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22 New Ways to Save $1000 a Month (That Don’t Include Ditching Cable TV)

Sometimes when I read an article on how to save money I get frustrated because I see the same frugal hacks and ideas that I’m either already doing or don’t apply to us.

Then there are those tips on budget items they say you should to cut to save money that we use and want to keep like the gym membership my husband uses almost daily or cable TV – which is the only way some of you can watch television or might be a cheaper alternative to subscribing to a ton of streaming services to watch everything you like.

I get it I really do. I’m also probably guilty of writing blog posts that offer the same old same old frugal hacks myself.

Trying to find some new and different money saving ideas to share with you, I kept a running list of the big and little frugal things I did for a month and found I saved $1000 easy!


22 new ways to save $1000 a month
Save this list of frugal living ideas to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Some these things may be seasonal. Some you may already do. Some may not apply. This is a list of budget living tips and ideas to jump start your brain to find solutions that work for you. It is a list of options, not absolutes.


And feel free to share your money saving tips, hacks, questions, and ideas in the comments below. Sharing is caring!

How to Save Money with Smart Shopping


I registered the warranties on applicable Christmas presents. If something breaks it most likely will be when it is out of warranty but registering is free and you never know…

I when above and beyond to make a free store return instead of paying for pick up. The Amazon storefront I had to use to make the return is by Ohio State’s campus which is the absolute worst place to run an errand.  If it weren’t during semester break when the area was empty, I absolutely would have paid for porch pickup.

Waited for the seasonal sale cycle to buy a wool winter coat at 70% off. I needed a new coat and Googled the best time of the year to buy a winter coat on sale (you can do this for any type of item you plan to buy.) Turns out Zulily had a killer after Christmas sale on a cute coat that cost less new than the ThredUp wool coat that was my backup.

Just because it is on clearance doesn’t mean you have to buy it.  While running after Christmas errands I did not give into the the temptation of buying super duper clearance candles and handmade soap (two things I use and love) because right now I have more than enough from thoughtful gifts and from some of the other times when I did give in to the temptation when I had more than a few one hand… ahem.


Candles, I don’t know how to quit you.

How to Save Money with Creative Reuse


Try to get more than one use out of a used item (within reason of course.) When I changed the baking soda deodorizer in the fridge and freezer I dumped the old baking soda into a repurposed container to use for cleaning the sink and to soak baked on food off of dishes.  The baking soda still has enough oomph left to deodorize the kitchen sink when I wash it down the drain after cleaning duty.

Carefully save your seasonal decorations to use the following year. I carefully put the Christmas, tree, garlands, and décor away to use for the following year in a variety of Christmas storage containers like these.  I don’t get how the live Christmas tree and green living people come up with the “statistic” that people throw out their artificial trees and décor every 5 or 6 years (other than they are in the business of selling LIVE trees and greenery, not reusables.)  You can do this for every holiday you celebrate. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

Look for quick and easy repurposing ideas that take no special skills at all. I poured the last bit of soy wax from a burned out candle jar into my wax melt warmer. I like to burn a candle after dinner to clear cooking smells unless I am not going to be in the room. In that case, I turn on a scented wax warmer like this one.

Why does it seem that every time I buy a candle in a scent I really like, I never can find it when I need a replacement? At least by pouring the spent candle wax into my wax warmer I get to enjoy the scent a little longer.

Waste not.  I ended up with a huge amount of travel toiletries from our last vacation because I think each staff member was trying to do their bit to make our stay more comfortable after a guest pulled a fire alarm and sprinkler for funsies and they had to move guests (including us) around a full hotel in the aftermath.  I emptied the travel shampoo and conditioner from vacation into one more user friendly shower dispenser (it looks like this.)  The tubes I dropped off at Origins for recycling. The plastic caps are taken by a local company or you can drop them off at an Aveda store or counter

Why buy something for the purpose of throwing it away? I use Lacey’s empty dog food bag and any large plastic parts, paper grocery, etc. bag for kitchen trash bags. Our weekly trash bags can look a little odd given that we have to be creative since we use reusable cloth shopping bags and don't have a supply of plastic grocery bags for trash. I have a roll of regular trash bags as a back up that’s several years old.

Why buy something for the purpose of throwing it away? Part 2.  We also save any reuse small plastic parts, bread, frozen fruit and veg bags for either bathroom bin liners or dog pickup bags depending upon the size. We are required to bag trash and pick up after pets (and it is good manners.) Again, we have rolls of dog poo pick up bags (we like this kind) to use as a backup and a package lasts a very long time.

