A lot of people believe that you need to be a cheapskate to save money. They envision being frugal as reusing dental floss or some other outlandish practice. That’s simply not the case. Here are 12 simple ways to rack up the savings without living like a cheapskate.
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Shop Second Hand
Shopping secondhand is one of the easiest ways to save money, especially if you have a growing family. There’s little sense to spend $50+ on a new dress shirt for your teen boy they’re only going to wear once.
Instead, go to the local Goodwill and spend 90 percent less for a like-new shirt.
Use Refillable Water Bottles
Do you drink a lot of water? Or, are you always purchasing bottled water? The average family spends upwards of $1,400 annually on bottled water.
Ditch the bottled water and purchase a refillable water bottle. Pair that with a filtered water pitcher and you’ll save $1,000+ a year.
Studies show the average American wastes 1,000 pounds of food annually. That’s literally throwing money in the trash.
Try meal planning so you know exactly what to buy at the store. Pair it with eating leftovers and you’ll save tons.
Use Rebate Apps
I hate to clip coupons, but I love to get discounts. If that’s you, use a rebate app whenever you shop.
After you’re done shopping, take a picture of the receipt with the app and it will identify available rebates you can receive.
Use a Rewards Card
When used wisely, credit cards are a helpful tool to manage your finances. Take it a step further and use a rewards credit card to get cash back on your purchases.
Better yet, use the rewards to fund free travel.
Do Your Own Yard Work
People pay handsomely to have work done on their yard. Why spend $30+ to have your lawn mowed?
Do it yourself to save money and get time outside.
Make Coffee at Home
Many people love to chide others for spending money at Starbucks. You don’t have to give up your habit, just how you do it.
You can get a Keurig for under $100 and have something very similar. After a few months, it will pay for itself.
Churn Streaming Services
One of the worst things cord-cutters can do is subscribe to a lot of streaming services after they cancel cable. Don’t be that person.
Streaming services have no contracts, so you can cancel when you like. Instead, pick one or two apps, watch everything you want on them, then cancel and move to another platform.
Grocery Shop Online
It’s easy to believe that doing your grocery shopping online leads to wasteful spending. You can actually turn that myth on its head.
Shopping online ensures you won’t give into unplanned or splurge purchases. Those last-minute things increase your bill, so the small fee you pay for the convenience is well worth it.
Are you brand loyal? If so, you might be paying for that loyalty.
Instead of always opting for the brand name, find some generic alternatives you like. Even if you swap out half of your standard purchases, you could save loads of cash over the long term.
One overlooked issue with consuming alcohol is the monetary cost. The average American spends almost $600 annually on alcohol.
If you’re at the average, you’re spending $50 a month on drinks. Even cutting consumption in half will net you $300 in savings annually.
Split Meals When Dining Out
It’s always fun to enjoy a dinner out. However, one problem is larger portion sizes.
If you take home leftovers to eat at a later time, that’s great. One other option is to split a meal with your partner, especially if you know the given restaurant is prone to give large portions. You get what you want for half of the price.
35 Proven Ways to Save Money Every Month
Many people believe it’s impossible to save money. Or, they think saving $20 or $50 a month won’t amount to much. Both are incorrect. There are many simple money-saving tips that can add up to big savings. You just have to start one, then another, to increase your savings.
I Need Money Now!
Are you in a cash rut and need money quickly? Don’t take out a loan. Here are 19 ways you can get cash today to make ends meet.
How to Save Money on a Tight Budget
Saving money feels impossible when you’re struggling to make ends meet, but you can do it. Use these tips to save money each month, even on a tight budget.
15 Best Alternatives to Cable
You don’t necessarily need live TV to replace cable. Many streaming services offer quality content and good features to slash your bill.
15 Best Coupon Apps to Save Money
Saving money at the store is as simple as using your phone. Better yet, you can redeem savings for free PayPal money or gift cards. That’s a win-win.
I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.