This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.
Saving money does not need to be difficult or stressful. Small changes can make the pennies and dollars add up quickly. These 25 easy ways to save money will give you a good starting place.
1. Pack a lunch and/or snacks instead of eating out. As a family, we enjoy a lot of day trips together. I pack lunches and snacks for us that are healthy and I know we are going to eat. This stops us purchasing unhealthy fast food.
2. Make use of your local public library. You will be able to borrow books, movies and CDs for free.
3. Use a programmable thermostat to efficiently cool and heat your home.
4. Write a list before you go shopping. The trick to this one is actually sticking to the list. I recommend shopping without children, if at all possible, so you can concentrate properly. Don’t forget to bring your own bags so you won’t be charged for using the ones at the grocery store.
5. Invite friends over instead of meeting at a restaurant. Have a potluck or ask your friends to provide dessert. You’ll save money on food and entertainment.
6. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. This will help lower your electricity bill over time.
7. When the weather is nice, try to walk or ride a bike more often than using a car.
8. Use plug covers. Using electrical outlet insulation covers on all plugs not in use helps improve energy efficiency and eliminates drafts in your home, especially when used on outlets that are on a wall facing the outside of your home.
9. Eat from your pantry (and fridge). Get creative and see what meals you can put together using what you have on hand. Leftover veggies can go into a soup or stir fry. Fruits can go into crumbles or smoothies. If you cannot think of how to use the leftovers in your fridge in a new way, have a “buffet night” and eat them up.
10. Start a garden. Grow vegetables and herbs that your family enjoys most often. Children love to see where their food comes from. If you can, have a rain barrel in your garden and use that to water your plants.
11. Try to avoid using electrical items during peak times. If you can, do your laundry and dishes during the day (set timers for your machines).
12. Meal plan. Use your local grocery store flyers to help plan out a menu based on what’s on sale that week.
13. Use coupons or cash back apps (Ebates, Checkout51, Snap by Groupon or Ibotta) to earn rewards and save money on items you normally buy.
14. Plan visits to withdraw money from your bank so you can avoid paying fees at ATMs.
15. Use a freezer. Buy fruit and vegetables in bulk in summer and freeze to use during winter when prices are typically higher.
16. Buy used. Purchase items from eBay or your local thrift or consignment store.
17. Save on convenience items and do it yourself at home. There are many foods you can prepare from scratch at home to save money. Items such as pancake mix, oatmeal packets, granola bars, taco seasoning and vanilla extract.
18. Use a price book to take advantage of sale cycles in grocery stores.
19. Be organized. Sort through everything you own and take inventory. When you know what you have, you won’t buy duplicates and end up wasting money.
20. Go paperless in the kitchen and use cloth napkins and reusable paper towels.
21. Wait at least 24 hours to purchase something you want (books, DVDs, craft supplies). Often these are impulse buys and you may find that you don’t want the item after waiting. If you do find something you want, these items can often be given on a list to friends and family as gift ideas for birthdays or Christmas.
22. As much as you you are able, buy items of good quality and take care of them.
23. Drink more water. This will save you money at the grocery store (instead of purchasing juice or soda) and in restaurants. It’s also much better for your health.
24. Learn how to do it yourself. Take a class to improve your skills. There are many tutorials on YouTube to help, books at the library or online craft classes such as Craftsy*.
25. Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.
Bonus tip – Learn gratitude and contentment. Be happy with what you have.
What is your favourite way to save money?