Over 85 Super Easy Ways to Save Money

Joseph Meyer
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How to Think About Saving Money

Before digging into the ways you can save money, it’s helpful to understand a couple of things about the mindset behind saving money.

The first step is to throw any and all preconceived notions about saving money out the window. For example, many people think that saving money is a painful process that involves sacrificing your happiness and relegating yourself to a life of deprivation. That’s only partially true. Yes, it’s going to involve certain sacrifices, but the more successful savers will tell you that they’re not feeling deprived at all. Instead, they’re feeling the warm glow of money well spent.

In order to be happy about what you’re saving, you need to focus on what you’re saving for and how those savings will help you achieve it.

The Power of Compound Money Saving

The power of compound money saving is perhaps what you need right now. Saving money is hard and not much fun. Yet, it is hugely important.

The power of compound money is the power to save more while spending less. Compound money saving does not require you to become a miser, it is about spending less and saving more.

Saving money is hard because you have to move your money to different places so that you have more money. Money comes as income and moves as consumption. The less money you have in savings, the less money you will be able to save.

If you want to save more money, you have to first start spending less. Some of the greatest skill sets for the 21st century are the ability to move money from the present to the future while maintaining its purchasing power.

The 11 most effective strategies for saving serious money

Are not easy to implement.

But the good news is they’re not complicated either.

Following these 11 savings strategies is pretty much as easy as ordering pizza.

{1}. Use cash, not credit cards or debit cards.
{2}. Create a budget.
{3}. Get additional income.
{4}. Write down your spending as you go.
{5}. Build your emergency fund.
{6}. Pay off your high interest debt.
{7}. Pay cash for the things you buy.
{8}. Start a side hustle.
{9}. Use the “pay yourself first” strategy.
{10}. Get on a spending diet.

Don’t wait to retire to downsize your living arrangement

Your home is likely your largest financial asset, so selling a home can be a smart way to help you become financially independent. If you’re among the 78% of Americans who expect to move in retirement, knowing the best time to sell your home is critical.

When deciding when to sell your home, it’s important to take into account your comfort level with the area, as well as your finances. For example, if you need to downsize your home right away, you might sell while you’re still working. If you’re in the 65% of pre-retirees who live within 10 miles of their current home, you might consider staying put,?even if you’re near retirement age. You could wait for retirement income to replace your income from work, or wait until there’s nobody to take over the housing costs in your current home.

Refinance your current mortgage

Personal finance is a huge topic, and there’s a lot to learn. In this post, I’ve tried to compile the best tips and tactics I could find for saving money on a monthly or annual basis. Some of the tips are simple, while others require some discipline and effort. But in the end, all these tactics will help you find more money in your bank account that you can use for your long- and short-term financial goals.

Almost all of these savings tips pertain to cutting down on the little expenses that you have throughout the month. At the end of the year, you’ll notice that those small expenses add up, and you could easily have X dollars more to help you realize your financial goals.

Quit smoking and save thousands on health and life insurance – and cigarettes

As a smoker, I know how hard it is to quit. I’ve made a lot of attempts over the years. All of them failed except the last one, my success story. It’s probably the reason you picked up this book, because you keep trying and keep failing.

It’s hard to quit smoking. You’ve probably tried it even after you’ve decided that you’re going to give it up. The problem is you can’t just go cold turkey and you don’t want to quit in a stressed out way. Otherwise, the chances of failing are very high.

Open an HSA

Most people think that the only way to get affordable healthcare is to go to a public clinic. But this is a misconception because nowadays, financial planning should start early in life instead of waiting for our mid-life crisis. If healthcare costs a lot of money, try engaging in a HSA “ Health Savings Account that is tax deductible.

Here is all you need to know about opening an HSA “ Health Savings Account:

Why HSA “ Health Savings Account?

The majority of employees using HSA “ Health Savings Accounts are eligible to contribute pretax dollars and gains in a tax-free manner. If you are a college student and you are currently in school, your contribution will be tax exempt. Your HSA “ Health Savings Account can be used for a variety of healthcare expenses, ranging from over-the-counter medications to prescription medications.

You are allowed to cash out your HSA “ Health Savings Account for non-healthcare expenses, but they will be taxable. If there are still funds in your HSA “ Health Savings Account after your retirement, you can still withdraw money from it. The money that you withdraw will not be taxed or penalized if it is used to pay for qualified medical expenses.

Trade down on your car

If you’re struggling to budget the cost of gas and repair, it’s time to think about a new ride. You may be surprised to find out that you can still get the car you want, make payments and save money on gas all at the same time.

I’ll be the first to admit that trading in for a compact car can be a tricky decision. However, something as simple as choosing the right car can save you a small fortune.

Look for a car with good gas mileage. Even if its not the fastest or the most luxurious car in the world, it will never let you down on gas … because it burns less of it.

Condense your trips. Instead of wasting gas driving empty every day, make your trips to work or school. You won’t wear out your engine. Also, you won’t have to buy gas as often.

Use public transportation. If your town has good public transportation options, take advantage of it. Reducing dependency on a car for both pleasure and necessity can drastically reduce the amount you spend on gas, as well as on your car repairs.

Move your credit card debts to a 0% introductory APR card

Do you have a balance remaining on a previous credit card with a relatively high interest rate? If so, you may be able to reduce your interest payments by transferring your balance to a new 0% introductory APR credit card.

The only catch is that the 0% APR is only available for the introductory period. You may want to transfer your balance to a 0% introductory card even if you can afford to pay it off in full every month, so you can use the introductory period to actually pay off the balance without incurring interest.

This is what me and my wife did last year. We were able to take advantage of 0% introductory APR for a 1-year period on an existing balance and pay off thousands of dollars in credit card bills. It’s the perfect financial hack, especially for those who can pay off their balance in full most of the time but may occasionally have an unexpected or emergency expense.

The great thing about a solid financial plan is that it gives you peace of mind regardless of what happens in life. So if you have a balance on your credit card, consider taking advantage of a 0% introductory APR.

