If you’ve just started budgeting, you’re likely spending more money in certain categories than you’d like. In fact, you might be seeking out money saving tips so you can keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.
No one is perfect with their spending, including people who have been budgeting for years. Thankfully, you can learn how to save over time by lowering the amount you spend in different budget categories over time. Start by saving just 10% off your highest categories each month and you’ll be a seasoned money saving pro in no time.
Below is a list of 101 money saving tips. Pick and choose a few tips that fit your family and your lifestyle.
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101 Money-Saving Tips
General Money Saving Tips
Sitting down and creating a budget will help you save so much money. You’ll be able to tell you where your money where to go every single month. You’ll also be able to figure out which categories you want to work on decreasing your spending. I have a free budgeting course HERE. After completing this course, you’ll have a realistic budget that will actually work for your family.
2. Create A Mini-Budget
When you blow your budget, don’t give up. You can salvage your budget and get back on track with a mini-budget. A mini-budget is a budget that will last from today until your next payday. You can learn how to create your mini-budget HERE.
3. Use the Budget Life Planner
The Budget Life Planner is a printable budget planner to help get your budget on paper. You can create your budgeting binder and finally get on track with your money.
4. Cash Envelopes
Study after study has proven that you spend less when you pay with cash overpaying with a card. When you pay with cash you feel the burn of handing over the money. The studies show that when you hand over your card, you don’t feel the same way. It’s almost emotionless. You don’t even feel it. Learn more about cash envelopes and get my free printable cash envelopes HERE.
5. Track Your Spending
Tracking your spending helps you figure out where you are bleeding money. When you create a budget, it helps you create a plan for your money. Tracking your expenses tells you how you are doing with your money plan. This is perfect to help you determine where you’re going over budget and create a plan to stop overspending. You can track your expenses on paper or your favorite app.
You Need a Budget (also known as YNAB), is a popular budgeting app to help you create a budget and track your expenses. They have a ton of great features like goal tracking, reports of your spending, and personal support. It is a paid app, but you can grab your free 34-day trial HERE.
Quicken is another budgeting app for you to use. You can download it onto your computer and use the app on your phone. This is the software I’ve personally used for years. You can grab your copy of Quicken HERE.
8. Create Money Goals
Creating money goals helps you reach your financial dreams. You can set and track your money goals on this cute free printable HERE. Having a visual for your goals will increase your motivation to keep going.
9. No Spend Challenge
A no-spend challenge will help you reach your money goals faster. You can do a no-spend challenge for a time frame of your choice- a weekend, week, or month. Or another time frame if you want. During the no spend challenge, you cannot spend money on impulse purchases or items that aren’t necessities.
10. Start An Emergency Fund.
Emergency funds are extremely important. You can set it up for whatever amount you want. I recommend 3 months of expenses in your emergency fund. You can find all of your emergency fund answers HERE. Having an emergency fund helps you save money because you don’t have to go into debt for every single emergency.
11. Automatically Transfer To Savings
When you automatically transfer money from checking to savings every payday, you don’t even miss the money. Plus you are making saving money a priority!
12. Avoid Late Fees
Stop paying late fees. They are like a high-interest loan. In the Budget Life Planner, there is a page for keeping track of your monthly bills and whether or not they’re paid. You don’t have to pay all of these late fees anymore. You can also set up your bills on auto-debit to stop the late fees.
13. Setup Sinking Funds
Sinking funds help you save up for large purchases. Instead of taking money from your emergency fund or cash flowing it out of your budget every single month, you can just pull the money from your sinking fund.
14. Save Your Coins
As you are paying cash for purchases and getting change back, don’t spend it. Instead, save up all of your change and cash it out at one time. You will be surprised how fast it adds up.
Money-Saving Tips for Restaurants
15. Budget For Restaurant
You can still go out to eat on a budget and while you’re paying off debt. If you want to go out once a week, put it in the budget. Where restaurants get out of hand is when you skip your meal plan and just go out to eat unplanned.
16. Drink Water
Skipping drinks when you go out to eat can save you $3 or more per person every single time. Just switch to water (most of the time it’s free) and you can save a ton of money!
17. Use Coupons
Use coupons when you go out to eat or order takeout.
