Showing posts with label frugal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frugal. Show all posts

Save Money With Hundreds of Money Savings Ideas

This is a compilation for some of the ways I've come across to save money.  Some our mine, some are borrowed, hopefully they will start you thinking of other money savings ideas.  I'll continue to add to this list as I come up with more ideas.

Save Money Idea Index

The money savings ideas are arranged by these main topics:
  • Apps
  • Credit Cards
  • Food
  • House
  • Investing
  • Shopping
  • Technology
  • Travel
  • Utilities and Bills

Save Money with Apps

Automate Coupons - Use browser add-ins to automatically find coupons and discount codes for the items your looking at.

Save Money with Credit Cards

Free Airline Travel from you Credit Cards - Sign up and get the bonus miles for travel.  Read my post on How to Fly Anywhere in the World for Free.

Cash Back Deals - Look for the the best cash back deals on cards.  I'm getting 5% back from Amazon, Kohls, Target and from my Bank of America cart on select categories.  Remember make sure there are no annual fees and you pay off the card monthly.

Write Notes on Cards - If you have different cards for different discount categories, write the discount amount right on the credit card.

No Annual Fee - Make sure you find cards that don't have annual fees.

Pay off your balance - Do not carry a balance on your credit cards, make they they are paid off every month.

Save Money on Food

Eat Left Overs - Don't through out that extra food.

Farmers Markets  - Visit these on a Saturday and look for fresh items for lower costs.

Homemade soup - Save you left over chicken or turkey carcass for some great homemade soup.

Vegetable Stock - Collect your veggie scams and simmer in water to make stock for soup.

Save Money in your House

Borrow what you need - Need a saw, tent or extra table and chairs.  Borrow them from a friend or neighbor.  Reach out on social media with your request.

Concentrated Cleaners Save Money - Add the water to the concentrate and save money.  These can be huge savings.

Craigslist  - Buyer beware, meet the seller at a police station or public place.  I've bought and sold many of items on Craigslist.  Again they are way less expensive then new.  For example my $300 IR Sauna.  Just be patient.

Make your own cleaner - 8 oz of water, 2 oz of vinegar and a tablespoon of dish soap will work great on most surfaces.  Make sure you test it first to make sure it doesn't harm the surface.

Estate Sales - Look for household goods on the cheap at estate sales.  Negotiate for a better price.

Facebook Marketplace - Find local items for sale that are more affordable then new

Garage sales - Shop, negotiate and save for household items.  

Free Wood Mulch - Check with you local tree, utility or city.  Sometimes you can find much for free.

Lumber Yards - Check out a lumber yard instead of Home Depot or Lowes.  You may get better lumber for a lower price.

Refurbish you old furniture - Strip the old paint off your patio or wood furniture in your house and repair.  Add some new cushions to make them look like new.

Efficient Lightbulbs - Are you still using incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs?  Switch to LED to save money.

Make your own rags - Old socks and t-shirts make great cleaning rags.  Also see microfiber below.

Reuse microfiber towels - Instead of throw away cleaning products use microfiber towels to save money over cleaning products.  Just wash and reuse.

Sell your Stuff - Have a garage sale or sell you stuff on Facebook or Craigslist to bring in a little extra cash.

Toothbrushes - Save your old ones for cleaning tools

Save Money Investing

Custom Bank Accounts - Create multiple bank accounts to save money for specific purposes.  For example a vacation account or new car account.

Budget - Plan ahead and create a monthly budget you stick with.

Cash Envelope Budget - Create an envelope for each budget category.  Every pay period, put your budgeted amount in each envelop.  When the envelop is empty you don't spend anymore on that category until it's got money in it on your next payday.

Checking Account - Investigate ways to link you checking account to an investment account.

Force yourself to save - Every month commit to savings 10% of your income for retirement.  Best to have this auto withdrawn and moved to a separate retirement investment account.

