If you can take back $500 a month (or more) in expenses, that’s an amazing investment you can put towards paying off debt, funding your maternity leave, saving for a house deposit or for retirement.
No matter what your reason, one of the first things you’ll want to do is take a long hard look at your expenses and see which can be cut.
This mega-list will give you some ideas you might not have thought of!
1. Get cash back on your shopping
For those things you really must buy… What’s not to like about getting cash back when you shop? Nothing!
Here are some of the main online cash back providers:
I’m all about making small gains – they add up over time and they usually feel doable. Even a 2-3% cashback rate is better than nothing – that can add up to 100’s if not 1000’s over the course of a year!
Here’s a cool idea:
See if you can buy gift cards for your grocery shop at a discount through a site like Cashrewards. If you can get gift cards for 5% off, you can use them in store for an instant saving!
2. Set up a Baby Registry on Amazon (and include EVERYTHING!)
It might feel a bit weird putting EVERYTHING on your baby register, but, that way you’ve covered all angles.
Go Amazon. Put everything you intend to buy (as in you WILL definitely buy it on Amazon). Then get the completion bonus.
If you’re intending to get things secondhand, you can simply wait until you know what you’re getting.
3. Cancel Your Gym membership
Are you using your gym membership? Really?
If you are, then kudos! But, if you want to save money, why not try working out at home?
There are loads of different programs available online – you can even find a lot of workouts for free on YouTube… though I prefer to get a workout that’s been designed specifically for moms like the MUTU system. The MUTU system is great because it helps to heal diastasis recti (stomach muscle separation), so you know that the exercises you’ll find in the program are safe (though of course, you should talk to your doctor about it.)
4. Get an Amazon Prime or Amazon Family Membership
For only $99 a year, you can lock in free 1 or 2 day shipping from Amazon. Brilliant! You also get access to Prime Pantry for low priced groceries, and even Prime Now – 1 hour delivery – in certain cities for eligible products.
If you sign up for Amazon Family, you also get access to a 20% discount on subscriptions to diapers, baby food, and more!
5. Prepare lunch for the week in advance
I hate having to prep food what seems like all the time. With some simple hacks you can prep a week of lunches in advance.
- Plastic containers for the week – I like these bento style ones from Amazon to keep food neatly compartmentalized.
- Food (duh!)
What kinds of things can you make? Well, my favorite lunch components are things like:
- Roasted balsamic vegetables (just chop your veges, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and roast)
- Quinoa or brown rice
- Grilled chicken or smoked salmon
6. Meal Plan
Don’t you hate having a random assortment of food… that fits precisely ZERO recipes? This happened to me all the time before I started meal planning.
I’m super jealous of people who can just buy whatever’s seasonal or cut price and make amazing things.
But, that’s not me.
I need a plan with recipes and exact quantities. I’ve worked out that’s how I work best and I just go with it now rather than trying to push myself into something I’m just not good at.
Do you meal plan?
Meal planning can save you loads of time and money on those last minute ‘just need to get one thing’ shops that end up costing you way more than you intended.
It’ll also help you to avoid waste… especially if you do #7!
And if you need help staying inspired to stick to your plan, check out my post on meal planning with theme nights!
7. Create a ‘Leftovers’ meal day
I wish I’d started this sooner… no matter how well I meal plan I always end up with a slightly odd assortment of food at the end of the week…
One lonely zucchini (also known as a courgette), a handful of carrots, and some leftover chicken breast…
What do you do with that?
I hate wasting food.
So, now I do a leftovers meal day. Here’s how it works:
- chop up any and all vegetables
- chop up meat, if any
- can of tomatoes
- herbs and spices
- rice or pasta to serve
All I do is chop up all the veges (and meat if there’s any), mix it with a can of tomatoes, add herbs and spices and maybe cook up a side of rice or pasta. Voila!
8. Learn your grocery store’s policy on overcharging or damaged purchases
It pays to be vigilant with your groceries. Not only because you want to avoid being overcharged, but some stores have a policy where you get your item for free if it rings up over priced.
You might also want to request a refund or store credit if you find any items you buy are damaged… I recently received blueberries in an online grocery order… and… well, they were a bit squashed and bug infested. I took a photo of the damage and emailed it to customer care.
