Cut Your Spending by $400 a Month!


Did you know if you cut your spending by $13 a day, you’ll save $400 a month and $4800 a year! Pay attention to the little expenses because they really do add up. This is currently the most popular article on The Budget Diet, and I’ve just updated it for 2015 thanks to all the helpful comments. If you’ve read it before, read it again…a little frugal living refresher won’t hurt.

Cut Your Spending by $400 a Month!

Consider this your frugal living menu with 98 ways to cut your spending by $400 a month by changing simple spending habits. I’ve included lots of links to help you find more in depth information on many of these money saving tips/habits, so just click on a link if there’s something you want to learn more about. After you finish reading this article (it’s a long one), here’s a much shorter printable Cut Your Spending Checklist.

Simply put a check mark next to any money saving tips you’d like to try, and you’ll soon find your family saving at least $400 a month, which could mean cutting your spending in half for some of you.! Thanks to Kristy W. for helping everyone save paper and ink by putting together this short 4-page printable Cut Your Spending Checklist

98 Ways to Cut Your Spending by $400 a Month

Save Money
Reduce Your Bills

  • Call your utility companies to make sure you’re getting the best rate, and to make sure you really need all the services you’re paying for like call waiting or premium cable channels. A few phone calls usually yields savings of $15 a month.
  • If you live in a deregulated state, make sure you’re shopping around for the best electricity rate! It’s easy! In Texas, go to, enter your zip code, see rates, read the fine print and choose a provider. The process is similar for all deregulated states, and there’s no interruption to your service.
  • Shop around and compare rates on auto and home insurance. Ask yourself if you could live with a higher deductible or different limits, and make sure you are taking advantage of all the discounts available to you (security system, good student, student away).
  • Start using a clothesline and you’ll save about 6% on your electric bill plus your home will be quieter and cooler!
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat…it will quickly pay for itself!
  • If you’ve had a disruption to your cable or satellite service, call and ask for a refund! We had issues with our cable for a week, and a complaint phone call yielded a $50 credit on our bill. Legitimate complaints may also result in a credit on your cell phone bill.
  • Speaking of cable, ditch it and opt for Netflix or Hulu. Unless you watch a lot of sports, this is a great option.

Shop Smartercut your spending by $400 a month

  • Stock up on discounted gift cards for places you normally shop. How does 15% off at JC Penney or Pier 1 sound? Buy discounted gift cards for up to 30% off at!
  • If you shop online, start with – you’ll find coupon codes and earn cash back on every purchase!
  • Shopping online? Never leave the coupon code box blank again! Sites like RetailMeNot offer free coupon codes for just about any product you’re shopping for…electronics, fashion, home and garden, books and more.
  • Make sure you’re taking advantage of discounts! Check out this list of 133 Military Discounts or 66 Teacher Discounts.
  • Stop making impulse purchases! Get in the habit of asking yourself if it’s a need or a want.
  • Don’t keep up with the Joneses.
  • Patience pays! If you make an effort to plan ahead, you’ll have time to find a bargain! Last minute shopping rarely yields big savings.
  • Shop garage sales, thrift stores, Craigslist, Goodwill and consignment shops first – you never know what treasures you may find! Once you find a few treasures, you’ll be hooked!
  • Try swapping instead of shopping. Invite your friends over and swap children’s clothes, toys, books and Halloween costumes. The average family saves $569 a year by swapping children’s clothes!
  • Get in the habit of shopping Groupon and other deal sites. No matter what you’re shopping for, there’s a deal site for you! Sign up to receive the best daily deals. No matter what you’re shopping for, there’s likely a daily deal site to help you save money!
  • Make sure you’re taking advantage of rewards programs at places you regularly shop like CVS, Kroger and Petco. If you’re tired of carrying around all those rewards cards, there’s a free app called Key Ring where you can store them!
  • Do you know the best times of the year to buy for maximum savings? Fall is the best time to buy a grill because stores need to make room for Christmas merchandise. Check out the Best Time To Buy Guide with listings by month.
  • Consider homemade gifts and homemade Halloween costumes – you don’t have to be Martha Stewart with my ideas!
  • Get in the habit of buying clothes during the end of season clearance.
  • Be thankful for what you have instead of shopping for more!

