20 Ways to Save Money Long Term

by Jamie Simmerman · 8 comments

Finding practical ways to save money over the long haul can be something that escapes our attention. It’s easy to look for the best price on an item when shopping, or add money to your savings account every week, but thinking long-term is an intentional action that takes thought and planning.

Here are 20 easy-to-implement ways to save money long term — that you can start today.

1. Turn off hot water rinses and heated dry settings on your dishwasher.

2. Mix your laundry soap with water, Borax, and washing soda to make it last twice as long.

3. Measure your laundry soap according to your washing machine manufacturer’s recommendations. Many people use more soap than is necessary, especially in newer washers.

4. Turn your air conditioning and heat up/down by five degrees. Also, don’t be afraid to shut off your heating/cooling on nice days and open up the windows.

5. Install a faucet water filter instead of buying bottled water.

6. Use your vehicle brakes less often and learn how to drive in ways that will improve your gas mileage.

7. Remove unnecessary items from your car to reduce the weight you haul around regularly.

8. Install a high performance air filter (like K&N) to improve your car’s performance without using more gas.

9. Unplug electronics (especially computers) when not in use to reduce electric consumption.

10. Keep your socks longer by rolling them together, instead of folding the cuffs together, to save the elastic.

11. Use septic tank treatments regularly to reduce the need to have your tank pumped. A few dollars a month is preferable to a large sewage bill.

12.  Reduce your cat’s hair balls without medication by giving her a tablespoon of tuna in oil every week.

13. Eliminate chemical-laden household cleaners (and the expense) by learning to mix your own cleaners using baking soda, vinegar, peroxide, lemon juice, ammonia, and other “natural” cleaning ingredients.

14. Examine your reoccurring bills for hidden charges, like added charges on your Internet for dedicated IP addresses, “privacy protection” options, and other charges that may have snuck into your monthly budget.

15. Turn a small yard into a vegetable garden. You’ll harvest veggies for the supper table and save money by eliminating mowing costs.

16. Clean out your storage areas to find items to sell for cash and reduce clutter in your life.

17. Purchase discounted fruits, and turn them into smoothies or jams.

18. Grow your own lettuce year-round in a cold frame. Home–grown lettuce is nearly maintenance free and can help reduce your grocery bills every month, especially during the winter when the price of produce increases.

19. Cancel your Netflix subscription and visit your local library to borrow movies instead.

20. Replace one night of entertainment a month with supper at home and a free entertainment option in your community. Put the money you would’ve spent into a savings account — and keep track of your savings over time.

What long term money-saving tips do you have to share?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle August 1, 2013 at 5:13 am

I’ve never even thought about septic tank treatments. Good thing to start now!

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Debt Blag August 1, 2013 at 6:54 am

Lots of good tips and so much I want to discuss!

OK, just a couple:

8. Not only will you get better mileage, but fancy filters don’t have to be replaced, just cleaned from time to time. That’s another savings.

10. I tie mine together (just personal preference), but another way to save the elastic is to not dry them on hot.

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Simon @ Modest Money August 1, 2013 at 7:00 am

A checklist worth going through to see areas to cut back on. Am particularly interested in examining recurring bills since they take a huge regular chunk of income. I have cut cable and trying to reduce hours watching the telly…maybe to add:
* save lose change in a jar or something and bank it when it gets full
* bike to work/store/town whenever you can instead of taking the car
* Recycle what you can :)

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Property Marbella August 1, 2013 at 7:27 am

Many good tips and I want to add a good tip; buy a bicycle and you will save petrol while you get good exercise.

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lana August 3, 2013 at 10:56 am

We save by my cutting the kid’s hair, trying to maintain everything well and not replace anything unless we cannot fix it. We keep our cars about 15 years. We dry clean sparingly. We shop around for prices. The biggest pay offs have been selling our homes ourselves or a company sells them for us so we haven’t had to pay commissions or fees. The other big pay off was instilling education into our kids from day one. The kids have been blessed by scholarships so they won’t be incurring any debt. We get a thrill with a bargain, but still enjoy vacations and entertainment. Our priorities are tithing, saving and paying off our home which we did last December. Now I am embarking on returning to work, hopefully we will be able to continue to save 20% and bank my check. We feel that being a good steward is vital. God has blessed us with the ability for me to stay home for 21 years. Mat 19;26

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Judy August 11, 2013 at 7:58 am

That is wonderful!! I admire your discipline and priorities! :)

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Judy August 11, 2013 at 8:02 am

In addition to learning to make my own laundry dtg, I’m converting from clorox wipes and baby wipes to making my own…. much cheaper. A little castille soap, tea tree oil, and water mixed and poured over a stack of baby washcloths or similar in a container and you have high quality re-usable wipes. Do same w/preferred mixture of cleaner and water for clorox/cleaning wipes. :)

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hannah August 24, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Here’s one that most people seem to forget about: the bank account

I’m shocked how many people pay some sort of fee on their account every month. These days every bank has a free account, and if you have an emergency fund that wil qualify you for one of the best accounts a bank has to offer, at most places.
A lot of these better acccounts offer free perks.
So go take a look and make sure your money is working the best for you and you aren’t paying fees for accounts, paper statements, or check writing priviledges – use online bill pay!

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