Try these 97 easy ways to save money on everything from groceries to health care, kids stuff, utilities, transportation, gifts, entertainment, and more!
I first compiled this huge list of easy ways to save money in January 2014 when we were in the midst of our journey to get out of debt fast. We were living on one low income at the time, and I needed to figure out how to save money fast.
At first, I didn’t feel there was anywhere else I could possibly squeeze our budget. Once I started looking, I found lots of ways to save money on a tight budget.
Over time, I started adopting these money saving tips one by one, and I was able to make a much bigger dent in our debt than I imagined!
Some of these ways to save might be new to you and others you might have heard before. What’s important is to actually DO what’s on the list!
Don’t feel like you have to take on everything at once. If you’ve been searching for how to save money each month, commit to adopting two or three of these money saving ideas at a time. It really will add up as the months go by!
97 Easy Ways to Save Money
This list of simple ways to save money contains lots of links to take you to even more money-saving ideas and how tos and a few affiliate links to resources that I found helpful.
Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries
1. Cut down on Starbucks runs, save $15-100/month
2. Make your own coffee house drinks instead
3. Cook dinner at home instead of eating out, save $150-500/month
5. Pack a lunch, save $40-200/month
6. Buy produce in season
7. Then freeze fruit for smoothies or pie filling
8. …or dehydrate it
9. Cook vegetarian once a week, save $20/month
10. Get protein from beans instead
11. Set a grocery budget
12. Make your own bread, save $10/month
13. …and even use the heel from the loaf
14. Make breakfast for dinner
15. Grow a garden, $10-20/month
16. Meal plan
17. Make a grocery list and stick to it – This is especially crucial when you’re headed to Costco! :)
18. Just shop organic for the dirty dozen
19. Freeze leftovers
21. Stock up when you find a deal
22. Buy a quarter or side of beef
23. Buy produce from local farms
24. Creatively use whatever ingredients you have – Here’s how I spent just $170 one month to feed our family of four, in part by simply making use of what I already had in my pantry.
25. Don’t buy convenience foods
26. Cook more staples instead of buying them from the store
27. Don’t waste food that’s about to go bad
28. Cook from scratch
29. Make your own chicken stock
30. Make your own taco seasoning
32. Make your own yogurt
33. Buy whole chicken instead of parts
34. Take advantage of price match guarantees
35. Shop organic at Costco
36. Buy meat in bulk from the farmer from Zaycon Foods
37. Look for recipes that are cheap to make – Here’s a list of 35 Cheap and Healthy Recipes with gorgeous food photos to inspire your meal planning.
Sick of couponing, shopping sales, and meal planning only to find you’re still busting your grocery budget? Try this. (This is the system I used to save $5,616 in the last year alone!)
Easy Ways to Save Money on Utilities
38. Cancel your home phone, save $30/month
39. Turn down the heat, save $10-20/month
40. Shop for a cheaper cell phone plan, save $10-25/month
41. Cancel cable, save $30-100/month
42. Use less water, save $5-10/month
43. Downsize your garbage service, save $10/month
44. Hang your clothes to dry instead of using the dryer, save $10/month
45. Cover drafty doors with a sweep or door snake
46. Unplug unused appliances
Easy Ways to Save Money on House & Home
48. …and make your own cloth napkins
49. Use family cloth instead of buying toilet paper, save $5-10/month
50. Do your own home maintenance, save $60-200/month
51. Shop for a better deal on insurance, save $10-50/month – This one tip can save hundreds of dollars a year and really just takes a few minutes to do. Each time my insurance is about to renew, I call an independent agent to get a new quote. It takes just ten minutes and could free up a bunch of money to go towards your savings goals!
52. Move to a cheaper home, save $200-2000/month – Yes, I know moving isn’t that easy, but if the numbers add up it can be so worth it! When we moved we not only saved about 70% on the cost of our home each month but also we saved even more by moving to an area with a much lower cost of living overall.
53. Move to a smaller home – We lived in a small house for many years to save money and loved it. Here’s how we made it work for our family.
54. Do your own yard work, $150/month
55. Replace plastic bags with reusable food containers – I also love these reusable pouches for saving money by making your own baby/toddler food. It’s a small initial investment but pays back within just a couple of weeks.
