Are you tired of the stress that comes with debt and a diminishing bank balance?
I completely understand.
When we were paying off our debt it often felt like no matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t get ahead.
As soon as we saw some progress, something big would hit and knock us back.
When you’re feeling the stress of debt it’s not always easy to think of ways to save money. And honestly, these ideas aren’t going to solve all your financial problems.
But if you implement even a few you’ll begin the process of prioritizing and learning how to save more easily.
It’s the incremental steps we take that lead us to our goals and hopefully, these savings ideas will help you along your way.
Here are 100 ways you can save more money!
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How to Save Money on Food & Groceries
1. Make a List & Stick to It
One of the easiest ways to save money on your groceries is to simply make a list and stick to it when you go to the store.
Let’s be honest, most impulse purchases are junk food so by sticking with a list you can prevent inflating your bill and your belly.
Pro Tip: Use Walmart’s free grocery pickup for a convenient way to stick to your list and save money!
2. Meal Plan Your Week
Meal planning is a great way to reduce your food costs.
Not only does it help you avoid the drive-thru, but if you’re strategic about your meals you can reduce your grocery bill by using similar ingredients and taking advantage of sales.
3. Shop the Sales
Pick a planning day where you can look through your local stores’ fliers. Look for items you use a lot and can stock up on as well as any sales that match up to your recipes.
Planning your meals around sales items is a great way to save even more money.
4. Skip Eating Out
The average American spends over $250 a month eating out, which means cutting back on take-out is one of the easiest ways to save money fast.
Challenge yourself to skip just one meal out a week and put what you would have spent into your emergency savings.
5. Start a Garden
Growing your own food can be a great way to save some cash /and/ eat healthier.
Your available space may dictate what you can grow, but even if all you have room for is some herbs, you’ll be encouraged to cook more and eat out less.
Pro Tip: check with your library to see if they have free starter seeds.
6. Eat Healthier
In line with growing your own food, eating healthier in general will shave money off your grocery bill.
Not only will you eat out less, but junk food usually costs a lot more than your typical fruit and veggies.
7. Buy in Bulk and Batch Cook
It’s easy to make excuses for eating out – we’re too busy, we don’t have anything to cook, we forgot to thaw the meat.
By buying in bulk and batch cooking you can make sure you’ll always have something available to avoid those impulse take-out orders.
8. Pack Your Lunch
The average lunch out costs around $8. You could save close to $50 a week just by packing your lunch.
9. Drink More Water
Drinking water can save you calories and dollars! Sodas, coffee, and alcohol aren’t cheap. Drink more water to cut down on those costs.
Have a glass of water before a meal and you may eat less, saving even more money!
10. Try Fasting
It may sound like a drastic method, but fasting actually has some great health benefits as well as the potential to save you money.
Cutting out one meal a day or a few meals a week really adds up over time. Especially if you combine it with some of the other savings tips.
11. Learn to Love Leftovers
Leftovers are my secret weapon for cutting food costs.
By cooking larger portions and planning for leftovers I’ve cut down the need to cook 5 or more meals a week to 3 or less (this Mexican chicken recipe can last us a week by itself!)
12. Eat Less Meat
Meat is tasty. But it’s also super expensive.
Find yourself some good vegetarian meals to make throughout the week and you can save a bundle.
Most restaurant portions are ridiculously large these days making it relatively easy to share.
If sharing isn’t an option, immediately divide your meal in half when you get it and save the leftovers for a second meal.
14. Invest in a Keurig
If you love your specialty coffee but need to save some cash, consider investing in a Keurig. You’ll be able to satisfy all your flavor cravings without the expense of a daily trip to Starbucks.
Pro Tip: Use refillable k-cups to brew regular ground coffee.
15. Use Coupons & Discounted Restaurant Gift Cards
Have a favorite restaurant? Buy some discounted gift cards to save money on your next visit.
