Most people dream of padding up their savings accounts with a ton of extra cash, but aren't sure how. Over-spenders, look no further. Here, we have compiled a list of 37 tried-and-true ways to save your extra cash - #29 is going to change your shopping game forever.
Set up your bank account so that each month, a specific amount of money is automatically taken from your checking account and put into savings. As the old saying goes, "Pay yourself first."
If you're lucky enough to live near an orchard or farm, you'll find that their prices for fresh produce are usually much cheaper than the supermarket. Stock up and freeze or can the extras so the produce doesn't go bad.
Printers are expensive, and not to mention a pain in the butt. If you have access to a printer, do all your printing from work. You'll save money - and if it breaks, all you have to do is call the repair guy.
The Dominican and Korean supermarkets in my neighborhood, for example, often carry much cheaper produce than the larger grocery stores down the road. Bonus: You might find something new and exciting to cook up for dinner.
You'd be surprised to learn how much money you can save on energy bills, simply by insulating your home properly. Here's what one Redditor had to say:
"You can get space blankets cheap on Amazon. Cheap like maybe a buck and change, and each one will cover two windows. Mist the window lightly with plain water on the inside of the glass. Cut a piece of space blanket Mylar maybe a wee bit big and press it against the glass. Work out the wrinkles to your satisfaction and optionally run a box cutter around the edges for a neat fit. When Winter comes and you need the solar gain, just peel off the space blanket and fold them for later use. I can't remember where the heck I got the Bubble Wrap trick, but it's totally awesome, and it is actually the genesis of this tip. Kept me toasty warm last Winter."
Sometimes, companies will make mistakes on your bills (this is especially true for phone bills). Be sure to pore over all your bills and watch for any errors. It could save you a tone of money.
Gym memberships can get pricey, so why not turn the world into your gym. There are plenty of blogs dedicated to outdoor, gym-free exercise: Do your research and get movin'.
Money comes and goes, and some months are lighter than others. If you have a deep freezer, you can stock up on food during the months when you have a little extra cash. During tougher months, you can head to the deep freezer instead of the grocery store.
Cable is ridiculously overpriced, and most of the channels have nothing on anyways. Instead of cable, try a Roku player, that offer your choice of Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Amazon prime.
Many vegetables can be regrown from their scraps in a cup of water. This makes use out of old food - and potentially gives you new food to work with.
Make a point to hang up and care for your clothes every day. This will save you trips to the dry cleaner - and all the expense that comes with it.
Have some land to work with? Try growing your own food, which can often be the freshest and cheapest option for great produce. If you don't have the space, grow a little herb garden in your kitchen.
Detergent is pricey. Here's one Redditor's formula for a cheap alternative:
"It only took me about an hour to make a powdered detergent from Borax, washing soda, and bar soap (one cup, one cup, and ½ bar respectively). There are tons of recipes. This is the one I used. The rough cost estimates for me were 900 loads for about $20. Cheapest equivalent was Aldi's detergent at 360 loads for $25."
Turn off lights, carpool, compare products before buying - when it comes to saving money, it's all about the little things.
Especially in restaurants, where a few Cokes could easily add $10 to your bill.
If you've got your finances under control and have good credit, you can qualify for a rewards credit card. These types of cards offer bonuses for sign-up, and use points to offer rewards each month.
"I've recently started getting my feet wet in some DIY projects," said one Redditor. "I built a headboard for our bed for under $50. A friend gave us a large wooden spool that my wife and I are going to convert into a table/bookshelf combo. With a few tools and some time, you can save hundreds of dollars and have the satisfaction of building things yourself."
You'd be surprised how much money you can save when you don't have to pay a plumber or electrician. Often, the employees at places like Home Depot can explain how to do simple repairs in your home.
Saving money is tough, and it shouldn't come without the occasional reward. Just make sure to do your research before you take the plunge.
If you can navigate through all the junks and creeps, there is plenty of great stuff to be found on Craigslist. Bonus: There is a ton of free stuff there as well.
Vinegar has hundreds of household uses, and it's in incredibly cheap. Bonus: You avoid exposing your home to the nasty chemicals found in cleaning solutions.
Eventually, everything goes on sale.
You might get approved for an expensive house, but you'll save money by going with the cheaper house that suits all your needs.
One Redditor gives the lowdown on how you can start a No-Spend Month:
"Pay all the bills at the beginning of the month, set aside your 15% savings (or more), and only spend money on gasoline & groceries. That means no eating out, no alcohol, no renting movies, no shopping, etc."
Remember, if you're saving money, its okay to say "Sorry, I can't afford this."
Cars are overpriced and lose value as soon as they leave the lot. If your city or town is commutable by bike, bus, or foot, try that as an alternative.
Be conscious of how much of something you use, whether it be toothpaste, dish soap, shampoo, or detergent. Usually, a little goes a long way.
Here's one Redditor's tip:
"When it comes to big purchases — say, a new car or a big piece of furniture — start looking well in advance. As an example . . . we decided to start the search for a new car. We tossed around all sorts of ideas, colors, makes, models. We scoured Craigslist and talked to friends and family about what they drove. In the end, after taking our sweet time and having extreme patience we found an 4x4 Escape worth over $6,000 and paid $2,000 for it 'cause someone just wanted rid of it."
This guide shows you how to make great food with affordable ingredients.
Add or take off a layer - reducing energy costs can end up saving you hundreds of dollars each year.
Dryers use a ton of electricity. Try a clothesline instead. Bonus: Your clothes will smell amazing.
If you've got the cash, pay full price for your phone instead of signing a contract to pay it off over time. In the long run, you'll end up saving big.
Many retailers, like Target and Walmart, have price-match policies, meaning that they will match the low prices of their competitors.
Paint that is returned to hardware stores can be resold for a song. Warning: Some of the colors are off, so make sure you're getting what you want.
There are over 800 free online courses at schools like MIT, NYU, and Harvard.
Lowe's sells Christmas trees for $5 if they have a brown spot. Make sure to ask an employee about where to find them next Christmas.
Call your cell phone service provider and try to negotiate some fees. If you're polite and patient, it just might work.