I guarantee that you’re throwing away a big chunk of your paycheck every month!
Our lives are full of expenses like insurance, groceries, cable, and utilities. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t save on every little thing. So take advantage of all the savings opportunities around you!
Saving a little here and there on things that you already buy can put hundreds or even thousands of dollars back in your pocket year after year!
So stop throwing money away and start saving more by taking the time to try out these 11 easy money saving tips.
Easy Money Saving Tips
1. Rethink little expenses
When you shop for plastic zip lock bags and paper towels you probably don’t think anything of it. It is one of those things that you just need at the house. That used to be me until I started switching to reusable products.
Here are some everyday expenses where you could save big bucks.
Plastic zip bags
I used to use plastic zip bags every day. They would be used to freeze food, pack lunches, and take snacks on the go. I would be one of those people that would try to use the same ziploc bag the whole week because I hated being wasteful (and they’re expensive!).
This year I was introduced to Stasher reusable silicone bags and they have been amazing to use. They are super sturdy and I haven’t had a problem with anything leaking.
The only downside I’ve experienced so far are crumbs getting stuck in the zip part, which is more of an annoyance than a problem.
I thought I was saving money by making my coffee at home. But my K cup habit was still costing me a good bit more than those who used traditional coffee makers.
Then I found reusable K cups! It’s so easy to use and now I don’t have to give up on my single serve coffee maker.
Sponges are pretty gross and filled with germs so I would get a new one every couple of weeks.
That is until I found a reusable sponge! You can use this sponge for a year (or more) without having to buy a new one. It can be washed in your dishwasher so you get a clean sponge anytime you want.
But it can be a little rough on some cookware. So if you need something a little more delicate to clean your dishes with, try out a Swedish dishcloth. These can also be washed in the washer or dishwasher and they are biodegradable. I love both of these options!
2. Switch up your grocery routine
Where do you shop for your groceries? All grocery stores are not created equal. Some are a lot cheaper than others.
If you’re lucky enough to live near an Aldi or Trader Joe’s, make it a point to shop there! You’d be saving a lot of money by doing so.
If you don’t have one of those stores near you, don’t worry. There are still plenty of ways for you to save! Always look through the weekly ads and buy things on sale. Try the store brand, use coupons, and money saving apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51.
Potential Savings: $240 – $1,200/year
3. Eat in more
Americans spend more money eating out than on their groceries. I’m not surprised because that used to be me!
One dinner at a restaurant with my husband would cost us at least $25-$35, which is HALF of my grocery budget for the week!
Eating out is definitely one of my family’s biggest weaknesses when it comes to saving money.
To help with the temptation of eating out, I now buy a couple easy meals like frozen pizza or burritos to make at home the nights I really don’t want to cook. It’s a lot cheaper than going through the drive-through.
If you’re new to cooking or eating at home, try eating one extra meal at home each week and track your savings. You’ll see the difference in your bank account!
To make it easier, use our free meal planner (found in our free resource library) to help organize your meals. I got mine laminated and use a dry erase marker so I can use the same one over and over.
Potential Savings: $1,200 – $2,400/year
Related: Meal Planning Made Simple
4. Re-shop your home and auto insurance
Recently, I re-shopped my car insurance and saved $510 for the year!
When was the last time you shopped around for your home and auto insurance?
If it’s been more than a year then you should start shopping around and comparing prices. Don’t wait around until your policy is about to renew before shopping for a new provider. Most times you can change providers at any time and get refunded the prorated amount.
Most insurers will give you extra savings for combining your car insurance with your home or renters insurance. Check with each provider and see how much more they are able to help you save by combining the two.
Insurance is very competitive. Which means there’s another company looking to give you a better deal this year.
So get several quotes and compare the cost and coverage so you get the most out of your money.
Potential Savings: $200 – $1,000+/year
Related: 103 Easy Ways To Save Money In 2018
5. Pay off your credit card balance each month
According to NerdWallet, the average household was $137,063 in debt in 2016. For households that carry credit card debt, it costs them about $1,300 a year in interest!
You don’t want to fall into that statistic. Interest rates are generally outrageous and should be avoided at all costs.
How can you do that? Be sure to pay your credit card balance in full each and every month. No exceptions.
Otherwise, you end up paying MORE than what the item was even worth. You would never buy a pair of shoes and tell the salesperson, “I know these shoes cost $50, but I’ll pay $60”.
If you already have a balance on your card that you’re working to pay off, look for another credit card that offers a lower interest rate or even a 0% interest rate so you don’t keep throwing money out the window.
Keep throwing as much money as you can handle at your credit card debt. Once you’re done, you’ll feel like a rockstar, because you are!
