Practical money saving tips that you can implement immediately:
1. Use a calculator and a list when you are shopping, and not just for groceries! You should even make a list for yard sales, retail stores, etc. This will help you to stay within your budget.
2. Put all your bills in the same place as soon as you bring in that day’s mail. This will prevent you from misplacing a bill and possibly incurring a late fee. If you do get a late fee call and kindly ask for it to be waived.
3. Start eating your leftovers. Look at them as a way to achieve your financial goals. The less you waste, the more you will save.
4. If you or your spouse have a hard time controlling spending,. Leave credit cards and the checkbook at home. If you don’t have access to the money you won’t spend it.
5. Find another young family in your area and offer to swap babysitting services. This way you don’t have to pay for a babysitter when it’s your turn for a night out.
6. Make at least one snack from scratch per week. Once you are comfortable making that one, add in a second one. Making food from scratch will save you money. Plus, it is healthier.
7. Instead of going out to a restaurant, look up their recipes and make it at home. You can have your kids play waiter and hostess and even create a menu to order from.
8. Stop buying school lunches. Let your child pick one day a week to purchase their lunch and send lunch from home on the other 4 days.
9. If you use a Swiffer flip the sheet over and use the bottom side. It works just as well and you’ll get double the amount for your money. You might need to spray the wet sheets with a little more cleaning solution.
10. If you need to learn how to do something or you need to repair an item, look for a video on YouTube. There are instructional videos for just about everything! You may be able to fix something yourself instead of having to call a repair person.
11. If you aren’t satisfied with a product check to see if it has a product guarantee. Many companies stand behind their product. Most generic products at the grocery store also have a guarantee. If you don’t like it, contact the company or take it to the store for a replacement.
12. Shop for holiday decor and items the day after the holiday is over. Many of the big box stores will put their holiday items on clearance for 50% off the next day. Some stores will mark items as much as 90% off in the days following a holiday. Buying items on clearance will stretch your money even further.
13. Buy your children’s clothes a size or two ahead. Pick up clearance clothing at the end of each season for the next year. Shop at consignment sales, thrift stores, and yard sales for like new clothing at a fraction of the price.
14. Visit the library weekly but make sure to return your items on time. It’s best to pick a specific day of the week and always go on that day. You can find new books and movies to enjoy. Kids will have fun picking out something ‘new’ every week and it won’t cost you anything.
15. If you take monthly prescriptions be sure to shop around and make sure you are paying the least amount possible. Do this even if you have insurance. Sometimes having the doctor write a 90 day prescription instead of a 30 day can save you a lot of money.
16. Make sure that your bank offers free ATM visits. Ask them if they charge when you check your balance at the ATM (mine does). Always avoid using the ATM at another bank. You’ll be charged for the convenience and it isn’t worth it.
17. Take an active interest in your local high school sports teams. You can still get your ‘football fix’ by attending their games but you will pay much less than if you go to college or pro games.
18. Before you put a roll of toilet paper on the holder, squash it so that it won’t roll smoothly. This will keep you from using more toilet paper than necessary because you can’t pull it freely. This works well for paper towels too.
19. Stop window shopping or leisurely browsing through stores. If this is your idea of entertainment, come up with other fun things to do. If you are looking for a night with the girls, get together and do some freezer cooking (putting together meals to put in the freezer to cook in the future) or play board games. There are plenty of fun things to do that don’t involve going out. Plan your night “in” after the kids are in bed.
20. Whenever you cook you should double the recipe and freeze half of it. This is great for nights when you don’t feel like cooking or just simply don’t have the time. This will keep you from running through a fast food drive thru because you “don’t have anything at home to eat.”
21. If your man goes to the barber for a buzz, buy an at home kit and watch a video on Youtube on how to cut his hair properly. It isn’t hard and it can save you a lot of money over the course of a year. Make sure you do the first cut early in the morning so he can go to the barber shop if you botch it too badly.
22. Talk to HR at your workplace to find out all the benefits your company offers. Your job might offer discounts or perks at major retailers, matches on contributions to 401k or stocks, or even discounts on Disney tickets!
23. Make sure you return your cans and bottles for deposit. It might seem like a lot of work to keep up with them, but if you make it part of your weekly routine you’ll be more likely to do it.
24. If something is ailing you try a home remedy or Old Wives Tale before you go to the doctor or purchase expensive over-the-counter medications. Many of these remedies really work!
