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Saving more money doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many little and simple things that you can do to stash some extra cash. I have put together a list of 101 easy money saving tips to help you keep more money in your wallet. Not every tip will apply to everybody, but you can go through this list and work on the ones that apply to your situation. Before you know it you will start to see your savings grow.
Home and Utilities
Install low flow faucet and shower heads
Save on your water bills by installing low flow shower and faucet heads on all water outlets. You can also fill an empty ½ gallon milk jug or empty plastic bottle of soda with water and place in you toilet tanks to save water that fills your tank after flushing.
Get An energy audit
Call your local Electric Company and ask for an Energy Audit. Most companies do this for free or for a small fee but it is worth the small fee and time. You will get valuable money saving advice that could save you hundreds yearly if you act on it.
Use Power Strips
Use Power Strips in areas you have multiple appliances/electronic plugged in, anything plugged into outlets uses some energy even when not is use or turned on. You will save on electricity by just flipping the switch on the power strips anytime possible.
Installing programmable thermostats will also save you hundreds a year in fuel costs. Program them to bring the temperature in your home down when at work or at night and to bring it back up 20 minutes before everyone gets home at the end of the day or wakes up in the morning. You won’t even notice a difference except in big money savings.
Close heat registers
Close heat registers in rooms that are not in use and keep the doors closed to keep the heat in the rooms that are used the most will also save on heating costs.
Buy Energy Star appliances
Buy energy efficient appliances, Look for the Energy Star. Most cost more upfront but will save you more on energy saving over the life of the appliance.
Reduce electricity use
Turn off lights, TVs and anything else when not is use. A light here or there may not add up to much but all the little things throughout the year really adds up.
Keep your home well Insulated
Make sure you home is well insulated, again this will cost you money up front but will also pay for itself and save money in the long run.
Use shades to save energy
Close the shades in your home in the summer to save on cooling costs. During the winter keep shades open when the sun’s rays are beaming in, and keep them closed to reduce cold drafts when the wind is wild.
Plant some trees and shrubs around your home to not only beautify the landscape but to also conserve energy by blocking the wind or sun. You can save up to 30% of your heating and cooling costs.
Keep your appliances well maintained
Perform regular maintenance on your appliances at least once a year if not more often to keep them running smooth and worry free. Vacuum and clear dust from the coils and vents behind the fridge, tv, dryer and any other large appliances.
Replace your light bulbs
Replace your light bulbs with CFL bulbs. They cost more upfront but will save you money in the long run, they use up to 75% less energy and last 10 times longer.
Give up cable
Give up or reduce your cable services. This can be a huge monthly bill and to cut some or all of it out can save you a lot of bucks. There are plenty of services available out there that will save you hundreds of dollars a year. Find a service that fits your needs, consider Netflix, Amazon Prime (Bonus: free music streaming and free 2 day shipping on almost everything) or Hulo or you can op for a Roku steaming system or digital antenna.
Give up your land line
Get rid of your home phone landline, if you are already paying for a cell phone why pay for a landline too.
Drop your data
Drop the data from your smartphone plan. There are WiFi hotspots all over the place now, why pay for something you can get for free.
Downgrade your internet
Downgrade internet speed, you probably won’t even notice and it will lower your monthly bill.
Don’t use the dry cycle
Don’t use the Dry Cycle on your dishwasher, this take a lot of energy and the same is accomplished by letting them air dry.
Wash in cold water
Wash in cold water, most normal wash loads do not require hot water to clean and take out small stains. This might not be an appropriate tip if you have very young children or have a career that gets a bit dirty.
Get an on demand water heater
Lower the temp on water heaters
Lower the temperature of your water hot heater. Lowering the temperature by 10 or 20 degrees to save on energy costs.
Bundle your cable, internet and phone
Bundle your cable, internet and phone together, if you are still using all of these services. Companies will give you better pricing if you purchase them all from one provider.
