Less Known Ways to Save Money



  • Change Cell Phone Plans. Use a comparison site to get the best deals in your zip code. We saved $20 a month by switching plans.
  • Change to a digital calendar like Google Calendar. And digital planner like Remember the Milk. If you need a calendar or planner, wait until after the new year to get them when they are 50-75% off.
  • Use a credit union instead of bank. The fees are usually lower.
  • Don’t spend any coins. Put them all into savings or debt reduction.
  • See if your neighbors have plants that need thinning instead of getting them at the yard center.
  • Only drink water when you eat out. Drinks have one of the highest mark ups.
  • Have a folder with menus and coupons for when you need to do take out. But, cook at home more often. And go out for lunch instead of dinner. Lunches are less expensive. Split meals with a friend. Most restaurant portions are too much for me.
  • Consumer Reports’ auto-test department says that the air conditioner reduces your car’s fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent. It suggests not using the air conditioner at speeds below 40 mph instead use the windows. At speeds above 40mph though the air conditioning is more efficient.
  • Disconnect the landline or switch to something like Vongage.
  • Swap for books, trade used books at a used book store or go to the library.
  • Freeze fruit in season to use in pies and smoothies throughout the year. Go berry picking for even cheaper fruit.
  • Wait at least a week before buying impulse items.
  • Get rid of some subscriptions – magazines, gym, online memberships.
  • Buy a 2 or 3 year old car instead of new. Cars lose so much value just getting driven off the lot.
  • Shop at a grocery store that either has double coupon days, inexpensive products of gas coupons. I get 10-15 cents off per gallon from my grocery store.
  • Look for alternatives to get what you want. Barter, trade, rent. Look in your own house for what you can use instead.
  • Make a budget and then use a program that will tell you when you are about to go over budget.
  • Go on a spending fast for a weekend, week or a month where you only spend on the necessities.
  • Learn to fix things and teach your kids. My husband can fix just about anything saving us tons of money throughout the years. You can find how to articles all over the web.
  • Give up cold cereal. Hot cereal, eggs and pancakes are less expensive than cold cereals.


Photo by: Andrew Magill



  • Peggy says:

    Great ideas.

    This reminded me that I need to check into lower my home phone plan as well.

    I also keep my air conditioner thermostat(home) set at 78-80.

    Wash and dry clothes late in the evening when rates are cheaper.

    Use vinegar for cleaning instead of expensive premixed products, not to mention, this helps cut down on the harmful chemicals.

  • bettyann says:

    line drying clothes saves quite a bit actually. at least 35cents – usually closer to 65cents/load. figure how many loads you do a month – it really adds up! and for those folks living in locations that don’t allow an outdoor clothesline – most grocery stores (walmart/target/meijers) sell retractable clotheslines. so you can set up the line inside and use it, then retract it when not needed. very inexpensive – less than $10 for a one time expense.

    re: the a/c in vehicle – many vans in particular (i drive a dodge grand caravan) do not have windows that open – only the front driver and passenger window) – as a result the vehicle is not safe heat temperature wise for backseat passengers – esp if they’re young children. so that tip, use common sense.

    one can save even more on fuel expense on vehicle if one chooses to walk instead of drive. we walk most places that are less than 2 miles each regularly. helps the waistline trim down a bit, too.

  • Beth says:

    Thanks for these great tips Peggy and BettyAnn!

  • Meaghan says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I recently changed phone plans and saved $20 a month!

    I like the idea of going on a spending fast! I’m definitely going to try that for the next 7 days and see how it goes!

    I also track all my spending on a daily basis….really motivates you to save and see how much you waste on nonsense.

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