Are you looking to save money but not sure where to start? Then you’ve come to the right place.
It’s so easy to get bogged down with grand ideas of saving and feel overwhelmed with the options available. By the end of the month, you realise you’ve spent all of your spare time researching ways to save money that you haven’t saved a single cent!
Most of the ideas below aren’t about depriving yourself of anything, they’re just ways to do things differently with the ultimate outcome of saving money. By making a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle, you can easily reduce your monthly outgoings.
Your expenses will generally fall into two categories;
Items that you need to spend money on – Think bills (rent/mortgage, power, insurance, water etc), food and transport (car or public transport costs to get to work).
Optional items – Things that aren’t really necessary; new clothes, Netflix subscriptions, a large phone plan, large internet plan etc.
Take some time to jot down your expenses and divide them up into the two categories. This makes it much easier to look at each item on the two lists and decide where you can make your savings. You may find that you can cut out some of the optional items altogether.
So try out some of these ideas and get saving!
Ways to save at home:
1. Turn off lights if you’re not in the room.
It might seem like such a tiny thing but turning lights off whenever you leave a room really can help to lower your power bills. Remember – every little helps!
2. Fix things yourself.
If something breaks, don’t throw it out just yet. Nowadays, you can find a tutorial for fixing almost anything online. Just type it into your search engine and you’re sure to find a video, written tutorial or pictures explaining how to repair it. Note: Leave any important or potentially dangerous fixes to a professional.
3. Air dry your clothes.
If it’s a sunny day, hang your clothes out to dry on the line instead of using a tumble dryer. Not only will you save on electricity, your clothes will last longer.
4. Use water twice.
Go by the ‘use water twice’ rule (if and when you can). The simplest way to do this is by using a bowl in your sink. That way, whenever you rinse your fruits or vegetables, you’ll be able to save the water and reuse it. Use it for things like watering plants or washing garden items.
5. Make the effort to repair clothes instead of throwing them out.
Missing a button? Noticed a small hole in a top or pair of trousers? These are really simple fixes which won’t take you long to repair. If you’re not sure where to start, look up a simple tutorial online.
6. Sell unused or unwanted items.
Got an item of clothing that doesn’t fit but is still in really good condition? Before donating or getting rid of it, think about selling it online. Try putting it up on eBay, gumtree or Facebook marketplace.
7. Install energy efficient lightbulbs.
This may take a little planning and a bit more cost up front but your lightbulbs will last much longer.
8. Swap instead of buying new.
If you’re looking to refresh some of your belongings then why not get together with a group of friends and swap clothes, children’s toys or books. It’s a good way to give a new lease of life to pre-loved items.
9. Try your hand at growing things.
All you need is soil, some packets of seeds and some water. Growing your own is relatively inexpensive and can be really satisfying too.
Don’t have a garden? No problem, you can easily plant things in pots or even create a mini vertical garden. Start off small and see how you go. Herbs, tomatoes and strawberries are a great place to start!
10. Challenge yourself to a no-spend day.
Try not to spend anything for a whole day. Make coffee at home, bring your own packed lunch if you’re going out somewhere and cook dinner with food you’ve already got in the fridge/pantry. Sample some free activities, go for a walk or checkout the local library.
Just don’t pick a day when all of your bills are due!
11. Start meal planning.
Planning out exactly what you will be eating for each meal is a good way to save money. You won’t be spending money on random ingredients, and you’re guaranteed to reduce wastage.
12. Make lunch at home to take to work or school.
If you’re really savvy with your meal planning then perhaps allow for extra food for dinner which can be then be turned into lunch for the following day! If not, sandwiches, noodles or soups can make great lunches.
13. Make coffee at home (as often as you can).
I’m not saying that you have to give up coffees altogether. I love having a cup of coffee (at an actual cafe) once in a while. Even if you just change the balance of coffees out vs coffees at home, you’re guaranteed to be making some savings.
14. Unsubscribe from marketing emails.
It might seem great when you receive an email from your favourite store letting you know that they’re having a huge sale…but it’s not so helpful when you’re trying to save money. Do yourself a favour and scroll down to the bottom of the email and click on the (tiny) unsubscribe button. Just do it.
15. Buy second hand if you can.
Garage sales and Op shops are good places to find cheaper clothes, kitchen items or books. Sometimes you can be really lucky and find some near new items for really low prices.
16. Wash your clothes at 30 degrees or cooler.
Washing your clothes at cooler temperatures will save on water heating costs. Plus your clothes won’t fade so much and the colours are less likely to run.
17. Mix up what you already have.
If you really want to give an update to a room in your house, don’t rush out to buy new accessories just yet. Why not try rearranging the furniture? Or swap round some of the decor you already have to freshen up your space? That way you’ll be looking at things from a different perspective.
18. Make sure you’re only doing full loads of washing.
Whether it’s clothes in the washing machine or dishes in the dishwasher, make sure that you’re only starting the wash for a full load. This will save on water and energy costs.
19. Use energy efficient appliances.
If you’re looking to buy appliances then it’s worth having a look at the energy star rating to ensure that you’re getting the most economic item for your money.