How to get restaurant coupons:
- On the meal delivery apps (like a free delivery)
- Store emails
- Store loyalty programs
- Groupon (deal website that sells $50 gift cards for $25 to a restaurant as an example)
- Restaurant’s website
- Restaurant’s app
18. Join The Mailing List
If you sign up for email offers on the restaurant’s website, they will often email you coupons and promos (like on your birthday).
19. Skip The Appetizer
Skipping the appetizer can save you an average of $12 just by not eating it (unless you’re eating it for your meal). Most of the time, they’re cheaper than meals so they can save you money in that scenario.
20. Skip Dessert
A dessert can cost you $5 or more. It’s even more expensive if multiple people order a dessert!
21. Stop Eating Takeout For Lunch
When you go out and get food for lunch, you’re spending upwards of $10 or so per meal. If you do it 3-4 times a week, you could be spending $120 a month just for lunch.
Money-Saving Tips for Groceries
22. Stock Up On Items
If an item is on sale, then stock up for it. The rule of thumb I follow before buying extra is if I was out of this item, would I run to the store right away to get more or would I wait? If I would wait- I don’t get it. If I would run out and get the item- I buy it at the stock-up price.
23. Meal Plan
Creating a meal plan can save you so much time and money. You don’t have to figure out what to eat right before dinner. Plan ahead of time and already have all of the ingredients on hand before starting to cook. Learn more about meal planning HERE or sign-up for your free meal planning printable below.
24. Shop With A List
Never go to the store without a list. You spend way less when you shop with a list and are less likely to toss several impulse buys into your cart.
25. Use Coupons
Using coupons for food can save you a ton of money. Most coupons are digital these days. Simply download them from your grocery store’s app. You don’t even have to clip them, just use them at the cash register.
26. Buy In Season Produce
Buying produce in season will help save you a ton of money. You can pay almost double when you buy out-of-season produce.
27. Be Strategic With Meal Planning
Planning your meal plans around what’s on sale is an amazing way to save. Sometimes, meat can go for 30% off or more which is a huge saving for your food budget.
28. Buy Frozen Foods
If you want to buy a fruit or veggie out of season, your cheapest bet is to buy it from the frozen food section.
29. Grocery Pickup
Grocery pickup can save you a ton of time and money. Simply add the food into your cart in the grocery app and set a pickup time and you’re good to go. This also helps reduce impulse spending while you’re in the store.
30. Total Up While You Shop
When you’re in the store, calculate how much you’re spending. If you go over, you will know immediately and you can decide if you want to put certain things back on the shelf and wait on purchasing them.
31. Stick To The List
Don’t get anything other than what’s on your grocery list.
32. Use A Cash Envelope
Using a cash envelope for groceries helps you spend a lot less. Studies have shown that when you swipe a card, you don’t consciously feel it, but when you hand over cash, the reality sinks in more.
33. Shop At A Discount Store
Shopping at a discount grocery store like Aldi will help you save without all of the other tricks. Everything is affordable. They pretty much only sell store brands which means everything is at a low cost.
34. Buy Generic Brands
Buying generic brands can save you about 30% over buying name brands. Some stores will actually give you your money back if you don’t think the store brand tastes good or works.
35. Bring Your Own Bag
Bringing your own bag can save you some money at some stores. Aldi requires you to bring your own bags. If you use their bags, you have to pay for them. Target and some other stores give you $0.05 off your total for each regular bag you use over the plastic bags. Just ask your store if they offer reusable bag credits on your order.
36. Don’t Shop While Hungry
If you show while hungry, you’re more likely to buy overspend and put more items in your cart. When you’re hungry, everything looks good and you can’t help but add it to your cart.
37. Go Meatless Once A Week
Going meatless for 1 meal a week can save you $5 – $10 a week. That’s $20 – $40 per month. That’s a great savings and there are plenty of meatless recipes on Pinterest that are delicious and your family will love.
38. Shop Alone
Leave your other family members at home, especially if they are impulse shoppers. They can add things to the cart and make you go over budget.
Money-Saving Tips for Shopping
Honey is a free Google Chrome extension that helps you check for deals on websites. You just install it (for free) and let it go to work. When you go to hit the checkout button, Honey will scan coupon codes to see if any can be applied to your order. It’s free to use and it’s a no brainer when shopping online. You literally don’t have to do anything but install it and checkout. That’s it. The average Honey user saves you $126 a year just for installing the extension.
