Save Money

30 Ways to Save Money on Meat

save money on meat

Here are 30 easy ways to save money on meat and significantly reduce your grocery bill:

  1. Stretch meat further by adding it to pastas or rice and serving it with veggies, beans, bread, salad or starches
  2. Buy frozen meat
  3. Skip the deli
  4. Know the average price per pound for the different cuts of meats so you know when a sale is a good deal or not.
  5. Buy meat in bulk and divide your it into portions. Portion the meat a little less than you normally would (3/4 lb. instead of a whole pound) to make it last longer.
  6. Buy cheap cuts of meat and make crock pot meals out of them
  7. Buy a whole chicken instead of just the breasts and use the extra meat to make more meals (ex: chicken salad sandwiches, chicken pot pie)
  8. Buy canned meat and fish
  9. Substitute inexpensive vegetarian foods such as beans, eggs, tofu, and legumes for more expensive meat
  10. Buy a whole ham and get it sliced for cheaper lunch meat
  11. Have a Meatless Monday
  12. Grid your own meat (e.g buy chuck roast to make ground beef)
  13. Buy meat on sale (e.g. manager's special, clearance, weekly deals)
  14. Stock up on hams and turkeys around the holidays when they are on sale and freeze them for later.
  15. Make your own marinade
  16. Shop at ethnic or speciality stores (like latin or asian markets for better deals on meats)
  17. Be aware that sometimes two different cuts are really the same exact meat, but are called different things and priced differently.
  18. Save bones to flavor soups and sides (e.g. ham hocks used to flavor beans)
  19. Know that quality of meat that you are buying and determine if it's worth the price
  20. Cheapest meats are chicken legs, chicken thighs, ground beef, beef brisket, pork shoulder
  21. Consider buying meat from local farms
  22. Find coupons for meat
  23. Cut meat into smaller pieces (cubed, crumbled, thinner slices)
  24. Add breadcrumbs to the meat to make it last longer (examples: meatloaf, meatballs, tuna patties)
  25. Make meat an accent ingredient instead of the main ingredient
  26. Don't buy pre-shaped hamburger patties or pre-marinaded meats. The convenience of these items increases the price you pay.
  27. Buy the family-sized meats
  28. If you really want lunchmeat from the deli, you can buy the ends of lunchmeat for a discounted price.
  29. Pay attention to the seasonal meat sales
  30. Know when the best time and day to get meat when it's deeply discounted at your grocery store.

100 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

These tips will help you reduce your grocery bill by 50% - 65%. I have used most of these tips myself and as a result, I have decreased my grocery bill to $50 a week, which is saving me thousands of dollars a year!

  1. Know average prices of foods
  2. Use coupons
  3. Browse weekly ads
  4. Use cash back and rebate apps for groceries like Checkout 51, Ibotta or Walmart's Savings Catcher
  5. Develop budget for groceries
  6. Make a meal plan
  7. Build your meal plan off weekly sales on meats
  8. Stretch meat further by adding it to pastas or rice and serving it with veggies, beans, bread, salad or starches
  9. Use a shopping list
  10. Grocery shop at ALDI. Prices are 50% less than other grocery stores.
  11. Use cloth bags instead of buying new ones (e.g. at ALDI)
  12. Buy in bulk (especially for dry goods like oats, pasta and rice)
  13. Cook in bulk and freeze the rest for later
  14. Shop at Dollar Tree for things like spices and flour tortillas
  15. Cook from scratch. Make your own bread, croutons, granola bars, mixes, pasta sauce, salad dressing, and pie crust
  16. Buy generic foods
  17. Don’t buy convenience and pre-made grocery items. Make your own convenience foods instead.
  18. Buy produce that’s in season
  19. Only grocery shop once a week or once a month
  20. Buy frozen meat
  21. Make your own spice blends (e.g. taco and chili seasoning)
  22. Have a Meatless Monday
  23. Pack your lunch for work and school
  24. Don’t waste food or let it go bad
  25. Have a leftover night
  26. Don’t buy individual portioned foods like cheese sticks, yogurt or small bags of chips
  27. Don’t shop hungry
  28. Check out your local salvage grocery store
  29. Shop the clearance aisles in the grocery store
  30. Sign up for loyalty programs
  31. Skip the deli
  32. Eat breakfast so you won’t overeat at lunch
  33. Use your freezer more
  34. Divide your meat into portions when you buy in bulk. Portion it a little less than you normally would (3/4 lb. instead of a whole pound) and it will stretch your meat further.
  35. Grow your own herbs
  36. Don’t buy fresh herbs at the grocery store
  37. Grate your own cheese
  38. Choose items with less packaging. They will cost less.
  39. Have a no grocery week or weekend and just cook what’s in your pantry
  40. Use lemon juice to preserve fruits and vegetables (e.g. apples, pears)
  41. Make your own yogurt
  42. Buy bagged potatoes instead of individual potatoes
  43. Know what days to shop to get the manager specials
  44. Watch the cashier to reduce pricing errors
  45. Buy healthy food instead of junk food. Processed food can be expensive
  46. Have breakfast food for dinner. Breakfast food is cheaper.
  47. Don’t buy soda or any flavored drinks
  48. Buy frozen or canned vegetables when it’s cheaper
  49. Substitute inexpensive vegetarian foods such as beans, eggs, tofu, and legumes for more expensive meat
  50. Buy a whole chicken instead of just the breasts and use the extra meat to make more meals (ex: chicken salad sandwiches, chicken pot pie)
  51. Grow your own fruits and vegetables
  52. Use less milk in your cereal, coffee and recipes. Use water as a substitute when you can.
  53. Use powdered milk instead of regular milk
  54. Make meals from food you already have in your pantry. For example, if you have a lot of canned beans, then think of meals with beans (e.g. chili, bean soup, beans and rice)
  55. Pay for groceries with cash. It will make you stick to your budget.
  56. Eat produce that will go bad first (like bananas, lettuce and strawberries)
  57. Buy frozen fruits for pies and smoothies
  58. Buy cheap cuts of meat and make crock pot meals out of them
  59. Learn how to can your own fruits and vegetables
  60. Cook dried beans instead of canned
  61. Use your slow cooker. See my previous post 75 Cheap & Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for some recipe ideas.
  62. Shop at specialized stores (e.g. Asian markets, ethnic grocery stores). Items are cheaper there than regular grocery stores.
  63. Regrow vegetables (e.g. celery, green onions, romaine lettuce)
  64. Stock up on sale items
  65. Buy local
  66. Avoid impulse buys when shopping
  67. Buy produce at farmer’s markets
  68. Get a credit card with cash back rewards on groceries. It only helps you save money if you pay it off in full every month
  69. Reuse coffee grounds
  70. Make your own baby food
  71. Make a list of cheap recipes to build your meal plans with
  72. Make your coffee at home and take it with you
  73. Give up coffee all together, if you can
  74. Get a rain check if sale items are sold out
  75. Buy bread at bread outlets
  76. Use food scraps (bread crust for croutons, apple peels for apple cider vinegar)
  77. Buy canned meat and fish
  78. Substitute cheap ingredients for expensive ones
  79. Time your grocery store trip wisely. Know when the best days and times to go to get special deals.
  80. Check unit prices when buying in bulk
  81. Do batch freezer cooking
  82. Buy a cast iron skillet. It will last you a lifetime.
  83. Cook with frugal foods (e.g. beans, lentils, soups, oats)
  84. Don’t automatically throw out food that is past its best buy date. It doesn’t necessarily mean its bad.
  85. Save bacon grease to use for cooking oil
  86. Store food properly to make it last longer
  87. Freeze foods to keep them from getting stale or going bad
  88. Keep snacks in the car to avoid buying snacks while you are out
  89. Drink water
  90. Make your own flavored water
  91. Don’t buy bottled water
  92. Buy a whole ham and get it sliced for cheaper lunch meat
  93. Get a reusable bottle for water when you are on the go
  94. Install a sink filter
  95. Know when to skip organic
  96. Join a warehouse club
  97. Pay attention to expiration dates
  98. Join a co-op
  99. Pick your own fruits from an orchard
  100. Consider buying a deep freezer to store bulk items for an extended period
  101. Don’t eat out or eat out less often
  102. Keep an inventory of your pantry so you know what you have and what you need
  103. If you buy cereal, buy it bagged instead of in a box. Bagged cereal cost a lot less.

