I have twenty-one tips to help you save money fast this month! Even if you don’t earn much money, make the most of what you do have by cutting back without losing out in your life.
Some simple, intentional downsizing can make a big difference to your bank balance. Do it every month, and before you know it, you have a pot of money waiting for a rainy day, a deposit on your first home, or a family holiday.
If you sit down and think about what you spend each month, you may well find that you can cut back a lot if you have a mind to.
Maybe you are not strapped for cash at the moment? Periods of plenty are the perfect opportunity to prepare for the leaner times in your life that we all go through at some stage.
Here are my tips to save money fast starting from now.
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1. Always make a grocery list
Never impulse buy at the grocery store or guess what you think you will need. Guessing never really works unless you have a superhuman brain!
Supermarkets will tempt you with three for two offers or buy one get one free. This is the perfect trap for those that do not possess a list.
Make a meal plan and only buy items on the plan.
2. Downsize your groceries
Downsizing is a fun exercise. Try purchasing the shop’s own brand instead of your usual branded item and see if you can find a difference in taste or quality. I’m willing to bet that in most cases there is no difference at all, apart from the price.
You may well find that the cheaper item is better, but if it isn’t, ask yourself if it’s really worth it for the saving, if it’s ‘yes’ you have a winner!
3. Adjust your shopping time
It’s common for supermarkets to drop their prices towards the end of the day for fresh items.
I love to shop at the end of the day and regularly buy up all the cheap bread I can, which goes straight in the freezer for lunches during the week.
4. Bulk buy
I know I said earlier not to impulse buy, but there is an exception.
If I see an offer for something that I frequently buy then I will usually take it up. But, it must be something non-perishable or freezable.
5. Change supermarkets
Here in the UK, we have two budget supermarkets, Lidl and Aldi that are often much cheaper than the leading supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsburys.
In my town, we have a brand new Lidl with its own parking which is extremely popular with the locals. Shopping there often takes a lot longer because I see so many people I know!
In my opinion, the food is just as good, if not better than Tesco. Why wouldn’t you want to shop there? Here are a couple of reasons:
- They don’t offer a reward scheme
- There is no scan and shop to make shopping quicker
If you are in the same boat, why not alternate between the two? I find that works really well for us and we still save each month.
6. Stop eating out
If you want to save money fast, then stop eating out, or at least reduce the number of times you dine out during the week.
If you are budgeting your money, then I am willing to bet that your grocery bill would pretty much double with just a few meals out and some take-outs.
If you are going to treat yourself, then it’s very worth doing some homework before you book a table.
7. Stop buying lunch
Remember that bread you are buying cheaply in tip #3? Why not use it to make yourself a delicious sandwich? Or do some meal prepping at the weekend and make yourself some grab and go healthy lunches?
8. Grow your own veg
Now my fingers are anything but green, but last spring we planted some seeds in our raised bed for the very first time. I didn’t fuss over it (because I didn’t have the time). All we did was scatter some seeds. The result was pretty incredible.
We had the most amazing runner beans come up; they were truly delicious. And the great thing? Runner beans are super expensive to buy in my supermarket. We had so many I had to freeze some.
We also put in some pumpkin seeds, and amazingly we had an enormous pumpkin grow in time for Halloween!
If you are going to grow your own veg, I recommend you choose veg that you love to eat but are the most expensive to buy. Carrots and potatoes are super cheap, I don’t think it’s worth bothering with those, but you can’t go wrong with salads.
If you have more than you can eat, freeze it. Most veg is suitable. Even potatoes can be frozen.
9. Check your savings accounts
If you have savings, check the interest rates. Many of them might super low, even if they started at a reasonable level when you opened them.
10. Change your credit card
If you can swap your credit card for one that gives cash back or rewards and get paid to spend money. Here are some that give back when you spend.
11. Cut back on clothing
The amount of waste caused by people throwing away their unwanted clothing has been in the news a lot lately.
If you feel tempted to buy new clothing, why not start with a good clear-out of your wardrobe instead? Often you think you don’t have anything to wear, but a good look in your closet will very probably reveal some hidden gems you forgot about. Still not found anything? Consider selling some clothes and buying second-hand.
Tempted to throw out your jacket with the missing button? Why not mend it instead?
If you have someone handy in the family, why not try fixing instead of reaching for the bin? If you aren’t so good at DIY, stores are popping up now where you can take in broken items. It’s worth checking in your area.
13. Don’t buy new
I never considered buying a second-hand washer. It was one of those things that I thought was better purchased new because you would get the most wear out of it.
However, our fairly newish washer broke yet again recently, and replacing it wasn’t in the budget, so we bought a nearly new one on eBay at a fraction of the cost. I don’t think I will ever buy a new washer again!
14. Turn the heating down
I believe that intelligent planning can save you plenty. Think about when you most need some warmth. For us, it is between the hours of 5 pm and 10 pm when all the family is usually in the house. During the day, it is just the dog and me. I have the heating turned down during the day, and if I start to feel nippy, that’s the time to take the dog out. By the time I come home, the house feels super warm!
If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set the temps automatically and forget about it.
15. Turn off lights and save water
Switching off lights may seem super obvious, but it’s very easy to forget or get lazy about remembering to switch off. In a couple of areas of the house, we have installed a PIR light which turns on and off automatically as people enter and leave the room.
Choose showers over baths to save water and reduce the time you spend in the shower. Here are some tips:
- Turn the water off while you lather up.
- Switch to a water-saving showerhead.
- Catch the cold water (before the shower warms up) and use it to water your garden.
16. Hibernate the conservatory
Conservatories are typically very poorly insulated. We have an insulated roof on ours, so it is more like a sunroom than a conservatory, but still, in the depths of winter it gets very cold, and it’s not worth heating up. So, we shut the door on it until we can open it again on a sunny day when we don’t need an extra heater.
17. Check entitlements
Check whether you are entitled to any tax credits or benefits. You can do that here for UK people.
18. Sell unwanted items
Boost your income by selling your unwanted items on eBay or in a local ad. I did this a lot when the kiddies were growing up. I once bought them a little house for the garden and then sold it again when they out-grew it. It felt like we were borrowing the item for free because I don’t think we sold it for much less than we bought it.
19. Get rid of your gym membership
Unless you use your gym membership very regularly, they are often not worth the cost.
How about swapping your gym membership for an online app, or a youtube channel?
My favorite fitness channel is Fitness Blender. They have a tonne of videos you can do for free at home, and there are so many that you rarely have to repeat a session.
Whichever option you go for, make sure you don’t overspend on gym shoes.
20. Review your insurance
Insurance companies have a habit of upping their premium for renewals. They draw you in with a cheap offer until it comes to renewal time when they think that you aren’t going to bother shopping around.
Always do your homework and look for cheaper offers. If your current insurance company doesn’t match your new offer, then switch. You will save a substantial amount of money.
21. Buy through cashback schemes
There you have it! Twenty-one ways to save money fast. The level of saving you can achieve on all those things really depends on your situation, but I save hundreds of pounds each month by doing most of those things, and if I can do it, you can too.