Move your savings to a high interest savings account

When saving money it is crucial to maintain a safe interest rate by finding a high-interest savings account. Savings accounts are an essential part of savings. They allow for quick and convenient access to your money when needed while also promoting long-term savings for big purchases later down the road.

When compared to the traditional savings account, high-interest savings accounts are more frequently used for accumulating savings towards a future purchase or long-term goal. They are generally only set up once, unlike the traditional savings account, which we often keep at zero and frequently dip into in order to fund immediate purchases.

However, when compared to traditional savings accounts, high-interest savings accounts are significantly more difficult to open. A traditional savings account requires very little verification from the bank, whereas a high-interest savings accounts generally require more personal information. This information includes social security numbers, personal information, or even documentation that demonstrates the true identity of your financial situation.

High-interest savings accounts can be in the form of money market accounts or checking accounts, which often offer unlimited early withdrawal. These high-interest savings accounts are an excellent way to earn a higher interest than a standard checking account while maintaining full access to your money.

In fact, some high-interest savings accounts can even outperform traditional bank CDs and other similar accounts.

Check out these high-interest savings accounts to find the best one for you!

Take advantage of cash back credit cards

Refinance your student loans

If you have a huge pile of student loans, you may find it difficult to save money. After all, many student loans have a high interest rate and require that you make monthly payments. If you struggle to make those payments, what chance does saving money have of happening?

The good news is that one of the easiest ways to begin saving money is to refinance your student loans. While this approach to saving money is not for everyone, it can be quite beneficial. With a lower interest rate and fewer monthly payments, students can actually put more money away.

By doing a student loan refinance, you won’t be able to get rid of your student loans. Even after consolidating your loans, you will still owe the money. If you want to get your student debts completely rid of, you’ll need to either contact your lender or make a student loan settlement offer on your own. In the meantime, you’ll want to use a student loan refinance calculator to determine if student loan consolidation is the right financial move for you.

Shop around for the best auto and homeowners insurance rate

Every year, insurance companies do price comparisons to keep their rates competitive. If you’ve never shopped around for coverage before, it’s important that you do this to make sure you’re getting the best rate possible. (Check out our article on How to Find the Best Auto Insurance Rate for tips on finding the best insurance rate.)

Most insurance carriers have tools on their websites that allow you to get quotes in just a few minutes. It doesn’t cost you anything to upload your information and get a quote, so take a few minutes and see what kind of savings you can get.

Get on a budget A.S.A.P

The best way to learn how to save money is to actually experience saving it. In order to do that, you need to get on a budget.

When it comes to getting on a budget, there are plenty of ways to do it.

The most popular way to do this is to track your spending habits.

It helps to keep a log of where your money is going, and you may be surprised at what you find.

You can start small by keeping track of your spending for a week or perhaps two.

Complementary saving strategies for building your nest egg

The ultimate goal of a personal finance plan is saving money for your future. But, before you save you need to spend less than you earn and then remember to consistently put saved money to work.

While all these strategies might seem simple, they are not always easy to do!

So before you start thinking, “I already know this,” I challenge you to actually implement a few of these ideas.

But this book is more than just a list of strategies:

I designed this book to organize these strategies around your life and your thoughts about money.

These strategies are often categorized as either 1) strategies to get you started saving or 2) strategies to make saving easier.

Many of these strategies are more effective when combined.

Most of these strategies are not difficult to do. They are, however, often difficult to do consistently (at least until you get into the habit of doing them). So making a commitment to regularly use at least a few of the strategies will maximize the payoff.

You can start using some of these strategies today.

Choose the strategies you think are most effective for where you are in your life and where you want to be in the future and focus on those.

Get an energy audit for your home

It’s easy to take the luxuries of super-heated, room temperature conditioned houses for granted. But heating and cooling your domicile can really take a hit on the wallet. In the U.S., our homes use almost half of our electricity!

So if you want to make some serious progress on your target to save money on your energy costs, you should get an energy audit of your home to understand how you can reduce your electricity needs. If you’re renting, your landlord may provide you with an energy audit.

There are environmental benefits of energy conservation, higher efficiency windows, and heating/cooling systems but the real reason to save energy is to save money. And with energy prices continuing to rise, it’s more important than ever to be energy-efficient.

An energy audit is a detailed analysis by an unbiased contractor who can help you identify areas of your home that are wasting energy. For example, poor insulation, inefficient lighting and clunky air condition systems waste energy.

Conducting an energy audit is a lot more thorough than doing your own calculations. An energy audit professional will look at myriad factors such as the way electricity is distributed in your home, equipment you use, your lifestyle, and other factors.

Insulate your home sufficiently

Find air leaks in your house

Run the hot water in your hot water tap (for a while) and make sure no one uses any other water in your home. Go around the house and look for any place where cold air is entering from.

Install CFL or LED bulbs to cut your electricity bill

Install a programmable thermostat

When it is hot, program your thermostat to be cooler. When it’s cold, program it to be warmer. Even five degrees cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter adds up to big savings.

If you heat with a wood stove, switch to electricity in the summer. If you run a gas furnace, switch to oil when heating in the winter. You can save up to 25% on your heating costs.

After the first week of buying a bag of groceries, look over the receipts and make a list of the items you often buy. Stick the list on the refrigerator and use it as a guide when you go to the store. Make sure to buy the store’s generic brands to save some money.

Unplug energy vampires

These appliances include major appliances such as washers, dryers, computers, and TVs, but also other electronic devices. The energy vampires are also called standby energy.

Maintain your appliances

You just bought a shiny new refrigerator, and it’s calling your name, “Plus, I’ll help keep things cold!” But once you’ve unboxed it, it’s hard to remember to look at the manual or make the effort to clean and maintain it. Not only will this help you preserve and extend the lifespan of your new refrigerator, but it will also save you money in the long run.

One of the ways to increase the lifespan of your appliances is to not forget to operate them, if you use them regularly. Some automated features take a bit getting used to, but remembering to set the timer on the dryer or programming the thermostat is a simple thing you can do to keep your more expensive equipment running smoothly.

