Inflation has affected everyone in the country, from job layoffs, rising prices in grocery stores, or paying twice the amount for a gallon of gas. Disposable income and savings are nonexistent for many.
This week I’m sharing posts with ideas for money-saving and money-making that can ease this summer of sizzling prices.
Yesterday I posted 7 Money Makers You Can Do Today to Curb Inflation. Today I’m sharing another idea for saving money.
I heard this idea from a favorite podcast called “Clutter Free Academy” with Kathi Lipp.
Kathi Lipp is the author of Clutter Free, Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying Your Space, and most recently, The Clutter-Free Home: Making Room for Your Life. Kathi found her passion in helping others become “the world changers they are meant to be by conquering the clutter that stands in their way.” Her Clutter-Free Academy teaches people “why they have clutter, how to get rid of it, and how to never let it take control over their emotional, physical and spiritual life again.”
On a recent episode of her podcast, Kathi announced a challenge for her community: a “No Buy July.” She explained that this challenge is to stop purchasing things you can do without and use up and make do with something else for a month.
She refers to this World War I four-step principle (that she also uses in her books) that can be applied to saving money:
- Use it up
- Wear it out
- Make do
- Do without
The overall purpose is that by a “no buy July,” you can set aside the money you didn’t spend, so you have funds for those unforeseen things that do come up.
Use it up
When it comes to groceries, many of us are fortunate to have a second freezer or large pantry to store extra food. For “No Buy July,” Kathi suggests taking an inventory of what you have and creating meals from your stock first. It lets you know what you have, rotate items, and use the oldest foods first. The fun part of this challenge may be creating new recipes! Want a recipe using garbanzo beans? Try a website like All Recipes and click “search by ingredient” at the top. Put in what you have and what you don’t want, and voila! You have new options!
Wear it out
While this doesn’t pertain to groceries, it can mean waiting to replace something. Are the black sandals at home perfectly fine to keep wearing instead of buying something similar that is on sale? If the black sandals are worn only a couple times a month, it’s probably best to wear them out before looking for another pair.
One instance for me lately was having the “need” to buy new sheets for our king-size bed. Not only is this size more expensive, but I had a hard time finding something affordable and material my husband and I both liked. As I was changing our bed a short time later, I realized that the sheets we have right now are exactly what we like. They are in perfectly good shape – even though the color doesn’t match everything else. So, I didn’t “need” new sheets.
We’ve become accustomed to purchasing extra items of something we use when we see it on sale, even if we may have one or two of the same items unused at home. Pass up the sales and make do with what is on hand at home. Many product sales are on rotation, so by the time you are finally on that last tube of toothpaste, there will be a sale on that brand about that time.
In my bathroom, I have some perfectly good skincare; I quit using it when I saw something else I wanted to try (squirrel!) While I prefer my recent purchase, when I run out, I will use the previous skincare instead of buying more since it works just as well.
Another way to save money is to simply do without. We spend a lot on convenience items. This may be a good month to give up eating out or to take a coffee from home instead of stopping to get one on the way to work. If missing an ingredient for a recipe, it’s easy to Google a substitute instead of making a special trip to the store.
Kathi states that doing a “No Buy July” is an opportunity to discover what we may have that, truthfully, we will never use. Instead of keeping it, “do without it.” Donate that item or Freecycle it to someone who will use it. (And reduce some clutter in the meantime!)
Throughout the month, look for ways to “do without.” Donate canned food (not expired or too specialized) to a food pantry. Organize a neighborhood swap to share children’s clothes or books before the school year begins. Hold a garage sale (a great idea for reducing clutter and making some cash!).
Will you try a “No Buy July?”
Will you try a “No Buy July?”
Is it possible to complete one month (even if not July) by not buying anything that is absolutely necessary? Think of a “No Buy July” as a challenge and the perfect time for a reset:
- Rotate and use up frozen foods
- Create new recipes by using up pantry items
- Stop any online or other unnecessary purchases
- Use up products already purchased
- Refrain from fast food and drive-thrus
After one month, evaluate what was actually spent versus the previous month. There may be a realization that more of your paycheck can go into savings for a rainy day.
Share in the comments if you will try a “no buy” month or your experience and successes with “use it up, wear it out, make do and do without!”