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100 Money Saving Tips

Here are 100 money saving tips you can use to pay off your debt, give or save to invest.  If you like it please share on your favorite social network.

  1. 100 Money Saving Tips

    By Jess from Canada (HPIM4771) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    Adjust the Thermostat In the summer turn it up and in the winter turn it down. You will use less energy. Get a programmable thermostat if your house is empty during the day; you can save a lot of money and still have the temperature you want in your house before you get home.
  2. Cut the cable  Cable TV is becoming increasingly expensive as well as increasingly redundant since most networks are putting their content online, either on their own websites or on sites like HULU.
  3. Combine it  if you can’t cut the cord then at least find out if you can bundle the services and save money in the process.
  4. Threaten to cancel and see what kind of deal you can get; Cable companies are striving for subscriber numbers right now and just want to hold onto their current clients.  You can get a greatly reduced rate if you just tell them you want to cancel.
  5. Entertain at home A game night or a nice dinner is much cheaper and nicer in many cases, when done at home. Find other like-minded people and find creative activities.
  6. Learn how to sew a button Don’t throw away clothes because of minor issues. Sew the button back on if you stain your jeans or rip them make them your yard work jeans.
  7. Make gifts don’t buy them Making quality gifts takes time, but the person getting the gift may appreciate it much more.
  8. Convert to a gas or an instant water heater They are more efficient and can save a lot of money over time.
  9. Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL although there is some debate on this you can test and see if it helps you save money.
  10. Get rid of your home phone With cell phones being what they are now there is very little reason to have a land line.  If you don’t get the best service at your home many cell phone providers will give you a device that will boost the signal in your home.  It is like having a tower in your house.
  11. Shut vents in unused rooms This may not be a good idea if you have forced air heating, but shutting vents in unused rooms can save on your heating and cooling bill.
  12. Change the filters in your home every 6 months  This makes your HVAC work more efficiently
  13. Use a power strip to turn off your entertainment system There is a term being used call vampire power where a lot of new electronics draw small amounts of power even when they are turned off. Using a power strip can eliminate that power draw and save you money.
  14. Buy used when possible Pay extra for a used quality product instead of a disposable quality product.  Especially when it comes to kids items that they will outgrow in 6 months.
  15. Get live in help If you have a spare room you can rent it out to someone you trust.
  16. Pay your mortgage on a bi-weekly schedule Doing this can shave years and thousands of dollars from your mortgage.
  17. Clean your own carpets You can rent the machine or borrow it from someone.
  18. Attend College online It is much cheaper to get your education online just do your research and find a good school.  I just finished my degree in 2.5 years.
  19. Delay purchases  When you have a desire to purchase something wait a few days maybe even 30 to make sure you still want to spend the money on it.
  20. Buy a Clothes line Running a dryer costs a lot of money. This can be your first wind and solar power appliance.
  21. Create your own 100-calorie snacks Buy in bulk and divide it yourself. That packaging costs a lot and we pay for it in the end.
  22. Make drinks at home If you are going to have alcohol it is much cheaper do have drinks at home with friends than to do it at a bar.
  23. Clean dryer filters It helps you dryer work more efficiently and prevents fires.
  24. Clean refrigerator coils again it improve the efficiency of your fridge.
  25. Turn down the temperature on your water heater It can save a lot of money on energy.  Unless you are like me and LOVE your HOT showers.
  26. Start a garden If you have any space it is a great rewarding experience. It takes some practice but you can grow your own food and it will be much better for you if you are doing it yourself.
  27. Start a compost pile Take your yard waste and kitchen scraps and start a compost pile or a worm bin and make your own Black Gold
  28. Reuse milk jugs You can use milk jugs with small holes in the bottom as a drip irrigation system.
  29.  Don’t waste your water When you cook veggies with water, steam or boil. Use it to water your potted plants. The nutrients lost in the water will feed your plants.  Just remember to let the water cool before you use it or it will kill your plants.
  30. Make your own cleaners Vinegar has tons of uses around the house and you can mix some up to clean and deodorize your home.
  31. Try a staycation If you stay home but disconnect from your normal routine you can get things done around the house or in your local area and save a lot of money.
  32. When possible go for energy saving appliances Save money in the long run with better energy ratings.
  33. Wear clothes more than once before washing when possible Unless if you are getting really dirty or are working really hard you can get away with more than one wear.
  34. Buy your own water filter Bottle your own water.
  35. Eat early or late when going out You can get early bird discounts or happy hours to save money.
  36.  Keep your freezer full It takes more energy to keep an empty freezer cold.


