Updated on 11.23.15

How to Save Money: 100 Great Tips to Get You Started

Trent Hamm

No matter where you are on your financial journey, you need to know that it’s possible for anyone to turn their financial life around. Sometimes all it takes is that first step in the right direction to get things moving in your favor. But, as with most things, sometimes that very first step is the hardest part.

That’s why we created this list of 100 ways to start saving money today. None of these tactics will be life-changing on their own, but they can make quite a difference over time if you’re able to implement more than one. Some of these suggestions take just a few minutes, while others require a bit of regular effort. Still, they’re all incredibly simple – anyone can do them.

Obviously, not all of these tips will apply to everyone. Just go through the list and find 10 or 15 that do apply to you and use them in your life. When you do, you may quickly find that you’re saving more money than you ever thought possible.

100 Ways to Save Money

1. Move bank accounts to take advantage of perks and earn more interest

If you’re paying a monthly fee for your checking or savings account, you would benefit from researching some of newest banking offers out there. Not only do some banks offer sign-up bonuses simply for opening an account and setting up direct deposit, but some offer attractive interest rates to new customers as well.

It’s true that interest rates are not what they once were, but it’s still worth a look. Some of the best free checking accounts and best savings accounts can be found online. Here’s a guide on how to make that switch.

2. Turn off the television.

One big way to save money is to drastically cut down on the amount of television you watch. There are a lot of financial benefits to this: less exposure to spending-inducing ads, a lower electric bill (and perhaps a lower cable bill if you downgrade your subscription), more time to focus on other things in life — such as a side business — and so on.

Want to take things a step further? Consider cutting the cord to cable TV altogether.

3. Stop collecting, and start selling

There was a time when people thought their collections would bring them riches. Beanie Babies were a big fad at one time, as were Longaberger baskets. Now you can find those items on resale sites like Craigslist and at garage sales for a fraction of their initial cost, leaving many people who sunk thousands of dollars into their “investments” wondering what happened.

If you want to avoid that situation, don’t collect items of questionable value. And if you want to recoup some of the money you’ve already spent on collectible items, you can start selling them now and use those funds for any number of worthy financial goals. Read our “Guide to Selling Unwanted Items” for some simple strategies that can help you profit as much as possible.

4. Sign up for every free customer rewards program you can.

No matter where you live, you’ll find plenty of retailers who are willing to reward you for shopping at their store. Here’s the basic game plan for maximizing these programs: create a Gmail or Yahoo address just for these mailings, collect every card you can, and then check that account for extra coupons whenever you’re ready to shop.

You can add to those rewards and discounts by using rewards credit cards to earn points on purchases at a wide range of stores that can be redeemed for cash back or other benefits.

5. Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store.

If you want to save money while also giving generously, creating your own homemade gifts is one way to accomplish both goals. You can make food mixes, candles, fresh-baked bread or cookies, soap, and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively.

These make spectacular gifts for others because they involve your personal touch — something you can’t buy from a store — and quite often they’re consumable, meaning they don’t wind up filling someone’s closet with junk. Even better – include a personal handwritten note with the gift.

6. Master the 30-day rule.

Avoiding instant gratification is one of the most important rules of personal finance, and waiting 30 days to decide on a purchase is an excellent way to implement that rule.

Quite often, after a month has passed, you’ll find that the urge to buy has passed as well, and you’ll have saved yourself some money simply by waiting. If you’re on the fence about a purchase anyway, waiting a while can give you a better perspective on whether it’s truly worth the money.

7. Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it.

One of the easiest ways to save money is to only shop when you have a list. Because when you’re without one, you typically end up making impulse buys and unplanned purchases – all things that cost money.

Creating a list before you go to the grocery store is especially important. Not only can it help you buy items that fit with your meal plan, but it can also help you avoid buying food you might waste. Always create a list and, more importantly, stick to it.

8. Invite friends over instead of going out.

Going out to eat or “out on the town” has a way of completely destroying both your food budget and your entertainment budget in one fell swoop. And no matter what, it is always cheaper to stay in with friends and come up with your own entertainment.

Instead of hitting the town, host a fun pitch-in dinner with your friends. Play cards, sit around a fire pit, or watch movies with your guests. You’ll all save money – and have a blast.

9. Repair clothing instead of tossing it.

Don’t toss out a shirt because of a broken button – sew on a new one with some closely-matched thread. Don’t toss out pants because of a hole in them – put in a patch of some sort and save them for times when you’re working around the house.

Most basic sewing jobs can be completed by anyone, and a little bit of practice goes a long way. Learning basic sewing skills is a great way to save some money – and extend the life of your clothing.

Photo: Chris

Learn basic sewing techniques and you can mend worn-out clothing instead of tossing it. Photo: Chris

10. Don’t spend big money entertaining your children.

Most children, especially young ones, can be entertained very cheaply. Buy them an end roll of newspaper from your local paper and let their creativity run wild. Play ball in the backyard. Head to the park. Plant a garden. Teach them to ride a bike without training wheels once and for all.

Realize that what your children want most of all is your time, not your stuff, and you’ll find money in your pocket and joy in your heart.

11. Negotiate rates with your credit card company or complete a balance transfer.

If you’re paying a lot of interest on your credit cards, it’s important to know that you do have some power as long as you’ve been making your payments. Not only do you have the right to negotiate your current interest rate with your credit card issuer, but you have the right to transfer your balance to an entirely different card as well. (In fact, that is perhaps your biggest bargaining chip.)

Start by calling your card issuer at the number on the back of your card and explaining your request. If you don’t make any progress with them, check out these balance transfer credit cards to find one with an introductory 0% APR that could help you save hundreds of dollars in interest over time.

12. Clean out those closets.

Go through your closets and find anything and everything you no longer use. Then, don’t just get rid of it, use it to your benefit.

You can have a yard sale with it, sell it on eBay or Craigslist, take it to a consignment shop, or even donate it for the tax deduction (mark down what you give away so you can get a receipt). All of these options can turn old stuff you don’t want anymore into money in your pocket. Not only that, it’s often a psychological load off your mind to clean out your closets.

13. Buy video games that have a lot of replay value – and don’t acquire new ones until you’ve mastered what you have.

My video game buying habits have changed quite a bit since my “game of the week” days. Now, I focus on games that can be played over and over and over again, and I focus on mastering the games that I buy. Good targets include puzzle games and long, involved quest games – they maximize the value of your gaming dollar.

Once you’re done with a game for good, take it to a video game resale shop like GameStop and see if you can trade it in for store credit you can use to get another game.

14. Drink more water.

Not only does drinking plenty of water have great health benefits — it has financial benefits, too. Drink a big glass of water before each meal in order to stay fuller longer and ultimately eat less. Not only will you save on the food bill, but you’ll also feel better after you become properly hydrated.

Even better, drinking more water — whether in a refillable bottle or at restaurants — means spending less money on beverages like soda, juice, and tea. Remember: Tap water is not only just as clean as bottled water, it’s also free.

15. Avoid convenience foods and fast food.

Instead of eating fast food or just nuking some prepackaged dinner when you get home, try making some simple and healthy replacements that you can take with you. An hour’s worth of preparation one weekend can leave you with a ton of cheap and easy dinner and snack options for the following week.

Also consider breaking out the ol’ crock pot for some inexpensive meal options that not only save money, but time, too.

16. For heaven’s sake, quit smoking.

If you’re still a smoker, you have to know by now that your habit is not only expensive, but potentially deadly as well. If you want to add years to your life and save a boatload of money, the easiest thing to do is to stop smoking altogether. You can quit cold turkey, try some of the many anti-smoking products that are out there, or switch to an electronic cigarette to buy some time. Whichever path you choose, you will be much better off.

17. Make a quadruple batch of a casserole.

We all know that casseroles are nice, easy dishes to prepare. The next time you make a casserole, make four batches of it and put the other three in the freezer. Then, when you need a quick meal for the family, you can grab one of those ready-made casseroles and just heat it up.

Preparing a few at once allows you to buy the ingredients in bulk, which can mean additional savings. Meanwhile, having several casseroles in the freezer makes it less likely that you’ll turn to fast food or junk food when you’re in a hurry.

18. Turn off the lights.

Keeping the lights on in your home may not be expensive on a per-watt basis, but it sure does cost money over time. To save as much as you can, turn off lights any time you leave your house – or even when you leave the room. Turning off lights when you have plenty of natural sunlight can also help keep your electric bill down over time. The bottom line: If you aren’t using a light, turn it off.

19. Swap books, music, and DVDs on the Internet or at the library.

You can very easily swap the books, CDs, and DVDs you’ve grown bored with online. Just clean out your media collection, and trade them with others online using sites like PaperBackSwap. If you live near a library that loans DVDs in addition to books, you’ll be even better off. The more you can borrow and barter with others, the more money you’ll save over time.

20. Maximize yard sales.

Yard sales are a great place to score awesome deals on items you need anyway – think housewares, shoes, clothing, or even sports equipment. The key is, you have to be careful not to use the low prices found at sales as an excuse to buy things you don’t need. At your next garage sale, limit yourself to items that were already on your list of things to buy.

21. Install CFLs or LEDs wherever it makes sense.

Energy-efficient light bulbs might cost a bit more initially, but they have a much longer life than normal incandescent bulbs and use far less electricity. It might be hard to decide which type to use, but either type of bulb will probably be an upgrade from whatever you’re using now.

CFLs, which use a quarter of the energy of incandescent bulbs and last for years, are the next cheapest option after traditional bulbs. But they also have some drawbacks: They take a while to warm up to full brightness, and they also contain a small amount of mercury.

Meanwhile, LEDs are more expensive. However, they’re getting cheaper all the time, and they are easily the best lighting option available: They light up instantly, are efficient as CFLs, produce a warm glow without getting hot to the touch, and can last for decades.

You don’t even need to replace every bulb in the house at once. Even swapping just your four or five most-used light bulbs can save you $45 or more a year.

22. Install a programmable thermostat.

Installing a programmable thermostat is a no-brainer if you want to cut down on energy usage while you’re not at home, or simply regulate the temperature in your home. By setting it to heat or cool your home at certain times, you can ensure that your utilities aren’t being wasted while you’re at work or asleep – and save money in the process.

23. Buy quality appliances that will last.

It’s worth the time to do a bit of research when you buy a new appliance. A reliable, energy-efficient washer and dryer might cost you quite a bit now, but if it continually saves you energy and lasts for 15 years instead of five, you’ll save significant money in the long run.

When you need to buy an appliance, do research: Start with back issues of Consumer Reports at the library. An hour’s worth of research can easily save you hundreds of dollars.

24. Clean or change out your car’s air filter.

A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 7%, saving you more than $100 for every 10,000 miles driven in an average vehicle. Cleaning your air filter is easy to do in just a few minutes – just follow the instructions in your vehicle’s manual and you’re good to go.

If yours is beyond help, also consider changing it out for a new one. At most stores, a new air filter goes for less than $10.

25. Quit using credit cards.

If you have a habit of getting into trouble with credit cards, hide your credit cards and keep them in a safe place in your home, not in your wallet. If you need to keep a card for emergencies, that’s okay. Just don’t carry it around with you. If you’re often tempted to use it, keeping your card “out of sight and out of mind” might help.

26. Plan your meals around your grocery store’s flyer.

Instead of creating your meal plan out of thin air, plan all your meals around what’s on sale in your grocery store’s flyer. Look at the biggest sales, then plan recipes based on those ingredients and what you have on hand. Do that for a few months and you’ll find yourself with a much smaller food bill than you’re used to.

27. Do a price comparison – and find a cheaper grocery store.

Most of us get in a routine of shopping at the same grocery store, and we may not even realize that we’re not getting the best deal. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to find the cheapest store around. Just keep track of the 20 or so things you buy most often, then shop for these items at a variety of stores. Eventually, one store will come out on top for your purchases – just make that one your regular shopping destination and you’ll automatically save money.

28. Make your own when you can.

Before I tried it myself, I thought making homemade bread would just be a complicated waste of time. But after I tried it, I found that it was pretty easy and it was actually much cheaper, healthier, and tastier than buying a loaf from the store.

We rarely ever buy bread at the store these days, mainly because the bread I make is not only cheaper, but much better too. Figuring out what you can make it home is a great way to save some money – and learn new skills along the way.

29. Avoid stress-spending.

It’s easy to justify spending money just to wind down from a stressful day at work. However, it’s rarely a good idea. Instead of buying things you don’t need to make yourself feel better, it might be wise to find other ways to de-stress instead.

Exercise is always a good option, as is meditation and even a good old-fashioned nap. Read, watch movies, or work in your yard if you’re stressed out. Spending money won’t reduce your stress in the long run.

30. Share your dreams with people you love.

This seems like an odd way to save money, but think about it. If you spend time with the people you love the most and come to some consensus about your dreams, it becomes easy for you all to plan for it. Set a big, audacious goal together and encourage each other to be financially fit – soon, you’ll find you’re doing it naturally and your dreams are coming closer than ever.

31. Do a “maintenance run” on your appliances.

Check them to make sure there isn’t any dust clogging them and that they’re fairly clean. Look behind the appliances, and use your vacuum to gently clear away dust. Check all of the vents, especially on refrigerators, dryers, and heating and cooling units. The less dust you have blocking the mechanics of these devices, the more efficiently they’ll run (saving you on your energy bill) and the longer they’ll last (saving you on replacement costs).

