These easy money-saving tips and tricks will help you live a more successful frugal life by saving some extra coins!
So as a person who loves to live my life frugally, I am always on the lookout for easy, money-saving tips.
And if I can also make money while cutting costs, even better.
Learning to be smart with your dollars and consciously taking easy steps to save money will naturally become a part of your lifestyle in time.
Getting on the right path starts from making the most out of what you have. Online savings account like this CIT Bank Savings Builder are a great way to get a higher interest rate for savings, plus they have great customer service.
Once you have your accounts set up, you can then focus on how to manage your daily purchases.
Saving money is habit-forming and once you start to see the benefits of your efforts, you’ll never look back.
1. Buy Generic (Store/House Brand)
One of the easiest money-saving tips you can implement today is cutting back on brand-name items.
Now, does that mean you can never purchase your favorite cookies again? Of course, you can, but you’d be amazed at how many foods and household items exist in an even better generic version for a fraction of the cost.
I suggest immediately swapping over items that you are not specifically brand loyal to and giving those that you are selective about at least a try.
Often large box stores will even offer a satisfaction guarantee on their brand-name products.
So if you don’t end up liking the quality of the generic garbage bags that you bought, well then you can return them worry-free.
And according to this Dave Ramsey article, just switching to generic for your dinnertime meals could save you around $1040 per year. Imagine the savings if all your meals were based on generic brand goods!
In our home, if generic exists, we will give them a go from at least a couple of different stores.
I’ll admit, it’s not always easy to get certain family members on board (such as my stubborn husband).
But once they find something they enjoy even better, they become less resistant. Now we always buy the Great Value mac & cheese because hubby likes it better.
Tip: Don’t buy everything generic in one shot, select 2-3 family favorites each time you go grocery shopping and give them a go.
That way not everything will suddenly taste different in your home.
2. Use Cashback Sites
So if you going to be placing an online order for your household essentials, why not get some money back in the process.
A lot of people are late to the Rakuten game (previously Ebates) and should get on board.
You’re making the purchase anyway, so why not get money back when placing that Target online order?
It’s literally like throwing away free money when you don’t capitalize on easy money-saving tips like these.
It’s only one extra small step and your part is done!
3. Search For Online Coupon Or Promo Code
So after you’ve gone through Rakuten and selected your store and filled your cart, there is always one last money-saving step to take before checking out.
Open another tab in your browser and type in as an example “Tailwind online coupon code August 2020”
So basically enter into your Google search the name of the store or website you are buying from and the term online coupon code. Finish off with the month and year of your search to limit the number of old coupon codes that will appear.
You can also try alternative words like online promo codes or online discount codes.
I genuinely do this every single time I want to purchase something online and I’d say 7-8 times out of 10, I end up finding a coupon code.
Just this week, I had a referral coupon for $15 for a program I was signing up for.
By doing a quick search, I ended up finding a $30 code instead and saved twice the amount I was going to initially save.
And yes I know there are browser add-on’s that do this but I’ve personally never been successful using them, I always end finding a coupon code when they say none exists.
4. Be On The Lookout For Gifts
So even when we are trying to cut costs, we also inevitably have things we will have to spend money on. While birthdays and holiday gifts are annual occurrences, sometimes you have a few baby showers pop up or a bridal shower pop up.
When I know someone is pregnant, I start scanning for a great gift months before their shower.
Even if someone decides to use a registry, you can always search for deals on their registry items or choose something else that they will be delighted to receive.
Sometimes stores like Wal-Mart liquidate amazing items to clear shelf space and you can grab them at a steal. Why pay $49.99 for the same toddler walker at another store when you can grab it on liquidation for a mere $17?
So keep an eye out on those liquidation sales (online and in-store). Not waiting until the last minute to purchase your gift can save you a lot of money.
5. Don’t Be Shy To Match Price Or Coupon
So I’ve come to realize throughout the years that some people like to judge others who coupon or match prices in stores.
But you know what, you have to learn to not care about what other people think.
If you have a bunch of coupons that want to use, then use them. Nobody is paying your bills at the end of the day but you!
Find stores in your area that allow price matching. This way you not only get to save money but also your gas and time by making your purchases in one store instead of driving around for all those deals.
6. Share Netflix Subcriptions
So if you have a friend or sibling paying for Netflix, why not get together and save on costs.
