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Tips to save money

posted on November 09, 2022 in money saving tips

It's that time of the month. Your bills are paid and you're, well, broke. It's a common story with the recent rise in inflation. Luckily for you, because being strapped for cash is so common these days, there are plenty of creative ways to enjoy more for less. Here are our best tips to save money, most of which are fairly painless.

Buy in bulk

If you're not buying what you can in bulk, you're losing money. Because what you buy in bulk isn't packaged and branded, you will save money. Bulk items can be purchased from dedicated bulk food stores like Bulk Barn, from most health food stores and even some supermarkets. 

Not sure what to buy in bulk or worried you won't get through what you buy if it's a large amount? Look for staple foods like nut butters, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, rice and flours that you can use in a variety of dishes. Eating these foods is healthy for you and kinder to your wallet than fresh vegetables and proteins (meat, fish etc) from grocery stores. Start with smaller amounts to see how fast you can get through your items as they may expire before you can use them in full.

You can also often buy household cleaning products in bulk at bulk stores. Be sure to collect them in non-porous containers that seal well for your safety.

Meal prep more and eat takeout and restaurant meals less 

If you regularly indulge in restaurant meals, takeout and delivery, it might be time to change your eating habits. According to stats Canada, in 2019, the average Canadian household reported spending over $5000 on restaurant food and drinks, takeout and delivery. It's almost always more affordable to cook for yourself than to get takeout or delivery. That being said, if you shop for foods you never end up cooking, or only get through part of what you buy before it spoils, then you may not save much money. Meal prepping is a great solution for this as you'll only buy what you need to prepare the meals you'll prep for the week. Many meal prep recipe sites will provide you with shopping lists so you know exactly what to buy. We love Budget Bytes as they have great, affordable meal prep recipes that break down cost per serving. You can also get takeout fake out recipes from Budget Bytes if you need chicken chow mein or pepperoni pizza after a long work day.

Skip the bar and drink at home

If you like to imbibe, you'd be wise to drink at home rather than at a bar or restaurant. You might be shocked by how much you can save by mixing your own drinks at home. So invite a friend over for cocktails or a beer on your patio next time.

Drinking regularly at home adds up too, though, so perhaps consider cutting back if you consume a lot of alcohol. You can save a lot more than you may think.

Make your own coffee (and avocado toast)

Cafe culture is big just about everywhere. If getting a coffee and a bite out is part of your daily routine, you may want to break that hefty spending habit. Popular spots in big cities can charge neary $5 per latte and $10 per avocado toast order. This article from Time Magazine breaks down how much you can save by brewing at home instead.

Ditch cable and movie theaters 

Cable tv is typically overpriced and lately pretty unnecessary. Why pay a premium for it when you can save a lot by switching to a smart tv and streaming apps and watch what you want on your schedule? Streaming apps are also a great way to watch new and old movies, saving you a ton on movie theater tickets which cost over $10 per adult, over $8 per child, and over $8.50 per senior. And don't get us started on the cost of snacking at the theater versus at home!

Start saving money automatically 

Open a tax free savings account (TFSA) and set up a small, monthly automatic transfer from your primary account. You'd be surprised how quickly the savings will add up and you'll likely not notice the change. 

We hope these tips help you break some bad habits and start saving serious money.

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