30 Money Saving Tips

Posted by Madison

I recently asked readers to share their money saving tips. The responses were terrific!

One of my favorites is Brian’s idea to wait at least 30 days before making major purchasing decisions. There are so many times when I decide I no longer need to buy something that was at the top of my list last month!

From energy savings to selling your stuff and using the library to setting up your accounts automatically and everything in between, here is a recap of the tips to save:

Money Saving Tips

  1. Fill your fridge. Lower your electricity bills by stocking your fridge with water bottles. The less empty space you have in your fridge, the less cold air will escape whenever you open it. – by Investing & Passive Income
  2. Bring your lunch to work. It can save you about $10-$20 a week. If you add that up, it comes down to saving at least $520 a year. – by Christine
  3. Get an account with Brring.com. They give you a phone number that automatically forwards to your normal number. Each time someone calls your Brring number, they’ll hear a 5-second ad – and you’ll get paid. – by CheeseEverywhere
  4. Cover windows in the winter. Have 1/4″ sheets of plexiglass cut to the size of your windows; during the winter install on the inside of your windows with an airgap (created by using foam insulation strips) in between. Use wood strips to hold in place. It minimizes loss of heat and it is a great sound barrier! – by stngy1
  5. Wait before purchasing. Wait at least 30 days before making major purchasing decisions. It will help you truly think about if you need it or should buy something. – by Brian
  6. Install an energy system. Earlier this heating season I had a Climate Energy free watt System installed. It’s a combined heat and power system for the home and it saves a bundle on electricity. – by MITBeta @ Don’t Feed The Alligators
  7. Cancel your land line. Save money everyday by using a cell phone and skipping the land line. – by Patrick
  8. Challenge yourself to save every day. I started a 30-day challenge called “A Dollar A Day”. – by dreamfool @ A Fools’ Dream
  9. Open your windows. During the spring and fall, if you don’t have a programmable thermostat, turn off the air conditioner completely and open up your windows. This is simple, but if you do it everyday you can go quite some time without having to run it, and get some fresh air in the process as well. – by RC@ThinkYourWayToWealth
  10. Save your coins. We empty our pockets every day and put any and all change in a jar. We have a “spend no coins” rule in our household. If we must spend money we always use cash and we always drop the change in a jar. We keep a running “guess” as to how much we have accumulated! The person with the closest guess come holiday time 2008 gets a week off from normal household chores. – by Natalee A.
  11. Use auto-debit for loans. I called my student loan company to see if there was anything I could do to reduce my interest rate. Having them auto-debit the minimum drops the rate a quarter of a percent. – by sara l
  12. Sign up for a library card. I’m savings anywhere from $30 to $50 a month on book and DVD expenses! – by Sarah
  13. Shop online with Ebates. Then use PriceProtectr to take advantage of any price reduction. In addition, save to buy what you want instead of putting it on a credit card or an installment plan. – by Pinyo
  14. Hang clothes out to dry. Last summer, I totally offset my air conditioning bill by choosing not to use my dryer. Not only did it save me money, but I really enjoy being out in the fresh air!
    - by Bekki
  15. Just ask. Call everyone you pay a bill to and ask them for lower rates. This can be applied to cell phones, cable, internet, credit cards, loans, etc. – by Tom
  16. Sell your stuff. Grab up all the old DVDs, Books, and CDs in your house that you don’t use anymore and sell them on the secondary market. – by PT
  17. Use the bathroom at work, not at home. - by Mr. Stupid
  18. Stockpile groceries. Match coupons with sales, stockpile the bargains and eat from your fridge or pantry. – by Grace
  19. Use craigslist. If I see a book I really like, I try to get it through my college library or the free inter-library book loan system. I also check the “books” section of my local craigslist on a daily basis – sometimes it has ridiculously good deals. - by GL
  20. Use Freecycle.org. I found an old blender for a project and saved myself at least $15. – by lpkitten
  21. Tell others about your goals. I talked to my friend who works at the grocery store about the rising costs of food.. and how I was making my own bread… He came to my home with 15 loaves of bread!! The store was going to throw them away because they were “mismarked” Don’t be shy about frugality!! - by Just a Flipflop Mom
  22. Use less detergent. You can often use half the amount of detergent that’s “recommended” and still get your clothes clean. – by Jane
  23. Make savings a bill. Make transfers from your paycheck to savings into a “bill.” The way I see it, my automatic savings plan is like paying a bill, only I’m paying it to myself. Treating the money this way discourages using it for any other reason other than to put it into savings. – by Foxie
  24. Don’t drive during lunch. I stay in office to have lunch two – three times a week. It cuts down on my gas and with the prices these days… – by Amy
  25. Limit groceries to the size of the bag. I take a reusable bag to the grocery store that will hold just the items on my list. That way I’m not tempted to buy something I don’t actually need. – by deepali
  26. Round up on debit card purchases. When I use my debit card I round up the charge to the next dollar and record it in a little note book I have. Then at the end of the month I reconcile the money and deposit all the “change” left over from the debit card transactions!- by Yackie
  27. Take a mini-budget with you. Since I don’t keep my monthly budget with me, once I’ve paid the bills I jot down what I have left for each section (gas, groceries, eating out) in a small left hand column in my checkbook and update it as I spend. Now I can quickly peek in my wallet to see if I’m ‘allowed’ to go out for dinner, or whether I’d better find something to make at home…it’s been very handy and a ’splurge’ saver. – by Jennifer
  28. Use energy at night. I just started doing laundry and dishes after 8 pm or before 10 am. This is saving me only $5/month, but every little bit helps! – by Christin
  29. Borrow from friends. We borrowed a dvd from a friend instead of renting or buying and had a little snack from our own fridge! Way cheaper than using gas to drive to the theater/rental place, paying for a movie, and paying for a snack. Plus I get to check out all the cool blogs as the movie plays! (I’m a multi-tasker.) – by Rachel
  30. Complete a family meal plan. This not only saves money by not scrambling at the last minute and busting the budget on take out, but also saves on the stress in busy families!
    - by NH Mom of 3





