Try these 77+ easy ways to save money on everything from groceries to health care, kids stuff, the home, gifts, and more!

Updated on Feb 15, 2020


You want to be free. Free from the bondage of overspending. Free from using every penny (and them some) every single month…again.

You want to escape the fear that you will never have enough to pay off your debt, not to watch your family’s income flow right through your fingers.

But it seems you find yourself with one hand over your eyes, peering between your fingers anytime you have to look at your bank balance.

So here you are, looking for some new ideas to help you save money.

And the good news is, you’ve come to the right place.

Today we’ll cover ways to saving money on:

  • Groceries
  • Utilities
  • Household Expenses
  • Kids & Babies
  • Personal Care
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • Gifts & Hospitality
  • Shopping
  • Entertainment
  • Financial

Most of the ideas include an estimate of how much you’ll save along with links to additional resources to help you save. These include a few affiliate links to resources that I found helpful.

I first compiled this huge list of ways to save when we were in the midst of our journey to get out of debt. We were living on one income, 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, even on a tight budget.

 

HOW TO SAVE ON FOOD & GROCERIES

1. Cut down on Starbucks runs, and make your own coffee house style drinks instead.

Money Saved: $15-100/month

2. Cook dinner at home instead of eating out.

Money Saved: $150-500/month

3. Buy groceries in bulk from Costco, Azure Standard, or Amazon.

4. Pack a lunch.

Money Saved: $40-200/month

5. Buy Produce in Season. Then, freeze fruit for smoothies or pie filling, or dehydrate it.

Money Saved: Varies

6. Cook vegetarian once a week. Get protein from beans or eggs instead. For example, you could make breakfast for dinner.

Money Saved: $20/month

7. Make your own bread, and even use the heel from the end of the loaf.

Money Saved: $10/month

8. Grow a Garden.

Money Saved: $10-20/month

9. Use an easy meal planning system that’s tied back to your budget.

Money saved: $192/month

10. Make a grocery list and buy only what’s on it. (If you’re anything like me, this is especially crucial when you’re headed to Costco!) You can download a budget-friendly grocery list here.

 

11. Just shop organic for the dirty dozen.

12. Use up or freeze leftovers.

Money Saved: Up to $100/month

13. Preserve foods by canning.

14. Stock up when you find a deal.

15. Buy a quarter or side of beef from local farmers, 4H, FFA, or university agriculture department.

16. Buy produce from local farms. Do you-pick if possible to save and give your family a fun low-cost outing.

17. Creatively use whatever ingredients you have.

18. Don’t buy convenience foods as much as possible. Instead, cook more staples at home instead of buying them from the store like chicken stock, taco seasoning, yogurt, and non-dairy milk.

19. Buy whole chicken instead of parts.

20. Take advantage of price match guarantees.

21. Shop organic at Costco.

22. 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.

WAYS TO SAVE AT HOME

23. Cancel your home phone.

Money Saved: $30/month

24. Turn down the heat.

Money Saved: $10-20/month

25. Shop for a cheaper cell phone plan.

Money Saved: $10-25/month

26. Cancel cable.

Money Saved: $30-100/month

27. Use less water at home. You could also use a rain barrel to collect water for your garden. 

Money Saved: $5-10/month 

28. Downsize your garbage service.

Money Saved $10/month

29. Hang your clothes to dry instead of using the dryer

Money Saved: $10/month

30. Cover drafty doors with a sweep or door snake.

31. Unplug unused appliances.

32. Switch to Cloth Napkins. Make your own or, check out these cloth napkins that I got. They would pay for themselves within about 3 months. (affiliate link)

Money Saved: $5-10/month

33. Use family cloth instead of buying toilet paper.

Money Saved: $5-10/month

34. Do your own home maintenance.

Money Saved: $60-200/month

35. Shop for a better deal on insurance.

Money Saved: $10-50/month

36. Move to a smaller, cheaper home.  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. Or, if you’re not ready to down size you could rent out an extra room in your home.

Money Saved: $200-2000/month

37. Do your own yard work.

Money Saved: $150/month

38. Replace plastic bags with reusable food containers. I have a set like this for home, and these for the kids’ lunches. (affiliate) It’s a small initial investment, but you can use them for years, so quickly pay for themselves.

39. If you do use disposable plastic bags, wash them out and reuse them a few times before throwing them away.

40. Make your own cleaning products or laundry soap.

41. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable. This has saved use thousands over the years of diapering our two little ones. Here’s the exact cloth diapering system we used and loved to save the most possible on diapers each month.

Money Saved: $50-100/month

42. Use cloth baby wipes instead of disposable.

Money Saved: $10/month

43. Sign up for a cashback program like Rakuten. Get $10 when you sign up, and earn additional cash back on the purchases you make anyway.

