If anyone invites me for a hangout in the next couple of months and I decline, don’t think I’m being anti-social or cold. But if it requires spending money, I’m going to be snoozing at home, right on the couch! It’s bad enough that when I had free tickets to the Orchestra, I chose to sleep!
Okay, I’m exaggerating.
But I was thinking recently how I had to cut down on daily expenditure and do more to save. In fact, recently, I blurted out “I think I should cancel my Netflix subscription. £6.99 is a lot you know. I hardly watch Netflix“. My husband looked at me from across the room and said “Kach Kach, what of that one day we or maybe a guest just want to watch it. Okay transfer it to my card“. He essentially called me a cheap-skate so I left it on. And then my mum visited a few days and we wanted her to watch The Wedding Party movie which was only on Netflix, so I guess that came in handy.
That said, I’ve been doing a through review of practical and real ways to cut down spending and save more!
So, viola: let me share these with you:
1. Food Expenses
No no, I’m not saying we should starve. You probably know I’m the number one foodie. But eating out takes up so much more than we realise. In particular, buying lunch at work! I’m mostly good at packing my own lunch, but every time I’m unable to, and have to stroll down the corner to buy a bowl of £7, it almost hurts my soul. £7 would buy all of the ingredients needed to make enough pasta that would last me a week! And I’m sure a number of you can relate with this. So please if possible, pack your own lunch!
Related: Lunch Sorted! 10 Really Good Tips for Weekly Meal Prepping
The same applies to breakfast, and of course dinner. Essentially, it’s easier to cook and eat your own food. I prefer this so much that even when on holiday, we prefer to opt for self catering apartments. Because sometimes you just want to feel at home and make your own food, like how I made my own eggs (with lots of chilli) during our Barbados vacation.
2. Shopping Hacks
After food, it’s probably shopping that takes all our money. Clothes shopping, grocery shopping or just all-the-other-things-we-don’t-need shopping. So you already know what to do to eliminate that last category. Simply don’t buy it. But in relation to the first two, there are a few hacks.
For some reason the exact items could be cheaper online. So be sure to check there first, where possible. And of course never pay full price! Okay, I kid. But consider discount code sites and all available discounts. i.e. student discounts.
Related: How to Get the Best out of Freebies (+ our not-so-free freebies photo shoot!)
We recently wanted to buy a new gadget in store, and first hurriedly checked online. We found the item for the same price but then found discount codes that took £50 off! The store attendant understandably couldn’t take £50 off the price, so we sadly bid him farewell and ordered it online!
Re online shopping still, I’m really not a fan of paying for delivery (and I don’t know why!). So if there’s another option I’ll consider it. This usually involves delivery to store or a near by pick up place. And it saves me my pennies (which is a lot of £££ in the long run!) It’s okay if you’re laughing at me in your mind. I also laugh every time the news is on and finance experts say “oh by saving 2 pence on a pint of beer, British households could save up to £10,000 a year”. We may laugh, but that’s kinda the reality.
In relation to in store shopping, don’t be afraid to negotiate if possible. That top has got a stain on it? Ask for a discount. The funniest one I pulled has to be the day I asked for a huge discount because the shoes were mismatched – they were a size 5&6! But what they didn’t know was because my left foot is smaller, the size 5 fit perfectly! Haha. Be careful in such situations though, as many times you can’t return the item if these further discounts are applied.
It’s great to see that a lot of people are embracing this openly. I remember being much younger & thrift shopping but people thought it was so uncool. For some reason, I’m not great at thrift shopping (rather impatient to find steals) but maybe I can get a hang of it soon. And then good ol’ eBay, I hear can be a good mine. I might need a personal tutor on how to navigate it. Asides thrift buying, also thrift sell maybe? Lots of people sell their clothes online – especially fashion bloggers (yep that’s how many of them seem to have a million clothes!). Personally, and still on some of the thoughts I had during my wedding, I’m still wondering if to sell my wedding dress – might make a few bucks.