32. Cancel unused club memberships.

Are you paying dues at a club that you never use? Like, for instance, a gym membership or a country club membership? If you’re on the fence about any of your memberships or find that you’re not using them very often, cancel them. Remember, you can always renew the membership at a later date if it turns out that you actually do miss it.

33. Buy used when you can.

You can often find the exact item you want with a bit of clever shopping at used equipment stores, used game stores, consignment shops, and so on. Just make these shops a part of your normal routine – go there first when looking for potential items and you will save money.

Clothes, for example, often cost pennies on the dollar when bought used – even if they were only worn once. By buying used most of the time, you can save a ton of cash.

thrift store teacups

From tea cups to T-shirts, make it a habit to shop used first and you’ll often find what you’re looking for at a big discount. Photo: Laura D’Alessandro

34. Keep your hands clean.

This one’s simple – just wash your hands thoroughly each time you use the bathroom or handle raw foods. You’ll keep yourself from acquiring all kinds of viruses and bacteria, saving you on medical bills and lost productivity.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t explore the world and get your hands dirty sometimes – that’s good for you, too – but basic sanitation does help keep the medical bills at bay.

35. Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts.

It’s easy to spend online when you have your card information stored in an account – just click and buy. The best way to break this habit is to simply delete your card from the account.

That way, when you’re tempted to spend, you’ll be forced to spend the time to dig out your card – and really think about why you’re spending this money. Sometimes being forced to take that extra step is all it takes to convince yourself you don’t need the item after all.

36. Give the gift of labor.

For new parents, give an evening of babysitting as a gift. If you know pet owners, offer to take care of their pets when they travel. Offer up some lawn care as a gift to a new homeowner.

These types of gifts are always a hit. I know that, as a parent of a toddler and an infant, I loved receiving a babysitting gift, probably more than any “stuff” I might get otherwise.

37. Do holiday shopping right after the holidays.

Most people use this technique for Christmas, but it works for every holiday. Wait until about two days after a holiday, then go out shopping for items you need that are themed for that day.

Get a Mother’s Day card for next year the day after Mother’s Day. Get Easter egg decorating kits the day after Easter, and Halloween decorations on Nov. 1. Get wrapping paper, cards, bows, and gift bags the day after Christmas. The discounts are tremendous, and you can just put this stuff in the closet until next year.

38. Join up with a volunteer program.

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, get some exercise, and involve yourself in a positive project that can lift your spirit. It also comes without a cost to you and can provide a lot of entertainment and a fulfilling day when you’re in the right mindset. (In some cases, it can even help erase your student loans.)

I’ve come to spend more and more of my time volunteering, serving on various committees and groups in the community. It is hands-down the best thing I have ever done.

39. Declutter to save your sanity and some cash.

Go into a room and go through every single item in it. Do you really need that item? Are you happy that it’s there, or would you be just fine if it were not? If you can find stuff to get rid of, get rid of it – it just creates clutter and it might have some value to others. You also improve the perceived value of your house – and you’re likely to get a lot of cleaning done in the process. It’s a frugal win-win-win.

40. Try generic brands of items you buy regularly.

Instead of just picking up the ordinary brand of an item you buy, try out the store brand or generic version of the item. You’ll save a few cents now, but you’ll also likely discover that the store brand is just as good as the name brand — often, the only difference between the two is the marketing, which I’m not willing to pay more fore. Once you’re on board the generic train, you’ll find your regular grocery bill getting smaller and smaller.

41. Prepare some meals at home.

Get an accessible and easy-to-use cookbook (my favorite “beginner” cookbook is Mark Bittman’s excellent “How to Cook Everything“) and try making some of the dishes inside. You’ll find that cooking at home is much easier than you think – and way cheaper and healthier than take-out or dining out. Even better, you can easily prepare meals in advance – even handy fast-food type meals.

42. Switch to term life insurance.

Repeat after me: insurance is not an investment. If you’re stuck in an expensive whole life policy, choose cheaper term insurance instead and use that difference in cost to get yourself out of debt and start building some wealth.

Universal and whole-life policies are much more expensive and offer a subpar investment opportunity. In almost every case, you’ll be much better off with a cheap term policy and more money in your pocket. You can get rate quotes here:

Find the Best Life Insurance Rates

Enter your zip code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

43. Stick to reliable, fuel-efficient cars.

A reliable and fuel-efficient car will save you thousands over the long haul. Let’s say you drive a vehicle for 80,000 miles. If you choose a car that gets 25 miles per gallon over one that only gets 15, you’ll save 2,133 gallons of gas. At $3 a gallon, that’s $6,400 in savings right there. Reliability can pay the same dividends.

Do the research: It will pay off for you. Learning some simple strategies for fuel-efficient driving can also help.

44. Avoid the mall.

The mall might be a fun place to people watch, but it can also be packed with temptation. That’s why you should avoid the mall unless you actually need to purchase something.

Trust me, window shopping when you’re on a budget can be torture. Unburden yourself and find something else to do when you need some entertainment. A walk outdoors, a fun puzzle, or a good movie can easily replace your regular mall shopping adventures.

45. Master the 10-second rule.

Whenever you pick up an item and add it to your cart or to take it to the checkout, stop for 10 seconds and ask yourself why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it or not. If you can’t find a good answer, put the item back. This keeps me from making impulse buys on a regular basis.

46. Rent out unused space in your home.

Do you have an extra bedroom or in-law suite that’s not being used? Rent it out on a site like Airbnb.com. If you live near a popular or tourist area, doing so could bring in a lot of extra money. Just make sure you know the risks and are willing to take the steps required to protect your family and your possessions.

47. Create a visual reminder of your debt.

To put your debt into terms that are easy to understand, make a giant progress bar that starts with the amount of debt you have and ends with zero. Each time you pay down a little bit, fill in a little more of that progress bar.

Keep this reminder in a place where you’ll see it often, and keep filling it in regularly. It can help keep your eye on the prize and lead you straight to debt freedom.

48. Cancel magazine subscriptions.

Do you have a pile of unread magazines sitting around your house? It’s likely the result of a subscription that you’re not reading. Not only should you not renew that magazine, but you should give their subscription department a call and try to cancel for a refund. You never know – they might even give you the prorated amount back. I’ve had to cull my subscriptions in the past, and I’ve never regretted it.

49. Eat breakfast.

Eating a healthy breakfast fills you up with energy for the day while also curbing your desire for a big, expensive lunch. Meanwhile, breakfast can be very healthy, quick, and inexpensive. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning is often the one thing that keeps me from running out to eat an expensive lunch later in the day.

50. Swap babysitting with neighbors.

We live in a neighborhood with dozens of families with young children. Because of that, there are a lot of parents out there willing to swap babysitting nights with us, saving us the money of hiring one for an evening out. A few families even take this to incredible extremes.

Try to find another set of parents or two that you trust, and swap nights of babysitting with them. If you can pull it off, you’ll get occasional evenings free without the cost of a babysitter and save a ton of money in the process.

51. Don’t fear leftovers: Jazz them up instead.

Many people feel as if leftovers are just inferior rehashes of regular meals. However, there’s nothing cheaper than eating leftovers, and with a few techniques for making leftovers tasty, you can often end up with something surprising and quite delicious on the other end.

My favorite technique? Chaining – using the leftovers as a basis for an all-new dish. For example, if you have leftover ham and rice from last night’s meal, use them to make fried rice or black beans and rice tonight.

52. Go through your clothes – all of them.

If you have a regular urge to buy clothes, go through everything that you have and see what you might find. Take the clothes from the back of the closet and bring them to the front, and suddenly your wardrobe will feel completely different. Take the clothes buried in your dresser and pull them to the top. You’ll feel like a brand new person who doesn’t need to spend money on clothes right now.

53. Brown bag your lunch.

Instead of going out to eat at work, take your own lunch — if not every day, then at least a couple of times a week. With some thoughtful preparation and just a few minutes of time, you can create something quite enjoyable for your brown bag lunch – and save a fistful of cash each time you do. Your co-workers may not understand your desire to save money, but that’s their problem.

54. Learn how to dress minimally.

Buy clothes that mix and match well and you won’t need nearly as many clothes. If you have five pants, seven shirts, and seven ties that all go together, you basically have an endless number of options already.

This is exactly what I do in order to minimize clothing purchases and still look professional – I just mix and remix what I wear by using timeless, simple pieces that go well together.

55. Ask for help and encouragement from your inner circle.

When you’re feeling discouraged, sit down and talk to the people you love and care about the most and ask them for help. Tell them that you’re trying to trim your spending and you’d love it if they would offer any suggestions and support they might have.

Then, pay attention to what they tell you. They might have some personal insights for your situation that will really help. At the very least, they might understand your situation better.

56. Try to fix things yourself.

Years ago, it was far more difficult to find ways to fix everyday items we have in our homes. But today, it should be a piece of cake. You can find online tutorials and videos that show you how to fix almost anything, and all for free. No matter what you’re trying to fix, it’s always worth a shot. Learning a new skill never hurts either.

57. Keep an idea notebook in your pocket.

I’ve wasted countless amounts of time and money simply because I’ve forgotten some of my best ideas. Nowadays, I keep a small notebook with me to jot down ideas so that I never forget anything important. This keeps me from forgetting the ideas I have throughout the day.

58. Invest in a deep freezer.

A deep freezer can be a great bargain after the initial investment, but only if you’ll use it. Often, having some extra freezer space allows you to buy in bulk and pay lower prices overall. Even better, you can store lots of meals prepared in advance, enabling you to just go home and pop something homemade (and cheap) in the oven. Read this post if you need help determining whether a deep freezer is worth it.

59. Look for a cheaper place to live.

The cost of living in Iowa is surprisingly low, enough so that I’m quite happy to give up the cultural opportunities of other places to enjoy Iowa all year round. When I want to enjoy the cultural attractions of another place, I’ll travel there – after all, I can afford it because I save on living expenses the rest of the year.

If you live in a truly expensive area, take some time to decide if the extra expense is really worth it. You may find that a move could mean the difference between having plenty of money and barely scraping by.

60. Check out free events in town.

My town has several wonderful parks, free basketball and tennis courts, free disc golf, trails, and lots of other stuff just there waiting to be used. You can go have fun for hours out in the wonderful outdoors, playing sports, hiking on trails, or trying other activities – and it’s all there for free. All you have to do is discover it. Here are more than a hundred free things to do if you need more inspiration.

61. Inflate your tires.

For every two PSI of air pressure under the recommended level in your tires, you lose 1% on your gas mileage. Most people’s car tires are five to 10 PSI below the normal level, so that means by just inflating your tires, you can improve your gas mileage by up to 5%.

It’s easy, too: Just read your car’s manual to see what the recommended tire pressure is, then head to the gas station. Ask the attendant inside if they have a tire air gauge you can borrow (most of them do, both in urban and rural settings), then stop over by the air pump. Check your tires, then use the pump to fill them up to where they should be. It’s basically free gas!

62. Start a garden.

Gardening can be an inexpensive hobby if you have a yard. Just rent a tiller, till up a patch, plant some plants, keep it weeded, and you’ll have a very inexpensive hobby that produces healthy food for your family.

I like planting a bunch of tomato plants, keeping them cared for, then enjoying the huge flood of tomatoes at the end of each summer. We like to eat them fresh, can them, and make tomato juice, sauce, paste, ketchup, pasta sauce, and pizza sauce.

63. Dig into your community calendar.

Most communities have a ton of free events, although you may not know about them at the time. If you want to stay abreast of everything going on nearby, check out your town’s website or stop by the local library or city hall and ask how you can get ahold of a listing of upcoming community events.

You can often get free meals, free entertainment, and free stuff just by paying attention – even better, you’ll get in touch with what’s going on around you.

64. Take public transportation.

If the city’s transit system is available near you, take it to work instead of driving your car. It’s far cheaper and you won’t have to worry about the added expense or hassle of parking your vehicle either.

When I lived in a larger city, I bought an annual transit pass that actually paid for itself after less than two months of use compared to using an automobile. After that, for 10 months, I basically could ride to work (and to some events) for free. That’s money in the bank.

65. Cut your own hair.

This may not be a popular idea, but it works if you have a simple hairstyle. I cut my own hair with a pair of clippers, for example. It may seem like an impossible feat, but it really isn’t that hard to learn how. Just put a garbage bag over the bathroom sink, bust out the clippers and scissors, and get it done. Two or three cuts will pay for the clippers, and then you’re basically getting free haircuts. With a bit of practice, you can make it look good, too.

66. Carpool.

If you live near anyone you work with, you might both be able to benefit by carpooling to work. Or perhaps your spouse works nearby — if so, consider whether it would make sense to take one car back and forth each day. Doing so could save money and wear and tear on both of your vehicles.

67. Design your ‘debt snowball.’

Everyone needs a plan to help them get out of debt, so sit down and plot out which debts you’re going to pay off and in what order. Simply having a plan goes a long way toward putting that plan into action, and paying off debts early is one of the surest ways to put money in your pocket over the long run.