 
I made this potty bag holder to hold repurposed plastic bags. Read my tutorial How to Make a Dog Poop Bag Holder on my DIY blog Condo Blues!

Why go to the effort of buying organizers when you can repurpose it right now? When I am in the middle of an organizing project, I don’t want to rush to the store to buy stuff and potentially lose momentum to finish the project when I get home. In this case I used an empty plastic lunch meat container to organize can snuggies instead of buying these kitchen shelf bins.



Cheap and easy repurposed kitchen cupboard organizer

Quick and easy organization!

There’s no time like the present. I found some perfume samples in the back of a drawer and wore them.  I’m not saying never buy perfume and steal samples (Don’t steal. Stealing is rude.) What I’m saying is if you find even a small amount of something use it up before buying more.

How to Save Money by Switching Disposables for Reusables


Try looking at unusual disposable items to remove or replace with a reusable alternative. I’m  attempting to phase out disposable kitchen sponges and scrubbers because you’re supposed to throw them out after a week or so and most hacks to clean them actually cause more bacteria to grow on them. In addition to the dish clothes my mother in law crocheted for me, I am also using Skoy cloths (learn how you can wash them in the dishwasher here)  and reusable Paperless kitchen pot scrubbers you can also wash in the dishwasher (learn more here.) We also use this cast iron chainmail cast iron scrubber  to clean sticky stuff from our cast iron pans.




Try looking at unusual disposable items to remove or replace with a reusable alternative, Part two. At the beginning of every month I refill my reusable care air freshener with a new scent (you can use fragrance or essential oils. or even the liquid from a plug in air freshener refill!) You can see that there are several types of refillable car air fresheners to chose from here.

How to Save Money with Quick and Easy DIY Projects


Use the same ingredients to make different things. I use a few drops of any of the fragrances from the above suggestion in a small spray bottle full of water to make room air freshener spray/Poopourie.

Half the recipe if you know you can’t use the whole thing. Lacey’s vet suggested we give her a teaspoon of yogurt with her meals. All of the homemade yogurt recipes on Pinterest (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest pretty please?) call for a gallon of milk, which will go bad before the yogurt if finished since Lacey is the only one who eats it. I started halving the amount until we determined using a quart of milk to make yogurt for Lacey works best for everyone.

Plan ahead when you can. Often I’ll make a recipe for my work lunches and get tired of eating the same meal every day until it is finished. I started freezing a chunk of large recipes in meal for one portions last Fall and now have a nice little stash of DIY frozen meals when I come down with a case of I Don’t Want to Make Lunchitis.

Learn a hobby that can also save or make you extra money! I’m short and can’t buy pants off the rack. Luckily, I know how to sew and hemmed a 3 pairs of jeans  and was able to take the the flare out of a last bit of a pair of jeans I had to cut 8 inches off the bottom before I could even begin hemming it. I told you I was short!

Make a lot of the same little thing into a more useable big thing. I have a bunch of new little bars of hotel soap from the same vacation that are perfectly usable as they but will quickly turn to tiny unusable slivers of soap in a few washes. As more of a clutter bust and a Hey, I wonder if this will work?, I grated the tiny bars of soap down, added a couple of table spoons of water to them in a pot and melted them on the stove. Once it got to the consistency of mashed potatoes I scooped the soap into soap molds like these. I let the soap cool overnight. Then I popped it out of the molds and let it cure on a wire rack for four to six weeks before using to allow the water to evaporate from the new bar soap.

Mend it! I sewed/sorta darned a few tiny holes and starting to get threadbare spots on the cloth soles of my slippers to extend their life. Good thing. My favorite slippers are being discontinued  :(.

Repair it! I repaired my cracked iPad cord  with Sugru moldable glue (learn more about this lifesaver here!)  and saved $35 bucks for a replacement. I had a little leftover to do some preventable maintenance on my phone’s cord.




This is an example from Sugru of the type of repair I made on my phone and tablet cords.

Make Do and Mend! I use a zip up bottle kozy in place of an Avocado Ripening Pouch Bag (it looks like this.)  When the ring on the zipper broke off, I repaired it by attaching a zipper pull like this to the zipper to keep us in avocados for ever.


Looking for more frugal living ideas? Check out the following options - and more! - below!


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Comments

Teresa B said…
Great tips, thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link party this week!
I love Sugru! I have fixed so many things - the side rubber strip on my vehicle that had popped up. It's been fixed for 3 years now all because of a little Sugru.

Great list of things - yeah, the lists that start off cut cable and cut out coffee shops -- well, we have a TV plan that works for us already and we don't drink coffee, alcohol and we don't smoke. We have plenty of other things that use up our money but it's not the norm I guess. haha