100 Ingenious Ways to Save More Money


(on almost everything)

Enough with the old savings tips! We've compiled over 100 creative, simple and ingenious ways to save more money!


Figuring out ways to save more money is a conundrum many people face – especially when they’ve already done the obvious things like cut cable or stop eating out. Enough with the boring old savings tips! Here are 100 creative, simple, ingenious ways to save more money on almost everything, from groceries to travel. Check them out and share your favorite money saving tips!

General Savings Tips

 

1. Set a goal. You wouldn’t run a race without a finish line so why would you save without an end goal? Get specific (and on the same page with your partner) about what you’re saving for next and how much you’ll need.

2. $1000 in emergency savings. Work up to at least $1000 in a dedicated emergency fund first. All other savings goals should be put on the back-burner until this is met.

3. 401k Matching. Take advantage of any matching programs that your employer offers. Explanation: if you contribute 6% of your paycheck into your 401k, your employer will match that amount and put it into your 401k as well.

4. The B-Word. We’re talking about Budgets. Track your spending and set limits for categories like eating out, groceries or shopping. Funnel any extra money into savings. Try a budgeting app like Illuminate™.

5. Automate your savings into a dedicated savings account. Save it before you have the chance to spend it.Click To Tweet

 

6. Separate your accounts. A good savings hack is to keep your savings account and checking account at separate banks. It may sound counter-intuitive but keeping savings out-of-sight, out-of-mind will help you grow the balance.

7. Save windfalls. Don’t think of tax refunds or bonus checks as “extra” money. Imagine it going right to savings — before it even arrives.

8. Know thyself. Understand your natural tendency to spend or save and build a savings plan with that in mind.

9. Find rewards programs. Some savings rewards programs will offer a little cash boost for good savings habits.

10. Delete credit card number from sites. Some websites like Amazon® make it super easy for you to make purchases (necessary or otherwise) by saving your credit card information so you don’t have to re-enter it at checkout. Don’t save your card number. If you have to manually enter your payment info to purchase something, it reduces the chance of an impulse buy.

Date Night Savings Tips

 

11. Flowers are always a good idea. There’s something about a fresh bouquet of flowers that can even make a Netflix® date feel special.

12. Check out date night specials at local restaurants. Many restaurants offer a discounted meal or wine special during the week to attract business.

13. Couples, talk about money. No, really. If you don’t have an open dialog about your beliefs, values and habits when it comes to money, it’s hard to be on the same page financially. Check in with one another about your goals, budgets and upcoming purchases. Using a financial tool like Together™ can help.

14. Order takeout – for half the meal. Save the takeout money for the good stuff and round it out with groceries. You can easily obtain extras like salad, bread or drinks cheaper on your own.

15. Sign up for rewards. Get on the email lists of coffee shops, your favorite restaurant or other businesses you like. Many of them will offer discounts for your birthday or other special promotions.

16. Volunteer together. Volunteering on a date night can be an incredibly bonding experience. Not only will you experience something new together, it can also help you discover (or reinforce) shared values.

Car and Transportation Savings Tips

 

17. Budget for upkeep. Owning and operating a vehicle also accounts for the second-largest household expense, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; continuing upkeep costs almost $8,500 a year, according to AAA’s Your Driving Costs study. Make sure you account for car maintenance in your budget.

18. Walk or bike instead of driving. Use this handy calculator to see how much you could save by biking to work.

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19. Do research before buying. Before purchasing a car, use Kelley Blue Book’s Cost calculator.

20. Create a car maintenance calendar. Knowing your car’s maintenance schedule can help you take care of minor issues, and avoid major headaches down the road. It also helps you keep track of your vehicle’s service record and any warranties that you may have.

21. Keep your tires inflated. Under-inflated tires cost you money by reducing your car’s gas mileage.

22. Bundle insurance. A 2015 study of 2 billion price quotes from more than 700 companies nationwide by Consumer Reports® found that bundling home and car insurance would save the average customer $97 a year.