  1. Create a Babysitting Co-Op No not like those books from such a long time ago but if you and another couple can exchange babysitting services it will give both of you a free night out.  This is great for your marriage as well as your wallet.
  2. Hand me arounds  There is no reason to buy all new clothes for your child, especially when they can only where the same thing for a few months before they grow out of it. When you are done pass them along and find someone else to do the same with. My wife has a Mothers group at church that constantly passes clothes around and saves everyone a ton.
  3. Play at the Public Park Why not just go to the park and play with other kids, you already paid for it.
  4. Watch the local parks for educational programs Take your kids to these and they may have so much fun they won’t even realize they are learning.
  5. Public Libraries There is so much that can be had at public libraries from internet access to the books and learning programs.
  6. Use city services There are plenty of free (already paid for through taxes) activities for children around our city, between Metro parks and libraries there is plenty to keep them entertained.
  7. Watch local churches Especially in the summer there are tons of Vacations Bible Schools for kids’ activities.
  8. Stop spending so much on your kids  Really they want your time and love more than anything. Make up games you can play at home all the time or just play tag.


  1. Slow Down  Aggressive driving and decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 33% according to the EPA.
  2. Driving the speed limit  This also helps to save gas as gas mileage drops over 60 MPH.
  3. Empty your Trunk  Getting excess weight out of your vehicle will give you better gas mileage.
  4. Change your oil Keep up with routine maintenance these jobs are not just to keep auto shops in business but they help your car drive better longer.
  5. Never buy new  New cars are almost always a bad deal because of depreciation. Used cars will get you a much better bang for your buck
  6. Wash and vacuum your car at home There is no reason to pay for a vacuum and the automatic car washes don’t do the best job of your car.
  7. Wash it often  Dirt can damage paint.
  8. Keep your tires inflated It will help you get better gas mileage; you also need to check them every few weeks.
  9. Use 2WD55 Air conditioning That is two windows down 55 MPH.
  10. Keep wheels aligned  Your car is working hard if your alignment is off.
  11. Rotate your tires Prevent wear and make your tires last longer
  12. Find a way to carpool if possible I was able to carpool for over a year with a friend over a 40-minute commute, so it saved a lot of money.
  13.  Leave the car behind  Walk whenever possible, ride your bike if it is too far to walk.
  14. Move to just one car Can you do with only one car in your family, save on insurance, gas and maintenance?
  15. Look for discounts Ask your insurance company if you can get a discount for paying annually or with an automatic draft from your checking account.


  1. Shop around. There are so many places to get a good deal online that you have to do your research.
  2. Buy Video games with replay value I have never been more disappointed than with THE video game that was supposed to be the be all end all of games and it took me 12 hours to finish. Some games you can play for hours some for days. Do the math 5/hr or .10/hr?
  3. Get books and DVDs from the Library Most libraries are stocked with DVD and unless it is a reference book you will need constantly you can get it for free at the library.  If the library doesn’t have it, try sites like www.paperbackswap.com and www.dvdswap.com   OR Find a friend who has it and borrow it. If you still can’t find it shop the used book stored then used on Amazon.com Then the retail store if you must.
  4. Think about an old fashioned solution? If people like Nelson Rockefeller can run multi-national corporations without a smart phone maybe we can too.
  5.  Look into open source software Why pay for software when there are free and sometimes better solutions out there.  http://www.osalt.com/ is a site dedicated to finding you the open source solutions you need.
  6. Check out Ting Ting runs on the sprint network, if you don’t mind having an older phone for a while you can save a ton of money by switchting over to ting.