68. Get a crock pot.

A crock pot or slow cooker is perhaps the best deal on earth for reducing cooking costs in a busy family. You can just dump in your ingredients before work, put it on simmer, and dinner is done when you get home.

There are countless recipes out there for all variety of foods, and every time you cook this way, you’re saving money compared to eating out. Crock pot meals are also notoriously good as leftovers, which can mean additional savings.

69. Do some basic home and auto maintenance on a regular schedule.

Instead of waiting until something breaks to deal with it, develop a monthly maintenance schedule where you go around your home (and your car) and perform a bit of maintenance where it’s needed. This little activity, taking you just an hour or two a month, will keep things from breaking down and help you catch problems before they become disasters. Maintaining your home can also keep it in better shape and improve the value of your property over time.

70. Buy staples in bulk.

With items we use a lot of, we buy them in bulk, and that’s particularly true when it comes to items that don’t perish. For example, we buy trash bags, laundry detergent, and diapers in the largest packages we can find. This cuts down on their cost per usage by quite a bit and, over the long haul, adds up to significant savings.

Costco detergent

Buy generic products, and buy them in bulk — especially if they’re non-perishable. Photo: bnilsen

71. Pack food for road trips.

Whenever you’re ready to hit the road, take some time to pack snacks and meals you can easily eat on the go. That way, instead of stopping in the middle of the trip, driving around looking for a place to eat, spending a bunch of time there, and then paying a hefty bill, you can just eat on the road or, better yet, stop at a nice park and stretch for a bit. Convenience foods are notoriously expensive, so you’re better off avoiding them whenever possible.

72. Go through your cell phone bill, look for services you don’t use, and ditch them.

There are plenty of strategies to save money on your cell phone bill, and that includes switching from one of the big legacy providers to one of the smaller companies offering service in your area for less. At the very least, you should take a look at your monthly bill and see if you are paying for any services you aren’t using.

73. Consolidate your student loans.

Interest rates are very low right now, so depending on the type of loans you have, it could be worthwhile to consolidate your student loans into one low-rate package.

Look into the various student loan consolidation packages available and see what you might save: Even a 1% reduction on a $10,000 loan saves you $100 a year, and your loan is probably bigger than that (and the rate cut you could get is probably bigger).

74. When buying a car, look only at used models.

It’s hard to argue with the fact that new cars make terrible investments. Not only do they drop in value the moment you drive off the lot, but they continue dropping in value with each year that goes by.

If you want to save as much as possible on transportation, look only at used cars in relatively good condition. If you focus on cars that are only a few years old, you may also be able to find one within its warranty period.

75. Hit the library – hard.

Don’t look at a library as just a place to borrow books. Look at it as a free place to do all sorts of things. I’ve used it to learn a foreign language, meet people, use the Internet in a pinch, check out movies and CDs, grab local free newspapers, and keep up on community events. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a dime.

76. Use a simple razor to shave.

I’ve been a big advocate of the basic safety razor for a long time, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. For “normal” shaves, I just shave in the shower and dry off the blade afterwards — using just soap for lather is also incredibly cheap since I only swap blades once every few weeks.

The real moral of the story? Use a simple razor — not an expensive electric one that stops working in three years, or the newest swiveling multi-blade model with its expensive replacement cartridges — and shave your face when it’s wet. You can get a very good shave with some practice and save a lot of money over the long haul.

77. Find daily inspiration for making intelligent moves.

I’m usually inspired by my children. Perhaps you’re inspired to make changes by your spouse – or even by someone in the community you respect. Maybe it’s just a personal goal, like an early retirement.

Find something that makes you want to make positive changes, then use that person or thing as a constant reminder. Keep a picture of it in your wallet, in your vehicle, and on your bathroom mirror. Keep it in your mind as much as you possibly can.

78. Learn about all of the benefits your company offers.

Spend some time with an HR person at work learning about all the benefits of your job – you might be surprised at what you find.

After sitting down with someone at my job, I gained access to free tickets to sporting events, free personal improvement opportunities, and an optional employee match on some retirement funds that maximized the money I was socking away. This not only cut down on my own spending on things like sporting and community events and educational classes, but also improved my retirement plan.

79. Make your own cleaning supplies instead of buying them.

I like to make my own laundry detergent and my own Goo-Be-Gone, for starters. I also like making my own Glade, Windex, and Soft Scrub. In all these cases, it’s way cheaper than buying the commercial versions.

Hunt around for recipes – it’s amazing how many things you can make at home in just a few minutes to save a ton of money compared to the commercial version. Our Frugal Spring Cleaning Checklist can give you some ideas.

80. Suggest cheap activities when meeting up with family and friends.

This is often a tricky thing to do, but there are a number of techniques you can try. My favorite one is to be the first one to suggest something – that often gives you the power to steer the group towards things that are cheaper. If you can convince your friends to go to the park and shoot hoops instead of going golfing, for example, those greens fees are going to stay in your pocket.

81. Don’t speed.

Not only is speeding inefficient in terms of gasoline usage, it also can get you pulled over and cost you a bundle between a ticket and higher insurance premiums, as I discovered a while back. It’s far more cost-efficient to just drive the speed limit, keep that gas in the tank, and keep the cops off your tail.

82. Read more.

Reading is one of the cheapest – and most beneficial – hobbies around. Most towns have a library available to the public – just go there and check out some books that interest you. Then, spend some of your free time in a cozy place in your house, reading away.

You’ll learn something new, improve your reading ability, enjoy yourself, and not have to spend a dime. Here are some more ways to get  into the reading flow.

83. Buy a smaller house.

There are plenty of reasons to buy less house than you can afford. I currently live in a 2,000-square-foot house with my wife and two kids. Frankly, it’s just the right size for us – if anything, it’s a little big.

We often find ourselves in the same room in the house, just surrounded by empty space. You don’t need a giant place to live. Instead, buy something more modest and you’ll find yourself with plenty of room – and still plenty of cash in your pocket.

84. Drive a different route to work.

This is an especially powerful tip if you find yourself “automatically” stopping for something on the way into work or the way home. Get rid of that constant drain by selecting a different route that doesn’t go by the temptation, even if the new route is a bit longer. You’ll still save time by not stopping, and the money you save on any unnecessary indulgences you avoid will add up over time.

85. Always ask for fees to be waived.

Any time you sign up for a service of any kind and there are sign-up fees, ask for them to be waived. Sometimes (but not always), they will be – and you save money just by being forthright about not wanting to pay excessive fees. I did this with my last cell phone sign-up and got them to wave the fees, lowering my bill significantly.

86. Don’t overspend on hygiene products.

Most people would probably find that inexpensive hygiene products work just as well as the expensive stuff. Personally, I just buy whichever toothpaste is the cheapest, and the same goes with deodorant and the like. The key is to use this stuff regularly and consistently – bathe daily, keep yourself clean, and you’ll be just fine. No need to buy a $40 facial scrub if you actually scrub your face properly.

87. Eat less meat.

Meat is very expensive when you consider its nutritional value, especially as compared to vegetables and fruits. And in almost every case, protein-packed staples like beans offer a much better value. Even if you don’t want to become a full-fledged vegetarian, you can still save a bundle just by eating meat less often.

88. Use a brutally effective coupon strategy.

To save as much money as possible, use the coupons in conjunction with your grocery store flyer and shopping list. Doing so can help you save double – both through the initial sale savings and through the use of the coupon. This strategy also helps you avoid purchasing items you don’t really need just because you have a coupon or discount.

89. Air seal your home.

Most homes have some air leaks that make the job of keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter that much harder – and that much more costly for you. Spend an afternoon air sealing your home and keep your energy dollars from leaking out. The DoE has a great guide on basic air sealing.

90. Make your own beer or wine.

If you enjoy an occasional drink, this is a great way to enjoy some of your favorite beverages at a steep discount. You can easily make five gallons of beer or wine at once and it doesn’t take that long once you’ve mastered the process. Even better, it’s a great activity to do with friends – you buy the equipment, they bring the juice, and you both get a few bottles of delicious homemade wine out of the deal. Some nice entertainment, plus some free beverages – that’s a great frugal deal.

91. Make sure all your electrical devices are on a surge protector.

This is especially true of your entertainment center and your computer equipment. A power surge can damage these electronics very easily, so spend the money for a basic surge protector and keep your equipment plugged into such a device. To save even more, unplug anything you aren’t using frequently to avoid phantom energy use.

92. Get on the automatic repayment plan for any student loans you have.

Many student loans offer a small rate reduction if you sign up for their automatic debt repayment plan. This way, not only do you save a few bucks a month — you don’t have to go to the effort of actually paying the bill either. Our automatic plan saved us about $60 a year.

93. Cut down on your vacation spending.

Instead of going on a big, extravagant trip, pack up the car and see some of the sights in your surrounding area. One of the best vacations I’ve ever taken was when my son was an infant – we just packed up the car and drove around Minnesota, eventually camping for a few days along the north shore of Lake Superior. For a weeklong relaxing vacation, it was incredibly cheap and quite memorable, too. Another strategy is to look into travel rewards credit cards for ways to earn free hotel stays and airfare.

94. Cancel the cable or satellite channels you don’t watch.

Many people with cable services often are paying for a premium package that they don’t really need. For the longest time, my wife and I were subscribed to HBO, Starz, and Cinemax, yet we would only tune in once a month at best. We argued that it was worth it because we could watch a movie or a great drama whenever we wanted, but it would have been far cheaper just to rent a movie. Get rid of the channels you don’t need and put that cash back in your pocket.

95. Exercise more.

Go for a walk or a jog each evening, practice stretching, or partake in some light muscle exercise at home. These exercises can be done at home for free, but can lead to huge benefits to your health. Just set aside some time each day to get some exercise, and your body and wallet will thank you.

96. Utilize online bill pay with your bank.

This serves two purposes. First, it keeps you in much closer contact with your money, as you can keep a very close eye on your balance and be that much less likely to overdraft.

Second, it saves you money on stamps and paper checks by allowing you to just fill in an online form, click submit, and have your bill paid. Try it out – and take advantage of it if you’re not already. Some of the best free online checking accounts offer this perk.

97. Connect your entertainment center and/or computer setup to a true smart power strip.

A device like a SmartStrip can cut power to all devices on the strip once a control device is turned off to reduce phantom power drains. So, if you have your workstation hooked up to this, every time you power down your computer, your monitor powers down, your printer powers down, your scanner powers down, and so on.

You can do the same thing with your entertainment console: When you turn off the television, the cable/satellite box also goes off, as does the video game console, the VCR, the DVD player, and so on. This can save you a lot of electricity and significantly trim your power bill.

98. Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake.

Even if you make 10 good choices, it’s easy to beat yourself up and feel like a failure over one bad choice. If you make a big mistake and realize it, think about why you realized it now instead of then, and try to apply that later on. The memory of that mistake can end up being very valuable, indeed.

99. Always keep looking ahead.

Don’t let the mistakes of your past drag you down into more mistakes. Instead, look ahead to the future. Learn to see past mistakes for what they are – lessons that were meant to teach you something.

Sometimes the best life lessons are learned through life experience, good or bad, so embrace your past and don’t run from it. Promising to do better and setting goals can help keep mistakes where they belong – in the past.

100. Never give up.

Whenever the struggle against debt feels like it’s too much, go read a personal finance blog and remember that there are a lot of people out there fighting the same fight. Read around through the archives and learn some new things – and perhaps get inspired to keep going, no matter what.

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  1. Daisy says:

    wow that’s a lot of tips, all right! it’ll take me a few days to get through it. *bookmarks post*

    the ones I’ve seen are pretty practical though. thanks. :)

  2. SavingDiva says:

    It’s not that I don’t agree with 65 (cut your own hair)…but it’s not the most practical idea for a lot of women. I will admit that I’m in my 20s, and my hair looks a lot better with layers and a decent cut than straight around (yeah, my college roommate cut my ahir in college). I recommend going to a beauty school. I get a GREAT hair cut and it’s pretty inexpensive. I also recommend to stretch the time between haircuts as long as possible…

  3. Nick says:

    Awesome post Trent. Great info here.

  4. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    SavingDiva: as I said at the start, not every tip applies to everyone. The “cut your own hair” tip really works best for men or for women with short hairstyles (I am close friends with a few).

  5. Toaduni44 says:

    For number 45 (the ten second rule), it works even better if you put the item back down, then think about whether you want it. There’s something about having an object in your hand that makes you want it. Plus, if the object is not in your hand, you can walk away that much more easily.

  6. Mark says:

    I have two thoughts on two entries in your list:

    #53 (Brown bag your lunch): This one was hard for me to do at first, but one thing that keeps me motivated was reading that John Bogle (the man who started Vanguard) always takes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an apple for lunch. If that’s good enough for him, it’s certainly good enough for me.

    #68 (Get a crock pot): A crock pot is certainly a great way to eat cheap, but to push it even a little further, consider getting a rice cooker to go with it. At my local Sam’s Club, you can get a good rice cooker for about $20 and I think you can get a 50lb (might be 25lb) bag of rice for about $14. Pretty much anything that you can cook in a crock pot can be thrown on top of rice. For as many meals as you can get out of rice, it’s practically free (although to be fair, I haven’t precisely calculated it :P ).

