My 4 Top Tricks For Saving Money Every Week Even When You Are Broke

Living on a shoestring budget is tough and not fun. Especially when you are so broke that you can barely pay your bills and buy groceries. Saving money seems impossible when you are barely getting by as it is.

That used to be us.  We were living paycheck to paycheck wondering how to save money when we were broke.

And guess what? I did stumble on some truly simple ways to save money even being as broke as we felt at the time.

These simple money-saving tricks do not involve coupons or money-saving apps and have never made me rich. But they sure helped me stretch my budget as far as it could.

We were able to make ends meet and get through really stressful times while paying bills and keeping food on the table. And though our finances have definitely improved, I still use these tricks to help save money every month.

These are things that worked for me. And though my hope is that anyone looking for ways to save money on a tight budget will find something here that may work for them, I understand what worked for me may not work for others.

1. Always, ALWAYS, Put One Item in Your Shopping Cart Back on The Shelf  

You will save money using this trick at the grocery store, plus I can just about guarantee you will smile as you leave the store - because you know you just saved some money (and don't worry too much about how much you saved, just enjoy knowing you did!)

Make it a habit, and do it every shopping trip.

When you get home, put the money in an envelope and save it.

I could almost always find one thing to put back. I was that motivated to save any money I could! Try this trick. I think you will love it!

2. Only Take The Minimum Amount of Money You Need To The Grocery Store

If you are on a super tight budget, you may be doing this already. And if you are on an 'okay kind of a budget,' still try this money-saving trick. You will save money, I promise.

My biggest downfall bar none when I go grocery shopping is having extra money in my wallet. I will ALWAYS spend more than I should - if I have extra money in my wallet. Rationalizing buying something like ice cream for the kids ( or something else NOT on my grocery list) was too easy for me to do.

I realized that I could only take the bare minimum amount of money I needed for that day's grocery store trip. No extra money means no extra spending which means staying on budget - even if it was not fun.

I would be sad that I could not buy ice cream for my kids because I did not have that extra $3.50 in my purse, for example. (want vs. need is not fun, period.)

But the next day I had my budgeted amount for that day's expenses intact when I could have easily used some of it at the grocery store the day before.

At this point, you are probably wondering why on earth I went shopping every day instead of once a week.

Why not take my grocery budget for the week and just shop one time for that week?

Back then in those days of barely scraping by every week, I found more security by shopping day by day. It just worked for me.

Since we had such a strict budget to get by each week, I felt better knowing there was money available if something came up (which we know, always does.)

I reasoned that if needed, I could find ways to do without buying groceries the next day if I had to - or change the dinner menu to something that cost less.

This method gave me security and worked well for me, but that is just me.

3. Separate Your Money for The Week as Soon as You Are Paid

This is like the tried and true envelope system that is so popular. And it is popular because if you stick to it, it works.

We deducted how much money we needed to pay the bills that week. For us, paychecks were every week at the time. So it was easy for us to divide the remaining money by 7 days. Then we knew exactly how much we could spend each day to make it through that week, including groceries and gas for the car.

The money for each day went into an envelope with the day of the week written on the front.

And you know that typical how to save money advice - ALWAYS pay yourself first when payday rolls around?

That just did not work for us back in those days. Nope, the typical advice did not fit our financial situation.

Just trying to figure out how to stretch the money to pay bills, put gas in our cars to get to work, and buy groceries took all the money usually, and left none to stash away in our savings account.

But by sorting out how much I could spend each day on groceries, and using these money-saving tricks, I found ways to save money after all.

4. Try to Spend LESS than Your Daily Grocery Budget.

When I went grocery shopping, I tried my best to spend at least $5 less than my budgeted amount. And that is on top of the 'put an item back' money I would save. (so if I spent $15 instead of the $20 I had in my wallet, plus put one item that was in my cart back on the shelf, I saved even more money on that trip.)

To be totally honest, sometimes I could do this trick, other days I just couldn't find a way to spend less than what I had budgeted for on that shopping trip.

Doing both of these tricks is a sure way to save money! Not a lot, but every penny saved, right? Plus, when I did these things every day, even that little bit can quickly add up! (Just make sure to SAVE the money.)

Kind of like taking the long way around to building our savings. But it worked. It really did help us save money!

Saving money while living paycheck to paycheck is tough. There is no way around it. But it is possible.

Our journey to getting our finances in shape took longer than we hoped. But we did it. And even though our situation has improved, I still use these little money-saving tricks when I do my grocery shopping.

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Space-Saving Backpack Storage Ideas For Your Home

Summer vacation will be ending soon (but wait, didn't it just start??) and alas, it is time to start thinking about getting organized for back to school time.

This may sound silly, but one thing that causes me the most stress is figuring out how to keep backpacks off the floor!

Or worse yet, hearing this every morning before school ..

I have yet to figure out a space for a command center in our home. We have an open floor plan style home. Very very open. It is hard to use a small wall even for backpack storage because even that can make our home look cluttered.

But like always, Pinterest has come to my rescue yet again with several cool ideas for hanging backpacks and organization hacks for small spaces that just might work for us.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a referral fee which does not affect you in any way. Please check out our Disclosure Policy for more details.

1.  Backpack Over The Door Storage Rack

This backpack rack is an easy way to hang up backpacks so they do not end up on the floor. This storage idea is perfect if you have very little space available for a backpack station (*raising hand*)

You can get one of these hanging over the door organizers at Amazon (and they are cheap--under $20 when I checked last!)

2. Turn a hall closet into a backpack station and school supplies center

The Pragmatic Parent

This is one of my favorite ideas for hanging backpacks and keeping them out of site. This closet space could become an awesome back to school command center!

