Saving money is my bag. It’s what I’m good at, and I’ve made a name for myself as the resident frugalista in many of my friend circles.
A lot of people want to save money as one of their New Years Resolutions, and with the price of everything going up (thanks to inflation and the global pandemic), it’s becoming more important for people to learn and use some frugality skills.
So let’s get started on saving you some money at the grocery store and other places as well. Since I’ve been writing about these topics since 2016 on various blogs, I have tons of great posts that will be linked to throughout this post.
Start by making a list of what you already have at home. I use inventory sheets that I made on Canva. I have one for the Pantry, one for the fridge, and one for the freezer. They live in plastic page protectors, and I update them when I am cooking (or afterward). It makes seeing what we’ve got on hand a breeze.
- Shop sales- Buy and eat what is in season. This doesn’t only mean produce. Various items are on sale during the year, usually to correspond with holidays. My list of sales cycles can be seen here.
- Buy in bulk if you are able.
- Utilize Store apps to save money- CVS, Walgreens, Target, Vons, Ralphs, Food4less, Sprouts, etc.) all have apps with digital coupons and savings. With a few clicks, you’ll be saving money without clipping coupons! This tip is a great way to save on cleaning supplies, health and beauty aids, and OTC meds.
- Utilize cash back apps. My list of favorites can be found here.
- Take advantage of local farms and CSA’s. I love Yasukochi Farms CSA. They are a local farm and have great produce boxes.
Right now they are having a New Years Sale! Choose either a 1-month regular box subscription for $88, or a 1-month jumbo box subscription for $120. To learn more or order, check out their website.
For less than $30 a week, we get a big box of produce delivered to our door. It helps us stay on budget and eat healthy!
Basically, it boils down to being organized, which can be hard. Choosing 1 or 2 of the above to get started and adding them to your routine until they become second nature, and then adding in 1 or 2 more, and so on and so on.
Starting fresh means different things to different friends. For some, it’s New Years Resolutions to Eat Better, Lose Weight, Get Organized, Spend more time on Self-Care. Whatever Starting Fresh means to you, I’m here to help.
For me, Starting Fresh means grabbing new calendars for the kitchen, kid’s rooms, and my room (I have a bulletin board next to my vanity with a wall calendar so I can review each day while I brush my teeth in the morning). I update the calendars each month with appointments, days off school, birthdays, etc. I usually get free calendars in the mail towards the end of the year and use those. For the kitchen, I get a Holiday a Day calendar and use that- It’s a great way to include silly “national” days into the meal plan or weekend plans. Like National Pizza Day (it’s in February) or National Bake Cookies Day (that was yesterday- we’re celebrating today).
Other Ways I Start Fresh Each Year (and keep it going through the year):
- Inventory my Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry (and donate/share any unwanted still-in-date food). You can buy my inventory sheets here on Etsy.
- Deep Clean/ Organize one area of the house each week. Start small. I start with the front coat closet.
- Clean my car out. If you are a parent, you know. I take a laundry basket and a trash bag down to the car, and once the trash is out, and the stuff that needs to go into the house is in the basket (and back upstairs), I take my car to the carwash and pay $20 to have someone else wash and vacuum the car (and clean the windows inside and out).
- Get rid of stuff that no longer serves you. I like to start in my closet. It’s a great chance to weed out clothes that no longer fit or serve me, and I can donate or share them. I tend to do one area a month. I work on it for 10-20 minutes a few times a week, so it is not a mental burden.
- In the same vein, do a toiletry/beauty/makeup purge. Travel-sized/sample-sized toiletries can be donated to homeless or domestic abuse shelters or local rehab/inpatient centers. Makeup and personal care items do expire (check out this article from Insider for more deets). If it smells weird or has a strange texture- toss it!
- Space out Appointments or other “Adulting” tasks. As someone who had two mental/behavioral health appointments, an IEP Meeting, and a doctor’s appointment last week, I can assure you I was mentally and physically exhausted. As it was the end of the year, provider time was limited, so I didn’t have much of a choice, but going forward, I’m limiting myself to 1-2 “Adulting”/appointments per week. Otherwise, it is overwhelming and everything else, like tasks of daily living, gets pushed aside (shower, what’s that?).