Outcome: my money back (for BOTH punnets of blueberries I’d bought) and a store credit of equal value. I ended up getting about $10.
9. Shop for your groceries online
There’s a little bit of debate about whether grocery stores inflate prices slightly online as compared to in store. I’m not going to weigh in on that, however, I 100% stand behind online grocery shopping as a way to cut your expenses.
- you don’t have family members ‘helpfully’ adding things you don’t want/need to buy to your cart.
- you don’t have the temptation of things you don’t need all around the store.
- you can shop from the comfort of your own home, rather than trying to fit it into your busy schedule that might mean you shop hungry, tired, or stressed which contributes to overspending.
- depending on which store you go through you might find you get some pretty cool perks – for example, you might get free sample size products, occasional substitutions of pricier brands, or mistakes in your favor.
I shop at Woolworths Online here in Australia and I’ve had free samples, substitutions, been told that something was out of stock (so weren’t charged for it) only to find it in my grocery bags (after I’d already gone and picked it up elsewhere… doh!), and the best one: buying a $10 leg of lamb (weight 1kg) and ending up with a 1.5kg one, for no extra charge!
10. Clean with vinegar and baking soda
Go green! And cheap.
Vinegar and baking soda are great natural cleaners.
Here are some ways you can use them:
- remove stains and odors from cups and containers
- remove crayon marks from walls(!)
- use vinegar in your dishwasher to keep your glassware sparkly
- use vinegar and baking soda to unclog a drain
There are so many more ways to use vinegar and baking soda! Check out this post for more ideas.
11. Go meatless on Mondays (or any other day of the week)
Meat is expensive. Going meat free one (or more) times per week can save you a lot over the course of a year.
There are also other reasons to go meatless:
- it’s healthy for you to give meat a break – it helps reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and stroke.
- it’s good for the environment – livestock farming is very resource intensive compared to fruits and vegetables.
If you’re not quite ready to go fully meatless, here’s one option for you to bulk out your meat so you’re actually using less:
Take one package of ground beef and divide it into two. (Put one in the freezer for next time).
Proceed to make spaghetti bolognaise or taco mince and add one can of rinsed and drained lentils to the mix. You won’t even notice. Trust me.
These days I divide a kilo of mince into 3 portions. It goes so much further and is better for our budget and our health!
12. Stop paying for Cable, Netflix or Stan (or share a subscription)
Think very carefully about paying for cable, Netflix or Stan.
The convenience is nice, but those monthly fees add up.
Love your streaming, and can’t fathom giving it up?
One way you can make it cheaper is to share your subscription with a family member. For example, my sister-in-law shares her Netflix screens with my niece. Winner!
13. Establish a capsule wardrobe
I don’t know about you but momlife put a serious crimp in my stylish ways. (Wait… who am I kidding, I had no stylish ways!)
Between pregnancy pounds, breastfeeding, and late nights, early mornings… everything gets blended together. Who can bother putting together an outfit? It’s only going to get puked on, leaked on, or worse. And if it doesn’t have easy boob access and isn’t comfortable to sleep in… I’m not going there.
What worked for me (seeing as most of my clothes didn’t fit) was creating a mini capsule wardrobe.
I got the idea from Project 333 years ago, but never got around to trying it while I wasn’t pregnant.
I’m a big fan of the idea that everything in your closet should be able to match with multiple other items to create outfits. This is completely alien to how I’ve ever shopped before which was always ‘it’s-pretty-must-have-it’ and ‘oooh-it’s-shiny!’ Literally. I would buy things based on how pretty and shiny they were. #headdesk
Basics are now my favorite thing.
How does a capsule wardrobe save you money?
- You buy less things you won’t/don’t wear.
- You get full value and use out of the clothes you do wear (cost per wear goes down).
- Looking put together does wonders for your mental health (not kidding.)
How to create your own capsule wardrobe? Try this simple one:
(Doh – the Pinterest widget builder is broken – will update asap!)
14. Color Your Own Hair
Have you ever tried to color your own hair? I’ll admit here… I don’t do it myself…
But that’s only because my hubby is an amazing champion and does it for me!
