So, I am going to apologize in advance for this extremely long post. But trust me, you will want to read the whole thing. I just couldn’t leave anything out. I love finding ways to live simply and not bound by finances. So hopefully, these 44 easy ways to save money, could save you a couple hundred dollars per month (or more) depending on how much you are willing to give up. Each little thing really adds up.
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1. My number one tip and the one that saves my family the most money is to change your phone service to Republic Wireless
Seriously, if you haven’t looked into Republic Wireless, you should today. You will not be disappointed! Visit their website or check out this post to get more information. We have been happy with our service for over four years. Plus, they have won awards for the highest customer satisfaction!
2. Get rid of cable, use Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or just an antenna
Cable can be outrageously expensive and how many of the channels do you actually utilize? My husband and I bought an antenna when we first go at married and haven’t gone back, we no where also have a monthly subscription with Netflix which we use for our family movie nights. This costs us $9.99 each month. Or you may want to try Amazon Prime (take advantage of their 30 day free trial) with thousands of shows and movies for one low yearly cost.
Join Amazon Prime – Watch Thousands of Movies & TV Shows Anytime – Start Free Trial Now
3. Use e-bates to shop online
My guess is that you are already buying things at major retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Kohl’s. Ebates is completely free to sign up and will give you cash back when you shop. You’ll even get $10 just for signing up. Click this link to get signed up or check out my honest review here to decide if this is right for you.
4. Shop at second hand stores
there are so many options for buying used items now that it doesn’t make sense not to at least look around before making a purchase. My family purchases almost everything used and I know it saves us hundreds of dollars each year. Check out my post about how we dress our kids for free here.
5. Buy the store brand groceries
I budget $50 per week for groceries for my family of five, which means I need to stretch every dollar. Most store brands have the exact same ingredients as their more expensive counterpart.
6. Eat at home instead of out
If you eat out often this could save you a bundle, but even just once a month could save you $35 or more depending on your family.
Plan your meals around sales. Instead of meal planning from Monday through Friday or whatever your current process is, choose the beginning of the store’s sales. Wednesday-Tuesday works best for me. I can look up the sales at the two stores I shop at most and plan meals based on what’s on sale. I usually save about 50% on my groceries doing it this way.
7. Make your own coffee
If you are a coffee drinker, you know how expensive it can be to buy coffee. A few dollars here and there doesn’t feel like a lot until you actually add it up for the whole month. My guess is, you cold save over $10 a month by having your coffee at home.
8. Turn your lights off
This is simple, but something that can save money easily.
9. Entertain your kids with free activities
Go to the park, take a nature walk, go out and take pictures, read books, color, etc. Do things that are free. Your kids will love them just as much! Here are some ideas for photo projects you can do with your kids.
10. Cook breakfast for dinner once per week
Breakfast is super cheap to make and often a very healthy choice so why not add it to your dinner menu. We do this at least once a week.
11. Clean out your closets and house and sell items on Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook
We all have junk laying around the house. Make money from it! I make about $100 or more on Craigslist each month and it is way nicer to have the money than have a cluttered home.
12. Stop buying extra stuff
Take a good hard look at how you spend your money for one month. You will no doubt find items that you didn’t need to buy. Use this to help you make better choices in the future.
13.Drink water, cut back on other drinks like juice and soda
Water is cheaper and much healthier!
14. Set a budget in the beginning of the month before you spend any money
Create a budget before you spend a dime. Start here. Make sure you know where you will spend/save every dime so you don’t spend unnecessarily. If you haven’t read Dave Ramsey’s book, it will be an investment that will change your life and your financial status. Check it out here.
15. Call companies you’ve been with for a while and ask for a lowered rate
If you have been loyal and paid bills on time, you would be surprised how often you can save money on your bills.
16. Cut your own hair and your families
Check out you tube videos. Cutting your hair and others in your family is easier than you may think. The average woman’s haircut costs nearly $50 and a man’s cut around $20. A nice pair of scissors and trimmers is a fraction of the cost. Here’s what I use.