If you like to try new places, consider buying an Entertainment Guide for coupons to local restaurants.
Pro Tip: Check if your favorite restaurant has an email list you can sign up for. You’ll often get coupons and discounts and even freebies on your birthday!
16. Find Several Go-To Recipes You Can Rotate
One of the best ways to make sure you’re eating at home is making it easy to cook.
Creating a pool of favorite recipes is a great resource to help you meal plan and never get bored.
17. Get an InstantPot
The #1 most used gadget in my kitchen is the InstantPot. And I don’t even pressure cook that often!
It’s got so many features – pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, yogurt maker, sauté/searing, steamer, and more!
I find myself using it at least weekly, if not more.
How to Save Money Around the House
18. Embrace the DIY Lifestyle
Learning to DIY things you need can not only save you money but potentially lead to a side hustle selling what you make!
Consider things you buy and whether there’s a reasonable DIY alternative before you spend more money on the done-for-you version.
19. Buy Household Staples in Bulk
I’ve been made fun of for using the per ounce/unit costs in my purchasing decisions, but if you know you’re going to use the product, you might as well buy it as cheaply as possible.
Usually, that means buying in bulk. Cleaning supplies, paper goods, and toiletries are all good places to start looking for bulk discounts.
Whether we’re talking coffee makers, InstantPots, or energy-efficient washing machines, make sure when you buy an appliance it’s one that has the potential to save you money in the future.
21. Cut Your Own Hair
This seems more drastic to me than fasting, but when you consider the costs, it makes sense. Depending on how often you go and what type of salon you frequent you could be spending hundreds of dollars a year or more!
22. Do Your Own Home and Yard Care
It’s tempting to spend money on someone else to do the things you hate to do, especially when those things take up valuable time.
But we’re trying to save money, not time here. Stop paying someone else to mow your lawn or scrub your toilets and stick that money into your savings instead.
23. Learn How to Fix Things Yourself
Between Google and YouTube, you can literally find the answer to any question. Be willing to get your hands dirty and not only will you save money, but you’ll learn valuable life skills as well!
24. Line Dry Your Clothes
Instead of drying your clothes in an energy-sapping drying machine, consider line-drying them instead. Apart from the energy costs, they may last longer and smell fresher too.
25. Get a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats will help you save on energy costs by automatically adjusting the temperature in your house when you’re not at home.
26. Use LED Bulbs
Installing LED light bulbs will not only save you money on energy costs but also on the cost of replacing bulbs. They last forever!
27. Use a Smart Surge Protector
Did you know your electronics are using energy even when they’re off?
As long as they’re plugged in, they’re drawing electricity.
Use a smart surge protector to control the energy flow. Some models even allow you to monitor your usage.
28. Turn Off the Lights
I sound like my dad with this one, but turn off the lights when you leave a room. Unless you’ve already switched to LED lights, in which case turning them off doesn’t actually matter.
29. Ditch the Landline
With the availability of cheap cell phones and plans these days, there’s really no reason to pay for a landline if you’re trying to save money.
30. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
White distilled vinegar is a cheap and popular substitute you can use to clean around the house. Or you can try making some more advanced homemade solutions.
How to Save Money When You’re Broke
31. Cancel Memberships & Subscriptions
It’s easy to forget about memberships and subscriptions you’re not taking full advantage of. Check your credit card statements for any of these recurring charges and cancel them.
32. Automate Your Savings
If you wait to see how much cash you have leftover after you’re done spending, you’re probably not going to save much.
Instead, save first by automating your savings.
Check with your HR department to see if they can split your deposit between savings and checking. If not, create a rule in your checking account to automatically transfer a certain amount each payday.
33. Automate Your Bill Payments
Never pay interest or get hit with late fees by automating your bill payments. Just make sure you’re budgeting appropriately so you don’t risk over-drafting your checking.
Pro Tip: Create a separate checking account that you don’t spend out of but only use for paying bills.