All you need to do is buy a packet of permanent/semi-permanent color from the store and follow the instructions on the packet. You’ll save a motza compared to getting your color done at a salon.
15. Get your hair cut by a student hairdresser
Is there a hairdressing school in your town? If so, this can be an amazing option for getting your hair cut (and colored if you want) at a low low price.
You can also look for ads on Craigslist or Gumtree for hairdressing students seeking hair models.
This works best if you’re willing to be a little adventurous with your hair style.
16. Make frugal meals
Frugal meals? Sounds boring, right? Wrong!
Frugal meals don’t have to be boring or full of carby padding.
Here are a few tips:
- get produce as cheaply as possible – you might discover a local farmer’s market, or you might live near farmland
- shop for markdowns
- use lots of vegetables, lentils, and beans to stretch your meals further
Check out Cooking on a Bootstrap by Jack Munroe for more recipes developed while Jack was living below the poverty line.
17. Stock up on meat while cheap
If you’re lucky enough to come across BOGO sales on meat… stock up (and do it for me too!)
I’m in Australia. We never have BOGO sales on meat. I’m jealous.
Meat is the biggest expense in most grocery budgets… so if you can save here, you’re doing well.
Other ways you might be able to save money on meat is by buying in bulk. You might have the option of buying a whole animal direct from a farmer or a butcher. If you don’t have enough storage space, you could go in with another family.
18. Get a relatively new deep freeze for stockpiling meat and freezer meals
Having a stash of meat bought on sale you’ll be able to spend far less on your grocery bill each week.
Add in freezer meals… and you’ll be in a great position to have a no-spend week!
Now this is one area where you’ll want to spend a little extra, to save yourself money in the long run. Newer appliances tend to be more energy efficient than older ones, so get a deep freeze that’s fairly new (if not brand new)
19. Make freezer meals
Freezer meals are amazing! They’ll also save you tons of cash.
Firstly, you can buy up big on items that are extremely cheap and make them into meals to eat in the future.
Secondly, having meals on hand means you’re less likely to want to eat out.
Thirdly, having your freezer meals premade means you won’t need to duck to the store to get one or two extra ingredients.
Check out our post on freezer meals: 31 Freezer Dinners for new moms
20. Practice the art of regifting
This one might be particularly relevant this close to Christmas…
If you don’t like the gift you got – regift it elsewhere! You could regift to:
- or donate it to your local church.
Even if you do enjoy your gift, you can reuse the packaging!
If you’re careful with unwrapping your gifts, you can reuse the wrapping paper. You can also reuse gift bags and boxes and decorative stuff like ribbons and rosettes!
21. Don’t buy toys new
Toys! I don’t know about you, but my house is over run. They’re multiplying somehow…
Here’s the thing with toys though:
- you don’t need to buy them new.
- you can often buy a whole box of second-hand toys for the price of one new Fisher-Price electronic whizzbang toy.
- you’ll probably find yourself receiving a whole lot of toys as gifts for birthdays and holidays
- kids sometimes love a toy to bits for a few days… and then never touch it again
22. Consider Joining a Toy Library Instead
Toy libraries are a great way to minimize your at-home clutter and let your child experience a wide range of different toys (without the cost of buying them outright).
Collaborative consumption at its best!
23. Air Seal Your Home
But, isn’t fresh air a good thing? Well, this largely depends on your climate… and how your house is heated/cooled.
If you’re using a thermostat, air leakage causes your thermostat to work harder to keep the temperature even.
Air sealing your home can help to lower your power bill because the temperature will stay even without your thermostat having to work to balance it.
24. Match Your Thermostat to The Outside Temperature (As Much As You Can Stand)
Comfort is nice… but did you know that shifting your thermostat even 1 degree can save you a load of money on your energy bill?
The closer your thermostat setting to the outdoor temperature the less hard your thermostat will have to work, which means the more money you’ll save.
If you’re not ready to go cold turkey (hah!), try making the shift gradually one degree at a time.
25. Work Out How Much Money You Need to Put Away For Your Bills Monthly
This is the best way to avoid nasty surprises. Though it shouldn’t really be a surprise… insurance and registration, energy, water, all those bills come as scheduled each and every year.