Shop around for bundle deals
Shop around for the best bundle prices at least once a year. Companies give an introductory rate to get you to switch to their services, then up your bill after that period is over. If you find a better rate with another company, go see your current provider and tell them you will switch if they don’t match it. Most companies will to keep your business.
Check your property tax bill to make sure your town or city is assessing it at the proper value. Speak up if you think they are overcharging you. If need be, hire someone to appraise your home. This will cost you upfront but will eventually save you quite a chunk of change on property taxes over the years.
Finances and Insurance
Shop around for insurance
Shop around for insurance once a year to make sure you are getting the best rates, also consider raising your deductible. Would you file a claim if the cost of repair is a few hundred dollars?
Bundle insurance policies
Bundle your homeowners, life and vehicle insurances together. Companies will give you multi policy discounts to get and keep your business.
Pay for insurance premiums for a year
Pay for insurance premiums in full for the full year, if possible. If you make installments you will get charged with extra fees.
Never pay bank fees
Don’t pay bank fees, there are many different account types. Switch to a fee free account at your financial institution or switch to another one that offers these types of accounts if need be.
Get a rewards credit card
Get a rewards credit card, there are many different types from travel miles to earning points for purchases that you can redeem for products or even cash back.
Pay balances in full and on time
Pay your credit card bills in full and on time every month to save on interest charges and late fees. These can really add up and if you don’t pay on time your interest rate could increase significantly.
Take advantage of 0% interest
Take advantage of 0% interest rate credit card offers, and make sure to always pay your bill on time. Also, read the fine print, if you don’t adhere to the rules you could get caught with a card with higher interest rate than expected.
Improve your credit score
The higher your FICO score the more you will save on loans, credit card interest charges even insurance premiums. Once you you improve your score, you should refinance your mortgage, car loans etc. Even a 1% reduction on your mortgage can save you thousands.
Track your credit score
Create an account on credit tracking sites such as CreditSesame to keep track of your FICO score. These sites analyse your debt and give you suggestions on how to save money on credit cards, auto and home loans based on your profile.
Make weekly or bi-weekly loan payments this will accumulate to one extra payment a year to help pay the loan off faster and save on interest.
Use only your bank’s ATM. If you use an ATM of any other bank you will get charged a transaction fee of $3.00 or more. If you go to another ATM for just a $20 withdrawal, the charge could be roughly 15% or more of your actual withdrawal.
Request an interest rate reduction
Request an interest rate reduction on your credit card (if you FICO score is good). Ask to talk to a supervisor and let them know that that you found a better rate somewhere else and will switch if they match it or do better.
Review your statements
Review your banking and credit card statement every month for errors. Mistakes happen, if you find an error call the institution as soon as possible to get it corrected.
Banking online bill pay
Take advantage of online bill pay at your bank. Set up an automatic bill pay for all your fixed recurring monthly payments. This will ensure that you do not miss any payment due dates to save on late payment fees. Set your payment date at least 5 days before it is due to ensure the payment is received in time as it might take a few days for the money to be received.
Check your statements
Review your bank account for subscriptions that you are no longer in need of. Even if it just a few bucks a month. A lot of people leave this go because they don’t have the time to deal with the salespeople. Just call, tell them what you want and if they start their sales pitch, cut them off and let them know that you are not interested.
Direct deposit your weekly savings
Have a portion of your paycheck directly deposited into a separate savings account every week. If you find yourself always dipping in for a few bucks here and there then consider an online bank so it is not readily accessible.
Take advantage of your company’s 401 K plan if offered. The money you put away is pre taxes and also a lot of employers match a percentage of your contribution. That is FREE money!
Put in some overtime
Overtime if allowed by your employer work. A few hours here and there can really add to your emergency fund.
Save loose change
Save your loose change or even all dollar bills that you accumulate during the day. You will be surprised at how some loose change here and there can add up. You can use apps like Acorns to sock away extra change if you don’t us cash.
Grab you copy of my free ebook “20 Ways To Save Money In Under 20 Minutes” for more great tips.
Drive your car longer
Drive your car longer as long as it is safe. Wouldn’t it be nice to go a few years or longer without a car payment? Also, the insurance rates and registrations fees are reduced the older the vehicle.
