Monday, January 14, 2013

37 Easy Ways to Save Money

The busyness of the holidays, gift buying, and innumerable runs to the grocery store can all add up to a busted budget in December. If you've resolved to get back on budget in the new year, or if you're starting to budget for the first time as part of the No Spend Month Challenge, here are some ways to save money. Pick two or three to commit to, and you could save thousands of dollars this year. You may even become a little greener along the way.

*Update: Check out the expanded list of 97 Easy Ways to Save Money*


Check out this list of 37 easy ways to save money. www.growingslower.com #savemoney #savingmoneytips

37 Easy Ways to Save Money


1.  Switch to cloth napkins, save $4/mo
2.  Cancel your home phone, save $30/mo
3.  Cut down on Starbucks runs, save $15-100/mo
4.  Move to a cheaper home, save $200-2000/mo
5.  Cook dinner at home instead of eating out, save $150-500/mo
6.  Turn down the heat, save $10-20/mo
7.  Pack a lunch, save $40-200/mo
8.  Let your hair go back to its natural color, save $50/mo
9.  Take the bus, bike, or walk instead of driving, save $30-400/mo
10. Carpool, save $200/mo
11. Use family cloth instead of buying toilet paper, save $5-10/mo
12. Commit to being a one car family, save $400/mo
13. Combine errands into fewer trips, $10-50/mo
14. Shop for a better deal on insurance, save $10-50/mo
15. Make sure tires are properly inflated, save $30/mo
16. Use mama cloth or a diva cup instead of disposable products, save $10/mo
17. Don't carry a credit card balance, save $30/mo
18. Use in-network providers for healthcare, save $30-120/mo
19. Stop impulse and recreational shopping, save $50-300/mo
20. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable, save $50-100/mo
21. Save manicures and pedicures for special occasions only, save $30/mo
22. Shop for a cheaper cell phone plan, save $10-25/mo
23. Use cloth baby wipes instead of disposable, save $10/mo
24. Cook vegetarian once a week, save $20/month
25. Cancel the gym membership you don't use anyway, $30-60/mo
26. Quit smoking, save $50-200/mo plus healthcare expenses
27. Drive the speed limit, save $10/mo
28. Cancel cable, save $30-100/mo
29. Go to the library instead of buying books, save $10/mo
30. Buy clothes at thrift and consigment stores, save $100/mo
31. Stop buying lottery tickets, save $5-20/mo
32. Do your own home and car maintenance, save $60-200/mo
33. Make your own bread, save $10/mo
34. Use less water, save $5-10/mo
35. Downsize your garbge service, save $10/mo
36. Do your own yard work, $150/mo
37. Hang your clothes to dry instead of using the dryer, save $10/mo

Sick of couponing, shopping sales, and meal planning only to find you're still busting your grocery budget? Try this. (This is the system I used this system to save $5,616 in the last year alone!) 

What's one thing you could cut from your budget? 


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51 comments:

  1. Great Resource! I shared so hopefully others will be aware of ways they can save money!

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  2. I'm glad that we're doing *most* of the things on your list. We're pretty conscious about how we spend out money, but we have to be in a household where only one parent works full-time. I would love to eat out less - my husband loves to eat out, and it's an easy way for me to take a break ;)

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  3. Great tips here. I could definitely cut down on going out to eat. I'd love to cancel my home phone and cable too. I barely even watch TV and the kids could go without it.

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  4. These are great ideas. I always forget about turning down the heat - need to do that.

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  5. Great list! It's amazing how the little things add up. One alternative to canceling your land line and shopping for a cheaper cell plan is to keep the land line but live without a cell phone--it depends on what your priorities are.

    Here are my <a href="http://articles.earthlingshandbook.org/2012/03/07/thrifty-tips/>Thrifty Tips</a>.

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  6. Its great to see that we do plenty off your list already :) And you have reminded me to check my tyre pressure... its scary how much of a difference that makes!

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  7. I need to do the car tire tip. I only hang on to our landline because so many were without cell service in Hurricane Sandy. Otherwise, it would be out the door as an expense. I am definitely pinning this one and seeing how we can do better.

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  8. Wonderful tips! We do plenty of those things now, but it's always a good reminder.

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  9. Sharing on FB now :) I've recently started using cloth napkins (love it!) and am actually making my first batch of homemade bread today! Thanks for the tips!

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  10. Great tips. We already do many of these. I've really been wanting to switch to cloth napkins though and haven't done it yet.

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  11. I love your listing of ways to save money, Shannon! My husband and I became a one-car family once we were empty nesters. That alone has made a huge difference. And we've both been vegetarians for almost 40 years now (our kids are lifelong vegetarians), so that's helped tremendously over the years, too! :) Deb @ LivingMontessoriNow.com

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  12. thanks for your tips about how to savem money, there are a few I haven't tried that we should this year. Check out my new year's resolutions at stoneageparent.com

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  13. I meant www.stoneageparenting.com! sorry

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  14. This is a great list. So comprehensive. Starbucks is a pet-peeve of mine. I make a nice mug of coffee that's just as good at home. Takes me two minutes. That said, I'm guilty of NOT doing a lot of the other things too. And I should!

