It’s no secret that prices are on the rise – especially over the past several years. The cost of living keeps increasing, and many of us aren’t receiving salary increases to cover the inflation. While I can’t give you (or myself) a pay raise, I have figured out how to cut costs so we can continue to afford our current lifestyle.
How to Save on Food Costs
Food costs have been on the rise for a few years, but things really went wild in 2020. And while we’ve used grocery delivery for about 4 years, I use it more consistently now more than ever. (See my comparison of grocery delivery services I wrote after trying multiple companies in my area.)
Looking to cut grocery costs? My Instacart membership is paying for itself by keeping me OUT of the stores. I’m not impulse shopping, we’re meal planning every single week, and I’m saving time. While the costs in the app are sometimes slightly higher than in stores, I find myself spending under $100 on a week of groceries for my family of four. I love grocery delivery! I’m also a major fan of grocery pick-up. Not an Instacart member? Get $10 off your first order with my code: JMCKEE23A139
I also like a few food subscriptions and/or boxes. Perdue chicken is great for organic chicken and pork – all of which we use a lot in my house. You can get various bulk packs of meat for up to 60% off on their site – and there’s no need to head to a store. Plan ahead, and freeze it for a month or longer! This post shares how I pre-cook chicken and what I’ve been able to make with it.
Want to receive free sourdough bread? This month’s Wildgrain box has 8 free sourdough rolls included. I just tried Wildgrain, and it’s every bread and pasta-lover’s dream box. I have a full review coming soon. The bread, pasta and pastries come on ice, and it’s been partially baked or cooked. You finish the baking, which I think is pretty cool (and nothing is stale.) They offer a mixed box or a pastry box and you will get a delivery once a month. Your items can be frozen until you’re ready to eat them, and then it takes about 25 minutes to bake or cook and then EAT. The subscriptions can be skipped, changed or canceled at any time. Try Wildgrain and use the code LOVEJAIME10 to get $10 off your first order. Shipping is also free on every order. Each box has the makings of 30+ meals, which is awesome and something worth trying at least for a month or two.
Try Wildgrain today and save $10 on your first box with the code LOVEJAIME10
And Snake River Farms often has a sale happening. We’ve loved their steak and ground beef. For Valentine’s Day, I’ll be preparing the filet mignon we have in the freezer. I love I can order a box of meat we’ll use throughout the month in addition to meat we can have for special occasions – and I save money on these items.
Delivery not really your thing? If you have a membership to a warehouse store (you can get a Sam’s Club membership for under $24 for the first year!), that’s a great option for bulk meat – even organic or grass-fed meat, if that’s your preference. With supply chain issues, I’ve been trying to make sure I’m on top of items we need for the month. I’ve noticed that some items are in short supply over the weekend, so I have been placing pick-up orders on Wednesday or Thursday – and getting everything I ordered.
Grocery pick-up is also a huge help for us. I love picking up at Target, Sam’s Club and occasionally Walmart orders. By staying out of the store, I can get everything I need and I’m not tempted to pick up the new treats that just hit shelves.
How to Save on Monthly Utilities (that you can kind of control)
INTERNET – I’ve been with the same internet provider since I can remember – I signed up for high speed internet the year I graduated college, so I’ve been with the same company for more than 20 years. I don’t have cable TV, and my internet has crept up to $75 per month. I don’t even have the fastest speeds in the house (and I own my router, which I purchased last fall when my previous router became outdated.) We were recently approached by another company for internet, and I just had it installed this past weekend – and it’s more than $20 cheaper for faster speeds. $20 may not seem like a ton for some people, but that’s $240 a year and I’m here for it.
CELL PHONE PLANS – Cell phone plans can be PRICEY. We’re on a family plan, and I’ve been meaning to look at the individual lines to see if we can get a better deal. It turns out, there’s a family plan with unlimited minutes, texting and data – and it’s HALF of what we’re paying currently. With one call, we can save more than $40 per month! This is almost $500 in a year. PER LINE. That’s right. My husband and I can save $1000 a year by switching our plan because we haven’t looked at plans in a few years. We’re actually on a plan with another family member, so if you see a cheaper bundled option, look into it with your family!
How to Save on Streaming Services/Apps
We get away with not having cable because we can stream everything. I’ve had Hulu for years, and used to sign up for their Black Friday promotions each year using different emails. In 2020, I bundled Disney+, and I haven’t signed up for a new Hulu account because I’m getting a deal with our bundle.
We share a Netflix account, and then when we want to see something specific (a show that’s coming out, or right now the Olympics), we’ll look for a special offer. A free trial, a temporary price reduction so we can see some cool shows? We’ll do it! My husband signed up for HBO Max for a year to save on the overall price. For what it’s worth, Paramount+ has an offer of $1 per month for 3 months. I loved it for the Real World reunions.
How to Save on Fitness
In 2020, when we were locked down, my husband and I took advantage of the nice weather and began walking and running daily. That summer, we were still paying for a gym membership and not attending (they had been closed for more than a month, and then it didn’t feel safe for us to go.) A neighbor listed a treadmill in our neighborhood Facebook group, and I snagged it. I’ve since added some on-demand workouts and we cut our gym membership.
If you have the funds (and a find a coach), you can get a Beachbody membership for a year for $100 – this is just for the workouts. My husband and I can both do programs with one membership, and it works out really well. We’ve had weights for years, and I purchased a small weight rack more than a year ago.
An even cheaper option is Healthy U TV – you can get it for just 99 cents for the first year. For less than 9 cents per month for a year, you can get premium access! You’ll have access to workout videos, recipes and workout calendars. I personally think a dollar is worth it. (You can always cancel if you don’t want to renew at their regular rate in a year.)
Ready to try food subscription boxes – or a one time food box? Try these options:
- Wildgrain bread, pasta and pastries – save $10 off your first order with code LOVEJAIME10
- Perdue chicken
- Snake River Farms (American Wagyu beef) – save 10% off your order with code LOVEJAIME