Even if you don’t remember to operate your appliances on a regular basis, cleaning and maintaining them regularly is an easy thing to do. If your washing machine stinks, run a special wash cycle on a higher temperature with vinegar to clean the drum and prevent mold from forming.

Rent out unused space in your home

If you live in a nice neighborhood, there’s a good chance that you have unused space in your house. For example, my guest bedroom doesn’t get much use, so I could rent it out on craigslist.

Install a low-flow shower head

Did you know that a low-flow shower head can save up to 1,000 gallons of water a month? Borrow one when you next visit a public building.

Downgrade your cable, phone and internet

Know exactly how much money you spend on your phone, cable, internet, and other bills each month?

Do you have an idea how much money you can save by downgrading your services? Not sure how much you spend on your services?

Here is a little exercise that will help you find out:

  • Add all your monthly bills each month
  • Add all your bills except your rent/mortgage payments and homeowners insurance
  • Add all your bills except your rent/mortgage payments and homeowners insurance and car insurance

Add all your bills except your rent/mortgage payments, car insurance and utilities (can be home or cell phone, internet, electric, gas, etc.)

Add all your bills except your rent/mortgage payments, car insurance, utilities, and cable/phone services.

Add all your bills except your rent/mortgage payments, car insurance, utilities, cable/phone services and your restaurant lunches/dinners (this includes the lunches out while traveling).

Add all your bills except your rent/mortgage payments, car insurance, utilities, cable/phone services, restaurant lunches/dinners, and entertainment.

Add all your bills except your rent/mortgage payments, car insurance, utilities, cable/phone services, restaurant lunches/dinners, entertainment, and miscellaneous expenses (can be anything else such as gym memberships, personal care items, etc.)

Replace single pane windows

Before we continue with some of the more common home decorating and renovation projects, let’s take a look at some of the more inexpensive, yet systematic, investments you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Investing in improvements like insulating your attic, upgrading your windows, and getting a high efficiency furnace are all good places to start if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to reduce your home energy use and your energy bill.

Replace single pane windows with energy efficient double pane windows to save money on your heating and cooling bills.

Have you ever noticed how warmly you feel first thing in the morning while you’re sleeping with the window open or during the day when the weather is nice and you have your window opened? It’s cooler inside a room with a window open, because the temperature inside can be lower than the temperature outside. But it’s not because the air in the room is cooler, it’s because the window acts like a vent to the outside. As the sun warms up the outside of the window, it becomes a source of heat that warms up the air inside the room in the process.

Install storm windows to prevent heat loss

If you live in a climate with significant seasonal temperature differences, invest in storm windows. During the colder months, they can give your house the extra protection it needs from the cold. You can install storm windows yourself or hire someone to do it if you’re not comfortable with some of the DIY aspects of storm window installation. The process is not complex, but to do it correctly you’ll have to be careful about the measurements.

On the flip side, if you live in a hot climate, you can use storm windows to keep the heat in during the summer. Just like with the cooler months, you’ll need to have storm windows installed professionally.

Install a low-flow toilet to reduce water usage

Ever notice how much water flows from the toilet after you flush? That water ends up in the sewer and ends up costing you money.

Flushing toilets isn’t free … 10-20% of your water use can go towards flushing the toilet. That’s a lot of money going down the drain. If you want to reduce this number, all you need to do is replace your old toilet fixtures with new low-flow water saving fixtures. The good news is that you don’t have to replace the entire toilet … in most cases, it’s enough to install a new low-flow toilet seat.

Installing a low-flow toilet water saving seat is a one of the easiest things to do when looking for a way to reduce your water bill. It will reduce your water bill up to 50%.

Maintain your car to avoid unnecessary expenses

I had just bought a brand new car. It was a really nice car, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to take care of it. I had to learn how to change the oil, vacuum out the inside, replace a tire … you know, all the car stuff.

I went to the local car repair shop and asked the guys who worked there all about car maintenance. I was surprised at what I learned! Most of the things I needed to maintain my car around the house. The only thing I had to buy were really basic car tools, so it was basically free.

I also learned the same principle can be applied to your house. Keep your house in shape and maintain it frequently and you won’t have to make as many repairs.

Here are over 85 ways you can save money by maintaining your car and home regularly.

Get rewards for buying gasoline

Buy gasoline at a station with a card reader. You can get something like fuel points or cash back.

The amount varies widely from one card to the next. If your points expire, you could still take the cash back. If a gift card is out of the question, use the points to get a discount on the card, reduce your payments, or a little of both. Some cards also offer special deals on the days of the week you buy gas.

Improve your gas mileage

Getting better gas mileage is often how people are able to save money. Make sure you’re using the car correctly. This means you should be following the guidelines on the dashboard of your car and not being wasteful with your gas. During the winter months, you will want to keep your gas tank about half-full. This will keep the gas from freezing.

Shop around online for gas

The first step is to see how much gas you are currently spending each month. If you’re not sure, ask your neighbors how much they’re spending, and make note of that in your diary. This gives you the opportunity to look into the amount of gas they are spending and determine whether you can cut down on your gas bill as well.

If you’re spending a lot of time driving around the neighborhood for one reason or another, consider negotiating with the neighbors for help with your house chores so that you can trade some time so that you can get some free gas and in turn you can help them with some chores as well. If this is a difficult scenario for you, there are other ways you could go about cutting down on the gas you use.

It’s possible that your monthly gas bill is way more than you actually need to spend … simply because you’re not shopping around for the best package. Unless you have the knowledge about the gas companies in the area, you will probably end up being pushed into a higher tier package or you’re paying for something that you dont need. So just remember, shopping around for gas will be a great start for reducing your monthly bill.

Don’t wait until you’re running on fumes to gas up

Carpool when you can

Many people agree that the best way to reduce your commuting costs is to take advantage of the available shuttle service or locate a job close to your home. But what if you’ve already done these things?

