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Whatever your financial situation is, you’re here because you want to save money. And you think if you cut household spending you can do just that – save more money.
Household expenses consist of food, clothing, housing, energy, transport, durable goods, healthcare costs and other related personal expenses.
There are so many areas you can focus on to cut spending and save money.
Recently my family went through a big transition, which caused me to be the sole person responsible for household expenses (and everything else).
We went from a family of 5 with two full-time incomes to a family of 4 with one full-time income.
I knew I had to get a hold on monthly expenses and do some extreme cost cutting to keep us from getting behind.
It’s crazy how extreme situations bring out your strength, fight and perseverance.
If you need a way, you’ll find a way. And that’s exactly what I did.
I found so many ways to cut everyday expenses and limit spending.
So, if you want to know where to cut costs at home, I have some awesome frugal ways to cut a monthly budget.
Check them out!
Ways to Cut Household Spending – Where to Cut Costs at Home
So many people ask:
- How can we reduce living expenses?
- How can I cut my food spending?
- How can we avoid unwanted expenses?
- How can I cut back on my bills?
- How can I reduce my spending?
These are all common and frequently asked questions. And we are about to address each one in these 11 big ways to cut household spending.
When you’re trying to cut costs, looking at your big ticket items first will benefit you the most.
For most, this is your mortgage or rent and vehicles.
Do you really need that over-sized SUV or that spare room?
Knowing this transition was coming, I sold my three-year-old SUV (because selling it yourself will allow you to keep more of your money than trading it in). Then, I bought a car – a brand new car.
So how did this allow me to save money?
The car note went down by $100 and the gas mileage doubled.
Downsizing your home will not only allow you to save on the mortgage or rent, it will allow you to save on heating and cooling costs too.
There are other benefits too, like having less space to clean. Woohoo!
You would not believe how much the electricity, water and gas bills went down. Somewhere around a total of $200 a month!
SAVE ON ELECTRICITY
You might have heard of some or all of these ways to save on electricity before. But it’s always good to have a reminder.
- Cut your hot water heater down
- Unplug electrical devices when not in use
- Don’t leave the lights on – We like to have our outside lights on at night. It makes it feel more secure. Instead of leaving the lights on all night, you can invest in motion sensor lights. So they only come on when someone is near.
- When it’s warm, turn the dial up and run the fans more.
REDUCE GROCERY SPENDING
This is another big one, especially if you have kids. (3 here)
Buy generic. Buying the store brands will almost always save you money. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some things that I prefer name brand of, but for the most part, store brands are just as good as the big name brands.
Pack your lunch. If you stop for a minute and think about how much you spend on your lunch each day and add that up for the week and then month, you might be surprised how much you actually spend. Preparing your lunch ahead of time, can save you a ton.
Shop with a list. This is so important when grocery shopping. If you go in with a list, it’s easy to check off the things you know you need and get out. Versus browsing around slowly buying everything on sale that you don’t even need.
Meal plan. As a working mom, this method has not only helped keep me on budget, but it saves me the hassle of trying to figure out what’s for supper every night of the week.
Every Sunday morning, I write down what we will have for dinner each night of the week. Then I make a grocery list of the items needed to make each meal.
Then, I look around the kitchen for any pantry staples we might be low on and add those to the list.
BUY MORE CLOTHES FOR LESS
The biggest way to save money on clothes is to shop second hand and thrift stores. I hate spending full price for anything when I know how hard the kids are on their clothes.
At or local store, it’s easy to find gently used items for 50-75% less than what you’d originally pay. And sometimes I luck up and find stuff with the tags still on.
I’ve recently come out with two outfits for each of us (that’s 8 outfits) for only $75. Winning!
GET CASH BACK
Using cash back apps and store coupon apps when shopping doesn’t seem like a big money saver, but every little bit helps.
And if you’re consistent with it, it can really add up.