17. Choose cheaper alternatives at the grocery store
Thighs instead of breasts, pork instead of chicken, chicken instead of steak, cod instead of salmon.
18. Opt for fruits and veggies as snacks instead of prepackaged snacks
Prepackaged foods are much more costly than your healthier choices.
19. Make your own granola bars, muffins, or other baked goods
You can bake for a fraction of the cost of purchasing these items.
20. Carpool with a friend or coworker and split the cost of gas
Gas can add up so by sharing transportation you can cut this expense in half or more.
21. Take your lunch to work instead of going out
I love these bento boxes for packing lunches for my family.
22. If it is nice outside, hang dry your laundry
This can even make your whites naturally whiter. (An added bonus!)
You may also want to read:
- How to Eliminate Clutter for Good, Super Simple Steps
- How to Make $500 Extra Every Month
- 9 Ridiculously Simple Fixes to Help You Save Money Every Month
23. Make your own laundry soap and cleaning supplies
Here’s an easy guide to making your own natural cleaners. The laundry detergent costs me about $2 per batch and lasts 6 months. I do laundry everyday, sometimes more than 1 load and have 3 young kids, so yours might last even longer. Compare that to a $20 bottle of Tide which lasts my family less than a month.
24. Make gifts and cards for special occasions rather than buying them
It’s fun to come up with gifts someone will love and then creating it yourself. Here are a few ideas that’s can easily be made for kids. And these fun signs are perfect for anyone on your list.
25. Take a shorter shower
This is the hardest one for me. If my husband is home and I know I won’t have a child running in during my shower, I tend to make them last forever! But you can save quite a bit when you use less hot water.
26. Replace your furnace filter
Did you know you are supposed to replace your filter every month? That actually sounds like an added expense, but having a clean filter can make your furnace run more efficiently and save you money every month. We save almost $10 on our gas bill when we replace our filter (which only cost a couple dollars).
27. Set your thermostats 2 degrees cooler or warmer depending on the season
You most likely won’t even notice the difference, but you will see a difference when the bill comes.
28. Borrow from friends and family
If you need something that you will only need for a short time, see if you can borrow it rather than buy it.
29. Watch a movie at home rather than going out
Some of you may love the experience of the movie theatre, but watching just one less each month can out $15 or more back in your pocket.
30. Eat less junk food
Candy and other sweets are really just extras. Do without, and not only will you be healthier, but you will also save money!
31. Exercise at home
A gym membership can cost a lot! If you are spending quite a bit of money on one and not using it enough, discipline yourself to workout at home. Use You Tube videos or Pinterest to find great workouts.
32. Use target cartwheel and a target red card
Most of us shop at Target. Some of us probably too much. You don’t actually have to open a credit card to benefit from the 5% savings. A red card can be attached to your checking account just like a debit card and you will automatically get 5% off your total purchase at the checkout. This works when shopping online as well!
33. Plan your meals ahead of time
If you have a plan for what you will cook, you are less likely to go out to eat. You are also able to plan what you spend using sales and coupons.
34. Stay at home
Enjoy more days at home. It’s always cheaper! Drive less and do errands one day a week. depending on where you live, you can save $5-$10 just cutting back 2-4 gallons of gas.
35. Eat leftovers
One day a week, we eat leftovers. Everyone chooses something that is left from a previous meal. I don’t have to cook or spend money for another meal.
36. Make a list of needs and luxuries that you currently spend your money on and take away one luxury.
This could be anything. We all have things we spend our money on that we do not need. If you are trying to save money, be willing to drop some extra expenses.
37. Do your own housework, yard work , and minor handyman stuff, you’d be surprised what you can learn on you tube
(disclaimer, do not take on something you cannot handle, some projects can be very dangerous or cause serious injury or damage to your home, some projects need to have a licensed worker and/or be checked by a professional, you may need permits, not everyone on you you tube or the internet is giving accurate information so be cautious ).