Cut Spending

Cut Food Costs

  • Always plan meals, make a list and try to grocery shop once a week.
  • Buy store brands, this alone will cut your grocery bill by 25%!
  • Use The Grocery Game, maximize your savings. The Grocery Game helps you combine coupons with sales for huge savings and even a few free items each week. You will save at least $50 a week, and you can get started with a free trial!
  • Shop Costco or Sam’s for staples like milk, eggs, butter, cheese and sugar. This is where the real savings are. Remember, everything is not cheaper at a warehouse club.
  • Invest in a deep freezer so you can buy in bulk during a big sale.
  • Stop buying bottled water! A case of bottled water is about $5 per week, $20 a month and $240 a year! Try a refillable bottle instead… Brita makes a refillable bottle with a filter.
  • Buy seasonal produce for best taste and savings.
  • Did you know that Kroger sells rotisserie chickens for half price after 7:30? Stock up, chop up, freeze! Check your local grocery for their policy.
  • Meijer sells all pre-sliced deli lunchmeat for half price after 8:30. See if your local grocery has a similar policy.
  • Check your local bagel and donut shops, you can likely pick up a bargain after a certain time of the day! Our bagel shop sells 1 dozen for $5 after 2:00, and I’ve heard that Krispy Kreme sells a dozen donuts (the ones in the case) for $1 after midnight…that gives new meaning to a midnight snack!
  • Eat out for less with deals from, or buy discounted restaurant gift cards for up to 30% off at!Discounted gift cards are what I call “no-brainer instant savings.”
  • Don’t miss out on over 100 Birthday Freebies from restaurants! How’s a $30 gift certificate to Benihanas sound?
  • Discover all the Kids Eat Free offers.
  • Are you taking advantage of Report Card Freebies?
  • Eat in, not out! Those everyday trips to the drive-thru quickly add up – $7 a day for lunch = $35 a week, $140 a month, $1820 a year! Could you brown bag it to work a few days? Check out 5 easy ways to ditch the drive-thru.
  • Make your own Starbucks and save about $3 a day, $21 a week, $84 a month, $1008 a year!
  • Plant a garden and enjoy seasonal produce for a fraction of the cost.
  • Learn to can fruits and veggies.
  • Always check out the grocery clearance / managers specials…the deals are amazing!
  • Cook from scratch…you’re paying way too much for convenience!
  • Try this rule – only order water at restaurants.

Have Fun For Less

  • is a great source for huge savings on fun things to do in your area like 62% off admission at the Houston Museum of Natural Science!
  • Try a high school football game or theatre performance for a cheap evening out.
  • How about breakfast and a movie? AMC theatres offer $6 movies before noon.
  • Watch your old wedding video and family videos.
  • Pull out your wedding album on your anniversary.
  • Have a wine tasting night at home and discover your favorite cheap wine. Simply cover a few bottles with brown paper, taste and rate!
  • Host a cooking school for your kids – it’s time to stop watching the Food Channel and start cooking!
  • Game night is a great family tradition to start! For a fun twist, add silly bets like loser does the dishes!
  • Create your own Wii Family Olympics by playing a different sport each night – ideal for winter break.
  • Check out for a state by state listing of free tours.
  • Find free events in your city by doing a quick internet search…the results might surprise you! West Palm Beach offers free concerts every week!
  • Pizza Taste Test – buy assorted frozen pizzas, taste, rate and choose your new favorite.
  • Start a family tradition of having ice cream sundaes on Saturday!
  • Try Minute to Win It challenges at home.
  • Bring back home birthday parties! You really don’t need to spend $300+ for an ice skating party or Build-A-Bear party.
  • Enjoy the outdoors – take a hike, go for a bike ride, watch the sunset! Mother Nature has a lot of free fun to offer.
  • If you’re a Bank of America customer, take advantage of free museum and zoo admission the first weekend of the month. Check their website for a listing of participating museums / zoos.
  • When’s the last time you visited the library? Check out books, movies and enjoy free events. Our library offers free yoga and zumba classes!
  • Let your kids get involved in Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts or 4H for affordable fun!
  • A neighborhood pot luck party is one of my favorite memories, and it’s frugal fun at its finest!

