Unglamorous Ways We Save Money

Inflation is hitting many families hard. As a result, once again, I’m seeing feature news stories on extreme couponing, which I haven’t seen since the last economic downturn. While there are many ways to save money that the media loves to tout, such as couponing, buying clothes at consignment stores, buying items in advance when they’re at rock bottom prices and then storing them, our family has simpler, unglamorous ways we save money.

Many ways that people propose to save money require that you spend money. Buy five items to get $1 off each item, but a Groupon to save money at an event, etc. We prefer a simpler way to save money that would likely resonate with our grandparents.

We Don’t Eat Out

We used to eat out compulsively, but we stopped doing that about 12 years ago. Now, we eat out perhaps five times a year.

We make every.single.meal at home, and we save a lot of money doing so. At first, I missed eating out, but now eating at home is routine.

When we travel, we bring our food with us, so we can eat on the road rather than stop at restaurants. We always choose hotels with a microwave and refrigerator to cook and store our food. If we’re staying somewhere for a few days or longer, we stay at a vacation rental so we can cook our food.

We Drive Our Cars Until They Die

We own older cars. We bought our Toyota Sienna brand new in 2004. We paid that vehicle off in 4.5 years, and we’re still driving it. The minivan is now 18 years old and has 231,000 miles on it. We’ve been car payment free on that vehicle for 13.5 years. Our mechanic is confident that the van can last at least 300,000 miles.

We also own a 2013 Subaru Outback. That car is also paid off and has 104,000 miles on it. Like the Sienna, we plan to keep this car until it dies, too.

We Buy Very Few Clothes

Luckily, or unluckily, depending on how you look at it, neither my husband nor I are fashionistas. We prefer to buy clothes on clearance. In the spring, we buy clearance winter clothes, and in the fall, we buy clearance summer clothes.

Then, we wear those clothes until they wear out. Our kids were just complaining to us because we have some clothes we still wear around the house that we wore when we were dating 22 years ago.

In addition, we don’t buy a lot of clothes. I have a capsule wardrobe without trying for one. In the summer, I rotate between three pairs of capri pants and six shirts. I have one pair of tennis shoes, one pair of sandals, and one pair of dress shoes. That’s it.

We Live in a Modest Home

Unglamorous Ways We Save Money

Our home is 1,600 square feet and is in a good neighborhood, but not an exceptional one. We would like more storage and a better school district, but we’re staying put because this house is affordable. Even better, we have a low-interest rate.

We Have a Cheap Cell Phone Plan

We save a lot of money by having a cheap cell phone plan. We use Ting, and our cell phones are five years old. We try not to use our cell phones frequently, so my husband and I combined pay $30 a month for our cell phone usage.

Final Thoughts

The media likes to tout extreme ways to save money like extreme couponing, but we have unglamorous ways we save money. Our saving method is boring, not trendy, but it is effective.

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