Saving money doesn’t have to be hard. When you start saving money, you’ll be able to put that money towards any debt you may have  or be able to save for the future. Here are simple ways to save money.
Simple Ways to Save Money
- Be light conscious. Use daylight as much as possible. Turn off the lights when you aren’t in the room. Use solar lights outside instead of electric for energy efficiency .
- Cook at home. Cooking at home  is cheaper than dining out.
- Cancel or reduce your cable. You can borrow movies and television series from the library for free. Certain stations have all of their television show’s episodes available online for free. You can also watch movies on Hulu for no charge. Sign up for text and e-mail alerts for Redbox , and you’ll receive codes for free rentals every now and then.
- Eat and drink local. Produce , beer and wine , and other products are generally cheaper when they’re produced nearby.
- Downgrade your phone plan. Call your cell phone provider to see if what you can do to lower your bill. Maybe if you reduce your data, minutes for phone calls, or texts, you can cut down your bill. If you’re not in a contract, consider switching to save.
- Brew your own coffee. If you bought a coffee  everyday for $5, you’d end up spending $1,825 a year on coffee.
- Buy produce in season. When a fruit or vegetable is out of season , it’s much more expensive since it’s harder to produce.
- Stop or reduce your beauty treatments. I stopped dying my hair and limited the amount I get it cut, and I’ve saved probably $500 per year from it. Services like manicures, pedicures, and facials can be done at home.
- Use cold water when you can. If you can, wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot water to save money. Take a little colder shower, wash your dishes in cooler water, and limit any time you’re using hot water.
- Use coupons. Don’t leave the house before looking for a coupon. Find coupons in the newspaper or in magazines. Visit the specific product’s website, the store where you’re shopping, and coupons sites, like Coupon.com .
- Shop generic. A lot of times the ingredients are exactly the same in generic cleaning products, beauty products, or foods. Compare the ingredients of your favorite name brand product along with the price.
- Sign up for automatic payments. For every bill you pay, check if there is a benefit to enroll in automatic payments. For Sallie Mae, they will lower your interest rate if you sign up for your payments to be automatically deducted. Other companies and cell phone providers offer a discount for customers who sign up to have their payments debited automatically. Just make sure automatic payments aren’t secretly costing you money .
- Unplug your electronics. When you’re not using any electronics, unplug them. They are still using up power even if they’re not in use. See 13 more ways to save money before walking out the door .
- Reduce car use. If you don’t really need a car, sell it. You’ll save on gas, insurance, maintenance, registration, fees, and much more. Either way, use your car as little as possible to save on maintenance and gas. You’ll also save on other driving costs like tolls and parking. Instead, walk or bike whenever possible. Also take public transportation when you can. Consider the surprising benefits of the one car household .
- Travel during the off-season. When you travel, choose to go when it’s less popular because prices will be better.
- Sign up for e-mail alerts. Wherever you spend money, sign up for e-mail alerts and rewards programs . Grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and clothing stores all have email lists. Sign up and you’ll receive alerts of sales and promotions or coupons.
- Find free or cheap entertainment. Search for alternatives to spending money for fun. Check out free nearby activities like local concerts, plays, festivals, or other events. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or walking. Get together for a game night, movie night, make dinner with friends, or have a potluck.
- Use leftovers. Whenever you cook and there are leftovers, be sure to store them properly so they’ll remain usable. Be sure to use them. Get creative, and use them to create a whole new meal.
- Keep track of purchases. Stick to your budget , and keep track of every dollar you spend.
- Plan your route smartly. Whenever you’re driving, plan the most efficient route. Instead of running to the store a bunch of times during the week, plan it so you are only going once. Besides saving time, you’re also saving gas. Anytime you’re driving somewhere, opt for the most gas efficient route. You also want to choose a way that avoids traffic or tolls as well.
- Avoid money-robbing temptations. If you’re trying to not spend money , don’t go anywhere you’d be tempted to spend like a mall or out to a bar.
- Think before you buy. Before you make any purchase, wait a while. Sometimes you have an impulse to buy something, but if you wait a while, you may realize you don’t want it as much as you thought. Also take time to compare prices at other stores, find any coupons or deals, and read reviews to see any pros or cons to it.
- Don’t just make minimum payments. Whenever you’re dealing with debt that is accruing interest , make more than the minimum payment. You’ll save hundreds or thousands by paying more than the minimum due since your payments are always going towards interest before paying down the principal balance.
- Carpool when you can. Whether it’s to work, school, events, or even the store, carpool with your co-workers, friends, family, and neighbors to save on gas and also help the environment.
- Shop used when you can. Before buying something brand new, check out Ebay, Amazon, or second-hand stores for gently used items. Also consider shopping at a thrift store or second-hand store for used clothes .
- Use reusable items whenever you can. Reusable water bottles, containers, and coffee mugs are much cheaper than constantly buying plastic or paper disposable ones. Instead of packing food in plastic baggies, use reusable Tupperware. Instead of constantly using paper towels to clean, use rags and wash them in the washing machine when you’re done cleaning with them.
What are your favorite money saving tips?