5 Ways to Scrounge and Save (Money, Time, and Space) This Month

Chances are, your social media has been blowing up with advice on how to bounce back from holiday spending and save money in the new year. We have shared some great tips and tricks here, here, and here!

I’m always looking for ways to save money that don’t involve making my own laundry soap or canceling my Netflix subscription (it’s the New Year, not the apocalypse after all). Earlier this year, I made a shift in my spending and asked a question before making any new purchase: Do I already have what I need or want? Spoiler alert: I usually did.

Instead of heading to the beauty counter when I ran out of moisturizer (where I tend to fall prey to the up-sell and end up with a whole new look), I checked out my stash of samples and bonus gifts and found a month’s worth of skin care to get by. Before heading to the grocery store, I took a paper and pen and made an inventory of every item in my freezer and pantry to plan meals around what I already had. I kept the momentum going with my to-be-read pile of books and my closet, where I saw things I hadn’t read or worn and added them to the mix. 

Check out these ways to scrounge and save this month and share your ideas. I bet you’ll find you already have everything you need to be your best, healthiest, most beautiful self in the new year.

Makeup Bag

Remember those “gift with purchases” and free samples from the beauty counter? You probably have little tubes, jars, and bottles accumulating under your sink. Use those samples to get by without buying full-size refills this month. You might even find a new product you love!

5 Ways to Scrounge and Save (Money, Time, and Space) This Month


Instead of picking up another magazine or buying a new title from the “Best of” lists that are circulating this time of year, browse your to-be-read pile of books on your shelves at home. I always have a big TBR pile so I have no excuse to spend more on books for at least a month or two. Check out the public library’s digital titles, magazines, and audio books–all free and no temptation to browse and spend at the store! Our own Susie recently shared some great ways to read for free here.

5 Ways to Scrounge and Save (Money, Time, and Space) This Month

Pantry and Freezer

Instead of making an extra run to the grocery store one week, take an inventory of the canned goods and freezer items in your pantry and search recipes with those key words. Use all the freezer items that cook at the same temperature (the 425 degree special!) or have a theme night with all the Asian foods. Put it all on a tray and have a living room picnic–your family will think you’ve splurged!

5 Ways to Scrounge and Save (Money, Time, and Space) This Month


Find yourself wearing the same five things every week? Instead of going shopping to mix it up, dig out five things you haven’t worn yet this season. See that sweater in a fun pattern you never wear because you default to gray? Pull that from the back of your closet and add it into your rotation. Instant refresh. Zero cash.


The new year comes with a lot of pressure to spend money on fitness classes, gear, and diet products. Spoiler alert: You don’t have to spend money to get fit. Start new (and free!) healthy habits by walking to get the mail, parking as far away as possible at the grocery store, and taking the stairs. Just like loose change, every step adds up!


5 Ways to scrounge and save (money, time, and space) this month


Sherri is a transplant from Oregon who came to be a Hawkeye in 2006 and stayed for the sweet corn...and for the Iowa boy she met along the way! She and her husband (Kyle) have a 9 year-old daughter, Aissa. Sherri earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at The University of Iowa and works for Ruffalo Noel Levitz as an Enrollment Marketing Consultant for colleges and universities. When she's not working, you can find her with her family, enjoying Iowa City and cheering on the Hawkeyes.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.