50 Ways to Save Money

There are many ways to save money around the house and in our daily lives. Here’s 50 great ways to start saving money right away. Please feel free to add your own ideas in the comment section at the end of the list.

Take care of the big things first, then come back here. These are frugal thoughts about saving money.

1. Make Your Own Pet Food & Save Money
If you’re like me your always looking for great ways to cut down on waste and save some money at the same time. Pet food can be quite costly and if you have dog’s like I do, one of their favorite activities is eating. Making your own dog food can be a wonderful treat and a fantastic way to save money

2. Use Less Shampoo and Conditioner
Some dermatologists say that we all wash our hair too often. By washing our hair every day and sometimes twice a day we are stripping out essential oils that can leave our hair too dry, then we spend more on conditioners in order to replace the natural oil.

3. Use Vinegar
Vinegar is useful around the house in so many ways . It’s a great replacement for several household cleaners. Take for example window cleaning, you can easily pay four dollars on a bottle of Windex, or simply mix 30 percent white vinegar with 70 percent water and create an excellent window cleaner. Many people say it works better then Windex. Dry the windows with newspaper and save on paper towels as well.

4. Save Cans
I know we all know this but if you drink soda, beer, or anything else that comes in an aluminum can it can add up quite quickly. Did you know that you can sell the pull tabs on eBay for around a penny a piece?  If you save the cans till earth day many recyclers pay double the normal fee as a way of promoting Earth Day and their company.

5. Always ask for Discounts
In order to discover the real price of any item, always ask for discounts. If you ask for a large discount on an item, it will often makes the seller give you the absolute lowest price they will accept.

6. Wash Out Your Zip Lock Bags and Re-use Them
Many times zip lock bags are used only once and then discarded. These bags are expensive and can be used more than once and in many cases several times. Name brand bags are more durable so it pays to spend the extra money up front if you plan to reuse them.

7. Save Your Change
Save your change, save the dollars or save every other 5 dollar bill, what ever your budget will allow. Get a 5 gallon water jug and put your “extra” cash away.

8. Invest In a Deep Freezer
You can get a used deep freezer for as low as 75 dollars. Make sure to consider whether it’s energy efficient, as  you could end up spending the money you save on your electric bill. When meats and other freezer items go on sale, buy in bulk and freeze it till you need it. This can save a lot on your grocery bill.

9. Adjust Your Thermostat Up or Down.
Those few degrees can make a big difference in your monthly electric bill. Use blankets when it’s cold instead of turning up your heater, your body will acclimate.

10. Consider Using Skype or Other Alternative Phone Services
We’ve recently switched to Skype and now we use video conference to talk to family members that live far away. They use Skype as well, and that makes long distance family phone calls completely free. Magic Jack and Vonage are also great ways to save.

11. Shop by Unit Price
When shopping at the grocery store, be sure to pay attention to the unit price, it can save you a great deal of money at the grocery store. Read more about Unit Price

12. Keep Your Tires At The Correct Air Pressure
Keep your vehicles tires at the right air pressure. This is a common one but under filled tires can really eat up the gas.

13. Stay in And Rent a Movie
Even if you splurge on the new release, you will save big if you’re doing it instead of a trip to the movie theater. It use to be that a trip to the movies was a budget night out. Now a family of four going out to the movies can cost 60.00 or 70.00 dollars or more.

14. Quit Drinking or Cut Down
If you quit drinking alcohol or simply cut down, you’ll save money. This is a expense that varies by the person. You can sit down and figure out what you would save by cutting down or quitting or even switching to a less expensive brand.

15. Quit smoking or Cut Down or Roll Your Own Cigarettes
Quit smoking or at least cut down. If you smoke a pack of Marlboro’s a day at over 4 dollars per pack, you can easily spend 120.00 dollars or more per month. Cut down, switch brands, or even quit. If quitting, or cutting down isn’t for you consider rolling your own, this can save up to 50% or more. Read more about rolling your own cigarettes to save money.

16. Shop at Thrift Stores
By shopping at thrift stores, you’ll  find great deals on just about everything you need. Shopping at flea markets, and yard sales are great ways to save as well. By the way, don’t forget, you can negotiate at thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets.