Here’s what I’ve started doing recently:
- add up all our bills to get an annual figure
- divide that by 12 so I know how much money I need to set aside each month
- set up a direct debit to put the money in a holding account until the right time to pay
To make sure this actually happens I’ve set up a direct debit to take that money out as soon as it hits our account and it goes to a mortgage offset account waiting for the right time to pay.
26. Use a Mortgage Offset Account
Following on… offset accounts are awesome!
Have you ever looked at the amount of interest you get on your savings account? Tiny, right?
Now, tell me what’s your mortgage interest rate? Let me guess, it’s much higher.
So… don’t you think your money would be better spent in your mortgage decreasing the amount of interest you pay rather than earning you a couple of extra dollars?
Does that make sense?
But you still want to be able to access that money when you need to which is why offset accounts are so awesome. Basically the account sits next to your mortgage, but it isn’t your mortgage. It’s a normal transaction account.
*Financial disclaimer – I am not a financial professional or an advisor. This is just what I’m doing.
27. Use a Credit Card
You either love them or you hate them.
If you’re currently in credit card debt, forget this one. It’s too dangerous.
There are a couple of ways you can use your credit card cleverly:
- do it for the rewards – I often use my store credit card and I get reward points. I usually let these accumulate and use them when I buy clothes for my boy. I almost never have to pay for his clothes! It’s great.
- keep your pay in a mortgage offset account and use your credit card for all expenses each month, at the end of the month pay off your credit card. This saves you in interest because you have more money in your mortgage account for longer.
Tread with caution with this one. Only do this if you can, will, and do pay your card off immediately. If you get slugged with interest or fees it’s immediately not worth it.
Oh, and of course you’re best to get a card with no annual fee.
28. Unplug your electronics
Electronics use a little bit of energy even when switched off. Unplug them when you’re not using them to save just that little bit more.
29. Bike or moped to work
Do you (or hubby) need to use the car to get to work? Can you try using a bicycle or moped instead?
My hubby uses an electric bike to get to work. It’s so much faster than sitting in traffic, and it’s also easier than peddling under your own power (especially if you don’t have showers at work).
You can get one of these conversion kits from Amazon or talk to your local bike shop.
30. Switch to energy efficient lights
Energy efficient light bulbs use less energy and will save you money on your power bill. They also tend to last longer so you won’t need to keep replacing them as often.
31. Do free activities together as a family
It’s easy to get into a rut with family activities.
Here are some simple ideas:
> picnic at the park.
> beach day.
> go for a walk or a hike in a National Park or public walking trail.
32. Employ your immediate family as babysitters to go on dates – choose free activities as a bonus saver!
Babysitting is expensive… and I personally find it hard to trust a stranger with my precious little one.
If you’ve got a big family, ask them if they can babysit for you. You might even be able to arrange a once a month date night.
33. Make your own cleaning products
There are loads of recipes out there for cleaning products – from oven cleaner to glass cleaner, floor cleaner to carpet cleaner… Uncle Google has you covered!
You can make your own cleaning products from all kinds of ingredients you’d easily have in your home already:
- bicarb soda
- essential oils
- Washing Powder
- Lemon… etc…
34. Wash In Cold Water
Did you know that washing in cold water can save you on your electricity bill? Up to 90% of a washing machine’s energy use is from heating water. Yikes!
But, don’t you need hot water to get your clothes clean?
“Technological advances, in both machines and detergents (not just the cold-specific kind), have made cold-water washing a highly effective option,” clothing-care expert Steve Boorstein told Real Simple.
You’ll probably save $40+ per year on your energy bill by washing in cold water rather than hot… so it’s not quite a candidate for my 52 Ways to Save $100 a Year series... but if there’s one thing I’m learning it’s that small savings add up big over time.
35. Start a garden
Growing your own food is a great way to save a little bit of money here and there – depending on your skill!
I’m a terrible gardener but even I was able to grow oodles of cherry tomatoes, snow peas, and kale. There you go! That’s almost a whole salad. For a little while when I wasn’t working, I’d simply go out to the garden pick some of each thing and eat it with eggs for breakfast and lunch. So healthy!
Another thing to try is looking for a community garden in your area. You may be able to get a plot there or help out with the garden in exchange for produce.
