Money saving tips – Share yours for a chance at $25

By glblguy

Money Saving MondayIn April of last year, I invited readers to share their favorite money savings tips and in turn I received 41 money savings tips. Almost one year later, I would like to do the same and see how many tips you can come up with this go around. I love reading yours tips as do my other readers.

If you have a blog, blog about your money saving tip and email me a link. If you don’t have a blog, add your money saving tip by adding a comment below. Next Monday, I’ll pull all of your tips together into one big money saving reader tips article. Have more than one idea? No problem, share away, the more tips you share the more we all benefit!

I’ll even set a goal: Let’s see if you can double the number from last time of 41 and shoot for 82 or more money saving tips! I’ll even sweeten the pot further, and give a $25 dollar gift card to the person with the most creative and valuable tip.

Show me what you’ve got  What’s your tip? Add a comment!

33 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Money saving tips – Share yours for a chance at $25”

  1. Jovan Jones Says:

    When making a purchase; stop and consider all the hours you worked hard to trade away dollars for that item you want.

  2. Meredith Says:

    –If you’re a bit on the messy side, like me, and you find yourself out and tempted to buy something, think about the mess you already have back at home! For example, clothes–remembering the huge pile of clothes on my bedroom floor and the constant pile of laundry in the hamper is a reality check–why on earth would I ADD to that if I’m already struggling to manage what I have?

    –Shop alone, and don’t use a shopping cart or basket. That limits you to only buying what you can carry with your own two hands. In addition, park FAR away to further discourage yourself from excess purchasing–it’s no fun to lug stuff all the way out to the car.

    –A great and true quote to commit to memory: “Every increased possession loads us with new weariness” — John Ruskin.

  3. Damsel Says:

    Okay, so this is long… but the more I typed, the more I thought of. :)

    Surround yourself with like-minded people. This doesn’t mean dropping all of your friends who aren’t budget-conscious (although, who isn’t these days??), but it does mean choosing to spend more time with those who are.

    Have an accountability partner who ISN’T your spouse. We all need someone we can bounce ideas off of, vent to, and who we can trust to look us in the face and tell us what we really NEED to hear (not just what we want to hear).

    Have potluck parties and board game nights! My friends and I do this about once a month. I send out an evite invitation, and everyone responds with what they can bring. Everyone shows up with food and some board games… Tons of fun and very low-cost!

    Don’t be afraid to explain to your children that “we aren’t choosing to spend money on that right now”. I do this with my four year old son all the time when he asks for something. I tell him that we are saving our money for XYZ (a trip to see Daddy this weekend, for example — my husband is in the Army and currently in training, so we can’t live where he is stationed). Besides showing your children that you consciously choose where to apply your funds, it teaches them delayed gratification. Nine times out of ten, my son will choose the “bigger” thing that we’re saving for over the cheap toy in the store. I’ve even overheard my son recounting one of these incidents to my dad — telling him all about how we’re saving our money to go see Daddy!

    Trade babysitting with some friends. We used to do this all the time with another couple. We would keep their kids one night a month, and they would return the favor. It was wonderful to know that we had at least ONE date per month! When you have small children, it’s often the babysitting cost that puts a date night out of reach, financially speaking.

    Don’t “shop”. “Hunt” instead. I suppose this is another way of saying “make a list and stick to it!”. I don’t window shop (online or in brick and mortar stores).

    Force yourself to “sleep on it” before purchasing anything over a set dollar amount (mine is $25). The majority of the time, I wake up the next day and realize that a particular item is not something I really wanted to spend money on.

  4. Linda Jacobsen Says:

    I may be late to the party, but I discovered that if I purchase a rechargeable gift card in Walmart, I can use it at the gas station at Walmart and save 3 cents per gallon on gas and diesel. We drive a 40′ diesel motorhome with a 100 gallon tank. The savings add up!

  5. David Says:

    My family of 4 vacations every year at the beach with three other families. We’ve been doing it for 6 years and really enjoy the time with our friends. But for some strange reason, my wife (and most women I know) think they need a new bathing suit every summer. I’ve never heard a man say, “summer is approaching and I need to go bathing suit shopping.”

    Have you ever noticed how much it cost for a women’s bathing suit? It is ridiculous how much they charge to cover so little. There is much more material in a man’s bathing suit but it cost 1/5 of the price of a women’s suit. So times, even 1/10 of what women pay for a suit.