34. Make a Budget
Having a budget will help you prioritize your expenses so you can save more by eliminating the things that don’t align with your goals.
35. Embrace Frugality
Dry your razors. Use dishcloths instead of paper towels. Reuse pasta sauce jars as drinking glasses.
Becoming more frugal doesn’t mean you have to give up everything. It just means finding creative ways to have fun and save money.
36. Cut Your Services
Are you paying for top tier plans with your cable or phone companies? Take a look at what you’re really using and trim down your package.
37. Negotiate Your Bills
Making a phone call is sometimes all it takes to shave a good bit off your bills.
I’ve been able to regularly get my SiriusXM subscription knocked down to less than half price just by calling each time the renewal comes up.
Pro Tip: Trim is a company that will negotiate your bills on your behalf. They take a percentage as a fee, but it’s still saving you money, especially if you can’t find the time to do it yourself.
38. Use the 30-Day Rule
The 30-day rule says to wait 30 days before making a purchase over a certain dollar amount (usually 450 or $100, but evaluate your spending to adapt as needed).
It’s a great way to make sure you don’t buy impulsively.
39. Master the 10-Second Rule
The 10-second rule is simply getting in the habit of asking yourself “Why do I want this?” when you are about to buy something.
Whether at the grocery store or online, sometimes just taking that extra 10 seconds to think about a purchase can help you avoid making bad ones.
40. Always Pay the Statement Balance on Your Credit Cards
Save money by not paying interest. The best way to avoid interest on your credit cards is to make sure you’re paying the statement balance in full each month.
41. Set Savings Goals
It’s easier to save when you have a specific goal attached. You’re less likely to spend money you have earmarked for something you care about than if it’s just sitting in your checking account.
42. Try Some Money Challenges
Money challenges can make it easier and more fun to save.
Try a weekly or monthly challenge to keep it manageable and avoid burn out. Or for longer challenges, have a visual reminder to keep you on track.
43. Just Say No to Debt
Refuse to accept debt as an option. You’ll learn to prioritize and get creative with your spending while avoiding overpaying, interest charges, and potential fees.
44. Switch to Cash
It’s been shown that people spend less when they spend with cash versus plastic (credit or debit).
There’s a psychological impact to actually handing over money when you buy something that makes you less inclined to spend.
45. Change Your Banks
Banks will often offer incentives for opening accounts. You sometimes need to set up direct deposit or have a minimum deposit, but depending on the incentive it may be worth the effort.
Pro Tip: Always make sure your emergency and sinking funds are in a high-interest savings account.
46. Negotiate Your Rates
If you’re dealing with debt, call up your lenders and see if you can lower your rates. As long as you’ve been paying your bill on time, most lenders will offer you a reduced rate.
47. Transfer Balances
When negotiating your rates doesn’t work, or when you have a great credit score, it may be an option or even make more sense to transfer your balances to a low or no-interest card.
Pro Tip: Try to use a card that offers free balance transfers as opposed to those that charge a percentage of the transferred balance.
48. Shop Around
Whether we’re talking about insurance, groceries, or even trash providers, make sure you’re shopping around to find the best prices.
It’s easy to get complacent with the status quo and wind up paying more than you should.
49. Sell Your Stuff
A great first step in making some quick cash is to declutter and sell your stuff. There are a number of apps and websites that can help you get the most for your stuff, but eBay and Decluttr are great places to start.
50. Practice Gratitude
Save money by realizing you already have everything you need!
Changing your money mindset and being grateful for what you have will help you overcome the desire for more stuff.
51. Downsize Your House and Car
Your housing and transportation costs are probably your largest so finding ways to minimize them can help you save a lot.
It’s not always possible, but moving to a smaller house or apartment and switching to a smaller, more fuel-efficient car can be great ways to save money relatively quickly.
52. Rent Out a Spare Room (House Hack)
If you have the option, renting out a portion of your house can is a fantastic way to cut your housing costs and save more money.
