The last few months have been some of the most expensive months of my life!
The good news is, I guess, that it could have been worse. Even in the midst of buying a house, multiple projects and purchases, and regular life, we’ve managed to save a hundred of dollars, maybe more.
So here’s the newest edition of ways we’ve saved money recently. You can find previous lists here.
How We Saved Hundreds Dollars in 2 Months
Y’all, my love for Ebates grows ever stronger 🙂 Haha! If you are not using Ebates, you need to!!!
I earned cash back from Lowe’s for ordering our appliances, from Blinds.com for ordering window treatments, for ordering stuff from Target’s website, and for purchasing Groupon deals.
Now, it’s not a huge amount because it’s just a small percentage. What’s great is that you can earn cash back on top of any coupon codes you use on each website. Just in the last three months, I’ve earned over $50 cash back!
It’s incredibly easy to use. You literally just install the button and then it pops up to tell you if a website you’re shopping on has cash back available. You click to activate the cash back and then shop and check out like normal. Then they send you check. Click here to sign up for Ebates and install the button.
An Extra-Early Movie Date
It was sticker-shock for us to see how much movies cost in the bigger city we moved to! We were used to the prices of our local 2-screen movie theater.
Like most theaters, the ones around here cost less for a matinee showing. We discovered on their website, though, that you can print off a coupon for an even bigger discount for what they call an “early matinee”. I think the movie has to start before 1pm for it to work.
Anyway, we went to see Beauty and the Beast and made sure to go to a very early showing to save some money!
Renting and Borrowing Tools
Since we bought our house, we’ve refinished wood floors, repaired a section of ceiling, rekeyed locks and so much more. We’ve saved hundreds, if not thousands, by renting and borrowing tools.
We rented a floor sander to refinish some hardwood floors, which made the job much easier. Austin’s dad actually borrowed a lock set so that he could rekey our locks for us. Plus we borrowed tools from Austin’s dad and one of his friends at work.
Unless we’re sure we’re going to use a tool for multiple projects, we try not to buy it.
This goes with the previous one but we’ve done most projects ourselves instead of hiring them out. It definitely helps that Austin’s dad has a lot of DIY knowledge but he had never refinished wood floors before, so we’ve still had to figure things out as we go.
Austin also ran a gas pipe for our dryer, installed different electrical outlets, and caulked some spots on the roof. We just spent last weekend painting some interior rooms.
When we tackle a new project, I try to do a lot of research online and we watch some video tutorials.
Thrift Store Shopping
We found a fabulous thrift store and each got some new clothes. I wrote a post about my thrift store shopping tips the other week if you want to check it out.
Asking for a Discount
We had to buy a couch after we moved because somehow our old couch managed to get into our previous apartment but could not come out. I have no idea how that’s possible but we literally had to break it into pieces to get it out.
I was nervous to make such a big purchase, especially since I did not inherit my dad’s fabulous negotiating skills.
We found a couch that we liked and I emailed the sales person we worked with the next day to ask if they could cover the sales tax and throw in free delivery for us. I was super excited that they agreed!
I was also super excited to finally have a couch to sit on since we had been taking turns sitting in our only comfy chair for weeks.
Money saving lesson learned: It never hurts to ask.
Making My Own Curtains
I made curtains and curtain rods to cover the huge walls of windows in our living room. I originally wanted some honeycomb shades but it was going to cost close to $600 (!!!) to make that happen. For around $150, I made my own curtains and rods.
I purchased bedsheets for the material so that I didn’t have to bother sewing much. Cheap bedsheets are often less expensive than buying yards of fabric. I bought grommets to add to the top to make things a bit fancier.
I also made my own curtain rods my painting electrical conduit. The brackets are made out of L-brackets and conduit straps. It was basically a scavenger hunt at the hardware store to put it all together.
I still need to hem the bottom of the curtains a bit but I’m super happy with the end result!
They’re really hard to photograph because of the light coming in from the window, so here’s the best I could do, plus a detail shot of the fabric.
Eating at Home
We have eaten at home much more in the last couple of months and it has saved us a lot of money.
In the midst of moving and working on the house, we had gotten in the habit of eating takeout a lot. I’m now in a good routine of weekly meal planning (still using Plan to Eat), grocery shopping, and cooking at home.
I’ve purposely planned super simple meals like quesadillas, paninis, and breakfast for dinner. Now that the weather is good, I’ve been grilling big batches of chicken that we then eat all week in salads, sandwiches, and other meals. #yummm
We have easily saved hundreds of dollars over the last two months, so that’s a huge win in my book!
Now, I need you to leave a comment about how you’ve saved money recently! I’m always looking for more ways to save.