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Ten Things You Can Do To Save Money This Week

Feeling a pinch in your finances this week?

If you're feeling the need to save even more this week, but wondering what else you can do, here are some ideas to keep money in your pocket. (I'm planning to do all of them!)

Tuscan Tomato Soup 

1. Eat all meals at home

Don't go out to eat or order takeout. If you've got a busy week ahead, put together some crockpot meals in the morning, make a large pot of soup every few nights (enough for leftovers for another day or several lunches during the week), and plan some quick and easy meals to save you time this week.

 

2. Don't buy any groceries this week

Use up whatever you have in the fridge, freezers, and pantry. 

 

3. Turn the heat down

Set your thermostat a couple of degrees lower this week (for those in the Northern hemisphere). If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to be even lower during the day if you won't be home during the day. Add another blanket to your bed (a throw blanket works fine if you don't have another bed-sized blanket).

During the day, dress in layers.

 

4. Block drafts in your house with old towels

Roll up some old towels (or your summer swimming towels) and use them as instant draft blockers to block cold drafts from doors and windows.

 

5. Mend something 

Rather than buying something new, mend what you have. Sew up the hole in a shirt, patch a sheet, glue your shoes, or fix that thing that's been broken for a bit in your home.

 December Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

6. Decorate for the season using what you have (and can get for free)

Gather pinecones and put them in bowls. Decorate with cookie cutters. Cut greens from your yard. Visit a place selling Christmas trees and ask if you can have the trimmings; many places will give them to you for free!

 

7. Make a gift using items you have on hand

Repurpose old clothing to make a hat, scarf, or gloves. Refashion a broken piece of jewelry into a new combination to give.

 

8. Be diligent about turning off lights when you're not using them

When you sit down to eat, turn off any lights that aren't right above your table. Studies have shown that you'll save more money turning them off if you leave a room for 20 seconds (incandescent) or 2 minutes (fluorescent).

 

9. Take a family photo (or individual family pictures) yourself

Set the timer and take a new family photo.  Email it rather than sending Christmas cards or post it on Facebook instead.

 

10. Have a date night at home

Play a board game or card game, watch a movie you already own (or borrow one from the library), work on a project together, clean something together, or just enjoy talking together while you have a homemade treat.

 

Do you have any other plans to save money this week that won't cost you anything this week?

 

 

Last modified on
Tagged in: Frugal Living

Comments

  • Rebecca December 04, 2016

    A question about your "date nights". Where are the children? Do you wait until after they go to bed to have your date? My hubby and I have tried the date night at home thing and it never seems to work because it seems to take forever to get the kids in bed- but there is no way to have a date night with them awake, that's for sure. Just curious of logistics! :-)

    Every single one of your list items is great and we will be doing all of them too. They are just the standard around here- although occasionally we do break #1. Your #2 is one that I employ often- not only is it good for rotation, but it really saves you TIME and GAS MONEY too! One of the most valuable ways I save money is to challenge myself in this way- no groceries for the week/month, no buying anything brand new for the month, how much lower can I get my electricity bill if I am diligent? Things like that. It makes a game of it- and it is rewarding in more ways than one (and still pleasant too!)

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker December 04, 2016

    Yes, we have our date after the children go to bed. It helps if I can make sure dinner is ready on time (or a bit early if things go well!) so that everyone can get to bed on time.

  • Lorna December 04, 2016

    Thank you Brandy for the wonderful tips on money saving.

    Some of the things we already to on the list is -
    - Only shop monthly.
    - We now use solar lanterns in our home without turning on any mains lighting. It will be interesting to find out what it saves us over the 2 months we have been using them on our electricity bill in January.
    - Reducing electricity on cooling with our fridge and two freezers we turned the temperatures up to meet common standard recommendations for an energy efficient hoem. One was running at around 13 degrees too cool :o .