Here are some additional ways to save money on your daily commute:

{1}. Carpool with another person or family.
{2}. Use public transportation.
{3}. Buy a new car that has better gas mileage.
{4}. Get a tune-up.
{5}. Pay attention to traffic patterns and plan your commute accordingly.
{6}. Change your route.
{7}. Choose less crowded roads to save on fuel.
{8}. Walk or jog to work if possible.
{9}. Turn the engine off if you’re sitting in traffic for a long time.
{10}. Don’t buy a new car. Maintain your existing one and find a cheaper mechanic. It could be the same mechanic that fixes your spouse’s car at a discounted rate.
{11}. Do your errands during off-peak hours (late at night or early in the morning).
{12}. Get a bike rack for your vehicle.
{13}. Get a bike trailer for your bike.
{14}. Buy a bicycle.
{15}. Carpool with family or friends.

Public transportation isn’t just for New Yorkers

Public transportation doesn’t just mean trains and buses, although that’s how most of us picture it. In reality, public transportation can refer to any type of transportation that doesn’t involve a privately owned car. Many communities invest in taxi programs or municipal bike shares as a way for residents to get around on the cheap.

Although these options are still getting off the ground, surveys show that most Americans are interested in using them. A car is still the most popular means of travel, but public transportation is on the rise.

Use travel rewards credit cards to save money on air travel

If you’re like most people, you get at least three free credit cards in the mail every month, and they’re all identical. Not only do they look the same, but they are also designed to make you spend more with one-time offers that give you hotel upgrades, car rentals, and totally free nights. How nice of them!

Don’t fall for it!

If a credit card offer seems too good to be true, it is. Credit card companies want you to spend more, so they often give you offers that will make you spend quickly and an incentive to get you to join their stupid rewards program.

That’s why it’s smart to use travel rewards credit cards. These kinds of credit cards offer travel and points that go towards rewards to people who sign up and buy their card. Amazing deals like free flights and hotels are often hidden in these deals. The best part is that they are much better than rewards for hotel stays or frequent flyer miles. Instead of cash rewards, these cards will give you actual free flights and free hotel stays.

Since these cards are relatively easy to get, using them for your travel rewards can be a great way to save a bundle on plane tickets and a way to get some free hotel stays when you’re traveling to other cities.

If your car is worth less than $2,000, drop collision and comprehensive coverage

If your car is relatively new, trade it for a used vehicle of equal value before your insurer figures out that its cash value is less than its actual value.

Drop extra coverage options like comprehensive insurance, which covers damage to your vehicle from things other than a collision, like theft or vandalism.

Your comprehensive coverage shouldn't be more than your deductible.

Find out about your state’s minimum auto liability requirements. As I said above, buy an auto insurance policy at that level.

Increase car insurance your deductible

The deductible is the amount of money that you pay before your car insurance kicks in. Insurance companies can charge extortionate amounts for their premiums, but they offer a deductible as an incentive to keep the costs down. So, if you can afford to pay out of pocket, do so.

If you can’t afford to pay for the initial cost of a repair or accident, no amount of insurance will prevent you from falling further into a bad financial situation. Saving a few dollars now by increasing your deductible will likely save you a lot of money in the long run.

Check for multi-policy discounts

There’s a lot to shop for, and I know it’s tempting to collect savings and deals in the manner of comic book villains.

When you’re shopping for car insurance, checking for multi-policy discounts may help you to save bucks and cents.

Why it works:

The multi-policy discount is not a product discount, but rather it is a discount based on your financial history. If you have a steady income and a solid history of paying your bills on time, and if you’re smart about how you budget your payments, you may qualify for multi-policy discount.

What you’ll get:

If you’re approved for multi-policy discounts, you may get a discount of 5%-15% off on your car insurance. This means that in the long run, you’ll save a good chunk of money on your insurance.

How to do it:

If you’re shopping for insurance on the web, log in to every insurer before you proceed to a quote. Some insurers will offer you a multi-policy discount as soon as you check the box for having existing policies.

Use coupon apps to shop

Many grocers and online stores offer coupon or promotional codes through apps. Just as with in-app purchases, you elect to add the funds to your virtual wallet on your device and then spend them.

It’s a great way to save money on items you were already planning on getting.

Make meal plans

Pull 3-4 recipes out of a book, magazine or online, and make a copy of the recipes in a spreadsheet. Enlist the spouse to help in the kitchen and write down what you need to buy on the spreadsheet. Then when you go to the grocery store, you can look at your grocery list (on the spreadsheet) to make sure you have everything on your list, and you know what meal you’re about to prepare. If you can, make your menu a week or two weeks at a time, so you don’t have to do this each week.

Make a grocery list and stick to it

A week’s worth of weekly grocery coupons can add up to big savings throughout the year.

I shop for groceries at a store that offers a lot of weekly sales, and I also use weekly coupons from the foil coupon book and manufacturer’s mailers. I’m able to save money even on the “big three” “ milk, bread and eggs …

If you’re a fan of coupons, check out websites that offer printable coupons from various grocery stores throughout your area. You can plan to use them when you shop at particular stores using their weekly sales ads to get the most for your money.

Shop at the larger grocery chains.

Why? Because they’re more likely to have discounts, coupons and special deals. I’ve saved a lot of money shopping at the larger supermarket chains. Plus, if you use a loyalty card, you’ll also earn fuel points that allow you to save even more.

Cherry pick the grocery deals

If you’re like most people, you probably prefer to buy groceries in bulk. If you can save money on the unit prices for the items you buy, you can get some real savings this way. And if you buy those items when they are on a sale and you buy in bulk, you can really save some money.

It takes a bit of time to figure out the grocery deals at your local stores, but once you’ve got them figured out, you can save more money. Every time you visit the store, take note of which items are on sale and buy those items when they’re on sale. To get even more savings, buy items in bulk.

Buy the items you use frequently, such as bread, butter, milk, eggs, and so on, in large quantities when they are on sale. When those items are not on sale, purchase a few of those items at a time. When it’s on sale, buy the large quantity, and your grocery bill will be lower.

