Oct
04
2012

10 Ways to Save Over $1000 A Month

by Kimberlee Stokes Affiliate Link Disclosure B

10 ways to save over $1,000 a month is a guest post from Erin.

 

Think your budget is as locked down as Fort Knox? Think again. Here are ten ways our family was able to cut out over $1600 from our monthly bills which enabled me to quit my full time job and work from home part time.  

You would be surprised how much little things add up. We began to diligently trim our budget in May of 2011 and we were able to pay off over $39,000 worth of debt in just 13 months, leaving us debt free and living a new frugal lifestyle.

Here are ten ways we saved:

 

{Trash Service} We were paying $348.84 a year for our trash service. We found a cheaper service for $258 a year.

SAVINGS: $8 per month

 

{Home owners insurance} We were paying $1700 a year which is $141.66 a month. We found the SAME coverage for $990 by shopping around and are now paying $82.50 per month.

SAVINGS: $60 per month

 

{Auto Insurance} We were paying $1352 a year when we had two vehicles. We shopped around and realized we were overpaying by a lot! We found the same type of coverage for $816 which saved us $536 a year.

SAVINGS: $45 per month

 

{Cable} We cut our cable bill which was about $105 a month. This added up to $1,260 a year.

SAVINGS: $105 per month

 

{Second Vehicle} We sold our second vehicle which was cost us about $3,950 a year in maintenance (something was always breaking down), insurance, gas, and title/registration. Even without a loan we had to pour money into it and we didn’t even drive it that often.

SAVINGS: $330 per month

 

{Groceries} We were spending $1200+ a month for groceries, cleaning supplies and other household items. By meal planning, using leftovers, and shopping at Aldi’s and Kroger we have been able to cut this area to $400-$500 a month. We buy only what we need each week and hardly waste anything. We improvise with what we have sometimes instead of spending needlessly.

SAVINGS: $700 per month

 

{Electric and Gas bill} Our utility bills here were running $200+ a month. We began to line dry our clothing as much as possible, unplug everything we didn’t need and turn off all lights when not in use. We also keep our house opened up as much as possible in the summer and use our wood burning fireplace a lot in the winter. We are now down to around $90+ a month.

SAVINGS: $110 per month

 

{Home phone} We cut out our home phone, but found that we were going to go over in minutes on our monthly cell phone plan. Instead of paying a lot of money to upgrade, we decided to purchase an Ooma for our phone which plugs into our internet. Instead of paying $40 per month, we pay $3.47 per month.

SAVINGS: $33 per month

 

{Automobile Gas} I will admit I used to run errands any time I felt like it. We would go for drives, randomly shop and add aimlessly to the mileage to our van. Now I combine all of my errands to 1-2 days a week and have my husband bring home groceries from work if I need something instead of planning a trip out. This may not work for everyone since I am fortunate to work from home, but you can still try to combine errands as much as you can. We used to spend $400 a month in gas. We are now down to $150.

SAVINGS: $250 per month.

 

{Miscellaneous} We just recently moved and our internet company was going to charge us $30 to change from one state to another. I called and reminded them that we had been loyal customers for several years and they waived the fee. Saved us $30!  Don’t be afraid to barter, or ask for a discount if you need to.

 

These are just ten ways we trimmed our budget considerably. How do you trim your budget and cut your monthly budget?

 

New Save More Clip Less eBook  - The Peaceful Mom

Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half! Click here to see what others are saying about this ebook.

 

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________

Erin is a wife, mother of 3 and blogs at Healthybranscoms.com. This year her family was able to pay off over 39 K in debt within 13 months. She was able to quit her full time job and work from home part time. Erin is passionate about helping other Mom’s be able to pay off debt and work from home as well.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Samantha October 4, 2012 at 8:47 am

I use coupons. and grab the local papers to see if i have any that match up to their sales. I just recently clipped a coupon for buy 1 dove shampoo and 1 dove condtioner and get a styling product free. this week dove conditioner and shampoo is on sale for $3 each, what a savings! and diapers, 2 love packages for $13 at my local family dollar with a coupon. I get only $250 a month to spend, i live with my boyfriend so he pays the big bills and i buy what we need around the house, cat litter, cat food ( 8.25 for a 11lb bag at dollar general, 75cent coupon making it 7.50!) and other things. I buy what i need first then anything else i see on sale i get later! couponing is the biggest way to save money.