  • Mariana December 04, 2016

    Most of the above :)
    I will meet a couple of girlfriends for afternoon coffee, rather than brunch. I am careful about the time of day and when I make plans with friends. 3pm-ish is safe. Too late for brunch and too early for dinner. Coffee it is! ☕️

  • Wyoming Gal December 04, 2016

    I am roasting a turkey today (purchased at 79 cents a lb. -cheapest offer in our community) to make turkey enchiladas, turkey salad, shepherd's pie with mashed potato topping and slow cooker turkey soup. On Friday night my workplace will provide a holiday dinner for employees. I am waiting to buy Kohls and Amazon gift cards (requested by family members for Christmas) to see if there is a good offer. Has anyone seen one, especially on the internet? So far the ones for Kohls - .5% aren't worth the inconvenience.

  • mable December 04, 2016

    If you use gas points at Safeway or Fred's, buy your Amazon gift cards there. It earns you gas points so you can really save on future gas purchases. Some weeks these stores have 2 or even 4 times the points for buying a gift card---so a $50 card could net you 100 or 200 points.

  • Amie December 04, 2016

    Speedway also does this. Depending on your area stores. They do 500pts for $25 giftcards at certain times of year.

  • We love to use leftovers and that saves us a lot of money. Today we are having chicken croissants made with leftover baked chicken. Easy meals are the best when you get busy. Great ideas Brandy!

  • Jean December 04, 2016

    Love these practical, easy steps to save money. Thanks for compiling this list, Brandi! I have a pot of broth going several times a week and eat soup daily all winter long.I keep bags in the freezer with bones and one of vegetable scraps. I can quickly get a pot of broth going and have soup with minimal effort that is cheap and so, so healthy. This is so cost effective, and eating healthy saves money in the long haul.

    I think simple decorating especially with natural pieces makes for the most beautiful Christmas!

  • Lisa December 04, 2016

    There are always so many wonderful activities and parties in December. This year, we've decided to only attend two. One is a fundraiser breakfast for the little boy of my husband's classmate who is battling cancer. We will donate the money we would have spent on our extended families' Christmas gifts (grandparents.) It's not much to begin with but I think our families will appreciate it. The other is a nativity display at a church about 20 minutes away. There are hundreds of displays, musical performances and a dress-up nativity room for children. It is all free. The expense will be gas and car use to get there and back. We have a newborn, so cutting down on Christmas festivities is not only good for the budget but to limit the amount of exposure of the baby. It's also good for my sanity! :D

  • Gail December 04, 2016

    Today (Sunday, December) only, Target has 10% off Target gift cards, in store & online. Maximum discount
    is $30. This is only for Target gift cards, not the VISA, MasterCard, or other gift cards sold there.

  • Amie December 04, 2016

    ~Acorns are another option. Though, it's best to gather when they are falling. (Google about toasting in the oven, so you kill any bugs.) You can use the good ones to make acorn meal, after the holdays. I've even put acorn caps in a jar. It's interesting to see what you have. I have collected fabric, patterns, and various books, and craft items over the years. Many from before I was laid off from a good job. ~I do things like make playdough for my daughter. ~Checkout your library's schedule for events. Many are free. ~It's too cold where I'm at right now. But warmer climates could make a picnic lunch, if you live within a walk or bike ride from a park. ~Use a recipe generator, that goes by ingredients you have on hand. ~Libraries and Kindle have many free books. My library even has an online catalog you can borrow from. ~Puzzle and board game family(even w friends)nights are great. Pop some popcorn, or throw a simple snack together based on what you have. If you're hosting, have others bring something simple to. ~Ask about any unused decorations. I lost my Christmas supplies from a move years ago. My grandma had some she didn't use. Many were from my childhood. :)

  • Marcia December 04, 2016

    My bowl of pine cones has been around for probably 30 years now. They are spray painted gold--not all over but for highlights. Sometimes they are in a bowl, sometimes among greenery on a shelf, sometimes scattered down the center of the dining table among gold strands of ribbon. There are so many different ways of using them, and they cost me $0. My husband sprayed them with radiator paint which we had on hand. I picked them up off the ground.

