30 More Simple Ways to Save Money

Last year, we came up with our 100 Simple Ways to Save Money post.

We’ve continued to come up with new ways to save money. Some are from our own experiences, some we learn about from other blogs. And whenever we send out one of our weekly newsletters, we include a new money-saving tip as well as a unique mini-post. So we’re constantly finding new hints to help you save a little money so you can do a little more with what you have, and we’re sharing again.

 

General Savings

Late fees are expensive! Keep a list of the due dates for all your bills, and make sure you always pay on time.

Have you checked missingmoney.com? It’s linked to state unclaimed asset offices and can show you if you have any money from old bank accounts, insurance settlements, utility deposits, etc.

Did you know that almost one-third of all credit card rewards go unclaimed? Check your card! See if you have rewards you aren’t using that you can cash in on something you need.

Heating and Cooling

Make sure you are replacing your air filters in your home on a regular basis. Maximizing the air flow with clean filters means your HVAC unit doesn’t need to work nearly as hard.

Install a ceiling fan and use it to circulate cool air in summer or (reversed) warm air in winter. It can also help keep your house comfortable in those shoulder seasons when you’d rather not turn your AC on yet.

Got an attached garage? Keep it closed during cold and hot weather so that you are better insulating the house.

Use psychological tricks to feel comfortable in your house without changing the thermostat. On cold days, feel cozier by lighting candles, drinking hot drinks or watching the Yule log. On hot days, drink cool drinks, play some beachy tunes or listen to waves on a white noise app.

If a cooler house is fine most of the time but makes showering uncomfortable, consider using a space heater in your bathroom. It will cost less to keep that room warmer for a short time than to heat up the whole house.

Most home-oriented folks know to insulate around the doors and windows to the outdoors. Almost as important is insulating around the doors to the areas of your house that aren’t temperature controlled. If you have an attic, basement or crawlspaces, make sure that their entries are just as well insulated as the other entries into your house.

Install socket sealers on your electrical outlets to reduce draft.

Recessed lights can be another source of drafts. A recessed light cover isn’t expensive and will help block them.

If you have a guest room in your house or other room you don’t regularly use, close it off and shut the vents until needed.

Appliances

Extra room in your freezer makes your freezer work harder. If you have extra room, fill some bottles with water and pack your freezer so it can work more efficiently. You can use those same bottles in your coolers to keep food cold when you travel instead of buying ice packs or bags of ice.

Make sure the seals on your refrigerator are keeping all the cold air in. Otherwise, it has to work much harder.

Clean you dryer vents regularly. Better air flow means more efficient dryer usage (and lower risk of a house fire!)

Use the clothes dryer consecutively on loads of laundry. That conserves the energy used to heat it up.

Wash full loads of laundry or dishes, rather than partial loads OR overfull loads. Too full, and your clothes/dishes don’t get clean. Too empty, and you aren’t getting good utility out of your water and electrical use. Look for the Goldilocks zone…not too full, not too empty, just right.

 

30 More Simple Ways to Save Money

Smart Shopping

The pink tax is real, to the effect of around $1351 a year.  Items like toys and clothes that are manufactured and marketed to women and girls tend to cost more than those manufactured and marketed to men and boys. On items that are really gender neutral (shaving cream and shampoo come to mind), make the comparison between products so you at least conscious of the price differences when making your purchases.

Couponer? Check the coupons on Swagbucks. Not only are they usually pretty good, you also get 10 Swagbucks per coupon redeemed.

Before you check out at the grocery store, check your cart. Is there something in there that you really don’t need? Putting just one item back per trip will probably trim over $100 a year off your grocery budget.

Instead of the seasonal aisle for holiday candy, check out the regular candy at dollar stores. Even though they sometimes use smaller bags, the price per item still tends to be better.

Instead of renting your wireless router or modem from your internet provider, buy them. The savings should pay off in just a couple of months.

Did you know you can stack app savings? Sometimes you can get rebates on Ibotta, Saving Star and Checkout 51, even if you use coupons. Getting one rebate doesn’t prohibit you from getting another.

Cooking Hacks

Cooking meat in a slow cooker? Try using the braising liquid for cooking dried beans or lentils.

When heating on the stove, use pot lids so you don’t have to turn the heat as high.

Have you shopped at ethnic food stores? Not only can you pick up exotic ingredients and spices, they can also have some terrific prices on everyday items.

To make meat go further, consider adding fillers like veggies, onions, oats or breadcrumbs. You can also use smaller amounts of stronger tasting meats, like ground lamb.

Travel/Cars

Parking your car in the sun during hot weather doesn’t just make your car hot, it also evaporates gas faster. Park in the shade and keep the interior and your gas tank cooler!

On road trips, a little planning goes a long way. Pack some snacks and a refillable water bottle to ward off temptation when you stop for gas or potty breaks.

Schedule your vacations during shoulder season (right before or right after peak) to save money while still enjoying good weather. Think the beach in September or May, or skiing in the spring.

What are some more simple ways to save money?

