21 Little Ways To Help You Save Money

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Here are some of their helpful responses that can hopefully encourage you to grow that rainy day fund:

1.

Plan your meals for the week and only grocery shop once a week for what you need to make those meals.


DC Films

“Plan my meals for the whole week, and do groceries only once a week after I had a meal at home. I now only spend around €45-€50 a week maximum, and I still go to the butcher, bakery, and salad bar for my fresh products. By only going once a week I don’t have the temptation to buy more than I need or unhealthy stuff. And go to the store after a meal so you’re not hungry and tempted to buy food you don’t need. Also by making a meal planner I am wasting less food than before. Because I’m planning out what I need, and that way I’m not buying things I thought I might needed or didn’t have anymore.” —martine89

“I make a set menu for every week and only buy what I need for those meals for my family of three. And we only eat out once a week if at all.” —kylies43b942092

2.

Figure out a budget for your various spending categories (food, going out with friends, buying clothes, etc.) and put cash in an envelope for each of those things. Once the cash runs out for the month or pay period, you’ve hit your limit.


Amazon

“I made a budget and got into cash envelopes. I use one for groceries, one for pets, and one for miscellaneous (coffees I get at work, makeup, etc). Psychologically you become more conscious of what you spend when you hand over cash and don’t get any back.” —kirstenelysew

And if you really want to get into this method, you can grab some fun colorful envelops with labeled charts printed on them.

Get a 12-pack of budgeting envelopes from Amazon for $11.99.

3.

If you work in the service industry, try saving most of your tips — or all of them if you can afford to.


20th Century Fox

“I work at a bar and coffee shop, so every day after my shift I throw my tips in a jar in my kitchen. I try to let it rack up and deposit it at the end of the month. Same with loose change.” —bridgets5

4.

Sign up for the rewards programs and saving apps for nearby grocery stores so you can compare prices for the things on your list.


IFC

“Downloading the grocery stores around me’s savings apps. Not only did I get to sign up for their rewards cards, I could compare and contrast what was on sale and then plan my meals around it. I normally spend about $45-$50 for two weeks of breakfast, lunch, dinner and a few snacks this way. Also, use cheap proteins and always go for store brand!” —anneo42f4e5e98

“Make a grocery list. If I don’t, I end up impulse shopping. Sign up for the rewards programs for places you frequently shop, and clip the coupons. You’d be surprised by the massive deals.” —vnes1011

5.

Only spend money on certain days of the week.


Paramount

“Only spending money certain days of the week — I don’t spend anything Monday–Thursday. And on the days I do spend I try and make better spending choices. It’s actually helped me control my spending and save a lot more than I was before!” —emm1

6.

Hide money away in a locked safe so it’s out of sight, out of mind.


Disney

“I hide cash in a locked safe so it is out of sight, out of mind. I use the money as a summer fund for going out and vacations, I try to put in $50 cash at least once or twice a month. Previously I had over $700 in the safe for summer activities.” —marykates43ec32f1a

7.

Keep a separate account strictly for your hobbies (crafting, gardening, knitting, etc.). Never spend over your set allowance every month and let the unused dollars accumulate over time.


World of Wonder

“I’m a crafter and had a separate account just for craft supplies so I wouldn’t go overboard. I knew $50 went in every month and just never spent more than that or looked at the balance. We were trying to scrounge up some vacation money so I caved and checked the balance. I had saved about $800 in five years just by not touching the leftover balance every month!” —glamfish500

8.

Meal prep and pack your lunch every day.


Toei Animation

“Pack. Your. Damn. Lunch. Pack your lunch! You go to work to make money, not to go to next door, cut your break time down, wait in line, and probably pay them what you make in two hours! I meal prep for 10 days. I store three in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. When I take one out of the fridge, I put one In from the freezer so it’ll thaw in time for tomorrows lunch.” —kittyslippers

“Meal/snack/coffee prep! That $5-$20 a day you’re spending at work or school for your snacks, meals, and coffees may not seem like much, but really adds up if you think about spending $100-$400 a month on fast food, Starbucks, and vending machines! Take 30 minutes to do some meal prep before you leave the house, start buying snacks that are easy to take on-the-go, make big dinners with enough for leftovers (I immediately put half of every dinner I make into a to-go container for the next day), or better yet, make a big meal on Sunday to have for lunch throughout the week.” —labiz

9.

Earn cash back on your purchases with the Ibotta app.


Ibotta

It’s a free cash-back rewards app that gives you actual money back when you pay through the app, whether you’re buying groceries, clothes, or electronics. They work with over 1,500 brands, including Target, Sephora, Walmart, and more.

“I use the Ibotta and SavingStar apps to save big. After two years of using Ibotta, I’ve saved more than $250 with little to no effort!” —hannahh495fa4bff

“I use Ibotta. This month I’ve gotten $75.34 in cash back for rebates on the groceries and clothes I buy. It’s super easy! Rather than cash out to PayPal, I cash out to an Amazon gift card and use it to get 3-5% back again on my next purchase.” —christinaj4b73eaa02

10.