When shopping for groceries or household items, it’s often better to buy in bulk. It’s usually cheaper and saves you the stress of running back to the stores frequently. Now, I know it’s so much easier to simply buy everything from one store or shop. But many times it’s not easier on your pocket.
While product A might be more expensive in Shop 1, it might always be cheaper in Shop 2. So it’s helpful to decide where to buy what. For example while we always buy eggs from a certain store A, we buy water from another store as water is much more expensive in Shop A. You don’t have to go to a million shops, but having a broad idea is helpful.
I remember the story of man who always bought vegetables and food items from a certain woman in a stall because she called him “my customer” and joked with him. He never bothered to explore. One day the woman didn’t open and he had to go elsewhere – he realised he had been paying almost double the price!
Finally, the battle between known brands and less known brands. Sometimes we are just paying a premium for the brand name! So don’t be shy to delve into a few brands that are not as popular. You may be surprised what you find.
3. Leisure Subscriptions & Payments
All work and no chill ain’t cool! But when your ‘play’ threatens to render your account balance red, it’s time to rethink honey! If you’re not using it, cancel!
Once I thought I had cancelled my Netflix subscription, but apparently I was still billed. To make up, I think I watched something on Netflix every single day that month! Yes yes. On another occasion we had our friend’s kids visit and then realised we had no children channels on TV. So we updated our package to provide for all children’s station. Since then about 8 months we’ve only had children come to visit a maximum of two times! I wonder if we still need it, because all we really watch are the news stations!
Paid for a gym but hardly go? Reminds me of Ross in FRIENDS and when he attempted to cancel his gym membership but ended up paying more! Don’t be like him. Cancel!
Lover of books? If you really like to read, but couldn’t care less about owning them, then quit buying and consider your local libraries. Recently on holiday in Boston, we learnt that a registered member of the public library could borrow up to 75 books!! Some people never even read that much in that lifetime. You could also swap with friends or read online versions for cheaper.
Can you get your nails polished at home yourself? Do that once in a while and save. I used to pay £6 to take off my gel nail polish. Had no clue that I could simply buy a bottle gel polish remover for £2 or less. Similarly, how about you invest and learn how to apply professional makeup if that’s your thing, as opposed to spending so much weekly on a weekend ‘face beat’.
Related: The Makeup Questions That Keep Us All Awake At Night
Last leisure activity! Night outs, just like food gulp money! So consider buying your own beer or drinks, playing your own music and most of all, dancing in comfy clothes right there in your living room. You get the picture.
Related: Relationship on a budget: 10 Doable & Fun-at-Home Ideas (without spending any money!)
4. Electricity & Fuel
I’m including this category for completeness sake. And also because just yesterday I realised I had left the iron on the whole day! Now asides the fact that our house could have burned down, I probably added £5 to our electricity bill. So be wary of these. Turn off lights and sockets when not in use. And if you can walk, do so as opposed to using the car! (My husband must be very proud of me for including this paragraph, as I was the queen of leaving lights on and asking for a car ride. I’m improving babe!)
While on holiday recently, a sign on the guest house said “conserve water and take shorter showers or don’t shower at all if possible“! Ehm, no. Some people are really extreme! I love long showers so I will try to cut down savings in some other ways, thank you!
And there, you made it to the end!
But this is really just an overview. There’s a lot more ways we can cut down on our daily spend! What are your challenges in saving money, what ways are you hoping to cut down and what are your top secrets? Share with the clique!
pS: Are you secretely wondering if I’m such a cheap skate? Lol. It’s okay, I wonder myself too!
Desire UbaJune 8, 2017 at 06:50
My parents won’t even let you leave the house without switching everything off, so I have that down. As a baby girl, I am keeping the rest of these points in my head for future purposes. Thanks Kachee!
