Tips on How to Save Money Efficiently
Whether you’re saving up for a big goal or paying down debt, cutting costs is one of the best ways to do more with the money you have. You have plenty of options for trimming expenses without feeling like you’re depriving yourself, which isn’t the point anyway. It’s about spending your money in ways that reflect your priorities in life.
So, cut the fat down to wherever is comfortable for you and spend guiltlessly on whatever brings you greatest joy. Here’s a list of how you can be financially stable and have learned the easy ways of saving up!
Savings on food
- Cook your meals at home, home cooked meals are not only healthy but they also save tons of money as compared to getting food from a café or restaurant. These meals cost a fraction of what you would get ready made since you only have to pay for the ingredients.
- Shop with a list. Using a list will help stop your mind from deviating towards things you don’t need, certain luxuries that attract your eye from the second you step in that store will become obsolete. You’re probably going to walk right by it mumbling something like “not on the list”.
- Use a meal planning service to plan your meals. This will keep you on track to get exactly what you need for your next meal, nothing more and nothing less and thus help you save money.
- Eat leftovers for lunches or pack a lunch from home. You’d be surprised how much food is wasted in the form of leftovers, throwing leftovers out is a wasteful habit in both the financial and climatic sense
- Cook once a week or once a month to make eating at home easier, the more you get used to it the more often you’ll do it and thus the more seldom you’ll find yourself ordering takeout or swinging by a café or restaurant for your next meal. That should help in shaving off both weight and money.
- Use coupons and shop the sales at your grocery store. Use sites like Picodi and Coupons etc. to their full potential, using the offers on such sites helps save money.
- Try shopping at a warehouse club or discount grocery store to find lower prices. Places like these often sell items in bulk and thus will last you a longer time, try not to waste anything and if you only need something in a small amount then it is better to get it from a market than in bulk. If you were to get items in bulk when you don’t need them and then waste them you would lose more money than you actually were supposed to save.
- Shop at more than one store each week to find the lowest prices for each item. Different stores are always competing with each other and that means they will constantly be tampering with their prices to attract more customers. By shopping at different stores each weak you’ll eventually find the store that has everything you need and doesn’t have sky high prices.
- Shop at ethnic stores to find the best prices on spices and specialty foods. They often have lower prices as compared to the spices you would find at a super market, plus you get to try new cuisines from such stores! It’s a win-win.
- Buy in bulk on items that you use a lot. Buying things in bulk often mean huge discounts and longer usage time, but only buy things in bulk that you’re sure you’ll use and finish them otherwise it’ll be more like a waste of money than a scheme to save it.
Savings on monthly bills
- Cancel your gym membership and workout at home or go jogging. There are exercise subscriptions that offer cheaper workout options at home. Or switch to a barebones gym membership that is less expensive.
- Watch your weight and exercise regularly to help you save on medical costs now and in the future, plus it doesn’t hurt to cut down on a few pounds (yes I mean both physical and the currency).
- Consider getting a roommate to save money on rent. You can split the rent between the two of you as well as other expenses that both of you may use like fees on streaming services and groceries. It’s the perfect use for that extra bedroom that you only use for storage.
- Buy your home when you are ready to help you save on taxes and build equity.
- Install a low flow showerhead and toilet to save on water costs, also always check for leaks because you never know how much water and thus money is wasted over time when there are leaks in your home’s pipes. If you can, try to save money on fixing the pipes by doing it yourself if the problem is a simple one.
- Look for a cheaper cell phone plan. Consider moving to a month-to-month plan, especially if you are single, you’ll be surprised how much money you save once you do!
- Consider cutting cable and looking for cheap or free alternatives to help you save on how much you pay for cable, besides streaming is much cheaper and has much fewer advertisements made to goad you into buying unnecessary products.
- Switch off the lights whenever you leave a room to save on electricity bills, even a single light bulb can rack up quite the cost.
- Watch out for usage of phantom power, it’s when you leave chargers in the sockets of your home or forget to flip the switch for a socket you were just using. Electricity still moves through these cables and sockets slowly accumulating cost.
- Use efficiency electronics, they may be a bit pricey now but over time they’ll pay for themselves with the money you save on electricity.
Savings on entertainment
- Take time to be still and enjoy the world around you. Visit a park or nature preserve or just sit outside on your back porch and meditate. Relaxing in such ways can open your mind up and allow you to see the world from a different perspective and lets you recharge in a healthy way.
- Go window-shopping. It can be fun to visit stores and look at different items, but this only works if you know that you will not give into the temptation to buy something. For the weaker of will this may not be ideal as they may give in and buy something, this will only lower morale for saving up money in exchange for something you most probably do not require.
- It can be a lot of fun to volunteer at a local community center, to build homes or as a Big Brother or Big Sister. This is also a great way to meet people, you’d be surprised how much you could have in common with a person that seems like they are nothing like you. Plus these volunteering jobs help you gain skills that become a bigger part of your personality and will come into play in day to day life.
- Take a community class to learn a skill that can help you save money. You may want to take cooking classes, basic sewing or basic auto repair classes. Especially auto-repair classes, you’d be surprised how much mechanics overcharge you for a small problem you could have fixed yourself if you had the know how.
- Go hiking. Take advantage of the local greenways and nearby hiking trails to stay active and find something fun to do. Hiking can also be a way to meet new people and stay physically fit unless you’re going camping it practically doesn’t cost anything.
