25 People Share Their Best Little Hacks To Save Money
Saving money doesn’t always require massive lifestyle changes or drastic budget overhauls. Sometimes, the most effective way to improve your financial situation is through small, practical changes that add up over time.
Recently, on Reddit, folks who like to save a buck have been sharing their simple tricks for spending less. It all adds up over time! These simple tips and tricks can help you manage your money more efficiently, build savings, and achieve your financial goals.
When I feel like having something sweet, which is often, I make a mug cake (~$0.36 each) instead of going out and spending $7 on ice cream
Switching to a safety razor, the blades are SO much cheaper. It’s been so long I can’t remember the exact savings, but I think I saved about 80-90% of the cost of razor blades when I made the switch.
When you see something you want on Amazon (or Sephora or any other online shopping), put it on a wish list and do t look at it for 48 hours. 98% of the time you won’t go back to buy it.
mozzarellafitzgerald: Similarly, if I get an email telling me about a sale, I immediately delete it, and I almost always forget about it completely
I only buy out-of-season clothes. I have a $700 coat that I bought brand new for $100, and it will last me for life with proper maintenance. Helps, too, that I’m a man. We don’t really do fashion trends, lol
I don’t buy cards with gifts. I tell the recipient “ I spent the extra $5 on your present, rather than a card you will throw away.
Gift +card is a scam.
I learned that I can use half, or even a quarter as much shampoo, toothpaste, body wash, hand soap, than I used to. It’s a very little thing, but I really do think it adds up especially because when I go to CVS or Walgreens to get shampoo, I always end up getting a bunch of other c**p I don’t need.
I’m based in the US.
1. Buy your cellphone outright (not Apple) and then use a prepaid month to month plan
2. Cloth napkins and swedish dishcloths instead of paper towels – this has saved us a lot!
3. Go easy on the gas pedal
4. Take stock of the pantry and freezer and menu plan around what is already on hand.
5. We have a toddler in diapers. We just aren’t cut out for cloth diapers. In our area, the Target diapers are the best value and if you buy $100 worth, they’ll often give you a $20 gift card back.
6. Last year I made $1600 by churning checking account and credit card bonus offers. Only do this if you understand credit ratings and are responsible enough to not let a credit balance accumulate, though!
7. We make our own laundry soap. About $3 for a three month supply – only takes me about 10 minutes to make a batch. Also, line drying.
8. I only buy the exact same socks. When one gets a hole, the other still has a match! Also saves time because I don’t have to match 20 different pairs of socks every time I wash them.
9. Drink water at restaurants; skip dessert and appetizers
10. Keep nuts or other protein-rich snacks and water in my car.
11. Aldi, baby!
12. Rotate between streaming services so we only pay for one per month.
13. Use the library, or buy used books from Abe.
14. High interest checking and savings accounts
15. I’m not a sweaty person and I work a desk job – some garments can be worn multiple times between washings.
16. Buy high quality garments second-hand on Poshmark or at the thrift store
Menstrual cups. I’m straight up not having to buy pads/tampons anymore. (Aside from keeping an emergency stash stocked). Saves around 10 a month.
Handheld French press. All I need is boiled water and coffee grounds to make my own coffee anywhere. I choose this over coffee pots and keurigs at home, but it’s also super convenient when traveling. (Hotel/Motel coffee makers can be super gross if you look too close.)
Buy frozen fruits veggies when they’re cheaper. Freeze them yourself when they’re not. There are reusable bags made for this, but using and cleaning out a decent/sturdy ziploc bag works for me.
When any container seems empty I used to throw it away. Now I cut it open and get 4-5 more uses out of it. The amount of shampoo I was wasting was shocking.
When something you use regularly is on sale, stock up. My family likes to make Starbucks espresso at home and a small bag is now $10. When it’s back on sale to it’s precovid i buy 2 or more extra and start to build up a stock pile. Eventually a lot of the foods you use you will have so your weekly bills will be fresh foods.
I *never* buy brand new furniture. In fact, anything not consumable, I first see if I can get for free, by perusing my local Buy Nothing group, checking Facebook Marketplace & Craigslist, and by asking around.
If I can’t get it free, I look for it cheap.
Of course, I live in an area with a lot of turnover, so that’s possible to do for me.
I also build/make things rather than buy them. For instance, my husband, son, and I built extra long twin bunk beds, for my six-foot-plus sons, out of lumber and a used Ikea king sized box platform, which is only actually two XL twin box platforms, screwed together.
I want a greenhouse, so I tore down a free junky shed for the lumber and anything I could salvage, and have been collecting old fancy wrought iron or steel storm/security doors I got for free or cheap. For the floor, I hauled away a patio’s worth of pavers I got for free. The only thing I haven’t been able to find for free is what I need for the roof.
Editing to say: we seldom eat out, and only get carry-out when we do, bring beverages with us for the road so we don’t buy drinks, no manicures, no hair coloring, and I stick to one thing with cosmetics & don’t shop for novelty items. For example, once I find a good lipstick, that’s my color all the time until they discontinue it.