Fractional Shares in Stock - More companies are making portions of shares available for purchase.  So instant of trying to buy 1 share at $2000 for expensive stocks, they let you buy a percent of a share.  So for example 5% costs you $100 and you still can leverage the gains of that company. 

Mutual Fund Fees - Review your investments and make sure you choose the ones with lower fees.  Savings 1% over time cane be significant. can help you review the yearly fees.

Go on a Spending Strike - Make yourself a commitment to not spend money other then for essential purposes for a hole month.

Refinance you home - How are interest rates compared to your current loan?  Be careful of extending your loan or you may never get that house paid off.

Savings Account Balance - Banks no longer pay much interest on savings accounts.  Move you extra cash to an investment account that can be invested in conservative bonds.  You can have your cash in a few days.

Save Money Shopping

Amazon Shipping - If you are prime member opt for the longer shipping to get a little cash back or discount on books.

Used Cars  - Consider Carvana, CarMax or even you local dealership for a used car. 

Comparison Shopping - Always check items and multiple locations online.  I usually compare Amazon and Wal-Mart to others.

Comparison Shop for your drugs - Consider a site like

Coupons - We all know what they are, look for them and use the to save a significant amount on your grocery bill.

Buy Groceries on Sale - bulk up and adjust you menu accordingly.

Wait to make big purchases on holiday weekends - Wait for the 4th of July, Labor Day or other holiday to make bigger purchases.

Pair Your Clothes - Only buy clothes that work well and match other clothes.  This ensures you'll wear them more and get more use for your money.

Rent a dress (or tux) - Don't buy a dress you'll only wear once, rent the dress for a day.

Price Checking - use free price tracker apps to track cost of items on Amazon and other Sites.

Shop at ethnic food stores - If you like Mexican or Indian food, use specialty stores for those foods and save.  Items are usually cheaper then at a normal grocery store.

Shopping Cart Hold - Leave items in your shopping cart for a few days.  You may receive a coupon enticing you to complete the purchase.

Shopping Cart and Shopping List - Add and Hold to Save Money - Leave items on your digital shopping wish list for a few days to make sure you still want them.   you may receive a coupon enticing you to complete the purchase.

Use a smaller shopping cart - The bigger the cart the more you'll put in it.  Use a smaller cart and be more selective.

Sign up for text coupons - from your favorite stores.  You may get different and better details.

Shopping List Needed Items  - Make shopping list of needed items and wait for them to go on sale before you buy. 

Grocery Shop During the week - Less people means more competitive prices.  Shop midweek for the best deals.

Use Store Credit Cards - Target, Amazon and others give you 5% back of you use their store credit card. Just make sure there are no yearly fees and that you payoff the full balance every month.

Buy Frozen Seafood - It's usually less money then the fresh on ice version at the meat counter

Refrigerate left over red wine - it will last longer and it's better then throwing it away. 

Shop at Costco without a membership - Non members can buy glasses, use the optical center and pharmacy.  If you receive a gift card they also let you in to spend it.

Shop at Sam's Club without a membership

Subscribe and Save - Many retailers offer subscriptions for items you use often.  You can sometimes save 10-15% for you loyalty.  Try Amazon and Target.

Wine you like versus expensive wine because a critic said so - my neighbor considers it a challenge to find an $8 bottle of wine he likes.  The $25 bottles are easy so save some money and look for the $8 bottle.

Warehouse Brand Wine - Buy a bottle and try it, often times it's the same wine as branded.

Wine in a box - Again try it you might like it.

Use Technology to Save money

Apple Care Insurance instead of your phone company - Even if you buy your phone from your wireless carrier, the Apple Care insurance can be added through apple. Do the math the Apple solution is less expensive.

Cell phone data plans - Are you paying for the best plan considering your usage.  Call you cellphone company and ask for advice.

Used Cameras - Looking for a DSLR, consider buying a slightly older used model.  You can save hundreds by buying a camera only a couple of years old.  The picture quality will still be phenomenal.

Used Lenses - I buy and sell used lenses all the time.  They hold their value and others have already taken the depreciation hit. 

