Looking for some new ways to save money? These money saving ideas will help you stay on budget and have extra cash left over in your bank account!
This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.
Is it weird that I love finding new ways to save money?
It’s sort of like a game for me, finding cheaper alternatives and seeing how much I can get for as little money as possible.
I’ve been living this frugal lifestyle for years, so I’ve been able to find all sorts of ways to save money. If you’d like to save money too but don’t really know where to start, then let me give you some ideas!
30 Ways to Save Money So You Can Reach Your Financial Goals
Here are some of my absolute favorite ways to save money!
1. Cut your family’s hair.
If you feel comfortable cutting your family’s hair, then go for it! YouTube has some excellent videos showing you how to cut some basic cuts.
I’m a licensed cosmetologist, so I save a ton of money by cutting my own hair and Josh’s.
2. Get your hair cut at a cosmetology school.
If you aren’t comfortable cutting your family’s hair but still want to save some money, try getting your hair cut at a local cosmetology school.
Yes, the students are still learning, so you do assume some risk when you visit a school. BUT, the instructors check the cuts for accuracy, so it’s unlikely that you’ll leave looking like you just had your hair cut with a weed eater.
If you want to save money on haircuts, I’d almost always advise you to visit a cosmetology school before vising a Great Clips.
At schools, the students aren’t rushed, and they have instructors there to help when they get stuck. At Great Clips, no one is there to check the cut for accuracy, and the stylists are on a strict time limit. You’re far more likely to end up with a hack job at a cheap salon than at a school.
3. Recreate your favorite restaurant meals at home.
Restaurants are a real budget-killer, so avoid them as much as possible! When you have a hankering for your favorite dish, see if you can recreate it at home.
In our house, Olive Garden’s pasta Alfredo is our weakness. So instead of spending $25-30 on a single meal, we spend less than $10 when we make this copycat version at home.
Since we follow a mostly plant-based lifestyle, we only have this meal as a treat, usually once per month. But oh! When I do make it, it’s like heaven on earth! In fact, Josh says it’s even better than Olive Garden. And the best part is that it isn’t hard to make at all.
4. Ditch cable and go with Netflix.
Cable is so overrated. You can switch to Netflix or Hulu to save some serious cash!
We’ve actually never had cable. We watch it at hotels and beach houses when we’re on vacation, but that’s about it. Instead, we have Netflix. And we love it!
In fact, we’re so spoiled because we don’t have to watch any commercials. Plus, we get to binge watch our favorite shows without having to wait for a new episode to air each week.
5. Reduce your utility bills.
Utility bills really stink. You can reduce them by swapping old light bulbs for new LED versions, taking shorter showers, and upgrading to energy efficient appliances when your old ones kick the bucket.
We also keep our air conditioner set to 75 degrees in the summer and the heat set to 65 degrees in the winter. Yes, it’s warmer than we typically like in the summer. But we wear shorts and tank tops and turn on the ceiling fans. And yes, 65 degrees is a little colder than we like in the winter. But we wear socks and hoodies and cover up with blankets.
Extreme? Maybe. But we sure do enjoy having that extra cash in our bank account each month!
6. Cancel your gym membership.
Do you really get your money’s worth out of your gym membership? If you’re like most people, then probably not. Instead, opt for cheap or free exercise. Walk or run at a park when it’s nice out, watch exercise videos on YouTube, or buy a few workout DVDs on Amazon.
7. Grocery shop at Aldi or Lidl.
This is one of my favorite ways to save money. Since we follow a mostly plant-based diet, Aldi is a real budget saver. Honestly, we could not afford to eat healthfully anywhere else!
You won’t find many name brands at Aldi or Lidl (unless you find something in their limited time sections), but the quality is right up there with the big brands. And Aldi has a fantastic line of organic products that are incredibly affordable, in my opinion.
We spend about $200 per month on groceries for the two of us, and that’s with us eating mostly plant-based.
8. Use coupons or Ibotta when you can.
I’m not a super couponer by any means. And since I tend to buy generic brands, I don’t often need them. But I do still browse my RedPlum mailer when it comes to my mailbox just in case I see a coupon for something I know I’m going to buy.
More recently, I’ve started using the Ibotta app. Again, I don’t get to use it very often because I tend to buy store brands.