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 14, 2017 at 13:45
Hahahaha. That’s good practice – not just for saving but also for safety purposes. Glad you found this useful. Xx
evi orukeleJune 8, 2017 at 06:51
Saving has its ups and downs for me. While sometimes I’m great at it, I almost always pamper myself after I reach the target of that particular month, which isn’t good. As this can go on for long if not properly checked. Nonetheless it’s very good to save money.. I’m a cheap skate myself sometimes and it can be extreme. ( you don’t want to know).
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 14, 2017 at 13:46
How extreme? Lol! I’ll have loved to hear.Pampering self is good, but not too much as that can be counter productive.
evi orukeleJune 15, 2017 at 19:15
Pampering self can definitely be counter productive! Really? I don’t wear my perfume except I’m ready to leave the house. Because my parents can sometimes decide last minute they’re tired and would rather rest at home. I also don’t wear deodorants on days I know I won’t leave the house at all . The price of these items is constantly on the rise.🙈🙈😔.
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 19, 2017 at 09:58
Hhaha. That’s not too bad. Even on days I leave the house, I often don’t remember to wear perfume!
DebsJune 8, 2017 at 08:23
Looks like blogs today are really talking to me today. This is the second blog post I am reading this morning with the same title! Considering the fact that I just moved into my own apartment alone, this is quite helpful. I have been buying and buying and buying since last week. And my pocket is fast draining.One point I cant help but relate to myself is online buying that comes with delivery! When I can definitely buy around me but just lazy to look for.Aside that, I agree with comparing prices. While I am lazy with bargaining and checking different stores before buying, I might need to adopt this now that I am living alone with no one to scream that I have been cheated.And then thrift!!! I got a very lovely school bag for my weekend classes yesterday for N2,000 and I’m still amazed at the price *big smile*I suck at been a cheap skate and I envy people who do. But as it is, I am learning so fast and I am thankful for posts like this!
AfomaJune 8, 2017 at 18:50
Cutting off leisure and subscription payments honestly changed my life. It’s crazy to think of how much money we spend on these things. Also, packing my own lunch and generally learning to make certain things I like like bread, juice etc occasionally saved me so much money because these were the things I spent the most money on. I thought about writing a post on saving but I thought my own saving levels were extra loool. You’ve done it better than I would. Well done!afomaumesi.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 14, 2017 at 13:47
Making your own juice and bread actually makes sense – anything to cut down, plus it’s probably heathier anyway!Thanks Afoma – you’re always so kind.
'DaraJune 9, 2017 at 07:05
I think I’m such a cheapskate also or better put, I’m extremely prudent. I’m a couch potato most of the time which helps as I don’t have to spend so much on social activities. I beat myself up to it when I spend on things I don’t need. Talk about always shopping with a budget and trying as much as possible to stick to the budget. No to impulse buying. Financial wisdom is really needed these days.
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 14, 2017 at 13:47
Financial wisdom is such a need. Even the wealthiest people are often very prudent with money!
demiolowoJune 9, 2017 at 10:36
I save but I can be really impulsive sometimes…doesn’t help my savings at all 😔.Really helpful tips,thanks kachi
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 14, 2017 at 13:44
You’re welcome Demi. I’m often impulsive too. But for clothes or gadgets, I don’t unopen them / take out the tags, till I’m very convinced. I guess that can only work where there’s a great return policy. Xx
Sera | Stardust BohemianJune 9, 2017 at 18:36
great tips! I personally love to thrift shop <3xx Sera | STARDUSTBOHEMIAN.COM
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 14, 2017 at 13:43
Thanks Sera. Th rifting sure comes in handy!
glowingscenesJune 9, 2017 at 21:33
I was going to comment yday but I couldn’t get around to doing it. The cheapskate part got me laughing. Perhaps it’s because we use it a lot in my house whenever anyone is trying to save and ends up buying something less than what was intended. Saving is important because the way money just flies these days eh, I had to cut down on unhealthy drinks and somethings I’m already used to. I recall writing something similar last year here:http://myglowingscenes.com/…Oh and writing a LIST is very vital too! It helps a lot or you’ll end up buying things you did not intend to. I used to keep lists a lot as it helped to make me aware of the most important things.Much love. xo!
