You’ve been meaning to save more money. It’s been on your mind for a while. But now — right now — feels like the time to get serious. To save a big chunk of cash before you really need it. When it comes to saving money, small changes can add up quickly. Here are some of the best ways to save money right away.
How To Save Money on Groceries
Food and other essentials can take up a big portion of your budget, but there are many clever ways to save money on groceries.
1. Shop at Discount and Bulk Stores
Discount grocery stores and bulk stores like Aldi or Costco often have lower prices than traditional grocery stores. While these stores may have more limited selections, this can help you save time and money.
2. Meal Prep
Not only does meal prepping save you time during the week, but it also helps you avoid the temptation of eating out or ordering in—both of which eat into your bank account more than you might like. Plus, prepping your own meals makes it easier to meet your nutritional goals.
3. Buy Generic Brands
Generic brands can be quite a bit cheaper than name brands. For example, a can of generic black beans may cost $0.78, while a can of name-brand beans might run you $1.28. That’s $0.50 saved on one item. Do that consistently, and you’ll notice the savings.
4. Shop in the Middle of the Week
Shopping on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday may help you find more discounts on groceries. Stores often run sales midweek and offer coupons or savings on specific weekdays. Try out a few different days and plan your trips according to when you find the best deals.
5. Use a Cashback Credit Card
Using a cash-back credit card is a great way to save money on purchases you would make anyway. Look for a card that offers cashback on your biggest spending categories, such as groceries, gas or dining. Pay off your entire balance each month to avoid interest charges.
How To Save Money on Your Electric Bill
Energy rates continue to rise every year, with many households paying hundreds each month to keep the lights on. If you’re feeling the drain, here are a few ways to lower your electricity bill.
6. Unplug Those Vampires
Ever heard of energy vampires? Your electronics keep drawing power even when they’re not in use. Unplug your device chargers, game consoles and TVs when you’re not using them—it’s a small effort that can make a big difference in the long run.
7. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
LED bulbs use around 70% less energy than traditional bulbs, and they can last up to 25 times as long too. This means you save money on your electric bill and on replacement bulbs by switching to LED. Dimmer switches also work well with LED bulbs to stretch your energy.
8. Do Your Chores During Off-Peak Hours
Use your appliances during off-peak hours to cut your monthly bill. Power companies often charge lower rates during times of day when demand is lower, such as before 3 p.m. and after 7 p.m. Try doing your laundry at night or running the dishwasher in the morning to start.
9. Tweak Your Thermostat Settings
The Department of Energy estimates that you can reduce electricity costs by up to 10% annually by adjusting your thermostat seven to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours each day. With a programmable thermostat, you can easily schedule temperature changes to use a little less energy when you don’t need it.
10. Leak-Proof Your Home
Air leaks can cause your heating and cooling system to work harder and use more energy. Check your doors, windows and vents for leaks to make sure you’re not paying for more electricity than you need. Sealing these with caulk is an easy, low-budget solution.
How To Save Money for a House
Saving money for a house takes time and discipline no matter how you slice it, but there are ways to make the process a little easier on yourself.
11. Open a High-Yield Savings Account
To give your savings a boost, open a high-yield savings account earning a competitive interest rate. Then, automate your saving by scheduling automatic transfers or sending a percentage of your paycheck straight to this account.
12. Temporarily Cut Down on Rent
If you’re renting, consider moving to a smaller apartment or sharing a living space with a friend or family member to reduce your rent and free up more money for a while. You may also be able to negotiate with your landlord to lower your rent.
13. Save on Transportation
Transportation costs can add up quickly. Consider carpooling, taking public transportation or biking to work to spend less on gas and ride-sharing services.
14. Round Up Your Spending
Saving in the background, or without thinking about it, is a smart solution for anyone who has trouble remembering to save. Many money-saving apps offer round-up transfer options to automatically send a portion of every checking account transaction to your savings account.
15. Cancel Subscriptions
Cancel any services you have but don’t need including streaming, gym memberships and food delivery services. Take that extra money and move it to your savings account each month. Try an app like Rocket Money to organize your subscriptions and see which ones you might be able to cut.
How To Save Money for a Wedding
Who said you can’t have your dream wedding without breaking the bank? Here are some fun and creative ways to save money for a wedding.
16. Pick an Off-Peak Date
You’d be surprised by how much you can save just by choosing a date that’s not in high demand. Get married on a weekday or pick a weekend in an off-season month to take advantage of lower average costs.
17. DIY Decorations
You can save a lot of money by making your own decorations. Get creative and make your own centerpieces, flower arrangements and wedding favors. You can also borrow decorations from friends and family or rent them from your local party rental companies.
18. Choose a Non-Traditional Venue
Dedicated wedding venues grow costlier every year. Go the non-traditional route and have a breathtaking ceremony at a park, the beach or in your backyard. You’ll often save money at non-traditional venues, and many places allow weddings even if they don’t specialize in them.
19. Limit the Guest List
One of the most straightforward ways to save money on a wedding is to trim your guest list. You often pay for drinks and food at a per-person rate, and larger venues charge higher prices. Consider limiting your guest list to your closest friends and family members. Or, invite everyone to the ceremony and a select number of guests to the reception.
20. Buy a Pre-Owned Dress
Wedding dresses tend to be very expensive, but you can save money by buying a pre-owned dress. Companies like Pre Owned Wedding Dresses and Stillwhite make it easy to shop secondhand from a variety of styles and designers.
What Is the Best Way To Save Money?
The best way to save money is whatever way will work for you. The easier it is for you to commit to saving, the more regularly you’ll do it and the faster you will be able to reach your goals.
The first step to saving is to make it a habit. Here are some tips for getting into a habit of saving.
- Set goals. Set savings goals that motivate you, like saving up for a house or going on a dream vacation, and give yourself timelines for reaching them.
- Budget. Make a budget and make saving a necessary expense. Try out different budgeting methods until you find one you can stick to.
- Cut down on spending. Use budgeting apps to find out where you’re money is going and look for places where you can cut back.
- Automate your saving. Automate your saving by setting up a direct deposit from your paycheck into a high-yield savings account or money market account.
- Pay off debt. Work on paying off your debt, starting with high-interest debt, to free up more money for savings and improve your financial situation.
- Earn more. Look for ways to increase your income or consider a side hustle to bring more money in.