17. Skip Star Bucks at Least on Occasion
Skip the gourmet coffee every once in a while, or at least buy the less expensive regular black coffee they offer and take advantage of the coffee condiment section. You can create an excellent vanilla, chocolate, or even hazelnut brew for half the price.

18. Buy Generics
Generic products are often be just as good as the name brand, and sometimes even better. In many cases there are less preservatives and artificial flavors. In fact, Wal-Mart brand almost never has hydrogenated oils.

19. Avoid Overdraft Fees
Overdraft fees can add up quickly. Over draft twice for even a dollar or two and you’ve got 70.00 dollars in fees at bank of America. Keep a reserve in your account to guarantee that this doesn’t happen.

20. Grow a Small Garden
Having a garden can save you a great deal of money on the vegetables that you use most often. If you have neighbors that grow a garden, work out a barter system and trade the extra produce. Everything you don’t use right away, you can jar and use at a later date.

21. Go Fishing
If you enjoy eating fish, go fishing and catch your own. You can catch a few extra dinners each and every month. This can also be a great way to save on your entertainment budget as well. That is, if you enjoy fishing.

22. Always Use Coupons
Use coupons and save a great deal of money each and every time you visit the store. Don’t buy the product just because you have a coupon, but instead use the coupons for the products you need.

23. Use Dollar Stores Sparingly
Use dollar stores sparingly, there are items that you can save on in the dollar store but the temptation to spend a dollar on an item you don’t really need is common. Dollar stores often do well because we come out with 10 extra items that we really didn’t need in the first place.

24. Seal Windows and Doors
Seal and weather-proof your windows and doors. Caulk and weather strip every unsealed area of your home. You will save a great deal of money on both heating and cooling your home each and every month.

25. Save Your Leftovers and Use Them
Most leftovers usually last for 3-7 days and sometimes even longer. Have leftover night ever few days, work it into your monthly lunch and dinner menu. If you don’t get to them in time and you have a pet, use it in preparing you own dog food a few times a week and save money on your dog food bill.

26. Do Your Own Oil Change
It’s recommended that you perform an oil change ever 3-5k miles. By doing the labor yourself you can save each and every time.

27. Do It Your Self Pet Care
You can trim easily trim your pets nails and give them a bath. If you do this on a monthly basis and since the average cost for a trip to the pet groomers is around 25.00 dollars with each visit, you’ll save in the neighborhood of 300.00 dollars a year.

28. Walk Instead of Drive
Let’s face it, we could all use more exercise after all it’s healthy and makes us feel better. Other than the wonderful health benefits, walking can also save money on the fuel bill. Consider walking to the grocery store, movie store, or bank next time. If you’re not up for a walk consider a bike ride instead.

29. Turn Off The Television
Many households have the television on at all hours of the day, many people simply enjoy the background noise. Turning it off can be quite relaxing and will save money on the electric bill at the same time.

30. Turn Off The Lights
Getting in the habit of switching the lights off in rooms you’re not using is a great way to reduce your monthly electric bill. In fact, make sure that electricity is not being used unnecessarily. Make sure your not heating and cooling rooms you’re not in and the TV is off in rooms you’re not in as well.

31. Brown Bag Lunches
Bringing your own lunch at least a few times a week to either work or school can save a great deal of money over the month. Fast food and restaurants can really add up. Simply putting together a nice lunch at home is a great way to use up those leftovers as well.

32. Buy In The Off Season
Looking to get new ski equipment? Buy it at the very end of the season. Looking for a new bathing suit or canoe? At the end of the season the prices often go down, in fact way down. You can easily save up to 75% and in some cases even more. Last year I bought 20 pairs of water shoes that  were originally $5.00 dollars  per pair, I paid .25 cents a pair brand new. I bought them to sell on eBay the following summer.  For our own entertainment, we were also able to purchase a $99.99 inflatable canoe for only 10.00 at the end of the season, that’s a 90% savings.

33. Use a Clothes Line
Use a clothes line in the summer time to dry your clothes. An electric or gas dryer can run up quite an electric bill. By using the air and sun to dry your clothes you will get fresher clothes and linens without the cost.