36. Barter skills with neighbours
Do you have a skill? Does your neighbour have a skill you need? Offer to barter with them!
Here are some ideas:
- car detailing
- baking bread, cookies, cakes
- cake decorating
- floral arranging
- trade work – mechanical, electrical, buidling… etc.
- lawn mowing
- dog walking
37. Cut your grocery bill and make more things from scratch
It costs a lot of money to buy pre-packaged things.
You can often make quantities of the same stuff from scratch! And it’s usually healthier to boot!
Some things to try making from scratch:
- Taco seasoning
- Herb mixes
- Liquid Stock or stock paste
- Cakes, biscuits, cookies
- Oatmeal mixes
38. Find a local farmer’s market or stall near you
Shopping at your local farmer’s market can save you a ton. Or if you’re lucky enough to live near farms or hobby farms, you might find the farmer has a stall out front of their home where you can buy produce on the honesty system.
39. Track everything you spend
Yuck! Who likes doing this? Not me.
But, it’s a great first step for starting a budget. When it’s all spelled out in black and white you’ll see where your biggest spending areas are and where you’ll be able to make the most gains.
Once you’ve got this done, you’ll be able to compare the amount you’re spending to your income and see if you need to cut back even more.
40. Use coupons
Do you coupon? I don’t. But that doesn’t mean you can’t!
Some tips for couponing:
- don’t be tricked into buying things you don’t need just because there’s a coupon.
- don’t use coupons for unhealthy stuff. Your health is your biggest asset, investment, and saving. Don’t jeopardise it.
41. Make a budget
Have you set yourself a budget? That’s a great way to stop overspending.
Once you know how much you spend, and how much your family earns, you can see how much you’ve got to work with.
Some ways to stick to your budget include:
- the cash envelope system
- dividing your money into separate bank accounts for food/groceries, splurges, and bills. You should read The Barefoot Investor to learn more about that!
42. Line Dry Your Clothes
Using a dryer is a big expense. Unless you absolutely need it (hello wet, rainy, winters), line drying your clothes will save you to the tune of $200 a year.
Other benefits include:
- it’s good for the environment
- the sun naturally bleaches stains (especially on cloth diaper inserts!)
- line drying is more gentle on your clothes than machine drying.
43. Buy Second-Hand
You probably know that as soon as you drive a new car off the block it drops in value by 15% or so?
Well… the same goes for most other things that we buy.
Especially baby items!
Baby items are often only gently used, so the difference between second-hand and used is often only the price tag and that weird factory fresh smell.
Buying a second-hand car will save you thousands.
Buying second-hand baby gear will save you hundreds (maybe even thousands!).
Here are some other things that are good to get secondhand:
- your car
- clothing (buy at the thrift store or consignment shop)
- baby items
- furniture like tv units, tables, and closets.
- sporting gear…
44. Recycle everything
Make everything you buy do double duty.
Reuse containers, packaging, boxes.
- use large coffee jars to store nuts, oats, or flour
- use egg cartons for seedling planters
- use boxes for kids crafts
45. Start a compost for your garden
You can even recycle food scraps by starting a compost. You can start a compost heap in an old bin or drum, or get a fancy tumbling composter like this one to make your compost decompose faster.
You could even feed your food scraps to worms by starting a worm farm.
You can then use the compost and worm poop to fertilize your garden – saves you money on fertilizers!
46. Explore telecommuting options
If you work fulltime (or even part time), is telecommuting an option in your job?
You’ll save because:
- you won’t need to use your car which is less wear and tear, fuel, parking, and tolls
- if you use public transport, you’ll save your fare
- you don’t need to get dressed into work attire (so you may need less work wear overall)
Can you or your hubby carpool it to work?
Every day you don’t use your car saves you on maintenance, fuel, parking, and tolls.
48. Embrace minimalism
We all have too much stuff. Most stuff is pretty cheap and we get used to having a disposable income.
But, take stock of what you have and what you feel like you want/need. Do you really need it?
Recommended reading: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
49. Downsize your life
This is a pretty extreme example… but if you’re used to living large on two incomes, you might consider downsizing.
Can you move to a smaller home? Moving sucks. But, a smaller house usually means a smaller mortgage, energy bill, and maintenance.