Another trick for getting the most out of your supermarket coupons is to “cherry pick” the clearance items. You can often use supermarket coupons on these clearance items.

Buy generic

If you’re accustomed to using store-brand items such as cotton swabs and paper towels, consider switching over to the name brand. The store-brand version will be virtually identical but will cost less by some amount.

Pay attention to unit costs

Choosing generic products or adding filler substances to your shopping cart can be a tempting choice to save a few bucks. And, at times, this lead to you buying stuff you don’t really need.

Look at the unit costs of any product you’re buying. This will tell you the cost of each individual item you’re getting versus the cost of a product that contains a larger volume. You can usually find this information on the packaging, on the product information label found on most consumer products, or on the retailer’s website.

For example, think about getting toilet seat covers for your baby. You may think that buying the item in bulk will save you money. However, if you take a look at the unit price, you’ll find that buying a few at a time is actually cheaper.

Sometimes, it’s just not possible to buy bulk. But you can still save money. The same goes for buying bigger quantities, because if you’re picking up a lot, you can often get a discount.

Pay attention to the unit costs of the things you buy and you will be surprised how much you can save without really trying.

Buy in bulk, but be careful

Bulk buying can be a boon or a bane. If you’re buying dry ingredients and food items that you don’t mind storing, it should work out fine. However, if you’re buying things that perish easily, you’ll end up losing a lot of money if you can’t use it all.

Pay attention to expiration dates

Most people will probably throw away an item if it’s expired, but that’s not always the case. Stale food is not necessarily off limits. I’ve found there’s a little detective work to be done. Let’s start with the big one that most people miss, food.

Speed up your grocery shopping

And save money!

It doesn’t cost a dime to leave your grocery cart out in the rain for a few hours, but in terms of your budget, it’s the same thing as throwing money away. I don’t mean to scare you…I just want you to be aware that if you don't properly take care of your groceries, it doesn't matter how cheap you shop, you'll still waste cr@p loads of your hard-earned money. Do you know how much you could be wasting?

Not too long ago I did an experiment to see just how much time and money I could waste on a weekly basis if I wasn't careful about the way I took care of my groceries. What I discovered was shocking. Just the simple act of getting more organized in our small kitchen (and my husband to help out) cut my weekly grocery bill and food waste in half … and reduced my weekly food preparation time by at least a third.

So I figured what would happen if every family that shops in a similar manner to my husband and me takes the time to purge their kitchen of the time and money wasting food.

If families like ours took the time to purge their kitchens, grocery stores and the US economy would save:

  • 35 million hours in wasted labor weekly
  • 8.3 billion dollars weekly

Sign up for the free loyalty cards

At your favorite department stores and shops. They will often send you coupons for extra savings.

Bring your own grocery bags

I know it is common to carry your grocery shopping bags from the store but it’s a costly habit. Every year Americans spend hundreds of dollars on these thin plastic bags that often have a life span of less than one week and give just a few minutes of value.

I know it can be difficult to abandon plastic grocery bags and try to make the switch to cloth or even heavier paper ones, but I found that it’s much easier to get my family into this habit than I imagined. To break the cycle of buying grocery bags I had to remind myself every time I went to a grocery store.

The more you use your own bags, the more you’ll strive to avoid buying or accepting grocery bags at the checkout counter.

Have a bi-monthly “clean out the pantry” week

All grocery stores have a surplus of groceries. It’s a necessity, as in you can’t get rid of everything all at once or there’d be a stampede of people buying up all of the stuff. So, when things are nearing their expiration date, stores will give them to you just to get rid of them. That’s why you drive by those same cereal boxes for about six months after you get home from the grocery store, so they can finally give them to the warehouse club cheaply instead of buying new ones.

When you have an extra cupboard in your kitchen with food that’s lingering towards the end of its shelf life, it’s a waste. So, have a bi-monthly “clean out the pantry” where you just put everything you won’t eat or that’s expired into a box and take it down the street to a food bank and donate it. You’ll save money on groceries, you’ll save space in your cupboards, and you’ll help some hungry people.

Brown bag your lunch

Learn to use up leftovers

Next time you have leftover rice, try making a sandwich out of it for lunch the next day or adding it to a salad as a filler. If you’ve got leftover grains like rice, quinoa, or barley, you can always make porridge for breakfast the next morning.

Leftover vegetables are great in sandwiches and you can also throw them into a pasta dish or stir fry if you’re feeling adventurous. Try adding leftover veggies to your next pasta sauce to add some extra flavor.

In addition to being super creative with leftovers, you can also save money by using things you already have in your house.

Supplies like olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and hot sauce can all be used in a ton of different recipes. For example, you can make salad dressing by mixing olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, and black pepper and experimenting with different vinegars, herbs, and spices.

Plan for “I don’t feel like cooking” nights

There are nights when no matter how much energy you have, you just don’t feel like cooking. To prevent you from ordering take-out, prepare food for a couple of such “I don’t feel like cooking” nights in advance.

Prepping your meals ahead of time allows you to save several hours on weeknights which are often the busiest times of the week.

If you don’t have enough time to cook at home, you can prepare extra food that’s easy to heat up and take to work, for lunch, or even order from a nearby restaurant. Just be sure to plan for that night in advance so you have no regrets.

Get a slow cooker

Slow cookers can be used to save money because they’re the best way to make something tender without breaking the bank.

If you have shirts or slacks that were a bit on the expensive side, and the material looks like it’s about to start tearing near the cuff, you can take advantage of the fact that the material is still good.

Cover the cuff with a piece of mesh that matches the pattern. Stitch or glue the mesh in place, and the shirt will look like new again.

For cleaning, you can either hand wash them in the sink or, even better, throw them in the washing machine and just run them through a regular cycle. This way, you’ll spend half as much on laundry detergent.

Use leftover wire to create a hook for hanging pots. This way you won’t have as many to store, and you can save space as well.

