7 Ways I Save Money on Household Expenses & Groceries

As a frugal person, some people assume that I do not spend any money, but this is not true. What I actually do is save money in areas that are not a big deal so I can filter the money where I want it to be.

This can be quite a challenge sometimes, but it is so fun to find new ways to save money. Today I want to share the ways in which I spend less on household expenses and groceries to free up the money for things I am excited about.

1. Switching ingredients

Oftentimes, if you set your mind to it, you can find innovative ways to save money. One option is giving your favorite recipes a twist by replacing one of the ingredients with something cheaper.

For instance, during the holiday season, sweet potatoes are often cheaper than white potatoes, going for $0.5 a pound as opposed to at least $0.7 a pound for white potatoes.

This year, I decided to switch to making beef stew with sweet potatoes, and it was a game changer. The beef and sweet potatoes go together so well that we may never go back to using plain old white potatoes.

Beef and sweet potato stew

2. Using every bit

When my kids came home for the holiday after Thanksgiving weekend, I made a stew with white potatoes, a stew with sweet potatoes. And lentil soup.

Once we were done, there were still leftovers of each dish, so I just threw them all together. It made a delicious soup and there is none left now.

3. Clearance

Instead of buying beef tips which can cost about $7 a pound, this year I decided to use thin beef steak that I found on sale in the clearance section for $5.28 a pound. I brought it home, cut it up into little pieces, froze it, and then made a beef stew out of it.

I cooked it in a crockpot, the same as I would with beef tips, and no one could tell the difference. This is yet another example of how stepping away from a pattern of how we have always done it can save us money and sometimes even create a better final product.

Reusing plastic plates, cups, and cutlery

4. Reusing

In our efforts to save time or save from cleaning up a mess, a lot of times we will spend more money. For instance, we tend to buy plastic cups, plates, and silverware when we are hosting, and we just assume those are single-use only.

However, nowhere on the bag does it say that these are disposable and that you can wash and reuse them. Of course, if people throw them out, I will not go digging in the trash for them, but if they leave them sitting around, I will wash them and use them again.

I love the red solo cups around the Christmas season. I have some leftovers from my middle daughter’s wedding, and that was eight or nine years ago. They are still perfectly fine, and not buying new ones each time has saved me so much money over the years.

Shopping for groceries

5. Combining household and grocery budgets

Many people separate their household and food budgets, but I have found that putting them together makes me more mindful of what is actually going into the household budget.

Our household budget is usually just toilet paper, toothpaste, bar soap, and dish soap. By combining the budget for those with my grocery budget, I know that if I only spend five dollars a month on household items, I will have that much more grocery money left.

I believe that a household budget can get you caught up in spending a lot of money, buying things like soft soap, paper towels, and expensive laundry detergent, which are truly unnecessary and cost a lot of money. I do buy laundry soap, but I buy a very inexpensive brand that is Hispanic, which costs me about $2 for six months.

By making household items such a tiny fraction of my budget, I have more money to spend on things that are more important.

Electricity bill

6. Paying for electricity according to usage

Some people tell me that using a balanced plan with the same amount every month for their electricity bill helps them budget. However, in my experience, this just leads to unused credit, and it takes them months to budget. When my son moved out, I had to wait another year for them to refigure my spending and allow me to use any of my $1,500 credit.

Getting billed per usage makes me more mindful about how I use electricity. I watch what is plugged in and what I am using and do not keep things turned on unnecessarily. I keep those things in mind to lower my spending, and this helps me make sure I have more money to spend somewhere else.

Using extra electricity is definitely not at the top of my priority list, and I would rather pay attention to my gadgets than have to cut back on my groceries or my fun. Right now there is no electricity in my room, and I tend to function with no electricity most of the day.

7. Giving things a new purpose

Fight the urge to just throw away things that you have no immediate use for. Think creatively and give those things a new life. I saved all the unused or unfinished notebooks my kids brought from school. My youngest has been out of the house for six years now, and I still use those to this day for my notes.

While decluttering, I found an entire brand-new package of cloth diapers that I never even opened. Obviously, I do not have a baby now, but instead of throwing those out, I am going to use those as dust rags, and they will work great.

Saving on household expenses

I hope that you have found my advice helpful. Did any of these tips surprise you? What are some of the unusual things that you do to save money around your house? Let me know in the comment section!

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 1 comment
  • Carolyn Carolyn on Mar 05, 2024
    Thank you for all of your savings hacks. I have a hack, it builds slowly but, a penny saved is a penny earned. I have it set up through my bank. Any transaction that I make will be rounded up to the next dollar and then put into one of my savings accounts. This does not work on auto payments that is set up, but on all others. Again thank you for sharing your thoughts and hacks for savings this year. God bless Carol H