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  15. We do a lot of tose thing but I really need to get more disciplined with #19! When I'm stressed (which Ive been lately) I tend to shop! :(

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  16. Great ideas! Thanks for compiling them all here.

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  17. Seriously??? Commit to a one car family would loose is $110,000 annually. Does anyone really buy books anymore? Most of them are online for free or under $1. Have not bought paper anything in 5 years. You list is very out dated.

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    1. I think what you're saying is that if you didn't have the second car, you would lose your second income? Of course, not all of the ways to save money will be right for every family. It's amazing how much we do spend to go to work though. As I noted in my How to Afford to be a Stay at Home Mom post, the average person spends $400/month on transportation to work alone. The cost of a second vehicle can be shockingly high when you consider a loan or lease payment, insurance, maintenance, registration, and gas.

      The average American spends $118 a year on reading materials. I guess that's not much, but every little bit helps. It's wonderful that there are so many free and inexpensive books available now. If you want the latest Grisham or Rowling for instance, it's still $9-13 even on kindle.

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    2. When we first got our second vehicle a little over 4 years ago our vehicle expenses went up to almost double what our rent was. We had two car payments, two insurance payments and a lot of money to gas. We lived in a cabin in the woods though so it took us 45 minutes one way to get into town and home. Having the second vehicle meant I could go into town on a whim instead of planning it out, which meant that we went into town daily. In Nov 2011 a an uninsured unlicensed young man crashed into my van head on and we just never replaced it. We don't ever plan to be a 2 car family again.

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  18. Love your list! I find it intriguing that we do so many of them already. I did have a twinge of guilt that I need to check our tire pressure — the little symbol in our car went on for that. And I really do want to curb (again) the impulse shopping.

    Sharon's comment is so weird! Is she saying she and her partner each make $110,000? Then why would she be reading a list of ways to save money, lol? Also, my mom buys every book at the bookstore, sometimes multiple copies of the same one to lend to friends. I can't convince her to use the library, even though I always try!

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    1. Has a lot to do with saving some of it. Where you live is related to the cost of living. lol

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    2. To save more of it. lol. The cost of living can and is related to where a person lives.

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    3. The best way to stay rich is to be smart about your money. Why WOULDN'T you follow this list if you have money? Smart Family that Sharon has, if you ask me.

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    4. Lauren, I adore our library! It's so nice to be able to bring home fresh books for E to read every week. Actually, it's probably nicer for me than for him even, so I don't get so tired of reading the same ones all the time. It has so many amenities besides just books too. We just brought home two baby-signing time DVDs. They even have preschool packs put together with a whole bunch of activities and lessons on one theme. Since I doubt we'll be able to afford real preschool, that will be perfect!

      Sharon & Anon, it's so true, you've got to save money to have it. As far as cost of living, that makes a huge difference. I could see $200K/ year easily getting gobbled up if you had say a modest townhouse in the city with 2 or 3 kids in sports or activities.

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  19. Use "Family Cloth" instead of toilet paper to save a measly $5-10?? That's pretty disgusting. No thanks, I will fork over the extra money.

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    1. LOL! I haven't tried it yet, though I wouldn't be surprised if it's on the crunchy horizon. Since I'm already washing cloth diapers a couple times a week, it doesn't seem so gross.

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    2. It's really not that bad when you're already doing cloth diapers. My husband isn't down for the cloth wipes, but he said if we install a bidet sprayer he'd be fine with using that and the cloth to dry up.

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  20. We do most of the things on your list, and survive on a very small income... but I must admit, I haven't gone the family cloth way. I just can't see it in our future. Love your list. Some great tips.

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  21. Found you on Frugal Ways, Sustainable Days. Adding to my bookmarks and will come back with a pen and paper - why did I not think of allowing my hair to return to its natural colours?!

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  22. Wow. I do all of these and I'm still poor. It's still a great list for most!

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  23. Lots of great tips...thanks for sharing these, they can and do make a difference!

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  24. Move to a cheaper home? Really?
    First the cost of moving even if you do it yourself is expensive. You need the money for deposits on your apartment & utilities usually. You need to rent a moving truck or hire movers. Also, if you own your home, it's not that easy to just pick up and move. Most people's homes have lost value so you would be losing money and have to come up with money at closing. Even to refinance would cost you up front or on the backend.
    Use in-network providers? Well yes of course! Tired of the whole latte factor tip. I think most people that need to save money don't go to Starbucks every day.
    I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just tired of these types of lists that are a re-hash of information found else where.
    I'd rather have a list of 5 original ideas than a long list that I can(and have) find anywhere.