Can you sell one or more cars? If you can get by with only one, you’ll save on registration, insurance and maintenance. That adds up to a lot! We moved to one car while I was pregnant and we saved over $500 because of it.
50. Accept hand-me-downs
I loved getting huge bags of clothes as a child. It gave me the chance to try on new things in different styles I’d never worn before. One time I totally got a set of jodhpurs, white button-down shirt and floral vest. I loved it and wore it everywhere. Yes, I looked like I was about to go do a horseriding competition… so what?
Ask around your friends and family. Some might have huge stashes of clothes that they were keeping ‘just in case’. My husband’s friend had a baby clothes library that she used to loan out to people. The only clothes I needed to buy from birth to age 3 has been a few nice things (for me mostly!) and swimming clothes! And… most of those things I bought at Target using my credit card rewards points.
51. Try free methods of pain relief before using drugs
This goes for mommies and daddies too!
If you have a headache/aches and pains, try using natural methods of pain relief before reaching for the Tylenol.
- use an icepack
- or use a heatpack
- for teething, use teething toys and make breast milk popsicles – you can get popsicle moulds like this one, or use a pacifier with a cap.
52. Make your own baby food
Making your own baby food is a relatively easy (and way healthier) alternative to buying tiny pots and squeezy bottles of processed food.
You can do it by simply steaming fruits or vegetables or minced meat and mashing it. Or using a stick blender to mix it up.
Or you can get a purpose-built baby food maker like this one. It’s a little pricey, but if you can find it under $75 it’s a great deal! (Why not put it on your baby registry?)
53. Do baby-led weaning (no processing required!)
Want to make weaning even easier? Do baby led weaning.
Basically, with baby led weaning you just eat normal food and let your little one share with you.
I like this option because it’s minimal fuss, no stress.
54. Check out the bargain and seconds racks for great deals on clothes
You can often find some amazing clothes on bargain racks or even seconds. Take a moment to find out why something is a second – it could be as simple as a missing button! That’s an easy fix.
If you learn how to repair clothes yourself – you can pick up some great deals!
55. Be your own repairman
Don’t pay for what you can do yourself. Learn how to do simple repair jobs at home, using the power of YouTube!
56. Learn how to do simple sewing
Sewing is a great skill to have up your sleeve.
If you can sew, you can:
- replace lost buttons
- hem pants to the right length
- mend seams or tears
- take clothes in
- make clothes for your little ones – you can even make simple ‘pillow case’ dresses out of actual pillow cases or old sheets. Buy them from the thrift store to save even more!
57. Buy Unwanted Gift Cards
Did you know you can buy gift cards? Sometimes for waaaay under the face value of the card.
Site like Cardpool.com give you discounts on thousands of different retailer’s gift cards – think Walmart, grocery stores, and Target.
58. Get rid of your landline
Do you pay for your landline telephone?
Do you ever use it?
So why pay for it?
If you can get rid of your landline phone as an expense – do it! You can get by using your mobile phone or even Skype.
59. Negotiate Your Bills
When you get a renewal notice for your regular bills, contact them and ask them for a discount. You’d think that customer loyalty would be rewarded. But, it’s not.
Instead, most companies save their best rewards to woo new customers. So, make sure you check out what kind of deals and discounts your company is offering to their new customers.
You can do this with your phone, energy, gas, bank and insurances. Don’t forget to ask for a better rate on your mortgage!
60. Use Groupon to find deals on outings
You can get some great deals on Groupon for outings and gifts ranging from:
- international holiday
- beauty treatments
- 5 course meals
61. Buy Your Smartphone Outright (or Secondhand) and Get a Cheap Prepaid Plan
Getting rid of recurring payments is the best way to free up your budget and save a motza.
It’s easy to ignore monthly payments because they seem small. But over time, they add up!
Consider your smartphone – chances are you’re on some kind of plan that includes the shiny new device (mine’s an iPhone 7). You’re paying a lot per month, maybe as much as $100. If you’re on a 24 month contract that’s $2400.
Why not buy your phone outright? You could even buy a secondhand phone for a huge saving.
Then, you can get a cheap prepaid or month to month plan.
62. Go No Spend
The ultimate challenge to saving money – have a no spend day/week/weekend/or month!