Add a thin layer of non-stick silicone grease to the inside of your peanut butter jar to keep the peanut butter from getting hard. Store it in the refrigerator and it’ll last a few days longer than it would have otherwise.

When grating cheese, use an empty tin can instead of a cheese grater to save time and money on cheese.

Become a vegetarian (some of the time)

You can save hundreds of dollars a month just by cutting out meat a few days a week. Pack your lunch instead of eating out, or better yet, eliminate lunch altogether. Make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a simple salad. You can save a lot of money by eliminating meat, and you’re doing your body a favor, too.

Drink more water and save on soda

It is estimated that the average person drinks about 3 quarts of soda each month, so if you drink less soda and water more, you can save a few hundred dollars a year.

Eat in season and locally

Produce is so much cheaper and lasts longer when you eat in season and if it’s locally produced. The Internet is a great place to find out what’s in season in your area. When we lived in New Jersey, fresh tomatoes were plentiful in the summer! Luckily, they are easily preserved for long winters.

Of course, I can’t promise that you’ll love everything in season, but you’ll be very pleasantly surprised at the quality and flavor of the food that’s in season in your area.

Dine out intelligently

$$ Smart Meal Tip 1: Avoid Restaurant Food

Here's a fabulous way to save money: Avoid eating in restaurants. And we aren't suggesting you adopt a lifetime fast! Going out to a restaurant for dinner is one of life's great pleasures. But being a savvy your money ways of saving money is just that.

$$ Simple Meal Tip 2: Plan Out Your Meals

The smartest money way of spending less, is to plan your meals. Unless you're one of the lucky folk who are supplied with ready-made healthy meals, you'll need to think about what it is you'll be eating.

$$ Simple Meal Tip 3: Dairy and Meat Use

$$ Simple Meal Tip 4: Focus on Meatless Meals

$$ Simple Meal Tip 5: Avoid Eating with Family

$$ Simple Meal Tip 6: Shop Supermarkets for Groceries

$$ Simple Meal Tip 7: Check The Supermarket

$$ Simple Meal Tip 8: Avoid Impulse Buys

$$ Simple Meal Tip 9: Stay Away from Snacks

$$ Simple Meal Tip 10: Read Labels

Cook less and eat less

The average American eats out upwards of 5 times a week. Not only is this expensive, but it’s also creating a problem for your waistline.

To cut your dining out bill, try eating out less often and cooking regularly. If you’re a frequent eater out, each time you do, try to reduce the amount you spent in the past. Next time you’re out to dinner, order the soup and salad meals rather than the full dinner. If you’re going to a movie, eat before you leave home. If you’re going on vacation, plan to do most of the cooking yourself as a family family can save a lot by preparing the food together.

Make like your dad and turn off all lights

It just takes a few minutes to turn off lights in rooms you’re not using, but it’s a habit people often forget about. Here’s how it works: Go into a room with lights and close the door. Make a point to turn off the lights before you leave that room.

If you’re looking to turn off more lights at one time, change up the process. Turn off the lights in your bedroom, living room and kitchen, then leave the other rooms dark as you move throughout the day.

What this does is force you to start paying attention. Soon, you’ll get used to turning the lights off without thinking about it. Of course, it’s also a good idea to turn them off more often when you’re not using them.

Use shades judiciously

So you don’t have enough time to think about redesigning your room, buying new furniture, and installing new carpeting. Well, if you really don’t have the time, then at least make sure that the few things that you’re going to do, you do right. And how do you do these things right?

  • Use shades judiciously. Curtains are nice, but they’re expensive, and they can also impact your heating/cooling bills.
  • Use your ceilings and walls to reflect light. Light gray paint and light colored tile (yes, even on the bathroom) are your friends.
  • Use rugs judiciously. I’m talking about carpeting. Rugs are a lot less expensive than bringing out the heavy guns. And they look a lot better, too.
  • Use smaller pieces of furniture in your rooms. The smaller, the less pricey. And the less pricey, the better it is for your budget.

Boil water in the microwave, rather than on the stovetop

Only wash full loads.

Don’t bother setting the oven to preheat when you’re just making a short dish.

Use a trash compactor, so you have to take out the trash less often.

Make your own coffee instead of going to a coffee shop.

Look into municipal water supply.

Before you use the dryer, sort wet clothes and run the dryer with only the clothes that need drying.

Use cheaper alternatives to branded products.

Choose cheaper brands.

Rent or borrow movies instead of going to the theater or buying the DVD.

Buy a cheaper car.

Buy items on sale.

Buy an older car and keep it longer.

Take public transit instead of driving.

Buy a membership for a public recreational area and use it instead of paying by the visit.

Combine errands into one trip.

Drive slower.

Buy store brand instead of national brand.

Take the trash out every other day.

Take public transit to work.

Invest in energy efficient home appliances.

Turn off lights.

Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.

Buy refills instead of buying a new product.

Turn off the water while soaping up during your shower.

Keep your freezer full

Have you ever gone to the grocery store only to find that your freezer is nearly empty?

While it seems like a great idea to clean the freezer out once in a while, that is not the best time to run to the grocery store because the items you usually buy in bulk will be on sale.

Unless you plan to look for other ways to keep your freezer full then you will be at the mercy of whatever the current grocery specials are.

Freezers do not like to be cleaned out and then refilled all in one shopping trip. They like to be stocked gradually. This is most easily done if you are using a shopping list based on what you need, not what is on sale at the moment.

If you are shopping with a list, then you will know what to re-stock, instead of wasting money on items you already have.

If you do end up cleaning out the freezer, only fill it with sale items. Then only fill the freezer part by part, not stuffing everything in all at once. That way, your freezer will not need more than a few days to thaw, and you will be less likely to forget about it.

Line dry your clothes

If you want to save electricity and save money, your laundry area should be the first place to start. When you consider the cost of electric dryers, the time savings when using a clothesline often outweigh the time spent when you wash, dry and fold. And for your valuables, you can take extra yisuri precautions.

