25 ways you can start saving money right now


Written by:

It’s easy to say you want to save more money. It’s harder to know where exactly to start. But it’s easier than you think. Here are 25 ways to start saving you can work on right away.

Image Credit: Sam Edwards.

1. Focus on paying down your debt

Debt is expensive. Interest rates can keep you mired in that debt for years, costing you more and more over time. Know the difference between good and bad debt, and tackle bad debt as soon as you can.

Image Credit: Getty.

2. Learn to fix things

There are a lot of services we pay for that we could do ourselves if we made the time or learned the skill. Think changing your own oil, grooming your dog, hemming seams and sewing buttons. Chances are there’s a YouTube video that will walk you through whatever it is you’re about to pay someone else to do.

Image Credit: Imgorthand.

3. Use coupons

Finding coupons for goods and services is easier than ever. Before you buy, check the company website for promotions, and search the internet for coupons.

Image Credit: Getty.

4. Take your lunch to work …

You can save serious money doing this, even if you’re spending just $5 to $10 each day on lunch. Just $5 a day adds up to more than $1,000 a year. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Consider this lunch that can cost less than $1. Chances are making your own lunch is probably a healthier option as well.

Image Credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz.

5. … & make your own breakfast

That’s also true for your breakfast. The drive-through sandwich you grab on your way to the office is probably filled with sodium, fat and more calories than you need. You can make your own breakfast for probably less time than you spend in the drive-through line, and definitely less money.

Image Credit: Pekic.

6. Cut back on drinking & smoking

Another healthy way to save money is to cut back on drinking and smoking (or to quit altogether, which can help you save money in other ways).

Image Credit: Luka Lajst.

7. Consider your commute

If you’re jumping in the car most mornings when you could be taking public transportation, walking or riding your bike, you may want to do a cost analysis. Chances are you could save significant money commuting on the bus, train or subway or walking or biking, not to mention saving wear and tear on your vehicle.

Image Credit: SbytovaMN.

8. Do it yourself

Just like learning to fix things, doing things yourself can save you heaps. Mow your own yard, clean your own home, do your own laundry and by all means, cook your own food.

Image Credit: PeopleImages.

9. Sign up for membership programs

Are you 50 or older? Join AARP for a nominal annual fee and reap the benefits, like discounts on your monthly cell phone bill. Too young? Consider joining affiliation clubs like alumni associations and similar groups that offer discounts for members.

Image Credit: Leopatrizi.

10. Get a cash-back credit card

It’s hard to beat saving money by getting cash back on your purchases. Look for cash-back credit cards that offer more cash back for the things you buy the most, like groceries, gasoline or restaurants.

Image Credit: Credit: Jirapong Manustrong / iStock.

11. Fix your credit

Of course, cash-back credit cards require decent credit, so if your credit scores aren’t as high as they should be, start working on improving your credit. Doing so can save you money on everything from car insurance premiums to mortgage interest rates.

Image Credit: Liderina.

12. Cut the cord

Are you still paying for cable television? Just quit it already. You can save a lot of money by buying a digital antenna or a device like AppleTV or Amazon’s Fire Stick.

Image Credit: artisteer.

13. Review your ongoing expenses …

Just like going to the dentist or doctor for routine checkups is a good idea, it’s also wise to check up on your spending every now and then. It’s easy if you already have a monthly budget.

Image Credit: kitzcorner.

14. … like your cell phone contract …

For example, are you using all your minutes and data each month? If not, can you downgrade your service for a cost savings?

Image Credit: GaudiLab.

15. … your insurance policies …

Likewise your insurance policies. Are you benefiting from having a higher deductible? Reviewing your policies with your agent or carrier each year is super smart. You can use this free insurance checkup tool to get started

Image Credit: Portra.

16. … & even your subscriptions

Do you have apps, magazines or other subscriptions you aren’t really using anymore? Get rid of them. It’s easy to do this if you just add these items into a spreadsheet. You can run through the sheet, determine if an item is still worth paying for and either keep it or sweep it.

Image Credit: pinkomelet.

17. Try shopping at a cheaper grocery store …

Sometimes shopping at your nearest grocer isn’t always your best option, especially when it comes to saving money. Try a new grocery store this weekend. Compare their prices to your current grocer and see if there’s a significant difference on the items you buy most frequently. Even check out Amazon for items you can have shipped to you routinely, often at a solid savings.

Image Credit: JGalione.

18. … watch for double & even triple coupons …

Some stores offer double and even triple coupon days, increasing the savings on those manufacturers coupons you can clip or online. The savings can really add up.

Image Credit: monkeybusinessimages.

19. … & definitely join your grocer’s rewards program

Not only will you get updates on the most recent deals and discounts, you may be privy to specials that non-members can’t get.

Image Credit: EmirMemedovski.

20. In fact, join all the rewards programs

Don’t just limit your savings to groceries, join airline, hotel and even car rental programs that reward you for your loyalty. Some of these may be connected to the cash-back credit cards we mentioned earlier. 

There are even membership programs at your favorite stores — and they often come with rewards throughout the year. Want other free stuff? Here are 50 free things you can enjoy this summer

Image Credit: timnewman.

21. Test your green thumb

You can save a ton of money on fresh vegetables and herbs by growing your own. If you have neighbors, you can swap and save for even greater savings (and you won’t end up with 10 pounds of tomatoes you don’t know what to do with).

Image Credit: Martinan / iStock.

22. Practice patience

In this age of instant gratification it’s easy to see something you want and just buy it. But if you wait at least 30 days after the itch to own something hits you, you may find you don’t actually want it at all, that it was just an impulse buy. If you want it after that 30-day waiting period, you’re less likely to end up with buyer’s remorse.

Image Credit: Marcin Wiklik / iStock.

23. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, bargain & haggle

Does it make you feel cheap to try to get a lower price for goods and services? Get over that if you want to save money. Everything from credit card interest rates to the cost of home repairs and the price of automobiles can often be negotiated down. You can even score some free stuff while traveling if you just ask. Remember, the answer is always “no” if you don’t ask. 

Image Credit: shapecharge.

24. Get lean & clean

If you have a lot of stuff around your house you rarely or never use, it may be time to do a purge. Go through your stuff. If you haven’t used something in a year and it doesn’t hold significant sentimental value, let it go. Have a yard sale or consign your items.

Image Credit: David Sacks.

25. Buy quality

Just because you pay more for something doesn’t mean it’s better, but it can pay off to make sure you’re buying quality items that will last instead of the least expensive option. This is particularly true when it comes to big-ticket items like appliances, mattresses and even some articles of clothing like coats and shoes. “Planned obsolescence” is a real thing, and knowing that can save you loads in the long run.

This article originally appeared on Policygenius and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: SolStock.


Constance Brinkley-Badgett

Constance Brinkley-Badgett is MediaFeed’s executive editor. She has more than 20 years of experience in digital, broadcast and print journalism, as well as several years of agency experience in content marketing. She has served as a digital producer at NBC Nightly News, Senior Producer at CNBC, Managing Editor at ICF Next, and as a tax reporter at Bloomberg BNA.