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Bethany Olson October 4, 2012 at 9:34 am

I was able to quit my full time job this past August and now am able to be a stay at home mom. We did a lot of the things you did (cut grocery bill from about $200/week to $50/week; decreased electricity usage; less driving; got a better phone/cable/internet deal by canceling and re-signing up when there was a good deal).

Some other things we have done:
1. we refinanced our house and saved about $50/month
2. we plan on getting rid of our 2nd car when the lease is up; saving about $500 monthly in gas, loan, registration costs, maintenance
3. creative gift giving – I would spend about $1500/year in gifts with holidays and birthdays and weddings – I have cut that drastically and will be giving lots of homemade/sentimental gifts this year
4. DIY cleaning, some clothes making, decorations (hello pinterest!)
5. finding a promo/coupon code for anything I buy online
6. entering sweepstakes and signing up for samples
7. I have a side business on etsy where I sell vintage/modern dolls for extra money
8. getting kids clothing for my daughter from friends
9. free fun activities (and when there are festivals that charge money for some activities we go for the free ones – and it doesn’t help to bring grandma along to pay for a couple games); we also bring our own snacks to festivals
10. following thepeacefulmom.com has helped make this whole dream of being home possible!

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Kimberlee October 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Great ideas Bethany! (I especially like #10. ;))

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tijuana smith @ po' man meals October 4, 2012 at 11:17 am

wow. it is amazing how much money we spend and sometimes do not even realize it. making small, even large sacrifices reaps great savings. thanks so much for this great article.

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Kimberlee October 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm

You are very welcome Tijuana!

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Michelle October 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm

We need to shop around for lower home insurance. Ours isn’t high at all, but we also haven’t looked at any others.

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auna October 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Here are bunch of more ways, it’s a three-part series.
http://laviediy.blogspot.com/2012/07/living-on-less-part-1-mind-tricks.html

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Heather October 5, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I love this post! After reading this I’m definitely going to look at our insurance rates to make sure we’re getting the best deals. I did do that with our health insurance a few years ago. We’re lucky enough that my husband works for a big hospital conglomerate, and he gets to choose from something like five different medical plans. We switched from a higher end plan to Blue Cross/Blue Shield. As it turned out our primary care docs were in plan and the coverage was almost identical and over $100/less per month for our family.

We’re a one car family and have been for eight years now, since right after my oldest son was born. My husband works from home 2 days a week, so I’m not carless too often, and there’s a CVS a ten minute walk down the road for necessities.

I know this is something a lot of people *wouldn’t* try – but I also cut and color my own hair. I’ve been coloring my own hair since college, and have pretty much cut my own bangs forever, but started trimming the rest of it myself when the kids were babies and we were broke, and the habit has stuck (and I think I do a great job – if I do say so myself! :) ).

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Katy @ Purposely Frugal October 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Great ideas!! Here’s a few things we’ve done recently:
1. Cancelled Netflix – Saves about $8 a month
2. Eat out less – Saves a lot!!
3. Willing to take free food, for example someone had more venison than they needed and generously let us have some, now we have several venison steaks in the freezer and stew meat! What a blessing!
4. Buy used – we like to shop at thrift stores, craigs list and ebay for cheaper items.
5. Freeze leftovers – I waste way too much food and I’ve found sometimes it’s better if I freeze it, so if we don’t eat it rightaway it won’t go bad. I like to freeze leftover spagetti sauce to add to my next batch and things like that.