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    1. I wrote the moving to a cheaper home advice based on personal experience. We recently moved to a home that reduced our monthly expenses by about 70%. God blessed us to find a place that didn't require any upfront costs like a deposit. We did all the moving ourselves with the help of lots of friends and family and the cost was under $1000, so we'll recoup our cost very quickly.

      As for coffee, ABC reported that the average worker spends $1100 per year at coffee shops. I have a hard time imagining that every one of those people can afford the extra expense of coffee, especially since it's such an addictive substance. As someone else added in the comments, you have to save money to have money. Even a person with a higher income can quickly become poor if they routinely waste all their money. So we could all stand to save a little more.

      I guess everyone's situation is just a little bit different, and what works for some people won't be right for others. I wrote this list hoping to help people rethink their expenses. I'd love to hear your 5 original ideas and add them to the list!

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    2. Sounds like the last commenter just needs to get a job. There are lots of ways to save money but if you don't earn any you can't save it.

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  25. Great list. Do most of them. But, yes, some luxuries I am willing to pay. Feminine products and toilet paper would rank right at the top. Maybe in the 1800s our great-great grandparents had to go this route. But we have other options--thank God! Also, water, soap and bleach to wash the cloths would weigh out any savings of toilet paper, I'd think. Just buy the 1,000-sheet paper like Scott. You can get an even cheaper brand at Aldis. The 1000-sheet lasts about four times longer and ends up being much cheaper than other smaller rolls, let alone you aren't having to change the roll every day.

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    1. I lived my childhood and youth in Soviet Union and yes, I agree 100%! Thank God for the invention of feminine disposables. Anyone disagreeing should try living without them when you are in high school.

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  26. One great way our family has saved money since I quit my job to stay home with the darling daughter is I've learned to coupon. It has been a blessing, but it can also be work. But the way I figure it, I spend 3 or 4 hours getting ready and going shopping and save over $100, I'm making at least $25 an hour for my time. It's not for everyone, but if you have the time and want to save the money, it can help immensely.

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  27. You lost me at "use family cloth" instead of toilet paper. You can't be serious! That is beyond disgusting.

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  28. These are great! We've used family cloth for two years now, no problam. The other ideas are great!

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  29. We do most of these things, but I'd love to be able to hang my clothes to dry. When we lived in Uruguay, we didn't have a dryer, but where we live now, it's too cold half of the year to hang our clothes outside.

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  30. I like that you spelled out the savings amount for me! :) We're doing most of those things already. yeah!

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  31. I love shopping at Goodwill, but I still like my toilet paper lol

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  32. Interesting list. My philosphy on reading blogs, tips or anything on the internet is to be positive and to not bash someone else's ideas. So what if I don't agree with everything, I can choose to keep negative opinions to myself. Thank you for your ideas and good for you for saving money anyway you are are able and willing to. :)

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  33. Great list. Some people are so cruel. If they don't like your list, exit the webpage. As you can tell, a lot of people agree with you and are willing to try new methods to save. Thanks for the help! We are going to be trying some of these.

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  34. We cut our cable ($50) and got netflix streaming ($10). We save $40 a month on it and buy a lot less advertised junk.

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  35. A oouple of things not on your list:
    Take military showers, or cut back on showers all together. Sorry, folks, you do not need to shower every day.
    Just like turning down the heat in the winter, cut back on your air conditioner use in the summer. It's healthier to open some windows and get fresh air (ok, that does depend on where you live).
    Don't flush the toilet after each use. Isn't there a saying "when it's yellow let it mellow, when it's brown flush is down".
    I won't however be using the cloth toilet paper or feminine products. I would challenge everyone to cut back on how many sheets of TP they use at a time though.

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  36. A oouple of things not on your list:
    Take military showers, or cut back on showers all together. Sorry, folks, you do not need to shower every day.
    Just like turning down the heat in the winter, cut back on your air conditioner use in the summer. It's healthier to open some windows and get fresh air (ok, that does depend on where you live).
    Don't flush the toilet after each use. Isn't there a saying "when it's yellow let it mellow, when it's brown flush is down".
    I won't however be using the cloth toilet paper or feminine products. I would challenge everyone to cut back on how many sheets of TP they use at a time though.

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    1. With diva cups (instead of tampons), it isn't cloth or anything, it's kind of like rubber-ish....

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  37. Great tips - thanks for sharing! We do a lot of things already, but I'm sure we could improve.

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  38. Here is what I did to cut down on phone costs. I got MagicJack Plus for the home phone. It's @ $20.00 per year. I also have a cell phone. I chose a Track Phone that has triple minutes. This way I have no contract and only buy minutes when I need them. I use the cell for only important calls I need to make away from home and my home phone for all calls that can wait until I am home.

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  39. Here is what I did to cut down on phone costs. I use MagicJack Plus for a home phone. I costs @ $20.00 per year. For a cell phone, I chose a Track Phone that has triple minutes. This way there is no contract and I only buy minutes when I need them. I use the cell for only important calls I need to make away from home and use the home phone for all calls that can wait until I get home.

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