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, and Racing Towards Retirement*

 

22 thoughts on “30 More Simple Ways to Save Money

  1. Great tips. Just food and drinks in general. So less inexpensive to cook and drink at home. If you do go out for a meal skip the drinks and just have water. I think you’ll be surprised at the lower cost of your bill. Brown bag your lunch for a month and see what your budget looks like at the end of it. We all fall victim to convenience, but if we can find ways to break those habits we can end up saving a ton of money.
    Brian @ Debt Discipline recently posted…How to Build and Maintain a Six-Month Emergency FundMy Profile

  2. Awesome money-saving tips!

    Keeping the freezer full is a big deal, especially if you have an upright or deep freeze. Ours was nearly empty for a couple of months – and it was running frequently. Once we filled it up, we noticed it hardly runs at all. In hindsight, we probably should have filled it with some gallon jugs of water to keep it from running so often.

    To help with energy costs, we like to take advantage of our southern exposure, particularly in the winter months. On cold days when the sun is shining, we open all the blinds and curtains and the sun really helps warm the house. Of course, we do the opposite in the summer, and close all the blinds and curtains to keep the heat out.
    Amanda @ centsiblyrich recently posted…This is the best time to improve your financesMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing, Amanda. We like to work with our windows and curtains too. Anything that can help with those heating and cooling costs can make a big difference in your energy bill.

    • Good tip, Gary. Jon loves to pull out his YouTube DIY videos. Not just for appliances, but also for plumbing, car repair, and pretty much any other project.

  3. Just goes to show, there’s always another way to save money that you haven’t thought of yet.

    We are really enjoying the wood burning stove right now. I joked about Mr. Smith constantly chopping up wood during the summer and fall, but that hard work is really paying off. We’re actually looking forward to receiving our next energy bill.
    Harmony@CreatingMyKaleidoscope recently posted…10 Tips On Shopping For Kids: How To Buy Everything You Need, Without Spending A FortuneMy Profile

    • Nice, Harmony! We are able to scavenge quite a bit of deadfall wood on our property, but it goes in our outdoor fire pit rather than our fireplace (where we have gas logs.) I’m jealous of your wood-burning stove, but our fire pit provides a lot of inexpensive entertainment year round.

  4. Good point about the pink tax. Why buy shaving cream in a pink container when the manly container holds the same stuff? And another point similar to unclaimed credit card points is unused gift cards. I can’t remember the statistic, but so many gift cards are never actually used. I should have read this earlier. My daughter and I had a wicked craving for chocolate one night, and we went to the convenience store. There was a dollar store just a couple of blocks farther away, and I’m sure I would have spent at least 50% less if I’d gone there. (I know I shouldn’t have bought any at all . . . Weak moment.)
    Fruclassity (Ruth) recently posted…The Scary Space between Financial Folly and FitnessMy Profile

    • Oh, yeah. I’m sitting on a couple of gift cards we’ve had for ages. I probably should try to exchange or sell them, they are to restaurants that we don’t really visit.

      And Ruth, don’t feel bad about some occasional chocolate. I think giving in to a craving every now and then helps prevent deprivation binging. That’s why I’m trying to limit sweets to weekend only, but not trying to eliminate them entirely…I know that saying “No cookies” and “No chocolate” would doom me to failure pretty quickly.

  5. Since our son is a little over one we have been taking advantage of the shoulder season to save money. Such a great way to money and definitely less crowded 🙂 I love the idea of putting a space heater in the bathroom before a shower. I’m going to have to try that next time. Thanks for sharing!!!
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…The Best Day To InvestMy Profile

    • Cool, I hope it helps.

      Taking advantage of shoulder season is one of the reasons I’m really glad my daughter attends a year-round school. We’ve had very nice May beach trips, and will likely take one again this year. I could wish that she had a bit of time off in September or October, but we do the best we can with breaks in August, November, February and May.

    • We need to use our turkeys, and when we do that, we’ll have to use the water trick too. Fortunately, we have a never-ending stream of empty milk jugs…

  6. Really great tips! A little effort can go a long way, and I think the more effort people put into finding little ways to save money the better off they’ll be!

    • Thanks, DC. What I like best is a lot of these (especially the later lists) are very easy and painless…any time you can save money without a lot of sacrifices, it’s a good thing.

  7. This is a great compilation of money saving ideas. Don’t forget your birthday. There are many restaurants that provide you with a free dessert or even a free meal. I’ve received a free pastry from Panera, and a free dessert from The Cheesecake Factory. Other restaurants that give birthday freebies include Applebee’s, IHOP, Krispy Kreme, Red Robin, and Starbucks. Generally, you have several days before and after your actual birthday to get the benefits, sometimes as much as 30 days. It usually requires registering online and giving the restaurant your email.

    • A good point, and it’s nice that it doesn’t actually have to be on your birthday. Some retailers give you coupons too for your birthday if you are part of their loyalty club. I think I got one from World Market for $10 off a $30 purchase last year.

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