19 Aug 42 Things You Can Do Right Now to Spend Less Money
Whether you want to pay down your mortgage or just make ends meet, you can pick up a penny-wise habit or two from these super savers.
Even if you aren’t in a position to earn more at the moment, a few little spending adjustments made on a daily basis can go a long way.
From practical food-buying tricks to reframing the way you think about your finances, we’ve listed some of the easiest tweaks below, including the best from a Reddit thread on quickly cutting your spending.
- Plan out and cook your own meals.Dining out often is a huge money drain. —MrTimSearle
- Clean out your fridge and pantry.You’ll find good food you didn’t know you had. —InsaneRay
- Buy in bulk the things you would normally buy.You’ll get more for your buck. —cjs3
- Opt for non-canned goods.Fresh produce and dried beans are typically cheaper and healthier than canned items. —BellabitchTheStrange
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- Use coupons.It’s easy to forget coupons you’ve cut out at home so try using an app instead. Cellfire, Coupons.com, and Grocery IQ give you easy and fast access to available coupons and let you send them to a loyalty card.
- Try the grocery store brand.If you like the taste, stick with it, and you’ll save money. —Colonel-Rosa
- Stop buying microwave dinners.The mark-ups are crazy. You could make better, healthier meals for less. —yawrn
- Don’t buy more groceries than you actually need or can keep.Throwing away food is the same as throwing away money. —nowgetbacktowork
- Use a slow cooker.Throw in some veggies, beans, and meat, and you’ll have lunches and dinners for the whole week. —i-hear-banjos
- Make your own coffee.Those $2 to $4 coffees add up. —StickleyMan
- Bring your lunch to work.You’ll cut your lunch tab in half or more by making it yourself. —ILikeLampz
- Stop buying bottled water.Use a glass or refill a bottle with tap water for free. —Cam_Harris
- Don’t go out to drink.Drinks with dinner can add $10 or more a person, and a night at the bar can easily cost $40. —typographicalerr
- Avoid your favorite stores. Don’t stop into them “real fast,” don’t visit their websites, and unsubscribe from their emails. You’re less likely to buy something if you never see it in the first place.
- Track your expenses for a month. Using a tool like Mint.com or simply keeping a running log will help you see how much of your income is spent frivolously. —elderbio
- Set goals. If you have a plan to stock money away in an emergency fund, for example, you’ll think twice about spending on superfluous things. —Newmoney4me
- Buy quality items.If you skimp on the important things, you may spend more in the long run. For instance, spending $30 on shoes every six months costs more than spending $60 on a pair that lasts years. —tahlyn
- Think of your spending in hours instead of dollars.If you make $10 an hour, then that $2 cup of coffee is 12 minutes of your life. You may decide it’s not worth it. —Koketa13
- Compare prices online. If there’s something you really want but it’s pretty pricey, see if you can find a barely used — but much cheaper — version on websites such as Ebid or Overstock.
- Before you buy something, ask yourself: What impact is this purchase going to have on my life?That can put an end to impulse spending. —_yertle_the_turtle
- Change how often you spend on indulgences.Rather than give them up entirely, limit the frequency. For example, if you go to Starbucks daily, try going weekly, and if you go the movies weekly, try once a month. —stringliterals
- Put half of your paycheck into savings.It forces you to figure out how to live on less. —ntran2
- Always pay off your credit card at the end of every month.You avoid paying interest and get in the habit of living within your means. —nova_cat
- Set up auto transfers on your bills so you’re never late.Late fees are a waste. —nowgetbacktowork
- Get checking account alerts on your phone or opt out of overdraft protection.Otherwise, you’ll pay steep fees for over drafting your account. —nowgetbacktowork
- Before you buy something on sale, ask yourself: Would I buy this without the discount? If you’re just buying something because it’s on sale, you probably don’t really need it.
- Spend your money where you spend your time, and cut the rest.If you’re a runner, you need good shoes, and if you spend a lot of time in the car, you should invest there. This kind of thinking helps you trim the superficial stuff that does not add value to your life. —GreyFoxNinjaFan
- Wait at least two days before buying anything over $50.You may no longer want it or forget it altogether. —Newmoney4me
- Trade cable for Netflix.You’ll have access to more TV shows and movies than you can watch for just $7.99 a month. If you like to watch sports, go to the bar or a friend’s house. —Newmoney4me
- Ask your internet provider if it has any promotional rates.You could see your rate drop by as much as $20. —Aerospacing_Out
- Buy discounted gift cards. Sites such as CardCash and Raise.com sell gift cards for less than they’re actually worth. Even if you can’t get through the day without your Starbucks latte, you could buy a $100 Starbucks gift card for $89 and save 11%.
- Cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions you don’t read.Many people will let them stack up instead of picking up the phone to cancel. —mrhoopers
- Compare rates of local electric companies.You may no longer be getting the best deal available. —Aerospacing_Out
- Wear a sweater in the house, and turn down the heat a couple of degrees.Over time, you’ll save on electricity. —MrTimSearle
- Use a surge protector, and turn it off when you leave the room. If you’re not there, why keep everything on? These tips can help reduce your electricity bill even further.
- Rethink your cell phone plan. Are you paying for more than you use? Switching to Straight Talk or a similar plan could significantly drop your bill. —Aerospacing_Out
- Get car insurance quotes.Companies competing for your business may quote you a lower rate. —Aerospacing_Out
- Look into refinancing your car or home.You could see your payment immediately drop. —Aerospacing_Out
- Frequent the library.Get books, movies, and music for free. —AnnabellBeaverhausen
- Buy your clothes from the thrift store.Chances are, no one will be able to tell the difference. —Newmoney4me
- Ride your bike to work.Not only will you save on car or public transportation costs, you’ll be healthier. —Colonel-Rosa
- Pay attention to when you’re buying things. You could get a better deal on something depending on the day of the week or month you buy it.