Saving money is a sine qua non (Latin for “necessity”) in today’s economy. The world has changed so much, and we’re all trying to make ends meet. Saving money can be difficult if you don’t have any savings or spend your money on frivolous things. If you’re looking for ways to save money, you’ve already tried a few things. But maybe they didn’t work out how you’d hoped. For example, you could spend more money going out than staying home and making dinner. Or when the expensive shampoo you bought could have worked better.
Some things can help you save money—like using a grocery delivery service or switching to energy-efficient appliances. However, those aren’t always easy or convenient enough for everyone. So here are some other ideas for ways to save money at home:
1. Eat at home during the week
Eating out can prove expensive if you are looking for ways to save money at home. Even if you grab fast food, it can add up to hundreds of dollars each month. Eat at home during the week and out on weekends to save money on food. You can also save money by making a list of inexpensive meals at home. For example, buying bulk ingredients, you can make spaghetti with meatballs for under $2 per serving.
The average American spends over $15 per day on lunch alone. Try packing your lunch instead of buying it from a restaurant or deli daily. This will save you over $300 per month. Ensure you buy enough food so you don’t have any leftovers from the night before. If you have leftovers, eat them for breakfast or store them for another day.
2. Limit your eating out
Eating out is more expensive than eating at home. It can be up to four times more expensive. And if you’re trying to save money, the last thing you want to do is spend even more of it on food. So how do you avoid this problem?
First and foremost, make a plan for your meals. Instead of just going with whatever sounds good and is more expensive than usual, look at what’s in season. This will help decrease costs since produce is usually cheaper during certain seasons.
Using less meat or dairy products when cooking and reducing portion sizes will also help you lose weight. You can also buy less processed foods that are more expensive than their whole-ingredient counterparts.
3. Make coffee at home
There are many ways to save money by making coffee at home instead of buying it on the go. Do you know how much money you spend on your morning cup of joe? It’s more than you want to admit. However, homemade coffee is cheaper, and you can make enough for the whole day. So, each morning, brew a large pot of coffee with enough for breakfast and lunch. Then all that remains is to pack up some travel mugs.
4. Plan for meals to prevent impulse buys
Planning meals and shopping for groceries before you go to the store can reduce waste, save money, and keep you from buying things that aren’t on your list. For example (if you aren’t planning), in the grocery store, you might also buy broccoli if you’re planning a meal with chicken, potatoes, and carrots.
Using an app or grocery shopping, keep only the items on your list in mind. It’s a great way to save money on groceries.
Healthy eating habits can also be influenced by planning dinners and breakfasts ahead of time. If these plans are made day-of or meal-by-meal, following through will be easier.
5. Cancel any memberships you don’t use
Cancel any gym memberships you don’t use. Gym memberships are expensive and often go unused, so you spend money on something you don’t need. Consider canceling the automatic monthly payments and paying for a day pass when you attend the gym instead.
Exercise at home rather than at a gym or outside. Walking is a great exercise that can be done anywhere, even in your neighborhood. You can also try yoga poses or simple weight-lifting moves from YouTube videos on your phone. The options are limitless.
6. Switch to a basic cable plan
If you are finding ways to save money, the first thing to consider is dropping your cable TV plan. These days, many options will allow you to watch what you want without spending a fortune.
- Try DirecTV or Dish Network’s two-digit channel lineup before canceling your cable service. Saving money on your new plan may be worth watching even one show.
- Streaming services like Netflix have vast libraries of shows and movies available anytime, including old favorites like Friends.
- When all else fails… There’s always an antenna TV. Or “over-the-air” broadcasting, according to some sources. This means specific channels broadcast free signals, like PBS in digital form, using antennas attached directly atop homes, which pick up those transmissions using special equipment called digital converters, also known as set-top boxes, since most cable providers offer them too. These devices cost less than 50$ each time, so chances are good someone in your family might own one already.
7. Don’t buy new clothes
If you are looking for ways to save money on a tight budget, it’s a manageable task. This is a simple concept. If you don’t need something, don’t buy it. It’s easy to understand, but people always need clarification on this point.