500 Frugal Money Saving Tips

ways to save money

This is the ULTIMATE list of ways to save money. This list includes hundreds of ways to save money on groceries, bills, household expenses, entertainment, travel, transportation, healthcare and much more! Some of these tips are simple and easy to follow while other tips require more effort and time to implement so there is something here for everyone regardless of your financial situation. If you just try one or two tips, you won't save much money, but if you apply as many tips as you can, you will save you several thousand dollars a year.

Also, I have included a printable checklist of these tips at the bottom of this post so that you can check them off as you go to keep track of how you are saving money.

Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Food

  1. Know average prices of foods
  2. Use coupons
  3. Browse weekly ads
  4. Use cash back and rebate grocery apps like Checkout 51, Ibotta or Savings Catcher
  5. Develop a grocery budget
  6. Make a meal plan
  7. Build your meal plan off weekly sales on meats
  8. Stretch meat further by adding it to pastas or rice and serving it with veggies, beans, bread, salad or starches
  9. Use a shopping list
  10. Grocery shop at ALDI. Prices are 50% less than other grocery stores.
  11. Use cloth bags instead of buying new ones (e.g. at ALDI)
  12. Buy in bulk
  13. Cook in bulk and freeze the rest for later
  14. Shop at Dollar Tree for things like spices and flour tortillas
  15. Cook from scratch. Make your own bread, croutons, granola bars, mixes, pasta sauce, salad dressing, and pie crust
  16. Buy generic foods
  17. Don’t buy convenience and pre-made grocery items.
  18. Buy produce that’s in season
  19. Only grocery shop once a week or once a month
  20. Buy frozen meat
  21. Make your own spice blends (e.g. taco and chili seasoning)
  22. Have a Meatless Monday
  23. Pack your lunch for work and school
  24. Don’t waste food or let it go bad
  25. Have a leftover night
  26. Don’t buy individual portioned foods like cheese sticks, yogurt or small bags of chips
  27. Don’t shop hungry
  28. Check out your local salvage grocery store
  29. Shop the clearance aisles in the grocery store
  30. Sign up for loyalty programs
  31. Skip the deli
  32. Eat breakfast so you won’t overeat at lunch
  33. Use your freezer more
  34. Divide your meat into portions when you buy in bulk. Portion it a little less than you normally would (3/4 lb. instead of a whole pound) and it will stretch your meat further.
  35. Grow your own herbs
  36. Don’t buy fresh herbs at the grocery store
  37. Grate your own cheese
  38. Choose Items with less packaging. They will cost less.
  39. Have a no grocery week or weekend and just cook what’s in your pantry
  40. Use lemon juice to preserve fruits and vegetables (e.g. apples, pears)
  41. Check out 150 Things You Can Make Instead of Buying To Save Money
  42. Buy bagged potatoes instead of individual potatoes
  43. Know what days to shop to get the manager specials
  44. Watch the cashier to reduce pricing errors
  45. Buy healthy food instead of junk food. Processed food can be expensive
  46. Have breakfast food for dinner. Breakfast food is cheaper.
  47. Don’t buy soda or any flavored drinks
  48. Buy frozen or canned vegetables when it’s cheaper
  49. Substitute inexpensive vegetarian foods such as beans, eggs, tofu, and legumes for more expensive meat
  50. Buy a whole chicken instead of just the breasts and use the extra meat to make more meals (ex: chicken salad sandwiches, chicken pot pie)
  51. Grow your own fruits and vegetables
  52. Use less milk in your cereal, coffee and recipes. Use water as a substitute when you can.
  53. Use powdered milk instead of regular milk
  54. Make meals from food you already have in your pantry. For example, if you have a lot of canned beans, then think of meals with beans (e.g. chili, bean soup, beans and rice)
  55. Pay for groceries with cash. It will make you stick to your budget.
  56. Eat produce that will go bad first (like bananas, lettuce and strawberries)
  57. Buy frozen fruits for pies and smoothies
  58. Buy cheap cuts of meat and make crock pot meals out of them
  59. Learn how to can your own fruits and vegetables
  60. Cook dried beans instead of canned
  61. Use your slow cooker
  62. Shop at specialized stores (e.g. Asian markets, ethnic grocery stores). Items are cheaper there than regular grocery stores.
  63. Regrow vegetables (e.g. celery, green onions, romaine lettuce)
  64. Stock up on sale items
  65. Buy local
  66. Avoid impulse buys when shopping
  67. Buy produce at farmer’s markets
  68. Get a credit card with cash back rewards on groceries. It only helps you save money if you pay it off in full every month
  69. Reuse coffee grounds
  70. Make your own baby food
  71. Make a list of cheap recipes to build your meal plans with
  72. Make your coffee at home and take it with you
  73. Give up coffee all together, if you can
  74. Get a rain check if sale items are sold out
  75. Buy bread at bread outlets
  76. Use food scraps (bread crust for croutons, apple peels for apple cider vinegar)
  77. Buy canned meat and fish
  78. Substitute cheap ingredients for expensive ones
  79. Time your grocery store trip wisely. Know when the best days and times to go to get special deals.
  80. Check unit prices when buying in bulk
  81. Do batch freezer cooking
  82. Buy a cast iron skillet. It will last you a lifetime.
  83. Cook with frugal foods (e.g. beans, lentils, soups, oats)
  84. Don’t automatically throw out food that is past its best buy date. It doesn’t necessarily mean its bad.
  85. Save bacon grease to use for cooking oil
  86. Store food properly to make it last longer
  87. Freeze foods to keep them from getting stale or going bad
  88. Keep snacks in the car to avoid buying snacks while you are out
  89. Drink water
  90. Make your own flavored water
  91. Don’t buy bottled water
  92. Buy a whole ham and get it sliced for cheaper lunch meat
  93. Get a reusable bottle for water when you are on the go
  94. Install a sink filter
  95. Know when to skip organic
  96. Join a warehouse club
  97. Pay attention to expiration dates
  98. Join a co-op
  99. Keep an inventory of your pantry so you know what you have and what you need
  100. Pick your own fruits from an orchard
  101. Consider buying a deep freezer to store bulk items for extended period
  102. Don’t eat out or eat out less often