  1. Find the best interest rates around don’t just use the bank you always have. This isn’t 1950; banks don’t think of you as anything but a number (unless you have a very special bank) so don’t fall for their loyalty stuff. If they aren’t making the most of your money someone else will.
  2. Call your credit cards and ask for a better rate Although I had one bank drastically reduce my limit when I did this once when all the banks were tightening up. I paid off the card and haven’t done business with them since.
  3. Always use a reward Card. There are not as many as their used to be but they are still out there. Get paid if you can as long as you pay off the balance.
  4. Get an online savings account They tend to have higher interest rates than brick and mortar banks.  I use and love Capital one 360
  5. Don’t overdraft your account  it costs you too much money.
  6. Pay bills automatically Use bill pay from your bank to avoid late fees and save on postage.
  7.  Keep your money in hard to reach places  like an account you don’t have Internet access to. That way you are less inclined to spend it on a whim
  8. Freeze your credit cards  Literally we have kept our cards in a tin can full of water in our freezer. If we need them we have them but we can’t just get them to spend carelessly.  Especially when you can’t microwave it.


  1. Sign up for rewards Programs I even set up a special email for them but you can get some good coupons and deals from a lot of these.
  2. Stick to the list A shopping list is not just there to remind you of what you need to buy but, it is also there to prevent you from buying things you don’t need.
  3. Drink more water Soft drinks at a restaurant can cost up to $3. If you drink water you will save a lot in the long run. Even at home it is cheaper.
  4. Buy more ingredients Prepares, processed, microwave meals are more expensive and less nutritious than buying the ingredients and making it yourself.  We have seriously considered a “you can anything you want as long as you make it yourself rule)
  5. Buy and cook in bulk Wholesale clubs allow you to buy large amounts at a discount (although not always so keep an eye out). Store the food for later or prepare it all at once and then freeze it for use later.
  6. Constantly shop around on service like insurance Insurance policy rules are constantly changing you may be able to get a better rate from someone else check at least once a year.
  7. Check your deductibles you can save a great deal by increasing your deductibles, although make sure you have the money to cover your deductible in the event of an accident.
  8. Always ask for a discount The worst thing they can say is say “No” and it is easier every time you ask.
  9. Don’t be trendy Classic clothes last longer than trends. Besides you will most likely look back and realize how silly you looked
  10.  Don’t buy dry clean only clothes You don’t want to spend the extra money
  11. Shop at outlets and stores like TJ Maxx “ You can often find better prices at these stores.
  12.  Share a Meal  If you are going to go out to eat try splitting a meal. Most casual dining restaurant meals are big enough to share and still be full.
  13. Buy a whole Chicken You can eat all of the meat and then boil the bones to make a stock.
  14. Get a larger prescription If you take a prescription medication on a regular basis, ask your doctor to write a three-month prescription. Instead of paying three co-pays, you only pay one.
  15. Use Baking soda for toothpaste  It works just the same
  16. Plan meals that can be repurposed We make a pot roast and make open-faced sandwiches the next day out the leftover meat.
  17. If you eat out only do so when you have a coupon We decide where to eat based on the coupons we have in our collection.
  18. Don’t shop for groceries hungry You often end up buying so much more than you really wanted to.
  19. But generic when possible Store brands foods are much less expensive in most cases and the reduction on quality is not that noticeable except for Ketchup I have never found a generic ketchup that is as good Heinz.
  20. Watch for thrift store discount days Some stores have a 50% off day and you can get things on the cheap.
  21. Buy an Entertainment book It will cost you $20-30 but will save you a ton.
  22. Find out if an item has a price guarantee Some store will pay you back the difference if an item goes on sale shortly after you buy it.
  23. Always keep your receipts  You will need them if you want to get your money back or need a repair
  24. Remember to send in your rebates  Another reason to keep your receipts.