Don’t replace clothes that are still in good shape unless worn out or stained beyond repair. The same goes for shoes and other accessories. When they are still functional and stylish, use them until they stop serving their purpose.
8. Use a Budgeting app
Save money on a tight budget with a budgeting app like Mint.com or YNAB. This can help you see where your money is going and how much you have left over for other things.
Removing unnecessary expenses, like cable TV or impulse purchases, is another way to save. For credible advice, read several financial blogs by people in the financial niche.
9. Set savings goals
Setting goals and planning are some of the most effective ways to save money each month. This includes:
- Setting a goal to save a certain amount of money. The amount you choose should be realistic and achievable, and meaningful enough to motivate you to work towards it.
- You can set a target date for achieving the goal, e.g., by December 31st, 2020, I’ll have $500 saved.
- Write down your goal and put it somewhere visible where it can be seen every day. Consider making this a part of your morning or evening routine, e.g., after brushing your teeth. You can keep them top-of-mind by writing them somewhere so they don’t get pushed aside by other distractions.
10. Determine your financial priorities
To save money each month, you must know what you want before making any progress. Unfortunately, many people don’t take the time to decide what their financial priorities are. Are you saving up for a car or a vacation? Do you want to pay off your student loans faster? What about retirement?
If you still need to do so, sit down and write out a list of important goals. Once this is done, prioritize them in order of importance, i.e., what would be most beneficial if achieved.
11. Avoid using credit to pay your bills
Paying bills with a credit card is an easy way to spend money you don’t have. Credit cards have high-interest rates and late fees, making it difficult to pay off your debt in full each month. Setting up reminders in your calendar will help you make sure you get all the payment deadlines. When paying bills, track your spending with cash envelopes or apps like Mint or Personal Capital.
12. Buy generic brands
Saving money with generic brands can also determine whether you can live with a cheaper option. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy the food of a less expensive brand.
Generic products are often just as good as their name-brand counterparts and sometimes even better. So, buy generic items rather than name-brand items whenever they’re available at roughly equivalent prices.
13. Do all your errands in one trip
You may be surprised to learn that doing your errands in one trip can save you money. This is because you will save on gas, parking fees, tolls, and food and drinks. When you do all your errands at once—buying groceries or going to the mall—you eliminate the need for multiple trips. With high gas prices, combining multiple tasks into one trip is an important way to save money. Combine your errands into one trip instead of several short trips throughout the week.
14. Turn Off The Lights
Do you know how much money a tenant can save by turning off all the lights in rooms that are not in use? I do: twenty to thirty dollars a month for a small, two-room house or apartment. Yes, I did the calculations. It turns out that being frugal is largely about developing good habits, like turning off the tap when brushing teeth
15. Learn to Prioritize
If you’ve got debt that bears interest (like student loans or credit card debt), prioritize which balances to pay off. Make sure you pay off credit card debt that has the highest interest rates first, for example. Doing this will save you money on interest expense, and free up more of your income to use on other things.
16. Use Less Gas
These days, using gas to drive anywhere costs a lot of money. Take steps to save money on gas.
One way is by driving less. Can you walk or ride your bike where you need to go? It will save you money, be healthy for you, and maybe make you feel good inside.
Another way is by accelerating gently when you drive. There should be no abrupt motions with the accelerator because that uses up more gas.
If you’re smart, you can save money without giving up much. Make sure you don’t sacrifice the things that are most important to you to save. Here are some tips to help you do that:
- Don’t give up things that make you happy. If your spending habits are getting out of control, think about what makes them so bad in the first place. Is it because there’s nothing else going on in your life? Have some fun. Take a class, join a club, and whatever makes you feel good will be worth more than any amount you save.
- Don’t cut back on essentials like food or medicine either.
There are so many ways to save money. It can seem overwhelming, but it’s pretty easy to make a few simple changes that will help you save money. There are many ways to save money; the best part is that you don’t have to be rich or smart. You can start budgeting and planning your expenses today with these simple tips.