7 Creative Ways to Save Money Every Month

by Vincent King · 26 comments

Last we checked, money still hasn’t started growing on trees yet. Not in our yard, anyway. So we decided to experiment and see if we could find some new ways to save the same old money.

Our experiments were a success. We’ve saved on nearly every one of them, and I’m thrilled to show you how we did it.

Being able to save money isn’t some exclusive privilege only reserved for financial bloggers. Here’s how one of our readers, Vincent, saved recently. They are easy to replicate, so everyone can do this. Check out what he’s done.

1. Switching grocery stores.

We used to shop at Walmart. Now we shop at a local ethnic market, buying all of our meat fresh from a butcher, along with our local produce. Ground beef is $2.99/lb compared to Walmart’s $3.99/lb. Their chicken is usually on sale at $0.99/lb and that’s boneless/skinless!

The best part is, my wife gets to have the chicken cut the way she wants and it’s ready to cook when she is! The produce is local and cheap, too. Overall, we’ve saved $550 in groceries in the last three months and our family is buying fresher healthier foods.

For cleaning supplies, we switched to Aldi, a smaller store. Now, we simply avoid the spending trap of Walmart altogether.

Takeaway: Find a local ethnic market for your meats and produce to save significantly on your weekly grocery bill.

2. Using Ebates

For cosmetic goods and other household supplies that we can’t find at Aldi. By shopping Ebates, we get a reward for every purchase.

We switched to Target for our shopping needs. By using Target’s online Ebates link, we get a 1.0% cashback instead of nothing from Walmart’s online store. We’ve earned nearly $100 back in just two months.

Takeaway: Take advantage on online rebate sites, as every % counts.

3. Making kids’ sporting events a picnic.

Rather than buying hot dogs and drinks at the park, for no less than $8 per person, my wife makes our afternoons special by packing our food and calling it the picnic that it is.

The kids don’t get caught up in buying stuff just because we’re out. It also forms a deeper family bond by turning it into a family event. Even if we splurge and buy the Angus beef hot dogs and gourmet buns and take our own family tea or water, we save over $20 at every event.

Takeaway: Prepare your own food for special events. Do it well and you can get everyone excited while saving money.

creative ways to save money4. Use a Cash Back Credit Card.

I’ve only recently signed up for one, so I haven’t redeemed any of the points yet. That being said, many people have gotten a ton of cash back from their credit cards. I signed up for the Fidelity cash back card that gives 2% cash back on purchases. I know some people use different ones to get up to 5% on multiple spending categories.

So far, we’ve been pleased by how effortless this savings method can be and the ample offered rewards on every purchase. We’re excited to see exactly how much we’re going to save with this one.

Takeaway: Keep your eyes open for new trends to help you consistently save.

5. Reselling the kids clothes to consignment.

Considering how fast kids go through clothes, this has helped tremendously. Taking one load to our local store reaped a nice $150 return. And sure, that money goes right back into their next wardrobe, but that’s still $150 that doesn’t come from my pocket (at least not directly!).

Takeaway: Use what you already have to get more of what you are going to need.

6. Stripping cable to the bare minimum.

We save $18/month by not keeping the movie channels we once neglected. Those channels never seemed to show anything we genuinely wanted to watch, so we cut it from our lives. Now we enjoy the movies we’ve collected over time, yet never played, while watching movies online at Hulu.

We watch what we want when we want, and don’t pay for something that isn’t performing to our family’s needs.

Takeaway: See what packages you can downgrade, if not cut completely. Here are some more ideas to trim your cable TV costs.

7. Opt for free entertainment.

We used to go to the mall (a trip that never cost less than $50), shopping for toys ($50), or to Chuck E Cheese ($25) when we had time off with the kids. Now, many of those places aren’t open anyway so we hit the park, the library, nature trails, or to the lake. We go for family walks. We play games. All saving a minimum of $25 – $50 a pop.