    I will be doing many of the things on your list, although I'm more into saving time than money at my age. (73) It takes me longer to get things done than it used to. I need to wrap gifts, bake cookies, put up the tree and decorations. There will be weekly shopping trips to the grocery store. I have several more gifts to buy but I know what most of them will be, and some are gift cards. Our store has a great deal--with points earned by buying groceries over several weeks, we can get $50 gift cards for $40. I don't give a lot of gifts that big normally, and the places to use the cards are limited, but I may be able to use one or two-- only 7 restaurants, 14 stores where they can be used. But my daughter asked for restaurant gift cards to "new restaurants." So that may be a spot for me to use one or two. Her husband, like mine, prefers the same restaurants over and over again! Not that either of us goes out that often, but we like to try new and different.

  • Heather in L.A. December 04, 2016

    Marcia, I decorate with pine cones also, but I don't stop at the spray paint. I also bleach mine. Several years ago at the flower shop I work at for the white Chrismas display I decided to bleach some and see what would happen...they sold out!! I had not even intended to sell them but each year more and more folks ask for them. I've even bleached them in various stages for an ombré effect. It just makes me laugh that it is remarked how designer they look for just a bottle of off brand bleach. I also olant extra okra(actually my father in law) let it grow tall and harden off. Then dry them on the tall stalks and spray paint them. They looks great in wreaths and even in the Christmas tree. And magnolia leaves.. Painted or natural they are just beautiful.

  • jeannie December 04, 2016

    I was able to accumulate enough points to get $.70 off of gas at Kroger. We took all four cars and filled up for $1.14 per gallon. If you are bored and want to see exciting pictures of people getting gas at Kroger, here is my post:

    http://getmetothecountry.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-petrol-patrol-parade.html

    Jeannie

  • Margaret @approachingfood December 04, 2016

    Great ideas, and so easily implemented! It's so easy to get off track when exposed to the buy-buy-buy pre-holiday sales, so it's nice to be reminded that one can still save during the holidays.

    I did #1 (eat meals at home), #6 (decorate with what you have), and #7 today:

    1) Even though the DH and I were out running errands, I waited until we got home to make dinner and eat. I made lasagna using what I had in the pantry -- plus it tasted awesome, so double-win!
    6) I also worked on finishing up the Christmas tree skirt that I'm sewing. I'm making it using materials that I either had in my stash (iron-on interfacing) or fabric that was gifted to me.
    7) And I made Christmas gifts of granola (items in my pantry), and wrapped them up using canning jars (pantry), ribbon (stash), labels (gifted to me), and fabric (gifted to me). They look pretty enough that the DH said they could be sold in Indigo/Chapters (a big box book/giftstore), which made my day!

  • Debby in KS December 04, 2016

    Love the ideas. With so much money going out right now, every bit saved helps a lot. Our property tax bill was higher than we paid (this has happened before) so we need to cough up another $200 by December 31. One of our plans is to eat an inexpensive homemade soup 3 times per week. That should also help balance out the extra calories from far too many goodies that are everywhere!

  • Marci December 04, 2016

    I truly appreciate that these ideas don't require me to spend money to save money! So many folks with blogs talk about saving money, but their ideas would blow a huge hole in my budget because I'd have to buy something to save. I can't do that! I WON'T do that! As a single lady, my big money savers for the week are: 1) using my dehydrator to dry fruits for snacks at work. Much more nutritious and cheaper than a bag of chips! and 2) tomorrow I'm roasting a chicken in the crockpot. I can come home from work to the smell of cooked chicken, it will be delicious for dinner tomorrow night and yield numerous meals for me in the future.

  • Hilogene In Az December 05, 2016

    Marci, I agree with your comment too. It is great Brandy's ideas involve not spending money...I get very frustrated going to "frugality" sites where the main message is how to spend money (but look how much you saved). Being happy because I only spent $300 instead of $500 is not what I am needing right now.

  • Athanasia December 06, 2016

    That is what I think everytime I see these commercials for Ebates...If you are getting 200.00 back how much did you have to spend in the first place!

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