardrobe.

Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping second hand whether it’s thrift stores, garage sales, clothing swaps, and flea markets,

  • Learn the designer and artist names: Designer clothesare made better than what you’d find at the big box store. 
  • Look for any stains that might be present: The best purchase I ever made was book Stain Rescue I have used it to get out stains that I thought were set to the end of time. Any stain you have this book has a remedy for it.
  • Look for rips, tears, and snags. Snags are easy to fix on sweaters with the Snag Nab It tool. With clothing, if the seams or hems are ripped it’s easy to fix with needle and thread. Some clothes may be ripped beyond repair but if you have a creative eye you can picture it made into something else.
  • Furniture is baby all by itself. If you’re buying a second-hand piece of furniture that needs to be revamped, do some research first. I’ve made many mistakes buying pieces and just reselling them at my own garage sale because I had no clue what to do with them. Reupholstering dinning room chairs are easy, but a whole sofa might need an expert.
  • Learn what days the thrift stores offer discounts. My local thrift store uses the different color tags system and will highlight each color on a different day at 50% off. Some stores offer $1.99 on certain days.
  • Make a list of items along with sizes, dimensions and color you are looking for. Keep the list with you. You never know when you might be driving by a garage sale.

While I may not be called Second Hand Sally anymore, I am still passionate about getting whatever I can second hand. For me it’s a stress reliever. When I have an extra $10 waiting to burn a hole in my pocket I head over to the nearest thrift store and I lose myself in the possibilities of what could be waiting for me. Second hand shopping is like organic eating. It’s good for the environment and it’s good for me.

TIP #7: CARE FOR WHAT YOU HAVE

While it’s true that we live in a throw-away society, it doesn’t mean we have to be part of it. I don’t know how many times I buy something at a thrift store that I liked and it had a missing button or the hem came down. I bought it and changed all the buttons and fixed the hem and had a new dress. But if the original owner had just taken the time to mend the dress she wouldn’t have had to get rid of it. A spool of thread and a needle is way cheaper than a new dress. Caring for what you have saves money more than most people think.

People don’t take care of their things anymore, instead if something breaks down like the TV, the printer, the computer the first thoughts are to throw them away and get a new one. My father used to fix televisions, stereos, record players and other electronic devices as a hobby in the garage. His friends used to ask him all the time to fix their television when it broke down.

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My aunt used to take in people’s clothing to tailor. She sewed buttons back on, stitched hems in place, restitched seams that ripped. And even reinforced children’s clothing to make sure that children didn’t wear out their clothing so fast. But today everything is backwards. If a little boy wears out the knees of his jeans, his mother throws them aside and buys new, instead of reinforcing the knees of all her sons jeans so he gets longer wear from them.

When I buy a piece of clothing I read the washing instructions, if it has to be dry cleaned (dangerous chemicals), I don’t buy it. If I can wash the garment on delicate that’s okay. Many times I am the one who does the laundry so knowing what items should air dry and which can be tossed in the dryer will also help to preserve our clothes.

This goes with everything we buy. When we buy a car, we are careful to not get scratches on it. We don’t eat in the car. We maintain the regular oil changes; we wash it properly. Why? Because it cost us a lot of money and we want to keep it good running order so we will have it longer. Why don’t we have this attitude towards other things we purchase? Clothing, furniture, electronics, appliances, children’s toys, books, the list is endless.

A challenge for all my readers the next time something breaks down on you, get it fixed first. If your clothes get a stain on them, read up on how to remove the stains before tossing the garment aside. If you car breaks down, call a mechanic. If your television goes on the fritz take it to a repair man. If your washer breaks down, call the May Tag Man.

We need to change our demeanor from it’s broke and useless to I can fix it or it can be fixed.

When we’re sick or broken down we don’t want the people in our lives to toss us aside, we want them to help us get healthy again.

TIP #6: ONLY BUY WHAT YOU NEED

I’ve used coupons and thought I was saving money on the items I bought. I’ve seen these coupon divas buying boxes and boxes of cake mixes, soda, candy, and every other processed food item with great abandon. Taking  pride over how much money they saved by sharing the photos of their bounty on social media. I have to ask, Is money really being saved when all they’ve bought are items that are genetically modified? So many times you look into their pantries and see shelves and shelves of mixes that are devoid of nutritional value. When hard times hit, they may have a stocked pantry but there’s not a single ounce of nutrition. Coupons are great if you use them wisely and only buy what you need.

Don't get caught up!

Don’t get caught up!

In my over zealous couponing years I too, bought items that I didn’t need only because I had a coupon and it was on sale. This way of thinking only made me spend more money than I actually intended to on items I did not need. When I stopped playing the coupon game, I started to save even more money and our health, too.  All the money I threw toward buying things and food items I did not need, I was able to purchase better quality items.

People ask me all the time how can I get such good deals on my grocery bills, it’s simple stick to the list, use coupons only on items you regularly buy, need, and have nutrition in them. Let go of the farce that you are saving money when you make purchases with all these coupons.

  • Monthly Savings: Your families’ health