Takeaway: Choosing free entertainment can be more fulfilling and rewarding than paid entertainment, almost every time.

What are your favorite ways to save? Which one offers you the greatest return?

Editor's Note: Did you know about the service called $5 meal plans? For $5 a month, they send you recipes of delicious, healthy, yet cheap food that costs just $5 a meal.

Several of my friends signed up and they are able to eat at home more because the instructions are easy to follow, making everything convenient. The deal also comes with grocery shopping lists, which saves them so much time. Check it out yourself by clicking here and you too may be able to save more and become healthier at the same time.

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current AT&T DSL and U-VERSE promotion codes and promos and see if you can save more money every month from now on.

{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Randy says:

    I am getting ready to retire and looking for ways to cut cost. Found a few. I refinance my home and saved $200 a month, Changed my home owner insurance and saved $287 a year. Got rid of all my stuff off my phone and went to basic phone and text changed from ATT to ComsumerCelluar for 2 phones went from $165 down to $33.25 each month. Transfer my home phone saved $10 from $20.00 to $10.00. With that alone I saved over $4,388 a year. Plus not pay in on my 401k eliminate life insurance threw work, no longer will I have to pay a 7.65 in taxes on my income. Figuring everything up I will save over $20000 a year!!!! plus any tips I pick up on here. Planning on eliminating cable tv and getting Roku .

  • Jim says:

    If you are still using a land telephone line, you are probably paying $35-$40 per month. If you already have broadband internet service, there are several companies that can deliver equal quality for about $5/month.

    I use Ooma, and I’m very satisfied. It saves about $35 per month. There’s other companies as well – do some reading before deciding – not all of them deliver good service.

    • Kate says:

      If your electricity goes out, so will your internet connected telephone. I had a land line put in because I have a heart condition, and I value my life more than I value the “savings” if any that I’d get from disconnecting my lifeline. Again, almost none of these telephone systems are available in Canada.

  • Molly says:

    Target has a 5% discount on every purchase using their credit or debit card. Costco offers 1-4% rebates depending on your membership and purchase. Rebate covers mbership and more

  • John says:

    I am retired on limited income, so I could use a lot of this kind of advise. I am sure others seniors can use this kind of advise also.

  • Donny Bruce says:

    Start a network of bartering skills. Surround yourself with people who have diverse skills e.g electrician, plumber, garden service, hairdresser, etc etc. contract with them to trade skills without money changing hands. “You look after my garden twice monthly and i’ll cook dinner on a drop and collect basis once a week”. We all have something to bring to the table. if you make this work for you, you’ll save loads of money. Be creative!

  • Frollo Moran says:

    One of the first places people should be looking to save money are on the big recurring expenses that we all have every month.

  • Mddwsjohnson says:

    I do not believe this person is saving over $550 per month shopping at a local store. I believe in hometown stores but they are not going to be $550 cheaper per month. It doesn’t work that way. I know.

    • David @ MoneyNing.com says:

      Vincent mentioned that he saved $550 in the last three months, which is a huge sum no doubt but the savings is actually quite believable.

      Instead of debating whether the exact number is realistic or not, why don’t we try some of his suggestions and see how we do? Even if we don’t save $180 or so a month, any savings we do get is great for our budget I’m sure.

    • Laura says:

      Well the comment left did highlight the “we simply avoid the spending trap of Walmart altogether” – perhaps the actual cost of goods is not the only part of the savings, it may be that once you are stunned by the white overhead lights, everything you see becomes a must have, aka the “spending trap of Walmart”. Shop in a smaller store, and you’re in and out in 15-20 min. and less items to tempt you to buy. An overall savings in time and money.

  • Skybart says:

    Since when are there Aldi-markets in the U.S.? All over the country?