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Comments to 30 Money Saving Tips

  1. Great list of money saving tips.

    Pinyo

  2. Lots of great tips. I’m thinking no on the Brring thing, though. I don’t particularly want to make my friends listen to ads. And I certainly wouldn’t want to give it to business contacts.

    Mrs. Micah

  3. Who said you had to give the number to your friends or business contacts? A clever person would realize this is perfect for putting on applications, surveys, etc. where you just know your number will be sold to telemarketers.

    Scott

  4. Maybe if I give the Brring number to my family, they won’t call anymore?

    David

  5. @ David: Your poor family! The funny part was that I noticed that you could fill out a profile for people who will call you and have specific ads targeted to them!

    Madison

  6. Basically, eat less, dont eat out, buy less, spend less, spend more time cold and in the dark and let stuff get older and a little dirtier before buying more

    Glad that’s done

    Fileprompt for free software

  7. I’m thinking the Brrring idea would be great every time you need to put your phone number on a list where they might just sell your number. As well, if you have caller ID, you’d probably see the number is coming from Brrring. If not, you won’t recognize it anyway so you can avoid picking it up.

    jason

  8. Great list of tips-Thanks for including mine!
    RC

    RC@ThinkYourWayToWealth

  9. If a friend of mine forced me to listen to an advert before enjoying the privilege of their conversation I’d have to start seriously reconsidering the criteria on which I let people into my life.

    If it was a business associate I’d hang up and deal with someone else.

    WTF?

    James

  10. great idea making these a post. thanks for linking back.

    PT

  11. #2 is a great one; I have a post waiting to publish with that in mind. ;)

    hank

  12. Cancel your land line. Save money everyday by using a cell phone and skipping the land line. – by Patrick

    Yeah, until a tornado knocks over your cell tower and you don’t have any cell service at home for weeks on end….I live in the midwest. This has happened to me twice in the last 5 years. Kind of inconvenient to have to drive 3 or 4 miles to call 911.

    Flaime

  13. Scott,

    I don’t put my real number on most things I know will be sold to telemarketers…and while they’re getting the Brring number, they’ll still get through to me. In which case I have the nuisance of having to deal with more telemarketers….

    And if there was some legitimate use for the number, then I don’t want to not get the call because they thought they had the wrong number. Or just didn’t want to put up with ads.

    Mrs. Micah

  14. I don’t necessarily agree with the bit about phones. As with any area in which you want to save money, don’t just look at the end price, look at the features you get or the per-unit price and compare accordingly.

    I am about to switch back to using a regular landline for just this reason. I don’t use some of the features on my cell enough to justify paying for them, such as call waiting, and if you leave those features off your landline it becomes significantly cheaper than a cell. Also, I can either get 250 minutes or 450 minutes, but nothing in between, and I never ever use all 450 of those minutes, and I don’t get rollover either–even if I did they’d be wasted on me. So I’m blowing all this money on something that gets thrown away–that makes no sense.

    A landline with nothing fancy added to the account is so much cheaper as to be ridiculous and it has unlimited minutes to boot. I’ve been holding off on keeping better touch with my family by phone precisely because I would go over my minutes. None of them are good letter-writers, either, so whether I am is kind of a moot point. I’d like to hear from them too.

    Long distance is still an issue but because of competition from cellular companies it’s getting cheaper. And some of my relatives have unlimited long distance on their own landline accounts, which solves that problem anyway.

    I’m thinking I might get a prepaid cell to carry around in my purse, if the monthly fee to keep it activated plus my landline bill is still less than a regular cell. I can’t ignore the benefit of having one in case of an emergency but there’s no reason to use one as a regular phone.