Work your way into it by designating one day a week to be a no spend day. Then once you get used to that, try a weekend. Then a week… you’ll be going no spend for a month before you know it.
63. Replace your beauty treatments with DIY options
Do you regularly make appointments for different beauty treatments? Like manicures, waxing, tanning…
You might’ve given some up for the duration of your pregnancy and look forward to starting them again… but those costs add up.
Can you do these yourself?
For example, you might do your own manicure. Or use a sunless tanning lotion like this one. Or even take up waxing yourself (or go back to shaving because self-waxing is painful!)
64. Save All Your Change
A simple way to save is to put all your change away into a coin jar and never spend it. Once it’s full, take it out and count it up. You’ll be surprised how much money you’ve got!
Some variations on the theme:
- collect only coins of the highest value
- keep notes of a specific value
65. Forced Savings With Rounding
Many banks offer the ability to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the extra cents into a savings account. It adds up.
You could even try using the Acorns app to invest that money for a better retun.
66. Warby Parker’s Free Home Try on
You can get a full pair of prescription glasses for $95, plus you can try on several pairs for free!
67. Avoid ATM Fees
Don’t get hit with ATM fees. Make sure you only use your own bank’s ATMs or bank with one that doesn’t sock you with fees.
I’m with ING and they reimburse you for any ATM fees you incur.
68. Save Any Extra Cash From a Raise or a Bonus
When we get more money, it’s human nature to immediately start living within our new means… But, if you can sock away the extra cash you’ll be in a better position financially.
69. Use the Profit First System for Your Business
If you decide to start a side hustle, or have your own business already, read the book Profit First. It’ll save you a lot of headaches and costs by helping you get your finances in order.
70. Get a Water Filter for Your Tap At Home (and avoid bottled water)
Bottled water is expensive, and it also creates a lot of waste (all those bottles). Using a water filter is a greener alternative. You can go one further by using your own glass or stainless steel water bottles like these ones.
71. Make Your Own Snacks
Energy bites, popcorn, cookies, cakes… these are all inexpensively made at home. When you think about Energy bites being $3-4 a pop… well, you can see how the savings will start to rack up.
72. Get an Instant Pot
One of the biggest derailers of my budget is failing to plan dinner properly. If it gets to crunch time and I’m missing an ingredient, or was supposed to defrost some meat or soak something overnight… it all becomes too hard and pizza starts to look real good…
With an Instant Pot you can whip up a meal in a flash.
73. Plan Breakfast In Advance, And Have a Healthy Default Option
Mornings are not my thing. When I stumble out of bed in the early hours of the day, I’m not capable of making big decisions about what I should eat.
That’s why I have a default breakfast option – usually a smoothie. It’s easy. The ingredients are almost always on hand and it’s healthy.
74. Move Bank Accounts And Stop Paying Bank Fees
Are you paying account fees with your bank? If so, look for a better option. There are so many banking options available these days offering no fees and higher interest rates.
75. Stop Getting Coffee Out
A daily cup of jo ads up to an alarming amount over the course of a year. Save yourself the money and make one at home. (Save the coffees out for special occasions.)
76. Avoid Buying Dry Clean Only Clothing
I never buy clothing that requires dry cleaning. Mostly because I know that I’d wear it once and it’d sit in the bottom of my wardrobe waiting for me to remember I need to go to the dry cleaners.
And I’d probably never wear it again.
Dry cleaning is one expense you can easily live without.
77. Stop Buying Magazines
You can get all the same information (and much more) online for free. Most magazines have websites with similar articles on them too.
78. Always Pay Your Bills On Time
Avoid incurring late fees by always paying your bills on time. If you can negotiate a discount for early payment, you’re winning!
79. Don’t Buy Fabric Softener
Save your money, and the unnecessary chemical exposure.
80. Use a Quality Toothbrush and Always Floss
Your health is the most important thing you can invest in. Keeping your teeth in good shape should help you avoid thousands in dental bills.
81. Use Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers require a big upfront investment (hundreds of dollars), but they’ll save you thousands over the course of your baby’s life.
The biggest savings come when you use the same set of cloth diapers for additional little ones.