    Ways to Save Money on Eating Out

  103. Order water
  104. Don't buy alcohol
  105. Sign up for emails alerts to get coupons
  106. Share an entrée
  107. Order to go
  108. Plan ahead. Look at restaurant menus online and decide where you can get the best food for the best price. Trip Advisor, Yelp or Foursquare can help with that.
  109. Check restaurant websites to find coupons or discounts.
  110. Use dining certificates, but be sure to read the fine print before you buy.
  111. Have a small snack at home first so you don’t order too much at the restaurant
  112. Eat at buffets
  113. Buy discounted gift cards from Gift Card Granny
  114. Order from the value/specials menu
  115. Go to mom and pop diners instead of chain restaurants. Typically, prices will be cheaper and portions will be bigger.
  116. Get free food on your birthday
  117. Order from the kids menu
  118. Skip desserts
  119. Tip based on the service you receive. Don’t automatically tip 15%
  120. Go to restaurants that use student, military or senior discounts (if applicable)
  121. Choose takeout over delivery
  122. Buy an appetizer instead of a meal
  123. Instead of ordering a pizza from Dominos, get the ingredients from the store and make it yourself or buy a frozen pizza. It will cost 50% less.
  124. Instead of going out for dinner, eat at home and just go out for dessert
  125. Take the survey at the bottom of your receipt to receive free food
  126. Look for restaurant coupons from Valpak
  127. Go to restaurants where kids eat free
  128. Go out for lunch or during happy hour instead of dinner