    Dana

  15. Great list! Never heard of Brring!

    -Ken

    Ken Clark – CollegeSavings.About.com

  16. I’ve thought of a new way to save more money at the grocery store. Before when I would find a coupon online, I would print it and use it. Recently the bright idea of printing the coupons and then copying them came to mind. Most websites with grocery coupons will only let you print them once and then you’ll have to wait until they say you can print again. Well now, I print the coupons and make a couple of copies for the next time I need them and keep them till they expired. I make copies of the coupons for things I buy everytime I go to the grocery store and that way I can compound my savings. Last week I saved $18 dollars off my grocery bill. Not much but I’d much rather have that money in my pocket than in Wal-mart’s.

    For more money saving tips check my blog

    http://www.savethatmoney.blogspot.com

    chris

  17. Hang out clothes to dry?

    I thought I was the only one doing this. My dryer has just broken down 3 weeks ago and I have been thinking about purchasing a new dryer. We have been hanging our clothes in the backyard to dry. It took a little longer to dry but hey, I don’t have to do anything. I just got my gas bill back 2 days ago and it was 15% lower than normal. I saved about 11$/month which adds up to about 132$ a year. We can put that into our credit card debt and mortgage. Every penny counts.

    sherry@sherrylove.net

  18. This is one of the best lists on money saving I’ve seen in a long time. It was a nice surprise landing here on a search for prepaid cell phones! Funny. My favorite is your advice on keeping water bottles in the fridge to keep less cold air from escaping. I’d never thought of that. This is something that will come in handy as my electrical bill has gone up by a third in these hot summer months. take care.

    Chris at prepaid cell phones’s last post: Verizon Prepaid Cell Phones Review

    Chris at prepaid cell phones

  19. Heh. Love the “use the bathroom at work, not at home tip”.

    There was a guy at my last job that I swore was smuggling toilet paper home from the company restroom.

    save money tips’s last post: don’t wash your car at home…take it to a car wash

    save money tips

  20. Hello. I found this site today and liked it a lot. That’s why I want to add my own 2 cents.

    The money-saving ideas above are good, assuming that most people overspend and overuse and have lots of free time to mess with curtains and pennies. But that’s not so.

    If you stick with a saving-money quest long enough (by choice or not), you realize that it is costing you in your time, attention, energy, options, etc. There are good reasons why certain things were invented and why some businesses still exist.

    Here is one extreme example: you can save money by making your own clothes from your own yarn. You can make your own yarn by saving some animal hair (from your nice neighbor’s dog). You can fix your worn clothes with threads pulled from your unusable clothes…

    This idea could qualify as a money-saving tip, but who would want to do it?

    The tip #3 on the list I liked the most because it is very original and it could potentially bring in new money, but, unfortunately, at the expense of other people’s time. I won’t do it.

    So, my point is, I am looking for ideas better than that. How about a contest for the best money-saving idea?

    Anna

  21. I like #15 Just ask. It’s amazing how many times I’ve gotten a deal just by asking.

    John | MoneySavingTips.org

  22. Great!! useful Money Saving Tips!! thumbs up!!

    premium finance

  23. I think most people would agree that saving money is something “easier said than done”. Personally, I believe it’s a mind-set that needs to be developed by creating good money-saving habits.

    Here are some things I’ve done to help change my spending habits:

    - Cooking more at home  Eating out is very expensive especially if you do it a couple times a week
    - Shopping online  You can find better deals than in the store and you save on gas (I recommend http://www.shoptivity.com)
    - Paying the full balance on credit cards each month  Interest charge is like giving away free money
    - Don’t forget to pay yourself  Set up an online savings account (they pay higher interest than a normal savings account)
    - Setting a budget and goals  It’s good to have your goals written down so you see them everyday and don’t lose focus on your ultimate objectives

    Again, saving money requires a lot of patience and hard work. However, you’ll thank yourself later on in life. Good luck everyone!! =)

    Lovely

  24. #23 Make savings a bill is definitely tops on my list of saving tips but I call it paying yourself first.

    Money Saving Ideas

  25. Re: #28. I wish I knew how much energy cost at different times. Is there any way to find out?

    John Saves Money

  26. Great tips, I follow a few of them myself. The one I always follow is #5 and #10.

    I never buy without thinking it over for a while. Once I think I usually realize I can put it off or I don’t really need it.

    Also, saving my change everyday really adds up. Just last year before Christmas I cashed it in at my bank and was shocked to find I have saved more than $700 throughout the year. I’m looking for that amount again this year I hope,

    Ed

  27. If you’re worried about roaming fees or any out of area calling while you’re on vacation, I suggest you think about carrying a prepaid cell phone with you – its what I do. Anytime my family travels, I always make sure to carry a dependable prepaid phone with me for the just in case and it has to be something on a really good network. The best I’ve found so far is Straight Talk (sold at Walmart) that runs on both the Verizon and ATT networks and I’ve found the service solid everywhere. The price for their cheapest plan – $30 for 1k use – isn’t the cheapest out there, but it worth paying $10 more to know you have the reception you might need when travelling.

    Janice

  28. What about price comparison websites? They make it so mush easier to find the stuf you want to buy and get it for the lowest price. There is hotels.com for hotels, pricerunner.com for things, bownty.com for deals and i bet a lot of other sites. That is my best money saving tip!

    Katrine


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