If you live in America, you’ve probably noticed that inflation currently reduces the reach of your paycheck. I feel scrambled trying to find the best deals, coupons, clearances, etc. I have a lot of privilege, so I know others are really hurting right now. Below I share my three top tips that I use to stretch my paycheck a bit. These are broader, bigger picture changes because that’s the level things need to change, IMHO. I’ll post one with tips on a smaller scale soon as those are equally salient.
- Work from Home – one of the most shocking price hikes in decades raised the national average of fuel over the $5.00 mark per gallon. Colorado is no exception. If you live too far from work, biking or walking may not feel reasonable. Spending $250 on gas per week is also not reasonable, I know you would agree. Try asking for more work-from-home days for all my working babes; maybe approach your boss about the inflation situation. They have grocery bills just like we do, so it’s most likely impacting them as well — hopefully they can understand. You can do it, I believe in you!
- Share a Car with your S/O – one of my coworkers just did this with her husband. They decided to sell one car to make a little extra cash and to cut out the expense of gas, insurance, and maintenance. One works part-time at CASA, the other works full-time at home as a psychiatrist. In a recent conversation, she told me how much they save by keeping one car for the household. Malcolm and I talk about doing the same in the future when our circumstances allow for it.
- Drive like Me (an old lady!) – Accelerating and decelerating suddenly burns about 33% more gas according to the Google search I just did. I tested it in my car, so I know it’s true. Ease off and on with each pedal using steady pressure. My work husband says he hates paying for gas but he will continue to drive like an asshole in his sexy little BMW. He loves it. And if that’s your style, more power to you! But perhaps consider it the next time you pull up to the pumps and gasp at the price on the sign.
- Eat your Weeds – grow what you eat, eat what you grow. That’s been my very aspirational slogan for the past few years. Anything you can grow at home or forage in your community will help offset the cost of fruits and veggies. For example, and y’all, I am so proud of this, I identified all the weeds on our property and as it turns out, we can eat the leaves from a good portion of them! Lambs quarters and purslane grow untamed in our back yard. We haven’t sprayed those this year. We agreed to let them expand where they want so we can supplement our market bought produce for as long as possible. We also have some dandelions that are now large and in charge (see my dandelion flower fritter recipe experience here). Did you know you can include dandelion greens in salads and on sandwiches? Anywhere you can use lettuce, you can use dandelion greens. Some say they taste bitter, but I rather enjoy the flavor. Just make sure that the dandelions aren’t near a busy roadway (diesel) or haven’t been sprayed with toxic herbicides. This is such a sustainable practice as well, for all of you who give a shit about the environment and our impact on it. For those of you who do not so much, this will save you monies. Win/win for everyone!
- Switch from Single-Use to Reusable – Now is a great time to permanently scratch off plasticware from your shopping list. Can you replace your plastic straws with stainless steel straws to a. save you money in the long-run and b. save the turtles and their bebe noses? What about buying one stainless steel water bottle and ditching the single bottles of water? What single-use items can you replace with reusable items? (Coffee filters, k-cups, old t-shirts as rags instead of the plethora of Clorox wipes, reusable cloths for removing makeup, etc.) I tend to spend a lot of money on coffee if I do not make it at home, so that’s a huge money saver for my routine.
What are your tips for saving money in this economy? I will take all the ideas I can get. Good luck out there, y’all!