In this article, we’re going to go over 15 realistic money saving tips that will help you save more money and easier reach your financial goals. These are easy and realistic ways to save money daily without sacrificing too much.
Everyone want’s to save money, it doesn’t matter how much you make, from the super-rich billionaires to regular folks like you and me, we all try to spend less and earn more.
But why save money in the first place?
Well, it’s easy. More money means more things that you can do or achieve, whether fun things or more serious things like paying off debt or saving for a down payment on a house.
Here are 15 realistic money saving tips to help you reach your goals:
1. Buy used
I know you might not approve of this one but trust me, it makes a huge difference. Why buy new things when you can get perfectly good used ones at a much cheaper price.
Not all things that you buy must be new. Sure you can buy new underwear and socks, but you could go to a thrift store and buy some used jackets, hats, t-shirts, etc.
Plus in addition to saving money, you could stumble on some amazing items that are not for sale anymore. Many millennials are thrift shopping just because they want to find old school clothes and accessories that are cool and that are not being manufactured anymore.
But you can buy pretty much anything used, not only clothes. For example a car. Don’t go into debt for a new car when you could get an older car that’s good to drive for less than a year’s worth of car payments.
Go to craigslist, eBay, and Facebook marketplace to find local deals, and save money by buying used items.
2. Wait before you make a purchase
You’re walking down the street, and suddenly you pass by a store that has some new shiny items for sale. Whether it’s a new pair of shoes or the latest smartwatch, you know you want to have it right now.
You shouldn’t go in and buy it straight away, instead, you should wait for at least a day (some people wait for 30 days, it’s called the 30 days rule, but more on that in another article), and see if you still NEED to have that item.
If you don’t really need to buy it anymore the next day, it means that it was an impulse buy, and impulse buys will not help you to save money.
3. Spend less on groceries
The average American family spends about $337 on groceries each month. Sure the total food average goes up to $600 or so, but that includes eating out (more on that later).
The reality is that you can lower your grocery bills and save money if you were to pay attention to what you are buying. For example, that bag of cookies will set you back a few dollars, along with that 6-pack of either beer or sodas, and the list goes on and on.
Refrain from buying unnecessary groceries, and instead focus on the staples like beans, rice, vegetables, pasta, eggs, etc. You can make many meals just from those alone.
You should also be on the lookout for items that are on sale, like produce and various meats to compliment the above staple foods.
Tuna, chicken, rice are all cheap. Chips, ice-cream, wine, and candy are not (even if they don’t cost too much per item, you usually end up buying too many of them anyway, and it all adds up big time at the end of the month).
4. Eat at home
While on the subject of food, you should try as much as possible to eat at home and pack launch for work, if you really want to save money.
Eating out every day can hurt your savings more than you think. Plus it’s not really necessary to go and eat out all the time, you should limit it only for special occasions like birthdays, promotions, etc.
Not only is it way cheaper to eat at home, but it can also be healthier (depending on what groceries you buy of course). There is no point really in explaining how bad for your health certain fast food items are, you probably already know that.
An easy solution for eating at home and avoid the urge of eating out or ordering food at home is to plan and prep meals in advance and have them ready in your freezer all the time.
For example, you can make a big pot of chili stew, serve some now, and the rest pack it in plastic containers or ziplock backs and throw them in the freezer.
Tomorrow you simply take some out and quickly reheat it either in a pan or in the microwave. Boom, money saved, and you get to have “fast food” so to speak.
5. Buy in bulk
I don’t need to remind you of the massive 2020 Toilet paper buying craze that happened all around the world right? We’ve all been there hustling for that paper.
Anyway, buying in bulk is not only applicable to toilet paper, you could also buy batteries, rice, beans, nuts, coffee, razors, etc.
Things that you use a lot constantly are usually much cheaper if you buy a whole bunch of them in bulk.
Check out local shop deals, get their brochures, sign up to their email newsletter to receive all the new deals, and browse online to see where you can shop in bulk cheaper.
Buying in bulk is an amazing way of saving money on things that you need every day, so make sure to do that.
6. Shop around
It’s always worth it to shop around and visit different local stores or online websites before you decide to purchase something, especially if it’s a bigger investment like a TV, fridge, car, or something of that nature.
But it’s also good to shop around to find the best deals for food, household items, clothing, etc.
You will be surprised at how much money you can save if you don’t just stick to the one store that you always do your shopping at. You could also be on the lookout for free samples of food and other household items.
7. Make a shopping list
Don’t go to the store without knowing what you’re going to buy. If you don’t write a shopping list, you will find yourself spending more money than you really wanted on things that you don’t really need.
You will also get to shop smarter this way and only buy what you really need and this way you avoid wasting food and indirectly money.
So one of the easiest money saving tips that you can apply right now. So next time you go shopping make sure to bring your list with you.
8. Reduce energy costs
Switch out your bulbs for some energy-efficient ones like CFL or LED bulbs. Sure they might have a higher upfront cost at first, but they last longer and use way less energy than the regular incandescent ones.
You can save around $50 or more per year just by switching out 5 bulbs. So the more of them you switch the more money you save.
Another money saving tip is to decide if you really need that air conditioning running all the time. It’s more efficient to use a fan, especially if it’s not that hot, or put on a sweater if it’s a bit too chilly inside.