    Ways to Save Money on Bills and Finances

  129. Contact companies about lowering your bills. Many companies are willing to take $10-$20 off your bill every month to keep you as a customer.
  130. Turn off the dry cycle on the dishwasher and let the dishes air dry
  131. Use a prepaid cell phone
  132. Use a clothesline instead of a dryer
  133. Cancel your home phone service
  134. Keep your fridge coils clean. It will help it run more efficiently.
  135. Turn lights off when you’re not in the room
  136. If you have credit cards, try to negotiate interest rates
  137. Do your own taxes
  138. See if your company or university alumni offers discounts on gym memberships, cell phone plans, hotels, etc. I get 20% off my cell phone bill every month this way.
  139. Use the snowball method to repay any debts
  140. Always shop around for insurance before it renews every year
  141. Get magic jack if you really need to have a home phone
  142. Use Netflix, Roku or Hulu instead of cable TV
  143. Buy your own modem so you don’t have to pay $5 a month to rent the modem from the internet company
  144. Make a budget
  145. Use online banking and go paperless. Some banks charge a fee to send you paper statements!
  146. Install storm windows if you have harsh winters
  147. Don’t pay interest on credit cards
  148. Mix by hand to save on electricity
  149. Consider a cash only budget for dining out, entertainment and shopping to ensure you don’t overspend
  150. Don’t use credit cards
  151. Unplug electronics and appliances before you leave your home and at night when you sleep
  152. Turn clothes inside out when washing to maintain their appearance
  153. Check plumbing for leaks
  154. Install low flow faucets and showerheads
  155. Get a programmable thermostat ― improves AC efficiency
  156. Use curtains and blinds to keep the sun out
  157. Seal cracks around windows and doors with weather stripping
  158. Use energy efficient light bulbs
  159. Shorten your dryer-vent hose
  160. Use a surge protector
  161. Wear clothes more than once before you wash them
  162. Only wash clothes once a week
  163. Run appliances at night to avoid peak energy prices
  164. Schedule a furnace or boiler tune-up
  165. Use ceiling fans and raise thermostat
  166. Change your AC filter regularly
  167. Insulate your hot water heater
  168. Install dimmer switches
  169. Slow down your internet service
  170. Improve your credit score to save money on interest
  171. Maximize air flow. For example, position a fan to blow air out a window when it’s hot.
  172. Boil water in the microwave instead of on the stovetop. It uses 50% less power.
  173. Perform regular air conditioning maintenance
  174. Drain your water heater once a year to prevent buildup of sediment on the heating coil
  175. Fix leaky facets
  176. Try to go cash-only on the weekends
  177. Spend less than you earn
  178. Use a space heater instead of the furnace when possible
  179. Use ceiling fans in summer and reverse their direction in winter time to keep warm air circulating
  180. Keep drapes and blinds shut during the day to block out sun
  181. Wash clothes in cold water
  182. Always wash full loads of clothes
  183. Get a water heater timer
  184. Use a budget tracking app
  185. Invest in Energy Star appliances
  186. Plug electronics Into power strips
  187. Turn off the water when you aren’t using it (e.g. brushing teeth, shaving and shampooing)
  188. Check for loose roof shingles and secure them with roof cement
  189. Use the microwave instead of the oven when possible
  190. Consider planting trees to shade your home during the summer
  191. Adjust the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees
  192. Pay your bills online to avoid late fees
  193. Start a savings account
  194. Make financial goals
  195. Transfer debt to a lower interest credit card with a 0% balance transfer. You have to pay it off before the interest offer expires though.
  196. Increase your automobile insurance deductible
  197. Get an interest-bearing checking account
  198. Stop paying for unused memberships
  199. Use free online phone services to make calls
  200. Get a free or low-cost home energy audit from your energy company
  201. Monitor your bank account and be conscious of your spending
  202. Consider using alternate energy to save on grid electricity cost
  203. Ask to have fees waived. (e.g. installation fees, bank fees, deposits, etc.)
  204. If you can, pay auto insurance annually to get a discount
  205. Try money saving challenges
  206. Wear sweaters, cozy pajamas and slippers around the house in the winter and don’t turn the heat up too much
  207. Comparison shop for the best cell package that meets your needs
  208. Check your bills. Sometimes you will end up being overcharged
  209. Live below your means
  210. Avoid ATM fees and overdraft fees
  211. Save your change. It adds up over time.
  212. Switch to a credit union or community bank
  213. Consider renting out space in your home that you don't use like a guest bedroom on AirBnB
  214. Setup automatic direct deposit into your savings account every pay period
  215. Consider moving to a less expensive city
  216. Add the money you’ve saved from these tips to your savings account

    Ways to Save Money Around the House

  217. Make your own laundry detergent, dishwasher liquid and fabric softener
  218. Use baking soda to clean your house instead of buying expensive cleaning products
  219. Use homemade magic erasers instead of sponges to clean your house
  220. Or cut your sponges in half to save money
  221. Turn your bar of soap into a gallon of liquid soap
  222. Recycle your printer cartilages at Staples to get coupons
  223. Refill your ink cartridges
  224. Use both sides of paper
  225. Use free software instead of paid software (e.g. Google Docs or OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office)
  226. Combine soap leftovers and use them
  227. Use a push mower instead of a gas one
  228. Use distilled vinegar to disinfect floors and clean glass
  229. Use baking soda to deodorize your house (e.g. litter box, pet accidents, refrigerator)
  230. Use a wind up clock instead of an electric one
  231. Compost scraps to use in your garden
  232. Replace aluminum foil with bake ware with lids
  233. Save empty jars to use for food storage or household items
  234. DIY only when it saves you money
  235. Reuse wrapping paper
  236. Cover your pool when it’s not in use
  237. Flush the toilet less. If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.
  238. Replace garbage bags with used grocery store bags.
  239. Purify the air with houseplants
  240. Learn how to do your own repairs
  241. Use reusable paper towels or hand cloths
  242. Use rechargeable batteries
  243. DIY Goo Gone
  244. Use borax for pest control, stain removing, and cleaning. Here are 20 uses for borax.
  245. Repurpose what you have
  246. Wash your own car
  247. Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins
  248. Save grocery bags and bread bags in place of zip-loc bags
  249. Get home improvement supplies second hand at places like Habitat for Humanity or discount warehouses.
  250. Buy used tools at thrift stores and yard sales
  251. Rent or borrow tools you only plan on using once or twice
  252. Use less household products (shampoo, laundry detergent, soap, etc.)
  253. Do your own home maintenance. There are many DIY tutorials on YouTube and Google to help you.
  254. Use reusable food containers instead of plastic baggies
  255. Reuse egg cartons for ornament storage or to start seedlings
  256. De-clutter your home and sell unused items on Craigslist, EBay, Amazon, or in a yard sale
  257. Do your own yard work
  258. Use baking soda to remove crayon, pencil, ink, and scuff marks
  259. Cut up old t-shirts and use them as cleaning rags
  260. Save wood pallets to make furniture and decorations
  261. Use shoeboxes as organizers and storage containers
  262. Repurpose every day items into something new (e.g. make a tote out of a pillowcase or a use a cereal box as a desk organizer)
  263. Make your own candles or air fresheners