  7. ericabiz says:

    To add to the light bulb tip, I found last Christmas that CFL’s make a great gift. I had several family members who were still using regular light bulbs. I picked a bunch of CFL’s up with a $10 off $99 purchase coupon at a hardware store. (I also bought several sets of rechargeable batteries on the same trip.) With each gift, I explained that the 6-8 CFLs I had given them and the set of rechargeable batteries could save them $50 or more a year. My family members were impressed and all liked receiving gifts that saved them money.

    Moral of the story: Most people don’t take the time to calculate cost savings, but if you give them a gift and show them how much money it will save them, they will use it.

  8. Frugal Dad says:

    Wonderful collection of tips, Trent! I started doing #65 a while back (home hair cuts). I messed up the first couple times and had to just buzz it off. I’ve got the hang of it now, and I realized it’s just hair…it grows back!

  9. Helen says:

    I’d scoffed at the ‘take a different route’ (to avoid takeways) – what no willpower? But then I found myself doing exactly that – driving to avoid the temptation of MacDonalds!

    When shopping, I find myself having to re-make the same “no, I don’t need that glossy magazine” frugal choice over and over. Avoiding the shops is definitely good advice!

  10. KG says:

    Great list!!

    In all honesty though, if you cut your own hair wouldn’t it look trashy? Unless you work at home or something, I consider your personal appearance/hygiene an important investment. Or am I off base?

  11. Andy2 says:

    Also, for the razor tip, I heard on the Clark Howard Show that if you dry it off really well after shaving (aka a short burst of a hair dryer or something), you can get cheap razors to stay sharp for a year. Apparently it is the moisture that wrecks the blade – the actual shaving doesn’t do much to it.

  12. pinoy money talk says:

    May I just say that I completely agree with the tip about the television.

    I only use it for DVD-watching now. I’ve unsubscribed my cable service and hardly ever watch it unless I want to watch the news (even then I usually just read or watch news online)

    I’ve been TV- free for over a year now. It’s made me feel so much better :) It’s also made me more aware of the “subtle” marketing messages out there.

  13. Ashley Burr says:

    Wow. You really listed 100 reasons. An appendage reason to turn off the TV: you can start making money buy freelance working online-so it is doubly effective!

  14. Laura G says:

    I have what may be a dumb question:

    With the smart power strips, if you hook up your whole entertainment system up to it, how do you avoid having to do things like re-program your VCR every time you reconnect the power? I have an old VCR that works wonderfully and no desire to get TiVo, so this is a relevant question! :)

  15. Andy says:

    Laura G,

    I have the appliances that must have power all the time go into one power strip that I leave on, and the other appliances into another strip that I turn on and off. For me, I leave my radio reciever on (actually just plugged into a socket) and my tv, dvd, ps2, and subwoofer plugged into the powerstrip that is usually off.

  16. Jamie says:

    Ohh man one thing I love about your posts is that they have the exact length they need to be. I guess this is not. Great tips though

  17. Great list, there is ton of good stuff here, both “big things” and “small things”. I’m thrilled to see #82, “Buy a smaller house” on the list, since that’s my favorite!!

  18. Great galloping zot! I am totally blown away.

    This has got to be the most staggering list of Frugal Living pointers on the Web.

    To 65, I’d add: If you’re a woman, let your hair grow very long and have it blunt-cut. Then you only need to go to the hairdresser once or at most twice a year. If you’re young, men love it. If you’re getting on, you look like a bag lady, but who cares?

    To 40: Always always always buy generic versions of over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and cough medicine. By law, they have to be the same as the stuff the manufacturer peddles under its regular brand name. Not sure? Compare the labels. This is also true of certain personal hygiene products; for example, Safeway’s version of Cetaphil’s excellent sensitive-skin cleanser is identical to the brand-name version and a fraction of the price.

    To 59 & 82: When the time is right. If you already own a house, this is not the time to sell.

  19. margo says:

    I am a big fan of #94 and I think it deserves more emphasis, as its one of your newer ones.

    Many people throw money down the drain on expensive gym memberships, have multi-thousand-dollar treadmills and ellipticals rusting in their garages, or jump from fad to fad, collecting dust-covered DVDs and specialized equipment and unused prepaid trainer sessions.

    Running (or walking) costs as little as $150 a year for two pairs of supportive sneakers. Many people- myself included- pay good money to live in a residential part of town. Why not use those safe streets and sidewalks you pay for, and get outside and run on them, or walk poor attention-starved Fido?

    Its a sport anyone can participate in, at any level of fitness- you go as fast and as far as you are capable of that day. You start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can.

    $150 for the health, mood, and fitness benefits a year of cardiovascular exercise gets you is an awesomely frugal deal in my mind.

  20. This has got to be the longest post I think I’ve ever seen. It’s full of great tips though.

  21. vloxy says:

    Epic fail…

    This list is failure…

    Cutback on this, cheapskate that…come on…where are the real solutions to increase income…

    Like…education to get a better job…voting in people who lower taxes…pressuring local governments to lower sales tax, etc…

    I have read through so many lists like this and it no longer works. You can only skimp so much and be a cheapskate for so long…

    Next you will be telling me to move into the slums to help the poor people who live there in order to decrease the amount of rent I am paying. This list, like many others are not providing accurate solutions to the problems that exist. The real problem is incomes and wages are not increasing with the pace of inflation and the quality of goods and services are decreasing.

    Not to mention the amount of productivity and jobs that have been eroded away by using “more efficent” and faster computer systems.

    Please address the real issues as opposed to why I should cut my hair with safety scissors.


  22. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    vloxy: This list, by definition, addresses only one half of the equation. Everyone should spend less than they earn. This list focuses on the “spend less” part, not the “earn more” part.

  23. Sarat says:

    Also – Do not get oil change of car every 3000 miles. Read the manufacturer manual and determine how often you need to get an oil change. Mine is 7500 miles.

  24. !wanda says:

    @vloxy: “The real problem is … the quality of goods and services are decreasing.”

    That’s not true. Compared with one hundred or even twenty-five years ago, the goods that we can purchase today are like magic.

    And, yes, productivity does increase with computers and internet systems. I can type faster than I can write, and I can send emails faster than I can post letters. Poorly-designed computer systems do impede productivity, but the solution there is to fix the design.

    Trent does encourage people to increase their incomes. The thing is, the past to doing that is usually longer and harder, even if it is more fulfilling in the end. You can start decreasing your spending, though, right away, and the gains are immediate.

  25. vloxy says:

    I understand…

    I just believe, granted that is very trite, that we should begin to focus on how to raise people up…and increase their ability to participate by giving them the resources to increase their wealth so they do not need to focus on how to cut back on their spending…is the list directed toward the wealthy…of course not…but why not???…because they have the cash???…come on now…

    I admit, my previous post discounted the information that is valuable to someone who is lacking discipline, and this list is important to those people…please, if you are one of them (and you know who you are)…please take heed and learn and trim your spending so you can become closer to being debt free…become more self reliant…and look at it possibly from my perspective where you have done what is needed yet you still cannot…

    Well, that last part will of course cost you…amirite?


  26. ngthagg says:

    vloxy: “I just believe, granted that is very trite, that we should begin to focus on how to raise people up”

    I think this list does just that. Numerous items on this list combat consumerism, which is one of the biggest things bringing people down. The lesson I take from these suggestions is that I can live a better life by not worrying about having the biggest house, the fastest car, the salon shampoo, etc. We can’t lift people up if they are being dragged down by unnecessary bills, expenses and debts.

    RE #80: Has anyone actually calculated the time gained from speeding. For me to drive to work it takes about half an hour at an average speed of, say, 50km/h. (I’m Canadian.) That’s a distance of 25 km. If I drive it 20% faster (easily enough to risk tickets, accidents, etc.) it will take about 25 min. That’s only a five minute difference. How hard is it to just leave five minutes earlier?

    For those driving on busy streets, here’s another piece of good advice: pick a lane and stick with it. When you try it, find a car that’s constantly searching for the best lanes and see how far ahead it actually gets. Probably, not very.

  27. Esther says:

    Re the shaving issue – you could also always grow a beard and mustache, and trim them with the same trimmer you use for your haircuts. Believe it or not, some men’s appearance is even improved by facial hair :).

  28. Amy says:

    I love lists! Thank you for this one.

    And for vloxy — I guess that participating in a consumer culture can be fun (especially if one is rich!), but I also see Trent’s list as a way to preserve resources (whether it be my own money or gas/energy resources) — having a programmable thermostat, buying a fuel efficient car & driving the speed limit just seem responsible to me (and it’s great that they might save me some cash as well because I’m not rich).

    And just so y’all know — women can do #65. I’m a middle-aged professional female who works in a large office building (albeit with a somewhat casual atmosphere) and I don’t wear make-up and my husband cuts my shoulder-length hair. And, no, he’s not a hair dresser by trade.

  29. Lisa Spinelli says:

    This is a great list. #83 is also good just for brain stimulus. There’s a new book out called “Super Brain 101: Easy Ways to a More Agile Mind”, by Carol Vorderman. Among many tips, one is simply changing habits. This keeps your mind having to adapt rather than becoming stagnant.


  30. reulte says:

    So . . . are you going to do a list titled “Big Steps: 100 Great Tips for Earning More Money for Those Just Getting Started”?

    I’d love to see it!

  31. Lurker Carl says:

    Earning more money is pointless until spending is curbed. Otherwise the cycle continues.

  32. can do 10 out of 100 i think is a great, but can do these hundreds tips, will be awesome :)

  33. Penny Squeaker says:

    Great post Trent,

    As per the LED bulbs, superbrightleds.com has been the site that I’ve ordered several different types of bulbs around the house.

    Electric usage savings of $50 dollars a month on billing, which I’d recoup costs of bulbs w/in the 1st year of purchase.

  34. My Two Cents says:

    Great list, Trent – I’ve started doing some of those on this list and I will probably start doing more of them. More and more I’ve seen the benefits of reading as a hobby instead of other things, like video games. The nice thing about video games is that they let me interact with my friends a bit; but it’s very expensive. Going to the library to pick up a good costs me the gas to the library and the time.

    Now if only I was making more than minimum wage. Thankfully, though, living in Wisconsin has its perks too – low cost of living.

  35. Jess says:

    Trent, this isn’t a good post… This is a GREAT post!

    Not only am I saving it on Google Reader… I’m taking the time to print it out so that I can take a critical look at it, make check marks, highlight, write N/A, and scribble my own notes on it, etc…

    There are some things that are just better absorbed on the printed page and I really think that this is one of them. If I were you I would add this to the pdf files that you have available.

    Again, great post!

  36. Fortunate says:

    One thing that never fails to surprise me as I read pf blogs is that these type of lists never suggest giving up your car entirely. There are always tips about maintenance, not buying new, saving on gas, etc. but never just chuck the whole thing altogether. I did that and it is the single greatest savings that I have!

    Understand that I LOVE cars. And I grew up where public transit is woefully inadequate, highways rule, and kids get cars at 16 (I actually had mine at 15 just waiting for me to get that license!). I would have never thought it possible to live without a car but I do and with only minor adjustments. While looking for books on buying a home, I stumbled upon a book called How To Live Without Owning A Car by Chris Balish and decided to give it a try. I did a trial run while I still owned my car to make sure it was possible and after that just went for it figuring I’d just get another car if the experiment failed.

    The money I saved has outweighed any sacrifices!! Not just the obvious car costs, but the fringe benefits. When I grocery shop online, I always stick to my list. Impulse buys in general are curtailed because I can only buy what I can carry. My stress level has plummetted because I’m not sittng in traffic on a daily basis. And when I do need a car, I use a car sharing service. And, even over at times like the holidays when I have cars for days at a time, it still cost less than actually owning a car (plus, did you know that gas is free for many of the car sharing services and you can chose from a whole fleet a cars?).

    Like everything else, I’m not saying it will work for everybody but it is something everyone should consider. And, for the record, I don’t live in NY or someother place with fantastic mass transit; mine is sufficient but not spectacular. All I’m saying is that if you want to save a TON of money do some research and check it out for yourself.

  37. Wow, Trent —

    When I think of how much time it must have taken to generate such a high-quality post, I am amazed. You have done a fantastic job of summarizing many of the ideas you have written about in previous posts, along with some new ones. I will definitely be linking to this article for my site’s “weekly roundup” of great blog writing.


  38. Sandy says:

    I love #30. I think it may be the most important on the list! There needs to be a reason to save money…whether it is coming up with a down payment for a house or paying off those student loans when you are younger, to my current 2: being able to help the girls through college, and the around the world cruise.
    Sure, seeing the balance in my savings acount go up is nice, but to have something concrete to focus toward, and having the support of those loved ones in your life who know your goals.
    And support you in reaching them.
    Also, it’s easier to ask yourself, if tempted to spend: “Which do I want more: that new (fill in the blank) or that awesome vacation?” For me, usually, the answer is easy.
    Also, as far as cutting your own hair goes, I did that, too while DH was in grad school for me…I’d go get a really good, SHORT cut, then trim as needed til it was obvious that a professional cut was necessary…I think I went every 6-7 months. And with little children, it’s pretty easy to let girls hair grow out, or trim bangs…I often thought that taking a hair cutting class at a local school and buying good hair cutting utensils would be an excellent thing for anyone to do…and a possible side occupation if you needed to drum up cash.

