How to Save More Money

Episode 1

Do you ever feel like your wheels are spinning but you’re getting nowhere? Maybe you’re trying to stick to a budget, get out of debt, and save more money, but you’re having a hard time making it a reality.


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Show Notes

Do you ever feel like your wheels are spinning but you’re getting nowhere? Maybe you’re trying to stick to a budget, get out of debt, and save more money, but you’re having a hard time making it a reality.

If any of that sounds familiar, I’m so glad you’re here! In this first episode of The Rachel Cruze Show, we talk about how to save more money fast. I think you’ll see that it can actually be pretty simple and a lot of fun!

And if you know me, you know I believe fun is key. So, let’s dive in!

The Rachel Cruze Show Is Officially Happening!

Yes, you guys, the rumors are true . . . The Rachel Cruze Show is officially a thing! We had such a great time creating a four-episode “test” of the show last summer. Of course, I always hoped we could make it a long-term show—and because of your engagement and excitement, we did! So thank you!

How Do You Stop Spending Money?

Are shows with before and afters your guilty pleasure too, or is it just me? Okay, I’ll admit it . . .  nothing tops The Bachelor, but transformations will always and forever hold a special place in my heart. Especially when they’re about people who are learning how to save more money on a tight budget.

And that’s exactly what we see unfold on today’s episode with Ryan and Nanette. This couple learned how to cut back their spending and the importance of a saving habit.

How to balance spending and saving:  

Does any of this sound familiar?

•Living paycheck to paycheck

•Not being on the same page with your spouse when it comes to money

•Having life throw you a curveball (or maybe two or three)

•Debt making any progress seem impossible

If so, you’re not alone! We’ll look at the steps Ryan and Nanette took to reset their life and get moving in a direction that makes both of them excited for the future, including:

•Starting a weekly budget date night

•Revamping their approach to buying groceries

•Utilizing tools like EveryDollar and Financial Peace University


How tools like EveryDollar and Financial Peace University helped Ryan and Nanette win:

If you want to win like Ryan and Nanette—and save more money fast, especially on a tight budget—you need a plan. EveryDollar and Financial Peace University to the rescue! Of course, I’m pretty biased toward these tools, but here’s the thing: They’ve helped millions—yes, millions—of other people. Not just me.

EveryDollar made budgeting a breeze.

The EveryDollar app helped Ryan and Nanette easily create a budget and track expenses right from their phones. They were able to see suggested categories and percentages to get them started. And they can always adjust things as needed to make the budget work best for their family.

Financial Peace University gave them a winning plan.

In just nine sessions, Financial Peace University helped Ryan and Nanette learn everything from how to budget wisely and get out of debt to how to plan for the future and give generously. Plus, they were surrounded by a community of people who were also working to change their lives and money habits! That kind of support and encouragement is PRICELESS!

And, I have to say, the folks who teach Financial Peace University are some of my favorite people on the planet. They’re funny, inspiring and practical. You’ll love it. And, you know, you might even catch a lesson or two from yours truly.

The envelope system helped them save money on groceries.

If Winston and I bust any category in the budget, it’s the one for groceries. The same was true for Ryan and Nanette—until they started using the envelope system! When they made this small change, they immediately started saving money. In fact, in their first month of using the envelope system, they spent $100 less on groceries than the month before!


How Can I Save Money Every Day?

As Winston and I work the budget each month, we’re always open to new and creative ways to save money. Because—let’s be honest—if we save cash in one spot, then we get to spend it in another!

You can put those savings toward big money goals, like paying off debt, building an emergency fund, or saving for a home or a big family trip. Or you can use them for something small, simple and fun, like going on a date night or getting a new pair of shoes!

In today’s episode, I’ll share 15 quick and easy tips on how to save money each month. Some you may already be familiar with, but hopefully you’ll hear a few you haven’t ever thought of before. They might even involve budget categories you didn’t realize you could save in!

How to Save Money at the Grocery Store

You guys, I don’t completely understand black holes, but I’m pretty sure the grocery store is one. Do you ever go in with a teeny-tiny list in your head and come out with an overflowing cart? Why does this happen? How does this happen?

