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8 Ways to Save on a Money Diet

If you’ve been following this blog for a long time, you may remember that for many years we sponsored the January Money Diet. I was always amazed at how much money I could save by simply taking a break from spending, avoiding debt, and focusing on improving our finances.

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. You can put yourself on a spending freeze for a week, several weeks, or a month. Are you ready to get started?

A woman in a yellow sweater holding a pink piggy bank.

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, because take-out, pizza delivery and restaurant meals can quickly derail a budget. Try making homemade pizza instead of paying for delivery.

Try some of our other easy dinners like Corn Chowder with Bacon, Crock Pot Mexican Carnitas, Spaghetti with Oven Cooked Meatballs, or our family favorite, Potato Chip Chicken Tenders.

Other saving strategies include cooking double recipes and freezing half, using in-season fruits and vegetables, using leftovers in soups and casseroles, and cooking less expensive cuts of meat in a slow cooker. Check out more tips about cooking from a frugal and thrifty kitchen.

2. Go on a Home Scavenger Hunt

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. Explore Resources for Freebies

There’s a whole world of generous people out there who regularly share, lend, trade, and give things away.

Scoring things you need for free instead of shopping is a wonderful way to stretch money, and you can take advantage of resources like Freecycle, Buy Nothing Facebook groups, and neighborhood swaps.

4. Fix 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.

Watch a YouTube video and learn how to repair something that’s broken or sharpen your kitchen knives. These are joyful tasks that can bring so much satisfaction.

5. 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 laptops.

You can even download free, current eBooks and magazines from home. Plan a visit to your library during your money diet, and see what you can check out for free.

6. Finish a Project

From stalled home improvement jobs to crafting projects, a money diet month is the perfect time to enjoy the benefits of completing a task.

7. Declutter and Give Unused Things Away

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 of decluttering is a more peaceful, organized home.

8. Find Ways to Splurge

A money diet doesn’t have to be a time of deprivation. Give yourself a pedicure. Take a nap. Use the fancy shaving brush you got for Christmas.

Soak in a bubble bath. Put the high thread count sheets on your bed. 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, so drop a comment below!

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites and 101 Things To Do With Bacon. She shares ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, time and money. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

3 thoughts on “8 Ways to Save on a Money Diet”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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


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