Keep your vehicle well maintained
Keep your vehicle well maintained, change the oil and air filters as recommended by the manufacturer and check fluids on a regular basis to keep your ride running smooth and avoid unexpected repairs.
Maintain tire pressure
Check your tires once every few months to make sure your tires are well inflated. This will not only make those tires last longer but will also save on fuel costs.
Select a vehicle that fit your needs
Select a vehicle that fits your needs, not your wants. If you are a family of three or four you really don’t need an eight-passenger SUV that cost thousands more and adds extra expense in fuel, insurance, and upkeep.
Buy used vehicles
Who doesn’t love the smell of a brand new car, but that vehicle loses value as soon as you drive it off the lot. There are plenty of people who trade in their cars when they are only a few years old so it is pretty easy to find a good vehicle at a decent price and many will still have a few more years left on the warranty.
Carpool to work with coworkers. If there are four of you that live on one side of town, this means that you only have to use your vehicle one week out of four which adds up to a quarter of the fuel that you normally use plus less wear and tear.
Take advantage of HSAs
Use flexible spending plans if offered by your employer. HSAs let you pay for medical bills prescriptions, dental care and even over the counter medications pre-taxed.
Quit the gym
Don’t pay for costly gym memberships if you only go every now and then. You do not need tons of equipment to get or stay fit. There are plenty of home workouts that you can do. Or if need be, invest in a treadmill, elliptical or all in one home gym if you have room. It will pay for itself by eliminating gym membership fees.
Brush and floss
Practice good dental hygiene so you don’t have to pay for expensive dental work such as filling, and root canals. Plus these are no fun.
This will not only save you money but your health. I know this can be very difficult. Calculate how much you spend on smoking in one year. This might give you the motivation to finally do it.
Find free or low-cost health care
If you can’t afford doctors visits, consider a free clinic or low-cost clinic with a sliding scale fee per visit which lets you pay what you can afford.
Entertain at home
Instead of having an expensive dinner out with friends, opt for getting together at each other’s homes once a week for a potluck. Everyone spends a bit of time on a dish so the hostess or host doesn’t have to do too much on their own and allows everyone to have a good time. Bonus: If you all have children roughly the same age you will save on sitters and they give your children a (playdate) night out as well.
Attend a matinee
Go to a matinee showing of movies instead of nightly showings. The ticket prices are much cheaper and the experience is much easier if you are bringing children.
Attend local events
Check your local event calendar to find free events to attend to in your community. Maybe a concert in the park or a local college or high school sporting event. It is always a great time if you meet up with friends with the same interests.
Rotate girls or guys night out at each other’s homes instead of a bar or restaurant. Again it is so much cheaper, more convenient and everyone will still have a good time.
Groceries and Cooking
Brown bag it
Take lunch to work. Eating out is ok every now and then but if you do it 5 days a week, it can really add up.
Bring your own coffee
Make coffee at home and bring it to work in a thermos. Making coffee at home instead of buying $3-$4 coffee a few times a day will save you hundreds of dollars a year. With those savings, you can afford to splurge on flavored creamers etc…
Grow your own food
If you have the land you should consider planting a garden and grow some of your own vegetables and herbs. Even if you are limited on space you can still container garden on a small porch or balcony. You can freeze or can your harvest to last through the winter.
Purchase a chest freezer
Consider purchasing a chest freezer. This will allow you to stock up on meat and other essentials when they come on sale, freeze your garden crop and lets you cook in bulk to save time and energy.
Conserve when cooking
Cap pots when cooking on your stovetop to conserve the heat and to save energy and time. Turn on your oven light instead of opening the door every 5 or 10 minutes to check if your meal is ready.
Eat less meat
Eat less meat. Meat can be very expensive, work in a few meat-free dinners when creating your weekly menu to save.
Make casseroles in batches
Make casseroles in batches of 4 or 5, especially when ingredients are on sale. When you are short on time you can just grab one out of the freeze and heat it up. This will help prevent the urge to turn to a fast food joint or order take out.