Don't Rent your Cable Router - You can buy one and save the monthly charges.

Protect your mobile phone - Buy a new case and add a screen protector to save you the cost of a damaged phone.

Smart Plugs - They can help you lower your electrical bill by smartly managing your lights

Save Money on Travel

Airline Travel Card -  If you fly a lot and often check a bag, use one of these cards to get a first bag free. Make sure you understand the year fees.

Compression Bags - Literally squeeze the air out of your luggage and fit more in.

Credit Card Benefits - Often times credit cards offer travel insurance, auto rental insurance and other travel benefits.  Call and ask. 

Foreign Fees - Find a card that doesn't charge international transaction fees

Don't check a bag - Figure out how to consolidate what you back and make a carryon work.  My wife and I went to Italy for 12 days with carryons.

Travel Insurance - Save money on travel insurance, Maybe you already have coverage?

Timeshares, book and unused one - Sometimes owners can't use their time share.  You can often book them at a significant discount.

Buy a used RV - I've owned 5 used trailers and don't ever expect to buy a new one.   Let someone else take the depreciation hit.

Save Money on Utilities and Bills

Auto Insurance - Shop around and talk to you agent every year to see if your situation has changed to help you lower cost.

Rent your Car - Similar to Air B&B, you can sign up for a service that rents your car to others.

Free College Classes - Look online, there are many universities that offer free classes online.  Try

House Insurance - Every year call you agent and asked for a better deal.  Every couple of years get competitive quotes.  Review your home owner's insurance to save money.

Negotiate your bills - Never hurts to ask for a discount on anything your purchase, ask if they have any open coupons available, ask if they'll throw in and extra item.

Nest or other smart thermostat - They make you smarter at managing your house temperature.

Pay the yearly subscription up front  - Many apps, magazines and other monthly services let you may for a year in advance to save money.

Share a Streaming Service - Until they stop you, share streaming service like Netflix, Disney + or Hulu with family or a friend and split the cost.

Cancel Your Cable TV - Change to over the air TV.  You can use $10 rabbit ears and get HDTV.  

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Save money at dollar stores

Dollar stores are everywhere, so how can you save even more money by shopping at them.  Last year Family Dollar and Dollar Tree added almost a 1000 stores for a total of over 30,000 stores.  By the way both stores are owned by the same company. This is big business and they have a lot of purchasing power.  There costs can be lower than typical grocery or big box stores on many items.   Here are some tips to save money and make sure you're getting comparable goods.

Check the ingredients 

Read the ingredient labels on foods, make sure the dollar store foods have the same ingredients and nutrition as the name brands.

Do the size math

Package size varies so make sure you calculate the unit math and compare.  For example one package may be 12 oz the other might be 16 oz.  The first package is $1.00 while the second is $1.50.  $1.00/12 = $.083 per oz and 16/$1.50 = $10.7 so clearly the 12 oz package at the dollar store would be the better deal.

Use coupons

You can use in store and manufacturer coupons at both dollar stores so make sure you check their websites before shopping.

Try the no brand or store brand product

You many find that the store brand products work just as good as the name brand.  These might be half the price of the name brand.

Check expiration dates

With any shopping exercise caution and make sure the products you are buying haven't expired.

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Are Your Finances in Shape - 8 Tips to Double Check Your Status

Check out these 8 tips to help you save money and get your finances in shape.

1) Life Insurance

You should be reviewing your life insurance every year.  As your family situation changes you'll want to adjust your life insurance accordingly.  As you approach retirement and get older the cost of your insurance increases significantly because the actuaries data shows the older you get the more likely you are to pass away.  You probably will also have less need for a huge life insurance policy so make sure you balance your needs.  I most recently retired and reduced my life insurance and will be considering just cancelling my plan as I move forward.  If I were to pass my wife's income would come form my pension, social security and disbursement from our investments. 