Kroger and Walgreens are two big places I shop for our household needs. And they both have store apps.
You can easily open the app, scroll through their available coupons and click to add them to your shopping card. So when you check out, these coupons are automatically applied.
Cash Back Credit Card
Another great way to earn cash back is to buy your household needs with your cash back credit card and then pay it off each month.
I love my Discover Card. I earn cash back on everything.
And if you use my referral code you can earn $50 when you make your first purchase.
REVIEW & TRACK MONTHLY SPENDING
If you have no idea where your money is going or how much you spend, it is impossible to save money.
Write down all of your monthly bills and expenses. Then review how much you spend on each.
If you’re not sure how much you spend, review your last monthly bank statement.
Knowing how much you spend will allow you to focus on areas where you’re overspending or spending on unnecessary expenses.
BE A MORE ECO-FRIENDLY HOUSEHOLD
Don’t let “eco-friendly” scare you. Everything counts. Here are some easy ways to help the environment while helping yourself save money.
- Car pool. Whether it’s you and your husband, you and a friend or you and a co-worker, sharing costs can save you.Less gas, less frequent car maintenance and car value due to less mileage are all things you will benefit from.
- Opt for reusable. Instead of using paper towels choose reusable cloths or towels to clean up messes. You could even cut old t-shirts into cloths so you don’t have to buy any.
- Don’t let the water go down the drain. When you let the water run while you’re waiting for it to get warm, so much water is going down the drain. Instead of paying for water that’s just going down the drain, put a pitcher or bowl under the faucet and use this cold water for boiling noodles or washing.
NEGOTIATE MONTHLY EXPENSES (or drop them)
Once you’ve reviewed your monthly household expenses, it will be easy to see what you’re overspending on.
Your recurrent expenses like home insurance, car insurance, cell phone and cable bills and sometimes rent can all be negotiated or changed.
If you have both home and auto insurance, combining them into one policy could save you.
If you’ve been with a company for a while, they will usually be willing to lower your monthly expense in order to keep you as a customer.
Likewise, if you’ve been a good renter who pays on time and takes care of the property, you could possibly negotiate rent as well.
What could it hurt? Give them a call. The worst thing that can happen is they will say no.
Then you have the option to switch to another provider which might be the best option for you anyway.
MAKE YOUR HEALTH A PRIORITY
You might be wondering how this will help you save money. Here’s how.
- Drink more water
- Quit smoking
- Make healthier food choices
- Get your annual wellness exams
By drinking more water, you can save on sodas and other beverages. By making healthier food choices, you will save by eating out less and eating less in general.
Getting your annual wellness exams can save you money by helping you prevent illnesses or catch them early on.
USE THE CASH ONLY METHOD
When you use a card for everything you purchase, it’s easy to forget what you spend money on or how much you have spent.
By creating a budget for each area of expense, you can set aside cash for each monthly expense.
So, for instance, if you allow yourself $150 a week on groceries, you only take $150 to the grocery store.
If you have money left over, put it in an envelope for other grocery expenses you might not have thought of.
This will keep you aware of how much you’re spending keeping you from going over budget.
CONSOLIDATE YOUR DEBT
Do you have student loans, payday loans or credit card bills that have accumulated?
If these amounts have gotten out of hand, think about debt consolidation.
This will combine all of your outstanding loans and give you one monthly payment instead of 3, 4, 5 etc. It will save you big on interest.
Cutting household spending doesn’t have to be hard
I hope this list of ways to cut household spending has given you some solid ideas on how to save money for your household.
Saving money is as simple as tracking where your money goes and making a plan to spend less or make changes to cut costs.
Start with just one or two of these cost cutting areas if it’s all overwhelming to you.
But if you want to drastically cut expenses or cut expenses to the bone, dive in with a financial planner or do your research and tackle all of the ways to save money above. Good luck!
Do you have any frugal ways to cut a monthly budget that aren’t on the list? Tell us in the comments below.