Go Green and Save Some Green

  • The Return of the Clothesline – Start using a clothesline or drying rack, and you’ll save nearly 6% on your monthly electric bill according to the Department of Energy…plus your house will be quieter & cooler! If your city or homeowners association prohibits clotheslines, your best option is a cloths drying rack (available at Target, Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond for about $30). If your monthly electric bill is $200, your friend the clothesline just saved you about $12 a month & $144 a year!
  • Burn Calories, Not Gas – Walking or riding bikes is budget friendly, earth friendly and figure friendly…so, what do you have to lose? Maybe a few pounds???? Let’s here it for pedal power!
  • Consider Carpools – Could you organize a carpool for work, school or after school activities? You’ll save both time and gas!
  • Plan Ahead – Are you guilty of running errands every single day or making two trips to the store because you didn’t make a list? There’s more to life than errands, and planning ahead will save you both time and gas money.
  • Slow Down – Driving 65 miles per hour uses 15% more gas than driving 55 miles per hour – that’s like paying 40 cents more per gallon! Of course, you’ll likely be the only one on the highway going 55!
  • Pay Bills Online – Save trees, save stamps, save money!
  • Find a Farmer’s Market – Discover your local farmer’s market, and your budget will love the prices and you’ll love the fresh taste of just picked produce! To find a farmer’s market near you, visit and enter your zip code.
  • Stop Junk Mail – Save trees, save your sanity! It only takes a minute to visit to remove your name from mailing lists for catalogs, insurance offers and more!
  • Reusable Lunch Containers – Instead of a brown bag, carry a lunch box. Instead of zip top bags, invest in reusable bags. You’ll spend a little money upfront, but you’ll save money in the long run.
  • Stop Buying Bottled Water – Bottled water has become the American way, and up until a few years ago…I was guilty of buying a 24-pack every single week! WOW…that’s $4 a week, $16 a month and $208 a year for WATER! Stop buying bottled water and start buying refillable bottles for your family to take to work, school and sports.
  • Unplug – Phantom Electricity is the electricity that is used when a device is plugged in but not in use. For example…you leave your cell phone charger plugged in all the time, but you only charge your phone every few days…did you know that your charger is still using electricity when it is plugged in but not charging? This is “Phantom Electricity”, and little bits are being used throughout your home everyday hence the name “phantom.” Wasted electricity is not earth friendly, and wasted electricity is wasting your money!
  • Recycle, Recycle, Recycle – If you’re not recycling, this is a great week to start! The first step is to have a system and make sure everybody in your family understands it! The Budget Diet girl’s system is two trash cans in the kitchen – one for recycling and one for trash. After a few weeks, recycling will become a habit, and your neighbors will be green with envy when you only have one small bag of trash each week!
  • Homemade Cleaning Products – Make the switch to homemade cleaning products that cost pennies to make and clean just as well without harsh chemicals.
  • Repurpose – Look twice at things before throwing them away! Could you cut off the fronts of some of your Christmas cards to use a gift tags next year? Could you paint that old piece of furniture or spray paint a chandelier to give it a new life? Save nice glass jars for giving gifts like my 2-ingredient DIY Coconut Sugar Scrub. You’ll never have to buy a box for shipping if you save a stash!
  • Compost!
  • Check Craigslist for free plants…you’ll almost always find them!

Reduce Health & Fitness Expenses

  • Are you taking advantage of your flex plan at work for pre-tax savings?
  • Save money on prescriptions by avoiding “combo pills.” A combo pill combines more than one type of medication. For example, Lotrel is a blood pressure medicine that costs $70 a month for generic, but you could get a prescription for the two components (Amlodipine and Benazepril) for $6 each.
  • Ask your doctor about any money saving prescription options…the last time I did this, we were given a bag full of samples! Ask and you just might receive!
  • Order pet medications online from place your order online, and they will contact your vet for the prescription. It’s one less errand you’ll have to run this week, and it’s cheaper than buying the medications from your vet.
  • Order contact lenses online from It works just like Costco, Sam’s and Walgreen’s also offer discount contact lenses.
  • No dental insurance? Find a dental school in your area for exams.
  • Want a bargain massage? Try a massage therapy school! In Houston, Memorial Hermann Southwest offers a 1 hour massage for only $29, and tipping is not allowed!
  • Check out FREE diet websites like and Simply input your weight, your desired weight, and you’ll get a plan. These sites help you keep a food diary and keep count of calories, fat, protein and carbs. You’ll also find plenty of motivation, tips and support in their online forums.
  • Get fit for free! Walk, ride bikes, check out my Pinterest Board of at home workouts or try exercise dvd’s. Average savings – at least $40 a month and $480 a year.

Travel More, Spend Less

  • Deal first, destination second – this is The Budget Diet’s motto when it comes to saving on travel. It simply means don’t get your heart set on a destination, and then discover the deals don’t exist. Instead, be open-minded about a destination and get excited about great deals.
  • Did you know that discounted gift cards exist for travel? Recently, Costco had $300 American Airlines gift cards for only $269.99! How’s that for instant savings? Take a moment to peruse the huge selection of discounted gift cards at – you’ll find discounted gift cards for hotels, restaurants, shopping and more!
  • Save on Cruises with’s 90-day last minute ticker. It’s not unusual to find discounts of 75%!
  • Consider a home exchange program like or
  • A road trip is always budget friendly! Plan a road trip to please everyone – you set the budget and distance parameters, and each member of the family plans a day!

