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22.11.2012 in Saving Money by Lena Gott 13

Ultimate List of Ways to Save Money

At WhatMommyDoes, you’ll find lots of posts about saving money.  If you’ve been here since the beginning, it’s possible you’ve seen every single post and remember every single way to save.

Realistically, you only know about the savings tips we wrote about in our latest blog posts featured on the home page.

I want one place to corral all the ways to save money that have ever been discussed or ever will be discussed on WhatMommyDoes.

Ultimate List of Ways to Save Money edited

So below is my awesome ultimate list of ways to save money with links to related blog posts.

Note: If you are a blogger and see a topic with no related blog post link that you could totally write about, let me know, and we’ll arrange a guest post! Every one of these ideas represents a full-length blog post in my head, but there’s no guarantee I’ll ever get around to writing about all of these myself!  :=)

Anyone and everyone is invited to leave a money-saving tip in a comment below – I’ll add it to the list first chance I get!

The Ever-Evolving Ultimate List of Money Saving Ideas

  1. Pay off your mortgage early
  2. Refinance your mortgage
  3. Go with public schools
  4. Break an unnecessary daily habit (smoking, coffee run, etc)
  5. Make a game out of saving impulsively
  6. Buy store brand diapers and anything else that makes sense.
  7. Always haggle at yard sales.
  8. Make a wish list and shop yard sales frequently
  9. Create a weekly meal plan
  10. Buy in bulk
  11. Freeze easy meals for lazy nights / work nights.
  12. Plan on eating leftovers at least one night per week.
  13. Organize your pantry so you always use food before it expires.
  14. Do a pantry challenge every so often.
  15. Replace two weekly meals with vegetarian meals.
  16. Grow expensive meal ingredients yourself.
  17. Buy in bulk if you can justify the cost of a warehouse membership.
  18. Cook in batches.
  19. Eat what’s in season.
  20. Mend your own clothing
  21. Carpool
  22. Ride a scooter short (safe) distances
  23. Use a clothes line
  24. Buy ethnic groceries at World Market to take advantage of their coupons.
  25. Set a Christmas budget and make a list of gift recipients.
  26. Make a rule only to buy presents for kids at Christmas.
  27. Never pay for shipping.
  28. Use free or highly discounted wrapping paper.
  29. Do a gift exchange instead of giving one gift per person.
  30. Make a homemade gift.
  31. Re-gift.
  32. Ship online gift orders directly to the recipient.
  33. Give the same gift to multiple people.
  34. Always ask yourself, “Did I need it yesterday?” before making a purchase.
  35. Invest in a few plastic storage containers for leftovers.
  36. Sign up for store newsletters (for coupons, sale alerts, special deals for e-customers)
  37. Seek out free entertainment
  38. Host a potluck
  39. Make extra credit payments
  40. Recycle old items into toys (coke bottle & rock maracas, for instance)
  41. Barter services
  42. Plant perennials instead of annuals
  43. Install ground cover vs. grass to save on water & maintenance
  44. Change your own oil
  45. Shop the grocery store sales flyer
  46. Shop with a list
  47. Avoid pre-made or pre-packaged food as a general rule
  48. Make your own baby food
  49. Go with term life insurance when it makes sense
  50. Search for online coupon codes before making a purchase
  51. Start online shopping sessions at uPromise or similar % back site
  52. Plan your gas fill up and use an app that tells you the closest/cheapest option
  53. Take advantage of printable coupons
  54. Stack regular coupons with store coupons when policies allow
  55. Borrow baby clothes
  56. Don’t take your kids shopping with you
  57. Buy out of season
  58. Borrow infrequently used high-priced items (pressure washer, breast pump, etc)
  59. Shop consignment for clothing & accessories
  60. Give your kids allowances & make them save up for purchases
  61. Carefully consider how many children to have
  62. Dine out on “kids eat free” nights
  63. Only order water to drink at restaurants
  64. Use RedBox instead of Blockbuster or Netflix
  65. Carry maternity insurance coverage during active child-bearing years
  66. Make a family chore schedule and ditch the maid service
  67. Become a do-it-yourselfer
  68. Order the smaller size (of anything)
  69. Eat at reasonably priced restaurants with large portions & share
  70. Make pasta dishes at home & order only meat dishes at restaurants
  71. Compost to amend your own garden soil
  72. Use rainwater to water your garden
  73. Bottle your own water
  74. Use your library card
  75. Cancel cable (use Hulu or network websites instead)
  76. Buy the Sunday paper at Dollar Tree
  77. Weigh light mail packages instead of using Flat Rate shipping boxes
  78. Print USPS shipping labels at home to save on delivery confirmation
  79. Christmas shop at sales throughout the year
  80. Shop DollarTree for random, otherwise expensive stuff (spatulas, sponges, etc)
  81. Choose the optimal number of texts/minutes
  82. Avoid most warranties
  83. Take advantage of certain warranties or guarantees (washers, Lowes plants, etc)
  84. Shop at double coupon grocery stores
  85. Watch for triple coupon grocery store promotions
  86. Learn store sales cycles
  87. Eat before grocery shopping
  88. Get to know your grocery store’s produce guy
  89. Don’t be brand loyal – follow the best deals
  90. Buy generic store brands as a general rule
  91. Portion out food yourself instead of buying individual sizes
  92. Buy the smallest package available when using a coupon
  93. Join a local deals forum
  94. Use cash back credit cards
  95. Seek AAA member discounts
  96. Use cash back gas cards
  97. Join a local moms club that enjoys group discounts at local establishments
  98. Use group buying power (Groupon, Living Social, Plum District, etc)
  99. Seal and insulate your home against energy leaks
  100. Program the thermostat (see link at #99)
  101. Clean HVAC filters (see link at #99)
  102. Go with Energy Star appliances (see link at #99)
  103. Shade your windows (see link at #99)
  104. Invest in a second freezer
  105. Make your freezer more efficient*
  106. Use an Energy Star shower head*
  107. Use a pressure cooker to cook meals*
  108. Go with insulated drapes*
  109. Weather strip your front door*