I do a thing I call “piggybacking”. As much as possible, I only drive when I can hit two spots on one road trip. If I need to go to Costco, I wait until I also need to a)stop at whole foods to drop off an Amazon return, b)pop into home Depot for a needed tool, or c) visit the library. A road trip that is 10 miles round trip seems short, but if you do the math, using the federal rate for mileage, which accounts for wear and tear, that’s a $6.55 trip. Why would I spend that twice when I can spend it once, AND help the environment?
Vinegar as fabric softener. It’s cheaper to buy a gallon of distilled white vinegar, it’s better for your machine, and it’s better for your clothes. Takes only about 1/4-1/2 cup in the liquid softener dispenser. No smell, clothes feel less “coated”, and it has significantly reduced the amount of mildew/musty smell in our washer.
Eta: our towels absorb waaaay more water now too!
I buy less than one roll of paper towels a year. 15 years ago, I bought a king size flannel sheet at a thrift store for $3. I cut it into 1 foot squares and put two together and finished the edges on my serger. I keep them in a basket in my kitchen and use them for everything most people use paper towels for, including draining bacon and wiping up spills. I have about a dozen of them and wash them several times a week.
At a conservative estimate of $3 per roll of paper towels and one roll per week, I save $156/year. Over 15 years, I have saved $2340, enough to buy five sergers and a tall stack of used sheets, even considering the laundry expenses.
We started saving lots of money during the pandemic when we used Walmart grocery pickup. I buy a lot less when I’m not wandering the aisles, and I stick to a meal plan that I then select through the app.
1) Using the library- they have low cost Internet access, magazines, study areas and info sharing for community activities. We pay for public libraries with tax money so in reality you’re using something you already paid for….
2) Brewing coffee and tea at home. BTW many people give away coffee and tea pots when they upgrade to new ones. I.e. you can get a free coffeemaker if you can’t afford one.
3) Yard sales and Estate Sales- pennies on the dollar pricing. Also most Estate sales are done on a short time limit, meaning you can haggle and most will take Best Price Offered. A good way to get a used vehicle, as many retirees barely use their cars & the vehicles get sold to resolve estate debts.
I bought a used yogurt maker on facebook marketplace, and it was the best $15 I ever spent!! 1 gallon of milk makes 6 large servings (for me, ymmv), which is much cheaper than buying yogurt. Also, it’s fresher, tastes better, has no preservatives (never lasts long enough to go bad!) and I can mix in whatever I want. Lately I’ve been buying bulk hazelnuts from Whole Foods, roasting them, and putting them in the yogurt with chocolate chips. Delicious!!
Carry tea bags with me to school. It’s $1 for a cup of tea, but $0 for a cup of hot water. If I get tea on campus 3x a week for a 14 week semester that’s $42 (minus the cost of the tea bags I bring) I can save each semester.
Off campus food is a whole other thing, though.
Not eating fast food. Making my daily coffee. Buying the big bag of Halloween candy and eating a piece or two a night to satisfy late night junk food craving.
We grow a big garden and are going to harvest potatoes and sweet potatoes soon. I hope to be able to keep them stored and use them until spring. This is really free food because we used the sprouted ones from last year to plant this year. I have a dog and am going to make my own dog food. It’s important to follow a good recipe because they need specific vitamins and minerals along with carbs and proteins in balance, but I want to give it a try. I can’t imagine eating only dehydrated, packaged foods every day so I wonder if it will make a big difference in dog health. I also think that some table scraps, like meat from neck bones or gizzards, could actually be incorporated into the dog food instead of just being a treat in addition to dog food, which would be more economical
Put warm socks and a sweater on before turning up the heat.
I pick up fast food receipts off the ground and enter the receipt code into my fast food apps for the reward points. Then I get free food items and spend nothing. That has added up to 187 free food items on just the app that keeps track of full history. The redemption value so far has been $925 since I always take the most expensive food item reward offered each time. Also, if I see someone waiting for food and they spent a lot without using the app I will ask if I can scan the code for the reward points. They usually have no idea that it is a free item for about $24 worth of spend so sometimes I get a free item by scanning the receipt some guy is holding for a big order.
I pick up discarded hardware store receipts and send them in for the 11% rebate so I get the rebate without spending anything. I do the same for the stores that price match. That has added up well over $2500 since I started doing that. Then I buy tools and hardware that I want or need for my side hustles. I checked my tracking spreadsheet for the totals but they changed how the tracking works so I can’t track it all the way back to see what I got once they are delivered so it is more than the total on my spreadsheet.
Every few days, I take stock of the odds and ends in my freezer and fridge, and I come up with ways to incorporate into meals.
A favorite way to deal with random veggies is to make a stir fry.
A favorite way to deal with random bits of bread is to freeze them and make bread pudding when I’ve accumulated enough.
I rent DVDs and stream shows through the library instead of having a streaming service subscription. Each month I go through rotten tomatoes and make a list of things I want to see, then request them from my library. It meets my needs, and saves me roughly $30 a month.
Selling things we don’t use. Selling a $10 item here and there really does add up. It takes pretty low effort and we save the money for vacation. The benefit of less stuff is even better than the money to be honest.