Is there something wrong with obsessing over dollars? If so, I’m guilty as charged. After all, they can add up to real savings. I can’t help myself from thinking of all the ways I can avoid wasting money and I definitely want to pass my ideas on to you. I’d use the phrase “pay it forward”, but I’m just too frugal to pay anything I don’t have to!
And it’s not just about the money you save. It’s about making that money work for you to earn even more, and what that money can do for you. Maybe you want to pay down debt, or have more security, or you’re saving up for a trip or some other goal. Whatever the reason, making small, simple changes to your everyday expenses can add up and make a real difference.
40 Easy Ways to Save Money Right Now!
- Grocery shop with your list no more than once a week. Any more than that will be on things you don’t really need.
- Have a “no spend day” once a week. It’s so fulfilling to not spend a cent and no, don’t make it up tomorrow!
- Use coupons, discounts, promo codes, and loyalty cards every time you shop.
- Comparison shop all the time. Go online, use ads, and don’t forget to ask your friends and family what they are doing.
- Consider a new insurance company for auto, home or renter’s insurance. They’re all dying for your business and chances are that switching will save you money.
- If you ever buy a gift card, buy it at a discount. Try discount portals such as AARP or employer-based portals, websites that specifically re-sell gift cards, or reward portals like Ebates and get your gift cards for at least 10% off face value.
- Take advantage of all the free activities where you live. From libraries to community pools, little league baseball to stargazing, get out and enjoy without spending your money.
- Play with your kids or grandkids. Fun is what they’re all about and show them that there’s an off button on all of their electronics!
- Try day trips or a staycation. Pretend you’re a tourist in your own hometown…I’m sure there are lots of things to see and do nearby and you can probably get there in 30 minutes or less.
- Review your healthcare costs and re-evaluate your plan. Maybe there’s a better plan for you and your family when renewal comes up.
- Adjust and recalculate your W4 at work to make sure you aren’t leaving your money in your tax payment account only to wait until next year to get your no-interest refund. Get it back every payday and put it in an interest-bearing account.
- Disconnect at least one cable TV box and save. Do you really need one in every room? Better yet, see if cutting the cable cord altogether will save you money.
- Conserve energy and save on your electric and gas bills. Adjust heating and cooling temps on a programmable thermostat and save money even with a change of just 1 or 2 degrees.
- Never carry a balance on your credit cards. Pay off the balance every month or don’t use it if you can’t pay it!
- Pay your bills online with online banking. Save on stamps and envelopes.
- Cancel your magazine subscriptions. You can get lots of information and entertainment online for free, and if you really miss that paper magazine, check to see if they have it at your local library.
- Invest in a travel coffee mug and forget the stop on your way to work. You’ll save money every day.
- Brown bag your lunch. Save even more time and money by making dinner in batches and saving leftover portions for lunch.
- Never spend more than a dollar on a greeting card. Buy them at the dollar store, or better yet make them yourself.
- Try at least one meatless meal at home every week. It’s a switch, it’s nutritious, it helps the planet, and it saves money. If you need to ease your way into it, start with something simple like spaghetti and marinara with a fresh salad, hold the meatballs.
- Don’t buy on impulse. If there’s something you think you want, put it on your list and leave it there for a few weeks. You may find you didn’t really want it that much after all. And if you still want it, at least you’ll have time to find a good price and save up your money.
- Sell something useful that’s been in your closet unused for years.
- Shop at the thrift store. Vintage clothing is very hip and costs a fraction of something you’d find in the mall.
- Grow your own veggies in the backyard, on the patio, or in a pot by the window. Tomatoes are easy to start with.
- Try generic store brands. You will find some you’ll really like.
- Use tap water. Bottled water costs about 100 times more even when it’s on sale.
- Check to see if you qualify for any state programs such as senior tax freezes or subsidies for your utilities just to name two. You’ll be shocked to learn that middle class households can qualify for quite a few programs.
- Read fabric labels, buy a home dry cleaning kit, invest in an iron and stop going to the dry cleaners each week.
- Cut down on your use of paper products. Use washable rags and save money while you save the environment.
- Instead of renting a movie, try borrowing DVD’s from your local library.
- Speaking of movies, if you go out to see one, try the matinee for savings, or buy bulk tickets online.
- Buy some security signs to post on your property. Potential thieves don’t know if you have a system or just a sign and will shy away from your home.
- Check online to find the best prices for gasoline in your area.
- Avoid buying drinks when you dine out. Buying a bottle and making your own drinks at home is fun and you’ll save a fortune.
- Same with dessert.
- Stop buying lottery tickets. Yes, you have to be in it to win it, but have you ever won the big one? If you want to win, enter contests and sweepstakes online for free.
- Re-use your plastic shopping bags to line your wastebaskets.
- If you get a decent cell signal at home, give up your landline and save another monthly bill.
- Cut back on your 400-channel cable lineup to a less expensive package. How much TV can you watch, anyway?
- Get your annual health check-up every year (or sooner if you need one). Finding problems early can result in better and less expensive treatment. Staying healthy will save you thousands if you take care of yourself!
And that’s what I thought of today. But the real trick is to never stop thinking about how you can trim off a little extra from your expenses.
What’s your favorite way to save money?
Image courtesy of hin255 at freedigitalphotos.net (with changes)