    So instead of having a “discussion” with my wife about the cost of her suit we dediced after last years trip to start saving all of our silver change in a “bathing suit piggy bank”. I probably shouldn’t use the word “piggy” when talking about my wife’s bathing suit.

    So far, we have saved around $50 in change and still have 3 months before the vacation. I told her when it was time, she can take the change and buy whatever she wants and I won’t say a word.

    By the way, I’ll be wearing the bathing suit I had last year…and the year before that….and the year before that..

  6. Debt Free Adventure Says:

    @Gibble – 3 things…

    1. Your “email me” URL link in this article is pointing incorrectly to “…/2009/03/contact-us” instead of “…/contact-us” and hence is throwing a 404.

    2. On my new blog DebtFreeAdventure I post a money saving tip every Monday. You can check the series out here. I will also email you this link.

    3. A tip I will offer up here is to TITHE to your local new testament church! This tip has been more of a financial blessing to me than anything else I have ever employed. Read my personal tithing testimony here.


  7. Judy Says:

    I have really surprised myself with this tip! As my monthly bills come in, I am calling each company and asking them to give me a discount on my services-not a change in services-just a discount on the ones I currently have. I have saved tons of money! I called my satilite provider, landline phone, cell phone, hospital bill, security service, internet provider, etc. Try it!

  8. Nancy D. Says:

    Many restaurants offer e-clubs. Sign up at their websites and some may email you a discount coupon for joining, your birthday, or anniversary. You’re likely to also receive new menu item announcements and special promotions.

  9. Jan Says:

    Put up a clothes line–I save at least $25 a month by not running the dryer when it’s warm outside.

  10. google patriot Says:

    I never spend my pocket change. If I make a purchase of 99 cents and I pay with a dollar bill, then that penny goes in my pocket. Later if I make a purchase of $1.01, I’ll give the cashier two $1.00 dollar bills and receive 99 cents in change. If that’s all my purchases for the day, then I’ll empty my pocket change of $1.00 into an old coffee can at the end of the day. When I’ve got 2 or 3 cans full of coins, I’ll wrap them in the coin holders (for me, that’s therapeutic), take them to the bank and deposit them in my emergency fund. It’s amazing how the loose change adds up!

  11. Scott Says:

    Shoot the satellite…Cut the Cable…!

    I’ve yet to go whole hog with this one but most of the good shows on TV now are available online. I’ve been reading up on how to watch TV off the internet and it’s very doable. With sites like and the readily available hardware to roll-your-own media box (Xbox, Apple TV, Windows Media Player, XMBC, Boxee) and with the new Digital TV initiative set to take place in June 09, you can get most shows for free and in good definition. I hope to go ‘off the grid’ with my TV viewing and take back that $75/month from DirectTV that I cringe giving them.

  12. Stacey Says:

    Buy food in bulk and on sale, and separate packages into meal-size portions. Freeze if necessary. We never pay more than $1.99 for meat – often much less.

    It’s so nice to have a variety of food choices waiting in the freezer and pantry. In the morning we pick out what we’ll eat that night, which eliminates our desire for expensive take-out.

  13. Debt Free Adventure Says:


    Great call on this one! I too have DirecTV and am just waiting for my 2 year contract to be up so I can ditch DTV. I am also paying $75/month & my 2 years is up in October. To cancel early they charge $20/month for however many months you have remaining on your contract, which would cost me $160 to get out right now.

    I’ll most likely bump it down to their cheapest plan $29.99/month for the remainder of “my time”. I’d rather pay $30/month & get something than $20/month & get nothing (I’m sure they have that all figured into their marketing, prices, and contracts, etc.).

    Eventually I’m going to just have Netflix and maybe some of what you mentioned.


  14. Greg J. Says:

    I have two tips I can think of that I don’t think have been mentioned:

    1.) Keep in mind that EVERYTHING is negotiable. I recently rented a vacation house for a weekend. I asked for $150 off and the owner counter-offered with $95.00 off. $95 more cash in my pocket just for asking! And this goes for pretty much everything – I could list many more examples.

    2.) If you have a gym membership and actually use it…take your showers there! You’re already paying for all the services invcluding the shower. So why not transfer the cost of water, heating that water, (and soap/shampoo/towels if your gym does that) to the gym? It’ll add up a lot faster than you think.

  15. Ace Says:

    Subscribe to as many free samples and magazines as you can. During the winter time, roll up the magazines and use them as fire wood.

