5 Money-Saving Tactics You Can Implement in 5 Minutes or Less

by Alexa Mason · 11 comments

Everyone seems strapped for time these days. And a lot of us are also strapped for cash. With so many responsibilities to manage, it can be hard to find time to make budget cuts and save money.

If you’re running low on time and money, you’ll definitely want to check out these tips that you can implement in five minutes or less.

1. Do an Electricity Check

During the rough Ohio winter months, my electric bill tends to skyrocket. I’m always looking for ways to cut this cost. Aside from having well-insulated walls and ceilings, I also have a few other tricks for battling your electricity consumption.

Take a walk through the house and unplug anything that you don’t use on a regular basis. Even if it’s turned off, an appliance (or hair dryer, etc) is still using electricity.

Got that done? Now don’t forget to turn the lights and TV off every time you leave the house. You should also unplug your phone charger when it’s not in use.

2. Find the Cheapest Gas Prices

With gas being so expensive, it’s important to take a little time to search for the best prices.

First, download a gas price app like GasBuddy. Then, before you fuel up, check gas prices near you and go for the cheapest one. After filling up, make sure to tighten your gas cap.

3. Eat Leftovers

Since you’re already strapped for time, why not eat last night’s leftovers for lunch today?

The next time you cook, make a little extra so that you can enjoy this convenience on a regular basis. You can save close to $30 a week, or $1,500 a year, by packing your lunch just three times per week. If you eat leftovers for lunch every day, you’ll save some serious dough.

4. Wash Your Clothes Less

I don’t know about you, but I can wear a pair of jeans about three times before needing to wash them.

And, why not? If your clothes don’t look or feel dirty, why waste water and laundry detergent? Washing your clothes less also helps them hold up longer.

5. Re-use Your Grocery Bags

Do you buy trash bags for your small trash cans? If so, you need to stop. Re-use the shopping bags you get from the grocery store instead. Keep a small stockpile to have on hand whenever you need them.

There you have it: five money-savings tips you can implement in five minutes or less. If you’ve been running short on time, you should be able to use almost all of these tips to save money on your monthly household costs. These ideas may even spark your creativity, inspiring you to discover more quick money-saving tactics.

What are your favorite quick and easy money-saving tips?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Terry says:

    I actually like leftovers especially things like stew and curry. They are much better the next day. Also, leftovers are great to add flavor on your food and make sandwiches. You are not only wasting money if you throw them but also not appreciating the time it took to prepare them. I have too much respect for food to throw it away. I always feel that God will punish me if I do waste.

  • Adam Kamerer says:

    My favorite quick-and-easy tip: warm/cool your body, not your house. If you’re cold, it’s a lot more efficient to put on a sweater and socks or make a hot cup of tea than it is to try to warm the entire volume of air inside your house. If you’re hot, it’s more efficient to strip down to shorts, put a fan blowing on you, and drink something cold.

  • Plan your food shopping when you’re sitting in the car, train or bus, and not when you enter the grocery store, you will deal better and more useful then.

  • Paul says:

    I extend the life of my home hvac air filters by removing them periodically and tapping them over a trash can so that the dust falls out. Then I put them back into the hvac to double the lifespan of the filter.

    Using google maps, and knowing my cars’ mpg, I calculated the cost of gas for typical errands. I discovered that many of the local errands cost me more than I realized, and that encouraged me to do as many errands at once as is possible.

    Eating out: take a sack lunch. But don’t forget to estimate your savings by putting this into a spreadsheet. Eating out was one of my biggest expenses that I overlooked.

    Get rid of the landline. I use cable internet with an Ooma phone and also a prepaid cell phone. That saves me about $100/month from what I used to spend.

    All savings go towards paying off high interest debt. Ensure that extra payments aare applied towards paying down debt instead of making the next month’s payment. Banks love the latter; they keep you in debt that way!

  • #1-5. Check, check, check all the way! If we make small changes it can make a lot of difference on our finances.

  • dojo says:

    We do sometimes use the bags from shopping, but also have our own garbage bags. They cost 5 bucks and last us for at least 3-5 months, so it’s not a huge save. We do cook at home and try to cut down on the electricity bill as much as possible.

  • adele says:

    I use the grocery stores bags for garbage bags, which is convenient in a NYC apartment (throw garbarge away often or you will get visitors!)

    I bring lunch at least four times a week. Saves me a ton and I eat better.

    I unplug appliances not in use and all sockets when I go on vacation, or leave home for more than three or four days (this adds up!). However, I will note, do not unplug your computer’s modem cause you might have to re-enter all initial settings. A pain!

    I close lights when I leave a room.

    I had been sending my laundry out for cleaning (A NYC luxury and since I don’t own a washer dryer and cannot have one it was nice). But, I do a much better job than the service and by doing it myself it’s half the price. It’s like found money.

    I would add to this list:

    Take an honest assessment of how many miles you put on your car. For instance, when I got a new job in Manhattan I began to use public transit and so I drive much less than before. By calling my auto insurance company, I saved about $200 a year. Since I pay auto insurance eight times a year, that’s $25 each of the eight months.

    I make the free tea at work (and enjoy my coffee made at home), and no longer buy coffee out (if I have an opportunity to make it myself). This saved me $2.20 a day. For 20 days of work in a month, that’s $44! Between that, the laundry, the auto insurance, I’m saving about $100 a month by just being more careful.

    One last thing: I make a jug of crystal lite lemonade for the week and put it in plastic bottles that I reuse (and put in the dishwasher after every use)… each time I have a drink this way, it saves me about $1.75.

  • Roxy says:

    I have never bought trash bags in my life. I love reusing what is free from the grocery store.

  • Michelle says:

    I always try to make a little extra food so that we can have leftovers later. Makes it easy!

  • Debt Blag says:

    Wait:

    “You can save close to $30 a week, or $1,500 a year, by packing your lunch just three times per week”

    A thrifty person is already spending less than $10 per lunch; I average $5 eating in our cafeteria. Also, what am I going to eat for dinner the next day if I’ve already eaten those leftovers?

  • We do quite a few of these in our house – especially #3-#5. Now that we both work from home it’s just so convenient to eat leftovers for lunch. It almost makes me sick to think of how much money I spent prior on eating out.

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