Related: 15 ways to save money on your electric bill.
9. Use cash more
If you use credit cards for everything you won’t really know how much money you’re spending on useless stuff.
But if you switch to paying cash for most of the things, then you will quickly realize the value of the money and if it’s really worth buying those unnecessary items or not.
Plus you don’t really want to put everything on a credit card anyway, especially if you can’t pay everything on time.
10. Invite friends over
You do know that you can have some wine or beers at home with your best friends and have the same amount of fun right?
Maybe cook dinner for them which is cheaper and a quick way to establish yourself as a culinary genius (or maybe a total disaster, but hey at least you tried, and it made for a fun story).
That beer will taste the same at home as it does in a bar. Plus there’s no one to yell “last call” or you know, pay 3 times more than it really costs.
At home, you could also get to have more fun, by simply doing more activities that you can’t do in a pub, bar or restaurant, such as cook in whatever way you want, enjoy whatever film, show or sports events that you and your friends enjoy, etc.
In any case, deciding to spend time with friends and family indoors is another good money saving tip, especially during these trying times when going outside can even expose you to unnecessary risks.
11. Avoid the coffee shop
Sure, it’s trendy and convenient to go into your favorite coffee store and buy a ready-made late to go, or sit down and sip on some americano, while working on your laptop.
But you can save around $5 per day if you decide to skip the coffee shop and instead brew your own coffee at home. Yes, it can taste just as good, and yes you can even take it with you at work or everywhere you go, just as you would with a store-bought cup of coffee.
You don’t even need to buy the cheapest coffee, you can even buy delicious beans from the coffee store and brew it yourself, and still save money.
You also get to help protect the environment more, by not wasting so many cups, straws, lids, etc.
12. Cancel automatic subscriptions
Are you making the most out of your gym membership? Oh, you haven’t even gone to a gym in 2 months, but yet you are still paying for the membership every month? It’s time to cancel it then.
One of the best money saving tips that I can give you is to cancel unnecessary subscriptions and memberships. I mean think about it, you probably don’t need most of them.
If you subscribe to more than one entertainment service, then it’s time to figure out which one you use the most and cut the rest.
Also with services like Netflix, you can even share the accounts with family and friends up to a few devices per plan (if you upgrade the plan a little bit), and all of you get to save money.
13. Buy generic brands to save money
Can you really feel the difference between branded items and generic ones? I mean on some items I’m sure it’s true especially when it comes to electronics etc… But on groceries, I don’t think it’s a big difference, to be honest. You’re paying more just for the brand and the marketing, that’s it.
Sometimes the generic items are even better than the brand ones in one way or another.
For example, a type of generic Greek Yogurt that I like to buy has way less sugar than the branded ones. This means that not only do I save money buying the generic brand, but also get to have less sugar in my yogurt, so it’s a win-win for me.
The list does not end on foods though, you could also buy generic brand medicine, and other household items that you use on the regular like razors, shaving cream, soaps, etc.
Try it out sometimes, and you could start slow by only replacing one or two items with the generic brands, and later on, you might buy even more, after seeing that there’s really not that big of a difference, other than the price of course.
14. Unplug electronics when not in use
This one might seem like a hassle, but if you want real money-saving tips, then this one is as real as it gets. Many electronics will still use a little bit of electricity even if they are turned off.
By unplugging your TV, computer, phone charger, coffee makers, game consoles, etc. Leave the fridge plugged on of course 🙂
You could save around $100-$200 per year if you unplug your appliances after you’re done using them.
Another benefit of unplugging your electronics is not only saving money but also protecting them in case a power surge happens.
15. Forget about cable
You don’t really need cable anymore. I mean at least I don’t, I haven’t watched regular TV in over 10 years or so. Do you watch TV on the regular? You could easily save around $100 per month just by cutting cable.
You can take those extra $100 you get and put them into a savings account, or use them for groceries.
Other money-saving benefits of canceling your cable subscription:
See fewer ads that are making you buy more stuff that you don’t really need
Save on electricity bill
Have more free time to spend with your loved ones, or invest in a side hustle
If you don’t want to cancel your cable altogether, at least you can try and see if they are extra channels that you’re paying more for, are really worth it, and if they are not, then cut those out from your bill, and you will still see some huge improvements in your money saving journey.
There’s YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and a bunch of other free or paid entertainment options that come way cheaper than cable.
16. Treat yourself once in a while
While you’re here to read about money saving tips, you should know that it’s OK to treat yourself once in a while.
Saving money for a house down payment is important, but what’s also important is to know when to reward yourself.
So while you refrain from doing impulse buys, you should still allow yourself to buy some things every now and then, otherwise somedays you will give in to those impulse buys and that’s not good, because you might spend significantly more by doing that.
Conclusion: Money Saving Tips
So there you have it folks, 15 easy and realistic money saving tips that you can go and apply right now, and start working towards your financial goals one step at a time.
Yes, some of these might not seem to save you too much like changing bulbs to save only $50 a year. But you have to understand, it all adds up, $50 from bulbs, $200 from unplugging appliances, $1000 or more if you cut your cable, etc.
And even if you do save just $50, you could still invest that $50 into creating a side business like creating your own website, etc.