Whether I am saving up for my next travel adventure, Disney vacation, or planning for my future saving money is very important to me. Here are 101 of my best money saving tips!
Top Money Saving Tips
A penny saved is a penny earned. Keep a jar or bank near the laundry hamper or washer. Dump all of your loose change and bills into it. You will be surprised how quickly it feels up.
Keep records. For one month keep a record of how much money you spend. Sometimes, just looking at where our money goes on paper helps know where we can cut costs.
Create your monthly/annual budget and stick to it.
Use Cash When Possible. Swiping a credit or debit card is so easy, we feel a little more pain spending cash and don’t part with it as easily.
Bank Smart. Find the best checking and savings account for your situation. Consider switching to a credit union.
Ditch Designer Checks. While it may be nice to have your favorite cartoon character or team on your checks, it is completely a waste of money. Checks are not something you keep, they get cashed. The electric company, your mortgage company, or your landlord could care less about what your check looks like.
Set up a direct deposit so money goes from your current account to a designated savings account each month. If it happens automatically, over time you won’t even notice it’s gone and you will adjust your spending habits accordingly.
Check your free annual credit reports for errors. I recommend Credit Sesame. You’ll get your free credit score and a complete view of your credit and loans.
Raise your Savings, not your Spending. Think of your next raise as an opportunity to save more, not an opportunity to spend more.
Thrift Shop. When needing to add to your wardrobe, check the local thrift shops first. If you are a curvy girl like me, check out my Thrift Shopping Tips for Plus Size Girls.
Switch to cloth napkins.
Learn how to do simple mending. When I was younger, I would donate clothes I couldn’t fix. I had a whole pile of clothes that had simple tears, a missing button, or broken zipper. I wasted so much money rebuying all those items. Fixing the clothes really doesn’t take much time and you can save a lot of money that way.
Host a clothing swap. Get a bunch of friends together and swap outfits or accessories.
Borrow outfits for special occasions rather than buy something you will only wear once. I borrowed my junior prom dress from someone and then bought my senior prom dress.
Repurpose items. If a pair of jeans is ripped too much for your taste, make shorts out of them. Make t-shirts into tanks.
Borrow books from the Library. Hopefully, the library is close to you and doesn’t cost you much gas. They usually have new books within a couple weeks of release and now many libraries have programs with surrounding libraries to get you books from across your area without you driving to each location.
Use the Gas Buddy App. I love this app for finding cheap gas prices, especially when you are out of town and don’t know the good places.
Keep your car engine tuned and its tires inflated to their proper pressure. Doing both can save you up to $100 a year in gas.
Save with a Fuel Perks/Rewards Program.
Limit Your Driving. Plan out trips where you can accomplish several things at once. Carpool. Don’t wait forever for the closet parking spot, choose the first open one.
Rethink your cable. Cut back on premium channels or try the many alternative, cheaper online viewing options, such as Netflix and Hulu+, which you can access via your laptop or connected devices like Google Chromecast and Apple TV, among others.
Stop buying Bottled Water. Install a sink filter or get a Brita filter or other similar unit. Not only does this save money, it also helps the environment.
Wash Clothes in Cold Water. Most detergents work just as well in cold water as they do in hot. Save energy costs and switch to cold when you can.
Get Rid of Clutter. Organizing your belongings can make you see what you own; rediscover old items to put to good use, and make sure you don’t buy duplicates.
Reuse Containers. Don’t pay for organization and storage when you can reuse many common kitchen containers in drawers, closets, and around the house.
Recycle Wrapping Paper. Reuse paper, bows, boxes, and tissue paper. Sometimes we get real creative in my home and even use tissue boxes.
Sign up for freebies/samples. They usually come with high value coupons.
Use your smart phone to save money. Checkout 51, Ibotta, and Saving Star are just some of the apps that help you save on top of coupons.
Learn how to shop at the drug stores, you can save hundreds each year on cleaning supplies, make up, and toiletries.
Run Full Loads of Wash or Dishes. You can save significant amounts of water and energy by running full loads of clothes in your washing machine or dishes in your dishwasher.
Keep Your Freezer Full. A full freezer runs more efficiently and takes less energy to keep things frozen. You can also place water bottles full of water in empty spots to get the same effect.
Eat Leftovers. Don’t let leftovers sit in the fridge only to hit the trash. Learn to spruce up leftovers to stretch your dollar and make your weekly cooking even easier.
Research free or inexpensive entertainment in your community. Use local newspapers and websites to learn about free or low-cost festivals, museums, concerts, sports events, and other places which you and your family would enjoy.
Before you go for shopping, eat. Being hungry makes you want to buy more.
Don’t renew subscription for magazines you hardly read. Remember to donate ones you have read.
Quit smoking to save on cigarette cost and future healthcare costs.
Pick up your pizza order, instead of having it delivered. Delivery usually tacks on $2-$3 dollars plus tip which is less than you driving and picking it up yourself.
Use curtains to keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Add blinds for even more protection.
Exercise at home, instead of going to the gym. If you have the room, exercise bikes and treadmills are a common item on Craigslist Free Section.
Sell unwanted things to earn extra money. Avoid eBay and use craigslist or local Facebook buy/sell groups. Please use safety measures.
Do your own taxes with the help of professional software, rather than hiring a consultant.
Cut your family’s hair. Follow online tutorials on the web and YouTube.
Keep the thermostat lower in the winter and wear extra layers.