    Ok, that last one was a joke.. maybe. Here’s a good one. Bring back the barter system and talk to friends who are plumbers, carpenters, painters or even accountants. Trade skills. For example, if you can fix computers, fix the plumber’s computer and let him fix your pipes. No pun intended.

  16. Dave Says:

    My method of saving actually relies on spending a bit of money (ironic, no?). But, hear me out.

    My wife and I each have a “fun money” fund. We each get $20 automatically deposited into a special etrade account. We can each spend our fun money any way we want, without needing the approval of the other.

    So, how does this save us money you ask? Well, before we started the fun money account, we would just buy whatever “fun stuff” we wanted. Yeah, we might feel bad about it, but we’d still do it. Now, if we want something, we have to save up for it (and decide if we really want it), until we get our next deposit.

    Then, whenever we spend the money, we transfer that money out of our fun money account and into our emergency savings account.

    I like this tip because it’s beyond the normal “cut your spending, increase your income” tips. I feel like I’ve followed all those tips already, but still want to save more. This allows us to do just that!

  17. Erin Says:

    Thank you for your site! OK, my tip may seem a little extreme, but it works for us. I purchase canned fruit only in the mondo big cans. The smaller cans can cost about 1-2 dollars, and the huge cans are about $4-6 at a warehouse store. When we decide that we’d like to eat, say canned pineapple, I drain the juice first. This amounts to about 4 cups of juice. Pour into ice cube trays and once frozen transfer to a zipper bag and toss it back into the freezer. The fruit then goes onto the dinner table, lunch bag the next day, dinner table the following night and eaten at snack time. About the 3rd day, any remaining fruit goes into the freezer in a zipper bag. What do we do with all the frozen fruit and juice? Smoothies! We stretch that $5.00 can of fruit until it begs for mercy!!

  18. Stacey Says:

    after my son takes a bath, i re-use the water to water my house plants and even some of my potted plants outside. he’s not much for bubble baths anyway so the water doesn’t have much soap. and the plants don’t seem to mind!

  19. Jo Says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to share!
    1. Use the library for movies, books and magazines. Ours has a great online database, and we can reserve items from other locations and have them sent to the brance closest to us. Unless you’re late turning in your items, they’re free.

    2. Plan to make purchases for things you know you’ll need in the off season. Buy your child’s winter coat in May for the next winter. Shop online clearing sites like for outdoor gear like hiking equipment in December, etc. My favorite is to buy Halloween candy dirt cheap after the holiday, and save it for a month to decorate our Christmas gingerbread house!

    3. Make a weekly menu based partly on what’s in your pantry and freezer, and also what’s on sale that week at your local grocery store. Whatever day your sale ad is published is the day to create your menu. Buy the items you don’t already have on hand at a lower price than retail.

  20. Pam Says:

    I really enjoy reading all the ways to save. This is the first time I’ve ever replied so here goes. I was just reading an email from Simple Living, and she had a guest writer that I feel hit the nail on the head. Everyone lives in such diverse situations, so everyone has to find ways in their life/situation that help them save. It will definitely be different for everyone. We personally eat at restaurants maybe once a month. Finding online coupons isn’t feasible for us. They don’t feature the restaurants in our rural area. Using coupons for food isn’t really feasible for us either. We have one little grocery store, and they don’t offer double coupons and even hate to take a coupon as it is more work for them or they just throw it away and eat the expense themselves. That doesn’t seem fair to me so I rarely use a coupon unless it is an instore coupon. I’ve found that many of the coupons are for “fast” convenience foods anyway, which I rarely use.

    BUT, some ways I do save are … *since we live on a wheat farm, I grind my own wheat to bake my bread with. *I hang our clothes on the line outside in nice weather or on a rack inside during the winter. *I have many days that are no-spend days. A mall is 60 miles away and there isn’t a coffee shop on any corner. *We heat our home with a corn stove with corn we raise ourselves. *99 percent of my cooking is from scratch. *I use a credit card for most of my purchases. In 30+ years I’ve never paid a lick of interest, and I’ve received more “cash back” than I earned in interest having a savings account for 30 years. (I keep very close tabs on my credit card!) *I’ve saved my Christmas bonus for the last few years and this winter, after going online and finding *free woodworking plans, my hubby and I built floor-to-ceiling shelves across an entire wall for less than $300. If we’d bought a wall unit, it would have cost a couple of thousand.

    A couple of things that are new ways to save that I’m trying are repairing my own shoes with shoe goo and using new insole inserts. I’ve cut my hubby’s hair for 32 years, and now I’m experimenting with cutting my own hair.