You can read more about cloth diapers here:
82. Use your Library or Borrow Books on Amazon Prime
Don’t buy books – borrow them. You can do that by going to your local library or through Amazon Prime.
83. Delay Your Purchases
So much of our buying behaviour is impulsive. We see it, therefore we want it.
Go through this thing every time you want to buy something:
- Do you need it?
- Do you want it?
- Can you borrow it?
- Do you want to maintain it for the rest of its life?
84. Clean Your Air Filters Regularly
Keep your appliances running smoothly by maintaining them well.
85. Always Take Snacks or Lunch With You
If you know you’re going to be out and about during a meal time or for several hours, take food. You’ll save money and your health by packing health snacks or a meal.
86. Always Compare unit prices/weight
Just because something looks cheaper, doesn’t mean it’s good value. It might be that it’s simply a smaller quantity (in which case you’re probably paying more per weight).
87. Make a List Before Going Shopping
And only buy what’s on the list.
88. Buy in Bulk
For a lower unit price, consider buying in bulk. If you’ve got the space to stockpile, you can save a load of money doing things this way. If you don’t, look for a local co-op you can be a part of. You can make a bulk order and then divide it.
89. Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re out of your home for several hours during the day, you don’t need your house maintained at the perfect temperature. At least until you get home. A programmable thermostat can do that.
90. Consolidate Your Debts
If you’re in debt, you don’t want the hassle of multiple repayments and interest rates to different places. Consolidate. Roll your debts into one place and make repayments on that until it’s gone.
91. Have a Movie Night At Home
If you have Amazon Prime you can stream some movies for free, or you can rent a movie for cheap from iTunes or Google Play.
92. Check gas prices on Gas Buddy
Get the best prices on gas by using Gas Buddy when you need to fill up.
93. Buy Generic Store Brand Items
You can save thousands of dollars a year switching from brand names to generic. All it takes to save $100 in a year is a $2 saving per week. That’s easy.
94. Host a Clothing Swap Meet
This is a great way to get together with your friends and share clothes you loved but didn’t quite work for your wardrobe. Or you could swap clothes that no longer fits your little ones.
95. Be Choosy And Informed Over What Higher Welfare Products You Buy
Higher welfare products are expensive… and some aren’t what they seem. Make sure you know what you’re getting – in Australia many ‘free range’ eggs aren’t what most people would consider free range. Know what you’re buying and paying extra for.
96. Price Match
Walmart is a great place to do this, as is EB Games. If you can find it cheaper, tell them and they’ll match it.
97. Shop For Your Groceries Online
From the comfort of your own home, with no time pressure or nagging children (or hubby) adding things to your cart without your noticing. Saves me a fortune!
98. Go To Free Events
Keep up with local events on Facebook, in your local newspaper and online.
99. Drink Only Water
Soda is bad for your health and your budget. Simply drink water and enjoy the savings and the health benefits.
100. Go Out to Dinner At Restaurants where Kids Eat Free
101. Go Out to Dinner on Special Deal Nights (2 for 1)
102. Buy Appliances with a Good energy Rating
103. Surround Yourself with Frugal Friends
104. Refinance Your Mortgage to Get a Better Deal
105. Eliminate Disposable Products
106. Use Daily Deal Sites
107. Shop at Aldi
108. Shop with Cash
109. Limit eating out
110. Make greeting cards at home
111. Shop the sales flyer from your grocery store
112. Visit more than one store
113. Eat from the pantry
114. Do holiday shopping after the holidays
You can pick up great discounts on Christmas trees, ornaments, and food after the Boxing Day sales.
115. Batch cooking
116. Eat What’s in Season
117. Sign up for store newsletters
You’ll get coupons and deals sent to your inbox!
118. Avoid Packaged Food
119. Search for Coupon Codes Online Before Checking Out
120. Borrow High Ticket Items You Won’t Need Often
You don’t need to own your own carpet cleaner or pressure washer – you can borrow or rent them.
121. Shop at Consignment Stores
122. Shop for Gifts Throughout the Year at Sales
123. Don’t Buy the Extended Warranty
124. Pay Attention to Your Store’s Sales Cycles
125. Eat before Grocery Shopping
If you made it this far, you deserve a gold star! Why don’t you pin it for later, so you can refer back to it and so that others can find it as well?