34. Brick or Mason Jar
Put a mason jar or a few bricks in the back of your toilet to cut down on the water bill.

35. Save On Shipping Materials
If you sell merchandise on eBay you can get shipping boxes for free at Wal-Mart. Ask the  manager or the stock person when they are stocking the shelves, they are often happy to help and will give you as many boxes as you desire. You could otherwise spend 1.00-2.00 dollars for a box at the shipping store.

36. Save On Paper Towels
By cutting your paper towel roll in half you will save 50%. For most spills you only need half anyway. This is a great way to double the life of a paper towel roll. Use a sharp bread knife to complete this task

37. Invest in Rubber Spatulas
It’s quite amazing how much more mayonnaise or miracle whip you can get out of a jar with the use of rubber spatulas.

38. Bring Your Own
If you drink, invest in a flask. Generally they hold around six shots of alcohol. We ski quite often and occasionally have a cocktail while we’re on the mountain. Nearly everyone there has a drink or two and they end up spending a great deal of money on cocktails. If you bring a flask and some packages of hot chocolate. You’ve got a chocolate  peppermint schnapps for around .75 cents and that includes the cup of hot water as well.

39. Use Alternative Medicine (intelligently)
Did you know that if you have a serious headache, you can drink a cup of ginger tea and get rid of it completely. You save around 10.00 dollar over a bottle of Advil or Tylenol without the health risks. In fact you can take natural magnesium for a headache as well.

40. Pay Your Bills On Time
Pay all your bills on time, if possible and save on late fees.

41. Save On Entertainment
You can save on entertainment by spending some of your entertainment budget on services such as Netflix. It’s a bit of a double standard because you’re buying an extra service, but if you have a tendency to go out several times a month, or if you spend too much at the movie store renting movies, Netflix will actually work out to be a savings.

42. Save On Soil
If you have a garden it pays to save all your leftover coffee grinds. Coffee ground  enrich the soil and will certainly help your plants to grow nicely.

43. Rice,  Beans & Potatoes
Incorporating rice, beans and potatoes into your meals is an excellent way cut down on your food bill. In fact, if for example you make a pot of chili, and serve it over rice the chili will go twice as far. Using beans rice and potatoes in your recipes is a great way to save.

44. Use Your Local Library
Libraries are free and you can save money by reading the books and returning them when you’ve finished them. They often have the same books as Barns and Noble  or Borders, but without the cost. Many libraries carry an inventory of VHS and DVD movies. Some Libraries have a video game section as well.

45. Plan a Meal Menu
Planning a meal menu is one of the best ways to same, when it comes to your grocery bill. Knowing exactly what you need will reduce the chance for impulse buying.

46. Carpool
Carpooling and share a ride programs are certainly a great way to save money. Whether you ride with a friend or join a local car pool program, you will immediately see a saving on your monthly fuel bill and reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle.

47. Shop Insurance Rates
Insurance companies are always looking for new clients and will almost always offer a discount over what your paying at your current insurer. Even better if you like your insurance company let them know about the better rate you found while shopping and let them know that you will gladly stay with them if they can match the rate.

48. Shop Credit Card Rates
Don’t be intimidated by your credit card companies. Many people use the trick of finding a 0% credit card offer and transferring the balance over. If you contact your credit card company, making sure to talk to a person who in charge, such as a manager. They will often reduce your interest rate and in some cases offer you lower rate for an even longer period of time than you found at a competing card company.

49. Save When Buying a Vehicle
Buying a new or used car at a dealership can be a daunting task especially if your unprepared. For many people a dealership and the thought of a car salesman can be quite intimidating. The customers who end up with the very best price, utilize the internet. I’ve sold cars, and I’ve worked in the Internet marketing department of a car dealership. The individuals that contact the Internet marketing department always pay much less, this is also known as the fleet department.  Find the car and price on the Internet before you go to the dealership, print it out and bring it with you, this will disarm the salesmen, and often lead to the very best price.

50. Negotiate Everything
No matter what your buying, always negotiate. They have a price they would like to get for a products, and you have a price you would like to pay for a product. Find a middle ground, and you will always save money.

Please add your own unique ways to save money in the comment section below. If your looking for even more great ways to save money, take a look at the Save Money Section.