Ways to Save on Personal Expenses

  1. Only get your hair cut twice a year
  2. DIY manicure
  3. Get discounted or free hair cuts at beauty schools
  4. Use old toothbrushes for scrubbing small areas
  5. Make your own hand sanitizer
  6. Stock up on toiletries when they are on sale
  7. Sign up for your pharmacy’s loyalty program
  8. Simplify your beauty regime
  9. Join the Dollar Shave Club
  10. Get free product samples at makeup counters or on the internet
  11. Buy personal care items in bulk
  12. Mix your foundation with lotion to make it last longer
  13. Make your own beauty products
  14. Make your own personal care products (e.g. shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, deodorant)
  15. Instead of having your hair dyed at a salon, dye it at home
  16. Look for more effective packaging. Products with less packaging will be cheaper.
  17. Make skin scrubs out of sugar or salt
  18. Use olive oil as a moisturizer and makeup remover
  19. Buy makeup that does double duty
  20. DIY shaving cream
  21. Use cloth diapers
  22. DIY your manicures and pedicures
  23. Shop at Dollar Tree for the beauty products you want, but with lower price tags.
  24. Add water in 3 -1 ratio to shampoo or body wash without reducing their effectiveness
  25. Squeeze out the last bit of product. 10% of most products go unused.
  26. For special events, go to a beauty school to have your makeup done for free or cheap.
  27. Use a Diva Cup instead of disposable feminine hygiene products

    Ways to Save Money on Shopping

  28. Never pay full price
  29. Use coupons, promo codes and other discounts
  30. Never pay for shipping. Many stores offer free shipping deals or free pickup options.
  31. Use old jeans for patches and to upcycle them into purses or shopping bag
  32. Price match
  33. Repair clothes instead of throwing them out
  34. Use a razor to shave off clothes pilling
  35. Buy cleaning products and household items from Dollar Tree
  36. Buy used bakeware, dishware and home décor at thrift stores or discount home stores
  37. Consider quality over quantity
  38. Use clear nail polish to stop runs in tights and prevent loose buttons from falling off
  39. Make your own stain remover for clothes
  40. Buy used clothes from thrift stores, consignment shops, or Plato’s Closet
  41. Shop out of season
  42. If you want to buy new clothes, shop at off price retailers like Burlington or TJ Maxx
  43. Don't store your credit / debit cards online. It will help you resist the temptation to buy things on impulse.
  44. Shop clearance racks
  45. Check out the free section of Craigslist
  46. Haggle when appropriate (usually for big purchases like used cars, appliances, rent, insurance)
  47. Make your own gifts for holidays and birthdays
  48. Have a no spend weekend
  49. Consider buying refurbished electronics
  50. Take advantage of price matching
  51. Don’t do flash sales and cancel any email alerts for them so you won’t be tempted
  52. Rent or borrow clothes for special occasions
  53. Learn how to sow your own clothes
  54. Use cash back apps like Ebates when you make online purchases
  55. Avoid malls
  56. Buy video games at used video game stores, Craigslist or thrift stores
  57. Buy video games that have a lot of replay value
  58. Instead of buying new books, movies and CDs, magazines, check them out from the library. See my post about 150 Free Things that Libraries Offer
  59. If you want to buy Blu-Rays, DVDs, books, CDs for your collection, then buy them at thrift stores, used DVD stores or Amazon (many popular media items go for one penny + shipping on Amazon)
  60. Swap books, music, and DVDs with friends
  61. Comparative shop online
  62. Skip extended warranties
  63. Try buying clothes second hand from online websites like Poshmark and ThredUp
  64. Sign up for free samples
  65. Get freebies
  66. Buy things out of season (e.g. swimsuits and patio furniture after summer)
  67. Buy toys from thrift stores
  68. Shop resellers for designer items
  69. Don’t sign up for store credit cards
  70. Visit outlet stores
  71. Have a clothing swap
  72. Don’t spend money when you’re emotional
  73. Go to flea markets and garage sales
  74. Buy used furniture from thrift stores, consignment stores or Craigslist and give them a makeover to match your décor.
  75. Buy quality clothes because they will last longer
  76. Research big purchases thoroughly
  77. Shop at discount stores for uniforms
  78. Avoid buying dry clean only clothes
  79. Know when to buy things
  80. Think before you buy. Ask yourself: Is the item really worth the number of hours I worked to pay for it?
  81. Take your credit card out of your wallet before you go shopping, to avoid impulse buys
  82. Don't go shopping just because you’re bored
  83. Use layaway instead of credit cards; it’s interest free.
  84. Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale
  85. Wait 72 hours before making a big purchase to ensure you don’t end up with buyer’s remorse
  86. Buy birthday cards at Dollar Tree (They are $0.50!)
  87. Or make your own birthday cards to give it a personal touch
  88. Give baked goods as presents
  89. Shop After Christmas sales and Black Friday sales

    Ways to Save on Entertainment

  90. Have potluck parties
  91. Invite friends over instead of going out
  92. Pick up an inexpensive hobby or a hobby that you can profit from
  93. Do outdoor activities like hiking or camping
  94. For parties, buy gift wrap and party supplies at Dollar Tree
  95. Find cheap entertainment on Groupon or Living Social. A couple of months ago, I got $4 movie theater tickets from Groupon!
  96. Go to matinee movies for discounted prices
  97. Entertain yourself by learning handy DIYs
  98. Go to free festivals and fairs
  99. Have a DIY spa day
  100. Find free local activities on your city’s website
  101. Go to the beach
  102. Have a book swap
  103. Try virtual fitness classes instead of paying for a gym membership
  104. Read magazines online (usually free)
  105. Visit the weekend farmer’s market
  106. Have a BBQ
  107. Play a free computer game
  108. Go dancing when there is free cover charge
  109. Download free e-books
  110. Don’t buy online tickets to avoid the convenience fee charge
  111. Have a movie marathon
  112. Go fishing
  113. Ride a bike on a scenic bike trail
  114. Try a new recipe
  115. Plan a vacation
  116. Start a book club
  117. Play some video games
  118. Try geocaching
  119. Have a game night
  120. Purchase a discount book
  121. Tour a local farm
  122. Take brewery tours
  123. Play cards
  124. Go swimming
  125. Cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions
  126. Go to art galleries
  127. Volunteer
  128. Stream free music from Pandora or Spotify
  129. Watch free movies or TV shows on Crackle
  130. Play sports
  131. Binge watch a great TV show on Netflix
  132. See plays at your local theater – student or amateur performances
  133. Visit your community center for free/cheap activities
  134. Look up free day admission to museums, zoos, aquariums, etc.
  135. Take free classes at your local library or online