  39. Great tips! I recently wrote about this on my blog too while I was looking for ways to not waste money this eyar. What does it all come down to? Thinking instead of reacting…that alone can stretch your money more than you think!

  40. Kris says:

    Trent, this post is phenomenal. Maybe worth mentioning in conjunction with tip #27 is that most supermarkets have online circulars now, which makes it much easer to comparison shop.

  41. sandra says:

    I just want to say that I´m from Portugal and if many people here can read all you have to say, many lives will be changed forever, like mine was. Thank you very much.
    My visual reminder and my inspiration is your blog, and I read it EVERY DAY and since I do that I am inspired and I am going to change my life ( it is better now). I´ve have to translate some of yours posts for my husband to “wake him up”, and I´ve see some things go better. Your blog is very great, because many people go to divorce because financial issues, but you have words of financial romance, and that it is a good thing for us. Thanks

  42. margo says:

    I’d also like to expand on your clothing items.

    Lately I’ve been frustrated with my wardrobe– or anyway, the giant pile of crappy clothes I own. I work in a professional environment and part of the costs of having this career means I need to maintain a certain standard of dress.

    However, I can be pretty cheap when it comes to shopping for work clothes. I often buy things from the clearance racks at Target and Old Navy, which means I spend only a little money, but end up with something of relatively low quality. And then a couple of months down the road, that $10 sweater or button-down is losing buttons, unraveling at the seams, fading drastically, or– in the case of a couple shirts I really liked– just plain disintegrating because the quality of fabric was so low.

    I am a pretty handy person and since I can remember, have always taken the time to mend buttons and holes as possible. But some things– especially professional clothing– are a little out of my range of ability.

    I’m also, in general, wary of buying anything that is “dry clean only” because, well, I don’t like paying the dry cleaners’ bills, which are always considerably more expensive for women’s clothes than for men’s. But occasionally (this just happened a month ago) I make an oversight, buy something “dry clean only,” and then wash it– and ruin it.

    I was invited to dinner last month, also, for my birthday. It was a large group of people and I was going directly from work to the dinner, at a nice restaurant. Of course in the middle of the day I realize that my cardigan was completely coming apart at the bottom seam. It was completely unsalvageable, with a huge gaping hole. So of course, embarassed, I trotted across the street to Old Navy and bought a new sweater, on sale, for $12.99. I’m sure its destined for the same fate as its predecessor, which was about a year old, if I remember correctly.

    I have started to realize that it IS worth the money, for certain clothing staples that can last many years and be worn nearly year-round, to spend a little more money to get much higher quality, and then make the efforts required to maintain them well.

    One of my financial “resolutions” for this year is to stop spending money on cheap clothes and start investing in nice ones. It might be a little investment upfront but I think it is worth it in the long-run, especially as I am not highly fashion-conscious, and since I know that dressing well and making a good appearance impression is valuable to my career.

  43. Fran says:

    A note to Margo: do you have access to a consignment shop for clothes? Or a secondhand shop in a relatively affluent area? You might be able to get some great deals on some good quality professional clothes. I once found a silk blouse in perfect shape for $4. It was the wrong size, otherwise I would have adopted it. You may also want to check the websites for more upscale shops–they frequently have outlet prices and I’ve seen well-made pieces for prices almost as good as Target.
    I also find it’s worth it to budget for cuts and color by a stylist…I tried to cut my own hair once, and buy the time I finished, well, I like to think that I inspired the ladies’ crew cut trend of some years ago. :)

  44. Wow, what an amazing post!

    An aweful lot to think about here. I’ve just been blogging myself about selecting the right credit card (if you need one at all!) and so how to save money in that way so it fits quite nicely with your post.

    Keep up the great work! Definately a blog I’ll be back to time and time again ;-)


  45. margo says:

    Fran: Thanks for the tip. I do actually have a few near me. Unfortunately, I’m really short and kinda fat, and its not so easy to find clothes that fit me in such places that aren’t granny-wear. I had a blue silk dress from a consignment store for many years that I loved.

  46. Phil A says:

    Another Tip: Cut back on the times you go to the movies. It is about $5 more than it should be to see a movie at night. If you do go (I do now and then), stay away from the popcorn, candy and sodas they sell. You can buy a gourmet meal at a fancy restaurant for the same price aa a bag of stale popcorn and a flat soda at the theater. Ridiculous

  47. Baby says:

    I have one question about #1…. maybe a couple…. is the 3% interest rate on the checking and 3.4% rate on the savings monthly? And is there a fee to access your account online? Because my bank charges me a fee of 5 bucks a month just to see how my account is doing everyday. After a year, I decided to just stick with my checkbook register, but it is nice to see it online since I pay most of my bills online too. ^_^V

  48. Angie says:

    Regarding #46, renting out a room in your house–please check with your homeowner’s insurance carrier or agent before you do this. I am a homeowner’s insurance underwriter and the company I work for will not accept a home for coverage if there are rooms in the dwelling available for rent. If a claim were to occur and you did not check whether this was covered first, the claim adjuster may not pay out on the claim, leaving you financially vulnerable and responsible for the loss payment out-of-pocket. If the adjuster were to choose to extend coverage and pay out the on the claim, a risk advise would be sent to underwriting, which could result in non-renewal of your policy.

  49. Thank you, Margo! Right on about buying fewer, better clothes instead of many cheaper pieces that have to be replaced every time you turn around.

    If you can afford to replace clothing once or twice a year, it may be worth it, because you DO get new stuff that raises your spirits and makes you feel good for the first few times you wear it. Problem is, about 95% of the reasonably priced stuff (we mean “cheap” here…) shrinks, bags, sags, fades, and falls apart after just a few wearings.

    Contrary to what Trent says in his latest post to the effect that annual sales are a bad deal, I’ve found it’s well worth waiting for the after-Christmas and Labor Day sales to buy high-quality women’s clothing in stores like Talbot’s, Ann Taylor, Nieman-Marcus, and Saks. When you buy classics that last several years, after a few carefully strategized sales you end up with a nice wardrobe.

    The secret to coming out of a post-holiday sale solvent: same as grocery shopping–take a list and stick to it!

    For those who have a “good figure” according to the current tastes, check out Fran’s suggestion about upscale second-hand consignment shops. One of my research assistants buys THE most incredible clothes at a second-hand place…but she’s 30 with the bod’ of a half-starved 20-year-old.

  50. jenni says:

    The ING rate is yearly, but the deposit the amount you’ve accrued each month into your account each month. For example, we had about $1500 average in our checking account and we had a $5 deposit into our account 1-31. In our savings, we had an average of $8,000 or so, and we received about $26 dollars on 1-31. I check my acct almost every day and have all my monthly bills set up on automatic bill pay. $5 a month isn’t much, but it adds up. I love ING!

  51. Mel says:

    Great tips Trent, with the exception of #85. Don’t overspend on hygiene products. I agree that you should try to minimize the amount of money you spend on most items but inexpensive (read cheap) cosmetics and toiletries are not a bargain, usually they contain petroleum products or, more often than you can imagine, they contain chemicals that have been known to cause cancer and reproductive issues. Look at any ‘moisturizer’ at a target, supermarket or drug store and you’ll see petrolatum, mineral oil, parabens and (the worst) phthalates. Phthalates are also in childrens toys and pacifiers, which is horrifying. Using ‘organic’ or all natural personal care products costs more but they are usually made in the US and made with quality ingredients, which are well worth the extra cost. I just try to stock up on them when they’re on sale to be more frugal :)

  52. Mel says:

    Hey Jess, make sure you double side when you print this (if you can) because it will save energy and paper :) It’s a long post after all.

  53. monica says:

    2000 sq.ft house is a mansion to me!! Try 900 sq.ft with 3 bedrooms one bath and 4 adults!!

  54. Carol says:

    What an inspiring post! I’ve been “cutting back” for so long, sometimes I start to think that I “know it all” and “do it all” and there’s no place left to cut back….but that’s not true.

    One of the things I’ve just started to do is hit the supermarket meat aisle early in the morning, like 6:30, 7am. That’s when they mark down the stuff that’s about to be expired. I bought a nice roast the other day, 3 lbs(!) for $4.00 (marked down from $9.48), put it into the freezer until I was ready to cook it, then cooked it in the slow cooker all day….my DH and his friend said it was “amazing” and “please make that again”…but I never would have spent $9 on meat, for sure.

    I’m going to go back and re-read this post and see if I can pick three things I can set out to do that I haven’t yet been doing. I’m feeling really motivated right now, thanks to you!

  55. Julie says:

    Trent, You mentioned that you have two kids in daycare, and I know how quickly daycare costs add up! Have you considered one parent staying home? For us, my entire paycheck was going for daycare costs, so we were essentially living on one income anyway. The change financially wasn’t much, and the benefits for our family were phenomenal! We also made the switch to homeschooling three years ago and while our motivation to do that wasn’t economics, we’ve seen a difference in the amount we don’t have to spend for school. A “free” education has many costs – gas and vehicle maintenance to get them to school and field trips, endless fundraisers and classroom needs, school supplies, packed lunches or hot lunch, and school clothes just to name a few. Even after purchasing our homeschool curriculum, we don’t spend nearly what we used to for school related expenses. Just a thought!

  56. This is a good list!

    I save loads of money by combining sales and coupons, and we have stopped buying generics, simply because the name brands are less expensive doing it this way. We have CVS near us, and by “playing” the CVS game, I spend less than $1 out of pocket each week purchasing all toiletries, diapers and baby products, snacks for the kids, washing powders/liquids, etc. I literally removed anything non-food related from our budget, and shop groceries around three store circulars that are within 2 miles of our home, so I am able to take advantage of the best deals at each store to stretch my budget dollars even further.

  57. Maggie Shaw says:

    There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal. Trent, I think you are starting to sound too cheap. Cut your own hair? What ever happened to investing in your appearance? The same goes for buying the cheapest hygene products available. There’s that word again, cheap.

  58. Maggie Shaw says:

    There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal. Trent, I think you are starting to sound too cheap. Cut your own hair? What ever happened to investing in your appearance? The same goes for buying the cheapest hygene products available. There’s that word again, cheap.

  59. Cindy S says:

    #59 is actually what got me into this mess but it is still a good idea. When I have recovered financially from my real estate fiasco, I will end up with a lower cost of living and a better house. It’s just going to take time.

  60. Baby says:

    Thanks so much for the info Jenni! I’m gonna switch to ING. ^_^V

  61. reulte says:

    Lurker Carl –
    There are two ways to get rich – spend less or earn more.

    I’m doin’ the one and want to do the other was well.

  62. Mom2fur says:

    And re #37: don’t just think of next year’s holiday. Think of what colors can be used for this year’s holidays, too! Pink wrappers, which show up a lot on Valentine’s candy, go perfectly for Easter. Red from Christmas can be used for Valentine’s and Fourth of July. “Non-holiday specific” gift wrap can be used as gift wrap through the year. Don’t forget green and gold from Christmas for St. Patrick’s Day. One year, I used some clearance (75% off) red and white ribbon, some candy canes glued together to make a heart and a big straw wreath form I already had, and made a Valentine’s Day wreath for pennies.

  63. Alexis says:

    Hey,Thats some really good advice, but i’m a kid, I am saving up for an acoustic guitar but, it costs like 299-399, how can i raise the money, i’m like 10 going on 11. What can I do?

  64. Joan says:

    WHY on earth would you wait a month to cut coupons!? You should keep every coupon and either file them by date in folders OR cut each one and put in some sort of order – binder box whatever works for you. there are tons of free websites out there that tell you exactly how to coupon shop. dont wait a month check those free sites like hotcouponworld.com and learn how to get ALL your groceries for free or very cheap and NEVER have to pay for health and beauty items ever again!

  65. Great blog. I believe everyone should save and invest their money. This is especially true when someone is just getting started in life.

    Too many people today spend their money as fast or even faster then they get it.


  66. Parker says:

    These are really excellent tips!

  67. Chris says:

    Great Tips!!!. I will definitely use a few of them.
    One thing I do to save money is to print my grocery coupons from smartsource.com and coupons.com. For more money saving tips visit my blog at;


  68. Steve says:

    My kids love video games but they are so expensive. I did some research and found a site called Replaygamez.com that is a lifesaver! For a small fee I trade the games that my kids are tired of for games that they want. Replaygamez guarantees each trade so I don’t have to worry. I highly recommend this service.

  69. vloxy says:

    Back…because I must have the last word after the thread dies from link popularity…

    I stand by my comments more now than ever. Read above. Note how the economy has changed since then…MAN…who knew…


  70. Hasan says:

    Very much thoughtful. You did put lot of efforts into this list, thanks :)

  71. LESLEY says:

    Great post…..I’ve been saving for about two years now and one thing we all can do to save money is to live well below our means. Marketing has brainwashed us all into making us think that we gotta have this or we gotta look like that. Once you learn to live off essentials, you’ll have more cash in your hand. Simply open a savings account, treat it as a bill that must be paid every month, and watch your net worth grow.