44. Buy gender neutral baby clothes and gear. That way you can use it for any future children, whether you have a girl or boy.

45. Buy only the necessities for a new baby, without all the extra stuff Target says you “need!”

46. Let your hair go back to its natural color. 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 per month.

Money Saved: $50/month

47. Use cloth pads or a Diva Cup instead of disposable products. (affiliate) 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 can that they are so much more comfortable. You could 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.

Money Saved: $10/month

48. Save manicures and pedicures for special occasions only.

Money Saved: $30/month

49. Use in-network providers for healthcare.

Money Saved: $30-120/month

50. Cancel the gym membership, and do home workouts instead.

Money Saved: $30-60/month

51. Quit smoking.

Money Saved: $50-200/month (plus future healthcare expenses)

52. Take the bus, bike, or walk instead of driving. You could also carpool or use a park-and-rides or van-pools if public transportation isn’t available. You could also find a job that allows you to work from home and cut out the commute all together.

Money Saved: $30-400/month

53. Carpool.

Money Saved: $200/month

54. Commit to being a one-car family.

Money Saved: $400/month

55. Combine errands into fewer trips.

Money Saved: $10-50/month

56. Make sure tires are properly inflated.

Money Saved: $30/month

57. Drive the speed limit, and save on both fuel and speeding tickets!

Money Saved: $10/month

58. Do your own car maintenance.

Money Saved: $60-200/month

59. Shop for a better deal on car insurance. 

Money Saved: $10-50/month

MORE WAYS TO SAVE

60. Shop for holiday gift wrap on sale the day after Christmas. You can also save gift bags, tissue paper, boxes, and even wrapping paper for reuse.

61. Make your get together a potluck.

62. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple when you have company.

63. Decorate your home on the cheap, and get creative with what you already have.

64. Pack food for breakfast and snacks when on vacation.

65. Get books for free instead of buying them. 

Money Saved: $10/month

66. Visit your local library. If you haven’t been in a while, you might be surprised at all the fun ways they have to entertain your family beyond just books.

67. Create a capsule wardrobe.

Money Saved: $40-80/month.

68. Buy clothes at thrift and consignment stores. Check out online second-hand stores like Thred Up. (affiliate) You can also sell your unneeded clothing on Thredup to earn a little extra cash.

Money Saved: $100/month.

69. Stop going shopping as recreation, and try to avoid impulse spending.

Money Saved: $50-300/month

70. Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale.

 

71. Stop buying lottery tickets.

Money Saved: $5-20/month

72. Buy discounted entertainment. You can get movie and theme park tickets and restaurant gift cards at Costco.

73. Pay off debt as soon as possible, and save on interest. However, if you are still working on paying it off, make sure to pay it on time to avoid fees.

Money Saved: $30/month

74. Use your tax refund to give you a boost.

75. Shop with cash not plastic, if you know that you struggling with overspending. Alternately, in some situations, it may make sense to use cash back from your credit cards to help you pay off debt faster.

76. Make a budget, the right way.

77. Be content with what you have. Practice by taking The No Spend Month Challenge.

78. Check for energy rebates at the local, state, and national level that you might qualify for.

79. Shop for a better deal on your internet and cell phone service.

80. Check if your company offers corporate discounts. We cut our cell phone bill this way. I’ve also seen companies whose employees get free or discounted gym memberships and even financial planning.

 

 

Next Steps for Putting These Tips Into Action

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.

But don’t feel like you have to take on everything at once. Commit to adopting two or three of these money-saving ideas at a time. It really will add up as the months go by.

Even on a tight budget, by applying many of these simple ways to save, my husband and I were on track to be out of debt within 25 months.

Not too shabby. 

However, once we got the ball rolling we were motivated to get done even faster!

In the end, we were able to pay off our debt in less than 9 months!

However, many of us get stuck in the cycle of frugal living

We think that if we can just pinch enough pennies, we’ll finally be able to pay off debt and save for the future.

Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.

I see so many moms come into my programs who already follow many of these tips, yet they’re still struggling. And that was me too before I learned to budget. 

Imagine that you are holding a bucket, but that it has dozens of holes punched through it. Every month, your income pours in like water, but it flows right back out through the openings. You try to plug the holes, but no sooner do you patch up one than you spring another leak.

That’s what it’s like to try to save money without proper budgeting. What you really need is a brain new bucket.

Saving money alone will never get you the results you want

These strategies must be done in tandem with keeping a budget (the right way) to make lasting changes.

If you feel like you’re trying your best to save money but are still stuck in your finances, you can sign up for my free budgeting course. It will help you overcome some of the most common budgeting mistakes and finally make real progress with your finances.

 

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