Easy Ways to Save Money
This article shares more than 150 ideas for easy ways to save money! Plus, get the free printable checklist below! With these easy must know frugal-living tips, you can save $1,000 or more per month!
Whether you want to reduce your spending and save money in order to balance your budget, save for a particular goal, buy a large item or pay for a large expense, purchase a home, invest more for retirement, or save for another reason, these tips will help you do it!
Review the list of 150 ideas below to find tons of easy ways to save more money!
Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily find this article to refer to it later!
Check out these related articles:
21 Must-Know Tips to Help You Spend Less Money!
65 Must-Know Tips to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half!
91 Awesome Free and Cheap Activities for Kids!
12 Best Tips to Save Money on Entertainment
19 Top Tips to Save Money Eating Out
What Is the Easiest Way to Save Money?
There are definitely a lot of things that you can do to save money, and it is difficult to nail it down to just one best thing. Given how unique each person and family is and how unique each financial situation is, there might not be a best one-size-fits-all answer.
However, I am going to go out on a limb and do it anyway. 🙂
I think the easiest way to save money long term is to get and stay out of debt.
And what is the best way to get and stay out of debt? It is to create and use a budget (spending plan).
Pro tip: Want to learn even more about budgeting? Check out this comprehensive beginner’s guide to budgeting.
In order to save money, you have to make it a priority. One of the best ways that you can ensure that you will save money consistently every month is to take willpower and constant decision making out of the process, and to instead save a certain amount of money each month.
The best way to do that, and one of the factors that I feel is crucial to saving money, is to automate your finances.
And finally, you are more likely to stick with saving money and stay motivated if you are working toward financial goals that really align with your core financial values and help you get to where you want to be long term. Learn how to succeed at your financial goals.
151 Easy Ways to Save Money
The bad news is that it is so easy to spend a ton of money! But the great news is that there are also a ton of easy ways to save money! Here is the list of more than 150 easy ways to save money!
Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries
- Freeze or dehydrate items that you won’t be able to use before they go bad.
- Plan your meals (get a free meal planner and shopping list here!) to save money on food.
- Shop with a grocery list.
- Simplify your meals (especially dinner) so that they are less expensive.
- Go grocery shopping less often (by following tips 1 and 2 above). Plan to go grocery shopping only once a week, or to save even more money, only every other week (like our family).
- Buy nonperishable groceries online at places like walmart.com and Amazon (that way you won’t be tempted to impulse buy because you’re shopping on an empty stomach).
- Know the best prices for the food that you regularly buy so you will know when something is really on sale and can stock up! Use this free handy grocery price comparison cheat sheet to keep track of food prices.
- Use a calculator when you grocery shop to be able to figure out the best price per ounce (or other units of measurement) on the foods and other items you buy.
- Buy generic and store-brand items.
- Use price matching when it is available.
- Buy food in bulk, especially nonperishable items, and create your own home storage system. This will mean fewer trips to the grocery store and could mean substantial savings on your grocery budget.
- Stock up when items that you eat or use frequently are on sale.
- Buy less meat.
- Buy less expensive types and cuts of meat and seafood.
- Buy produce in season.
- Don’t buy more food than you need.
- Buy less soda (or give up soda altogether). Same goes for coffee, tea, and alcohol.
- Quit smoking.
- Buy less junk food.
- Check the clearance aisles at the grocery store; sometimes they have amazing deals!
- Use apps like Ibotta and Ebates to save money grocery shopping.
- Shop at discount and salvage item stores if you have them in your area.
- Find more than 60 great ways to save money grocery shopping here.
- Don’t buy precut and prepackaged foods (like veggie trays, fruit trays, deli platters, string cheese, little pudding/gelatin packages, and so on).
- Take your lunch to work rather than buying it.
- Pack your kids’ school lunch (and teach them to pack their own once they’re old enough).
- Don’t buy bottled water; use a filter instead if you feel you need one.
- Occasionally double your recipes, and freeze the other half for times when you don’t feel like cooking. That way, you will have a good alternative to going out to eat.
Easy Ways to Save Money Eating Out
- Eat at restaurants less.
- Go out for breakfast or lunch instead of dinner.
- Eat smaller portions while at the restaurant, and bring home the rest of the meal for lunch or dinner the next day. (I was recently able to get three meals out of one large restaurant dish!)
- Celebrate special holidays the day before or the day after the holiday. Restaurants may charge more for special dishes on holidays. (You’ll avoid all the crowds that way, too!).
- Spend less money when you do eat out by skipping the appetizer, beverages, and dessert.
- When you host dinner parties, have a potluck.
- Drink less alcohol (or give it up altogether).
- Go out just for dessert instead of for the main meal.
- Eat at more casual restaurants where you are not expected to give a tip. And find even more easy ways to save money eating out here.
- Go out to the movies less—get movies and TV shows from the library (free!) or from inexpensive services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube.Instead of going out to dinner and a movie, get your family or group of friends together to cook a meal, make treats or pop popcorn (or both!), and enjoy a favorite movie at home.
