How we cut $10,000 from our annual budget

Sometimes saving money isn't about what you DO but about what you DON'T do. Here are a few things we do to eliminate extra expenses. 

1. We eat breakfast from home. 

It is so tempting to hit up the drive through for breakfast because there is just no time. But Jason began making his breakfast at home.

He takes a turkey sausage sandwich on whole-wheat toast. It costs him less than $1.50 per day to make a healthy breakfast at home! Saving us $14 a week or $700 a year. 

2. We pack a lunch. 

Jason takes leftovers for lunch. Every once in a while, Jason will have to buy his lunch. But the rest of the time he takes leftovers from home-cooked meals.

This saves us about $50 a week (or more!) or $2,500 a year. And we are wasting less food.

3. Eliminate credit cards. 

Did you know the average credit card user holds about $15,000 in debt? If their interest rate is 14 % that is $2,100 in interest annually.  (Source)

4. We asked our internet company to lower our bill. 

We simply called our provider and asked, very politely, if they would lower our bill because we are a loyal customer. In total we saved about $15 a month or $180 a year!

5. We started buying our meat in bulk. 

We were able to get boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.49 per pound from Zaycon and 92% lean ground beef for $3.99 a pound. I haven’t sat down and done the math on what this will save us. But I know that it does and it makes life easier to have six months or more of meat in the freezer.

6. We started driving fewer places. 

We are now saving about $45 a week by eliminating one tank of gas a week simply by choosing to drive to fewer places.

That means the boys and I stay home more, but we find lots of ways to entertain ourselves and save about $2,340 a year.

7. Library love

We use the library as our own Amazon and movie rental service. I did another blog post about this, but between the books, movie rentals, games and audio books we are saving about $1,100 annually by simply borrowing these things from the library instead of buying them. Bonus: less clutter.

8. We use less stuff.

I know that sounds basic and it is… using less of things has helped us save money. We use less shampoo and our hair is just as clean, we use less laundry detergent and our clothes still look and smell good, we use fewer cleaning products and our home is just as dirty as it was before… see what I did there? But basically, I am saving about $10 a month on our toiletries, cleaning and laundry supplies simply by cutting them in half. That’s an annual savings of $120.

9. We cut out our cable plan.

Instead, we use Netflix and Amazon prime, factoring out the cost of those two items per month that is saving us $59 a month or $708 annually. You can read more here. 

10. We cut the club

We ditched Sam’s club, which was $45 annually and instead use Amazon to order bulk items like toilet paper and shampoo. 

11. We switched cell phone providers.

By switching from Verizon to StraightTalk, we are saving about $600 a year on our cell phone plans. And because StraightTalk "rents" space from Verizon we are pretty much getting the same service for $50 less per month. 

In total, that's over $10,000 a year! Just by making small and simple choices to eliminate the small things. 

What about you? What are some ways you cut out the little expenses?