5 Unconventional Ways to Save Money

5 Unconventional Ways to Save Money

Go Have Fun with These

You want to save money, but how? What creative ways are there that won’t make you feel like your world is too rigid while you’re strapped for cash? It’s easy to sulk over every sacrifice that you need to make while in this dark spot. But that wouldn’t help your case.

Have you ever been a position where you have to make dreadful sacrifices? Then you had to take it to the next level, which you thought you couldn’t even go. Amazed at your level of commitment, you pick up crumbs of hope along the way. Then it becomes laughable when you remember your effort. You almost couldn’t believe that you did that? That’s how this list feels for me.

Get creative and go have fun with these:

1. The Pantry Diet

We decided not to spend for eating out or groceries until we’ve completely wiped out all the contents of our cupboards and fridge. We got creative with some meals given such limited ingredients. It was a challenge on some days to have something palatable. But it got us by 3 months! You’ll be surprised at how long you can stretch out what you have. It also felt like a mortal sin to let items expire, even more so for canned goods which already have extended shelf life.

We got this idea from a live event we were invited to where author and speaker Dani Johnson spoke. We thought that it was a piece of incredibly simple advice, but one that we’ve clearly overlooked.

2. Under the Sink Stash

Following the same concept of the Pantry Diet, this was directed to toiletries and cleaning supplies we use. We didn’t spend for any these items until we emptied out what’s under the sink. We don’t realize that we can make do with what we have. Maybe out of habit, we put another bar of soap or a tube of toothpaste in the grocery cart and don’t realize that we already have it because it’s hidden in plain sight.

3. Community Functions

It may be simpler for you to favor solitary space and avoid other people when you’re broke. But when you’re plugged into a strong, supportive community, the struggle doesn’t seem too unbearable. It even opens up your world to experience kindness and generosity that uplifts your spirit.

It may be simpler for you to favor solitary space and avoid other people when you’re broke. But when you’re plugged into a strong, supportive community, the struggle doesn’t seem too unbearable.

Shiela Bernardo

My husband and I volunteered at a church youth group for several years. We have built a relationship with the kids’ and their families. We’d get invited for special celebrations like birthdays or graduation, and often for weekly Life Group get-togethers.

Now I’m not quite sure how typical this is for everyone else, but it is a robust trait in my culture as a Filipino. In these venues, we’re always sent home with packed meals that last us a good few days. This thoughtful gesture goes a long way, and it even introduced variety in what we ate (while we did the Pantry diet.)

4. Visit Your Parents

I recommend this not mainly for what you can get out of visiting them, although it’s definitely a side perk. My mother-in-law is the epitome of a great host. She always has something to offer any visitor, let alone her own children. She extends a dinner invitation, which we graciously accept to relish the heart of service that went into preparing the food and partake very approvingly of the blessings on the table.

Mom doesn’t know just how much she makes (not only our tummy but) our hearts full when she serves us a home-cooked meal. It’s how I take snapshot precious memories spent around the dinner table with family. And in true Filipino fashion, she packs up extra portions for us to take home for lunch or dinner the next day.

5. The Math Cart

Gamify your grocery trips and transform into mathletes! We list down on a paper the cost of each item to the cent. We park our cart on the side and add it all up before heading up to the register. Whatever doesn’t make the cut gets put back on the shelf. Sometimes we shake up the routine and do a tag team effort where one puts the items in the cart, and the other holds a calculator tabulating in real time. We’d then take a guess how much it will ring up to. Whoever guesses closest, wins – and is spared loading up groceries to the car.

This compilation of ways to save money allowed us to laugh at our situation, not after it has passed, but even while we were in the eye of the hurricane. It’s a matter of perspective. Not only did it keep us sane, but it also injected a ton of light-hearted moments that cut through the tension. It produced priceless, fond memories that my husband and I shared, which sealed our commitment to a common goal.

Gratitude permeates our spirit causing scales of antagonism to fall-off our eyes, enabling us to believe and see provision that makes its way to us at precisely the right time. Click To Tweet

This list got us by some really trying times when we do not even know what we’ll have for our very next meal. Gratitude permeates our spirit causing scales of antagonism to fall-off our eyes, enabling us to believe and see provision that makes its way to us at precisely the right time. It allowed us to see the worst of situations and know that there are some positive aspects to be held. We were broke, yet we can still smile and laugh with authenticity. We know that these sacrifices are temporary.

♥ Shiela Bernardo is a budget nerd who is keen to stay on track with her family’s financial goals. She perpetually seeks to demystify how to keep the house clean with two dynamic young daughters. She is a self-taught computer programmer balancing a career as Assistant Vice President in a Fortune 100 company. She blogs about family, faith, and finances in her spare time.

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