How to Put Yourself on a Money Diet

Put yourself on a money diet | Happy Simple Living blog

If you’re in Colorado, you may have heard me talking about money diets last night and this morning during a spot on CBS-4.

The producers heard about our annual January Money Diet, and asked me to share some of the top ideas we gleaned from our 30-day spending break. You can watch the clip here:

The beautiful thing about going a money diet is that you can do it any time you need to hunker down and save some cash. Here are some easy ways to save money while you’re dieting:

  1. Cook at home. This is a big area of savings for most families. Try making homemade pizza instead of paying for delivery. Here’s my easy pizza recipe, including two types of dough, homemade sauce, and dozens of topping ideas. It’s yummy, fun to make, and inexpensive. Other saving strategies include cooking double recipes and freezing half, using leftovers in soups and casseroles, and cooking less expensive cuts of meat in a slow cooker.
  2. Go on a scavenger hunt and “shop” at home. Most of us have lots of goodies hiding in our cabinets, pantries and freezers. Use those items during a money diet, and you’ll save money and free up space.
  3. Use and maintain the things you already have. We may live in a disposable society, but we honor our possessions when we take care of them. Perhaps you could make your scuffed boots look new with shoe polish, or sew the missing button on your sweater, or clean up your gardening tools. These are joyful tasks that can bring so much satisfaction.
  4. Explore your local library. We are amazed at the cool things we can borrow from our library, from energy meters to solar light bulbs to Nooks. We can even download free, current eBooks and magazines from home on our Kindle. Plan a visit to your library during your money diet, and see what you can check out for free.
  5. Finish something. From stalled home improvement jobs to crafting projects, a money diet month is the perfect time to enjoy the benefits of completing a task.
  6. Declutter and give things away. Even though we’re on a money diet, we can still be generous. A money diet month is a perfect time to go through stuff and give things we no longer need to our favorite nonprofit. The side benefit is a more peaceful, organized home.
  7. Find ways to splurge so you don’t feel deprived. Give yourself a pedicure. Take a nap. Use the fancy shaving brush you got for Christmas. Soak in a bubble bath. Be good to yourself while you’re not spending, and you might not even notice you’re on a money diet.

Have you ever gone on a money diet? What are some of your favorite ways to save? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

 

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

3 comments to How to Put Yourself on a Money Diet

  • Great tips and good work on the appearance. It’s got to be great to know you’re out there making a difference!

  • Lois

    All great tips, Eliza and congrats on your TV feature. I find that the easiest way to stick to a money diet is to have a goal I want to save for. It makes keeping to things like your list easy when I know there is something important to me to wait for than spending today on an item(s) I don’t really care about or would make my life better.

  • Kimberly

    There are people who may of watched that who’s lives will be changed. I don’t watch much tv but if I would have to I would rather it be something good than the sad things that are on the new daily, Are you up for a pantry/freezer challenge. I know March is Easter but I think April would be a great month for one.

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