    You’ve helped me feel like I’m part of this huge, wonderful community of frugality. Keep writing so I can keep enjoying!

  21. GrannyAnnie Says:

    1. Budget. When I’m accountable to myself for every dollar, I’m MUCH more likely to choose wisely. It keeps me alert.
    2. Automated savings. I have a certain amount deducted from my direct deposited paycheck that goes to a savings account. I don’t see it. I don’t count that in my monthly income. It just goes. I also have an online savings account and have a certain amount automatically transferred from my checking account to the savings account. I look at this as a routine bill that has to be accounted for, just like anything else.
    3. “Split the difference raises”. Any time I get an annual merit raise, I “split the difference”. If the raise is 3%, I raise my retirement savings by 2% and I get to keep the extra 1%.
    4. The Savings Game. How much can I save off this grocery bill? My budget for this paycheck is $150. Can I get it under that? I got it under $125 last time. Can I do better this time? My gas budget this time is $60. How low can I get it? And so on and so forth. Any amount under budget gets saved. I am “allowed” to get myself a treat with some of the proceeds if I really, really want it.
    5. Reading Blogs. Great way to learn personal finance, cheap entertainment, online friends. Thanks, ya’ll!

  22. Stacey Says:

    1. I purchased cloth napkins (you can find them cheap after a holiday – especially christmas – just look for the solid colors instead of the holiday print. We have gone “paperless” for two years now and it really helps out not having to purchase napkins regularly (and I love not discovering we’re out of napkins on taco night with three small boys!) i’m already doing 2 loads of laundry per day – what’s a few cloth napkins added to the mix?
    2. ING account – after experimenting with this account, i have decided i love watching my savings grow! i have 4 accounts: one specifically for christmas. right now i have close to $200 in that account alone and it’s only march! as for the “missing” money out of my checking account? I hardly notice it. I have a set amount taken every week and i have been increasing that amount by $5 increments every month to find my boiling point – it hasn’t happened yet! my only regret is that i didn’t start this savings years ago…
    3. thrift stores – seriously: do 3 year old boys know or care about the difference??
    4. Sell your children’s old toys at a consignment store – probably don’t make as much as a garage sale, but it’s half the hassle!
    5. plan menus a week or two in advance – this really saves money at the grocery store
    6. live in a rural area. there’s no starbucks here. No mcdonalds. the mall is 50 miles away – so is walmart. for fun we: ice fish in the winter. camp and go for bike rides in the summer. i can take my entire family to the local movie theatre for $20 (including snacks) and there’s a drive-in 1 hour away. we raise our own meat, have plenty of land for a garden and if we chose to go “uptown” for a drink on a saturday night, it’s less than 6 blocks away – no need for a cab (not that you’d find a cab out here anyway!)
    The country life is by far the best way to live a frugal life :)

  23. Catherine Says:

    My absolute favorite hobby is reading. Yes, I do take out books and movies from the library – for free – but, due to the amount I read, I like to have lots and lots of books around me. But, this can get expensive.

    That is why I am now addicted to This is a site where you can swap books with people all over the country. And for being a free site, it has soooo many nifty features and functionality like the following:

    – over 3 million available books
    – easy transaction process … each book is worth 1 credit
    – it’s not a complicated swap process where you have to give a book to the person you are getting a book from … the currency is the credits
    – ability to maintain a wish list … if the book you want isn’t currently available, put it on your wish list and when it becomes available you receive an email
    – ability to maintain a To Be Read list … this is a list of all the books you own that you haven’t read yet … the beauty is that if one of your books is on another person’s wish list, there will be a little “W” beside the title. This allows you to prioritize your reading so that you can post the books other people are waiting for
    – you can print postage right online … no trip to the post office … saves on gas
    – there are strong reader communities … great for book recommendations

    I receive a credit for each person I refer, so if anyone signs up please use me as a referral: catphilly or use this link:[email protected]

    I am truly addicted to this site :) Thanks!

  24. dawn Says:

    One of my favorites, from my blog post on saving at the grocery store: Grow your own. Even a modestly-sized garden plot can yield a tremendous bounty of organic, homegrown vegetables. There are many varieties especially developed for container gardening, such as dwarf cherry tomatoes. If you’re a beginner, stick with the easiest-to-grow veggies, including tomatoes, string beans, squashes, zucchini, green peppers, snap peas and lettuce. Herbs like parsley, basil or chives are especially undemanding.

