How to Still Save Money When Every Penny Counts

Saving money when there is no extra money to save is possible - even when every single penny counts. Check out these sneaky money-saving tricks you can do every day that will help put extra money in the piggy bank every day.

Living on a tight budget is hard. Especially when you can barely pay your bills and buy groceries.

We were living paycheck to paycheck wondering how to save money when we were broke almost all the time. Buying groceries and paying bills was tough enough, but trying to save money seemed impossible.

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 tips do not involve coupons or money-saving apps and have definitely never made us rich. But these ideas helped stretch our budget as far as it could go.

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

 How To Save Money On Food Shopping Trips

If you do this one easy thing you will save money every time you go food shopping. Guaranteed. 

Always put one item in your grocery cart back on the shelf before you head to the checkout lane.

Just look in your cart one more time before you check out. Find one item you can do without and put it back. 

Believe me, there is always one thing you can do without. 

Then save the money you would have spent on that item. Do not spend it on anything else. Do not go back to the store the next day and spend that money on the returned item. 

Just take that money and stash it in your savings spot when you get home. And leave it there.

If you use this money-saving trick every time you go shopping, that money will add up before you know it! 

I promise you are going to smile when you leave the grocery store - because you just saved some money!!

(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 any way I could! Try this trick. I think you will love it!

2. Save Money By Keeping It Out of Your Wallet

Whether you are on a super tight budget where every single penny counts or on a "we are doing okay, but need to save more money" budget,  this little tip will save you money.

One sure way to spend more money than you budgeted for is to take more money to the store than you need.

If I go to the grocery store with extra money in my wallet, that extra money will probably get spent.

Talking yourself into buying an item that is not on your shopping list is easy to do.

And leaving the grocery store after spending more than you could afford is depressing. 

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.

And I had my budgeted amount saved and ready for my next trip to the grocery store ct 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 with each week, I felt better knowing there was money available if an emergency came up (which we know, always does.)

I knew if I needed to use that cash for an unexpected expense that came up, I could find ways to use whatever groceries I had in my pantry or change the dinner menu to something that cost less than I had planned on spending.

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

3. Divide Your Money Up And Conquer Those Bills

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

Figure out how much money is needed to pay bills for the month, and divide that amount by 4, if you are paid weekly. 

If you are paid every 2 weeks, then divide by 2.

The point is to take the total amount of your monthly bills and take money out of every paycheck to cover those bills.

If the water bill is $40 for the month, and you get paid bi-weekly, then take $20 dollars out of each paycheck and earmark it for the water bill.

Do this for each bill each time you get paid.

After you get the money for bills saved, divide the money that is left by however many days there are until you get paid again. That will tell you how much you can actually afford to spend every day until that next paycheck arrives.

We knew exactly how much we could spend each day to make it through to the next paycheck, including groceries and gas for the cars.

Put the money allotted for each day into an envelope with the day of the week written on the front. Try your best to only spend the money in the envelope each day. 

4. How To Pay Yourself First Even When You Are Really Broke??

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 just took all the money usually, and left none to stash away in our savings account.

Do This One Simple Thing To Make Sure You Pay Yourself First Every Payday

Save some of that Envelope Money.

What actually worked and helped us to save some money was playing a game of sorts where we would try to get by without spending all the money that was in the envelopes.

When I went grocery shopping, I tried my best to spend at least $5 less than my budgeted amount for that day. 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, and put one item in my cart back on the shelf, I saved even more money on that trip.)

To be totally honest, some days  I could do this trick, but other days I just couldn't find a way to spend less money than what I had budgeted for groceries.

And there were even days when we found ourselves borrowing from another envelope to make ends meet. (Full disclosure here!)

There is no way around it. Saving money if you are living paycheck to paycheck is tough. But it is possible.

Of course, the best way to improve your financial situation is to figure out how to save and make more money. 

Check out these posts that may help you find ways to make some extra money in your spare time.

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@2023 All Rights Reserved.