Line dry clothes instead of using a dryer when you can. Even energy efficient dryers can take a lot of electricity.
Opt for stainless steel silverware and cookware without plastic parts. These are less likely to break or wear out.
Use plastic shopping bags to line small trash cans.
Water down hand soap. You often use more than you need. I usually do 1 part water to 2 parts soap.
Got too many condiments at the drive thru? Start a container in the fridge. Use them in school lunches and picnics for easy cleanup.
Collect dryer lint to start bonfires.
Use old sheets to cover plants in cold spells.
Got a cookie or cupcake container from the bakery, save and use to send people home with leftovers. This is especially helpful during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
After eating a bone-in ham, save the ham bone and make soup from it.
Not enough cereal for a full bowl? Take the cereal and pour into a jar, now you have an instant yogurt topper for a parfait. I like keeping 2 jars, one for sweet cereals one for more healthy ones.
Take the hotels shampoo and conditioner, even if you don’t use them. You can put them in a pretty bowl and leave it in your guest bathroom. That way your guests are never without toiletries they may have forgotten.
Use junk mail and envelopes that have no other use as scrap paper instead of buying new notebooks or memo pads which can get pricey.
Make vegetable stock instead of buying it. Have some vegetables going limp in the fridge? Throw the vegetables in the some water with seasonings and let it simmer all day! When you are done, pour into ice cube trays and you will have stock all the time.
Freeze overripe bananas. When bananas get overripe and mushy, don’t throw them out! Peel and freeze. These are perfect for banana bread, smoothies and “soft serve” non-dairy ice cream.
Save bacon grease in a coffee container in the fridge. Filter out the brown bits. Use it to season cast iron pans, make stove top popcorn, and to fry foods in it.
Dry your hair naturally to save electricity.
Wait 24 Hours. Wait 24 hours to mull over a big ticket item. Your feelings might change once you are out of the store.
If you’re a student, don’t skip class. You are paying for your education.
Drink water at restaurants. When you’re eating out — drink water only and avoid sodas and other overpriced drinks.
Scour Craigslist for free things. Be sure to check it out especially on Sundays (last day of yard sales), and the end and beginning of the month when people are moving in and out of places.
Be honest with your friends about your budget and when you can’t afford to do things.
Listen to music for free on Spotify, basic radio, and Pandora.
Use Wi-Fi when you can to conserve data on your smartphone.
Pick your own fruits and vegetables from a local u-pick farm. Learn to can and freeze so you have enough to last through the year without having to buy processed.
Consider dropping your land line phone at home. Your cell phone may be all you need.
Don’t watch so much TV. You won’t see all the ads and be as tempted to buy.
Make your own greeting cards on a computer. You can also just send e-cards.
Do your own home improvements. Home Depot and Lowe’s employees can walk you through what you need to know.
Buy meat in bulk and repackage and freeze for future meals.
Ask your gardening friends for seeds or cuttings from their gardens to expand your flower garden at no cost to you.
Use caulking and weather stripping to stop energy leaks around doors and windows.
Always look for coupon codes when shopping online.
Borrow or rent tools or equipment that will only be used occasionally.
Barter with friends or neighbors for services such as babysitting, home maintenance or repairs, gardening, cooking, auto service or painting.
Combine sales with coupons for the greatest savings.
Book a hotel room with a kitchenette or kitchen so that you can buy groceries and make some or all of your meals instead of eating out for every meal.
Don’t forget to fill out the rebate forms. Sometimes buying something on sale with a rebate is great until we forget to fill out the form. Set a reminder on your phone if you are prone to forget.
Plan your menu for the week. Although it will take some time initially, after you have planned a week’s menu once, it will become much easier and best of all, it will save you money.
Work together. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page with financial goals.
Attend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. This course will give you a whole new look at money.
Consider your buying motive. No amount of stuff equals contentment or fulfillment.
Learn the art of negotiation. Always negotiate at yard sales, car dealerships, and more.
Turn your hobby into money. Everyone has a skill – find yours and turn it into money.
Pay Bills on Time. For every payment you pay late, you are charged a late fee, which can range from $5 to $50 or more depending on the company.
Pay your bills online to save on postage.
Use the crock pot on busy days, so you are not tempted to pick up something or eat out. Check out some of my favorite slow cooker recipes.
When grocery shopping leave others at home. Husbands and kids have a way of adding to your shopping list.
Spay and Neuter your Pets. Visit a low cost clinic and prevent costly vet bills for pregnancy.
Do your own dog grooming.
Use Real Food for Dog Treats. Dogs are allowed to have and love carrots, apples, rice and pumpkin.
Keep Your Pets Healthy. Unhealthy pets cost more. Make sure your pets don’t over eat, get enough exercise, and mental activity.
Sign up for Birthday Freebies. Sign up for birthday freebies about a month before your birthday. Enjoy free meals, desserts, and even some gifts!
Buy seasonal clothes in off seasons. Buy winter coats when they go on clearance in spring. Buy swimsuits in the fall.
Start a garden to grow your favorite herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Container gardening works best for those with small spaces.
Decline extended warranties. Your computers, phones, and other appliances should be under manufacturer’s warranty for the first year anyway.
Ask for practical items for Christmas or your birthday. No, it’s not much fun, but getting things you need saves you from spending the cash.
Make presents for Christmas or birthdays instead of buying them. Pinterest is overflowing with simple craft or baking ideas.
Don’t feel the need to keep up with the Jones’s.
What is your best money saving tip?