No matter what you’re doing or what you need, there’s usually a way to save money on it. I’ll address many daily aspects as well as major life events and where you can save money. Things such as grocery shopping and car buying, to a new baby and wedding needs.
Here are 20 money-saving hacks for your everyday life.
1. Use a Shopping App
I can’t emphasize this enough, a shopping app such as Ibotta, really do help save money while shopping. There aren’t many paper coupons that offer $47 cash back on a Blue Apron subscription box, or 50% Amazon Prime membership.
Shopping apps such as:
- Ibotta ($10 bonus when you sign-up using promo qFTVA and claim first offer)
- Ebates (free $10 gift card when you sign-up as a new member)
- Swagbucks ($5 registration bonus)
- Shopkick (250 point sign-up bonus with lots of ways to earn)
- ShopTracker (very passive income earner with $3 sign-up bonus)
Another advantage is that you can use the same shopping receipt on more than one app to claim even more cashback value.
2. Use a Grocery Store Loyalty Card
If your local grocery store has a loyalty card be sure to sign up for it and use it every time you shop. It depends on the store but the loyalty card can double any coupons you have, add up points for a free item, or offer discount specials for members only.
Another advantage is registering your loyalty card on Ibotta and any offers you picked on the app will automatically be credited on checkout with your loyalty card.
3. Go Meatless
No, I don’t mean go 100%, no I love my bacon. I mean one (or even two) nights a week have a meatless meal. Meat is usually the most expensive item on a grocery list and if you cut out one or two meals, you’re saving about $5 – $15 on your grocery budget.
Another idea for saving money on ground beef, which can cost about $3.55 a pound, is to use some lentils instead. Lentils has the same texture and absorbs the flavor of the recipe easily.
For example, instead of making a large chili with 4lbs of beef which will cost about $14.20, use 2lbs ground beef and 2 Cups lentils and now it only costs about $7.70 – a $6.50 savings!
4. Cook it Yourself
I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but the savings here really do help. Let’s compare the average prices:
- Restaurant Take Out – $20.37
- Subscription Meal Kit – $12.53
- Boxed Meal from Walmart – $6.98
- Made from Scratch – $4.31
Another advantage to home cooking is you can double (or triple) the batch and package the extra meals to freeze for a later date. Now you have 2 or 3 meals done in one cooking session.
5. Buy in Bulk
Buying groceries in bulk really can save you money, you do need to a little price comparison to confirm this though. Let’s do some more math:
- Tyson All-Natural Chicken Breast Boneless & Skinless (2-3 per Pack) – $6.63
- Tyson All-Natural Chicken Thighs Boneless & Skinless (6-8 per Pack) – $4.49
- Angel Soft Toilet Paper, 6 Mega Rolls – $4.97 (2.0¢ sq. ft.)
- Angel Soft Toilet Paper, 36 Double Rolls – $15.97 (0.02¢ sq. ft.)
Notice, the chicken is boneless and skinless chicken, you’ll save even more for buying bone-in and skin-on meat. When you get home separate the different portion sizes into freezer bags, mark the date, and freeze.
6. Homemade Products
Many of the cleaning products, beauty products, pantry items and many more household items can be homemade instead of store bought.
All those prepackaged mixes, flavor packages, and pretty much everything that’s boxed or bottled can be homemade, store in jars or canisters and easily scooped out for a recipe.
7. Thrift Shop
Shop consignment shops for clothes for your family, check out thrift shops for home furniture and décor, check out flea markets for books, toys, games and many other items for a huge discount and money savings.
Most of the furniture in our home is from flea markets, auctions and consignment shops. We have bought large recliner chairs for only $30, a set of bar stools (3 of them) for $15, and a bunch of other things. Shopping these places is great when you have young children and all their spills, roughness and “creativity”.
8. Use Amazon
Not only does Amazon usually have the lowest prices, they’ll price match any advertisement you send them. There a variety of ways to save money on Amazon such as:
- Subscribe & Save – You can save up to 15% and get free shipping for orders over $25. Just pick your items and a timeframe and they’ll refill and ship.
- Amazon Prime – Free shipping and other perks.
- Coupons – Amazon has its own coupon page for more savings
- Add-Ons – Products offered at lower prices if added on to a purchase
- Rewards Card – Their credit card offers cash back on your purchases for more savings.
9. Switch Cards
Did you know that many of us are carrying a credit card that don’t match our spending habits? Thus, we’re spending more on fees and interest rates than we should.
Many are attracted to rewards cards, which are great but only if they match your spending habits, otherwise you’re better off with a lower interest and no rewards card.
Such as an airline card with an annual fee of $75 but customers spend less than $500 a month, not enough to benefit from the rewards offered.
Switch your credit card (or all of them) to a lower interest card, or even better to a 0% interest card. You end up saving money on fees and the interest owing overall.
10. Make Your Own Gifts
Not only will you save money here, but you can personalize the gift to fit the recipient. Sure, it may be a little more time consuming to do, but it’s a lot better than fighting crowded malls during holidays searching for gifts that don’t really “fit” the person.
These gifts would be appreciated more by the receiver and more likely used instead of crammed somewhere to collect dust. Gifts such as Mason Jar treats, wreaths, handmade crafts and more.
11. Save on Cars
The easiest way to save on a car is to buy a used one. Other ways to save is to buy a car for your needs – for work or for family needs. Do the research on the different makes of cars, their gas mileage, and their resale value.
You should pay cash for a used car, but in case you need financing, keep the monthly payments 10% or less of your monthly income.