Use your dishwasher

As an alternative to washing your pots and pans, load them in you dishwasher. The little bit of extra drying time is a small inconvenience compared to the massive time savings of one less load of dishes to do.

But turn off the dishwasher’s heat dry function

The dry cycle uses considerable power compared to just letting the dishes air-dry.

Fix leaky faucets

And pipes.

A running faucet can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water a year. If one of your faucets has a slow drip, use a wrench or channel locks to tighten the packing nut.

Change your HVAC filter once a month

Lower your water heater’s temperature

Setting your water heater temperature slightly lower will not only help you save money on your energy bill, but it will help prevent your water heater from becoming obsolete due to corrosion and rust. A 145-degree water heater may be sufficient for showering, but washing your dishes and doing laundry is better off at 140 degrees or less. For optimal energy efficiency, try setting your water temperature at 130-135 degrees. Just bear in mind this might take some getting used to since we’ve been conditioned to set the temperature of our water heaters for optimal performance.

Wash your laundry in cold water

Save energy and money by not setting temperatures above cold. The exception is for heavily soiled items that require hot water to remove excess oils or grease. Washing clothes in cold water saves money because it reduces consumption of water and electricity.

Stay healthy

And Pay Less For It!

The ideal goal is to try to maintain your very own health.

If you keep yourself mentally and physically healthy, chances are you won’t get many visits to the doctor.

And if you don’t get to see the doctor, you can avoid unnecessary treatments that can get quite expensive. For example, the treatments that aren’t fully covered by insurance and the drugs you buy from the pharmacy for routine illnesses.

Get in the habit of walking

Instead of driving whenever you can.

A morning walk is one of the best ways to start your day. It’s a great way to get your blood flowing and to start your day on a positive note.

Since you’re already fresh and awake, you’re more likely to be productive. It can also help you make better food choices. Just think, you’ll need less time in the gym to work off those extra calories.

It helps you save money as well. Carpooling is one of the most practical ways of saving money. You also save up on gas if you go on foot. As for the parking fees, you can bake them into the price of your house.

It’s good for the environment because it reduces your carbon footprint. And it’s good for your physical health because it can help you avoid obesity and other health conditions. Don’t be surprised if you notice a difference in your mood and demeanor. People who walk regularly tend to have more positive energy than those who don’t.

Bike to work

This is a great way to cut down on your monthly mileage without much pain. If you’re in a position to bike to work every day, then go ahead and do so!

This will help you save on monthly expenses, as well as improve your health. Make sure you commute in a safe area of town so that you can get to work (and back) without too much stress or worry.

Grow a garden

No matter the size or the time of year, you can have a garden.

Growing your own foods is awesome! There are several reasons why it is good :

  • You are eating the freshest, and the most natural, foods.
  • You are responding to global warming (dirt always absorbs and retains heat better than concrete.)
  • You are saving money. And not just a few dollars here and there, but often as much as fifty dollars (or more!) on vegetables and fruits.
  • Distance from machines means better, safer food. Most of the industrialized vegetables and fruits that you buy have probably traveled for as much as 12,000 miles before you eat them. Remember what happened with the tomatoes in the winter of 2010-11? We had a tomato shortage for a few months in some parts of the United States, and prices skyrocketed : they cost eight dollars each!

This is just one example of why it is so important to know what you are eating.

So, start out small with your garden! Perhaps you can only grow a few herbs indoors or a small pot on the windowsill. No matter what, get started! Build from there. If you can, grow some plants outside. Only a few plants can be potted up and moved over the course of the year.

Don’t let your doctor be a stranger

Whether you’ve had that same family doctor for years or new to a practice, it’s important to stay in good relationship with your physician. It’s especially important as he/she becomes more familiar with your overall health issue. It becomes one of the ways to better manage your health.

No matter what your preference about healthcare, your doctor can always be your partner in managing your health. Without you asking, your doctor will keep you better updated with your health condition.

Ask your doctor questions

It’s easy to ignore your doctor’s letters, emails, and phone calls asking you to come in for routine testing or to discuss your tests. People get busy; doctors get paid.

But what if your insurance company was footing the bill? It’s still easy to just let things slide by. But what if your results determine whether you get a discount on your insurance premiums?

So, next time you get a call to schedule an appointment or a letter in the mail, ask your doctor some questions regarding your bill and your medical care. Especially if you’re being asked to pay out of pocket for routine tests.

Ask about discounts and samples for medication

When you’re starting a new medication, ask your doctor about getting a sample. If that’s not feasible, ask if he or she can write a prescription for a generic version of the drug instead of a brand name. As you and your doctor get to know each other, you can have these types of conversations more comfortably.

Try home remedies when you’re sick

Instead of using over-the-counter medicines.

Make an extra meal one day per week and freeze it for an easy, healthy dinner another night.

Clean your car to get it ready for summer.

Instead of using paper napkins at home, buy a bunch of washable dishcloths and keep them in a basket on the counter. They’re cheaper and more eco-friendly than napkins.

Try reusable dish towels and hand towels to help reduce the need for paper towels.

Buy in bulk or get your groceries online. It’s cheaper!

Don’t use your cell phone as an alarm. They tend to add a lot of billing time to every minute used.

Get an alert device from each credit card to cut down on impulse spending when you go shopping.

Thoroughly wash your clothes before you wear them again.

Instead of going out to the movies, stay at home and rent new releases online.

Buy used furniture, sofas and mattresses.

Use a shopping list when you go shopping. You’ll be surprised how many items you can cross off your list in the store without buying them when you get your home from the store.

Buy clothes at yard sales and pass them on when you’re done with them.

Understand your health insurance coverage

In today’s uncertain world, you can never rely on anything. We can’t predict the future. But that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for it, right?

If you are contemplating to get or change your health insurance policy, I have a few things to share with you.

There’s a lot of jargon that goes around with any health plan and it’s quite easy to get confused. So let’s break it down.

