Ready, Set, Save!: 5 Ways to Spend Less and Actually Live Better

Did you know that the average consumer unit spends about $5,111 every month? Housing takes up the biggest percentage of that spending, at about 33%, followed by transportation, insurance, healthcare, and groceries.

Do you know how your monthly expenses compare to the national average? If you are like many people, you probably think that you spend too much and want to reign in your expenses. However, training yourself to spend less can be difficult.

We’re here to help. Read on for our tips on how to trim your household budget to spend less but live better.

1. Drive Less

The pandemic has made this easier for many people, as working from home became more and more common. Driving less can reduce the wear and tear on your car, requiring fewer trips to the mechanic, and can also cut down on the amount you spend on gas.

On a larger scale, fewer cars on the road mean less pollution and a smaller carbon footprint, which helps slow climate change. If you can carpool, bike, walk, or take public transportation, you can save yourself money and do your part to help the environment.

2. Buy From the Grocery Store Perimeter

You’ve probably noticed that the fresh, whole ingredients are around the grocery store’s perimeter. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats, and dairy tend to be on the outer edges of the grocery store, while processed food in cans, boxes, and jars is in the middle.

If you can stick to shopping the perimeter, you will save yourself money and eat more healthily, as your can find healthy produce, protein, and whole grains in these areas. Fresh food tends to be more economical than processed food as well.

3. Cook More 

Take those healthy ingredients you are buying and cook at home more. Take a few hours on the weekend to meal plan, shop for the week, and even try to prep some of your breakfasts, lunches, or dinners. If you prep ahead of time, you’re less likely to grab a coffee or breakfast sandwich on the way to work, bring your lunch to work, and stick to your dinner plan instead of ordering pizza or takeout.

Eating out less means more money saved and also makes it easy to eat healthily.

4. Be Energy Conscious 

Utilities, such as electricity, gas, and water are another big part of the monthly budget. If you can, try to be more energy conscious. Open the windows and shut off the air conditioning, set your thermostat a bit lower in the winter and bundle up indoors, and make sure you shut the water off when you’re brushing your teeth to save every drop you can.

Installing solar panels or other smart home appliances can also help you save money and save the environment. Check out more about solar panels at

5. Shop Second-Hand

Instead of buying all of your shoes, clothes, household appliances, and decor brand new, check out your local thrift shops. Garage sales, estate sales, and buy nothing groups on social media are other ways to buy second-hand items. Not only does this reduce the amount of stuff in landfills, but it can also save you some serious money.

Spend Less and Live Better

While it might be hard to spend less, you can start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself so much that you throw in the towel. Small changes can add up to a big impact, so pick one of these suggestions and start there.

Once you have some momentum, you might be motivated to start making more changes. Saving money can be addicting when you really start seeing how much you can cut your budget.

If you found these tips useful, be sure to check out more of our lifestyle, health, and budgeting articles.