Here are a variety of creative ways to save money on everything from food to getting married.
1. Shop at Discount and Bulk Stores
Discount grocery stores and bulk stores like Aldi or Costco often have lower prices than traditional grocery stores. While these stores may have more limited selections, this can help you save time and money.
2. Meal Prep
Not only does meal prepping save you time during the week, but it also helps you avoid the temptation of eating out or ordering in—both of which eat into your bank account more than you might like. Plus, prepping your own meals makes it easier to meet your nutritional goals.
3. Buy Generic Brands
Generic brands can be quite a bit cheaper than name brands. For example, a can of generic black beans may cost $0.78, while a can of name-brand beans might run you $1.28. That’s $0.50 saved on one item. Do that consistently, and you’ll notice the savings.
4. Shop in the Middle of the Week
Shopping on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday may help you find more discounts on groceries. Stores often run sales midweek and offer coupons or savings on specific weekdays. Try out a few different days and plan your trips according to when you find the best deals.
5. Use a Cashback Credit Card
Using a cash-back credit card is a great way to save money on purchases you would make anyway. Look for a card that offers cashback on your biggest spending categories, such as groceries, gas or dining. Pay off your entire balance each month to avoid interest charges.
6. Stick to a List
Prepare a list before you hit the store and try not to stray from it so you can stay under budget. Try doing pick-up orders so you can see your total before you check out and delete any unnecessary items from your cart. Keep an eye on sales and plan your meals around what’s in season to score discounted prices.
7. Ditch the Fast and Furious Mindset
How you drive has a significant impact on your gas consumption. Sudden braking and accelerating not only wastes gas but also wears out your car. Driving smoothly at an even pace can help you get more distance out of each drop of fuel.
8. Keep Your Car Maintained
Taking good care of your car can also help to optimize your fuel usage. Frequent tune-ups, properly filled tires and regular oil changes make your vehicle more fuel-efficient, while also keeping it out of the shop.
9. Consider Carpooling
Carpooling with friends, family or coworkers lets you split the cost of fuel to save on gas. It also reduces your carbon footprint and may offer added benefits like access to carpool lanes.
10. Use Gas Price Comparison Apps
Using gas price comparison apps can help you find the cheapest gas prices in your area so you’re always paying the lowest prices possible. Some apps can even be used to calculate trip costs or earn rewards.
11. Unplug Those Vampires
Ever heard of energy vampires? Your electronics keep drawing power even when they’re not in use. Unplug your device chargers, game consoles and TVs when you’re not using them—it’s a small effort that can make a big difference in the long run.
12. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
LED bulbs use around 70% less energy than traditional bulbs, and they can last up to 25 times as long too. This means you save money on your electric bill and on replacement bulbs by switching to LED. Dimmer switches also work well with LED bulbs to stretch your energy.
13. Do Your Chores During Off-Peak Hours
Use your appliances during off-peak hours to cut your monthly bill. Power companies often charge lower rates during times of day when demand is lower, such as before 3 p.m. and after 7 p.m. Try doing your laundry at night or running the dishwasher in the morning to start.
14. Save Money on Your Electric Bill
Energy rates continue to rise every year, with many households paying hundreds each month to keep the lights on. If you’re feeling the drain, here are a few ways to lower your electricity bill.
15. Save Money on Gas
For those constantly on the go, buying gas is a necessary evil. However, there are several ways to cut your spending down when you’re filling up.
16. Use Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans can help circulate air in your home to make you feel cooler when it’s hot outside and warmer when it’s cold. This lowers your energy use while keeping you comfortable.
17. Open a High-Yield Savings Account
To give your savings a boost, open a high-yield savings account earning a competitive interest rate. Then, automate your saving by scheduling automatic transfers or sending a percentage of your paycheck straight to this account.
18. Temporarily Cut Down on Rent
If you’re renting, consider moving to a smaller apartment or sharing a living space with a friend or family member to reduce your rent and free up more money for a while. You may also be able to negotiate with your landlord to lower your rent.
19. Limit the Guest List
One of the most straightforward ways to save money on a wedding is to trim your guest list. You often pay for drinks and food at a per-person rate, and larger venues charge higher prices. Consider limiting your guest list to your closest friends and family members. Or, invite everyone to the ceremony and a select number of guests to the reception.
20. Save Money for a House
Saving money for a house takes time and discipline no matter how you slice it, but there are ways to make the process a little easier on yourself.Here are some fun and creative ways to save money for a wedding.
The best way to save money is whatever way will work for you. The easier it is for you to commit to saving, the more regularly you’ll do it and the faster you will be able to reach your goals.
The first step to saving is to make it a habit. Here are some tips for getting into a habit of saving.