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You’ve seen my posts on various products that’ll help you save money, so let’s switch it up a little bit and just discuss ways you can save money without having to spend any money and a lot of effort to do so.
Here are more than 30 simple ways to save money in all aspects of your daily life.
1. Use Shopping Apps
2. Use a Savings App
Use Acorns to analyze your spending (or a specified amount) into a savings account. Any spending you do, the App takes the little change left by rounding it up to the nearest dollar amount and transfers it to the account. You won’t miss that $1.75 or small change and your savings will slowly grow on the side.
3. Make it from Scratch
Start cooking from scratch. All the stuff you buy prepared in mixes, pre-made, packages, and boxes – can easily be made from scratch. It’s also easily prepared ahead of time, frozen and then dumped into a slow cooker for the day.
Making it from scratch enables you to make several meals at once to freeze for later for even more money savings.
4. Use Less Electricity
Start turning lights and electronics off when you leave a room. Use less electricity with the A/C and turn it up several degrees (1 degree = 3% savings).
5. Have a Spending Freeze
Enact a spending freeze for a few weeks, a month, or a longer period. This is when you only spend money on the necessities, bills, very basic groceries and nothing else.
You also stop spending money on eating out, entertainment and any “wants” for the time period. You’ll save up quickly in a short amount of time and after having a few spending freezes you may not miss some of the purchases and can drop those altogether.
6. Swap Stuff
Have a video game, book, CD, DVD or similar stuff that you don’t watch or read anymore? Want something different? Look on Craigslist or the classifieds for other people to swap with. Swap a few video games with someone and now you have a fresh batch to play with and you didn’t spend any money!
7. Reuse Stuff
Find uses for things you don’t need anymore. Basically, you’re recycling inside the home. For example, my husband reuses all the empty metal coffee tins in the garage for storing screws, nails and other little things.
I’ve cut off the bottom of a plastic milk jug, cleaned it and then used it as a scoop for the dog food bin. There are lots of ways to reuse things around the house.
8. Sell it
Rather than having things you don’t use anymore piling up somewhere – sell it. It’s much better to sell your stuff and use the money for something you really want instead. Your closets and drawers will look much better too.
9. Trade it in
Along the same idea with selling your unused stuff – trade it in. Use Amazon’s Trade-In program with all your used electronics, games, e-readers, and books and get the money in your Amazon account.
10. Co-Op your Chores
Don’t know how to change the oil in your car, or have the means to repair something in your house, but a neighbor does? Ask them to help you with it in exchange for something you can do for them – mow their yard, run errands, and so on. You’ll both save money this way.
11. Quit Smoking
I don’t usually bring this up because it’s no one’s business but your own, but let’s play devil’s advocate a bit here. The average price of a pack of cigarettes is $5.50, so let’s say a pack a day every day, that’s $38.50 a week!
12. Drink more Water
A healthy way to save money is to stop spending money on sodas and other canned or bottled drinks and drink more water. Cut out buying sodas, energy drinks, canned drinks, and others at the grocery store, vending machines, and at restaurants. This can save you about $60 a month alone.
13. Check your Deductions
Check with Human Resources on the claims on your W-4 and see if there are any you can claim or be exempt from. Such as marital status, job status, earned wages, filing status and child or dependent care expenses.
14. Consider Carpooling
Do some research and consider if carpooling with your coworkers is cheaper to do. This would be less wear and tear on your car, less gas expense (minus the money you give the driver), and less stress.
15. Research Childcare
Childcare is the most expensive job-related expenses. Childcare for 2 children costs about $341 a week!
To alleviate this – shop around, look for family run childcare (usually out of the owner’s home) as these can be much cheaper; be sure to apply for the federal tax credit on childcare – you can claim as much as 35%; or depend on family – did you know that having grandchildren around often actually improve and lengthen a grandparent’s life?
16. Change your Insurance
If your job offers insurance as a benefit, be sure to check around if it’s worth the amount deducted from your paycheck. If it’s cheaper to pay out of pocket yourself, recuse yourself from the company plan.
17. Automate Your Payments
Set up an automatic payment plan on your online banking platform. This helps you stay current on your payments, prevents extra fees incurred on missed payments, and helps your credit score.