BababiJune 10, 2017 at 07:04
I also love to save in every way I can but some of the things you listed could be limited to your geographical location sha.Eg: 1. I’ve found that buying things online in Nigeria is more expensive & you can’t escape paying for delivery.2. There are some states in Nigeria that still don’t use the pre-paid meter till date, so turning off lights and all doesn’t necessarily save anything because they’ll still get the standard electricity bill at the end of the month.When I was in Lagos, i used to scream “turn off the lights,AC, fan…anything not in use at the moment”. Now that I’m in Rivers, mtsheeewww you better use the electricity to your satisfaction because the bill at the end of the month will be same whether you turn off freezer or not.It all depends.I’m all for exploring with shops for buying food and gadgets though. I personally prefer not to have a “customer” in the local markets, they usually rip people off. Also, here’s my cheap skate secret on entertainment (I live in Nig); I subscribe to Iroko TV because it’s only £9 for a whole year….for Netflix, it’s £11/month and to me that’s just crazy, so when I’m feeling netflixy i register a new account and benefit from the free trial for a month…hehehe.
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 14, 2017 at 13:43
I was going to point out that some of this is limited/ or influenced by location – not sure how i forgot to chip that in. I can relate with that electricity bill when we were in Lagos- urrghhhh!Hehehehe @ registering new account for Netflix. Don’t you run out of emails to use? Iroko is £9 for the whole year? I need to look into that as they charged me £15 for three months! Wasn’t getting value so I unsubscribed.
Grace SmartJune 10, 2017 at 10:45
Great tips! Saving is very essential and we can only do this by cutting fown on unnecessary things.www.liveinibadan.blogspot.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 14, 2017 at 13:48
Candace McGeeJune 13, 2017 at 14:53
Haha, we have so much in common! I definitely save where I can and buying online can definitely be worth it. I’m always trying to avoid shipping costs as well but sometimes I go ahead and do it. I figure doing a store pickup will cost me the shipping in gas – unless I already need to go to the area the store is in for something else. 2 birds, 1 stone! I’ve also been trying to budget for my groceries as well to save money of course but also to cut down on waste. I hate tossing food! I don’t think you’re a cheap skate…probably because we’re two peas in a pod. Lol!http://thequirklife.com/
Bubu GreenJune 16, 2017 at 15:05
Oh yes! These tips are tried and true. Gone are the days of impulsive shopping. Though those habits show up from time to time, I’m more thrifty now. I’ve been a victim to that “my customer” scam. The woman whom I buy my foodstuff to travel out with, had been calling me “my customer” and billing me until recently when I decided to go buy from another seller. I was astonished at the amount of money I saved, so much I had to go back to her to tell her because I was so upset. When anyone calls me “my customer”, that’s a code for “run”.€7 pounds is a lot for lunch, you know. Trust the average Nigerian na, we have a head calculator. 7×500 naira=3500. For what? For lunch! They will resort to coke and biscuit. Lol. Though you can’t keep calculating things this “oh-so-thrifty” way, sometimes it’s used to just keep track.www.bubusboulevard.com
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 16, 2017 at 15:08
Bubs, that my customer thing can be a scam eh. Especially when they know you are too comfortable or in a hurry to go anywhere else. I’m often calculating in my head – re the Naira. Lol. Like you said, we can’t do it all the time, but it helps put things in perspective.
chinelo onwutaJune 24, 2017 at 15:25
Hi Kachee,On this lazy Saturday, I chose to catch up on your blog. No regrets!!!I’m blown away with your writing. There is always something to learn.Thanks for sharing.
Kachee || KacheeTee.comJune 25, 2017 at 06:23
Thank you so much Chinelo! This means a lot to me! Xx