Awesome Posts That Explain Several Tips

The five tips with the * asterisk beside them come from Maggie @ Square Pennies: Save $700-800 Every Year with 5 Easy Tips

Related Posts Not Already Linked Above:

Cheap Meal Ideas for College Students

How to Save Money on Food – 8 Ways to Make Family Meals Less Expensive

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Lena Gott

I'm a CPA turned SAHM of 3 little ones ages 2, 4, and 7. I'm a mommy by day, blogger by night. Join me as I write about fun kids activities, family finances, and losing 50 lbs after baby #3.
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This article has 13 comments
  • We like cooking in batches. It has helped us cut down on our food expenses significantly!

    • Lena 03.12.2012 5:05 AM

      Hi Marvin – What kinds of dishes do you like to cook in batches? I know it will save me money and time, but I haven’t gotten into that because it seems so overwhelming to cook that much at once. Do you devote full days to cooking or just a few hours here and there?

  • Mike 01.12.2012 5:45 PM Reply

    Great list! A few more that we’ve done!

    Sell unnecessary things
    Get completely out of debt
    Sell your car and walk or bike to work
    Drop cell phone plans
    Cut cable
    Frugal family outings to park and outdoor activities
    No gym membership. Meet a group of friends to work out outdoors or at a home gym.
    Buy used.

    Good luck with Yakezie!

    • Lena 03.12.2012 5:06 AM

      Thanks, Mike! I’ll get those added to the list.

  • mbhunter 04.12.2012 3:16 AM Reply

    Pantry challenge = eat only what’s in your pantry for a certain amount of time? Don’t know if I’ve heard that one before.

    I like the “never pay for shipping” one.

    • Lena 04.12.2012 3:49 AM

      Yes, a pantry challenge is where you try to use up the contents of your pantry. Some people do it to get by when money is tight, others do it when they’re trying to fulfill a “no-spend” challenge, and I do it when my pantry gets too cluttered and out of control.

      For instance, you might challenge yourself to not visit the grocery store for three days while you utilize ingredients from your pantry, fridge, and freezer to make a complete meal. I can usually scrounge up a frozen pack of chicken or beef, some pasta, and ingredients for a sauce or cheese topping of some kind.

      I also do fridge challenges like this when I feel like the fridge is crowded and we’re on the verge of throwing away some expensive ingredients.

  • San Diego Lawyer 28.12.2012 3:55 PM Reply

    We also use the library now instead of buying books.
    The savings are incredible and we can read tons of books in a year.

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