23. Ask for a discount. If you work from home or simply don’t drive much, ask your insurer to lower your car insurance rates. A study commissioned by insuranceQuotes.com found that a person who drives 5,000 miles a year pays 8.4% less for auto insurance than someone who drives 15,000 miles a year.

Wedding Savings Tips

 

24. Don’t get married on a Saturday. You can save thousands of dollars just by switching to a Friday or Sunday wedding date.

25. Consider a daytime wedding. Brunch weddings are gaining traction as a classy (and more affordable) option compared to expensive dinners.

26. Give yourself time. A longer engagement means a longer time to save. Plus, you’ll get the luxury of booking affordable venues in advance, before they fill up.

27. Start a wedding savings account. Look at how much money you’ll need (be realistic!) and break it down into monthly goals. Figure out ways the two of you can team up to set aside that amount in a dedicated savings account.

28. Re-imagine the wedding gown. Shop around for white formal dresses that aren’t specifically bridal gowns. According to Business Insider, retailers will charge about 3.9 times more for a white bridal dress than a white dress that’s similar.

29. Save money by choosing flowers that are in-season and native to your venue’s region.Click To Tweet

 

30. Write down your priorities. It’s easy to get distracted and caught up in all the “should haves” for a wedding. Make it easier on both of you by sitting down at the beginning and writing down your top three priorities. For example, you might say the most important elements of your big day should be music, food and dancing (but not necessarily décor). Then, when things start to add up, ask yourself if it supports one of your key priorities. If not, do you really need it?

31. Consider a gemstone. The average diamond engagement ring costs about $6,163. Consider opting for a gemstone instead to potentially save thousands.

Travel Savings Tips

 

32. Explore Jump-Off Cities. Some U.S. cities allow you to “jump-off” into another amazing location nearby. Fly to San Francisco, and rent a car to wine country. Or fly to Las Vegas, stay for a few days and then drive only 4 hours to the Grand Canyon.

33. Find cheapest days to fly. Use a tool like Skyscanner to compare flight prices across a whole month, allowing you to see the cheapest days to fly.

34. Set up price alerts. There are awesome sites like airfarewatchdog or hopper that will send you notifications when flights to desired destinations are dipping in price.

35. Stay in a place with a kitchen. When you’re on vacay, save money on food by preparing breakfast and lunch where you’re staying instead of eating out.

36. Go incognito. When searching for flights, try using private browsing mode. Some websites will track your search behavior and show you more expensive flights based on your search history.

37. Ask for all fees upfront. That morning paper you didn’t ask for? $5. That call you made to the front desk? $1. Some hotels will tack on fees you didn’t know were there. Ask for all fees to be disclosed at check-in.

38. Choose cheaper destinations. You can still travel the world on a budget. Check out these recommendations for great, cheap travel destinations.

Food and Grocery Savings Tips

 

39. Plan meals ahead of time. Meal planning is a great way to reduce food costs. Whip up big portions and save the rest for leftovers during the week.

40. Buy multi-use ingredients. Find recipes that use the same key ingredients, just prepared in different ways. Ground beef can cover spaghetti night and chili, tortillas can be used in wraps for lunch or dinner fajitas … use your imagination, or check out this article.

41. Know when to buy in bulk. Some items like apples, spices, canned goods and nuts are best bought in bulk because of their long shelf life and cheaper price per pound. Other items? Not so much. Find out which foods are the best to buy in bulk.

42. Don’t shop hungry. A study by the University of Minnesota found that hungry mall shoppers increased their spending by 64%¹.Click To Tweet

 

43. Buy produce that’s in-season. There’s a reason why blueberries are astronomically expensive in the winter. Save money by knowing which foods are in-season.

44. Read the unit price to really get the best deal. Don’t be fooled by percentage discounts and sale signs. To really find the best deal, look at the unit price on the label.