  1. Adjust your tax allowances There is no reason to give Uncle Sam an interest free loan for the year while you are paying interest on your debt or while you could at least squeak a few dollars out of your savings account.
  2. Get the most out of your employer  Make sure you are aware of all the benefits offered by your employer you can take advantage of. FSA, Tuition reimbursement, 401(K) match, adoptions assistance.
  3. Go to the second run or Dollar Theater  Sure you won’t see it the day it comes out but Hollywood hasn’t been doing much worth the extra expense IMAO.
  4.  Start or join a book club  It is cheap and it great entertainment as well as being social with a real live person.
  5. Quit Smoking it isn’t getting any cheaper and it will save you money in the long run on medical expenses.
  6. Try grounding yourself for a period to reset your life style “ For a month stop watching TV or playing video games or whatever mindless thing sucks up your time. When the month is over you will find you didn’t need it much after all.
  7. Offer services instead of gifts  A night of babysitting can be more valuable than gold.


What are your best money savers?  Tell us below in the comments.

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How to help kids manage money

Kids manage moneyHow do you help your kids manage money?  This is an article where I don’t think I have the one right answer.   My girls are still young and have trouble understanding the value of money.  We have tried a few things to help them get the concept, but I think these ideas are all part of the whole and not magic cures in and of themselves.

We are open about money with our kids.

My wife and I have been fairly open about how money works and the value of it.  (Although because kids talk I still haven’t told them how much I make.)  We explain that everything costs money and how much.  I explain that God has blessed me with a job to be able to pay for our home and our food.  We tell them how we give to the church regularly and the other ministries we sponsor.  My wife takes them shopping and they understand the cost of items.  When they ask why things cost money I explain how capitalism should work and how it should be a win-win for everyone.  They have a few business ideas I need to encourage because of these conversations and a few episodes of Shark Tank.

We give them their own money

Well they work for it.  They earn tickets for doing their chores which can be traded in for money or screen time.  Their money is divided into a three part bank for giving, spending and saving.  Any money is spending is theirs to do with that they please. (Although it is really hard when they want to buy crap.)  Saving money must be targeted to a larger purchase they are working towards.  Their giving must be directed outside of our home to church or to something else like the girls we sponsor through compassion international.

This is hopefully setting a pattern in their life.  They are able to save money and delay gratification. They love to give money to good causes and have even thought of a few creative causes on their own.  This is great because it gets them thinking about someone besides themselves.

We show them the water

You remember the saying, you can lead a horse to water?  We show our kids the wise choices and explain them to them as best we can but we still let them make bad choices.  “You can buy ice cream from the truck or you can buy a whole box from the store at the same price.”  It seems to be working more and more as our older daughter is talking to us about her thought process and the smarter choices.  I am sure they won’t always make the right choices but who does?  We have let them suffer the consequences of their bad habits so they will hopefully learn a lesson down the road.

Did you parents do anything to help you understand money?  What worked what didn’t work?  What will you do with your kids?  I really want to know because I don’t have the answers on this one.


Image by goodncrazy

First Ebay Sale

My First Ebay saleAs part of my New Year resolution I have posted my very first Ebay sale.  It is a hard drive that has been sitting on a shelf in the box for a while now.  The reason for the sale is two fold; we are looking to save up for a down payment for a house and so I am going to try to sell some things we have had around the house that we no longer need and secondly our house feels too crowded with stuff and we are looking to simplify and get rid of things we no longer need or use.

A lot of things have changed since I last looked at selling things on ebay which made my first ebay sale much easier.

  1. Setting up the listing was incredibly simple – I was able to model my listing after others already in the system and it took care of most of the information for me.  I took a few pictures with my phone and up loaded them.
  2. Shipping was a breeze – I was very conserned with how to deal with shipping.  I don’t ship a lot of things and I did a little research with UPS and USPS but turns out ebay has you covered there as well.  They knew my product and suggest a flat rate USPS option that I had already concluded I needed.  It made me feel much safer.
  3. Anyone can do a “Buy it Now” – Last time I has looked into it (admittedly a long time ago) only experienced sellers could do a buy it now sale.  Meaning you don’t have to play the auction game but could simply buy it outright.