    Ways to Save Money on Transportation and Travel Expenses

  136. Use Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas in the area
  137. Walk or use public transportation when possible
  138. Clean out your car to increase gas milage
  139. Don’t speed. It decreases fuel economy
  140. Consider only having one car
  141. Consider public transportation or car pooling
  142. Improve your fuel efficiency
  143. Consolidate your errands
  144. Reduce your commute
  145. Buy a good used car with less than 30,000 miles on it instead of a new car
  146. Avoid idling your car
  147. Rotate your tires
  148. Change your car’s air filter every 3 months. It increases your gas mileage by 7%.
  149. Buy discounted gas gift cards at Gift Card Granny or Cardpool
  150. Rolling windows down increases fuel economy by 9.5%
  151. Take advantage of car insurance discounts
  152. Make sure your tires are inflated to save on gas mileage
  153. Avoid toll roads
  154. Consider telecommuting jobs
  155. Use discounts like AAA or Student IDs
  156. Travel during off season
  157. Pack food for road trips and bring a cooler
  158. Plan your trip in detail
  159. Create a travel budget
  160. Be flexible about where and when to get the best airfare deals
  161. Book in advance
  162. Fly red-eyes or early morning
  163. Avoid flying on weekends. Tuesday and Wednesday’s are the cheapest days to fly.
  164. Consider multiple routes when booking flights
  165. Fly to a hub city and drive from there
  166. Visit the local tourist information office and get brochures with coupons in them
  167. Join a frequent flyer program
  168. Have a stay-cation
  169. Make sure you are not being charged additional fees when renting a car
  170. Skip the tourist trap activities and go sightseeing. Take scenic drives, hike, have picnics, go to National Parks, see historic sites
  171. Use a travel credit card with great rewards
  172. Track airfare price changes with Kayak and get e-mail alerts when the price drops
  173. Consider AirBnB, hostels, or camping instead of hotels and motels
  174. Don’t pay baggage fees. Bring a carry on instead.
  175. Sign up for hotel loyalty programs to get discounts and free stays
  176. Look into hidden city ticketing
  177. Find local getaways
  178. Use websites like Priceline or Expedia to find the best deals on hotels
  179. Try the Rome 2 Rio transportation search engine to find the cheapest way to get to your destination
  180. Consider a travel package
  181. Eat like a local
  182. Have picnics instead of eating out at restaurants
  183. Try to pick a hotel with free breakfast included
  184. Save hotel toiletries so you wont have to buy travel sized bottles on your next trip
  185. If you can’t, then grab cheap breakfast items from a grocery store (banana, bagel, etc.) and not from a café or coffee shop!
  186. Get discounted travel gift cards
  187. Pack light and book online
  188. Use a coupon book for traveling
  189. Be aware of roaming fees when you travel
  190. Find coupons for rental cars
  191. Dollar and Thrifty have the best deals on rental cars
  192. Consider driving instead of flying. It’s usually cheaper.
  193. Eat outside the tourist zone. Use Foursquare, Yelp or Trip Advisor to find good food at low prices.
  194. Check for special deals or mistake fares with websites like Secret Flying or The Flight Deal

    Ways to Save Money on Health Expenses

  195. Buy generic medications
  196. Get discounts on medication with http://www.goodrx.com/
  197. Try home remedies before buying medications
  198. Get over the counter medications at Dollar Tree
  199. Get contact lens from DiscountContactLens.com
  200. Negotiate expensive medical bills
  201. Give up unhealthy habits like smoking
  202. Focus on preventative care
  203. Make sure you’re paying a fair price for healthcare
  204. If you don't have dental insurance, then go to dental schools to get cheap exams and teeth cleanings.
  205. Wash your hands so you don’t get sick
  206. Try mail order for long term medications
  207. Ask your doctor for samples for short term medications
  208. Practice healthy habits
  209. Thoroughly research different benefit options before making a selection
  210. Don’t buy supplements
  211. Order medications in bulk
  212. Negotiate prices at hospitals and doctor’s offices
  213. Visit a retail health clinic for smaller problems
  214. Fight back with denied claims
  215. Visit the Partnership for Prescription Assistance website to receive discounts on medications
  216. Try mom and pop pharmacies for lower prices on medications
  217. Keep your current frames when you upgrade your eye glass prescription
  218. Double check your medical bill. 8 out of 10 hospital bills contain errors.
  219. Avoid the ER when possible
  220. Check out discount health plans
  221. Take advantage of free screenings
  222. Reduce your prescription co-pays
  223. Enroll in a discount dental plan
  224. Follow your doctor’s orders otherwise you could end up with more medical bills
  225. Compare costs for lab tests
  226. Check drug manufacturer’s website for coupons or discounts
  227. Consider a high-deductible plan
  228. Choose cheaper fillings
  229. Check out low-cost or free health clinics
  230. Use in-network care providers
  231. Research service costs online
  232. Pay in cash to receive discounts on your doctor’s bill
  233. Create a payment plan if you can’t pay your bill off in full
  234. Establish a health savings account
  235. Consider using telemedicine
  236. Always get a second opinion if the doctor is recommending expensive procedures
  237. Know what your insurance covers and does not cover
  238. Get free preventative care like flu shots
  239. If you've had Medicare Part B for more than 12 months, you get a free wellness visit every 12 months so be sure to use it
  240. EyeCare America provides eye care through volunteer ophthalmologists at no cost to seniors who qualify.
  241. Use coupons to save on over the counter medications
  242. Buy a year’s supply of contact lenses before your prescription expires so you don't have to pay for the eye exam every year. For most people, having an exam every other year is sufficient.
  243. Buy glasses at low cost online retailer like http://eyebuydirect.com/

Download the free printable checklist of these tips

Do you have any money saving tips? If so, please leave a comment. I would love to hear about them!