45. Make your food last longer by knowing where to put it. Certain fruits, like bananas, give off ethylene gas, ripening surrounding produce faster.

46. Set a food budget.  Download the Illuminate™ app It can help you create and stick to a food budget (and other budgets too).

47. Beware convenience packaging. Any time something is chopped, peeled, cut or individually packaged, there’s usually a price hike. Grate your own cheese, make your own carrot sticks, etc.

48. Avoid crowds. Head to the grocery store on Monday or Tuesday evenings to avoid crowds and stress-induced purchases.

Baby Savings Tips

 

49. Use hand-me downs. Email friends, family and co-workers for any unused baby clothes. They’ll be happy to see them put to good use!

50. Apply for tax credits. Families with child care expenses can also apply for the child and dependent care tax credit. Beginning in the 2018 tax year, the dollar amount of this tax credit doubles from $1,000 per child to $2,000 per child.

51. Look into a Dependent Care FSA. A Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for eligible dependent care services, such as preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or adult daycare.

52. Nanny Share. If you and a friend are both looking for childcare, hire a nanny to watch over both of your kids and share the cost.

53. Invest in the right baby furniture. Buy furniture that grows with your baby. A crib that converts to a toddler bed, for example. Or a plain dresser with a changing table pad on top.

54. Know estimated costs for delivery. Call your hospital or birthing center and get a sense of estimated costs of your entire stay. After you get the hospital’s estimate, call your insurance company to see how much of those costs will be covered. You won’t get an exact number, but you should know a range, allowing you to budget/save accordingly.

55. Buy in bulk. Buying diapers, wipes and formula in bulk can save you a lot of money.

56. Buy unisex clothes if you plan to have multiple children. That way you can pass down clothes no matter the sex of kiddo #2.

57. Call pediatrician before scheduling an appointment. Save money on doctor visits by describing symptoms over the phone.

58. Save your bibs. Put a command strip on the back of your highchair to keep bibs safe. That way you won’t keep losing them (and buying new ones!)

59. Make a fitted sheet do double-duty. You don’t need expensive outdoor play-pens. Just put a fitted sheet over a portable crib to keep bugs and sun off baby.

60. Save on education. A tax-advantaged 529 plan can boost your college savings. Ask relatives to contribute to this fund in lieu of gifts.

Family Fun Savings Tips

 

61. Go on a scavenger hunt. Buy your kids disposable cameras and write a list of items around the neighborhood to “snap.” Better yet, do it as a family for a fun way to explore your neighborhood, town or city. Printing off the pictures later will keep the memories alive.

62. Make a puppet theater with cheap materials. All you need are some markers/paint, a tri-fold poster board, and items to glue to loose socks.

63. Hold a weekly game night. Check this list for the best family board games out right now.

64. Perform a play. Buy used scripts or rent them from your library and put on a play.Click To Tweet

 

65. Use Facebook® for events. Many local businesses and venues will post upcoming events, like free music or entertainment on Facebook.

66. Affordable art supplies. Buy art supplies at second-hand stores or when they go on sale in August.

67. Free events at the library.
Check your local library’s events calendar. You might be surprised by the number of free events, especially in the summer when school’s out.

68. Save on utilities. Teach your kids the importance of saving energy in the home.

69. Savings games. Make saving a family affair with fun savings games, like brainstorming ways to save money as family, or coloring in a savings goal chart.

Health & Medical Savings Tips

 

70. Buy prescription drugs at Costco® sans membership. Prescription medications can be filled at Costco pharmacies without a membership.

71. Cut down on co-pays. Ask your doctor for a three-month supply of medication you take regularly instead of paying the co-pay for monthly refills.

72. Use an FSA or HSA. Two medical saving account options all families should consider are a Flexible Savings Account (FSA) and a Health Savings Account (HSA). Both accounts have different benefits, but both are taken out before taxes, meaning you can save up to 30 percent on health care expenses by paying for them on a pre-tax basis.