The item sold after a week for $35, which is more than I paid for it.  All in all Ebay has improved a great deal since the last time I had looked into selling.  It could be a great way to earn some money and simplify your life by getting rid of some things you no longer need.


Prevent Fights About Money in Marriage

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/

Photo by yourdon

I have talked to many couples about money over the years and there always seems to be some tension around money within marriages.  According to some evidence fighting over money greatly increases chances of divorce.  It may be a testament to how powerful the love of money is in our culture.

My wife and struggled with how to handle our finances in a biblical fashion and how to handle money issues within our marriage with the grace of the gospel and we have learned a few things about preventing fights about money in marriage:

  1. Don’t become money Pharisees: Many church folks talk about money with a very legalistic mindset.  We set hard and fast rules to live by when it comes to our money and then we experience the same guilt with money that we do with every other sin in our lives because we broke the rules.  You will both make mistakes or have already and there must be grace for those mistakes just like any other sins that have been forgiven by Jesus.
  2. Remember to communicate: It is easy if one spouse “Does the bills” or “Handles the money” for the other spouse to feel left out especially if that spouse also doesn’t bring in any income.  I have had to work very carefully to keep my wife involved and help her to know that our money is OUR money.  We have gone as far as to schedule a weekly finance meeting where we go over spending, budget and planning.  Mint.com creates great little graphs for my presentations.
  3. Create and commit to your budget together: The initial budget should be something you and your spouse decide on together.  It may be a tough conversation but you can help one another by calling out the idols you have in your life around money.  My wife, by nature of taking care of our home, is responsible for spending a large share of our budget that isn’t automated.  She does her best to stick to the budget we agree to and we discuss it when it needs to be changed.
  4. No questions asked money:  If you can afford it allow one another play money.  If my wife wants to order a new gadget for her camera she doesn’t have to ask me she just buys it.  Similarly, I don’t have to ask her when I want to go out for lunch.  We each have our own accounts with direct deposits that are ours alone.
  5. Automate things: When possible automate savings and bills.  Saving is much less painless when you don’t have to do anything to accomplish it.  We have a whole article on how to do it here.
  6. Ask “Why do I feel this way”: We all have experiences with money that lead us to think a certain way about it.  I, for example, value my savings like an idol just for its own sake.  I trust that having no debt and money in the bank will save me from life’s circumstances instead of trusting in Jesus as my savior.
  7. Know your Role: No not that men are the breadwinners and woman should be home barefoot and in the kitchen. (Although my wife hates shoes and loves to cook).  Know how your individual styles complement one another.  Or know what you can and cannot do.   By way of example:  My wife will hold onto cash like it is gold.  She will spend that $50 in her purse several times.  Each time intending to deposit it to cover the purchase she just made.  I ,on the other hand, will hold onto cash and spend on a card because it isn’t concrete money to me.

This list, like most of this blog, is a monument to our failures.  We have learned many of these lessons the hard way. What else can you do in order to prevent fights about money in marriage?

13 Free Entertainment Ideas

13 Free Entertainment ideas

Image by zigazou76

When you are trying to live with stewardship in mind you often have to think differently than you may normally to have fun and entertain yourself.  Here are a 13 free entertainment ideas. (or Almost free).  Many of these things consider sunk costs, example number one assumes you already have a GPS or a smartphone.