56. Make your own laundry soap
57. Sign up for free samples
58. Make your own cleaning supplies
Easy Ways to Save Money on Stuff for Babies & Kids
59. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable, save $50-100/month – This has saved use thousands over the years of diapering our two little ones. Here’s the exact cloth diapering system we use and love to save the most possible on diapers each month.
60. Use cloth baby wipes instead of disposable, save $10/month
61. Buy gender neutral baby clothes and gear
62. Buy only the necessities for a new baby – Here’s my minimalist list of frugal baby gear essentials, without all the extra stuff Target says you need!
Easy Ways to Save Money on Personal Care
63. Let your hair go back to its natural color, save $50/month – I’ve never colored my hair, but I did let it grow out long, so I don’t have to get it cut and styled as often. That alone saves about $10 a month.
64. Use cloth pads or a Diva Cup instead of disposable products, save $10/month – Ok ladies, this tends to be a somewhat controversial suggestion, but hear me out. After having used mama cloth now for well over a year, I would never go back to disposable even if it didn’t save me a dime. It’s so much more comfortable! You can save even more by making your own. I haven’t personally tried the diva cup, but I know lots of ladies who rave about it. It’s worth keeping an open mind on this one.
65. Save manicures and pedicures for special occasions only, save $30/month
66. Use in-network providers for healthcare, save $30-120/month
Easy Ways to Save Money on Health Care
67. Cancel the gym membership you don’t use anyway, $30-60/month
68. Quit smoking, save $50-200/month plus healthcare expenses
Easy Ways to Save Money on Transportation
69. Take the bus, bike, or walk instead of driving, save $30-400/month – Living in Washington, we were blessed to live near a park and ride even when we lived in the country. This really helped save on the cost of my husband’s commute. There are also van-pools available where bus service isn’t.
70. Carpool, save $200/month
71. Commit to being a one car family, save $400/month
72. Combine errands into fewer trips, $10-50/month
73. Make sure tires are properly inflated, save $30/month
74. Drive the speed limit, save $10/month
75 Do your own car maintenance, save $60-200/month
76. Shop for a better deal on car insurance, save $10-50/month
Easy Ways to Save Money on Gifts, Holidays, and Hospitality
77. Shop for gift wrap at the dollar store
78. Make your get together a potluck
79. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple when you have company
80. Decorate for parties with what you already have. Bonus tip: Here are 100 different places that will give you free stuff on your birthday.
81. Pack food for breakfast and snacks on vacation
Easy Ways to Save Money on Shopping
82. Go to the library instead of buying books, save $10/month – Our family loves the library! If you haven’t been in a while, check out my list of 29 free things to do at the library. You might be surprised at all the amazing resources they have far beyond just books.
83. Buy clothes at thrift and consignment stores, save $100/month
84. Check out online consignment stores like Thread Up – You can also use these to sell your unneeded clothing to earn a little extra cash. You can buy and sell clothes for women, kids, baby, maternity, and accessories.
85. Stop impulse and recreational shopping, save $50-300/month
86. Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale!
Easy Ways to Save Money on Entertainment
87. Stop buying lottery tickets, save $5-20/month
88. Buy discounted movie and theme park tickets and restaurant gift cards at Costco
Easy Ways to Save Money on Finance
89. Don’t carry a credit card balance, save $30/month
90. Shop with cash not plastic, even if it’s a debit card
91. Make a budget
92. Pay off debt as soon as possible
93. …use your tax refund to give you a boost
94. Be content with what you have
95. Learn about money management
96. Use the envelope system or sign up for free personal budgeting software – Here’s how I track my expenses.
97. Take the No Spend Month Challenge
Even on a tight budget, by applying most of these simple ways to save money, we were on track to be out of debt within 25 months. Not too shabby, but once we got the ball rolling we were motivated to get done even faster!
Here are a few of the more extreme things we did to save money and some of the extra income opportunities we were blessed to have sent our way. All in all, we were able to pay off our $22,047 in debt in less than 9 months!
I pray that your efforts to save money will be blessed in the same way to bring you closer to your big financial goals as well!