- Invite family or friends over for game nights or movie nights instead of doing more expensive options like golfing, miniature golf, bowling, skating, music concerts, and so on.
- Cut cable or satellite service. Get videos and shows from the library, or sign up for a less-expensive TV service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.
- Get books from the library instead of buying new. You can even get digital books from the library to read on your phone or tablet.
- Take up reading as an inexpensive (potentially free—see the tip just above) hobby to do in place of more expensive hobbies.
- Read personal finance books to learn how to save more money and invest. Find some of my favorite personal finance books here.
- Reduce your cell phone bill by reducing your data plan.
- Consider switching from a smartphone back to a basic phone.
- Consider cutting the kids’ cell phone service or getting one shared phone for the kids. Consider getting an inexpensive home internet phone service like ObiTalk for the kids to talk to their friends.
- Look into cheaper smartphone plans like Republic Wireless, Mint Mobile, and Xfinity Mobile. (We pay $3.21 per month per line with Xfinity! I love them!)
- If you have a regular landline, look into ObiTalk instead (home phone service over the internet).
- See if you can lower your internet bill. Check out Xfinity (you may pay more for the internet after the initial introductory reduced rate ends, but you could save a bunch on your smartphone data bill—see the bullet above about Xfinity Mobile).
- Find discounts on entertainment by visiting sites like Groupon and Living Social.
- Buy fewer (and less expensive) electronics and gadgets.
- Keep your cell phone and other electronic devices for longer. Don’t upgrade every year or two.
- Buy your children’s toys, clothes, and other items at the local thrift store or online classifieds. They go through clothes so quickly and break toys so easily, buying used items most of the time is just a smart way to go.
- Buy used electronics and computer to potentially save a ton of money. Check out local thrift stores, online classifieds, and sites like eBay and Refurbees.com.
- Save money on vacations by staying closer to home to reduce travel costs, using services like Airfare Watchdog to save on airfare, and saving money on accommodations by staying at place through Airbnb or Booking.com.
- Save money on food while traveling by purchasing and preparing grocery-store food rather than buying convenience or restaurant food along the way.
- Replace more expensive hobbies and pastimes with less expensive ones. Find free and cheap activities that you can do with your family.
- Spend more time outdoors enjoying nature for free. Go on walks, hikes, bike rides, camping trips (not quite free but can be very cheap!), fishing trips, and more!
- Learn how to cut your spouse’s and your children’s hair.
- Color your hair at home and get haircuts less often.
- Spend less on gift giving. Reign in the expectations for birthdays and Christmas. Focus on experiences rather than stuff.
- Find ways to save money on Christmas.
- Plan for a debt-free Christmas.
Easy Ways to Save Money on Clothing
- Buy your clothing from second-hand stores or classified ads.
- Buy less clothing—make it do and do without.
- Sell outgrown clothes to stores like Kid to Kid or on online classified ads.
- See if there are other families in your area with children of similar ages, and set up clothing exchanges. Or if you have siblings with children who are similar ages to yours, do clothing exchanges with your siblings. We have done this with my sisters and sister-in-law and it is awesome!
- Don’t buy the most expensive trendy or fashionable clothing.
- Buy classic clothing that won’t go out of style.
- Buy clothing after the season is over.
- Use cloth diapers.
Easy Ways to Save Money on Housing and Related Expenses
- Buy household items like dishes, gently used appliances, furnishings, and more at the thrift store or through the online classifieds.
- See if you can refinance your home, if you are paying a comparatively high interest rate. Make sure you only shorten the loan if you refinance—never lengthen it.
- If you are renting, see if you can rent a cheaper home or apartment.
- If you have home maintenance that needs to be done, make sure to take care of it so you don’t pay more in the long run, but also shop around to pay as little for the work as possible (and reasonable—obviously you want to go with a contractor you trust).
- If you own, consider selling your home and downsizing to a smaller, older, or otherwise less expensive home.
- Get a roommate or roommates.
- Rent out a spare bedroom or bedrooms on Airbnb or Booking.com.
- Move in with a family member or friend for a time.
- Save up a larger down payment so you will have a smaller mortgage.
- Consider the 100 percent down plan when purchasing your home. 😊
- Work diligently to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible!
- If you have alarm monitoring (or want to use alarm monitoring), look to switching to an inexpensive, no-contract plan like SimpliSafe. We pay just $14.99 a month for their awesome service. Their customer service is great, and if for some reason they don’t receive your test signal for the week, they will email and then call to follow up and make sure everything the system is working. They really care!
- Shop around to see if you can lower your homeowners insurance.
Easy Ways to Save Money on Utilities
- Turn the thermostat down to 62 degrees in the winter (or as close to that as you can bear—or lower than that if you can) and turn it up to 78 degrees in the summer (or as close as you can bear—or even higher than that if you can).
- Wait for as long as possible before you turn on the furnace or heaters in the fall or winter.
- Similarly, wait for as long as possible before you turn on the evaporative cooler or air conditioner in the summer.