18. Comparison Shop
Search around for cheaper or alternate options for each of your bills. Is there a home or car insurance cheaper elsewhere? Are there discounts you don’t know about (age advantage, good driving, etc.)?
Can you settle for a smaller cable package? Sometimes the mere act of calling your current provider and talking about switching will make them give you discounts so you’d stay.
19. Consolidate Debts
Switch all your credit cards over to one card (with 0% interest) and you’ll save a lot of money. This is explained in more detail on my post.
20. Use a Gas App
Use GasBuddy, this app lets you know where the cheapest gasoline is in your area. A small difference can add up in savings especially when the average price is $2.93.
21. Bundle Up
If you’re not ready to cut or reduce your packages, at least bundle them. Big discounts are available if you combine all your services – cable, internet, phone.
22. Spend Cash Only
Cash is tangible, you can see how much you have, so use cash while shopping and only spend what you’ve designated in that budget category. Once the cash is gone you’ll need to wait until the next paycheck. This really helps you to save money and stay on track.
23. Comparison Shop
Learn to compare prices and find the more affordable price on items you want (those shopping apps will help here too).
24. Brown-bag it
Start bringing your lunches and snacks to work with you. Eating out costs roughly $20 a week, or $1,043 a year. So, bringing a meal from home can save you money and be healthier too.
25. Cut Impulse Shopping
Make a rule for yourself (and your family) that if you see something you “really” want to wait 24 hours (or longer) and see if it still appealing. Also ask yourself “will I want this in 6 months?”, “do I already have something at home that’s similar?”. You’d be surprised at how decisions change after a few days.
26. Shop on Amazon
If you have a large, busy family, a great time and money saver on shopping trips is to use Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save”. You can save up to 15% and get free shipping for orders over $25 and you don’t have to struggle getting all the kids in and out of the car and dragging them around the store.
27. Make a List
Write a shopping list for the week and stick to it. Try and go alone without kids or distractions – go in, get your list filled, get out. This avoids any splurge shopping and saves us money.
28. Go Generic
Buy generic brands. Buy store name brand groceries – you’ll save money there even if you had a coupon for the name brand. Buy things that don’t have the latest movie character or sports figure on a product cover – these prices are increased just for the namesake.
29. Consignment Shop
If you have growing kids, getting clothes at consignment shops is a great way to go as they’ll soon outgrow them anyway. Consignment ships are great for anyone really – you may get lucky and find an outfit with the original store tag still attached.
I once shopped for my new office job at a discounted store and bought $250 of business clothes (blouses and slacks) for $65.
30. Do it Free
Look around your community for free entertainment available, such as the community calendar of events, the library, tours, parks, free admission days at attractions, or volunteer somewhere.
31. Go Out Less
Go out to bars and nightclubs less. The average Friday and Saturday night outings costs about $65 or more a night. or about $520 a month, or $6,240 a year.
32. Stay In
Instead of going out on the town with your friends, host a party or event at home. Do something different each visit. Have a “Pinterest night”, a cooking night, movie night, or just bring your own wine and chat.
My folks had a Dinner Club consisting of 8 people that brought food relating to a theme as well as dressing up for that theme: Hobo night, Mafia night, 50s night – you get the idea.
33. Use Coupons
Use restaurant and entertainment coupons when you find them. You can also look on Groupon & LivingSocial for big discounts on everything.
34. Use MeetUp
Use the MeetUp app to find local events, clubs, and meetings for any hobby, group, and class available. These are (usually) free to attend, you’ll meet other like-minded people and enjoy free entertainment.
35. A Smaller Place
Look for a cheaper or smaller place to live to save money. A smaller place means saving on monthly payments; lower taxes and insurance; lower electric bills. This may be more feasible for empty-nesters.
36. A Smaller Car
Consider a smaller more economical car to drive. This will save on gasoline and insurance. If you’re the typical “2 car family”, then downsize to one car. Consider if you even need a car and if there’s a cheaper alternative like I discussed in another post.
37. A Different Place
Consider relocating to a cheaper part of town, the suburbs, a different city or state. This will give you a lower cost of living, more opportunities for free events and things to do and maybe even a higher salary.
For more ideas to save money you can check out these posts:
Here’s a great book – “How to Save Money at Home: a Room by Room Guide to Cut Spending”.
As you can see, there are many ways to save money every day in small ways, have you done any that are not listed?