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73. Invest in lifestyle changes. Cheapest way to save money on healthcare? Stay healthy!

74. Ditch expensive vitamins. If you regularly eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies, you most likely don’t need the costly multi.

75. Go virtual for minor illnesses. Save on the cost of a doctor visit. Some sites like VirtuWell® offer diagnosis, treatment plan and medication for common illnesses.

76. Research your benefits. Take your time, call your benefits department and pick the right plan for your family. According to Aflac, more than 90% of workers say they choose the same benefits every year, and 46% spend 30 minutes or less signing up for health care benefits.

Household Savings Tips

 

77. Zip your pants! Make jeans and garments last longer by making sure zippers are closed before washing.

78. Prevent air leaks. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the gaps around windows and doors in most houses are equivalent to having a 3-by-3-foot hole in your wall. Good insulation is the best measure for keeping cooled and heated air inside, but caulking and weatherstripping are the next best things. Heavy drapes and other window treatments can also help.

79. Plant trees strategically. If planted on the south side of your home, they’ll keep interiors shaded and cool in the summer, and let light in to warm rooms in the winter.

80. Planting shrubbery close to your foundation can help insulate your home from cold winds or high heat.Click To Tweet

 

81. Switching to a clothesline in the summer to dry clothes can save you almost $100 a year.

82. Use smart power strips to turn off power to electronics that are in standby mode.

83. Buy store brand. From toothpaste to cleaning supplies, buying store brand versus name brand is almost always cheaper for the same ingredients.

Better Habits Saving Tips

 

84. Try a power stance. New research from Stanford Graduate School of Business the more powerful you feel, the more money you save.

85. Understand yourself better. Take a self-assessment to see how different factors impact your spending habits and behaviors. Try this one on the Together™ platform.

86. Wait a day. Cut down on impulse purchases by giving yourself the freedom to make them… eventually. If you’re still thinking about the same purchase in 1-2 days, then go for it.

87. Get the Mod Podge®. Create a vision board for your savings goals and hang it in your home. Just make sure it’s one specific goal per board.

88. Visualize a stranger. Next time you’re about to make a non-essential purchase, envision a stranger offering you the product in one hand and its cash equivalent in the other hand to go towards your savings goal. If you’d rather take the cash, you don’t really need that thing you were about to buy. Take it a step further and transfer that money into your savings as soon as you get home!

89. Try a savings challenge. And get a group of friends or family to do it with you. Try the $500 Savings Challenge and see who can save $500 the fastest!

90. See joy in everything. There’s a reason why we’re taught to count our blessings. Acknowledging all the things you already have can help you feel more contented (and feel less of an urge to spend).

Funny Savings Tips

 

91. Look into modeling work for your kid(s). What? Like you haven’t thought about it….

92. Play ding-dong ditch for free entertainment.

93. Rent your pet out to lonely friends.Click To Tweet

 

94. Mark yourself with permanent marker every time you make a non-essential purchase.

95. Grow your hair out (fewer haircuts!).

96. Go fishing. Keep your wallet in a fish tank guarded by sharks or jellyfish.

97. Keep the change. Rummage through friends’ couch cushions for loose change.

98. Old McDonald. Agree to let someone farm your yard and pay you a portion of profits.

99. Mom knows best. Play a recording of your mom nagging you about spending money while at the store.

100. Family time. For every dollar you overspend, you spend an extra hour at the in-laws.

You made it!

 

You did it! You made it to tip #100! We hope you found some new savings tips to try out and are freshly inspired to find more ways to save money.

Have your own awesome savings tips? We’d love to hear ’em! Share your own tip with the hashtag #100daysofsaving and we’ll choose the best ones to add to our post and/or share on social media.

What's your favorite savings tip? Click To Tweet

 

¹https://twin-cities.umn.edu/news-events/empty-stomach-can-lead-empty-wallet
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