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Peg October 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I make my own bread,salad dressings ,rubs.Buy in bulk at big box stores and case lot sales. Never buy prepackaged,flavored rices,pasta,etc. Also make my own detergents and cleaning supplies.Always stock up on meats and anything I use, and can store properly on sale.

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Amie October 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm

I live in GA and the sun is very strong. I bought a roll of UV reflecting window film for $30 at Lowe’s and our electric bill has dropped around $40 per month!

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Kimberlee October 5, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Good idea Amie–thanks!

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Mari October 6, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I found this post from the Prudent Homemaker’s Facebook page. These are great ideas. I’m a single Mom and refinanced my mortgage (again). The rate at a local community bank is now 2.75% for 10 years (which I guess is a pretty bad indication of where they think interest rates will be in the next 10 years, but I may as well enjoy not paying interest since I’m not earning it. I had a 15 year mortgage and was paying $85 more per month to pay it off in 10 years. I no longer do that and am saving the total $120 less I’m paying per month since the payment is also lower. My daughter recently got her driver’s license and the previous insurance company wanted to charge me $188 more a MONTH just to insure her on our one and only car. I work for a major corporation and we have discount programs for insurance, cell phone plans, etc. I called the 3 insurance companies and one of them sold us the same coverage for only $30 more a month. I bought their house insurance, too, and that was lower, so the net difference is $17 a month for the same coverage. Make sure you check with your human resources department (or your spouse’s) to see if you can get any discounts from them, such as 20% off your cell phone bill.

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Kimberlee October 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Thank you Mari!

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Samantha October 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I am a big fan of thrift stores also. especially for kids because they grow out of clothes so darn fast whats the point of spending $20 for a pair of jeans youre just going to end up having to put away or give away in less than a year? Im starting to look up eco friendly and cheap ways to make household cleaners. it would be easy and cheaper to make my own wipes to wipe down the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, etc. Also another thing i am addicted to doing and works good is signing up for free stuff online. More than likely they send you a coupon along with the sample. Have clothing swap meets with different moms in the area.

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Kimberlee October 8, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I love those freebies too Samantha!

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Christa the BabbyMama October 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I feel like I’m stuck in this place where we have cut as much as we can and we’re still not in as good of a place as we could be. We’re trying Mint to see if we’re spending invisible money, but I really don’t know!

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Kimberlee October 12, 2012 at 7:31 pm

That is difficult. Try tracking your spending through Mint or by simply keeping all of your receipts and writing them down at the end of the day. After about a month you will get a good picture of where everything is going.

At that point, you may need to seek some ways to bring in extra income. My husband has had to work as a pizza delivery driver and more recently as a waiter in order to help us make ends meet. Good luck!

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Jessica frederick October 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I love all these ideas so doing a lot I’m a 26yr old stay home mom of 6come nov when my last will be born. I would love to add I have a page on fb for ppl to come together and share ideas and all kinda stuff its open so if any of u would like to like the page we would love to hear ur money saving tips on there look for momtalk101

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Karen January 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Great ideas!

Another thing people might not know about: There is a Magic Jack app for your iPhone. When you call through it, you don’t use up your minutes. You can also get your own phone number so people can call YOU using it, too. You do need to have a hot spot, or 3G, but if you’re already paying for those, you can ditch the VOIP service! Many great reviews from CNET, etc.

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Karen January 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Oops–forgot to mention: It’s FREE!!

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Merrilee Anderson January 29, 2014 at 10:30 pm

I had to cut way back from being a corporate wife to a single mom when my husband died. I now buy almost all of my clothes at goodwill and Salvation Army. You would be surprised what you find there. I shop mostly at Aldi and love it. I no longer buy things I don’t need because the store is small and not filled with too many choices. Of course not having people clean my house anymore (duh) but using baking soda and vinegar are also better choices for cleaning. From $100,000 a year budget to less than $30k is tough, but it can be done.

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Kimberlee January 29, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Wow Merrilee! I am so sorry for your loss, but I am so proud of you for making things work in spite of your circumstances. Good for you!