  • Kate says:

    Our prices in Canada are sometimes four to five times what you pay in America (e.g. Parmesian Cheese that costs $1.99 at the Walmart in Syracuse NY costs over $7 here in my grocery store). Socialism is costly! When I visit my brother or my Mom, I always come home with canned goods and laundry detergent and batteries — the latter two have a costly “eco tax” imposed on them in addition to their already high price and the 13% Goods and Services Tax). The Seven Last Words of Canada are “I will buy it in the States.” Even our federal government has got on this bandwagon; the duty free for a 24 hour stay is now $800! Takeaway Tip: Shop In The States.

  • Lance@MoneyLife&More says:

    While canceling the extra channels ask your cable company if they can give you any other discounts. Normally they’ll give you more than just the money for cancelling extra channels.

  • Jay says:

    I buy all my fruit and vegatables at the local farmer’s market on Sunday mornings. This saves me over $60.00 a month. I buy all my meat and fish at the local butcher, it isn’t frozen and I save about $80.00 a month feeding three adults and one child. I cut my cable and watch just the three networks now (I was never a TV fan) Another $40.00 there. I changed to a pre-pay cell phone that has an unlimited internet connection that I tether through to my laptop and tablet which saves me another $50.00. I changed my auto insurance and deal with only one bank… But the best thing is, now I have no balance on my credit cards anymore, which saves me money in interest. I’d say I’m saving about $550.00 overall too of which I’m saving over $200.00… Though I really liked the park over pizza idea, think I’ll try that one…

  • Diane says:

    Recently I stopped in at a fruit stand in our town. What delicious local strawberries! Fresh beautiful broccoli, apples, and more. All local and fresh. I will go back to that fruit stand and others in town. No more produce from other countries. I have stopped grocery shopping in Walmart. I have begun purchasing my meat from local farmers. No hormones or chemicals. I know everyone cannot do this. Fortunately I am in a rural area.

  • Jules says:

    What did you spend $5000 on (3% = $150)?

    I don’t really see cash back incentives as saving money. You’re still paying 99% of the price. It’s nice to get a nice little sum back at the end of the month (or year), but it shouldn’t dictate your spending habits.

    • Kate says:

      My bank offers one of these cash-back cards. I read the brochure and discovered that in order to save the substantial sums they claimed, it would be best to be a family of more than four with two cars and both parents working…and the account charged $14.00 a month in fees! I have a “Basic Banking” account that after you reach age 58 charges no fees at all, and I build up “Scene Points” every time I use my debit card, pay a bill at the bank or have a direct deposit made, and use those toward a movie (which saves me $18.00).

  • Grace says:

    This is a great post, thanks so much. I really like that these tips are so versatile that they can be used year round! One of my favorite ways to save is by planning out my groceries a week in advance so I can get everything from the store at one time, make a few good meals that last a week, and buy just a few snacks. I save a lot of money by making a list, going to the store just once per week, and eating leftovers!

  • Ginger says:

    Doesn’t target have a shipping cost if you order from their website?

    • Kate says:

      We don’t have Target in Canada yet, but it’s coming soon. The difficulty for them will be training the surly, unhelpful Canadian staff to work to American standards.

      • Diane says:

        You are so right. Nothing for Canada to be proud of. I’m an American living in Canada. A favorite pastime for Canadians is to compare themselves to Americans with them always winning. I’ve lived here for over forty years and I still defend America, not that anyone will admit friendliness is not a high point in their lives.

        • Laura says:

          I’ve lived in both America and Canada. Americans have it hands down on friendliness and helpfulness in stores. In Canada Customer Service agents make you feel like your inconveniencing them when you ask a question – isn’t that what they’re getting paid to do?

  • TB at BlueCollarWorkman says:

    Right on! My wife and I always make meals/snacks for the kids’ games, for road trips, for everything! It’s so much cheaper and we all eat better too. Win win.

  • Mike says:

    We’re also thinking of switching to a cheaper cable plan since we don’t get to use/watch most of the channels in our current plan.

  • Danielle Ogilvie says:

    I find that when grocery shopping, it’s best to check the per gram cost instead of just looking at the total amount. That way you know if you are really getting the cheapest item.

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