80. Start a vegetable garden
This is a great way to get good, wholesome ingredients at the fraction of the cost of store-bought produce. An even better fact about home-grown vegetables is that you control what is used to help them grow. If you don’t want pesticides to be on your food, you won’t use them!
81. Don’t impulse buy when shopping
Many stores have kiosks upfront that tempt you to buy magazines, candy, or lip gloss at the very last minute. Don’t do it. Also, always consider whether or not you need an item before handing over the cash. If you can live without the item, even for a few weeks, hold off on buying it.
82. Cut back on entertainment costs
As we said previously, you may enjoy all of your entertainment activities, but they are costly and unnecessary. Do not cut them out entirely, but maybe you can attend one concert a year instead of three.
83. Only buy sale items
If chicken is on sale at your local grocery store, eat chicken. Buy smart and use the sales as inspiration for your meals each week. Find awesome recipes for free online and use as many sale items as possible.
84. Buy the day after a holiday
Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday with huge sales following its completion. Look at the flyers, listen to the radio in the car, and see what’s going to be on sale around the holiday.
85. Pack lunch
This is a cost-efficient way to have a good meal and not spend extra money. If you made a delicious dinner the night before and you have leftovers, pack them up and eat them the next day. This can also stop you from wasting food and essentially throwing money away.
86. Save your change
Loose change can really add up. Take all of the change out of your pockets at the end of the day and place it in a jar. At the end of the month, count the change and see how much you unknowingly saved!
87. Do the dollar bill challenge
Whenever you get home, take all your loose $1 bills, and put them in a jar. This will keep you from spending them and believe it or not, you will save money this way as they will add up. Make sure to start another jar to collect loose change. Give that loose change a goal. Like maybe use it to pay off a certain credit card.
88. Automatic deductions
Have your payroll company deduct some money from your check each pay period. If it is automatically deducted, you won’t miss it and the money will be saved.
89. Avoid using ATMs with Fees
ATMs are great because you can get cash fast, but not all are partnered with your bank. To avoid a $5 fee for a $20 extraction of cash, check with your bank and see where you can use an ATM for free.
90. Use doctors in your network
If you need to go to a doctor, choose one who is within your insurance network. The cost per visit will be significantly less than if you go to an out-of-network doctor.
91. Research low-cost pet treatment or Use the town’s “free shots for pets” day
Getting a cat or dog neutered can be expensive, but if you buy a low-cost certificate for the surgery through Friends of Animals, you will save around $200. Google the foundation for a list of participating vets so you can ensure you get the savings. Or if you have a cat or dog, do not pay for a shot at the vet’s office. Instead, wait until your town offers to administer the shots for free. Your pet will still get the injection they need, and you won’t have to pay a dime.
92. Buy clearance items
Clearance items are like sales doubled. These items are often going out of season (holiday decorations) or surplus items that the store is trying to get off the shelf, but there is nothing wrong with them. You can sometimes find just the thing you need on a clearance rack.
93. Don’t pay for a gym membership
You don’t need to go to a gym in order to run on a treadmill, there is plenty of room outdoors where you can run. The same can be said for abs and weights. Do some crunches on the floor and put some cans in a bag so you can use them for weight training.
94. Sponsor or share events
Events might sound like a nightmare during times when you are struggling with debt. However, the tables will turn if you simply look for sponsors. “This wedding is brought to you by McDonald’s” might sound a bit out-of-the-box, but a strange truth is that many couples have had their weddings sponsored. Dave Kerpen and Carrie Fisher, a wise couple, got 25 sponsors for their plush wedding ceremony, and they received $100,000! Why not advertise some logos in return of memories worth cherishing? On the other side of the coin, you could very well share an event with another person celebrating the same occasion. That would help a great deal in reducing costs.
95. Use rechargeable batteries
While you will use a little more electricity, the rechargeable batteries will save you the cost of buying a new package of batteries every few months.