38. Use what you have for longer
You don’t need to have the latest greatest. This can be clothing, electronics, or anything else. Buy things that will last and let them last.
39. Make saving a priority
The very first line item on my budget is savings. I take this money out of my account before spending on anything else. This makes it easier for me to cut expenses because I know it enables me to save more. Get this free budget printable to help you get started!
40. Shop around for big purchases and ask for a cash discount
If you are spending a large mount of money, take the time to find the best price. Also, you can often get a discount for paying in cash if you ask. Remember, companies pay a fee when they run a credit card so you are saving them money by using cash. Ask the man to pass that savings on to you.
41. Buy in bulk
If you use something a lot, it makes sense to buy it in bulk. I save a lot on toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, and other everyday items by purchasing these things in a large room quantity.
42. Have no spend weekends each month
Choosing just one weekend a month where you do not spend any money will save you a lot! It will probably inspire you to do it even more often when you see how much you save.
43. Do free date nights
Just like doing free activities with your kids, you can enjoy free dates with your significant other as well.
44. Trade nights to babysit with friends instead of paying for a sitter
Give your friends a night off and let them give you one. Save $30 or more on a sitter.
If you made it through this entire list you are either serious about saving or had some extra time on your hands today! I know, it was a lot, but I do hope you found a lot of new ways to add money to your pocket this month! In case you don’t want to scroll back through, here are a few things you can do today!
- Switch to Republic Wireless
- Join Ebates
- Apply for a Target Red Card
- Cancel your cable
- Read Dave Ramsey’s book and create a budget. (Free printable and the steps to get you started.)
- And if you are looking for a new way to make money, these ideas could make you $500+ per month!
These are great tips!!! I use Ebates and the Target cartwheel app every chance I get!
Great! Me too!
Great list! One of the things that we’ve started this last year is taking advantage of free activities for kids. It’s crazy what’s out there once you start looking. Changing phone service and dumping cable have been our biggest savings on monthly bills. Thanks!
Thanks! I’m glad to hear some of these same things are working for your family!
The one idea that I always dislike on these lists is the one about borrowing from family. I know, they’re my family and they’d love to help out, BUT they either spent their hard-earned money on that item or they received it as a gift (instead of something else) AND you’re going to put wear and tear on it (even if you don’t notice it). So, be a champ and ask to “rent” it from them even if it’s just $1/month. (And, obviously, if you break it, you’re going to need to replace it.)
I understand your position. I think you should always take better care of someone else’s things than your own. I also feel that if I have something that someone else could benefit from, I should never hesitate to lend it out. I do understand your opinion on asking to borrow from others and know that this might not be a money saving solution for everyone. Thank you for your comment and different perspective on this topic.
Great tips! Here’s one for you if you’re interested….I buy gift cards from our local Kroger Grocery Store (ours is a Fry’s) when they are offering 4x fuel points promotions. They do this at least once per quarter and sometimes have more frequent shorter time period promotions. Here’s how it works….Let’s say you buy $100 in Target gift cards. For that purchase you get 400 fuel points, or 40 cents off per gallon of gas, up to 35 gallons. When we are ready to redeem our points, my husband and I meet at the gas station with both cars to maximize the 35 gallons. Buy saving 40 cents on 35 gallons, we save $14 total. So it’s really like that $100 gift card cost us $86, or 14% off. We do this for lots of places that we shop at including Home Depot, eBay, Amazon, Netflix, as well as restaurants. It really adds up!
That’s a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing! I love getting new ideas to help us save money! Every little bit helps.
I loved the idea of this blog post. I was very interested in your ideas until I got to number 16. I feel there are certain things you shouldn’t do yourself and hair is one of them. There are plenty of reasons people go to licensed professionals. Hair stylists go to school for a reason and you are discrediting them. I stopped reading the moment I read number 16. Very rude of you. I don’t plan to read any other posts on this site. Sorry if I am coming off as harsh but I am a cosmetologist and I found this offensive.
