Saving money doesn’t come naturally for everyone, but it may not be as hard as you think. There are plenty of easy ways to save without having to make much of an effort or giving it a lot of thought. If you’re ready to watch your savings grow, check out these ideas for 25 painless ways to save money:
Painless Ways to Save Money when Shopping
Sign up for Swagbucks
Swagbucks is a fun and easy site to use that saves you money in several ways. First, you can shop for deals and earn credits for everything you purchase. Over time these credits add up, allowing you to cash them in for gift cards. You can also hop on Swagbucks every day and take the poll, use their search bar, play games, watch videos, participate in group challenges, and much more. You’ll earn Swagbucks for all of these activities. I’ve been using it for many years and love it! I’ve included my referral link here, so if you sign up, I’ll get a few Swagbucks, too 🙂
Shop with a list
Do you find yourself in Target with a cart full of stuff you had no idea you were going to by before you walked into the store? Don’t leave home or start shopping online without a list. Get a notepad and keep it handy. I prefer the magnetic ones that can stick right on the side of the fridge. Then whenever I think of something we need to buy or replenish around the house, I can jot it down. A shopping list keeps you on track and helps you avoid buying things you just do not need.
Get a library card
Your local library card comes with a lot of perks that you may not even have known about. In addition to giving you access to thousands of book titles in both hard copy and digital formats, libraries have excellent resources that can save you money. For example, our local library system offers passes for area museums and cultural sites. This means we can take the kids to a new museum for free. Another awesome feature of local libraries is the free programs that they host. From storytime for the little ones to book discussions with authors to informative sessions with local leaders, libraries are an amazing free resource.
Search for used first
Before buying something brand new, take the time to browse online and see if you can find it for sale in lightly used condition. Facebook marketplace and local swap groups can save you big. This is great for kids’ items like toys, book series, and outdoor play equipment. Another option is to check local thrift stores, hit up yard sales, and browse flea markets.
Before you buy, sleep on it
If you’re thinking about buying something that costs a decent amount of money, wait a day and sleep on it. Determine if you really need to buy it and talk to a friend or family member about it. Impulse purchases can lead to instant regret, so save yourself the trouble and hold off before shelling out cash for an expensive item.
Unsubscribe from retail emails
Is your inbox full of emails from retailers? These emails can contain offers that seem irresistible and can tempt you to spend when you don’t need to. The next time an email comes in, take a few seconds to hit “Unsubscribe”.
Give thoughtful DIY gifts
Spending big on gifts can seem like a nice gesture, but it’s truly not necessary. A DIY gift from the heart can mean much more than any store-bought item could. Think about what the recipient would use and enjoy and search for ways to make it yourself. There are so many ways to come up with thoughtful gifts that don’t look cheap without having to spend much.
Need gift ideas? Check out these creative & free gifts that they’ll truly love!
Do you find yourself shopping at the same supermarket simply out of habit or convenience? To save money on groceries, toiletries, and household items, it pays to embrace variety and explore new stores. Check out a supermarket that you’ve never gone to before and do a price comparison. Take home a few cheaper items and compare the quality to what you usually buy. You just might find a new favorite that can save you more!
Apply for the Target Red Card
The Red card will save you 5% every time that you shop in-store or online at Target. You can also get free shipping when you shop online. I love using the Target app to find what I need and either pick it up in-store or get it shipped to my home in just 2 business days. You can read more about the Red Card here.
Painless Ways to Save Money on Food
Get creative in the kitchen
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut with the weekly meal plan. That can lead to spending on convenience foods, take out, and fast food. To avoid the temptation to spend more on food, get creative in the kitchen. Look for new recipes to try and plan your meals before you shop. Having a list of things to cook, including old favorites and new dishes, can make meals more exciting and help you reduce unnecessary spending on food.
Cook in batches
Another way to avoid spending more on food is by cooking in batches and freezing meals. Batch cooking can be a fun way to spend a Sunday. You can prepare several meals at once by making a big batch and freezing portions. This saves you time, too, because when you aren’t sure what to have for dinner, you can simply pull a portion out of the freezer to heat up.
Host a potluck
Entertaining can be expensive, especially if you’re the one who is always inviting people over for drinks, dinner, game nights, etc. The cost can quickly become a factor in whether or not you’re able to have people over for a fun gathering. However, there is a better way! Getting together with friends and family doesn’t have to take a significant chunk of change. Host a potluck-style gathering where everyone will bring a dish or drinks. Send out a text or email and ask everyone to reply with what they can bring, whether it’s drinks, a dish, or a yummy dessert. Potlucks can be a game-changer if you love to host.