- Spend time Doing Stuff I Like. Yeah, seems weird? Spend a little time doing something that makes you happy. Play a game on your phone for 10 minutes, read, do a craft, work on a project, play Legos with your kids, go for a walk.
A content creator I really like, Rayna Cohen put it simply, ” Allow yourself to enjoy the new energy of the new year.”
My kid’s school sent out a Kindness Calendar for January. I plan on incorporating some of these RAOK throughout January and beyond.
Talk Back: I’d love to hear about how you are Starting Fresh for 2022!
For years I have written year-end articles to help save money, earn money, live frugally.
As the years go on, these articles have evolved and older articles contain outdated or no longer relevant tips (like clipping coupons- Sorry friends, 99% of your savings and deals will now come from apps).
So as 2021 draws to a close, let’s focus on how we can make 2022 great!
The 7 days of greatness will include:
- Starting fresh in 2022
- Budgeting 101
- How to save money at the grocery store and beyond.
- Making Money without driving your car as part of a hustle.
- TikTok “hustles” tested.
- Using time wisely (Saving time vs. Saving Money)
- Setting yourself up for Sucess in 2022 and beyond
These posts will be up throughout the next two weeks. I’ll be taking time off to hang out and play with the kids, so I don’t have a set schedule yet, but there will be a lot of great info coming your way before 2022 starts!
Seriously… Can we skip them?
I know a lot of people who feel like they have to do them because of traditions, or it helps them feel like they are in control. If that is you, awesome! You do you.
If you are on the fence, feel like it might cause you more stress than it’s worth, it’s ok to skip New Years Resolutions or anything else that causes undue stress. We all have enough stress right now.
If you want to do them, I did a round-up of the top ten NYR in 2018 (for 2019) here. Some of the links within the articles may be outdated, but if you are looking for something specific, please feel free to reach out to me either via email or via Instagram or Facebook.
The one end of year/new year tradition that I do is to buy 4 new calendars: One for the kitchen, one for my bathroom (next to my vanity), one for each of the kid’s rooms. I update them all monthly with appointments, birthdays, and holidays. I usually buy a calendar with the daily silly “holidays” on it for the kitchen. I bought this one for 2021.
You will probably start to see more posts from me (and my helpers), as one of my plans (not resolutions) is to start posting more now that I am able to have a pretty solid daily and weekly routine.
If there are topics that you would like to see or learn more about, drop me a message. I’ve got a lot of fun and good stuff planned (like quarterly Amazon Gift Card giveaways), and I’m going to continue sharing savings tips and deals, and of course crafts and recipes!
Three weeks into the new Year and there are so many of us that are settling into our routines that incorporate our New Year Resolutions (NYR). One thing that really helped me is posting our family’s weekly meal plan. I love the Weekly Meal Planner pad from Shutterfly- It’s easy to use!
I’ve partnered with my friend Brooke, over at Crying Out Loud to help one lucky winner with their NYR with an awesome Uplifting Prize Pack!
This Prize pack includes:
- Yoga Toe Socks
- Adult Coloring Coffee Tumbler (I go one of these for Christmas and I love it! I use it daily- it helps me stay out of the coffee shop). I’ve stuffed it with some of my favorite tea bags!
- The Gratitude Journal for Women
- Weekly Meal Planner pad (30 pages)- That’s enough for a whole year, plus a few extras.
- Multi-color Unicorn Pen
- $25 Tiny Tags Gift Certificate
- $10 Starbucks GC (not shown)
To Enter to win, Click here or here to enter. We’ll randomly choose a winner on 1/27/18. Giveaway is open to all US residents.
Don’t forget to leave a comment as part of the mandatory first entry! Have you turned your NYR into a habit yet? If so, how? If not, Do you need support?