And honestly, Ibotta isn’t really that useful for a plant-based lifestyle. Most of the rebates are for packaged foods, snacks, dairy, etc., and I just don’t buy much of that stuff anymore. But on the rare occasion when I do, I check to see if Ibotta has a rebate for it.
You can click here to sign up for the Ibotta app. You’ll receive a $10 bonus just for signing up!
9. Shop at thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales.
If you really want to get me excited, tell me we’re going to a thrift store. I love the thrill of the hunt, and I pride myself on being a bloodhound of sorts when it comes to scoring big brands.
You might be surprised to find that I’m a bit of a brand snob when it comes to clothes. But here’s the kicker: I don’t like to spend much money on clothes. It’s quite the conundrum!
But luckily, I have thrift stores to save the day!
When I visit stores in affluent areas, I can find all sorts of clothes from Talbots, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, J.Crew, and more, sometimes with tags still on them! If you want to know my biggest secrets for scoring big at thrift stores, read this post:
If you’re in the market for anything (clothes, household goods, furniture, books, etc.), visit a thrift store, flea market, or yard sale. You just might find some hidden treasures!
10. Buy a refillable water bottle.
It may not seem like a big expense, but buying bottled water is such as waste. I keep a few bottles on hand for rare occasions (such as smuggling one in my purse when I go to the movie theater), but we use refillable bottles for the most part.
And since we drink A LOT of water, refillable water bottles are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic.
11. Reduce your phone bill.
I’m amazed when I hear what other people pay to their cell phone provider. It’s outrageous! We have two iPhones with Verizon, and our bill is less than $65 per month. Here’s how we did it:
First, we got our phones back when Verizon offered cheap or free upgrades. Josh’s phone was $.01 and mine was free.
Second, our plan only includes 2GB of data. We don’t browse the web or watch videos unless we’re on WiFi.
Third, we take full advantage of the discount we get through Josh’s employer.
And fourth, I specifically asked Verizon if they could give us a discount on each of our phones (and they did!). All of these things combined keep our bill relatively low.
If you want to decrease your bill, try shopping around to see if another carrier offers a cheaper plan. You should also reduce your data package if you have WiFi at home. Don’t forget to check with your employer to see if they offer a discount for your cell phone bill, and check with your carrier directly to see what kinds of discounts they can offer you.
And whatever you do, don’t finance a new phone! That’s just plain silly. Even though financing a new phone only increases your bill a small amount each month, that still translates to you paying hundreds of dollars for a phone.
Instead, save up some cash and buy the previous generation of the phone you want from Amazon (just make sure it’s compatible with your provider) or directly from the company’s website. You’ll save a ton of money that way.
12. Make a budget and stick to it!
If you really want to save money, create a budget. When you create a budget, you decide up front how much money you plan to spend before the month even begins. That keeps you from getting to the end of the month and wondering where all your money went.
13. Combine your errands into one trip.
Not only will combining your errands into one trip save money on gas, but it will also save you lots of time! Instead of running to town multiple times per week, make a plan ahead of time so you can do it all in one fell swoop.
14. Visit the library or buy used books instead of buying them new.
New books are so expensive! If I’m looking for a particular book, I typically try to find it at the library first. If my library doesn’t have it, I check Amazon to see if I can find a used version.
15. Adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
This probably goes against everything you’ve been told about eating healthfully, but I actually find that this way of eating is SO. MUCH. CHEAPER. than the standard American diet.
Prepackaged and processed foods, along with dairy and meat, were always the most expensive items on my grocery receipt. Whole, plant-based foods are so much cheaper, especially when you buy them from Aldi!
16. Ditch name brands at the grocery store.
I may be a brand snob when it comes to clothing, but that’s about where it ends. I’ll almost always buy the store brand before I’ll buy the name brand.
17. Swap prestige cosmetics for drugstore cosmetics.
$40 for foundation, $30 for powder, $20 for lipstick? No thanks.
I’m a Revlon and L’Oreal kind of girl. I briefly worked for a beauty product retailer, and I never found a prestige brand that was significantly better than the products I used from the drugstore.