  72. jamie says:

    Great posting, needed to read this today, have done most of what you have put in here so feel even better that I am not the only that is thinking of this stuff.

  73. Amy says:


    very good and extensive list of tips. One great tip for everyone is this new site called http://dentalpricecompare.com. It can help save money on your next trip to the dentist by giving you the average prices for dental procedures in your area. Just a little helpful info.

  74. Alicia says:

    This is good information. Trent,i actually found a little better site than the one you listed. This one also gives prices for dental, but also for chiropractic, massage, optical, accupuncture, and a couple other things. That way you can do price comparisions on more categories. Its http://smarthealthbuyer.com/

  75. Matt says:

    Trent –
    I just Googled “money saving tips” and your article is #1. Congratulations!

    I had read your review of The Complete Cheapskate and thought I would see what tips were out there.
    Keep up the great work!

  76. Shara says:

    I have made my own laundry soap for years and it is only about 2 cents per load!! My husband likes it because it isn’t perfumy and it works great! Go to http://savemoneytoday.net for the recipe!

  77. thordog says:

    What a great list! We’ve just put together a website that lets people record and share their savings tips at SaverSecrets.com. It will be interesting to see how many of these tips our members use over time!

  78. PK says:

    As far as the cell phone advice I recently changed to a pay as you go plan. I am not a phone talker so I only used about 20 minutes a month for a 45 dollar a month 1000 minute plan. That’s 2 dollars a minute. What a waste of money for 4 years($2160). I now only need 100 dollars to cover a year with a 25 cents a minute plan and I find if I need to make a personal business call I can use landline at work.

  79. Wow. 79 comments. Guess with the failed bailout and resulting er, tough day on wall street, you have everyone’s attention.

    Good tip on checking into your bank’s policy, and getting a bank that respects you. Found out my bank was nickle and diming me to death and switched.

  80. Bradford says:

    YAY SAVING TIPS!!!!!!!! I just love all of these little tips to help me save my MONEY!!! I cant believe I didnt find these sooner.

  81. PKR says:

    Tip 101: All who read the wonderful tips should pass this GREAT information on to family and friends. The world is a better place because we take the time to make it so. Everyone’s lives are enriched with the tips you have listed. The mass impact of improved saving techniques are pushed back to companies when they realize consumers don’t want their JUNK in our lives. Offer quality products to consumers which enrich our lives and don’t damage the environment. We all have the means to make this happen. THANKS for the information which is helping to change my LIFE!!!!

  82. Jennifer says:

    I loved reading these tips. I was reminded of a few that I have not done in a while. I will bookmark this to come back and read again.
    I would also like to add a couple. One, you can wash all laundry in cold water. Two, use a line to dry your laundry. Big savings on both.

  83. Timothy Ringland says:

    Well my problem is that I spend money on healthy stuff food like coconut and just trying to get things going and taking the necessary steps to correct health and thats basically it. The other
    problem is that I am needing to renew my license
    and that is something that I have to have but
    cannot get until I get glasses first and so forth.

  84. Sam says:

    Really great tips thanks specially this one “Encourage your friends to do less expensive activities” i have to have a meeting with all of them :) maybe we go to a nice dinner

  85. Swap Savers says:

    You can get things for free when you combine coupons, in-ad coupons, rebates and sales at the drug stores (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid). I list the weekly deals on my site


  86. DR says:

    Trent, great list of tips. It really goes to show just how much money we can save if we put our minds to it.

  87. James Mason says:

    I use mint.com for managing my cashflow and billsback.com for all online purchases, I get upto 30% of some stores from BillsBack and they don’t take a cut!

  88. Fin says:

    If your looking to save money one heating bills this winter check out


    I saved over 20 cents a gallon!

  89. Amanda says:

    You go Trent! Your tips are helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to post them. It really is the little things that count…your blog is proof! To follow on tips 31 and 56 – Check out http://allsixwarranty.com. There are several maintenance tips listed for appliances that can help save us some money!

  90. frugal says:

    another great ways to save money is http://prizerebel.com/index.php?r=278809 all you do is fill out ads (fake info) and get points with which you order custom prizes the best part is they dont ask for any info other than email adress assuring you that its not a scam

  91. joe says:

    Great ideas. We have been practising most of them. It’s true that you can really save a lot without stinging.

  92. Catheline says:

    Tip #64 – Use Public Transportation. Giving up a vehicle and using public transportation is the smartest thing I have done this year, seriously! I live in Las Vegas, which has an excellent bus system. Buses are clean, modern, air-conditioned, and ON-TIME. The bus will pick me up & drop me off on the corner from where I live. I cut out the schedules of routes I use most & carry them with me. In not owning a vehicle the savings are amazing. I also took an early retirement at age 51 and live in an urban area. This obviously would not work for many people but for me it was a great choice. For food shopping I carry a small “pull-cart” with me and either walk to stores or take the bus. Giving up a vehicle was not a big sacrifice.

  93. Catheline says:

    I’m a self-proclaimed food snob and love to cook. Yes, I do have a pricey collection of cookbks, which I’m proud to say are all dog-earred. However, from my previous post on taking public transportation (in Las Vegas) I’ve come upon a discovery to enhance my passion for cooking. I’ve discovered a free lifetime supply of rosemary all over town here. (I live in an apt and am not a gardener). It is used as hedging on many streets, etc. It can be expensive if buying it at the grocery store. I now carry a small plastic bag with a small pair of scissors when going out. I have a constant supply in my kitchen for nothing and is a fantastic herb to cook with.

  94. Catheline Garrity says:

    To clean your computer keyboard take a pipecleaner (used for crafts) to drag along the lines between keys. Its amazing how much gunk is trapped between the keys! This tip can also be used for cleaning hard-to-reach areas of a sewing machine.

  95. Jesse says:

    For guys and gals who use razors regularly, extend their life!!!

    Unlike annoying and super obvious “behavioral” ways of saving money, here is one with direct use-value. Take a small glass jar, fill it with a half-inch of mineral oil (available at your local pharmacy), and keep your razor in it when not in use. The end!

    For dupes like myself who buy the higher end razors (mach III’s and the like), at twenty bucks a pop for a tiny “bulk” pack of razors, this will save you a ton. The reason it works so well is because razor wear is caused by corrosion, NOT USE. Now go look at the ingredient label on your shaving cream/gel: the first primary ingredients are all corrosive acids. Go figure, because the companies that produce shaving cream are also the same collection of companies who produce razors!

    This really works. I do some light machining, and machinists always store or use their tools in conjunction with oils in order to keep them sharp, and one day it just clicked. I’m an every other day shaver and I used to go through blades about every ten days before they’d get coarse. Now I’ve been using the same blade for over two months now. I was thinking of turning this into a product, but there are pre-existing patents, and I’d like to help others save money anyway. It’s a free tip, so enjoy!

    -A note on use: for sanitary purposes, change the oil once in a while. Also, when done shaving, blow as much water droplets from your razor as possible because they will cling to the razor even in the oil, thus negating the benefits. And before shaving, give the razor a good rinse to remove as much mineral oil as possible. When there is still a lot of mineral oil on the blade it can give you kind of a weird, “un-close” shave because of the lubricating properties of oil. Other than that, fill out the details for yourself. And if you don’t like the look of a sauce jar on your shelf, just find a suitable vase, and there ya go.

  96. Jeremy says:

    Here is another one…
    Cancel the insurance and property tax escrow on your home loan. Instead escrow yourself by putting 1/12th money for these payments aside in a savings account each month and earn interest on the money. Insurance and Property tax for my house totals about $2500 per year, at 4% interest, this gives me 100 bucks. I suspect that the morgage company was making money this way with my money, and everyone else’s.

  97. John C. says:

    Just FYI, another great way to make money is to try out


    In my freetime, I just go through their offers. Basically, there are companies out there that want to buy your email address to send you advertising. The trick is to make a free email account through someone like Gmail or Hotmail or Yahoo; and then you just provide that. I make an extra $50 or so that way. It’s worth it in my opinion; and sometimes they even have contests for doing the most offers or similar things.

  98. james says:

    I just wanted to ad to your list in regard to saving money on clothing. Thrift stores sell awesome clothes for only a few dollars. Some of my favorite dresses were literally only a dollar, and my favorite belt? 35 cents! Not only is it a fun, creative way to shop, but it is also a good way to practice recycling!

    Anyway thanks for taking the time to make this list =)

  99. Jereamy says:

    This is so inspiring! a coworker and I recently had a conversation about needing to save and manage our money better. We are going to start a group of freinds and family to meet and discuss our tips on being thrifty! This thread had fueled my fire. Thanks so much to all who have posted!

  100. This is a great site. I teach a seminar called & Steps to Financial Health that deals with much of what you suggest above. Thanks for the tips I will incorporate some of them in my seminars.

  101. John says:

    We saved about $30 a month by switching to a new phone provider. We use Elevate Communications (GoElevate.com)

    When you order your phone if you enter JL3 as the rep code it will knock off all of the initial start-up costs and give your unlimited phone service for $29/month.

  102. Donna says:

    You can also save on electric bill by hanging your clothes on a clothes line. My hubby shaves his own hair with electric clippers. He hasnt gone to a barber in about 15 years. My hubby has also put away his pocket change for several years now. He seperates the coins in like big pickle jars and such and counts the money and writes it down on a piece of paper in the jar to keep up how much is in it. He has hundreds of dollars in them. Your pocket change can really add up. Just a little bowl of pocket change can add up to $10-$15 dollars worth.

  103. Clarrise says:

    Tip # 71 — better yet…switch to a prepaid plan. You only pay for the minutes you use. This way you can get rid of all the unnecessary charges. You can also place long distance calls and text with the phone.

  104. Allie says:

    Great Tips! I often shop for coupons, and use Ebates.com on a regular basis. I get cash back every time I shop. Besides meals, packing snacks is a helpful way to prevent buying fatty foods!

  105. Brenda Wells says:

    Telling someone what kind of life insurance to buy without knowing their personal financial situation is irresponsible. While I agree that life insurance is not an investment by itself, for some (not all) people the need for death protection and savings is best met through the purchase of a permanent life insurance product.

    Telling someone to buy only one kind of life insurance is the medical equivalent of a doctor handing everyone who comes to see her penecillin. It will cure some things, but for lots of others it’s useless or downright dangerous.

  106. Gayle says:

    WOW! Great post & great comments! Cutting hair – bought a book call “How to Cut Your Own or Anybody Else’s Hair” – helped that Grandma was a hairdresser! Cut the kids hair & my husbands hair for 37 years, saved a gazillion dollars in that time! Always color my own, very easy to do. Work in a professional office – buy my clothes second hand – go for good fabrics and expensive labels for a fraction of new cost. NEVER need to buy jeans new, they last forever. Freecycle group gives away lots of needful stuff. Grow veggies, fruit, flowers, raise chickens. Brew beer, bake bread, make hand soap,and laundry detergent. Sew, knit and craft handmade gifts. Do our own home repairs, car repairs, cook at home. Recycle. Point is, I like to live this way and have always done so. It makes me happy. Do what you enjoy, don’t consider it denying yourself, you are learning to do things for yourself – choosing.

  107. Michelle says:

    Thanks for this wonderful article! Another tip for everyone is a new site called http://woya.com. It analyzes prices from the best shopping portals (Amazon, Yahoo Shopping, etc), auctions sites (eBay, Overstock, etc.), classified listings (Craigslist, GoogleBase, etc.), which makes it a whole lot easier for us to find the best deals online.

  108. jen says:

    I like this article it was very informative. espcially in these economic times

  109. Sandeep S. Sokhey says:

    Great, Its really a bundle of helpful ideas especially to cope with recession. Frankly speaking, adoption of these ideas will definitely help one to cut his expenditure to certain extent. Hiding the credit cards is the best one to follow (specially for me).

    Thanks again for sharing these ideas…

    – Sandeep S. Sokhey

  110. stacy says:

    These are awesome tips here. I know this sounds kind of bad but here’s a tip for the holidays. If someone has given you a gift for christmas that you don’t think you really need or want, save it for the following year and re-wrap it (just don’t give it to the same person. ;0) Or you can even give it in the same year if it is a box of chocolates or something.
    My second tip is actually not really my tip. Read it from another website.
    The article talks about a site http://goeyeball.com that helps to monitor prices for you until the price drops. and you can use the site to help you price match or adjust. which means money back in my pocket.
    my 3rd tip, and i hope i’m not repeating someone else’s tip as I didn’t get a chance to read all 100 tips and comments. If you are going to go eat out, alot of the portions of food at a restaurant is really “over-sized”. It’s much healthier to eat to the point where you are 2/3 full. which usually gives you some food to pack away and take home. I do this all the time. If you don’t want to waste food, then bring it home but don’t stuff yourself. It might end up leading to medical bills for stomach problems later on in life.

  111. Kurt says:

    Wow great post! To the short-sighted we should focus on lower taxes libertarian poster, these points are aimed at the rich as well as the poor. Many people in America today that are very wealthy are still debt ridden; America is a society that lives off of credit. Heeding the points of this post and weaning oneself off of rabid consumerism is the best path to true freedom, not lower taxes. Making one’s own detergent is not being ‘cheap’ or ‘skimping’, it’s liberating, regardless of one’s income. On the other hand, believing that living good entails buying the most successfully marketed products only represents one’s servitude to the corporation and inabilty to excercise true autonomy.