Dosh is a cashback app. Not only is it free, but you’ll earn money back on purchases you make. All you have to do is to upload your credit and debit card numbers to the app and that’s it. It’s a totally safe and encrypted app- don’t worry. It’s free to join and doesn’t require any maintenance.
41. Skip The Cart
When you shop without a cart, you’re likely to spend less because you don’t want to hold all of that stuff going through the store. You have less room in your hands than you do in the cart. It’s what I do every single time I shop at Target.
42. Leave The Impulse Spenders At home
If you are prone to making impulse purchases, don’t shop with other impulse spenders. Leave them at home. They will talk you into spending more than you intended. This includes shopping with friends too.
43. Delete Your Card Info
Most sites save your debit card information for you to be able to shop online easier and faster. Don’t save them. They will make it more tempting to make impulse purchases. If they are on any sites, delete them. When your debit card number isn’t saved, that means you have to get up, go across the room and grab your card, which gives you time to think about the decision to purchase. This might even stop you from the purchase.
44. Shop With Cash
Shopping with cash creates a boundary for how much you can actually spend. When you hand over that cash something psychological happens and you feel it. You feel the money leaving your hands. You can swipe your card and purchase something without any feelings or even feeling the weight of the purchase.
45. Allow Spending Money
Give yourself (and your spouse) personal spending money. This can be a category you add to your budget. When you actually plan to spend money on whatever you want (within the budget), you don’t feel like you’re missing out on something. You don’t go crazy and blow the budget because you never feel like you have any money to spend.
46. Delete Shopping Apps
Delete your favorite shopping apps from your phone…especially if you tend to mindlessly scroll and hit “add to cart.” Remember, you can always go to their website to purchase. You don’t have to have the app to buy something from your favorite store.
47. Cancel Amazon Prime.
If you’re addicted to Amazon, delete the Amazon app from your phone and cancel your Amazon Prime membership. This will save you money in fees and you’ll be less likely to overspend.
48. Cancel Unused Subscriptions
Print out your bank statement or check your budgeting app to see all of the subscriptions and memberships you’re a part of. Delete all of the ones you aren’t using anymore.
Money-Saving Tips for Clothing
49. Have A Capsule Wardrobe
Building a capsule wardrobe will save you time and money. You will only have clothes in your closet that you’ll actually wear and you won’t be blowing all of your money on clothes you might not even need. A capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe that has several matching pieces and different ways to wear the same piece of clothing. Have you seen Pinterest posts about 10 ways to wear a scarf or black leggings? These are the kind of things you find in capsule wardrobes. They’re versatile pieces that go with everything.
50. Shop Thrift Stores
Shopping for clothing at thrift stores could save you a ton of money on clothes. Just be sure to know your prices before purchasing to make sure the item is actually a deal.
51. Host A Clothing Swap Party
Invite your friends together and encourage each person to bring clothes they no longer wear that are still in good condition. Put all the clothes together and exchange with someone else! Everyone could walk away with a new outfit or two.
52. Shop At Consignment Stores
Shopping at consignment stores is amazing to save money too. If you have a seasonal consignment shop in your area that isn’t open year-round you can at least go on half-off day and save a ton of money buying clothes. Some of the items still have the tag on them.
53. Shop Clearance Rack
When you walk into the retail store, immediately walk to the clearance rack before looking at anything else. The thing you’re looking for might just be on the clearance rack and save you a ton of money.
54. Find A Dupe
If you want to buy something more than your budget, just Google “Look-Alike (Item Name)”. Chances are there is a cheaper version out there, you just need to find it. For example, if you want AirPods, but don’t want to spend that kind of money just Google “Look-Alike AirPods” or “Wireless earbuds closest to AirPods”. These should pop up some items for you. Always check Amazon reviews for the item to see if it’s worth purchasing.
55. Get Store Coupons
Go to your favorite store’s website and sign up for their loyalty program and email list. They will send you free coupons. For example, DSW sends you a birthday coupon for $5 off a purchase during your birthday month.
56. Shop The Sales
Know your favorite store’s sale cycle. You can even ask the employees when they do markdowns for a particular department. They will let you know and you can just always shop for clothes at Kohl’s on Tuesdays or whenever their markdown day is.
Money-Saving Tips for Utilities
57. Use Energy Efficient Appliances
Energy-efficient appliances can use about 10 – 50% less energy. I don’t recommend going out and buying appliances just to get energy ones unless your appliances stop working.