18. Downsize your home.
If you have a bigger mortgage than you can afford, it may be time to downsize. Dave Ramsey recommends your mortgage be no more than 25% of your take-home pay.
19. Make your own cleaning products.
I’m amazed by how expensive cleaning products can be! Rather than forking over that kind of cash, I make my own laundry detergent and all-purpose cleaner.
I’ve been using the same laundry detergent for years, but I’m going to try this one when I run out of my current batch.
20. Ditch some cleaning products.
You don’t need a million and three cleaning products. Here are two you can ditch right now: dryer sheets and Windex.
I wasn’t convinced at first that I could get rid of my trusty Windex. If you’re a little skeptical too, read this post:
Not only will you eliminate some harmful cleaning products from your home, but you’ll also save some serious cash at the same time!
21. Take your lunch to work.
We already know that restaurants are a real budget-killer. Instead, pack your lunch!
I make enough food at suppertime so that I can send the leftovers with Josh for the next day’s lunch. We find that this is one of the more significant ways to save money since eating lunch out every single day really adds up!
22. Rent movies instead of seeing them in theater.
Movie theaters are so expensive, but giving them up is hard when you’re a big movie fan.
We love superhero movies, and we see a good many of them in theaters. But if we don’t absolutely NEED to see the latest movie in theater, we wait until it’s available to rent on DVD from Redbox or our local movie rental store.
When we feel we must see a movie in theater (we almost always see the new Marvel movies in theater), we opt for a matinee when the price is lower.
23. Buy paper products in bulk.
We buy our toilet paper and Puffs facial tissues in bulk from Sam’s Club. We save a lot of money that way!
24. Make some foods from scratch.
If you have the time, make some foods from scratch. I now buy and cook dried beans instead of buying the canned version. By doing that, I also get to control the amount of sodium in our food. Double win!
25. Buy reusable products instead of disposable ones.
We stopped using disposable napkins a long time ago. I bought some black cloth napkins on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond a few years ago, so we just wash and reuse them over and over. It saves money and is eco-friendly! Another double win!
26. Take day trips instead of overnight trips.
We love going on vacation. Even though we’re trying to pay off debt, we still make room in our budget for vacations.
(I know, lots of financial experts will tell you not to do that.)
But as much as we love a good weekend away, we know that paying for a place to stay can get expensive. Decent hotels are pricey, and even camping costs a little bit. When we want to get away without the cost, we take a day trip! We get all the fun without the bill.
27. Pack a lunch when traveling.
We also like to pack our lunch when we take trips. This helps us avoid unhealthy fast food restaurants, and it’s free!
28. Book hotels through travel websites.
When we do take overnight trips, we try to book them through travel websites. We use websites such as Travelocity or Expedia for hotels, and we use HomeAway or VRBO when we rent a beach house for our big anniversary beach trip.
29. Ditch treats.
If you want to trim your grocery budget even further, cut out treats.
Soft drinks, candy, chips, and other junk foods serve no real nutritional purpose, so they aren’t necessary. Those should be the first thing to go if you need to save money at the grocery store. Sure, it will be hard to go without them, but your wallet and waistline will be much happier.
30. Buy produce in season.
Another way to save money at the grocery store is to buy produce when it’s in season. It will be much cheaper and often fresher!
Final Thoughts on Ways to Save Money
So those are my favorite ways to save money! When all added together, they save us a ton of money month after month, year after year. And we really don’t feel deprived at all! Like I mentioned earlier, saving money is sort of a game for me now, so I love finding new ways to save money.
If you’re a big-time spender, give a few of these ideas a try and see how they work for you. You might find that you actually prefer having that cash in your bank account rather than forking it over to someone else! Who knows, you might catch the frugal bug and never look back.
Other Money Saving Posts You May Enjoy
- How to Save Money without Feeling Deprived
- How We Cut Our Spending to Maximize Our Student Loan Payments
- How to Know Which Financial Advice to Follow
- The Biggest Mistake I Ever Made Trying to Save Money
- How to Spend Less Money When Your Spending is Out of Control
- No-Spend Month Results: What We Learned from Our First No-Spend Challenge
- How to Prepare for a Successful No-Spend Month
What are your favorite ways to save money?
Also, if you found this post helpful, feel free to share it or pin it for later!