12. Save on Weddings
There are a number of ways to save money on your upcoming wedding. First thing is the wedding date itself, marrying in January, March, April or November are cheaper as the demand for venues is much lower.
Second is the day, avoid marrying on the ever-popular Saturday – weekdays and Sundays are cheaper for venues as well as hotel rooms. This also goes for catering, flowers, bakery and everything else wedding related.
Many of these services are booked solid on Saturdays and have a long waiting list. I got married on a Friday night and was able to book everything quickly and smoothly and at a lower rate.
Another way I saved on my wedding was that I created my own headpiece, made all the centerpieces, and bought my jewelry at a consignment shop.
13. Save on Travel
Whether you need to save on a vacation or on traveling for work, there are so many ways to save while traveling so I’ll list a few good ones:
- Be flexible – add a few days before and after your planned dates to see if there are any cheaper prices available.
- Sleep while traveling – You’ll save on hotel stays if you book late night flights, late night train rides, or do your driving at night. Besides you’ll wake up refreshed and have more time to take in the sights.
- Use Airbnb – Not only can these be cheaper to rent than hotel rooms, you’ll usually have access to a kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and other conveniences not available in your hotel.
- Travel off-season – Many places lower their rates during the off-season, like hotels, attractions, and shopping.
14. Save on Gasoline
There are a variety of ways to save on gas other than buying cheaper gas. Here are some ideas:
- Drive less – Too many of us hop into the car to go to the corner convenience store just for a few things, a newspaper, or a pack of smokes. Leave the car at home and walk (or bike) there and back.
- Regular Maintenance – Keeping the car’s regular upkeep will save on gas too. A smooth-running car stops it from overworking and burning up gas.
- Turn it off – How often do we get stuck in traffic, pick-up lines, and other places waiting? The AAA says you use a quarter of a gallon of gas for every fifteen minutes you idle.
- Fill Up Sooner – Don’t wait until the tank is almost empty before filling up. Avoiding waiting until the last minute gives you time to price shop a bit instead of getting stuck buying where ever you reach first.
15. Comparison Shop
Do this for every aspect of your life to save money. Compare prices of groceries, utilities, service providers, credit cards, insurance, and anything else.
Sure, this may be a little time consuming to do but if you save considerably in the long run it’s worth it. Sometimes even the act of calling your current provider and questioning prices and the “threat” of going elsewhere may cause a lower rate offered.
16. Read Everything
Akin to comparison shopping, read everything that’s involved with your current providers. Are you getting what you need or are there “extras” you don’t need and cut them out. The same goes for any major life changes, new dependent, kid moved out, gotten older, etc. – check for any discounts that you qualify for.
Is your car paid off fully? Take collateral off your insurance and save a lot of money each month. Kids outgrown watching cartoons? Switch to a cheaper cable package that doesn’t have all the cartoon channels. Any time there’s a life change – go through your policies.
17. Save with Babies
I already mentioned how much you can save by staying at home, but let’s get some more money saving ideas like:
- Save on Breastfeeding clothes and bras by holding off a while. It’s usually advised that babies not leave the house the first 2 weeks, by then you’ve decided to breastfeed or not. In the chance you don’t want to, or can’t, breastfeed, you’ve saved on those specialty items.
- Don’t buy baby clothes too far in advance – Babies have unpredictable growth spurts, so that winter snowsuit you bought in September may now not fit them in December.
- Make your own baby food – Making your own baby food not only saves you money, but you’ll know exactly what is in it. Making your own baby food can save you 40¢ a serving.
- Use cloth diapers instead of disposables – Average cost of disposable diapers for the first 2 years is about $2,000 – $3,000 while cloth diapers is only $800 – $1,000.
18. Save at Work
There are a few subtle changes you can do at work that will save you money in the long run, changes such as:
- Bring Lunch – Just the simple act of bringing your own lunch, coffee and snacks to work will save about $20 a week or more.
- Check your W2 deductions – Just like with checking all your policies, check your tax deductions for any new claims you can make for more take-home pay.
- Carpool – This can save you time, money, stress, and car maintenance just by travelling to work with a coworker.
- Ask for a Raise – If you’ve been with the same employer for quite a while without any changes, it may be time to ask for a raise. You can calculate your salary worth on payscale.com
- Take advantage of any Employer Matching program – If your company offers to match any contribution to your 401K, or anything else, take advantage of this as this is “free money” for the future.
19. Save on Entertainment
Besides the obvious option of going out less, there are several ways you can save on eating out, family outings, and just entertainment. Including:
- Use Groupon and other Coupon sites to take advantage of any meal discounts, attraction discounts and more.
- Eat out on certain days when restaurants offer their “kids eat free” nights. You could save anywhere from $12 – $36 for 1 to 3 kids.
- Take advantage of any free events or free admission around the city for free entertainment.
- Borrow board games, video games, DVDs and more from your library. Take advantage of any free classes and programs. Many libraries offer a STEM program, exercise program, teen nights, and more.
20. Watch Your Money
This simply means to budget everything and watch how much you’re spending every month. Then every once in a while, tweak the amounts to save even more money.
Another way to watch your spending is to use cash only for almost everything. You’ll physically be able to see how much you actually have and rein in your spending habits better than the easy debit card swipe.
I think I gave you plenty of ideas for a good head start on saving money in your everyday life. For more ideas you can read these posts:
- 30 Starbucks Money-Saving Hacks
- 31 Ways to Save on Medication
- 10 Ways to Save 10% – 90% on a New House
- 18 Ways to Save $10,000 this Year
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this list of 20 money-saving hacks. If you see one that’s not on the list and should be, let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!