Back in January of this year, I challenged my Instagram followers to a January Zero Spend Month. And it was so fun! We all learned so much from each other. This blog is basically a compilation of all of my tips and my followers’ tips - The Ultimate Money Saving Tips for Frugal Families. Have any others to add? Comment with them below!

A picture of a lady sitting with money around her.


I saved every tip that I could that was shared from my January Zero Spend Challenge and posted them all below!

1. Find a credit card that has cashback or rewards and use it often to pay for things, but remember to never carry a balance or it wouldn’t be helpful at all!

2. Create “off limits” lists, especially when wanting to save extra during zero spend months: i.e. books, stationary, takeout, clothing, Starbucks, beauty products, etc.

3. Make it if you can vs. buy it! i.e. a chore chart on Canva vs. buying one. Related: How to Do a Zero Spend Month that Works for You

4. Meal plan. Meal plan. Meal plan. Food is expensive and meal planning will help your family save money and have less food waste. Related: 10 Simple and Cost Effective Family Meals

5. Don’t look at extra things in stores. Go in for what you came for!

6. Do a pantry challenge. Use up food that’s sitting there in your freezer, fridge, or pantry.

7. Make meals that are lower cost i.e. soups…Replace meats with lentils and beans. Simple meal plan for more focused grocery orders and less buying whatever kinds of foods.

8. Do homemade vs. takeout or storebought where possible.

9. Replace disposable with reusable as much as possible i.e. cleaning cloths, cloth diapers, safety razor. Related: 20 Product Switches that Will Save Money

10. Go for frozen pizza vs. takeout to save a significant amount of money.

11. If you have to go on errands, tack on as many as you can to save on gas.

12. When looking for a vet, call around for best prices! We saved $200 just for 30 minutes of work.

13. Buy offbrand of things that make sense. It saves a bunch! i.e. store brand mac and cheese vs. brand name.

14. Shop second hand marketplace and thrift stores before buying new where possible.

15. Use leftovers as a part of your meal plan.

16. Make water the main thing you drink. Drinks all add up quickly $$!

17. Make coffee at home.

18. Track grocery prices at different stores to save money.

19. Pause subscriptions that may not be needed i.e. Amazon Prime, magazine subscriptions.

20. Compare food unit prices when shopping.

21. Buy in bulk for food that make sense for your family.

22. Make your own bread.

23. Flyer shop and meal plan based on what’s on sale.

24. Try not to waste food.

25. Buy meat on sale and freeze.

26. Only shop 1X a week and never shop hungry.

27. Have the same base grocery list, meal rotation and then order online and pickup.

28. Soups and stews are very affordable meals for families. Related: 10 Simple and Cost Effective Family Meals

29. Eat less meat and replace with alternatives such as beans and lentils.

30. Use some frozen and canned veggies vs. fresh as in most cases it’s just as nutrient dense, but more cost effective.

31. Make vs. buy snacks.

32. Simplify: make bread vs. buy rolls, wraps, bread, crust etc.

33. Wait on purchases as much as possible...make do or find secondhand.

34. Ask: do we really need this?

35. Bring your own snacks vs. buying on the road.

36. Watch your food waste and try to prevent for the future…such as using vegetable scraps to make veggie broth.

37. Leave that item in in your cart - for 1 week! before purchasing.

38. Unsubscirbe from store emails.

39. Avoid restaurants and takeout.

40. Find a way to do it yourselves as much as possible i.e. haricuts.

41. Buy offbrand where possible.

42. Reduce takeout or treat days.

43. Hang onto your vehicle for as long as you can…buy second hand when you need a new one.

44. Hang to dry as much as possible to save on electricity.

Money Saving Grocery Freebie!

If you’re stumped with meal planning and grocery planning, you may enjoy the method I use for our monthly grocery planning. Since I started applying this method, I started saving our family $200-$300/month consistently. It’s also helped our meal planning situation as well. You can snatch that freebie HERE. I also read a fantastic book with all of the tips and tricks you can imagine called Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half. You can find that book in my Amazon shops: US shop and Canadian shop.

Save for future reference:

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Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m a mother of four children - three boys, one toddler girl - and our family lives on the beautiful east coast of Canada. I’m a past elementary teacher, turned stay at home, work at home mom eight years ago after I had my second child. I’ve found that the busier I’ve become and as my children age, that it’s become even more important to figure out what is most important to me and us as a family. Living a simpler lifestyle has helped us in so many ways in our home life - from better routines to faster tidying up times. It has been through my children that I have been inspired to learn how to effectively manage my time and to simplify in all areas of my home and life. I enjoy helping busy moms simplify home life by teaching flexible planning methods and skills. Enjoyed this blog and think it would be helpful to others? I'd love if you shared it. Thank you!