25. Don’t store your credit card number on your computer, including on merchant websites. The easier it is for you to shop online, the more likely you are to do it! If you have to get up to find your credit card every time you want to make a purchase you might make less because it is a hassle.
26. Make More For Dinner – Increase the size of the recipe you are making to include 2-3 additional servings. Immediately package those up for lunch instead of waiting for them to be ‘leftover’ at the end of the meal.
27. Use Walmart Grocery Pickup – While you can’t use coupons, you can control exactly what you purchase. By making this order at home, while you are able to look at the contents of your pantry and freezer, you will save more money. Plus you will cut down on impulse shopping.
28. Make a snack bag for the car – Keep snacks on hand for the car at all times. You can either leave it in the car (if weather allows) or bring it in and out and place it with your purse. By having snacks on hand in the car, you won’t be tempted to go through a drive thru.
29. Bring bottled water when you run errands – We have a hard shell cooler that we fill with bottles of water for everyone when we are going to be out for longer than 2 hours. This way I don’t have to deal with people whining they are thirsty. Since we live local to Disney World, we always have this cooler in the van so that when we get done with the parks, we have ice cold water waiting on us.
30. Unsubscribe to avoid temptation – If you constantly fall prey to online store’s email campaigns, unsubscribe. You don’t need to know what that store has on sale everyday. It is a constant reminder of ways you can spend money.
31. Search for coupon codes – Before you make a purchase online, anywhere, Google that store’s name + coupon. So like if you are going to order pizza from Papa Johns, you would search “Papa John’s coupon” to see what is available. If it is a blog post I have made, I always do this task for you first.
32. Plan out your week – If you have errands to run during the week, try to time them with other tasks. If you know you need to stop by a specific grocery store that is near your daughter’s gymnastics class, plan to do it then instead of making a special trip. You can also run all your errands on the same day to save on gas.
33. Use cloth napkins – You will feel fancy and you’ll save money on paper products in the long run. I went years without using paper towels jus by buying a cheap package of washcloths at Walmart and keeping them in a basket under the sink.
34. Skip soda when dining out – This one should be a no brainer….but it is worth mentioning again. Quit drinking soda when you are out…even if you think the combo is a great deal. It is cheaper to get the entree and fries separate and drink water.
35. Download Store/Restaurant apps – Many apps have coupons or rewards programs available. Before you visit, download the app (even if it is in the parking lot). You might be able to save when you were just about to spend.
36. Look For Meal Deals – Restaurants often run specials for specific meals. Some do a 2/$25 or a discount kids meal day. Take a look at their website to see what they are currently offering.
37. Buy vending machine items in bulk. If you or your spouse constantly find yourself buying food or drinks from the vending machine, purchase the item you buy in bulk instead.
38. Sell your old gold and silver. I had items around the house that I no longer wore or needed. I found a local place that pays for gold and silver. I took in my items and they gave me $228! Before you sell your items make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company. You don’t want to get ripped off! – Ani
39. Babysit. Just because you are an adult, it doesn’t mean you can’t still earn money from babysitting. Offer your services to other parents and earn some cash.
40. Sell your textbooks. There are many websites where you can sell your textbooks including half.com. As soon as you finish with one, list it to make some extra money. – Regina
41. Get healthy. Our insurance provider has a program where you can log all your exercises and doctor visits. You get points for doing healthy things and the points can be cashed out for gift cards.I added $250 to my fund this way! – Sally
42. Become a substitute teacher. You will have to apply to your local county board of education and submit to a background check and fingerprinting. Some areas require you to go through a training session. Your name then goes on a list and they will call you whenever they need you. – Donya
43. Consider choosing a slower internet speed. You might not even notice a difference!
44. Instead of going out with your friends, invite them over instead. You could play a board game or watch a movie.
45. Make homemade versions of convenience foods you buy. One of my favorites is the Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup.
46. Clean the vents of your fridge, dryer, air conditioner and computers to make sure they aren’t having to use more energy to power through the dust.
47. If you are debating on going out to eat when you should cook at home, sit down and eat a banana and wait 10 minutes. Your brain might just enable you to change your mind!
48. If you are tempted to stop at a fast food restaurant or a coffee shop every morning on your way to work, drive a different route. If you aren’t driving by it, you won’t be as tempted.
49. Turn your air up one degree. You might find you are just as comfortable and you’ll save money!
50. Attempt to cut down on the time you are in the shower to save money on your water bill and your electricity (or gas bill depending on what type of water heater you have). There are actually apps to help you take a quicker shower!
Find out all the ways to save with our helpful Savings Bingo!