30 Things to Buy After Christmas to Save Money

after Christmas sales

You can find a lot of great deals after Christmas. Retailers are trying to get rid of their overstock, Christmas and winter merchandise to make room for new products and spring collections. These are the best items to buy after Christmas to save money:

  1. Gourmet food items like cheese logs and summer sausages
  2. Seasonal foods - ham, turkey, Christmas desserts
  3. Winter clothes - Retail stores want to get rid of all their winter merchandise so they can start putting up spring clothes.
  4. Stocking stuffers toys
  5. Fitness and outdoor equipment
  6. Throw blankets
  7. Flannel and plaid sheets
  8. Open box electronics - Many people will return unwanted electronic Christmas gifts. Open box electronics are deeply discounted.
  9. Barware
  10. TVs
  11. Electronics - like cameras, laptops, etc.  -  Consumer Electronics Show announces new products in January and older products will significantly drop in price at the end of the year.
  12. New Years party supplies
  13. Furniture
  14. Tools
  15. Toys
  16. Winter equipment like snow blowers
  17. Gift cards - Many people will be trading in their gift cards for cash. This is a great time to buy discounted gift cards. Try http://www.giftcardgranny.com/ or http://www.cardpool.com/. You can find gift cards up to 70% off there! iTunes gift cards will be especially easy to find at discounted prices.
  18. Jewelry - shop ahead for a Valentine’s Day gift
  19. Cars
  20. Christmas Decorations
  21. Christmas Ornaments
  22. Christmas Candles
  23. Christmas Party Supplies
  24. Gift Baskets / Sets - beauty, makeup, food, etc
  25. Christmas Cards
  26. Christmas Trees
  27. Christmas Bakeware
  28. Christmas Candy
  29. Christmas Dishes
  30. Christmas Crafts

After Christmas Shopping Tips:

  • Make a shopping list and stick to it to avoid impulse buys
  • Use cash back rebate apps to save even more money
  • Check for coupons and promo codes before you buy something
  • Do comparative shopping online to make sure you are getting the best deal
  • Don't pay for shipping. Either find free shipping deals, get free pickup or get it in the store.
  • Check the return policy. Holiday items could have an all sales final policy.
  • Think about what you actually have to spend and what you really need to buy. Don't go into debt buying things that you can't afford and don't need.
  • Sign up for email subscriptions to receive extra discounts
  • Not just big stores have after Christmas sales. Smaller ones do too!
  • If you are on a tight budget consider doing your after Christmas shopping at thrift stores. They have 50% off everything sales.
What after Christmas deals have you found?

150 Free Things That Public Libraries Offer

Library

Public libraries offer A LOT of free things that most people don't know about. I know because I got my Master's in Library Science; otherwise, I probably would have never known that you could get much more than books and media at the library.

A public library's purpose is much more than to provide access to books; their mission is to enrich their communities and improve quality of life for its citizens and they do that by offering technologies, tools and resources to help people succeed.

Because every community has different needs, not every library will offer all of these things, but a majority of these items will be available through at least one library in your local public library system. Borrowing items is especially great if you only need them for a project or two. No need to buy something you are only going to use once or twice. It's also a good way to try before you buy.

What Can you Borrow at Libraries?

    1. Books - DUH!
    2. Music CDs
    3. Blu-Rays
    4. Video Games - Wii, Xbox, PC Games, Playstation 3, etc.
    5. E-books
    6. Board games
    7. Online databases - database subscriptions are VERY expensive and libraries provide access to hundreds of different databases for free. These databases are EXCELLENT resources for children and students. They provide high quality scholarly and academic articles that are superior to what you would find with a simple Google search. Some examples of databases that libraries give you access to:
      • Junior Reference Collection
      • Kids InfoBits
      • National Geographic Kids
      • Biography in Content (Gale)
      • World Book Kids
      • Lynda.com
      • Reference USA
      • Gale Business Collections
      • Academic OneFile
      • America's Genealogy Bank
      • Auto Repair Reference Center
      • Health & Wellness Resource Center
      • Science Online
      • Literature Resource Center
      • Live Homework Help
      • Mango Languages
      • Local newspaper archives
      • WorldCat
    8. Digital Collections - Libraries are working on digitizing local historical documents and photographs so that you can learn about your city's heritage and cultural roots.
    9. Tablets
    10. E-readers
    11. Layaway Launchpads - they are designed just for kids and are pre-loaded with high-quality, ad-free apps that are both fun and educational.
    12. Portable Blu-Ray Player
    13. MP3 Players
    14. DVDs
    15. Laptops
    16. Periodicals
    17. Magazines
    18. Cameras
    19. Tools - This library offers over 200 tools to lend out!
    20. Cooking appliances
    21. Sewing machines
    22. Irons
    23. Home appliances
    24. Musical instruments
    25. Sheet music
    26. Hobby kits such as model kits for planes, ships and buildings.
    27. Discovery kits - They are filled with books, craft ideas, puzzles, dvd’s, games, etc.  for young and old. They are themed like Dinosaur Discovery Kit or Elephant Discovery Kit
    28. Activity kits - Book accompanied by an activity card and simple activity (puppet, stuffed animal, etc.)
    29. Parenting kits like tolieting and bedwetting kits
    30. Cassettes
    31. Scrapbooking kits
    32. Audiobooks
    33. Pedometers - like FitBits
    34. Newspapers
    35. Downloadable Apps - apps that would otherwise cost you money to download
    36. Comics and graphic novels
    37. Virtual reference library
    38. Digital magazines through services like Zinio
    39. Telescopes
    40. Book Kits (10 books and a guide). Good for book clubs.
    41. Digital music services like Freegal that offer over 7million songs to choose from.
    42. Toys and gadgets - like gaming accessories (e.g. controllers)
    43. Seeds
    44. Gardening tools (also gardening classes)
    45. Video production equipment
    46. Sports equipment
    47. Consumer guides / reports to figure out best brands to buy
    48. Science equipment (Microscopes, pH meters, etc.)
    49. Digital Voice Recorders
    50. Phone chargers
    51. Exercise/Workout Videos
    52. Bicycles and bike pumps
    53. Bakeware
    54. Home Energy Evaluation Kits
    55. Headphones
    56. LCD Projector (fee may apply)
    57. Craft supplies
    58. GoPro
    59. Lawn care items like rakes, shovels, etc
    60. Puzzles
    61. Overhead Projector
    62. Dolls (ex. American Girls Dolls)
    63. Winter items like show shoes, sleds, ice skates, snow shovels.
    64. Energy Meters for the home
      Libraries are creating "library of things" like Sacramento Public Library - http://www.saclibrary.org/Services/Library-of-Things/ or http://oaklandlibrary.org/locations/tool-lending-library

