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5 Unconventional Ways to Save Money at Home

Discover five unconventional ways to save hundreds of dollars a year. These simple ways to save money around the house also save time, and who couldn't use a little more of that, too?

5 Unconventional Ways to Save Money at Home

Saving money makes everyone smile, whether it's $10 off your favorite take-out tacos or $1,000 saved by repurposing an old dresser into a vintage media console. If you want to up your money-saving game, we've got five simple yet unconventional ways to spend less around the house that you can start today.

1. Make water your go-to

From energy drinks to soda, bottled and canned beverages add up in more ways than one. They cost more and produce more trash. Plus, they're empty calories. Clear, cold water wins out in the bang-for-your-buck department. Invest in reusable water bottles for everyone in the family and watch your grocery bill shrink! Your dentist will thank you, too. 

2. Embrace bulk cooking

Whether you have a family of two or ten, adding bulk cooking to your lifestyle saves time and money. Opt for the jumbo family-size packages in the meat department and prep them for multiple meals and freezing for later. Not only do you get a lower price, having freezer meals on hand reduces the chances you'll impulse-spend on takeout. Did you know you can freeze cheese, too? Blocks of cheese, bananas, avocados, peaches, mango, and many non-starchy veggies can be frozen. Fruits work great in smoothies, and frozen vegetables make for fast soups, stir-fries, and casseroles. 

3. Clip (and save) coupons strategically 

If we had 25 cents for every gallon of milk we buy in a year ... Well, coupons deliver that! Two dollars off laundry detergent might seem small at first, but over a year, the savings add up. To take full advantage of the benefits of coupons, create two habits that will make shopping a breeze. First, get a small accordion file with six or more compartments for separating your coupons and write the categories on the tabs. Organize coupons by categories like health and beauty, meat and produce, frozen, paper goods, snacks, beverages, household, pets, restaurants, and miscellaneous. 

Second, set aside 30-60 minutes once a week to clip and organize your coupons. Add them to your file, taking out the ones you plan to use during the coming week. Put those in a separate envelope or paperclip them inside your organizer flap so they're ready when you get to the checkout. Your cashier will thank you!  

4. Spring-clean your subscriptions

Whether it's music, news, celebrity gossip, or make-up, there's a subscription for it. You probably have more paid monthly services than you can remember the passwords for! Stick with the one streaming service you use the most. Hit up your local library for free magazines, books, newspapers, movies, and DVDs. Or cut your pricey gym membership and check out thousands of free workouts online.

5. DIY quick fixes

The next time your fridge leaks or your car needs an oil change, YouTube a how-to and save big! There are whole channels online devoted to basic home repairs and maintenance tasks. You'll save money on unnecessary fix-it fees, plus time coordinating with plumbers, handypersons, or gardeners. And imagine how accomplished you'll feel! 

Remember, everybody's lifestyle and schedules are different. Start with simple ways to save money around the house that make sense for your household and abilities. If you never eat homecooked meals, try cooking once or twice a week at home before you dive into bulk-meal prep. Do what works for you.