I’m right there with you. I think it might have something to do with the fact that food just looks so, so good. It’s hard to resist!

To fight this temptation, though, I’ve developed a few habits over the years that help me stay on track with my list and my budget. And on today’s episode, I’ll share them with you! We’ll discuss all things grocery shopping, including:

•How a real list—meaning not just one in my head—makes all the difference

•Why apps like Kroger ClickList, Walmart Grocery, or Shipt are lifesavers

•How planning out meals packs a one-two punch, saving you both money and time


Meal planning made easy:

Writing out what you’ll eat in the week ahead doesn’t have to be complicated. We’re not making Julia Child recipes in our house every night—or any night, for that matter.

We like to keep things simple. And you can too. Or you can go crazy with it! The idea here is that meal planning should add to your life, not take away from it.

To get started, I usually take a look at the following:

•Our calendar for the week ahead

•What’s in our pantry, refrigerator and freezer

•My favorite recipe websites

That’s it! Then I write out our dinners for Monday through Friday. And since I know we’ll be having pizza at least one of those nights (#realtalk), I only need four other ideas.

Give meal planning a try and you’ll see that a little bit of time and intentionality can go a long way!

Kitchen staples that save the day:

No matter how well we plan, there are just some days that require zero-thought dinners. And there are some weeks in the budget where saving money on groceries might just be the thing that gets you through.

Enter: kitchen staples. Come over to my house anytime and you’re almost guaranteed to find these six items in stock. I can use them as individual ingredients that boost other meals, or I can bring a few of them together for one glorious concoction:

•Taco shells

•Shredded cheese

•Ground beef


•Pizza dough

•Tomato sauce

Join me in my kitchen to learn the (maybe not-so) surprising ways I use these everyday meal savers.


She Works Hard Saving Money

I hear from so many of you ladies out there who are budgeting wisely, saving money, and getting creative. I love it! And I want to share your stories with the other people in our community.

So, I’m starting a contest of sorts. Hop on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tell me about something you worked hard and saved up for in the past or something you’re currently saving for! Be sure to include the hashtag #sheworkshardsavingmoney so I can see it. We’ll share our favorite ones on upcoming episodes! Here are a couple #sheworkshardsavingmoney quotes from today’s episode:

“My husband and I worked so hard to pay cash for Christmas this past year. It’s the first time we’ve ever done that not on credit! It was so incredible!” — Sarah K.

“We saved up for an entire year to have our deck built. [We] took out a window from our kitchen [and] replaced [it] with French doors that take up the entire wall. It was very expensive, but we paid cash for all of it!” — Kelly G.

Incredible! I can’t wait to read more of your smart-saving stories!

What You Can Expect From The Rachel Cruze Show

Oh my gosh, you guys! What a ride. Thank you so much again for joining me on this exciting journey. We have lots of practical tips and fun guests coming up!

New episodes of The Rachel Cruze Show will be available every other week on Facebook, YouTube and

Of course, if you want a low-effort way to stay in the loop—and who doesn’t want that?—just subscribe to my newsletter. I’ll let you know when a new episode comes out. All you have to do is click on the link, sit back, and enjoy!

And remember: Take control of your money and create a life you love!


Get Rachel’s homemade pizza recipe:

Read the full transcript

Are you struggling to stay on budget, get out of debt, or even find new ways to save money? Well if that’s you, keep watching. This is The Rachel Cruze Show. Well hey you guys. Welcome to The Rachel Cruze Show. I am so excited about this. Can you see like the new set? It’s so beautiful and everything. I walked in this morning and I saw it for the first time, and I thought oh my gosh. This is so fun because last time you saw me here, I was about to go out on maternity leave with Caroline, my little girl, and so I’m really pumped that we are continuing on with The Rachel Cruze Show. So this episode specifically, I wanna talk to you about a couple that I met named Ryan and Nanette. You’re like so many couples out there. They felt like they were just stuck in their finances. You know, she was trying to do one thing, he was trying to do another and it just wasn’t working. I’m gonna show you how to save money on groceries because listen we all need help with that, right. But first I’m gonna give you 15 ways that you can start making progress and saving money quickly. You ready? Number one. Look into an exercise pass program through your health insurance provider rather than just paying for the gym. Winston and I did this and it saved us so much money. Number two. Or forgo the gym altogether and go to YouTube. We love YouTube. For workout ideas. So instead of going to like a hot yoga class here or spin class there, those $20 fees can add up. So just YouTube it. Number three. Buy generic vitamins and over the counter medicine. Number four. Switch to CFLs or LED lights. Winston did this at our house, so like all of our light bulbs are gonna last for like 5,000 years or something crazy. I’m like Jesus is gonna return, but our light bulbs will still be working. That’s what’s important. Number five. On weekends, host your friends over for a game night. This is such a great way to have fun with your friends, stay in, not spend money and even everyone can bring a dish, so you can have food as well. Number six. Stay out of the grocery store. Use online ordering like Kroger’s click list. This will save you money ’cause you know exactly how much money you’re gonna spend before you go pick it up. Number seven. Buy kids’ toys at Big Lots. Shout out to cheap toys. This is the best thing ever. We did this with Amelia and it was great. It like lasted us a whole summer. We got all this stuff. It was fantastic. Number eight. Download apps for savings like Cartwheel for Target, Ebates, Ibotta, and Coupon Sherpa. My Facebook group, you guys have given us some good info there so thanks you guys. Number nine. For a high priced items that you’re buying online, wait overnight because when you wait overnight the impulse lowers and you figure out, okay do I really wanna buy it. Number 10. Buy discounted gift cards. Yeah, it’s a real thing. Number 11. Change your office hours. Traffic jams can cost you up to $1,200 a year on fuel, and that’s a lot of wasted time. Number 12. Have a clean out the pantry week. Use what you have in your pantry instead of going grocery shopping. Number 13. Buy open-box items. Number 14. Buy workout clothes at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. I did this and it’s like the best decision you’ll ever make. Number 15. Get reflexology instead of a spa day. Spa days can cost you like $200 easily, but reflexology you can get the most amazing foot rub for $30. If you’re thinking, what is reflexology? Just know I changed your life. Google it. It’s fantastic. So those are some quick and easy ways for you to save money, but listen I know life happens, right. It’s kind of crazy. It’s like you get up. You’re trying to like get kids out the door. You’re trying to get to work or you’re just trying to get kids where they’re supposed to be, and get home, cook dinner, all of it. Like it’s just nuts and so I feel like the thing that takes the hit the most is the grocery budget. The grocery click list thing for real do it because it’s gonna help you because when you don’t do it, you’re gonna be like me two months ago at Costco. That’s right. I went in to buy water. They have like water that’s like 80,000 bottles but it’s like $2 or something crazy, so we always stack up on Costco water. So we ran out of bottles of water, so I was like oh I’ll run into Costco. Yeah, you can’t just like run into Costco because then you end up like buying all this stuff, and that’s what I did, especially the first part with all the things right when you walk in. I was like yeah, I need a huge beanbag. Yes, I do, right. I’m like oh my gosh, it’s all these things I just feel like I need to buy, and I walked out and I spent $142. I was supposed to buy water, but I bought a Charcuterie plate or Charcuterie. If you don’t know what that is it’s basically a bunch of meat, and I don’t even really like meat, but I bought this huge thing of meat that could feed like a small country, and it has so much preservatives. Like it didn’t expire ’til like 2021, and like I had to like jam it in my fridge when I got home. I mean, it was just really bad you guys. Like, it was so bad, but I bought dog food, so my dog’s alive because of that trip. That’s what I told Winston. I was like, don’t worry. Nala has food. That’s why I went. So