43 Ways to Save Money

At the start of a new year, we’re often looking for ways we can save a little money. Vitagene put together a study about the most popular New Year’s resolutions in 2019. They found that saving money was number three on the list ― just behind the usual choices: exercising and losing weight.

It seems most people are looking for new ways to trim the budget and save some cash this year. We feel your pain. Most of us at Exercises for Injuries are also aiming to save money in 2019. So, we’ve put together a master list of 43 ways that you may not have thought of to help you save money.

1. Build an Emergency Fund

One of the biggest enemies of a good budget is an unexpected expense. Save $1,000 as fast as you can. Then, keep it in a savings account for emergencies. This practice will help you avoid putting unexpected expenses on a high-interest credit card or borrowing money. Anytime you have to dip into the emergency fund, pay it back as soon as possible. Also, that cute new handbag you saw on sale last week does not constitute an emergency.

2. Cancel Cable

Are you still paying for cable? There are so many other lower cost options out there these days. Many of them even allow you to watch live sports. Do an online search for TV subscription services that cost way less than cable. Nearly all of them offer a free trial month. Try them out before you return your cable box.

3. Shop in the Store

Online shopping is so convenient and helpful. However, it may be all too convenient. While it’s tempting to pay the $5 delivery fee and shop for groceries online, you’ll spend less money if you do it the old-fashioned way. When you shop in a physical store, you can take advantage of the grocery clearance aisle, special in-store pricing and use coupons. Best of all, there’s no delivery fee.

4. Enroll in an Automatic Savings Plan

Often, when you use direct deposit for your payroll checks, you have the option to direct a certain amount to your savings account and the rest to your checking account. Use this option if you can. If that service is not available, you can set up an automatic monthly transfer with your bank. They will transfer a certain amount from your checking account to your savings account each month or week at your request. You’ll save money without even realizing it.

5. Put Your Change in a Jar

When you pay with cash at the store, don’t dig around in the bottom of your purse for exact change. Rather, pay with dollars only and toss all of your change into a large glass jar when you get home each evening. You’ll rack up quite a bit of money quickly and painlessly.

6. Match Your Indulgences

Whenever you splurge on a fancy coffee drink or another new pair of shoes, transfer that exact amount into your savings account as well. If the fancy coffee drink was $4.97, then before the sun goes down, transfer $4.97 into your savings account. If you can’t afford to match your indulgence, then you can’t afford to treat yourself. If you practice this method, you’ll soon be thinking, “Hmmm, can I afford that $10 coffee drink?” If you can, wonderful! You’ll treat yourself and your future self by saving the same amount. However, if not, you’ll save a few bucks and enjoy coffee at home.

7. Get a Library Card

Did you know that your local library offers more than just books you can borrow? They have new-release movies you can check out, music and sometimes even toys for your kids and musical instruments to loan. Some libraries offer their members limited home internet services at no cost. There are also new apps that connect up to your library account to give you access to thousands of audiobook titles for free. Finally, you can take advantage of test-preparation programs, online language learning curriculum and all sorts of subscription-based online services from your library.

8. Go to a Clothing Swap

Have you ever heard of a clothing swap? People get together and bring their gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories. Then, they take turns “shopping” through each other’s items. After everyone has taken what they need, the rest is donated to a charity. Attendees get to clean out their closets and go home with a few “new” outfits.

9. Pack Your Lunch

Eating out during your lunch break is a quick way to kill your weekly budget. Get into the habit of packing your lunch each night before bed. Even if you spend your days chauffeuring the kids around, pack a lunch so you can eat for free instead of coughing up $10 at a fast food restaurant while you’re out.

10. Drink Water

Juice, soda and sparkling water ― it’s all pretty expensive. When you’re trying to save money, stick to drinking water when you’re thirsty. You’ll save a bundle that way.

11. Plan Your Meals for the Week

Instead of standing in front of the pantry deciding what to make for dinner each night, consider making out a weekly meal plan before you shop. You’ll take the guesswork out of dinner prep and save money each week when you’re using the groceries you buy.

12. Buy the Store Brand

The grocery store doesn’t make its store-brand ketchup. Rather, it contracts a national brand to bottle its ketchup and place the store label on the front. So, when you buy the one-dollar-cheaper, store-brand version of ketchup, you’re buying the name-brand item with a different label.

13. Stick to Your List

When you’re in the grocery store, go into the aisles to get just the items you need. Don’t browse around. Stick to your list, and you’ll save money each week.

14. Re-evaluate Your Health Insurance

Do you still need maternity coverage? Is your employer offering you the best health insurance value? If it’s been a few years since you’ve looked over your policy, sit down with it tonight to make sure you’ve got the right health insurance coverage for your budget and needs.

15. Compare Prices on All of Your Insurance

Auto insurance, life insurance, and homeowner’s insurance are all things most of us need. Look at your coverage and your policies to make sure you’re not paying for options you don’t need. Shop other companies once in a while to see if you can negotiate a better monthly rate.

16. How Much Do You Drive?

Sometimes, it costs less to use a ride-share service than to pay for your own vehicle and auto insurance. If you don’t drive much or your car insurance rates are through the roof, consider selling your car and using a ride-share app instead of owning a personal vehicle.

17. Would Refinance Your Car or Your Home Save You Money Each Month?

Check with your bank to see if refinancing your car or home mortgage loan will save you money.