2) Savings Accounts

Beef up your savings to cover emergencies.  The experts say you should have 6 months to a years worth of savings to potentially protect you from a loss of a job or unexpected expenses.  Make sure you consider all expenses when thinking about how much you need to save.  Don't forget medical costs and unexpected house repairs.  Cut unnecessary spending to put more in your savings account.

3) Pay Down Your Credit Card Debt

Review how much you spend on your credit cards.  How much did you spend last year?  How much have you spend this year?  Are you carrying a balance on your credit cards that's costing you huge interest charges every month?  Make it a goal to stop all unnecessary purchases on your cards.   Maybe move to a cash envelope budget where you budget a specific amount by category.

Review your credit cards if you have more than one.  Figure out which one charges the most interest and pay off that card first, then focus on the next highest interest card. 

4) Home Insurance

Make sure your homeowners insurance is up to date with the right level of coverage for your dwelling and all it's possessions.  You should have a log for everything in your house including electronics, jewelry, furniture and clothing.  I like to take a photography of all my rooms with closet and cabinet drawers open as a reminder on what I have.  Make sure to update you possession list with any new purchases or gifts you may have received in the last year.

Most of all shop around for a better insurance.  Make sure the coverage is the same from all insurance companies that are quoting.  Call and get four or five quotes, you'll be surprised at how much you can possibly save. 

5) Auto Insurance

Same thing for your Auto Insurance Policy.  Make sure you have the right coverage for the vehicles you are driving.  Consider your liability risks, do you need more or less coverage.  Now that you're retired, are you driving less miles?  This can lower your insurance.  Maybe you moved to a city or town with less crime, this can also lower insurance.  Hopefully your kids have moved out and aren't on your plan any longer, this can lower your auto insurance.

Same as for Home Owners, shop around.  Make sure to get quotes a combined policy which would include all your cars, boat, house, liability.  This can save money on your insurance.

6) Is your Income Stuck in Retirement

Maybe it's time to start a part time job to get your income back on track.  There are many jobs out there that are just looking for a reliable worker to help them out.  What are you willing to do do get your finances in order?  I have a neighbor in Florida who found a job working a help line from home so he could pay cash for a new firth wheel.  Be creative, you might be surprised at what you can find.

7) How Are Your Expenses

Simply stated, lower your expenses and safe up to pay cash for those big expenditures.  Can you change to a smaller or used car to save on auto expenses.  Cut vacation and travel costs, save up for the next vacation and don't pay for it on credit.  If you need a vacation, stay local and figure out how to lower your costs.  Put off any non critical home remodeling or renovations, consider painting instead of other more costly updates.  Do it yourself!  Avoid shopping sprees, stick with the essentials.  

8) Check Your Credit

Check your credit report on a regular basis.  Focus on transactions that will raise your credit score.  Make payments on time, only keep necessary credit cards.  Check to make sure you don't have any identity theft issues or transactions.  Make sure to freeze you credit reports on the three major credit bureaus.

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Ride Share or Own a 2nd Car in Retirement?

I've been asking myself this question, in retirement should I keep our second car or just rely on my eBike and ride sharing services for our second vehicle.  The intent here would be to save the cost of the car which in my opinion is pretty significant.  You could potentially save the payments, maintenance, repairs, tires, gas and insurance.  

In the end I think it's about how many miles you are driving the second card and of course the convenience for those rare times when you need two cars.  Ride sharing like Lyft and Uber certainly charge more per mile and so a per ride charge could be $10-$30 depending on how far you need to go.

I recently read and article from AAA where they said the average yearly cost to own a new car is a little over $7300 per year which works out to be about to be about $0.68 per mile based on about 10,000 miles of yearly driving.  If you were to Uber or Lyft 10,000 miles, it might cost you around $20,000, clearly in that example owning your own car makes more sense.

But what if you only drove your second car 3300 miles a year, that could be breakeven for using a ride sharing service.

Of course if you buy a lower cost car or a used vehicle, it probably will always make more sense to own your vehicle.

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