53. Use a Visual Reminder of Your Debt and Progress
Visuals reminders are a great tool to keep you motivated and on track with your goals.
Make a chart or print a goal tracker and post it up on the fridge or someplace you’ll see it daily.
54. Make it Public – Get the Family Involved
It’s easier to save when you’re saving as a family, working toward the same goal together. Being accountable to each other will keep you from sabotaging things with random purchases.
If you’re on your own, consider making your goals public and asking a friend to check in every so often to hold you accountable.
55. Always Ask for Fees to Be Waived
Mistakes happen. We sometimes assume overdraft fees, late payment fees, service charges, and other fees are non-negotiable, but many places will waive these fees for their valued customers. All you have to do is ask.
How to Save Money When You Shop
56. Do the Research When Making a Large Purchase
Before you shell out your hard-earned and long saved money make sure you know exactly what you’re getting.
Search Google for reviews and complaints as well as sales and coupons so you can feel confident about your purchase.
57. Sign Up for Store Loyalty Programs
Most stores offer loyalty programs for free that can provide you with valuable sales and coupons. Joining these programs is usually free and a great way to save money on your normal and regular expenses.
58. Use Discount Gift Cards
Buying discounted gift cards is another great way to save money at the stores you visit often.
Your mileage may vary on the amount of discount for different stores, but you can typically save at 5% or more.
Pro Tip: Check your local grocery store for gift card deals that also reward you with fuel points.
59. Buy Used
Depending on what you’re buying, used items can save you half or more compared to buying new.
Just use your due diligence on anything with moving parts so you don’t end up with a massive paperweight.
60. Borrow or Barter
If you only have an occasional need for something, ask around to see if anyone you know has whatever it is and is willing to let you borrow it.
Lawn and cleaning equipment are perfect examples of where you may be able to save by connecting with your neighbors.
Also, if you have a skill that you can trade for things, consider bartering for what you need. For example, maybe you can trade your baking skills for some handyman skills or vice versa.
61. Shop Discount & Thrift Stores
Browse around your local discount stores to see what they have to offer.
You can usually find paper goods, greeting cards, party supplies, and some grocery items heavily discounted at dollar stores.
62. Avoid Impulse Purchases
Similar to the 30-day and 10-second rule, you can impose a 24-hour rule to help you avoid impulse buys.
The 24-hour rule is great for online purchases.
Simply add the item to your cart and then close your browser.
If you decide you do want to make the purchase, most websites will have saved your cart.
Some may even offer you a discount to complete your checkout if you leave it long enough.
63. Buy Generic
Most store brands are actually private label products from the same manufacturers as the big label brands.
While not everything is identical, it’s worth testing out the cheaper alternatives to see if they can permanently replace their more expensive counterparts.
64. Buy Holiday Specific Items After the Holiday
If you find yourself unpacking holiday decorations and realizing you could do with some replacements, wait until after the holidays to buy them.
Not only will they be heavily discounted, but they’ll already be packed and ready to store away for you!
Pro Tip: When buying candy around the holidays opt for the non-themed packaging. You can buy the candy after the holiday when it’s on sale and then use it for the next holiday. For example, buy clearance Valentine’s candy to use for Easter.
65. Buy Seasonal Goods Off-Season
Similarly to holiday goods, buying off-season is a great way to save.
Swimsuits, sweaters, jackets, etc. are all vastly cheaper when purchased outside their associated useful season.
66. Unsubscribe From Store Emails That Tempt You
When you sign up for store loyalty programs or email lists, you’ll receive emails daily tempting you to buy something from them. Consider unsubscribing from these updates.
If you’d prefer to have them but not see them (so you can search for coupons and deals when you’re ready to buy), either create a rule to send them to a different, out-of-sight folder, or create a new shopping-specific email address you can use for these stores.
