What’s Your Best Way to Save Money?

Back when I posted my list of 104 Ways to Save Extra Money, I received quite a few emails with more ideas for saving. One of the better emails, from a reader named Amy, contained 7 more ways to save extra money. I thought it was a pretty solid list, so I thought I would share it here for you guys and invite you to list your best way to save money in the comments below.

1. Pay your bills on time. You’ll avoid late fees and finance charges and a better credit score means you’ll be offered better rates on other things.


Best Way to Save Money

2. Make gifts. Utilize an existing skill, learn a new one, or compile your own gift baskets. The person who has everything still needs tasty food.

3. Cancel subscriptions. Read newspaper or magazines for free online or at the library.

4. Buy generic or store brands. Sometimes we end up paying more just for the label.

5. Lower the thermostat. Your family probably won’t notice if you turn down the heat by one degree (unless you tell them what you did).

6. Shop thrift stores. Inexpensive dishes, utensils, pots, pans, glassware, picture frames, tools, books, furniture……I could go on.

7. DIY cleaning supplies. Find recipes online to make your own glass cleaner and tub scrub using simple, cheap ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap.

So what are your ideas? How are you saving extra money right now?

photo by alancleaver_2000

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About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka “PT”, is a CPA, financial writer, podcaster, FinCon Founder, husband, and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Listen to the new podcast, Masters of Money!


  1. Great tips 🙂 . Joining up with friends to do bulk shopping at places like Costco and dividing the stuff amongst yourselves, according to our individual needs really saves $$.

  2. I cancelled two subscriptions recently. Been meaning to do it for a while, but you think about it, then other things distract you (you know what I mean?). By FINALLY getting round to cancelling them, I’ve saved myself £120 a year.

    Just read your 104 ways to save extra money and I’m glad piggy-banking is right at the top! That’s what I do too. I then either take what I’ve built up to the bank every 6 months or give it to a charity.

  3. myfinancialobjectives says:

    I’d like to just harp on the paying your bills on time. My old roommate was not very good at doing this and it ended up costing him.. quite a bit, like over $200 in total! Please, pay your bills on time, a pissed off roommate is not cool haha.

    Also, I was late one month on a a loan payment, and I did not qualify for the “discount” or whatever they called it. It was a total of about $180 off my bill! All because for ONE month, I was like 4 days late. AHHH!!!!

  4. Use the 10% rule and when you get paid, immediately put 10% of your gross into savings/investments. If you don’t do it this way; money won’t be saved.. Most people try to save after paying bills, going out, etc. and find $0 left over..

  5. Cleaning supplies are absurdly cheap as it is. Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble enjoy economies of scale that you can’t match. If you want to make your own cleaning supplies as a non-financial project, just to say you did it, that’s one thing. But doing it out of economic necessity doesn’t make sense.

    Here are guaranteed ways to save $1000 a year, right now:
    1) Don’t drink.
    I go to a bar, I pay $2 or $3 for a Diet Coke and usually get free refills (for which I tip $1 each.) I’ve seen mixed drinks as high as $16. And for what? Is numbing brain cells really worth paying a premium for the privilege?
    2) Move your assets to cover your liabilities.
    On another popular pf blog today, a woman laments that she has $300,000 in retirement accounts, $14,000 in credit card and other related debt, and a $10,000 “emergency” fund.
    Here’s the thing: emergencies rarely happen (hence the name.) This woman would rather die the slow death of taking forever to pay off her credit cards than eliminate 71% of that debt in one fell swoop. And if you really have an “emergency” (for starters, give me an example of something that you can’t get insured for), then open up the retirement account. You won’t get charged a penalty if it’s for a valid medical reason (i.e., not rhinoplasty.)
    3) Review your car coverage.
    I see people all the time who have far greater limits on their comprehensive and collision coverage than they need. These same people will get a car loan and not buy gap insurance, leaving them stranded should their vehicles get totaled.