58. Switch To LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than regular light bulbs. You can buy a multipack for cheaper if you’re looking to replace all of the bulbs in your house.
59. Program Your Thermostat
Some studies have shown programmable thermostats can save up to 12% on your energy bill. Just check with your local HVAC person and they can install one for you or guide you in purchasing one.
60. Use Rechargeable Batteries
Using rechargeable batteries can help save you money and the environment. They pay for themselves after 6 uses and can last for 2-3 years.
61. Try Dryer Balls
Dryer balls are a one-time purchase and can last for 1,000 loads of laundry. These will save you from buying dryer sheets and fabric softener.
62. Replace Your Air Filter
A good rule of thumb is to replace your air filter every 30 days. A lot of people forget to change these out (myself included). Put a reminder on your phone if you need to. They help your unit run more efficiently and last longer.
63. Run Appliances When They Are Full
Running an appliance (dishwasher and/or washing machine) when they’re full will save you money on energy costs and on cleaning products.
64. Lower Your Water Heater Temperature
Lowering the temperature on your water heater by 20 degrees will save up to 10%.
65. Turn Off The Water When You’re Brushing Your Teeth
There isn’t any need to have the water on while you’re brushing your teeth. Leaving the water on while you brush your teeth wastes about 4 gallons each time.
66. Install A Low-Flow Showerhead
Using a low-flow showerhead can save up to 60% water when you’re taking a shower.
Money-Saving Tips for Transportation
67. Carpool, Ride A Bike, Or Walk
To save money on gas, you can carpool with coworkers, ride a bike, or walk to work.
68. Use The Right Gas
Using the recommended octane level of gas in your owner’s manual will help your car run more efficiently.
69. Keep Up Routine Maintenance
Keeping up the routine maintenance on your vehicle extends the life of your car. Make sure you’ve always got proper tire pressure, keep your tires maintained, oil changed, air filter changed, and any other routine maintenance recommended by your mechanic. You can also check your car’s owner’s manual for recommended maintenance as well.
Money-Saving Tips for Travel/ Vacation
70. Use Groupon To Save On Travel
You can save a ton of money on travel using Groupon. Some coupons save you up to 50%.
71. Vacation During Off Season
When you vacation during the off season, it reduces your largest expense (lodging).
72. Use Airbnb
Airbnb is a great way to save on lodging while on vacation. Simply search for the dates and city in their app and compare prices. They are significantly cheaper than hotels in the area and often nicer & larger too!
73. Go Camping
Camping is a super cheap travel idea for a family. We love going camping as a family a several times a year. It’s so nice to get out in nature and leave our busy life behind for a few days.
74. Split The Cost Of Lodging
When you travel with friends, you can easily split the cost of lodging to make it cheaper for everyone. Just get a 2 bedroom condo instead of one and split the room cost down the middle.
75. Save With A Sinking Fund
Create an amount you want to spend on vacation and start a sinking fund for it. Just divide up the costs with the number of times before you leave and that’s how much you need to put away each month.
Money-Saving Tips for Kids’ Stuff
76. Shop Consignment
Shopping at consignment sales can save you a ton of money on kid’s clothes. I don’t know about you, but it seems like every time I turn around, one of them needs bigger clothes.
77. Shop At Stores That Offer Coupons
Sign up for emails from your favorite stores. They will send you coupons and sales offers.
78. Host A Clothing Swap
You can have a clothing swap for kids too. Just get together with your friends, bring the clothes your kids can’t wear anymore to give away and get clothes to fit your children.
79. Create A Capsule Wardrobe For Children
You can have a capsule wardrobe for kids too. Kids grow so much that it makes it much easier to buy for them. And the clothes all match so you don’t have to worry about fighting over mismatched clothes.
80. Buy Larger Clothes During Off Season
Go to sales at the end of the season and buy the next size up for your kids for next year. Just do this with caution because they may surprise you and grow two sizes from now until then.
81. Separate Children’s Clothes
You can use two different color hangers for your kids’ clothes. One for play clothes and one for nice clothes. That way there isn’t any more confusion about your son wearing his nice shirts to play in the mud.
82. Share Babysitting Services
If you and your friend both need a babysitter from time to time, just swap services. You watch her kids today and she can watch your kids next week. You can save a ton of money on a babysitter this way.