96. Replace your shower head
Many shower heads will dispense more water than necessary for the average shower. To avoid wasting water, replace your shower head with a water-efficient one.
97. Bundle electronics
Many phone companies will allow you to bundle your phone, internet and TV, saving you huge amounts of money and the hassle of multiple contracts.
98. Bundle insurance
If you bundle your car and home insurance, you can save a good deal of money. In some instances, your savings could be upwards of 17%.
99. Do not pay for photo prints
Print your photos at home or store them on your computer rather than having them printed at a kiosk.
100. Use things completely
If you are a student and you use highlighters, don’t throw them away until they won’t dispense any more ink. The same can be said for cooking. This style of cooking is called nose-to-tail cooking and whether you apply the method to food or pens, the concept is the same: if you use a product entirely, you’ve gotten your money’s worth and saved on overspending or throwing money away.
101. Wear your glasses
Contacts can be expensive so you may want to wear your glasses instead. Yes, you may be accustomed to your glasses-free look but wearing your glasses could give you an entirely different look that your friends will love. Best of all, you’ll be saving a minimum of $40 per month.
102. Use gift cards
If you know you really want something expensive such as a new TV, don’t spend your money on it. Instead, ask everyone you exchange gifts with for the holidays to give you a gift card to the store that sells the item. If each person gives you a portion of the cost, you may be able to make the purchase without spending a penny of your own earnings.
103. Get rid of unused parking passes
Having a parking pass for a park and ride could be a financially smart move… if you use it every day. If you only use your parking pass once a week or so, get rid of it and pay for daily parking. You will save a great deal of money doing this.
104. Get rid of your P.O. box
If you live in the suburbs and you have a P.O. Box, get rid of it. Paying the fee for a P.O. Box if you can have a mailbox on your property is not worthwhile. Cutting this cost out of your monthly or yearly budget will take some of the financial strain off your shoulders.
105. Reuse items
Similar to recycling, reuse your items for yourself. Newspaper can be a good wrapping paper for presents, book cover for textbooks or used to clean windows instead of paper towels. Plastic bags can be a great make-shift garbage bag. Cut the bottom off a plastic bottle and use it as a funnel, perfect for putting fluids in your car.
Join a local barter system and trade your services for other services you need. Depending on the area you live in and the system in your area, you might not need to exchange one for one. Instead, you could give your massage services and earn credits to buy something you need at a later date.
How to Save money by making lifestyle changes
107. Quit smoking
If you smoke, quit. Smokers have heard the term ‘quit smoking’ a thousand times, but many often fail to find the motivation required. Here’s good news coming your way. Let’s say you smoke two packs per day with each pack costing eight dollars. Utility bills will come in the form of greeting cards since you’ll have an extra $112 per week in your pockets. That means an astounding saving of $448 a month! How many bills could you pay with that? And all you got to do is get rid of the nicotine sticks! How’s that for motivation? How many bills could you pay with that?!
108. Avoid bad habits
Bad habits not only affect our budget but they can also harm our social, physical, and psychological condition. Bad habits can include smoking, drinking, shopping, and excessive eating during the nighttime. All of these can hurt the pocketbook!
109. Drink less expensive beer / Wine
Stop being spoiled by IPAs, Heineken, and Grey Goose and save up to 50% with more economical brands. Better yet, quit drinking!
110. Stop going out for coffee
The average cup of coffee at Starbucks is around four dollars. So if you go out for coffee twice a day, you are looking at just about $3000 per year. Add in a pastry or a breakfast sandwich you are busting over the 4K mark.
111. Don’t go out to eat as much
Let’s say you go out to eat somewhere around six times a month, and the average bill is something around $60; if you simply cut that to three times a month, you could save $180 each month! Two credit card payments can then easily be dealt with!
112. Make your health a priority
Believe it or not, paying your copay each year and going to regular checkups could cost you less than waiting until you are truly ill. If you wait until something is seriously wrong, you may end up hospitalized and hospital stays are far from cheap. Spending the few bucks now could potentially save you thousands later.