  112. 1stminenowyours says:

    After reading these tips, there is no excuse. I recently found a way to cut cost on brand name items. Instead of buying new products, I found a site, http://1stminenowyours.com/, which allows people to exchange their new and used items. This is a great way to save money and it’s free. Great article!

  113. soumya says:

    Don’t donate to charity if money is going for questionble purposes outside US.

    How US Can Save USD 145,000,000,000 EVERY YEAR

    The USA contributes USD 145 Billion every year to fund Christian Missionaries across the world. Churches across the world spend USD 1.1 Billion towards research aimed at achieving religious conversions. This is for propaganda material in 300 languages about 180 topics. Books and articles are printed in 500 languages. They total 175000. Every conversion costs USD 3300. It does not mean that this amount reaches the Convert. It is the expense incurred in activities related to administration, planning and implementation of the conversion programme. In 1500 A.D, there were 30 Lac active Christian Missionaries. Their number stands at 64.8 Crore today. 54% of these people are non-Whites. The strategy is to train non-Whites, provide them with funds and involve them in religious conversions.

  114. Save Few Bucks says:

    Fantastic Article.. You would have definitely put in lot of research to gather all these tips. Thanks Buddy

  115. Tip Number 62 Sart a Garden – try and buy flower seeds as much as possible – seeds are cheaper than buying plants. Also, try the site http://startyourclicking.com and download free software that helps you find better prices on the items you were going to buy anyway.

  116. Cynthia says:

    Here’s a short article I wrote for families facing the expensive prospect of getting braces for their child, and how to get the best price by comparison shopping and negotiating price cuts.

    Good luck!

  117. erika says:

    To save money I barter things I don’t use anymore on http://tradeaway.com Recently I listed my babysitting services on tradeaway, a few nights of sitting for a digital camera! Bartering has saved me money because I am getting something that I would have had to spend a bunch of cash on and getting rid of things I would have given away anyway.

  118. Antor says:

    You can use a home improvement marketplace, kind of like “ebay for contractors”. Contractors compete for your business so you can save money.

  119. Phil says:

    FANTASTIC writing style!! It not only is engaging, it is extremely informative. A big raspberry to those that are so preoccupied with outer looks and are somewhat annoyed with cuttting your own hair. I bought a professional clippers (by Oster) and after 8 months, they have paid for themselves. I now save at least $200 a year that I can use to get rid of my credit card debt.

  120. Leila Macintire says:

    All these ways to save money are awesome and someday I hope to be able to use them all. These tips will make my life much easier in the future.

  121. That’s a lot of tips! Holy cow!

    As far as the cutting your own hair conversation goes, we cut our kids’ hair at home. We have since they were born – both boys, and we use clippers as well, and it’s great. We don’t burden some poor barber with our squirmy, active boys, and we save money. It’s great.

  122. Nice post. This is a great information for me. Thanks for sharing. If you need more options to get cash online please visit my blog.

  123. Nadine says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks. I started with one and two. Now I have a savings account and don’t have ads bombarding me from TV every second. I use netflix streaming instead.

  124. leslie says:

    to margo: i buy my “knock around” and outside clothes at walmart or a store of the sort and they last me for a few years.. im 20 years old and im still wearing walmart stuff from when i was 15 of course they are tighter on me now but they actually look better on me now i think.. but consignment shops are some of the best stores out there.

  125. Travis says:

    This is a bit crazy. I do agree on trying to cut back. Im a hairstylist, if my cliets cut back or quite coming, then that effects my income. Think about cause and effect, sitting on you money can is just a bad idea for the economy.

  126. Tall Bill says:


    Once again your posting was great and thought provoking for many who provided points to ponder and live by; Thanks; Tall Bill

  127. Vanessa says:

    For the Australian mums reading tip number 4 (Sign up for every free customer rewards program you can)

    You can join Coles Baby Club for free on their website. You’ll get a nice little magazine quarterly and once a year, you can collect a sample bag with nice little goodies (such as baby food, wipes etc.), all this for free.

  128. nikee says:

    thank you for posting this. it was very helpful 4 me because i was planning to cut back my expenses.

    God Bless you..

  129. Bootsie says:

    Margo says that she would like to buy good quality clothes and pay more rather than buy clothes off of the cheap sales rack at clothing stores. However, remember, the clothes on these clearance racks were on the expensive racks at one time. They just moved down. Quality is not measured by what type of rack you find the clothes on. It is measured by the type of material and craftmanship involved in its making. You will pay more for the same sweater that I will find on the clearance rack at the end of the season. And our sweaters will last just as long.

  130. BeTrueSeekTruth says:

    Buying cheaper food items will definitely cost you in the long run. If the food item doesn’t say “Organic” it’s been pulverized with chemical pesticides and fertilizes. Most of the corn, soy, wheat that is sold is from genetically modified seeds that cause cancer and death when fed to labratory rats. Milk and meat have tons of hormones and cattle and chickens are fed bits of dead animals to increase their protein intake and growth potential You may save a few thousand dollars over the course of a few years but you’ll pay hundreds of thousands in medical bills, prescription drugs, and other sickness related expenses.

  131. Niubi says:

    Some excellent tips here, many of which I follow myself – the 10 second rule and 30 day rule in particular! I have also found shopping on the internet to be a good way to save money – many online merchants, e.g. http://dubli.com, offer rebates and discounts galore. So, if I see something I like in a shop, I’ll typically shop around online to see if I can get it at a better price on the internet. If I still want an item – I know exactly where to go when purgatory’s over!

  132. FruGal says:

    #47 is right on. I have 2 progress bars on my blog, one for credit card debt and one for my savings. Not a whole lot of action on my savings progress bar, but I love seeing my credit card debt go down each month!

  133. Jess says:

    Thank you very much, very useful, interesting and even quite fun.

    Thank you again, glad for the help.

    (it is surprising how many places charge to help you save!!! making money out of someone’s poverty is not cool :))

  134. dany says:

    #7. In addition to this one I have to remind you not to go shopping on empty stomach. If you are hungry you will buy all sorts of groceries and especially sweets, cookies, chocolate, etc. you don’t need. This is golden rule.

  135. Hal Merrill says:

    Do you have to be a member to comment? I thought comment #47 was great also. If you can see it everyday you don’t forget about it.

    Hal Merrill

  136. Yevhen says:

    As on me this advise will not save a lot of money for you or they are so simple, that only lazy or stupid people do not follow them.
    I think more importance to investigate your free time on study something new which make make you happy or/and get more paid-full jobs.
    Time is more importance that amount of penny you saved!

  137. Martin says:

    A number of web sites are springing up which highlight goods for sale at five or ten cents, like the old nickel and dime stores. Check these out, it’s really surprising what you can find! An example is http://dimebidder.com

  138. Love this list. It is one I will keep coming back to and reading. It would be interesting if all of us were to implement and then share exactly what we saved from spending the previous month. Don’t you think?

  139. Junie says:

    Prepaid phones are a great way to save money! I did a lot of research on them and found that Net10 has the best OVERALL Value! Super cheap, and great phones…check them out!!

  140. Tom says:

    This is a great set of ideas, for free. There are unfortunately SOME people who are critical about EVERYTHING. Take what you can get from this and its sure to help.Another tool is a website called gaspricewatch.com. They tell you the cheapest feul prices for your area. I did a total look at everything and now is a great time to switch services because most businesses will waive fees, give rebates and charge less, from cell phones, satellite, gyms banks insurance health plans credit cards, etc. It does work and the savings add up. Always ask for free stuff of fees waived. That has worked for me for a while. Businesses are prepared to give you these benifits but you have to ASK.So thanks for the great tips and come up with more!

  141. Diane says:

    Does anyone remember the days when all we had to pay for was water, gas, electricity and the telephone?

    Now I pay for water, gas, electricity, land phone, cell phone/BlackBerry, internet, e-mail, my website, and on and on. I even had to pay the Geek Squad from Best Buy to come out and hook up my DVR, surround sound system and Wii to my new HD television (blame my husband)so I wouldn’t have to use 5 remote controls!

    Technology is a wonderful thing, and I am obviously enjoying the benefits, but it has been at a cost of both time (do we really need Twitter?) and money.

  142. Coupon Hubby says:

    There are so many costs in the world these days. Just the other day I went and got drive through lunch for two….$18.00!!! Not to mention all the other costs…$3 a gallon to get to the darn fast food place. It’s time to start saving dollars wherever possible! I’ve created a site just for that http://couponhubby.com it’s a great resource for saving money on everyday things. I love life, even though it’s starting to get expensive.

  143. JP says:

    These are great tips!!! Out of 100 I only have a concern with #42. Life insurence is an asset for the loved ones we leave behind. It has nothing to do with an investment for ourselves. Keep up the good work!

  144. jason show says:

    I like your point #21 on CFLs. I replaced almost every bulbs in my house two years ago, and our electric bill has gone down significantly. The only problem with CFLs though (which no one mentions) is that if you turn them on and off a lot (like in a bathroom) they can burn out in less than a year, and they DO NOT last for 10,000 hours! jason show
    PS. Great list!

  145. Frugalicious says:

    Here’s a great tip – get rid of your contract cell phone and buy a prepaid phone. Net10 is one of the better priced now – just .10/min and .05/txt. No other fees attached. You can even make calls outside the US!!

  146. abbyful says:

    One commenter mentioned “getting a rice cooker to go with it [crockpot]”

    I disagree here. A rice cooker is a uni-tasker, it’s just an extra gadget you don’t need. Making rice is easy enough in a pot you already own.

    Same goes for other kitchen gadgets. For example: You don’t need a steamer if you have a large pot and a metal collander. Put the collander in the pot and you have a steamer.

    Most kitchen gadgets are just wastes of money. (And yes, I cook. A lot! I’ve spent the money where it matters, such as a set of Wusthof knives. Buy quality where it counts and it’s cheaper and more efficent than buying junk and clutter for every little task.)

  147. ali says:

    i am saving for a laptop and i have that digital bank thing and i’ve already saved like 130 dollars and i need 689!!!! it’s so awesome
    the reason of my comment is to tell people that saving is easy!!!

  148. buellersway says:

    These are awesome tips for saving money and I use a lot of them already. Having friends over, sticking to the shopping list, and not buying something for 30 days to find out if you really want it are great examples. Something a lot of people don’t look into is the used and discount market for goods. If you want a rug or furniture, go to an outlet. I get the majority of my clothing at wholesale stores that can buy in bulk. See my link for more ideas.

  149. Juli says:

    For those of us who LOVE our landlines, I would suggest taking a look at some of the affiliate long distance plans available.

    These are small companies who will provide your long distance calls (with no access fees!) and even your local toll calls for a lower price than your local phone company. The company then donates a percentage of your bill to the charity or cause they are affiliated with.

    Best bet is to put in your organization type in google along with ‘long distance’.

    My long distance / local toll calls are MUCH cheaper and I get the benefit of knowing that an organization I support gets a few pennies from me a month. Sure, it’s not that much for them, but when several people do it, it can add up.

  150. steve says:

    Keep a bicycle floor pump in your car trunk and use that to keep your car tires inflated. It’s much handier than the gas station machine and it’s cheaper over time, plus you can actually top off the air after the car has been parked for hours overnight and before the car has been driven, which is actually when you’re supposed to do it.

    It takes about 10 strokes of a floor pump to raise your car tire’s psi by 1 psi. Normally you only need to do it by 1 or 2 psi anyways.

    Added benefit of keeping the pump in the trunk is for those times you discover that one of your tires is way underinflated while you are on a trip. The instant fix is now in your trunk instead of at the end of a $50 call to a tow truck.

  151. steve says:

    Use an online calling card company for your long distance calls from home, instead of normal long distance service. All you do is call a local access number and then dial in your account number and the number you are calling. Most of them offer rates below 2 cents per minute anywhere in the US, and not much more for international calls, and you can prepay them in $10 or $20 amounts.

  152. Shevaun says:

    I have four questions that I apply to every decision to add things to my life:
    1. Do I have something that can serve?
    2. Can I make it?
    3. Can I buy it used?
    4. Can I do without it?
    Only when all four answers are “no” do I then go through the research of finding the best price on a new purchase.
    This works even for non-purhases. For example, I am a college instructor. I take great pride in giving my students the best I have to offer, but I also realize that my students gain no benefit from me re-inventing the wheel. Is there an activity I designed for my Business Writing class that could be useful for my Introduction to Writing class? That’s a way to answer question #1 “Do I have something that can serve?”
    In my view, a peaceful life is all about having a very few tremendously useful things. For the person who said that all these comments were “moneyist”, I would have to say that simplicity is a global philosophical ethical position. I heard Arun Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson)speak at a local college event, and he explained that when he was a young boy, his grandfather insisted that he go out into the dark to recover a stub of pencil he had thrown away. The pencil was still usable; throwing it away was a violence against the earth and the people who live on the earth. It’s not about really the stub of pencil, it’s about the attitude that we are people who live in a world with other people. It’s not fair to take or use more than what you must.