67. Earn Cash Back From Online Shopping
When you need to buy something online, make sure you use a cashback site to check for rebates ahead of time.
68. Negotiate Everything
You may be surprised to learn that everything can be negotiated.
Ok, maybe not, but it never hurts to ask.
I had a coworker that negotiated with Lowe’s on his home improvement purchases. I would have never guessed it was possible, but he had made it a habit to always try wherever he went and it paid off.
69. Ignore Advertising
Try your best to tune out all the commercials and ads you see tempting you to buy things you don’t need or probably even want.
Marketing and advertisement are designed to make you feel incomplete without their “thing.”
The best thing you can do is try to ignore them all.
70. Cut Back on Your Vices
Smoking, drinking, drugs, and the like are all great ways to go broke.
Whatever your reasons for partaking of these substances, it would do your wallet good to find an alternative.
71. Clip Coupons (Digitally)
We’re all aware clipping the coupons out of the Sunday paper can save some money, but in today’s digital world, don’t forget there are a lot more coupons available online.
Register with your local grocery store’s website and you can find hundreds of coupons you can add directly to your loyalty card.
I always get a kick out of seeing my total drop by $10-$30 at checkout without having to sort through a bunch of paper coupons.
72. Use Coupon Codes for Online Purchases
When you’re purchasing online make it a habit to search for a deal at any store before you checkout.
RetailMeNot is a site that aggregates coupon codes across the internet. Or you can use a browser extension like Honey to automatically scan coupons at checkout.
73. Scan Your Receipts
Did you know you can scan your receipts for extra coupons and savings after the fact?
Use apps like Ibotta and Fetch to get even extra savings when you shop.
74. Take Advantage of Credit Card Offers
Credit cards offer lots of perks and advantages if you are in a position to use them responsibly.
In addition to getting points or cashback, you can also find deals and coupons available only to cardholders.
How to Save Money on Transportation
75. Buy Used Vehicles to Avoid Depreciation
New cars are considered one of the worst purchases you can make since they can lose 10% of their value as soon as you drive off the lot and 20% or more after the first year depending on the model.
Buying used can potentially save you thousands of dollars.
76. Use Google Flights Price Alerts for Airline Travel
Google Flights is a super-fast way to search for flights and offers a handy tracking feature to watch for price drops for your planned trip.
Note: If you’re a fan of Southwest, you’ll need to use their site directly since they don’t share their rates with other sites.
77. Carpool Whenever Possible
Carpooling is a great way to share transportation costs with your neighbors and co-workers.
Not only will save on gas, but you’ll also limit the wear and tear on your vehicle.
Plus, depending on where you’re driving, you’ll be able to take advantage of the carpool lane. If you can avoid sitting in traffic you can save even more money.
78. Change Your Filter for Better Mileage
According to some studies, a clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by as much as 10% or 15 cents per gallon.
But be careful, it’s also a common scam by car mechanics to try to sell you one whether you need it or not. Check your car’s manual, but most recommend changing every 15,000-30,000 miles.
Pro Tip: Check YouTube for instructions to change your own air filter and save the $30-$60 your mechanic would charge.
79. Use Public Transportation
Public transportation rates will vary based on where you live, but looking at our local rate, it would cost roughly half as much to buy an annual pass as it would be if I spent $20 a week on gas.
And let’s be honest, gas prices usually add up to a lot more than $20/week.
80. Inflate Your Tires
Keeping your tires inflated can also help your gas mileage.
Plus, properly inflated tires are safer and will last longer, saving you money on a couple of fronts.
81. Use a Cash Back Reward Credit Card for Gas Purchases
Shop around for credit cards that offer cashback on gas purchases.
My American Express Blue Cash Preferred rewards us 3% in cashback.
82. Drive Strategically
You can increase fuel efficiency and reduce wear and tear on your car by adopting a few good driving habits.
Accelerating slowly, using cruise control on the highways, and slowing down gradually via lifting your foot off the gas versus slamming on the breaks can all help save gas and extend the life of your vehicle.