Potential Savings: $1,300/year
6. Limit the amount of food you waste
American families throw out about 25% of the food and beverages they buy, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
It’s funny how so many people (including myself) try to save money by shopping sales and clipping coupons but an average family of four can save about $1,365 to $2,275 a year by simply not wasting the groceries they buy!
Too often I’m guilty of throwing food away. I buy all of the ingredients for my famous supreme crunch wraps. Then I end up throwing away half an avocado ($.50), a quarter of an onion ($.31), a few tortillas ($.50), half the bag of Tostadas ($1.50), and most of the sour cream ($1.50). Right there I wasted $4.31 and that was only one meal!
Don’t make the same mistakes that I’ve made. Start shopping smarter, planning your meals, and track how much money you’re wasting each month by not eating all of your groceries. I think you’d be surprised how much money and food you’re actually wasting. I know I was!
Potential Savings: $1,000 – $2,300/year
7. Cut the cord
How much do you spend on cable? According to Leichtman Research Group, the average cable bill is about $106. This means most households spend $1,272 a year on cable!
Cable is one of those things that most people initially set up and then forget about. You may not realize the prices creeping up until you happen to see the outrageous charge on your credit card statement.
Do a little research to find what deals competitors are offering. Or call your cable provider and ask if they have a better offer for you. Chances are, they’ll offer a better price than what you’re currently paying.
If you’re looking to take it a step further, cut the cord! I decided to cut cable last year and it has been amazing! Not only am I saving $34 a month, but also I’m not missing any of the shows I love between Hulu, Netflix, and this HD antenna.
Potential Savings: $320 – $1,272/year
8. Switch up your cell phone provider
Finding a more affordable cell phone plan is easier than ever.
Most of the main providers have improved their plans and now offer them at cheaper rates!
If you haven’t shopped for a new plan in a year, you should see what kind of offers are available. Who knows, your current provider could even be offering a better deal than what you have right now.
I called my provider a few months ago and was told that the plan I was on now offered unlimited data (previously we had a data cap). And on top of that, it was $5 less a month!
The crazy part is that they didn’t automatically upgrade everyone’s account and you had to ask in order to get the better deal. I would have never known that if I didn’t call to renegotiate.
If you’re looking for even cheaper options, look into low-cost carriers like Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and Straight Talk to name a few. They are on the same network as the brand name carriers but just cheaper.
Potential Savings: $60 – $120+/year
9. Cancel subscriptions and memberships
Nowadays there’s a subscription to everything: movies, workout classes, socks, makeup, dating, and the list goes on.
We’ve all been guilty of forgetting to cancel a subscription or membership we no longer use. I think it’s safe to say if you don’t use something within a month or two you should probably freeze the account or cancel altogether.
It’s now easier than ever to cancel most subscriptions and memberships with a few clicks of a button. So make sure you keep track of your monthly subscriptions and memberships and cancel promptly. If you wait too long, you run the risk of being charged for an extra month.
Also, review the list of subscriptions and see if you really need them all. Do you really need all of those subscription boxes? The answer is no! So save yourself some cash and cancel a few of those subscriptions.
Potential Savings: $120 – $600/year on each subscription/membership
10. Change gas providers
If you’ve been with the same gas provider for many years (or even a year) then it’s time to see what the competitors are offering.
Most times you’ll be able to get a cheaper rate with a different provider. They’ll usually reimburse you if you get a disconnection fee from your current provider and will sometimes throw in extra money to put towards your monthly bill.
Not only will you save money but it’s a pretty simple process.
Many gas providers advertise an attractive lower introductory rate and will raise the price after the contracted time frame. Just be sure to understand the terms before you sign-up and shop around before the end of your contract.
Potential Savings: $25 – $100/year
11. Look for a new bank
Banks are infamous for their crazy fees. Want to use an ATM? Fee! Want to be a member? Fee! Your account dropped below the minimum balance? Fee! You get my point.
All of these little fees add up, so it’s important to understand the terms of your account.
According to Bankrate, the average cost to use an out-of-network ATM is $4.69. But there are banks like Schwab that offer to reimburse all of your ATM fees, while others like USAA Bank refunds the first $15 of ATM fees each month.
If your account charges you fees for being a customer, it’s time to start looking for a new bank or credit union. There are plenty out there that are FREE of charge.
What does your bank do for you?
Potential Savings: $60 – $600/year
You may not realize it, but you’re throwing money away every day by not taking advantage of all the savings opportunities around you.
We all have a ton of expenses that make saving money a challenge. So take the time to evaluate where your money is actually going and challenge yourself on a regular basis to save more.
What have you done to lower the cost of everyday expenses and how much has it saved you?