In case of any medical emergency, your health insurance will work for you. Medical insurance is divided into 3 categories:


Major medical – A insurance plan that covers hospitalization, surgery, x-rays, lab tests, hospice care, etc.


Supplemental major medical – These plans are generally sold in conjunction with major medical plans and help to pay the cost of uncovered medical expenses that your major medical plan doesn’t cover, such as deductibles and co-payments.

Shop around for medical procedures

Before you choose a particular clinic or doctor, it’s a good idea to check out the procedure at different facilities. If you’ve heard of a friend, family member, or colleague who’s had the same procedure you’re looking at, see if they would join you in a trip to a few places you’re considering.

Ask about a prompt-pay discount

Many companies will give you a discount for paying your insurance bill within 30 days rather than waiting a full 60 days. Pay as many of your monthly expenses as you can, such as your gym dues and subscriptions, as early in the month as possible, to get a jump on your budget. This will free up funds for you for other expenses at the end of the month.

Have your hospital bill itemized

Have your hospital bill itemized. Hospitals are notorious for billing for items that seem unrelated to your care. Call your insurance company and ask them to provide a list of everything they’re going to cover and how much they’re going to pay. Compare that list to the one your hospital gives you. If they’re not the same, ask if the hospital can adjust your bill to match.

Enroll in a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account

A healthcare flexible spending account is a form of employee benefits that allows you to put aside money each year to pay for healthcare expenses or dependent care expenses with pre-tax funds. The account has a limit on how much money you can put into it, and the taxes that were initially owed on the contributions to the account are then used to offset any taxes due once the funds have been spent on healthcare necessities.

As an example, certain cancer treatments are costly and so a healthcare FSA allows you to pay for half of your prognosis without paying for the other half of your prognosis with after-tax funds. Meaning your take-home pay is the same, but without the risk of losing all of your money because you were paying for an acute or ongoing medical condition out of pocket.

Set goals for saving

Unless you are already living paycheck-to-paycheck, you probably have a bit of a buffer in your bank account. A great way to maintain that buffer is to have a goal set for saving money.

You can set a modest goal such as saving a certain amount of money each month or a larger goal such as having a certain amount of money in your account at a specific time.

The key is to set a goal, so that you have something to work towards. “Just save for now” isn’t a goal…it’s a reaction to your financial situation and nothing more.

Setting goals for saving money may also help you re-evaluate the amount you have set aside for retirement. You may re-evaluate how much you need to retire earlier, or how much you will need to start saving to grow your nest egg exponentially. Setting a specific goal can help motivate you to begin saving or to save more.

Make a plan for saving

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day activities of your job and other commitments. But it’s also important to consider long-term financial planning. At a bare minimum, you need to save money for retirement. If you are just starting your career out, it’s smart to build a retirement savings plan.

If you are looking at your long-term financial planning, your goal should be to have minimal debt and to save enough money to generate income for the life you want. Use the following steps to empower yourself with the tools to successfully manage your long-term goals, and living for the present will be much easier.

Paying off debt and saving for the future is imperative if you want to secure your financial future. One of the best methods to do this is to create a budget for your personal and household expenses.

The easiest advice ever, right? Yet, creating a viable budget is easier said than done. During sound financial times, it may seem difficult to budget for more expenses. But it is even more unjustifiable not to be making a budget during tough times.

Set your saving priorities

Saving money is important but having proper priorities is even more crucial.

Many of us make the mistake of saving too much money for future use. When we save money for the future, we also squander the money we have nowadays, both physically and mentally. This leads to wasting valuable money that could have done some good right now.

For example, we could save money for a vacation at another time but as a result of this— we have less money to spend on other important things.

We must emphasize on what our current financial situation is and what we really need right now. Only then can we aid our financial growth while also maintaining our financial stability.

All in all, our spending goals should be set according to the way we live our lives. For instance, if you’re a student, you may not be as financially stable as a doctor or a billionaire. Thus, you may not be able to save a lot of money that can be put to good use. Instead, you will have to set your priorities right and focus on using your resources to the fullest.

Please note that this post is for informational purposes only and doesn’t constitute a financial advice. So, you may want to consult a financial expert before you implement the below ideas on your own.

Make saving money automatic

One of the easiest ways to accumulate savings is to make the saving process automatic.

Automation works because you can take the human emotion out of it. You don’t have to be in a saving frame of mind to put money aside, which means it will take less willpower to put your savings on autopilot.

Here’s what you can do:

Have a certain amount automatically transferred from your checking to your savings account at the end of every month.

(requires a balance and a bank account … make sure you keep the savings account active)

Give yourself an allowance.

(schedule an automatic transfer for a certain amount, monthly or weekly)

Cancel any recurring payments you can do without. Take that money and put it in your savings.

(cancel magazine subscriptions, gym memberships, and pay-per-view stations)

Make online bill pay automatic.

Watch your money grow!

Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Are you struggling to climb that financial mountain?

Do you want a better life, free of stress, worry and fear?

Actually, it’s not that complicated. You just have to get it through your thick skull and the excuses you keep telling yourself.

“I’m Not Rich!” Ironically, you do not have to be rich to live a rich life, to have enough, to be free.

You just need to spend less than you make and save the difference. The magic is really that simple.

Apparently the problem is most people cannot be bothered following through with this simple formula. Saving money seems boring, especially when it would be so much more fun to blow it on entertainment, lunch with friends, shopping, going out.

It would be so easy to manage our money affairs if we just reduced the number of financial distractions we allow ourselves. The challenge is to keep becoming aware of these demands on our money and resist the urge to spend.

The Bottom Line on Ways to Save Money

Those who save money usually have a plan, a process, and a strategy. They focus on developing good spending habits, building a nest egg for themselves, and consistently putting money in their savings account.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for many Americans. They’re still living paycheck to paycheck, they’re still struggling to pay their bills on time, and they’re still acting impulsively instead of rationally.

However, you can only change your financial situation by changing your mindset and that is a good first step. Use the tips below to start saving money and to build the foundation for your financial plan.