But of course, there is the small matter of giving up a coat closet. If you have closet to spare, check out the How-To for this project at The Pragmatic Parent.

3.  Use Backpack Hooks For Storing Backpacks

Yes, those are towels, not backpacks, hanging on hooks. But I think this could be an awesome backpack station idea as well.

The hooks have personalized tin letters placed above them, so everyone knows just where to put their school bags.

I really like this idea from House Beautiful.  Each hook holds up to 35 lbs. per the product description, so I think these could work as backpack hooks.

4.  Simple Backpack Station Storage For Small Entry Ways 

Buns in a

I absolutely LOVE this simple DIY backpack station. Backpacks and hooks on a small wall will help keep kids from dropping them on the floor. Something like this could work in small entryways I think.

If you love this look, get the tutorial at Buns in a Row.

5. Use an Inexpensive Backpack Storage Rack For a Backpack Station

Megan at Homes I Have Made, designed this cute front door backpack drop station area in her home.

In all honesty, this would probably be too much for my small entryway, but I do love her choice for a backpack storage rack.

And that fabric covered bulletin board. Awesomeness. Seriously, it looks so much better than a regular old cork board!

Good Luck With Your Back to School Organizing!!

Budget Fall Decor On Amazon Under $15

It may still be summer, but my mind is already thinking about decorating my house for Fall! It is my very favorite season, hands down.

Who can resist the beautiful warm Fall colors and cooler weather??

I admit that decorating for Fall on a budget is challenging, but it is still fun to do some (window) shopping on Amazon for decorating ideas.

And wait till you see the affordable fall finds on Amazon I have rounded up for you!

Best part? Every one of these amazing items, including the  Halloween and Farmhouse pillows, are under $15.00!

Take a peek, and if you see anything you like, I have all the links listed below. (P.S., budget saying "no" to shopping? Then check out these inexpensive Fall DIY decorating ideas!)

Which brings us to my disclosure: I am an affiliate of Amazon, and if you should click on a link below and purchase an item, I will receive a small commission that will not affect your purchase price at all. Please check out HHF's Disclosure Policy for details.




Autumn Colors tree and bike throw pillow cover

Wooden Hanging Thanksgiving Autumn Decor Sign 

Halloween theme pillow cover 

Fall acorn and berries mini wreath

Happy Fall Y'All  Autumn Throw Pillow Cover

Burlap and Lace Table Runner Fall Farmhouse Decor

Fall Farmhouse Vintage Tin Sign

Black and White Buffalo Checkers Plaid Linen Throw Pillow Cover Retro Farmhouse 

Round Wreath Green Leaves for Door Wall or Window Decoration 

Retro Wall Clock Farmhouse Decor

Pumpkin Thanksgiving Pillow Cover

Set of 4 Farmhouse Style Pillow Covers 

Happy Fall Y' All!!

8 Fall DIY Crafts That Will Get You Excited For Autumn

Autumn is my favorite season, hands down. So I am just a tad (okay, much more than a tad) excited that it is around the corner.

Take a peek at the unbelievably easy and inexpensive Fall decor and DIY craft ideas I am excited to try this year. After all, one can never start getting ready too early for the best.season.ever.

And don't forget to check out Dollar Tree for Fall decor ideas. They have all kinds of fun things you can use to decorate your home this fall from the living room to the front porch.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a referral fee which does not affect you in any way. Please check out our Disclosure Policy for more details.

1. DIY Chalkboard Paint Door Hanger 

Picture Credit: Michael Partenio/Country Living

Paint a layer of chalkboard paint on an old tray (you can get cheap trays at Dollar Tree!) add some fall leaves and berries, and you have this inexpensive alternative to a traditional Fall wreath!

2. No Sew Yarn Pumpkins 

Not Quite

You can string these adorable DIY yarn pumpkins to make a festive garland, or use them to make a wonderful Fall table centerpiece! Get the tutorial at Not Quite Susie.

3. Easy DIY Fall Wreath 

House of Hawthornes

Get an early start on your front door Fall wreath with this year. Learn how you can make this cute simple wreath in about 10 minutes!! Get the step by step tutorial at House of Hawthornes.

4. Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Soap 

Happiness is

Have your home (or at least your bathrooms!) smelling like Fall in 10 minutes or less with these amazing DIY Pumpkin Spice Soaps. Get the tutorial for this easy homemade soap recipe at Happiness is Homemade.

5. Fall Table Centerpiece Ideas

Shanty 2

It is never too soon to start thinking about centerpiece ideas for the table this Fall. This really cute centerpiece from Shanty 2 Chic should help you get inspired to create your own DIY masterpiece.

6. Simple DIY Fall Vase Decor

Love Grows

You can get all kinds of inspired just looking at this beautiful DIY Fall Vase made by Liz over at Love Grows Wild. And her label is awesome! Check out her step by step tutorial here.

If you want to create your own decorated vases, pick up a vase or two at your nearest Dollar Store, and fill them with Amazon's 100 Autumn Vase Filler Decorations ($12.99.)

7. Faux White Pumpkin Table Centerpiece

This elegant Faux White Pumpkin centerpiece is actually a very easy DIY Fall table decoration! You can get the details on how to make your own over at A Pumpkin and A Princess!

8. Easy DIY Fall Candy Jar

A Pumpkin and A

I fell in love this homemade gumball style candy jar the minute I laid eyes on it!!

For this DIY project, you will need clay pots (get 5 for $10 at Amazon), black paint, saucer and a wooden knob.

Learn How to make a Halloween Candy Jar of your very own (the kiddos are gonna thank-you!)