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19 Clever Ways To Spend Less Money This Month

Little ways to live bigger on a small budget.

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1. Tap into your pantry's endless dry noodle supply with a ramen noodle cookbook that costs the same amount of dough as a fast-food value meal.

amazon.com

Promising review: "While you probably shouldn't cook from this book every night, when times are tough and you're looking for cheap inspiration, this book is awesome. Who knew you could do soooo much with a simple dried noodle package?! The book is a small, thin size packed with creative ways to transform a simple dish. It's spiral wire-bound, which is great for keeping the recipe open on the counter while you're prepping and preparing. I actually originally bought this for my sister as a joke because she is obsessed with Ramen Noodles, but I was surprised by its flexibility and ideas, and ended up keeping it for myself!" —AmyRiger

Get it from Amazon for $4.86.

Want to spend $0? Check out some of our creative ides for ramen here, here, here, and here!

2. Satisfy your fall fix for cheaper by stocking up on Pumpkin Spice Latte Vias — aka instant packets — from Target!

target.com

This is ~major~ news for fall-flavored coffee drink fans. Sadly, the Pumpkin Spice Latte bottle and Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino are only available in store.

But you can order a five-pack of Pumpkin Spice Latte Vias from Target for $5.99.

Each Via packet calls for 8 oz. of hot milk. A typical Starbucks tall drink is 12 oz. and, (according to FastFoodMenuPrices.com), a tall PSL will cost you $4.25. So yeah, this is a good deal if you know you're going to buy lots of PSLs while they're in season. (Tbh, you could probably just use hot water instead, which costs less than milk.)

3. Flying somewhere for Thanksgiving? Book your flight ASAP!

Universal Television

You've probably already seen the advice all over your Facebook feed, but experts say this is the time. (Check out the deets on Skyscanner here.) So finalize your plans, request time off from work, and use our flight booking tips to cast food coma plans in stone.

P.S. Maybe don't wear your cozy, old sweatpants on your flight. Apparently looking put-together helps your chances of getting an upgrade because the world is terrible and airlines are superficial, too. Check out the story on The New York Times here.

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4. Consider forgoing the flashy packaging (that, tbh, drives up the cost) of your favorite beauty products for some cheaper lines with great track records.

us.asos.com, us.asos.com

The Ordinary is a relatively new beauty favorite with simple packaging and effective formulas. (Its umbrella company Deciem has *much* pricier products.) The Vitamin C suspension is a personal fave that tends to sell out and the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is in another BuzzFeeder's beauty arsenal.

Get them from Asos: Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% for $6.50 and Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% for $7.50.

For more on this subject, check out Allure's story on the beauty placebo effect.

6. Erase water stains on otherwise perfectly fine furniture with a cheap cloth.

amazon.com

Promising review: "After two seconds I was ready to throw it out. Then I continued. Maybe 1-2 minutes, sometimes 4-5 minutes, per water stain on my desk (it's been manhandled for the last 15 years) and voilà. It was unbelievable. I've included a before/after of the worst stain on my desk." —Akil Nasser

Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

7. Shop your grocery store's "ethnic" aisle for better deals on pantry staples like rice, beans, spices, and more.

Nathan Ng / Via BuzzFeed

A few years back we asked the BuzzFeed community readers tips on saving money when you cook and two readers suggested this! (I do it quite often for spices.)

"At my grocery store (Wegman's), both beans and rice (a frugal staple that's also nutritious and filling) are both cheaper in the 'ethnic' section than they are in the regular section." —tabbycat31

Check out all the tips here and put those cheaper rice and beans toward this Zesty Lime and Chicken and Black Bean Rice recipe here.

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8. Use excess serum from sheet masks as body moisturizer.

amazon.com, amazon.com

If you're already using sheet masks as part of your routine anyway, you can get away with using a little less lotion by doing this. Apply the excess to the back of your hands in between scaring your dog and snapping your Michael Myers-like visage. One sheet mask I recently used (The 7-minute deer milk from August's Facetory) had so much rich serum that I smeared it all over my legs, arms, feet, and hands.