- Plan a camping vacation instead of a resort vacation. You can often plan a camping trip for much less, especially if you have all the gear. Going to a resort is also quite annoying as most people go to resorts to enjoy the nature around it, the only problem, that nature is jam-packed with another tourist. Whereas a camping trip allows you to go someplace more secluded, your own little slice of heaven, a lot more relaxing for a lot cheaper.
- Plan a night in with friends instead of going out. It can be just as fun, make some food (maybe make it a potluck), queue up a movie or a video game, and sit back and relax with your buds. Nothing better than spending time with your loved ones, whether that be in the house or out of it.
- Borrowing a movie from your friend rather than buying it or finding a book in the library can save loads of money as long as you can avoid the onslaught of spoilers your friend will definitely throw at you.
- Wait and watch a movie at home to save money. There are plenty of low-cost or completely free streaming services that will have the movie on them not long after they’ve been released.
- Attend free local concerts, because who doesn’t love concerts?
Savings on shopping
- Don’t shop when you are stressed or upset to make yourself feel better. It is a self-deteriorating habit that leads to only more stress, instead try to deal with your stress in more productive ways like letting your work absorb you to get away from it, or cooking something up.
- Reward yourself when you come in under budget on your weekly shopping trips, make a pit stop at a café perhaps or maybe a bookstore/gamestore and get something for yourself (as long as it’s in budget).
- Plan for your big purchases and set aside money until you can pay for it in cash. Things like a television, a new computer and new furniture all fit into this category.
- Sign up for subscriptions that ship things you need each month to your home. These are often cheaper and they keep you from going to the store. Though this has its own downsides as well such as the drop in human interaction, if you’re not a very social person anyway then go for it.
- Go shopping at yard sales. There are often barely used items that you can pick up for extremely low prices at these sales. Who knows the seller may even be unwittingly selling something worth quite a bit of money for almost nothing, like an extremely rare card that players would pay anything for.
- Barter for goods and services that you may need to save money. Although shopkeepers don’t take bartering very well it is something they are used to, so if you need to save money on a certain item then bartering is a completely valid option.
- Follow the saying: “Use it up, make do or do without.” Make sure that you really need the item before you purchase it. If you bought something and then later found out it wasn’t what you thought it was then improvised, use it in some way that benefits you instead of wasting it.
- Do your research. There are many times when it makes more sense to buy quality rather than the cheapest. Especially when you buy things that need to last like furniture or appliances, such as efficiency electronics, which are more expensive at first but save a ton of money in the long run.
- Only purchase things that are on sale, especially big-ticket items. Before you do purchase things that are on sale find out why they are on sale if it is a food item then make sure you’re not getting food that may soon be spoiled. Recognize the difference between expiration dates, sell-by dates, and best-before dates as they aren’t the same thing. Expiration means the food will spoil, best-by will mean that the food is still good to eat just not at the best quality it can be and sell-by is just the date by which the store has to push out the last of the product and is still perfectly fine to eat.
- Take advantage of any employee discounts that you can. Although not all jobs offer employee discounts you may know someone on the inside that can allow you to use their employee discount.
Save money by managing your finances
- Set up a budget. Make sure you’re strict about it and don’t take one step out of it otherwise you’ll be open to completely forsake the budget altogether.
- Stop paying interest on your credit cards. Work on getting out of the debts right away. There are plenty of articles out there that talk about techniques to get out of debts, the main two being the snowball method and avalanche method.
- Transfer your balances to zero-interest credit cards while you work on getting out of debt. It may damage your credit score but in the long run you can rebuild the score whereas debt just keeps accumulating.
- Set up an automatic payment or transfer to get discounts on your interest rates for your car loan or mortgage, even if it means switching banks.
- Shop for your car loan through your local credit union or bank to see if you can save on the interest for your car loan.
- Find a free checking account that does not charge for transfers, ATM use or debit charges.
- Don’t have a credit card that has a fee. Cancel old credit cards that are paid off that charge a fee, and only open new accounts if they do not charge a late fee.
- Do not pay any late fees on your accounts. Be sure to pay bills on time. Set up a reminder in your calendar to make sure you pay on time.
- Balance your checkbook. This will prevent you from overdrawing your account and save you money on overdraft charges and returned check fees.
- Find a budgeting system that works well for you. This may be using cash for some categories or finding an app you can update on the go. It may take some research, but this will make saving money easier because you will know when to stop spending.
Savings on transportation
- Walk – If you live in a friendly area, this is the cheapest mode of transportation. Free, and you get exercise!
- Take public transportation, you get to meet interesting new people and you help the environment by decreasing your carbon footprint. Plus some cities make public transport free for citizens so it’s the ultimate money saver.
- If you live in an area with good buses, subways, etc., this will keep your transportation costs to a minimum — plus it’s usually faster than walking.
- Carpool – If you do need to drive, save on gas costs by carpooling. This also opens the door to car radio sing-alongs and building a stronger bond with whomever you’re carpooling with.
- Bike – Use the easiest mean of transportation. It’s cheap and just another way of shedding pounds, unless you live in a hilly area, then I wouldn’t recommend it.
These were 55 tips on how to save money efficiently, I’m sure they’ll help you in the long run and you’ll be able to save up to whatever goal you’re aiming for! Good luck reader!