Use reusable containers instead of foil or Ziploc bags that you just end up in the trash to save you from throwing your money in the trash.
Plan your meals
Make a weekly meal plan around ingredients that you already have and make a shopping list for what you will need and stick to your list.
Need help meal planning? You need to check out the $5 meal plan. This program is great because the meals provided cost less than $2 per serving so the $5 monthly fee will be well worth it. Try it out for free for 2 weeks, you have nothing to lose
Crockpot or slow cooker
Get a crock pot or slow cooker. This is a great way to reduce cost and save time. There are tons of recipes out there if you don’t have any. Just turn your crock pot or slow cooker on before leaving for work and your meal is ready when you get home. It’ll also spare the temptation of grabbing takeout when you are running late or short on time.
Use a food saver system. This is well worth the small investment. This keeps your food fresher longer. Less waste means less spending.
Drink more water
Drinking water has plenty of health benefits. Drink a glass before each meal, you will eat less and you will not be consuming empty calories. Not only will it save on food, you will feel much better and lose weight. Water is free and tap water is just as good as bottled water water
Prepare for road trips
Prepare for road trips to save money. Pack snacks and picnic lunches instead of purchasing expensive convenience foods and unhealthy fast foods. Stop at a rest area and have a picnic lunch instead of driving around looking for a restaurant or fast food joint. This will also save you time on the road as well.
Use coupons whenever possible to purchase groceries, household supplies, beauty items, and over the counter medications. This has personally saved me thousands a year. Here is a beginners guide if you are new to couponing.
Earn rewards and cash back for shopping
Get cash back for items you purchase using apps like SavingStar, Checkout51, and Ibotta. Or earn points to use toward gift cards just for snapping a picture of your receipts using apps like Receipt Pal or Receipt Hog.
Register for loyalty programs
Register for free store loyalty programs. Stores offer you exclusive savings and points for purchasing certain items and also send you periodic mailings with offers or coupons
Use cashback sites
Get cash back every time you shop online using sites like Swagbucks and Ebates. Before you are ready to make a purchase simply go to their website, click on the store you are making a purchase from or get the extension if you use google chrome and they will automatically detect if the store you are shopping at qualifies for cash back.
Use coupon codes
When shopping online use coupon codes to save money on your purchase or get free shipping. You can simply google “(whatever store) coupon code” to find them or use sites or extensions such as Retailmenot or Honey.
Remove Credit card numbers from accounts
Remove stored credit card numbers from online accounts. It is so easy now to just click and spend. This will make it less convenient, it’ll force you to go grab your credit or debit card, input all your information again, and hopefully give you time to think if the purchase is really necessary.
Buy store brands
Buy store brands over the counter medications. A lot of store brand items are made by the same manufacturer as the brand name items. You are getting the same product but just not paying extra for the fancy packaging and advertising.
Shop on Amazon where you can buy virtually anything. There are thousands of retailers competing for your business which adds up to lower prices. You get free shipping on orders $35.00 or more. Or sign up for Prime to get free two-day shipping. With Prime, you also get free movie and music streaming and access to tons of free ebooks.
Utilize the 30-day rule
Utilize the 30-day rule when making major purchases. When you are tempted to make a major purchase, sleep on it for 30 days and dwell on what it means to your money saving plan and your budget. After a month you might realize that the purchase would be a major financial burden and that it wasn’t really worth it.
Put that purchase into perspective
Think about how many hours you have to work to pay off that designer handbag or a new pair of shoes. Take the cost of an item you are tempted to splurge on and divide that by your hourly wage. Ask yourself if it really worth wasting 5 hours of work? The answer is NO.
Holidays and Gift Giving
Christmas gift giving
Christmas gift giving can be costly. Agree to a dollar limit for a gift with your family and friends, or pick names of one person each to buy a gift for to save everyone some time and money.