      What Services Do Libraries Provide For Free (Or A Small Fee)?

    65. Electric car charging - this one is very new. So far there is only one library in my state offering this service, but more libraries are working on getting these installed.
    66. Research help - Librarians are expert researchers and you can enlist their help.
    67. Bookmobiles - This is a up and coming service in my area. They are mobile libraries that come to you! Especially helpful if you lack transportation to get to the library. Here, they primarily visit senior living/retirement or low income communities for people that can't drive or don't have transportation.
    68. Career help - libraries give patrons access to resources, websites, and databases to help people look for jobs. An example of my local libraries Career page is here.
    69. Book sales - you can buy books for thrift store prices! ($0.50 to $1)
    70. 3D Printing - 3D printers are thousands of dollars, but many libraries are buying them to let patrons use for FREE (or sometimes a small fee). There are over 250 libraries in the US that offer 3D printers to patrons! Some examples of the cool things people have made at libraries are: printed phone cases, toy characters, playing pieces for board games, replacement parts for electric razors, cookie cutters, artificial limbs for amputees, tools, jewelry and more!
    71. Free passes to local educational or cultural institutions - ex: museums, sports games, zoos or aquariums
    72. Room reservations - you can reserve a conference room.
    73. Homework help
    74. Free wi-fi
    75. Computers
    76. Copy
    77. Print
    78. Fax
    79. Scan
    80. Ellison Die Machine
    81. Book vending machines - like Redbox but for books!
    82. Laminating
    83. Ask a Librarian - is a live virtual reference service (chat, email, texting) that offers online reference assistance. Questions are answered in real time by librarians with subject expertise in a wide range of disciplines. You can ask questions about library services, information resources, and conducting research.
    84. Internet access
    85. Computer usage
    86. Research guides/finding aids on many subjects
    87. ADA Services (ex. large print and braille materials)
    88. Readers' Advisory Services - Recommending books based on reading interests
    89. Inter Library Loans
    90. Forms - libraries provides legal, government and tax forms for residents
    91. Special Collections
    92. Delivery Service for people who are homebound
    93.  Mobile library app that gives you 24/7 access to the libraries online books, resources and databases
    94. Consumer health information and resources
    95. Government Assistance
    96. Request Materials
    97. Genealogy Services
    98. Access to library materials 7 days a week!

      What Can You Do at Libraries? Programs - Events, Classes, Clubs and more!
      There are thousands of different programs at libraries (New York Public Library offers more than 80,000 programs annually), so I couldn't cover them all, but I will list some of the more popular ones (for kids, teens and adults)

      Adult

    99. Genealogy classes
    100. Career development classes - to help with resume and gives free career related resources and advise
    101. Money Matters / Financial Programs
    102. Computer classes (Internet Basics, Microsoft Office 101, etc). I have taught many of these computer classes at my local library. It's an excellent resource for senior citizens.
    103. Learn a language classes - In my state, many libraries have Spanish classes.
    104. Author talks - meet your favorite author!
    105. Bingo night
    106. Movie night
    107. Book clubs
    108. Book discussion groups
    109. Technology classes - ipad basics, mobile device help, etc.
    110. ZUMBA
    111. Yoga
    112. Art gallery / exhibits
    113. Writing club
    114. Job counseling
    115. Adult coloring
    116. Quilters & crafters
    117. Cooking programs
    118. Speed Dating
    119. Aerobics / Exercise classes - Great place to find a running buddy
    120. Adult pottery class
    121. Open mic night
    122. Wine tasting (yes, really)
    123. Special lecture or creative workshops
    124. Volunteering - A library is a fun place to volunteer and they could really use the extra help!

      Kids and Teens

    125. Computer coding - teaching kids programming
    126. Pokemon club
    127. Minecraft club
    128. Story time
    129. Comic Cons - My local library has one of these every year and they are REALLY popular - thousands show up for it.
    130. Block Party / Lego League
    131. Game Zone
    132. Teen Time
    133. Puppet shows
    134. Teen crafts
    135. Family game night
    136. Anime club
    137. Battle of the Books
    138. Origami
    139. Robotics club
    140. Poetry slam
    141. Writer’s group
    142. Dance party / dance studio
    143. Summer Reading Program
    144. Makerspaces / Hackerspaces - This is a trending topic in the library field and was what I did my thesis paper on. If you aren't familiar with the terminology it simply means a space where people gather to make, create, and share supplies, skills, and ideas. Some examples of makerspace equipment:  Espresso Book Machine (print and bind your own book!), Digital Creation Stations, 3D Printer, Laser Cutter/Engraver, Vinyl Printer/Cutter
    145. Nursery Rhyme Time
    146. STEM programs
    147. Guitar Lessons
    148. Manga Mania
    149. Harry Potter Parties
    150. CreateIT and iTNation programs give teens experience using various digital media software and allow them to teach introductory digital media classes to others.

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