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Faye April 19, 2014 at 8:25 am

Kimberlee I am not sure you want to post this one…but it works for me.

My home church is quite a distance from home. So I changed churches to a closer one. I like my home church better but I am trying to cut back on gas usage. So I attend in person the close church and watch my home church services online. I get the best of BOTH churches.

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Kimberlee Stokes April 19, 2014 at 8:47 am

I think that is a great idea Faye – the important thing is to stay connected to others so you can be encouraged!

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sharon May 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Well let me see. I don’t have TV, a car, insurance, or a home phone. I spend about $200 a month on groceries and eating out. My internet bill is $12, my electricity and gas total about $20- $25, and my trash service is $1.50 per month. I have no heating in my home, but the electric bill goes up in the hottest months due to the AC. I spend about $10 per month on gas for my motorbike. I make many of my own clothes, and buy from used clothing stores. I can buy a bespoke dress for under $50. Not much here to help me save money! My biggest money saver was moving to Vietnam!

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amy May 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm

hi was reading thru the comments on ways to save money.. and on the one comment the lady said that she never bought anything online without using a promo or coupon code.. how do I find these codes? is there a site you can go to to see if there are codes available.. kinda new to doing something like that.. but I buy couponing books thru amazon a lot and that would really come in handy if I had a code that would help cut off some on the price.. thank you for any info.. and love your site.. I have it pinned so that I can read and re-read.. thanks alot

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Kimberlee Stokes May 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Hi Amy! Two very helpful sites for this are RetailMeNot.com and ShopAtHome.com. Other than that you can sometimes do a search for the specific coupon/discount code you are looking for with the current date. Hope that helps!

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Julie May 27, 2014 at 8:01 pm

These are all great ideas, but what about the large families ( 7 to be exact, including myself, hubby, 19yo, 16yo, 12 yo, 11 yo, and 7 month old) that live in an apartment? We don’t have mortgage/homeowners insurance or trash service to pay for. We don’t have cable at all. We have no cell phones either. We only have one vehicle that is paid off, as of March 2014 (Praise the LORD!!). I don’t make any unnecessary trips around town b/c of gas prices and having a gas hog for a vehicle…lol… We unplug ever small appliances before going to bed, turn off lights in all rooms when we leave them, rarely use a/c (and we live in Florida), etc to cut down on electric bill. Change auto insurance carrier when we moved here 1 1/2 years ago, which saved us $40/month. Shop mostly b1g1free sales at the regular grocery stores and the rest at BJ’s Wholesale Club. Anything I can make from scratch, I do. My hubby works 2 jobs too. If anyone has any other ideas that would help our family save money every month, I’d sure love to hear your ideas. :) Thanks.

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Kimberlee Stokes June 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Hi Julie! It sounds like you are doing an amazing job keeping your expenses low and perhaps you need to look at ways to increase your income. Are there any home-based businesses that you could start with your children based on skills you have like sewing, baking, accounting, tutoring, etc.? Just a thought.

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Shastababy June 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Some good ideas both in the post and the comments! Most of them we already do. We haven’t had cable or home phones in 3 years, both of our trucks and our motorcycle are paid for and I recently changed insurance companies to save over $46 a month! I cook from scratch, use essential oils for most of our “ailments” and cleaning needs and gave up the dryer last year. We were both laid off in the same quarter a few years ago and have had to learn to be frugal. He’s now driving a cab and I work night shift at a convenience store. Not glamorous jobs to be sure, but we are debt free and have not had to touch our savings *at all*. Sure, we miss going out and spending a couple hundred bucks for a weekend getaway, but found we can just as easily load up our camping gear on the Harley and pay a few dollars at the state park on the ocean and have just as much fun. It’s all in how we look at it. We decided that since we cut our living expenses by over 75% when we were both unemployed, we could continue living that way and bank the rest. We are happier with our financial status now than we were before!

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Kimberlee Stokes June 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm

I love this! Living on less really is all about our attitude and perspective. Good for you for living your priorities!

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