it’s just really bad when you walk in, especially to places like Costco, so you have to. I feel like I’m bashing Costco. Love you Costco. Love ya. Just make sure you make a list when you walk in for real. It’s so easy to overspend and that moment just reminded me, gosh we think that we need things in the moment. I was like I need all this meat but I don’t. So the 14 pack of Sonicare toothbrush heads, or the year’s worth of Ramen Noodles. I know it sounds like a great idea, but if it’s not on the list, don’t buy it, but I know I’m not the only one, ’cause I hear from you guys all the time that you overspend on food, too. So, one of the habits that I’ve gotten into that saves me money is meal planning. So, let’s head over to my kitchen, and I’m going to show you exactly what I do. Welcome to my kitchen. Yes, I brought you guys here because I figured out that there is a way that you can actually save money on food and that way is meal planning. Being intentional with not only what you’re going to buy at the grocery store but what you’re going to make every week, and listen being intentional about any area of your life is so so important. That’s where you’re going to see progress. The more intentional you are with something, the better off you’re going to be, and that includes yes your money, and yes your food part of the budget. So this is what Winston and I do. Every Sunday afternoon we sit down and we look at our calendar for the week, so we go through every single night. Say okay, what do we have? Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night, and then from there we say okay we’re having friends over on Thursday nights, or we’re going to go out to eat on Tuesday nights, and this is great because you’re actually communicating with your spouse if you’re married about what’s going on for the week. So, we figure out what nights we’re actually gonna cook at home. So then we say okay, we have these nights available. What do we wanna make? And then we write down our meals for each night that we’re home. Then we go check the pantry and we say okay, we’re gonna make chicken Alfredo on Tuesday night. Do we have the noodles? Do we have the chicken? Like, what do we need to buy at the grocery store that we don’t already have? And then from there we write down our grocery list of everything that we wanna buy at the grocery store that week for what we need to fix those meals, and also of course you’re gonna include things like breakfast and lunch, you know, your go-to’s that kind of thing, but what it does is just simplifies it all. You know exactly what you’re going to make, ’cause if you’re like me you get home from work and you’re like, I’m exhausted. The end of the world is coming, and I have to like be a mom and a parent, and make dinner, and it’s like this whole thing of like ugh. Well, that way you don’t come home and you’re like, what are we gonna have for dinner? It’s already there for you which is the best part of all of this I think and you’re able to save money. You can take that money that you’re saving and you can get out of debt. You can save it up for something you want like an emergency fund, that kind of thing. So being intentional with that money that’s saved is key. Now, one thing that you have to do is give yourself grace in this process because it’s not gonna be perfect the first time, so just take a deep breath and say, it’s not gonna be perfect. But some great, quick easy meals I always get from It’s a great website. You can check it out or I always have six ingredients in the kitchen because sometimes life doesn’t always turn out the way you think it’s gonna turn out that week, and you end up being home when you think you’re gonna be out and you’re like oh what are we gonna make? So my six ingredients always are taco shells, shredded cheese, ground beef, noodles, pizza dough, and tomato sauce, because all of those things whipped together, I can definitely make an awesome beef quesadilla, some delicious spaghetti and of course pizza, my love, which well I’ve already meal prepped for the week. Don’t forget that. I mean, you guys you knew there wasn’t gonna be an episode without pizza. Of course I had to involve that. No but really, all kidding aside, remember the four things that I want you to do when your meal planning. Number one. Look at your calendar and know which days you’re going to cook. Write down the meals that you wanna make. Number three. Check the pantry or the refrigerator for the ingredients that you may already have. And number four. Make your grocery list and stick to it. So now you’re gonna hear from a young couple who went from being stuck in their finances to being on the same page with their money, and working to get out of debt, and so they signed up for Financial Peace University. They got on the same page and they are killing it, you guys. It was so fun. It was so fun not just to hear the progress that they’ve already made but watching them together, ’cause they talked about how their marriage is even strengthened and she’s pregnant with baby number three, and you know we love babies around here. So take a look at their story. So your money journey, you guys would you say like right now in the present, you guys are in a pretty good spot? Would you agree with that?