This year, I wanted to add a few new weekly posts in. I already have Meal Plan Monday, and I try and post freebies on Fridays. This year, I’ll be adding in Why I Love… on Tuesdays. Each post will have a Talk Back question. I’d love to hear from you to help make my blog more about what you want to learn about and be a part of.
I’ll be sharing products, services, books, whatever I am into at the time. Starting off, I’ll be sharing my love of… The YMCA.
We joined our local YMCA two years ago when Bitty Bird was about 6 months old. What drew me to our local Y was all of the incredible options it held:
- Child care for 2 hours a day while I exercised, took classes, swam, or just went and took a shower. There is child watch for kids 5 and under, and kids club for bigger kids. Each area has toys, games, and books, as well as a staff that interacts and plays games with the kids. When the weather is nice, the bigger kids go outside to play field games. When it’s cold or wet outside (or crazy hot- come on, this is a desert), the kids get to go into the gymnasium and play games, do obstacle courses. Both kids love to go. I try to go at least 5 times a week.
- Great fitness classes included in our membership fee.
- A great pool with an area just for kids.
- Our membership includes access to all of the YMCA locations in San Diego, and access to YMCA locations across the country if we go on vacation.
- Guest passes to bring friends.
- Free classes and events for kids and the family (Our local Y does a free movie night once a month or so).
- Free local community days- Usually on holidays, our local Y offers the community free access. It’s a great way to bring friends and neighbors to see what the Y is all about.
- Free guest passes- I can bring friends whenever I want!
- Low cost personal training and speciality classes. They offer personal training, TRX, and other specialty classes for a low rate. It’s a great way to get a “boost” to my fitness goals and stay on budget. There are also classes for kids: Gymnastics, karate, tumbling, art-pretty much anything they could want!
- Scholarships and discounts. If you have an EBT card, receive WIC, SSI, or other social services, or you are active duty or retired military, you can qualify for a scholarship (a discount on your monthly dues), or a military discount.
Right now, most YMCA locations are offering deals for the new year.
Join the Y anytime in January and get up to $50 towards any program of your choice! From personal training & swim lessons to summer camps, at the YMCA, there is something for everyone!
For more information and details, contact your local YMCA.
And if you join a San Diego area YMCA, please give my name as a referral: Abby Hewes. I can earn discounts or a free month for referring new members (and once you are a member, you can too!).
I can’t wait to share more about what’s going on in our lives and what we are into.
Talk Back: If you are a member of the YMCA, what is your favorite part?
Ya’ll know how much our family LOVES Legoland, right? Well if you are looking for a family friendly way to ring in the new year and have the kids to bed before the real big ball drops, consider spending the day at Legoland!
The grand finale of Holidays at LEGOLAND® California Resort is the annual Kids’ New Year’s Eve party! This lively party begins with special musical performances from kid favorite groups Twinkle Time and Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band on Fun Town Stage and in Heartlake City.
Then, for the first time, the party moves to San Francisco in Miniland U.S.A. where like the famous Times Square party, guests gather for the countdown followed by a huge LEGO® brick dropping 22 feet into 2017 and spectacular fireworks at 6 p.m. to end the night(with plenty of time to spare to get home for bed!).
And right now, the deal gets sweeter!!
LEGOLAND California Resort is offering a gift for holiday guests: From Nov. 21, 2016 through Jan. 1, 2017, buy a one day admission to LEGOLAND California and return a second day to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE® Aquarium for free between Jan. 2, 2017 and March 1, 2017.
All Holidays at LEGOLAND California Resort activities located inside the Park are included with regular Park admission (Kids 3–12 $89; Adults $95; Parking $15).
For more Holidays information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).
I’ve had such a great year being a Legoland Blogger, and I hope to continue next year, bringing you great promotions and sharing news straight from Legoland! I’ll be sharing some tips on how to save money when planning your Legoland trip in the next few days, just in time for NYE!
One of the most common New Years Resolutions is to to save money. And it’s a good one!
Last year I wrote a series with the top ten resolutions:
If you feel like you are too busy to “deal with” coupons:
I hope these tips and articles help!