Be Our Guest Fridays {29}: 4 Simple Ways to Save Money Today from Cook with a Shoe

It’s a summer savings edition of Be Our Guest Fridays today!

Welcome to Be Our Guest Fridays!

Be Our Guest Fridays is a weekly feature where I feature guest posts by my favorite bloggers and authors. I started this feature as a fun way to give back to the blogging community. I am excited to share with you these creative, inspiring and knowledgeable bloggers.

Charissa from Cook with a Shoe is my guest today sharing her savings tips to help on your way to being debt-free. Her simple ideas really can add up to big savings! Please give a warm welcome to Charissa today.

4 Simple Ways to Save Money Today (in 30 Minutes or Less) by guest blogger Charissa from Cook With a Shoe. Check out these 4 tips on saving money that can add up to big savings and get you on your way to being debt-free.

Image courtesy of worradmu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Four Simple Ways You Can Save Money Today (in 30 minutes or less)

by Charissa from Cook With a Shoe

Do you save enough money?

Everyone knows we need to save money, but it is still a struggle to put saving into practice.

Here are four simple ways you can save money today in 30 minutes or less:

1. Negotiate your monthly expenses

When was the last time you stopped and looked at your regular monthly expenses? Are you overpaying? Or do you know if you are getting the best rate?

Yes, you will need to make a couple phone calls, but you will enjoy the ongoing savings month after month. The savings will add up quickly!

Combining cell phone plans for my family allowed us to save $60 a month. We switched internet companies and now receive faster internet while saving $26 dollars a month. Bonus, by bundling the cell phone and internet payments together, an additional $5 discount was applied.

If you are counting, just these discounts alone comes to $91 a month or $1,092 a year. Can you use an extra $1,000 a year? Why, yes please!

Insurances are a great place to review your coverage to see if there are any additional discounts you can receive. Can you raise your deductable for a lower premium? How much do you drive, if it is a low number you can get a discount.

A quick online search for additional questions to lower your car insurance could significantly drop your rate if the scenarios apply to you. Comparing providers and being willing to switch is a fabulous way to get a better deal.

I was able to get a quote of $6 less a month for car insurance, which doesn’t sound like much, however over the course of a year, the $6 saved will add up to almost a free month of coverage.

If you watch cable, call and negotiate with your provider to lower the subscription amount to only include the channels you actually use.

Go through all your regular expenses, one at a time, and see if you can negotiate a lower amount with a quick and simple phone call.


2. Use cash

Using cash instead of a debit or credit card can help you save money, especially when you go to the grocery store. You will be more conscious of what you are putting into your cart and if you do not have the cash, you can’t buy the item.

You will discover a new strength by telling yourself no to buying something you want, but do not need. The skill of planning out your purchases will become essential as you have a limited amount of money to work with, worse, you don’t want to run out of money to buy the food you do need.

If you are tempted to pay with cash and then pay the rest of your bill with a card, leave the card at home. Paying groceries with cash has been one of the biggest wins with keeping my grocery spending under control, because it can be so easy to overspend when you are buying food. If you can keep your purchases under control by using cash, you will be able to save a lot of money.


3. Sub savings accounts

My, oh my, I love sub savings accounts! Discover how sub savings accounts can make it so easy to quickly look at the money in savings and know exactly how much you have in each category.

Now, you will be able to put aside money for a trip, annual expenses, or building your savings without accidently spending the money because it was in the same account along with the money for every other savings goal.

How do you set up sub savings accounts? Talk to your bank to see if you are able to set up separate accounts. If not, then you can use a budgeting software program (there are many options, both free and paid) to set up your sub accounts.

If you can’t do either one, you can always resort to using a notebook or an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of how much money you have in each sub account.


4. Making savings a game

I don’t know about you, but I am more apt to stick to saving money if it is fun to do. What are you saving for? Print out a picture so you can see it every day. Color in a thermometer or another design for every $100 saved. Download a free app to track your savings.

Challenge yourself to save a certain amount of money in a month. What can you do to beat that goal? Challenge someone else on who can save the most money in a period of time. 

Put every $5 bill you get into a jar and count it at the end of the month. Make a goofy tradition of dancing around the house with your money jar every time you put another $100 in the bank. Stop being so serious and making savings a game!

If you are sad because you aren’t saving enough money, stop and try one of these four simple ways to save money today in 30 minutes or less. You will be happier and your wallet will thank you.

How much can you save today?

About Charissa

Charissa from Cook with a Shoe
Photo Credit: Charissa from Cook with a Shoe

Hi I’m Charissa from Cook With a Shoe. My husband and I became debt free in 2010 while cash-flowing his education and we love our life with no payments! We continue to follow a shoestring budget and pay cash for school. I enjoy being able to use my money management skills to help others take control of their finances and live well on a budget.