The standard package is $13.99 for two screens while the premium package is only $3 more for twice as many screens.
We actually share one Netflix account with not only my parents but my sister as well. We are allowed 4 screens to share in total (on mobile, laptop, TV, tablet, phone).
In years of sharing the account, we have never had an issue of running out of screens even when I and my husband are on different floors using a different screen each.
It’s the hugest of savings but hey every little thing adds up at the end of the month.
7. Cancel Unused/Barely Used Subcriptions
Do you have a subscription to something you barely using or not using at all? Most people think of gym memberships but it goes way beyond the gym.
- Are you mostly watching Netflix but still paying for cable?
- Do you have a magazine subscription that you’ve barely read in a month?
- Do you have a fancy cell phone plan that is beyond your needs?
- Paying for a meal kit delivery service but still buying a ton of groceries and eating out all the time.
- Have that gym subscription but you’ve been twice in a year
These are great places you can cut off completely or down on.
If you are not hitting the gym, then use a free YouTube workout video for that occasional urge you have to work out. Or hit the free local pool.
Not using a third of your phone data, then cut your plan down to what you really need.
8. Avoid Upgrading Your Car
In case you haven’t noticed, we live in a world of endless upgrades. I’m constantly hearing about the latest iPhone on the market from friends and family members.
The latest trends on clothes, electronics, cars, everything is consistently being upgraded to something new even when the older version just barely hit the market a few months back.
Try your best not to get sucked into “upgrading” if you are trying to save on costs.
Now of course, if something is way past its prime and no longer safe or functional then upgrading becomes necessary. Never risk your safety to save a dime.
But if you just finished paying off your car which is only a few years old, upgrading to the latest model is something you can most definitely hold off on.
I am always shocked to see people rushing to buy a new car when they just finished paying off their vehicle.
What I do suggest doing instead, is putting away at least 50% of what you were previously paying on your monthly car payments into a “car savings” account.
This account will help cover any upcoming repairs or tire upgrades.
And when the time comes when you do actually need a new car, you will have a nice amount of savings waiting for you to put towards the payment which will reduce the financial burden that car payments bring to a monthly budget.
9. Be Thrifty
Hit up your local thrift stores for items you don’t mind buying used.
I love hitting thrift stores for books, you can often find “like new” books for a few cents instead of $25-$40 from bookstores. It’s also a great place to find travel books for almost nothing.
If you’re running a business, are there any items you need and could grab secondhand?
A great example for me is kitchenware. As a blogger, I often need kitchenware and other odds and ends for food photography shoots.
Thrift stores are not only a great place to save money but also find unique items.
So the next time you are heading out to a store, think about whether this is something you could easily find at your local thrift store at great savings.
10. Be Creative With Your Leftovers
If your trying to save money, then not wasting food is one of the easiest money-saving tips out there.
People often underestimate how much money they waste when it comes to unused, discarded food.
Look through your fridge and then pantry and come up with new ways to use up those leftovers.
Get creative and use up what you have. Just remember, you can throw almost any leftovers into a pan and turn it into the most amazing fried rice dish.
That’s often my go-to meal when clearing out the fridge and it usually turns into some of my best meals.
11. Sell Something And Then Buy
If you are trying to save money, a great way to reduce your expenses is to try and sell something you no longer need before buying that new “toy” you’ve been eyeing.
I have a friend who loves gaming consoles but is on a budget. What does he do to get what he wants?
Well, he carts himself off to garage sales and thrift stores, buys up consoles and games that people are selling for cheap.
He then comes home, lists and sells them on eBay and Facebook marketplace, and then takes his profits and buys himself the console he was dreaming about all along while having cash to spare.
Being frugal is in large part being practical. If you really want something but don’t want to break that budget you’ve got set, then find an alternative way to pay for it.
Are you ready to start saving?
Over the next couple of weeks, try to focus on your spending habits and you will start to see other little areas where you can start to cut costs and start adding to your savings.
Every dollar saved is a dollar you can better use elsewhere. So don’t forget to grab your free monthly budget printable to help you get started!
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About the author
Clara is the founder of Blue World Dreams, an entrepreneur & budget-savvy personal finance expert. She’s invested in helping others attain financial freedom using her knowledge from running a successful seven-figure corporation and building an extensive and diverse investment portfolio. Find out more.