Give the gift of time
Give a gift certificate of value for just a bit of your time. You can create simple gift certificates for services that your family and friends may need such as a free babysitting night or a free day of housecleaning for elderly family members or busy moms. You know what would help out your friends and family, be creative.
Scan the clearance aisles every time you visit a store. When I check out the clearance section, I do look for items that I may need, but I always have gift-giving in the back of my head. It may be July but if I see an item that a family member would love to have for Christmas or other occasions at 75% off. (Need I say more).
Shop after holiday sales
Shop after season sales to get great savings on decorations, apparel, gifts, wrapping paper, gift bags, cards, gift sets etc… for next season. You can usually get these items for 75 or more % off.
Do a store price comparison
Do a price comparison of stores (grocery, drug, and department) in your area. It may be that you go to the same grocery store because it is closest to or on your way home from work. This is a good strategy but if the store a few miles away consistently has cheaper prices for the same items, then it is worth going out of our way a bit (use your judgment on savings vs time and mileage). If you do need to drive a bit further then make it worth it. Stock up on staples so you don’t need to go as often.
Make your own gifts
Make your own gifts. If you are a crafty person you can use your talent to create original gifts. People love getting personalized gifts and it also shows the recipient that you put thought and time into the gift.
Do It Yourself
Learn to DIY. Save money with Do It Yourself products. It can be anything from Foaming Hand Soap, Facial Scrubs, and Scented Wax Melts, to cleaning products and crafty projects and gift baskets. This can save you a considerable amount of money since you are not shelling out money for fancy packaging and advertising.
Rent out space
Rent out unused space in your home. If you have an unused bedroom consider taking on a roommate. Or if you live in a popular tourist area, rent the room out for a few nights at a time. Just make sure to take precautions to keep your family safe. Or you may have extra storage in a garage or other exterior dwelling (such as a barn) where you can rent storage space
Swap babysitting duty
Trade off babysitting duties. If you have friends and neighbors with children, offer to babysit for them free of charge in return for them doing the same for you. This may be just once a week for date nights or during work if it works out that you are on different shifts. This can save hundreds a week for both of you.
No energy clothes dryer
Install a clothes line. Your dryer is one of the most expensive appliances to run. If you air drying your clothes will save you a ton on your electric bill.
Purchase previously worn clothing
Consider purchasing previously worn clothes from a second-hand store or Goodwill. You can find some high-quality clothes with little noticeable wear. Try out online consignment shops such as Thredup as well.
Recycle your bottles and cans
I know that this is mandatory in certain places but some states actually pay you to return them to a redemption center. Where I live they charge you bottle deposit when you purchase the items but if you bring them to a redemption center you get your money back instead of throwing it in the trash. Bonus: You are helping to save the environment for your children.
Embrace hand me downs
Embrace Hand Me Downs. Don’t be embarrassed to take hand me down if offered. In our family, the majority of the children are girls, which means tons of hand me downs. When I come home with a bag of clothes that may fit my girls, it is like Christmas for them (what girl doesn’t want more clothes). Bonus: you can also pay it forward and give whatever is not needed to someone else in need or bring them to goodwill or to a church and you can get a tax deduction.
Repair clothes yourself
Repair clothes yourself. You do not need to be a professional seamstress. If you are just missing a button or have a seam that may be coming apart. Just grab a thread and needle and take a stab at it. It is easier than you think and will save you the expense of purchasing a replacement.
Dress minimally. When you have to buy clothing, look for pieces that mix and match well and match well with a lot of other colors. Black, Navy Blue, and Tan are all great choices when looking for pants jackets and tops.
Ditch the music streaming services
Ditch music streaming services that charge you a monthly fee. There are plenty of other services out there that are free. Sure, you may have to listen to a 15-second advertisement every 5 or 10 minutes, big deal.
Shop at discount outlets
Shop at discount outlets for clothing instead of department or specialty store for deep discounts on clothing. Or even better share closets with a sister or good friend that is your size. You can swap out clothes every few weeks and save half on your wardrobe budget.
Do you have any money saving tips you can add to this list? Please share, I’d love to grow this list!!