    Here’s the full post:

  25. Bobbi Says:

    I think my favorite is the automatic ING savings account. I don’t even miss it.

  26. scott Says:

    Always clean out your dryer lint trap after every use. It takes 1.5 times as long to dry a load of clothing in the dryer with a clogged
    lint trap. Or better yet put them out on the clothes line to dry!

  27. JC Says:

    One of the best things about Google is that they offer some great free services: Voice or Video Chat / SMS Text Messages / 411

    Here’s more info:

  28. jolyn Says:

    I admit I am borrowing this idea from my nephew, but it is just too clever not to share.

    Young men, for prom — instead of renting your tux, work out a bartering deal with the rental shop. My nephew wore one of their tuxes to his high school for a whole day (“advertising”), and in exchange he is getting his tux for prom rent-free! Now that’s using your noggin, as my grandma would say.

  29. cristina Says:

    This best bargains are the most natural for me at least. When I read the Sunday papers, I clip coupons of things I use or want to try – then I keep them in an envelope in my bag by category, but no particular order & if I’m in Walgreen’s for a prescription, I’ve noticed that even Crest phases out certain types of toothpaste. When you have a $1.00 or $0.75 coupon & the toothpaste is down to a dollar as Colgate recently was – I stock up for pennies & in some cases nothing. Same for many other toiletries. Many coupons don’t specify the actual type just the brand – these are particularyly helpful. Food-wise I cook & take what I make to work. I also try & freeze an extra meal & thus have something always something available. If I eat Chinese food, I get the special & plan for another meal (or two). Think ahead and you’ll reap the benefit.

  30. JS Says:

    We can cut our international flight cost by almost half by using airline points. If you don’t accumulate your own airline points, you can purchase the points from craigslist or ebay (pssstt.. this is against the airline policy). For ex, travel to southeast asia usually costs around $1000-1800. Usually you can buy 60k-80k points for under $900.

  31. crazyliblady Says:

    1) Big Lots is my friend. Althought I cannot find everything here, I do find a lot of things at extremely reduced prices. I also get coupons from them emailed to me by being in the Buzz Club.

    2) I take my lunch to work nearly every day. I usually take something like tuna fish, crackers, an orange, and trail mix. This is a much healthier alternative and saves me more than $20 per week. I also have an insulated travel mug at work that I use to make my own tea rather than buying high sugar and expensive colas.

    3) I love shopping at Walgreens because they allow you to use store coupons, manufacturer coupons, and sales all on the same item. I have been able to save more than 50% this way. I watch the Walgreens ads every week and combine the sales and coupons to save lots of money. I also send in rebates when I can.

    4) Do direct deposit to a savings account every payday. In just 3 short months, I have my emergency savings balance up to $597 by doing direct deposit every payday and putting other small extras in there from time to time.

    5) saves me money if I shop online. Between rebates and instant coupons, I can usually save 5-10% just by logging in there first.

    6) If I have to go on a trip for work, I work hard at setting aside the money ahead of time and not using the credit card. I also contact the Chamber of Commerce for the area. Sometimes they will send coupons or at least a street map. I find out less expensive ways of getting around the city, such as the local bus system. Taxis are too expensive. In June this year, I will be attending a conference in another state and will be sharing a hotel room with two other people. I also check to see if my AAA card will get me any discounts on anything. I also cash in my survey points for cash or restaurant gift cards.

    7) I pay my credit card online rather than mailing the payment because it results in less interest paid. I can also schedule a payment several days in advance if I know a rebate, survey payment, or paycheck is about to clear the bank account.

  32. tiffanie Says:

    i’m currently going through a divorce, where my husband brought in the majority of our shared income. i work a part time minimum wage job…and i moved out on my own. i’ve had to find many ways to cut back and save money:

    1) i use candles in the evening for some lighting throughout the apartment. no, it’s not enough to read by or anything, but it gives a nice ambience to whatever else i may be doing. i don’t leave lights on when i’m not in the room, and i don’t like turning lights on unless i’m reading or writing where i need to have light.

    2) i make batch meals and freeze single serve portions since it’s just me now. this saves on groceries for the week as i’ve got quick lunches to go for work throughout the week.

    3) i use a points credit card to accumulate points so that i can redeem them for gift cards to amazon. the card is used for all of my purchases and i pay it off in full each month. i usually get a $50 gift card every 2-4 months. this helps pay for incidentals that i may need.

    4) i shop around for car insurance each year to save on my premiums! i saved $300 this time around. :)