  1. Go Geocaching – What is Geocaching? It is a real world GPS scavenger hunt.  You use a GPS to find a set of coordinates where someone else has hidden a cache (usually Tupperware).  Our kids love it because you trade toys in the caches and they love to find new parks to explore.  We love it because it gets the whole family out of the house and doing something together.
  2. Hit up the public library – You can just sit and read to your younger ones while your older ones check out all sorts of new books they have never heard of.  Most libraries have some sort of story time where the librarians of volunteers read a book to your kids.
  3. Play a board game – We have an extensive collection of board games and we love to play.  Instead of going out and spending money find like minded people and have dinner together followed by some game time.  Trade games with people if you have ones you are done with or don’t like.  Introduce your children to the games you play instead of playing another round of Candyland.  Our kids love Settlers of Catan Jr. (And I like it better than the original)
  4. Family movie night – This is a tradition in our house.  We either get new movies from the library or watch some of our favorites.  Make popcorn or a treat that goes with the theme of the movie, curl up on the couch and create memories.
  5. Public parks – Find out what is happening at your local and state parks.  There are nature lessons and hikes, photography clubs and even geocaching gatherings.  You just have to know what is going on and when.
  6. Set up a walking tour of your town – Local historical groups are a great resource then once you are started pack lunch make a map and take a walk.  History will come alive as you actually walk through the areas where events took place.
  7. Take a photo walk – Take a camera and walk somewhere take pictures of anything you find interesting. It is amazing the cool things you drive by all the time but don’t notice.
  8. Check out any number of free courses online – Coursera, iTunesOpenculture or others that will allow you to learn something new for free.
  9. Take the day and clean up that one room – Not really fun but it really needs to be done.  You know that space that you have been meaning to clean out/up for a while but things just keep piling up?    Take a few hours and clean it.  You will feel so much better.
  10. Learn how to fix something around the house – I really like to fix things(or at least try to) but I am not very confident on the how-to part.  You tube is great for that. Last month I drained my hot water tank to fix a knocking sound it had been making.  Just to your research and you may be able to fix it by yourself and save yourself the repairman bill.
  11. Have a water fight(summer) – This was a great morning in our house.  We bought big squirters at the dollar store filled up a bucket and the four of us had a fight for about an hour.
  12. Have a snowball fight (Winter) – If it is winter take some time to make a batch of balls and have a snowball fight.
  13. Try new shows on Youtube – Youtube isn’t just for cat videos anymore.  There are actually networks of content being created by quality brands.  Try Geek and Sundry, Machinima, and more

What are things you do to entertain yourself for little or no money?  Let us know in the comments.

Amazon Subscribe and Save

Most people know about Amazon.  Many people order electronics, books and toys from the E-tailer.  Fewer people know that you can order all sorts of household items from Amazon.  We order most of our non-perishable household supplies from amazon as well.

Amazon started from an online bookseller in 1995 to being one of the largest internet companies in the world selling everything from books to furniture.  Amazon has prices lower than most stores and they often deliver free to your door (if you have a prime membership or order $25 or more in qualified products).

But Amazon Subscribe and Save is almost a secret compared to other offerings by the online giant.  If you can plan carefully it can save you a ton of money.

What is Amazon Subscribe and Save?

Amazon Subscribe and Save is a subscription ordering service.  You set up a subscription to have a product delivered in 1-6 month intervals and receive an additional 5% off your purchase.  If you have 5 orders arrive on the same monthly subscription delivery date you save an additional 15% off your entire order.  This is where the planning comes in.  Take a look or keep track of what you are buying and how often.

What is available in Amazon Subscribe and Save?

What all is available from Amazon by subscription?  Almost everything!  Non-perishable grocery products, cleaning supplies, baby supplies diapers, cat food and dog food almost everything you could want that doesn’t grow on trees.  You can see the vast selection here.  If there are products that you buy regularly you should compare prices to amazon.

Keep an eye out

Just as many with many deals, you have to watch carefully.  Just because you are buying in bulk or subscribing does not mean you are always getting the best deal.  In preparation for this article I took a walk through our local Kroger and compared the prices on Amazon.  While some prices were great savings others items were cheaper at the store.  There were a few items that would be a better deal on Amazon if timed correctly to enable the additional 15% savings for having 5 items delivered at the same time.

Here are the prices I reviewed.  Red means Amazon was a higher price; green indicate Amazon had a better price.

Amazon Subscribe and Save

This article contains affiliate links.
Cover Photo by  401(K) 2013

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