Have an amount of your check deposited directly into a separate savings account that you have limited access to.


Adrianhancu / Getty Images

“Having an automatic amount taken out my check and put in a separate savings account, which I don’t see often because it’s in an online bank.” —steff_lovah

11.

Enroll in a “Save the Change” program with your bank or use an app to automatically round up every purchase to the nearest whole dollar, depositing the spare change into your savings.


ABC

Bank of America offers one of these programs, but if your bank does not, you can also use an app like Acorns.

“Enroll in a ‘Save the Change’ program with your bank. My bank automatically rounds up every purchase I make to the nearest whole dollar and drops the remainder into my savings account. Doesn’t seem like much, but really adds up! A great way to save even if you don’t make a lot and without feeling like you’re sacrificing.” —labiz

12.

Remove the dangerously convenient autofill feature on your computer and beloved shopping sites/apps. This way, you have to actually get up to get your card and you may think harder about the purchase.


Annapurna Pictures

“Don’t set your credit to auto-fill. That way every time you think of buying something you must get up, find your wallet, and then enter all of that info (it’s laborious). That way, you cut down on some unnecessary purchases.” —John Mihaly

“Stop hemorrhaging money by removing your credit card details from apps like Amazon, Uber Eats, etc. They create an ability to spend money in a frictionless way and it really adds up. If you have to go find your card to order Uber Eats you may think twice about it.” —aguid23

13.

Make your own coffee!


E!

“Not stopping at Starbucks. The closest one is 10 minutes away from my job, so it’s just not worth it. I save $4 every day on the iced coffee I now brew at home.” —andread14

14.

Use the zero-based budgeting method — at the beginning of the month or pay period, figure out what you’re going to spend every dollar of your income on.


CBS

“Zero-based budgeting! Sounds scary. It’s totally not. At the beginning of the month you figure out what you’re going to spend every dollar of your income on, whether it’s bills, expenses, or savings! That way you can truly track your spending and know where it’s all going. The EveryDollar app is amazing for this!!! Keeps me from spending all my money that I should be saving on food! My husband and I are almost done with saving up our full emergency fund!” —c4b953daca

15.

Use the 52-week money challenge method — save the dollar amount equal to the week of the year it is. For example, the first week of the year is $1, second week is $2… last week of the year is $52. By the end of the year, you’ll have $1,378 saved.


Disney

“One way I save is using the money challenge method — saving the dollar amount equal to the week of the year it is. I.e., the first week of the year is $1, second week is $2… last week of the year is $52. By the end, you have $1,378 saved. I usually don’t make it to the total because that’s how I budget for Christmas gifts, but that’s the method!” —bluepuppy2013

16.

Take $20 (or more) out of every check and put it in an envelope. And keep the envelope stashed away so you don’t think about it.


Peshkova / Getty Images

“I take 20 dollars cash out of each paycheck (sometimes more) and put it in a card in an envelope and keep it out of sight. Any cash I get for holidays also gets put into that envelope. After analyzing my spending habits, I’ve noticed that if it’s in my bank account I will spend it — I use my debit card almost all of the time and hardly ever pay in cash. Dealing with cash has made it possible to save more.” —peacefulmatcha68

17.

Shop in bulk and pay attention to the cost per item/ounce.


Target

“I always always always shop by cost per item/ounce/pound when buying things I know I’ll use lots and lots of. It’s essentially buying in bulk but it is shopping smarter when it’s not necessarily in bulk. Read signs and compare! Sometimes bigger is not always better value (most of the time it is but sometimes sales change that). I like to buy organic fruits and veggies, so by doing this, I can justify the splurges on other essentials.” —jessbruso

18.

Or stick to the essentials by ordering your groceries online.


Comedy Central

“I find that ordering my groceries online has helped me stick to the essentials because I’m not aimlessly wandering around the aisles.” —monicah4

19.

Tape up a sign to remind yourself how much money you spent on food delivery last year and use it as motivation to cook more.


Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

“I made a sign reminding myself of the total $ I spent on delivery food in 2019 and taped it to the kitchen cabinet door above my stove so I can look at it when I’m cooking my own meals. It’s helped (some). Though I shan’t reveal what that total is!!!” —Elizabeth Lilly

20.

Use the Digit app to pull small amounts of money from your bank account daily, so over time you can accumulate a nice chunk of cash.


itunes.apple.com

“I use this app and I can honestly say that it’s the best way for me to save up for something! It pulls out low amounts (literally like $5) each day so most of the time I don’t even notice it’s gone. I can set limits on the maximum amount I want taken out, which helps when I want to speed up or slow down saving. The app can also automatically pause from withdrawals when my account hits a certain amount — ya know, so I don’t wind up in the negative for any reason. When I am ready to spend it, I can simply transfer it all back! I’ve been using it for about two months now and I’ve saved almost $300!” —Kayla Suazo

21.

And monitor those monthly subscription services and actually ~cancel~ the ones you don’t need. You can do this on your own or with the help of an app, like Truebill.


Hulu, Apple Music, Netflix

When you actually have money in your savings account:


Fox

Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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