20. Don’t order takeaway.
Fancy a pizza? Wait. Don’t order in, make it yourself from scratch. If you don’t want to make the base yourself then most supermarkets sell pre-made bases which you can top yourself, still saving you money.
21. Give homemade gifts.
Have you ever thought about giving a homemade gift? Homemade gifts are a really thoughtful idea and you don’t necessarily need amazing creative skills to put one together. How about a dry cookie mix or dry cake mix in a jar? Or some homemade sweets or cookies? There are lots of things you can make which don’t have to cost you much but I guarantee the recipient will love!
22. Reassess your subscriptions.
Is there any way you can reduce or even eliminate some of your subscriptions? It’s often worth giving the provider a call to see if they can offer you a better price. Don’t be afraid to enquire – the worst thing that can happen is they say no.
23. Shop around for insurance renewals.
This may not be relevant right now but it’s definitely one to keep in mind. Most people won’t shop around and simply let the policy roll over – this is a big mistake. You can sometimes save lots of money as switching can give you good introductory discounts or deals.
If you don’t want to spend too much time shopping around, put your details into any comparison website to whittle down your options and find the cheapest companies.
24. Make your own cleaning supplies.
Buying cleaning supplies can be costly and sometimes you buy a big bottle of cleaning fluid, only to use it once before you realise it doesn’t actually work/is the wrong sort of cleaner. Items like vinegar, bicarbonate soda and lemon make great natural cleaners.
Checkout this post here for genius ways to clean using things around the house.
25. Make sure you’re getting the most from your phone plan.
Are you more of a texter? Do you prefer to make phone calls? Or do you use your phone mainly for surfing the net or watching funny videos? Whichever applies, it’s definitely worth making sure that your phone plan is balanced in a way that suits you.
Ways to save when you’re and about:
26. Research free events in your area.
Who said you have to spend money to have a good time? Free concerts, free museums or free festivals are great when you’re looking for something to fill your time. You just have to do a little research, check out your local paper or look online. There is bound to be something on, especially in the summer when the weather is good.
27. Checkout your local library.
Libraries aren’t just places to borrow books, they often run free events/courses or you can borrow dvds, puzzles, board games. It’s also a good place to find out about other community events in your local area.
28. Walk anywhere you can.
Give those legs a good stretch, get out in the fresh air and walk. If it’s too far to walk, don’t catch a taxi, use public transport instead.
29. Think about your stomach before leaving the house.
If you’re out and about, take a drink and snack with you to save spending or be sure to eat before you go. Buying snacks may not seem costly at the time but it can easily add up.
30. Never buy bottled water.
Use a filter instead and invest in a nice water bottle/flask to use whenever you need it. These purchases may cost a little more initially but in the long run you will save more.
Ways to save at the shops:
31. Buy in bulk when on offer.
Non-perishable items such as washing powder, toothpaste or toiletries can sometimes be a bit costly when they’re full price. Buy a few when they are on offer and you can save lots.
32. Try not to buy pre-made sauces at the supermarket.
It’s much cheaper (and not to mention healthier) to make a sauce from scratch. With a quick search online, you could have thousands of recipes at your fingertips. The same goes for ready meals or anything pre-prepared. Steer clear of them and you can save.
33. Go grocery shopping at the end of the day/near closing time.
The best time to go to the supermarket is right before closing time as any fresh goods nearing their sell-by-date will be heavily reduced. I have often picked up a bargain this way. Just be sure that if it’s perishable you’ll be using it within a day or so.
34. Buy non-branded goods.
At the supermarket don’t buy branded items if you don’t have to. The shop brand or generic equivalents are always a little cheaper.
35. Follow the 30 day rule.
If you want to buy something, transfer the money into your savings account and then wait 30 days to see if you still want/need it. If you find that you have forgotten about it or decide that it’s not necessary then that’s great.
36. Write a shopping list and stick to it.
Impulse buying is something that can really throw off your budget for the week. Decide exactly what you need, write down the ingredients and just buy what is on the list. You will save money and reduce wastage.
37. Go meat-free once a week.
Eating meat every day of the week can become quite expensive. One way to be smarter with your budget is to have one meat free meal a week.
Mushrooms, beans or pulses make a great meat substitute; they are a really healthy and filling alternative.
38. Remove your card details from shopping websites.
Make it more difficult for yourself to make an online purchase by removing your card details from any shopping websites. That way if you really want to buy something then you will have to get your card and manually type the digits in.
39. Try and find a coupon code if you’re shopping online.
It only takes a few seconds to type in the name of shop + coupon code and do a quick search. You could get lucky with free delivery, money off or some other bonus. It’s definitely worth a try.
40. With bigger ticket items, try and avoid buying brand new if you can.
Nowadays it’s so easy to pick up some really great second hand items. Have a look on websites like Gumtree or Facebook marketplace. You could even pick up something for free!
And there you have 40 simple but effective money saving ideas. Hope they gave you some food for thought and will spur you on to get saving! You don’t have to do all of these things on the list, just pick a few and get started.