Stop by and say hi, new friends are always welcome! I will give you all the tips and tricks it takes to successfully follow a budget and win with money. You can connect with Cook With a Shoe on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google +, and Instagram.


I think these are great tips. Superhubby and I set up sub savings accounts for each of us to have our own fun money to do as we wish. We agreed upon a percentage each of us set aside for fun and we can’t interfere with how the other spends that money. It’s pretty sweet, since we have very different hobbies. I can’t resist spending my fun money on the blog and books and he can’t say anything about it! 🙂

I have also been trying to use cash at the grocery store. I really need to stick with it better, I’ve been relying on the credit card too much lately and not keeping up with the budget until the end of the month when I enter our expenses into Quicken. Thanks Charissa for giving us the extra motivation to get a hold of our savings to help us achieve our financial goals! 

This post linked up with Friendship Friday at Create with Joy, Shine Blog Hop at A Deliberate Mom, Mommy Monday Blog Hop, Motivation Monday at A Life in Balance , Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party at Creative K Kids, Merry Monday Linky Party at My Pinterventures, Turn it Up Tuesday at A Peek Into My ParadiseShare the Wealth Sunday and Pintastic Pinteresting Party .

What tips do you have to help you save money? 


    1. It is fun to score deals! What are your favorite ways to save? I’ve given up on using coupons since we mostly shop at Trader Joe’s now for food. I miss scoring deals on food but want the quality so I need more ways to save. Thanks for stopping by Heather!

      1. I use a lot of apps and rewards programs. I’ve mostly learned to make do with less and found that I am much happier that way! I track my savings goals to stay motivated. I practice a lot of eco-friendly habits that also reduce my bills. The list goes on!

  1. Great tips! The sub accounts is a great idea I know my parents use them. I’ll have to check with my bank to see if they offer this as an option. I’m thinking we might need to start college fund account! 😉

  2. Charissa’s tips are spot-on. Several months ago I revisted my car insurance, hoping my then-provider would cut me a break. The company offered a few bucks savings per month. Then I contacted my husband’s insurance agent — and saved more than 50% — $720/year — for slightly better coverage! The savings was partly due to good timing on my part as I was just past the three-year mark from my last car accident and had remarried a year earlier. I had been happier with my previous insurance company’s customer service but the savings were too good to pass up. Also, I have been trying to leave my debit card in my car, not my wallet, so that I spend less. This has slowed down my spending a bit, but the card is handing for budgeted purchases such as filling up my car’s tank.

    1. That’s great savings on the insurance, way to go! I should call about ours, it’s been awhile since we looked at the rates. Better to do it before the teen starts learning to drive, yikes!

    2. Great job on saving a lot of money Dorothy!! That is awesome and all from shopping around for the best deal! Good to hear leaving your debit card in the car helps lowering your spending. Thank you for stopping by Dorothy.

  3. Another incredible post from Charissa! Love it my dear. Your tips are great and they are accessible to anyone.
    You know I keep my finances in check, but still, I am always learning something new with you.
    Great guest post!
    Thanks Tanya for presenting us with it.

    1. Thank you Debbie! Your comments mean the world to me. I am glad you are still able to learn something from what I write. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Great tips, especially about looking at your bills. That’s why I still pay my bills by hand and not through auto payments. And one way we saved a ton of money? Making sure we paid early and avoided late fees! Such a small way to make a huuuuge difference. 🙂 – Jerusha, CitrusSwirl.com

    1. Jerusha, you bring up a great way to save money, paying early! Do you catch unnecessary charges by paying your bills by hand? Thanks for stopping by!

  5. You have chosen a great guest to post on your site. Charissa always shares practical and tried methods of saving to inspire the budget gene to do away with debt.

    1. Great job, it definitely makes it easier to set it and forget it. We have auto drafts going into our sub savings accounts so never miss it and in the right place when you need it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Angi!

        1. Great tips! I used to use this strategy too and now we shop at Trader joes where things don’t really go on sale. In a way, I miss being able to score good deals on food with pairing up sales and coupons.

    1. I know what you mean Annamaria. It’s a bit addicting and rewarding, once I find ways to save in one area, I’m on to the next area to see how we can save. It seems like groceries will always be the one I struggle with.

  6. Tanya, thank you for featuring me as a guest post! I’m super excited to be posting here at Mom’s Small Victories!

    My husband and I also have fun money for each of us set aside to do whatever we want to do with no questions asked. It works out great.

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