– Yes.

– Has it always been like this?

– No.

– No.

– Like what was it that you’re like, we have to stop this? Was there like this huge fight, this meltdown? Were you like going bankrupt?

– Well, you know, when we first got married, living in L.A.and it was paycheck to paycheck. There was not much left over at the end of the month, and we didn’t really have any sort of budgeting going on. We kinda just went with whatever we thought. We weren’t really talking about anything.

– Really your debt starts to add up without you really realizing how much. I think it just got to a point where we’re expecting a third and we’re thinking about the future more, and wanting to set ourselves up for success.

– So how long ago was all of that for you guys?

– That was, well that was probably a year and a half when we got into the house and I think at that point, I kinda got to the place where I was just done with not knowing anything about our money.

– ‘Cause you guys weren’t budgeting or anything at this point, yup.

– We weren’t budgeting. We weren’t really talking about it. I mean, I think and that’s the thing is we never thought about money ’cause we never talked about money.

– So as a woman would you say that that made you like fearful or insecure that you had no idea what was going on? Like what caused you to press into that?

– Never fearful but avoiding the subject a little bit. You know I would go out and just get these things that I believed I needed and that I probably knew he wouldn’t think I needed

– Okay, did you ever hide a purchase from him?

– Yeah, I mean, there’s been things like that. I knew that we needed to get somewhere where we were on the same page. At that point is when I started to try to budget for the first time, well I was on every dollar for a little bit. When I had all of this stuff in this budgeting tool, all of our, you know, separate credit cards, and all the extra stuff I realized how big our debt really was. I think that was the point where we had been hearing about Financial Peace at the church, and I said to Ryan, we need to do this as soon as possible.

– So when she brings that up, what do you think?

– I was on board. I mean, you know, it was the kind of thing going back that I was handling a lot of the larger bills and things, and so she wasn’t really in the know of that, but I wasn’t really in the know of what she was purchasing.

– Like the little things.

– And that sort of.

– And the everyday needs. You know the like everyday like school supplies or things like that.

– Yeah, I mean, it just sets a time aside every week that we just go and we learn and start learning how to use the tools and how to communicate better, and I just knew as soon as we took that step, we were gonna benefit from it.

– Okay, so I’m gonna quiz you, because I have an answer in my head. I wanna see if we’re on the same page. There’s one category in the budget that almost everyone including the Cruze’s, if we bust any category, it’s this category. So if you had one budget category that you were to bust, what would it be?

– Groceries.

– Yeah, groceries.

– Groceries, yes, okay. I’m so glad, okay. So do you feel like you got like progress on that part of the budget?

– Yeah, we have actually started for the first time doing the envelope system for groceries and knowing beforehand we are able to plan a little bit better and like Dave always says, you’re feeling, you know.

– Yes, yes.

– The purchase.

– The purchase. Just last month I think we spent probably over $100 less than what we did the month before.

– It’s all those little trips to the store that you don’t think are adding up that end up just adding up. So $40 here, $60 there. And oh I need to go get this one thing for this one meal that we weren’t planning on. Just making it so.

– I mean, call Ryan. Can you stop at the store real quick for this or this or this? But being able to plan ahead of time.

– So you guys now you would say that, you know, because you are working on the same page, and you’re communicating about money, do you find that your marriage is even better today?

– Absolutely.

– 100%, yeah.

– Yeah, absolutely.

– I mean communication is key. So it’s definitely helped us communicate better, not just, you know, budgeting and that sort of thing, but in other areas of our marriage as well so.

– We’re talking about all those things now, and that has changed just the trust between us, and you know all of that kinda thing has made a huge difference in our marriage for sure.

– So your two boys, they’re younger. Have they noticed any shift or have you guys like worked with them at all? Like what’s their take been on all this?

– Absolutely. Elliot, our seven year old.

– It’s been sweet.

– He’s definitely caught on. He’s got the itch now. He’s definitely overheard us and asking questions and that sort of thing which is great. We’ve also got the chart.

– [Rachel] Oh from Junior Financial Peace University? Yes.

– And so I love that idea, too, where it’s not really a chore. It’s a commission.

– Yeah. Not allowance, commission.

– Yeah, not allowance, commission so I love that. If you don’t do the work, you don’t get paid.

– I’ve had a lot more work in this house since. He’s saving up for his own little thing. Whatever it is at the time that he’s saving up for. I believe at this point it’s gumballs for his gumball machine.

– Oh sweet.

– So, yeah. He’ll be like what’s a budget? And I’m like well, buddy, let me tell you

– So that here’s an every dollar.

– Yeah exactly.

– You guys are like absolutely killing it. I mean, you’re doing it so fantastic. Seriously, I’m like you could’ve lived in tha