Set a monthly food budget
Do you know how much you’re actually spending on food each month? Getting a handle on your food spending means knowing how much you spend and then taking steps to lower your spending where you can. Start tracking your spending in a spreadsheet or with a program like Mint. Look for ways to save on food by shopping at discount stores like Aldi, planning meals, stocking up during sales, and dining out less.
Stick to water
One of the ways that your restaurant bill gets bumped up is with drinks. This is good for the restaurant, but not so great for your budget. Instead of ordering a soda, iced tea, or an even more expensive cocktail, opt for a glass of water. It’s both cheaper and healthier.
More Ways to Save Money
Write your goals down
Setting goals can be an easy tool for saving more, and the goals don’t even have to be money-related. Sit down with a pen and paper and think about what you really want out of the next several months or the year ahead. Your goals may be things like taking a plane trip to visit family or upgrade your vehicle. Having goals helps you stay focused on what you want and can help you make better money choices that will allow you to reach those goals in the short and long term.
Stay out of stores
One of the easiest ways to spend less and save more is by buying less. If you find yourself wandering stores just for fun or for a way to pass the time, try to avoid unnecessary trips. Find other ways to kill time and entertain yourself that don’t involve the temptation to buy. One of my favorite things to do if I’m curious about what’s in stores for the season is to watch YouTube “Shop with me” videos. I can browse the items without having to leave home and there’s no temptation to spend.
Maintain your vehicle
Simply maintaining your vehicle can help you avoid costly repairs. Keep up with oil changes and routine maintenance. Doing so will help you extend the life of your vehicle, which reduces the likelihood that you’ll have to replace your car in the near future.
Keep up with routine maintenance at home
Just like your vehicle, your home needs routine maintenance and upkeep. Performing seasonal and annual maintenance can help extend the life of equipment like your furnace and AC unit. Taking care of your home’s exterior helps with curb appeal, which is important if you’re planning to sell in the near future. Keeping your home and appliances in great shape will save you money by helping you avoid expensive repairs and replacements.
Start a savings jar
Most of us have had a piggy bank at some point in our lives. Remember the thrill of filling it up and cashing in the coins, even if it was only a few bucks? A savings jar is both a powerful visual reminder of your desire and ability to save. If it’s been a while since you’ve had one, start one up and get the family involved. Take an empty jar and toss in pocket change and small bills. Display it somewhere that everyone in the home can reach so that kids can join in and see how much is being saved. Make savings a fun family activity.
Make a Debt Payoff chart
If you’re paying down debt, a debt payoff chart gives you an excellent visual. A chart helps keep you motivated and inspired to continue your progress. Hang it up in an area where you’ll see it daily to remind you of your progress and goals. When you see the chart daily, you’ll have a reason to stick to your goal of spending less, which leads to saving more!
Create a gift closet
A gift closet is a great way to avoid unnecessary shopping trips and the need to pay full price. Gift closets come in especially handy if your child is school-aged and is invited to their classmate’s birthday parties throughout the year. Buy cool toys and grab good deals so that you can “shop your closet” when the next invitation arrives.
Rotate digital streaming subscriptions
Do you subscribe to a bunch of streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and Disney +? These services offer a lot of viewing variety, but you don’t need to stay subscribed to every single one at the same time. Rotate your subscriptions by putting one or more on pause at a time. Then when you’re ready to try another service, you can simply pick your subscription back up. That’s the beauty of monthly streaming services!
Find free ways to have fun at home
Keeping the kids entertained at home doesn’t have to mean buying new toys or signing up for new subscriptions. Sometimes the most fun activities are entirely free. Rather than paying to visit a place or heading out to a store to wander the aisles, opt to have fun at home without spending a dime.
Explore community events
Look for free events and activities in your community. Check Facebook, the local newspaper, and your local library or community center to see what’s happening in your area. During the spring, summer, and fall there are lots of outdoor events to attend. Get some fresh air and enjoy an afternoon in your town or city doing something totally free!
Develop energy-saving habits
Little changes in our habits can make a big difference. Make a conscious decision to develop better habits around the house, like turning off light switches when you leave a room. It’s so obvious, but once you get into the habit, it will become second-nature to you. Encourage your family members to do the same.
Saving money doesn’t come easy for everyone. In fact, it can be downright challenging if you don’t make an effort. These easy ideas provide plenty of painless ways to save money.