Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Budgeting 101 : Buy this, not that

Ever feel like bloggers often go to extremes? I see so many talking about cutting out this, or totally eliminating that. In terms of health and finances. Top notch Moms plan crazy parties for kiddos that makes me wonder that if some day I can't throw a kick ass party, should I throw one at all...yes, yes I should. Anyways. The things that I see missing sometimes are swaps. Don't totally eliminate habits that bring you joy, but rather, find a way to make them better for you, or your wallet. The same rings true with your health, ever heard of "Eat this, NOT that"?

I talked in August about my budget. I started off with 6 steps to get started with a budget. Then I shared my REAL budget, with REAL numbers, as well as a whole weeks worth of spending during "Cash Confessional". You guys were fascinated - and you let me know in the comments. I was truly floored.

I think all of us can agree we would love to have a little more money. Saving & living frugally is second nature to me now. Sometimes I throw it out the window, but when I do, I know I'm doing it, but make the decision that it's worth it. But what about all those little purchases. The ones that are $5 here & $10 there. Those are the ones that add up - and at the end of the month leave you wondering where the hell all your money went.

So, I'm not here today to tell you that saving $ requires never drinking Starbucks coffee or getting takeout again. I mean, if you really want to achieve maximum money savings, sure, cut that 'ish out. But, it's not required. These small little changes can add up big time into more dollar bills in your pocket savings account // retirement fund.

Those little purchases add up quick - but there are small changes, little tweaks that add up to big bucks over time. But in the meantime mean a little more green in your pocket each month. Which is always a good thing. What are some of your frugal "hacks"?

Buy This : Grocery Store Cold Brew
Not That : Starbucks Iced Coffee

Starbucks makes a cold brew sold at grocery stores, but so do many other brands. So, buy your favorite & use to make drinks at home. Or go wild & make your own - buy your favorite coffee ground & use THIS tutorial from Morgan. The double bonus is not only will you save money, but probably some calories, and definitely some time in the morning. I can't imagine the Starbucks line on your way to work is short.

Buy This : Frozen Pizza
Not That : Take-out Pizza

I love the Aldi brand, Mama Cozzi pizzas, they're in the refrigerated section, run about $5-7 each & are the size of a extra large pizza shop pizza. I can have it ready in about 15 minutes & there is no delivery driver to tip. Plus I know it'll be exactly what I ordered. If I had a bigger freezer I would keep one of these on hand in case of emergency. Buy Digiorno or your favorite store brand, and save an easy $10+ in the process.

Buy This : Re-usable water bottle
Not That : Disposable water bottles

Find one you love. I have a Camelbak water bottle with a built in straw that I love. But I keep a re-usable plastic cup with a re-usable straw at my desk & use that each day. The point is, $3+ for a case of water, or a few bucks for a water bottle & then free water.

Buy This : Bottle of wine
Not That : 3 glasses of wine at Happy Hour

Seriously. Next time a friend invites you to Happy Hour, suggest your place instead. Grab a bottle of your favorite wine & some hummus & pretzels, or carrots, or some cheese & crackers. You can pick that all up for under $15 & still spend less than you would at HH. Bonus points if your friend rocks and volunteers to bring the wine. There is no waitress to tip. The HH prices don't run out & no one will kick you out for staying too long.

These are just a few of my favorite frugal "hacks" - quick ways to put $5 or $10 back in your pocket and not give up the things you love.

What are some of your favorite hacks // swaps?
Has anyone tried the Califa Farms Pumpkin Spice cold brew!? 

Linking with Amanda


  1. Yes yes yes to the last one. I'd much prefer a night in w/ a bottle of a wine (the whole bottle, not just those small glasses bars pour!) & some snacks!
    And it's way comfier at someone's house anyways.
    Although I haven't been doing it lately, I much prefer the grocery store coffee vs dunkin/starbucks. I can get a weeks worth of coffee out of a $4 carton from the store.

  2. My biggest silly spend of the month is going out for drinks. Ugh, I love it so much though! I need to host a wine-night-in ASAP, I went to one last month at my friends house and we had a blast.
    Danielle @ afloat on a full sea

  3. Oh man, this is my life right here! Haha. When people say to save money from your morning coffee order, I'm always like, what coffee order? I get the stuff for free at work or make it at home. I've already cut out all those little expenditures so we have money for other things. Like travel. Gotta make room in the budget for fun stuff!

  4. Definitely great tips! We do the frozen pizza thing a lot and I've definitely been trying to invite friends over more for happy hour at home. So much more comfortable for catching up than going out to a bar any way :)

  5. I need to try & find that cold brew.
    Ricky is addicted to the Starbucks Mocha in the frige section & I tell him if we had the budget he spends on that every week, we'd be rich.

  6. i NEVER order wine when we're out; why should i pay $8-12 for a glass when I can spend just a few more dollars and get the whole bottle?!

  7. i totally agree, i mean unless life is super crazy, nothing has to be 'all or nothing'. we do lots of frozen pizzas because honestly, the cheaper pizza places are gross and the more expensive ones are too expensive. i don't drink coffee, but i am a sucker for starbucks hot chocolates, so i buy the little packet ones so when i have a craving, i'm not wasting $5 (i don't get the whipped cream though, because that would last all of 5 seconds in my house).

  8. My goal this year was to not buy any coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin, and only make my own. Even though I didn't follow it 100%, I saved SO much. I used to go at least once a week, every week...sometimes even daily. That crap adds up VERY quickly!

  9. Looovee this. I was going to sy make your own cold brew and then I saw you linked to me, ha! You're the best. I would also say don't buy in bulk or buy on sale just because it seems cheaper. Will you actually use it? I can't tell you how many things I've bought on sale because I think I'll use it. Also, know what is an ACTUAL sale. Somethings are made to look like a sale but they aren't at all. Carter's (a kid's clothes store because that's all I buy these days..) always advertises a sale of some kind, usually 40% off. So I only really shop when it's 60% + an additional discount. Know the sales of where you shop!

  10. I love your happy hour tip! Great idea!! My favorite hack is the frozen pizza. I mean, seriously, why spend all that money and wait all that time or have to get out of your jammies to go pick it up when you can pick the pie you want and have it WHEN you want it at a fraction of the cost?!?! So, I'm not a coffee aficionado - what exactly is a cold brew? Is that like iced coffee?

  11. Coffee is definitely one thing I don't buy out as it's SO expensive. I have friends who will buy 1 or 2 takeaway coffees a day every single day and that adds up to around $1500-3000 per year!

  12. Love those tips, definitely have used some of them myself.

    Some other hacks for me are:

    bring your own lunch
    meal-plan and only buy what you will eat (no-brainer, but...)


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