83. Buy a Fuel Efficient Car
Buying a car that gets good mileage is obviously a great way to save at the pump.
But do the research before you spend extra on a hybrid. The added cost of purchase may take 5 or more years to recoup in gas savings.
84. Get Fuel Rewards at Your Grocery Store
Grocery stores with attached gas stations will often offer some sort of fuel rewards and incentives.
Just by signing up you can earn money off of your gas whenever you grocery shop.
85. Use GasBuddy to Find Cheap Gas
GasBuddy is a website and app that will show you gas prices for nearby stations. It’s a free way to find the cheapest gas near you.
86. Ride a Bike
You can drastically reduce your transportation expenses by swapping your car for a bike.
It may not be practical for everybody, but you can eliminate your car payment, gas, and maintenance costs just by riding a bike instead.
How to Save Money on Travel & Entertainment
87. Cut the Cord
Say goodbye to expensive cable and satellite packages to save more money. Depending on your package and provider you could save from $60-$150 a month!
88. Start a Game Night
Avoid the food and bar tab of trivia nights by starting your own game night.
Invite some friends over, make it a potluck, and play games you already have to save money.
89. Stay In for Date Night
What could be more romantic than enjoying a meal you make together and then cuddling up to a free movie on Netflix?
I’m more practical than romantic, so this may not actually substitute for a “real” date, but it certainly is cheaper than dinner and a movie out!
90. Read More
How many times have you gone to the movies only to hear the book was better?
Stick to reading until the movies you want to see are released on RedBox or Netflix.
91. Use Amazon Prime for More Than Just Free Shipping
Most people think of Amazon Prime as the membership that gets them free 2-day shipping, but did you know you can also get Prime Videos, Music and Games with your subscription?
If you’re going to pay for a service or subscription, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the benefits.
92. Watch YouTube
Whether you’re looking for a quick laugh, amazing magic tricks, cooking how-tos, challenge videos, video game walkthroughs, or something else, YouTube has content for everyone. The tricky part is pulling yourself away!
93. Get to Know Your Library
Your local library is a hidden wealth of entertainment.
Apart from books, most libraries offer music, movies, games, and classes to keep you busy.
And all for free!
94. Use Credit Card Reward Points
Many credit cards allow you to redeem points for discounted concert and movie tickets in addition to travel-related expenses like airfare, hotels, and theme park tickets.
95. Travel Off-Season
Save money traveling when no one else is.
Not only are airline tickets and hotel rooms likely to be cheaper off-season, but without an influx of tourists, local prices may be lower as well.
96. Check Your Town for Free Events
Concerts and movies can be expensive, but check your paper for any local events they organize for free.
We have Friday night movies in the park and Saturday night music by the lake in our community.
Pro Tip: The library is a great place to find out what’s happening near you.
97. Visit Your Local Parks
Local parks are a great way to enjoy nature without spending much.
Pack a picnic, go for a hike, or camp out with friends and family for some cheap fun.
98. Bring Your Own Food
Eating out all the time is expensive at home, but even more so when you’re traveling.
Save money by hitting up a grocery store when you get to your destination or packing your own food ahead of time.
Depending on where you’re staying you could go all out and make meals if you have a kitchen, or keep it simple with granola bars and fruit to save on breakfasts and snacks.
99. Check Your Library for Culture Passes
Did you know your library has free passes you can get to visit local museums?
They’re called Culture Passes and one pass is usually good for 2 free admissions.
100. Use Groupon for Discounts to Local Places
Groupon isn’t just a great way to get discounts. It’s also a great place to discover things to do and places to visit in your town.
Time to Save Some Money!
It’s not likely there are too many folks who can or even want to do all 100 of these savings tips.
But with all these ideas, you should be able to find several ways you can give your savings a boost.
Hopefully, some of them will help you think of other ways to save as well!