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Eleven Genius, Creative Ways to Save Without Leaving Home

Eleven Genius, Creative Ways to Save Without Leaving Home

Let’s face it. You’re probably spending more money than you want to each and every month. With car payments, rent, mortgages, student loans, food costs, and dozens of other expenditures constantly draining your bank account, it’s a smart idea to save as much money as you can on the little things.

Plus, did you know that saving money can lower your stress level? It also opens the door for you to never have to say “no” to making a purchase that you really want or need.

Saving money is difficult, right? Surely only those who have mastered the art of self-control can possibly manage to create an aggressive budget that makes room for savings. You could make a budget and save some money but then you’d have to deprive yourself of all the things you like.

Actually, there are plenty of easy ways to save money right at home! That’s right! By making a few small changes to your habits you could start saving money right now. Check out these eleven great tips for saving money at home and add yours in the comments!

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1. Buy Gift Cards on eBay.

Love going out to eat? Do most of your shopping at a particular store? Do you know that you can shop eBay and find loads of people selling their old gift cards for a discount? In most cases you can save 10-20% off of the value of the gift card! In fact, I’ve got my eye on a few cards right now.

2. Use Coupon Websites.

If you’ve ever seen an episode of the TV show “Extreme Couponing,” you know just how incredible the savings can be when you shop with coupons. Tough work, you say? Coupon sites like Money Saving Mom can make saving with coupons a snap. There are also cash back sites like TopCashback, eBates, or Giving Assistant that can get you anywhere from 1% to 10% cash back on ordinary purchases that you make online. Not as hard as you thought, right?

3. Change Your Drinking Habits.

If your beverage of choice at home is a soda, you’re throwing money out the window every single time you open a can or bottle. Even more expensive than bottled soda is bottled water, which routinely costs 30% more than soda and about 20x as much as tap water. Do yourself a favor and stick with tap water. If you don’t trust your local drinking supply, a filter for your tap– or a filtered water pitcher– can still save you hundreds every year.

4. Use This Water-Saving Shower Trick.

We’ve all stood under the shower for what seems like an eternity, letting the warm water relax and soothe us. You just want to stay in the shower for hours. A money-saving technique I learned from One Good Thing by Jillee could cut your wasted water in half. Instead of standing under a running shower while you lather your hair and skin, simply use the water to wet and rinse yourself. By turning off the faucet while soaping up you can save gallons of water each time you shower.

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5. Set up Automatic Deposits into a Savings Account.

If you’ve looked at your bank account at the end of the month, you’ve probably asked yourself, “Where did all of my money go?” It’s easy to spend at the moment and leave nothing for later. If that’s true in your case you might need to “trick yourself” into saving money.

Try setting up automatic transfers to move $5, $10, or $20 at a time from your checking to your savings account throughout the month. In most cases, you won’t notice the money leaving your account until you see it begin to stack up in your savings at the end of the month! You could also try a service like Acorns, which rounds up each purchase you make and puts the extra money toward a stock portfolio of your choice.

6. Make Home Repairs.

You can save money by making small improvements to your home. Even simple changes like adding draft stoppers to your door or changing your furnace filter regularly can make a big difference, according to AC repair company Right Now Air. You should also consider installing low-flow faucets and/or toilets and adding more insulation to your home. The savings can add up big time throughout the year.

7. Unplug Appliances.

Are you familiar with the phrase “vampire power?” It’s your appliances using energy when they are not running but are left plugged in. Your television, phone charger, hair dryer, and laptop can all be unplugged when not in use, saving you money on your electric bill.

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8. Make Popcorn!

Have you ever noticed just how pricey your favorite brand of potato chips is? Despite the fact that potatoes are one of the cheapest commodities in the world, potato chips (and other salty snacks) can cost more money per pound than steak!

Instead of buying potato chips, try making popcorn at home. It’s cheap, simple, and can be flavored in dozens of different ways.

9. DIY Your Home Decor.

Buying expensive decorations at stores like Hobby Lobby or TJ Maxx (I love both but they’re pricey) can really hurt your bank account. Instead, find a great project on Pinterest and create these decorations yourself! You’ll cut the costs quite a bit and you will have a fun craft project to enjoy alone or with your family.

10. Ditch the Gym Membership.

An average gym membership can cost upward of $25 per month. That’s $300 in a year! Yowza. Save yourself a bundle by working out at home. YouTube is filled with an incredible number of workout guides that you can watch anytime, anywhere. My personal favorite is The Fitness Marshall.

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11. Cut the Cord.

If you’re still paying for a cable or satellite subscription, you’re missing out on huge savings. A membership to Netflix or Hulu will cost one-fifth the price of a satellite subscription and can provide just as many quality TV episodes and movies as your old dish or cable provider. Do yourself a favor and cut the cord.

Saving money doesn’t have to be boring, and it’s far from impossible. In fact, with these eleven simple tips you can start saving money right now without even leaving your house,

Leave a comment and let me know which tip you’re most excited to try!

Featured photo credit: 401(K) 2012/Flickr via flickr.com

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Jimmy Winskowski

Freelance Author

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Last Updated on June 26, 2020

25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

“How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

  • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
    • food
    • rent/mortgage
    • cell phone
    • insurance
    • socializing/entertainment
    • transportation
    • hygiene products
    • household bills
  • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
    • travel
    • clothing
    • medication (*depends)
    • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
    • gifts

Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

Save Money on Food

1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

2. Buy the store-brand version

Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

4. Have group dinners

If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

Save Money in Transport

5. Get a bicycle

Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

7. Find the cheapest gas

Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

Save Money in General Shopping

8. Shop online

Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

9. Sell your old stuff

Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

10. Bulk buying stores

For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

12. Generic brand medication

More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

Cut Down on Household Expenses

14. Printing

Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

16. Shop around for insurance

Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

18. Don’t get a TV

Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

20. Have house parties

Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

21. Open festivals, meetups and events

It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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22. Volunteer

If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

23. Housesit

There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

24. DIY beauty

French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

  • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
  • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
  • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
  • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
  • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
  • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
  • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

More Tips for Personal Finance Management

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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