  153. You did an incredible job with that list. KUDOS!
    You covered everything I could think of!
    What a project!

    John DeFlumeri Jr., Clearwater, Fla.

  154. Amy says:

    Great info here. If we just take the time to go through what we already have, we can really save money. I suggest doing that with our pantry closets as well. I find that if I don’t look prior to going shopping and making a menu plan for the week, I end up buying things I don’t need.

  155. Arnett Banks says:

    I took a time share in June I took the whole family it was great we only paid $200 for 2 nights 3 days stay at Myrtle Beach SC we had an Ocean front room. We had to agree to a 90 MIN tour as they call it basically they walked us around this resort and tried to up sell us the resort was nice and I would have got into it but my budget for this year would not allow me I found out about it by googling Myrtle Beach getaways a couple of sites came up like expedia and travelocity but I wanted a time share about half way down the page was a site called vacation bailouts they was great easy to book I was on my way that following week might even be easy to google the name of the company sorry not sure about the URL trust me you will save money with a time share 4 sure.

  156. Dawn says:

    I am an Amerian mom of 4 living in Cyprus. My DH took a 6 month sabbatical to a univeristy here. Let me tell you how cheap things are in the USA! Here we pay $6.90 for a gallon of milk, $6 for a gallon of gas and $3.60 for a dozen eggs, a coke is $1.25 at the grocery store. I have been here for 3 months and when you have to pay so much for food- you don’t waste a crumb. We have learned to plan meals and cook only what we need- I cook everything from scratch and beans play a major role in our Mediter. diet. Everything here is sold in small boxes/jugs- so we have to buy often. In the USA we have huge boxes/jars of everythinng and I think that makes us feel that we have to eat more- try cutting back on how much food you make for dinner and even repackaging some food, does your panty really need to overflow? I have lost 20 lbs and DH has dropped 2 sizes. I hope we can continue eating like this when we return to the good ole US of A and have access to such cheap eats! PS Cyprus has very few fat people and I have yet to see someone in one of those scooters because they are too fat to walk around the grocery store!

  157. Sara says:

    Awesome list! I thought I had exhausted my frugality lists- it’s a passion of mine- but I found some more things I could do! For 25 money saving tips on groceries, check this out: http://hubpages.com/hub/Money-Saving-Tips-Groceries

  158. Andy says:

    I came across this list when doing some research for an article on ways to save money. I think you have covered every possible way – great effort and makes my top 10 list pale in comparison.

  159. For the smart traveler TRIPDIO offers the best prices on the web. This site is 5-20% less than other travel sites.

  160. For the smart traveler TRIPDIO offers the best prices on the web. This site is 5-20% less than other travel sites. There are also valuable travel tip and you can pick up the luggage you need at Tripdio, too.

  161. MP says:

    Never in a million years would I cut my own hair. Or colour it myself. I will save every penny I have to get my hair done by a professional. But I certainly agree with most your other suggestions – in particular the slow cooker/crock pot!

  162. 37. Do holiday shopping right after the holidays
    This is pretty interesting! Though we can manage our own shopping but there is no way that the kids will understand this, they just want new gifts right on the Christmas eve.

  163. Robjones says:

    To soak up the haircut confusion I work in the usmc and I cut mine fine. In fact I save $2100 a year and make $1800 a year cutting others for them at half price. Consider the service you can provide to make it back?!?!

  164. Ellen S. says:

    The concept of “saving money” is easier said than done for most people. I understand that it is ‘easy and logical’ for some people, but I also understand it can be a difficult habit to break for others.

    If you’re looking to save money or change your lifestyle, my advice is to take it in “baby-steps” because it won’t happen overnight. Here are some tips that helped me out.

    1. Always pay more than the minimum on any credit card payments – if you don’t believe me you can calculate it for yourself (http://csgnetwork.com/creditcardmincalc.html)
    2. Use coupons when grocery shopping
    3. Try online shopping – it’s saves on gas & they have bigger markdowns (http://shoptivity.com)
    4. Read a book – it’s cheaper than going to a movie (http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/)
    5. Know your budget! (http://dl.ed.gov/borrower/BudgetCalculator.do)

    Good luck and happy savings!

  165. This is quite a list! I have done some of them, and I have yet to try the 30-day rule. I have a tendency to buy on impulse at times. Thank you for sharing your tips.

  166. Amanda says:

    The best thing so far that I love using everyday is Freecycle. You can go to Yahoo and search for it in the group’s link. You will have to enter your zip code so that you can get info for your area. This site is for people offering things for free so that the stuff doesn’t end up going to a landfill. Everything on the site is free. You are able to request certain items too. Freecycle isn’t available in all area’s, but it is worth trying out. For example, my best find was a mountain bike in good working order for free. I just had to go pick it up.

  167. Lovely says:

    I think most people would agree that saving money is something “easier said than done”. Personally, I believe it’s a mind-set that needs to be developed by creating good money-saving habits.

    Here are some things I’ve done to help change my spending habits:

    – Cooking more at home ? Eating out is very expensive especially if you do it a couple times a week
    – Shopping online ? You can find better deals than in the store and you save on gas (I recommend http://shoptivity.com)
    – Paying the full balance on credit cards each month ? Interest charge is like giving away free money
    – Don’t forget to pay yourself ? Set up an online savings account (they pay higher interest than a normal savings account)
    – Setting a budget and goals ? It’s good to have your goals written down so you see them everyday and don’t lose focus on your ultimate objectives

    Again, saving money requires a lot of patience and hard work. However, you’ll thank yourself later on in life. Good luck everyone!! =)

  168. Bob says:

    Fantastic post – lots of good ideas. I ahve a concern about tip #75 though. You shave in the shower? Heating water is extremely expensive – you are almost certainly costing yourself more in heat and water bills than you would spend using shaving cream.

  169. Amy says:

    My new favorite way to save money is to REALLY utilized coupons, sales, rewards programs and the like. I have a recent money saving deal from Rite-Aid at http://ManyMoneySaversBlog.com. I bought $38 worth of stuff for $7.76!

  170. Ann OToole says:

    I have been researching different ways to save money online and have created my own blog to inform others. It’s just amazing how many great websites are out there!

  171. Akilah says:

    I loved this very inspirational … Helpful…effective!

  172. lauren says:

    I just saved ALOT of money by refinancing my car! I read a blog post on AOL’s walletpop the other day about a company called MoneyAisle. It does the online research for the consumer and has banks bid on us online, where we receive the top 3 rates to choose from for auto refinancing. I went through the process and ended up saving $75 a month on my payment, which basically pays off my insurance. Right now the search process for the best rates is such a pain and dealers try to get the best dollar amount, so this is a super awesome tool. I def suggest taking a stab at going through the process, you will be shocked when you see what you get as a rate compared to what you are currently paying or what you are given by other banks/dealers. Hope this helps!

  173. John says:

    Did you ever look at your bank account in the end of the month and asked your self, “How did that happend ??? ” . If that question pops up in your mind often, http://anigam.com is tailored suit for you. After short registration you’ll start a financial program that based on 3 foundations : 1.Personal responsibility . 2. Self awareness . and 3. Visual presentation. Don’t be skeptical, if it is works for millions all over the world, it’ll work for you too. Open new account – it’s free.

  174. DrNP says:

    Do you believe that I have done all these tips in my life but still I cannot save more than 50$ in a month, I just earn 100$ every month and living is so difficult by this way

  175. PremiumFinance says:

    Very Good List Mate, You have covered the lot if you were to follow your list you would save a lot of money . Here is another good tip for students,Go and get DVDs from the university library that’s what I use too . Cheers lots of good information

  176. Harry says:

    Nice article, at least 20% of the tips can be considered. I dont think I agree with cutting your own hair, other than that I think it is a good reminder.

  177. Let’s go to the basics: what about: walk more… use your car less? ;)

  178. Great list. I really think everyone should limit their TV intake. Exposure to less ads is definately a way to curb spending.

  179. There are many ways to save money as we know today we always have competitor firm selling same good at lower then other. The economy have developed on a vast scale and there is no product like monopoly so no vendor cheating. You can save money through coupons which you can get from newpaper, online and many other ways. I save a lot of my money through coupons. Check for subsidiary company of your demanded product. Check for interst rates if you have any mortgage or using credit card.

  180. Tameh says:

    Trent, I love the list… you have inspired me to make some better lifestyle and financial choices (I printed this list out in its entirety and have it posted up on my wall; not the most frugal way to get out of “Financial Armageddon”, as you wrote on the homepage ;) ).

    I have a question, though. As I have been recently keeping up with your articles, I understand you’ve gotten out of debt (Congrats!), are living a comfortable life with family, and have some assets and savings set aside for the future. However, aren’t there certain risks that one can and should take to truly propel them out of debt? or perhaps if one is fortunate to be out of debt (like yourself), why not take a few risks to make your money inflate? When I say risk, I mean investing in good stocks (throughout this blog, I see that you have commanded a DIY, learn-it-yourself way of life, so I feel that learning about the stock market and increasing your chances to make a lot more money represents economically prudent behavior), buying a lottery ticket every now and then (do you think the one dollar occasionally spent on a lottery ticket is well-spent? I mean, you really never know), and doing things of the like. With the exception of gambling.. that is certainly a risky no-no.

    Tell me what you (or anyone else on this blog) think. Thanks.


  181. joe says:

    Wow! Very detailed tips, and there’s a hundred of them! I also made an article to save money at http://gomestic.com/personal-finance/smart-and-easy-ways-to-save-money-while-on-a-tight-budget/, but it’s nothing compared to yours. Thank you very much a hundred times for these tips!

  182. Kim says:

    I am African-American woman and most of us with relaxed (chemically straightened) go to the hair salon every week to get it washed and styled. For the last couple of months I have been washing it on my own. It takes longer but you get betterand faster with time and it saves me 200 plus per month!!!

  183. pete says:

    Instead of buying underarm deodorant just put a few spoonfuls of baking soda in a a small spray bottle and shake it up. It is much better than bought deodorant as it conquers sweat& deodorant smell.I have not bought deodorant in a long time and I am not offensive to noses.

  184. pete says:

    Instead of buying underarm deodorant just put a few spoonfuls of baking soda in a a small spray bottle and shake it up. It is much better than bought deodorant as it conquers sweat& deodorant smell.I have not bought deodorant in a long time and I am not offensive to noses.
    To lose weight just eat a normal breakfast and skip
    lunch.If you are not a manual laborer you don’t need it.3 meals a days is a cultural hang-up.Try it you won’t starve, just drink water.

  185. Earl Spener says:

    Set a weekly budget, then try to beat it. Put the extra money back for an emergency fund

  186. earn and invest money says:

    Wow thanks for this tips. Before you could earn and invest money you have to save first and be frugal. I learned many things here where I did not do for a long time.

  187. Aparna says:

    Thanks for sharing the exhaustive list. Its worth reading and following them. I have already started chalking out a plan to work along with your tips.

  188. Thanks for the great list. I bet if I followed every single tip I would be saving a huge amount of money. I am a big fan of buying used. I get the fun and entertainment of a treasure hunt, I save a lot of money, and I feel nice and green because I kept something out of the landfill!

  189. Debbie Young says:

    Save on your auto & homeowners insurance, get an agent, they will shop around for you, ask about wind mitigation credit (FL homes) it sometimes cuts your payment in half.

  190. Ann-Marie says:

    This is a great list, and we already do a lot of them, which makes me feel good. Another big saver is to make your own coffee at home instead of stopping at a Starbucks, Caribou, or the like. We buy a pound of Eight O’Clock coffee at the grocery store for $6 or $7, and it lasts my husband — the main coffee drinker in our household — two weeks, and that’s with having 24 oz a day seven days a week. It’s amazing when you consider that a Venti coffee at Starbucks is roughly $2. If my husband bought that seven days a week, we’d be spending $730 a year in coffee. Our way, we spend about $180.

  191. Ashton says:

    I need to cut my own hair. I do change my own car oil. I try to do as much car maintenance as I can since it saves me a lot of money!

  192. Well, I have cut down lots of meat in meal for last two months, not by choice, it’s just that there has not been many outings in last two months, it has saved me lots of bucks which would else goto KFC buckets.
    I’m not quite sure if I can make my own beer at home, but it’s a great idea, I would love to try it sometime later in my life.

  193. Tambra says:

    I’ve been cutting my own hair a long time and even manage some layers. Take top middle strip of hair on top of your head pull up-right above your head and cut length you want and if you take a little from back of head you’ll get a layer to the back. Take hair on sides of your head parted behind the ear and pull in front of your face and cut you get a side length. For back of you hair bring to front and hold in front of your face to the length you want. I like the top at my chin or collar bone. Sides to my breast, and back to the waist or mid-back. If you pull the top forward it will be longer in back and if you pull backwards it will be longer in front :) Have fun to experimenting!

  194. dulce magnaye says:

    these tips helped me a lot..and start enjoying on saving money

  195. Jeff says:

    Great tips .. i deffinitly didnt think of a few of those, i have repaired things myself around the house and on my car and what not …. for anybody looking to make things like soap or cheese or wtv your trying to make dont forget to youtube!! they have videos on how to do almost everything on there so dont be discouraged from trying to DIY.

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