- Replace old, drafty doors and windows with new ones.
- Caulk around windows and doors, use door sweeps and weather stripping, and so on.
- Replace inefficient appliances with more efficient ones as they wear out.
- Save money on utilities by turning off lights, electronics, heaters, and so forth when not in use.
- Wear warmer clothes, use blankets, and avoid heating unused areas of your home during the winter to save money on utilities.
- Install a programmable thermostat to control settings and keep energy costs down.
- Install ceiling fans throughout your home to spend less on heating and cooling bills.
- Use your dishwasher and washing machine less.
- Do your dishes by hand whenever possible, and run the water less when you do.
- Don’t overfill your fridge and freezer; they will run more efficiently if there is room for some air flow.
- Conversely, don’t leave your refrigerator and freezer half empty; they will run less efficiently if you do.
- Use your oven less.
- Use a slow cooker (Crock-Pot) more.
- Use the microwave or toaster oven in place of the oven when possible,
- For dishes where it won’t matter (most it won’t), don’t wait for the oven to be fully preheated before you put your food in it. This means you can save a few minutes of bake time.+
- Wash your clothes in cold water.
- Insulate your hot water heater.
- Hang your clothes out to dry.
- Cut dryer sheets in half when you use them, and reuse them.
- If it will work in your area, use an evaporative cooler instead of an air conditioner.
- Add more insulation to help prevent heat loss and gain during the winter and summer.
- Take showers instead of baths to conserve water.
- Take shorter showers.
- Take cold(er) showers. 🙂
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when you are not using them.
- Install CFL or even LED lights as old light bulbs burn out.
- Use a timer for your sprinkler system (or for your manual sprinklers) so that you don’t overwater your lawn.
Easy Ways to Save Money on Transportation
- Drive less. Combine errands, bike, ride the bus, carpool, telecommute, and walk when possible.
- If you rent your home or apartment, look at moving closer to work to reduce your commute.
- Consider moving from a two-vehicle household to a one-vehicle household.
- Drive the speed limit.
- If your car isn’t too expensive (maybe $10,000 or less) and you have your emergency fund in place, consider dropping
- comprehensive and collision insurance to potentially save a lot of money on your auto insurance premiums.
- Get (and stay) out of car debt. If you have vehicle loans, look seriously at selling your cars and replacing them with less-expensive, more economical vehicles.
- Drive paid-for cars. Then move back up in car after you save up for a few years and can make the purchases with cash.
- Buy a smaller or otherwise more fuel-efficient vehicle.
- Use apps like GasBuddy to save money on fuel.
- Don’t drive so fast! Slow down! 😊
- Use Uber and Lyft when traveling to save money on car rentals.
- Turn off the air conditioner and roll the car windows down.
- Shop around to see if you can lower your auto insurance.
- Make sure you have your emergency fund in place, and then increase your auto insurance deductible.
- Look into bundling your homeowners insurance and auto insurance if you aren’t already doing so.
- Improve your credit by paying your bills on time and not taking on too much debt to save money on insurance premiums.
- Shop around when doing car repairs—call several mechanics. If you are mechanically inclined (or have a friend or family member who is), see if you can make simple repairs yourself.
- Check out RockAuto for car parts. They have such awesome deals!
Easy Ways to Save Money on Insurance
- Look at ways to lower your health insurance premiums. If you have the most expensive plan at work, consider a less expensive plan that could adequately meet your needs.
- Take advantage of health savings accounts and flexible savings accounts.
- If you have a healthy living or wellness program at work that rewards you with premium rebates or cash back for working to maintain and improve your health, participate!
- Cut your gym membership. Exercise outside instead (running, walking, or biking). Or purchase inexpensive, used equipment to use at home.
Other Easy Ways to Save Money
- Stop using your credit cards for things you can’t afford. If you can’t afford something, don’t buy it. (Watch this humorous but too-true video.)
- Create a budget to help you manage your money so that you can save more of it.
- Create a starter emergency fund and then a fully funded emergency fund so you can avoid going into debt and paying interest when unexpected expenses come up.
- Decide to be content with what you have.
- Pay off your credit cards and other high-interest debt so you can stop paying high-interest fees.
- Pay off student loans, medical debt, and all other nonmortgage debt.
- If you are often tempted to overspend, cut up your credit cards and find ways to avoid your other spending triggers.
- Use a cash envelope or similar system to avoid overspending.
- Work overtime or do freelance work.
- Do a no-spend challenge to potentially save a bunch of money and change the way you think about spending.
- Find additional ways to increase your income so that you will have more money to save. Start a side hustle or side business to make more money.
- Start investing for retirement or increase your retirement contributions to save more for the future.
With these easy ways to save money, you can reduce your spending in nearly every budget category! And then you can use that money to build financial security and ultimately financial freedom and wealth for your family.
What are your favorite easy ways to save money? How much are you able to save per month? Or are there tips above that you are going to try to save money? I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment and share your ideas!
Invitation to Share
Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!
Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.