83. Buy Second Hand
Buy larger items second hand. If there is an expensive toy your child wants or anything that costs a lot, just buy it used (in good condition). Check Facebook Marketplace for amazing deals!
Money-Saving Tips for Impulse Spending
84. Unfollow Accounts That Tempt You To Spend
Unfollow any accounts that tempt you into impulse spending and blowing your budget. Ultimately, your budget is more important. You can unfollow without unfriending on Facebook too. Your bank account will thank you.
85. Pay With Cash
Paying with cash for anything will help you spend less than paying with a card. Take the top 2 categories you spend the most on and start using cash envelopes to pay for those purchases. You can learn more about cash envelopes and grab your free ones HERE.
86. Take Stop the Swipe
Stop the Swipe is a course I designed to help you with overspending. After taking the course, you’ll be able to identify your bad money habits causing you to spend and how to resist the urge to blow your budget. You can find more information about stopping impulse spending HERE.
87. Know Your Triggers
Learn what triggers cause you to overspend and how to resist them. I teach you exactly how to do this in Stop the Swipe.
88. Wait Before Buying
When you want to make an unplanned purchase, wait at least 24 hours before deciding to go all in and purchase the item. This will help you figure out if you really “need” the item or you just really “want” it.
Shopkick is a free app where you scan things while you’re in the store shopping. After you scan so many points, you can redeem them for gift cards. You can sign-up for free HERE and use code ALLISON to earn 25 free kicks. You can also earn 25 additional quicks by doing a few quick things under the discover tab.
90. Store Apps
Most stores have apps now. They also have coupons in their app to help you save money when making purchases in their store. Ex: Target, Publix, Kroger, Walmart, etc. You can also get easy access to the sales flyers through the app too.
Ibotta is a free digital coupon app. You just click redeem on the coupon and buy in the store. Scan the receipt after purchase and you can redeem your coupons. They can be deposited into your account after you reach the minimum payout.
Cash Back Sites & Apps
Rakuten is a free cashback website. You sign into your account and then click on the store and make your purchase. You can get a rebate on your purchase no matter how much money you spend. Just spend and Rakuten will calculate your rebate for you.
93. Fetch Rewards
Fetch Rewards is a free app that pays you to scan your receipts. Plus you can redeem for free gift cards.
Swagbucks is a free website that gives you points called Swagbucks for doing certain actions. You can redeem them for gift cards. Swagbucks can be earned shopping online, watching videos, searching the web, and answering surveys.
Money-Saving Tips for Entertainment
95. Search Groupon
You can find a ton of great deals for entertainment on Groupon. You buy something (like a gift card or movie tickets) for less than face value. Ex: Buy a birthday party package at XYZ Trampoline Park for $250 instead of $499 or Buy 4 movie tickets for the new Transformers Movie for $25.
96. Check For $1 Movies
Some local theaters still have $1 movies. It’s usually older movies at a slower time of day. Call around to your local theaters and see if they have any deals like this.
97. Buy A Membership
You can buy a membership to a place your family loves to go and save a ton throughout the year. You could buy annual passes to your local zoo, drive-thru animal safari, theme park, children’s museum, art museum, etc.
Your library can save you a ton of money on movie rentals and books when you borrow from the library.
99. Take Turns Hosting Potlucks
Take turns hosting friends instead of hosting them all at your house. You can also take turns supplying the food and drinks.
100. Cut Cable
Cable can reach close to $100 a month depending on your package. Online streaming from Hulu or Netflix can cost as little as $8 a month.
101: Find Free Entertainment
The final money saving tip is to browse your area for free entertainment. You can usually find these in local Facebook groups, your local newspaper website, or your local news channel website.
You can save a ton of money by implementing just a few of these money saving tips. You don’t have to implement them all, just pick out a few for your family and start saving.
The best money-saving thing you can do is create a budget. If you’ve never created a budget before or it’s been a while, don’t worry. I have a free budgeting course for you. I will walk you through the exact steps it takes to create a realistic budget that will actually work for your family.
After taking this course, you’ll know:
- How to not feel trapped by your money anymore.
- Create a realistic budget that will actually work for your family.
- How to save money (even if it’s not your cup of tea!)
- How to pay off that debt you’ve been ignoring for months (or years!)
Seriously, it’s free. Go ahead and sign up. You won’t be sorry.