Get a 15-pack of sheet masks from Amazon for $15.96.

9. Make your very good pupper some homemade sweet potato chews instead of the store-bought chews they go through like crazy.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

All you need is a sweet potato, baking sheet, and an oven. Get the full instructions on Nifty here.

10. Assess your outerwear situation now and update it accordingly so you can make repairs or find a coat on sale during Labor Day weekend to replace it.

nordstromrack.com

Little things like a loose thread or button, pilled fabric, or a coat closet-y smell can be fixed with stuff like a simple sewing kit ($8.95), fabric shaver ($7.76), or Woolite cloths ($8.88). You can even get a zipper replaced if you love the coat. (I paid $40 to have my favorite coat's zipper replaced at a local dry cleaner last year and it was well worth it, imo.)

But if your outerwear can't be salvaged, there are plenty of deeply discounted jackets and coats from last year. (Check out some of our picks here.) LDW sales are also excellent for finding outerwear. Back in 2012, I found a Kenneth Cole New York down jacket at Bluefly for more than $100 off and it lasted me 'til November 2016.

Get this coat from Nordstrom Rack for $54.99 (available in sizes S-XL, four colors).

11. Also evaluate your lawn and yard equipment to see if it needs replacing bc — guess what! — these items are also often on sale during LDW!

target.com

FYI, you can remove rust from garden tools with a super easy DIY from Nifty here.

Score some solid deals by lurking on Amazon, Lowe's Home Improvement, The Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Target, and the like.

Get this string trimmer from Target for $32.49.

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12. Ration out your EVOO supply with an olive-oil mister...especially if you follow Ina's advice and always spring for the *good* stuff.

amazon.com

Promising review: "Works well and saves money on those other cooking sprays. Be sure to pump it up before using and spray it close to the pan." —Kevin Musella

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in two finishes).

13. If you have stacks of old fashion magazines and are OK with parting from a few, put 'em on eBay. Apparently it's a thing!

A&E IndieFilms

Get the deets in a fascinating Fashionista story here. Then curse your parents for making you clean out your childhood bedroom and throwing away stacks of Vogue back issues. (Or maybe that's just me.)

And watch The September Issue if you haven't already. Seriously!!! You'll fall in lurve with Grace Coddington. The magazine they worked on during the doc (September 2007 with Sienna Miller on the cover) is a solid issue to put up on eBay. (But really, why did I toss that one?!)

15. Bring battered dinner plates back to life with these cleaning tips instead of shelling out for new ones.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Get the full instructions on Nifty here.

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16. Keep your floors in pristine condition with some furniture leg pads (or socks!) to avoid costly repairs or a withheld security deposit.

amazon.com, amazon.com

Get them from Amazon: 48-pack of pads for $6.25 and 16-pack of socks for $6.78.

Want to spend $0? Just use old kid's socks as they outgrow them as leg protectors. Your choice!

17. Put your roll of duct tape to work by studying its plethora of alternate uses.

Discover Channel

Remember when MythBusters tackled what duct tape can and can't do? Don't recreate this GIF bc they're pros, but do read their findings here. And check out our duct tape tricks for everyday problems here.

19. And zero in on a costly personal habit and set a limit for yourself this month as a way to cut down on it, even if you fail (like I did in August).

Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

A big chunk of my disposable income goes toward getting a quick, greasy thrill on weekends when I'm too lazy to make my own lunch or dinner. (See, I have this thing with nachos and the neighborhood joint that'll get them to my door in 15 minutes.)

For August, I set a personal limit on ordering in and eating out for a max of three times. I met that max halfway into the month and then ordered in Domino's (as you can see in my shame-y Snap here), went to dinner with a friend, and made a lunch trip to McDonald's with my coworkers. Yep, I failed. But you know what? I definitely ordered in and ate out a lot less because I was conscious of my goal. It also gave me hope with a goal that didn't completely kill my social life, like going cold turkey would. I'm going to try it again this month to see how it goes!

For the record, that goal-breaking Domino's order was so worth it after a drunken karaoke sesh the night before. And I had leftovers for two more meals! I'm definitely not making excuses.