18. Give Up Paper Towels

It may sound like science fiction, but once upon a time, there were no such things as disposable paper towels. People used cloth scraps and rags to clean up their spills. Then, they washed them and re-used them. Consider cutting up the kids’ old T-shirts and making rags out of them. Then, use and re-use them to clean your home.

19. Use Loyalty Cards and Online Coupons at the Grocery Store

Most of us already use loyalty cards at the supermarket. However, have you signed up for the electronic coupons? Often, the website will link up with your loyalty cards, and you can download coupons to use every time you swipe your card. You can save quite a bit at the market when you use loyalty cards and e-coupons.

20. Make Some Freezer Meals for Nights When You Don’t Want to Cook

It’s the nights that you have to work late or the head chef in your home is sick, and nobody wants to cook ― those are the budget-busters. Get into the habit of making double batches of freezable dishes like lasagna and pot roast. Then, put them in the freezer and save them for the evenings when you need a quick dinner. This plan will save you from those $50 trips to pick up takeout for the family.

21. Observe Meatless Mondays

Eliminating meat from your dinner menu at least once a week will help you cut down your grocery bill. Lentils, beans and mushrooms are normally less expensive than meat but full of protein.

22. Take the Bus

If you’re heading downtown, consider taking the bus instead of driving. It will likely cost around $2 for the ride. However,  you’ll save gas, parking garage fees and the responsibility of remembering where you parked.

23. Kill the Lights

Do you really need to turn on the lights in your house during the day? Open the window blinds and let the sun in rather than switching on the lights. You’ll save money during peak electricity hours.

24. Rent Out the Guest Room

Do you have an extra room in your home? Consider renting it out to a single adult who needs a cheap place to stay. Often, you can arrange for your renter to chip in for maid service, utility bills and internet fees.

25. How Much Data Do You Need?

Have you reviewed your cellular data plan lately? How much data do you use? You may be paying for more than you need. Consider switching to a cheaper plan that meets your usage needs.

26. Hang Your Clothes to Dry

When you can, hang your clothes out to dry. When it’s chilly, you can still hang your clothes indoors. The clothes dryer takes a lot of energy to run. Give it a break once in a while and save money at the same time.

27. Switch to Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls are excellent to toss in the dryer with your wet clothes. Using four or five dryer balls will eliminate your need for fabric softener sheets and make your clothes dry in half of the time.

28. Go to Grand Opening Events

Want to eat for free and win free stuff? Keep your eyes open for grand opening events at new restaurants and businesses in your community. Often, you can score a free meal or discounted services if you attend grand opening parties.

29. Sell Your Stuff Online

Got a bunch of stuff you don’t need? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Consider listing lightweight items online to sell. You could make some serious dough selling books, trinkets and collectibles.

30. Shop at Thrift Stores and Yard Sales

Let someone else pay full price. When they’re finished with it, snatch it up at about 10 percent of retail at your local thrift store.

31. Get Rid of Your Landline Phone

If you never use it, consider ditching your landline phone service.

32. Downsize

If your lease is coming up for renewal, think about renting a smaller home. Assess the space you have versus the space you use. Perhaps you could live in a home 500 square feet smaller than the one you currently have.

33. Prepare Your Own Taxes

Don’t hire it out this year. Preparing your own income tax return can save you a couple of hundred dollars.

34. Put on a Sweater Inside

Don’t turn the heat up when you’re chilly. Put on a sweater or cover up with a blanket. In the summer, wear as little clothing as possible instead of running the air conditioner. Heating and cooling your home is a major expense for most people. Cut it down by dressing for the weather even when you’re indoors.

35. Don’t Buy Clothes That Are ‘Dry Clean Only’

When you’re trying to save money, don’t buy clothing that has to be dry cleaned. Rather, buy clothing that you can wash at home to save a little cash.

36. Cut Your Own Vegetables

Don’t buy prechopped onions or other produce. Save money by purchasing your fresh produce, and then washing and chopping it yourself.

37. Grow Herbs in Your Windowsill or Out Back

One small pack of organic herbs can cost more than $3 at the market. Consider growing your own herbs from seed and harvesting them for free when you’re cooking.

38. Buy a Water Filter Instead of Bottled Water

Bottled water isn’t always as pure as you might think. Consider buying a nice water filter and cleaning your water at home rather than buying bottled. The initial cost may seem higher, but you’ll save money in the long run when you no longer have to buy case after case of bottled water.

39. Shop Around Before Medical Procedures

If you have an upcoming costly medical procedure, shop around. Call a handful of different specialists and inquire about their pricing. Often, you can save several hundred dollars by shopping around before a procedure.

40. Don’t Join a Gym

Many times, you can get all the exercise you need in the great outdoors. Why walk on a treadmill at the gym when you can get out into the sunshine and enjoy a morning walk?

41. Sleep on Major Purchases ― Twice

Set a price limit for yourself. Let’s say $50. Then, when you’re considering a purchase above the limit, give yourself 48 hours to think it over before you buy. You may decide you can’t live without it, or you might save yourself from a costly impulse buy.

42. Use Cash

Studies have shown that we spend less money when we use cash rather than a debit or credit card. Stop at the bank and take out cash to use at the grocery store. You’ll spend less and save more.

43. Hosting a Party? Make It a Potluck

If you’re planning to host a bridal shower for your niece, save yourself a couple of hundred dollars by making it a potluck. When you send out the invitations, request that your attendees bring a dish to share. Then, focus on party games and decor instead of the food.

Save Money This Year

Consider implementing some of these tips to save money this year. Enjoy the satisfaction of sticking to one of your New Year’s resolutions.