I understand your concern and apologize for offending you. You are absolutely right that hair stylists have had special training and have very hard jobs, however, it can cost a family of 5 quite a bit of money to pay for haircuts often. My skills are no where near that of a professional and I do not want to discredit the work of a professional. I just know this is a valid way for our family to save money and it may be right for other family’s as well. Thank you for your comment.
I also am a hairstylist. There are enough people in the world to keep me busy, I’m not in any danger of going out of business because of a money saving idea on a blog, lol! I totally understand the struggle a large or low income family would have with paying for a somewhat non-essential (as in you don’t need it to survive) service. We’re talking $10-20 per kid in a discount chain place, every month or so for boys, probably longer for girls. That adds up! If you have the talent or are willing to learn, I say go for it! Same goes for coloring. I have a few haircut clients who color their own hair at home and it looks fabulous.
I have two sisters who are hair dressers and you are right they do work hard,however I have been married to the same man for almost 60yrs and he has never been to a barber or hairdresser for a hair cut since we have been married. I have always cut his hair myself. When we were married he still had 1 yr. left in college and one way we saved money was by me cutting his hair. Many times he was asked who cut his hair because they liked his hair. He has a full head of beautiful grey hair and he still likes the way I cut it. He does not cut my hair, however since I have started coloring it at home(I have only had it colored one time by a hairdresser) he will sometimes help me with the color. My hairdresser says it doesn’t look like it has been colored and looks like the natural color. We have saved a lot of in the last nearly 60 yrs.
Goodness when will people stop being “offended” over ever little thing. Grow up and toughen up. Sorry if I offended you. Lol
Really good tips. Some I already applied it, some I will and some, I can’t, but definitely a very good article! Thank you for sharing!
I am so glad you found some ideas that were helpful! Thank you for the sweet comment!
I loved your article. I am now 78 years old but back when my girls (3) were in elementary school, I made a lot of their clothes (all self taught by trial and error – lol). Also bought them Barbie dolls, and handmade almost every single outfit they owned. Bought the shoes in multipacks. Also did a lot of the items that you mentioned. Gave them a small allowance from which they had to put part in savings, part in a Christmas fund in bank (which I matched every time they made a deposit), part was their Sunday school donation. If any left, they could spend but not on candy. It was unbelievable to watch how 3 young girls would divide their money. Because they were allowed to split their money however they preferred. Good lessons in money savings and discipline. One of the girls saved her spending money in a sock of hers and one day in summer she went to a Rummage sale down the block (I waited a little way from the sale) and she came back with two small items and still had money left. One item was a small plate an on it were tiny flowers and one simple word “MOM” which she did not allow me to see. Said it was a secret (gave to me on my birthday). The other item was a tie clip for Dad’s Birthday.
Well I have talked to long. Thanks again.
Thank you so much for your comment! I love your ideas for teaching your kids about money too! How sweet!
What IS it with greeting cards? Paying $3.99 for something that’s probably going straight into the recycle bin is just nuts. I bought Print Shop about ten years ago and make my own Christmas, get well and birthday cards, business cards, postcards and more. The basic Print Shop software package runs about $15, with fancier versions going for $40-80. Even at $80, it doesn’t take long to recoup your cost. Plus people seem to appreciate receiving cards obviously made just for them. There may well be newer and better card making packages out there, so look around.
P.S. Creating and customizing with Print Shop isn’t complicated. It pretty much walks you through the process. The hardest part around this household is getting to the printer before the cat steals my card and runs away with it.
Thank you for the interesting ideas. I think the main thing is do be creative and have an open mind. Too often we pay a relatively high price to solve a problem that could be worked out. When we learn new skills all the other problems become easier.
Great list! I think budgeting and setting a monthly goal for your finances are absolutely crucial for saving money. My budget saves me hundreds of dollars every single month! I can’t remember why I didn’t start one years ago.
Thanks Tianna! I’m so glad you’re finding success with budgeting. Keep up the good work! Thanks so much for the comment!