More Ways to Save

  • DIY – could you make it yourself or fix it yourself? Thanks to You Tube, there’s a video to teach you just about anything! You can even learn to fix a leaky toilet!
  • Consider swapping babysitting or pet sitting with a neighbor.
  • Cut and color your hair at home.
  • Cut your dry cleaning bill by switching to no-iron shirts. 5 no-iron shirts from Costco cost $79.95, and you’ll save about $250 a year on dry cleaning.
  • Instead of a coin jar, try a $1 bill jar – you have to adjust for inflation, right?
  • File your annual income taxes online with free services like Turbo Tax or H & R Block. If you’re lucky their free tax tips might help maximize your refund!
  • Be pro-active and schedule professional routine maintenance on household items like plumbing (professional help can be sought from: plumber Burwood) and air conditioning systems.

How many ways did you find to cut your spending by $400 a month?

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Please leave a comment to add a tip to this list…thanks and happy saving!

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Cut Your Spending by $400 a Month


  1. Renee says:

    i use a free app on my phone called Flipp, you have all your local fliers in one spot, and you can create your shopping list and see where the best prices are on items you want/need. Works great for price matching with Walmart as well, our family usually meal plans based on the sale items from stores, for example, pick n save/copps have their sale fliers based on meals, along with breakfast items and snacks. We save a lot on our groceries by basing meals on the fliers.

  2. Suzanne says:

    I noticed that no one answered about the Ooma or mentioned Republic Wireless; I hope I didn’t miss it :) The Ooma ( is a box that hooks up to your wireless router and is essentially the same as a Time Warner VOIP service. You enter your address and it gets sent to an E-911 center should you need it (unlike Skype), and it works with standard telephones. Like other VOIP services, it does not work if the power or internet is out. Our Verizon bill went up two months in a row–we only had the “call across town” service and it was $42/month when I cancelled! Republic Wireless ( has phone cheap phone plans. You buy their phone ($99 for the cheapest) and their software uses the wireless internet when it finds it, and seamlessly switches to Sprint as you walk out the door. It’s $10/month for unlimited text and voice and $25/month for 3G. They have a 4G plan for $40, but I don’t use it.

    The last thing is health insurance. For those whose income varies widely from year to year, who don’t want a subsidy, or who fall into the medicaid gap (to rich for medicare, too poor for a subsidy), a healthcare sharing ministry may be the thing. I use Christian Healthcare Ministries and get a much better “deductible” and cheap “coverage”. We couldn’t afford $1200 month for a $6000 deductible so we pay $450/month and $500 “personal responsibility” for 2 adults and 4 children . I have a review here:

    Thanks for the tip–I didn’t know about the gift cards! I’m looking forward to looking over your blog!

  3. Kathie says:

    It’s JC Penney, not JC Penny.

    • Kristl says:

      Oh my goodness…oops! Thanks for being my spell-checker.

  4. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but you blogs really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark yokur site to come back down the road.

  5. Grecia says:

    I found out with my insurance when my husband was deployed that we could put his car under non operational and it was 50% savings of course you won’t use it but hey at least you r not paying for something you ain’t using.

    • Kristl says:

      The same applies if you have a student away at college without a car…it’s called the student away discount.

  6. I always emailed this website post page to all my contacts, for the reason that if
    like to read it afterward my contacts will too.

  7. Joey Plazo says:

    I constantly spent my half an hour to read this webpage’s articles or reviews daily along with a
    cup of coffee.

  8. RachaelM says:

    I guess if you are already spending wild amounts of money on useless things then this list will be helpful. But if you are already a low maintenance kind of person/family then this list isn’t very enlightening. And we found that if we spend $40 or less on basics every week and only $15 (or less) on daily needs/food, we saved A LOT more money than if we planned out all our meals and bought them once a week (inevitably we would need something or waste food). The best advice here is to make sure you are getting the best deal on utilities.

    • Kristl says:

      Sadly, most Americans are not living within their means, so what seems like common sense to you and I may be just what someone needs to start living a frugal lifestyle.

  9. Kimberly Dawson says:

    Keep in mind trying it save on the haircuts and colors. Most salons and stylists charge more to fix the home jobs. So seeing that cheap box in the store is going to cost you more in the end. Somethings need to be left to the pros.

    • Kristl says:

      At home hair color is really easy, but I don’t think I’d attempt highlights or some sort of radical color change myself!

  10. LitteBear says:

    This is great, some excellent advice. But I particularly liked the bit about getting donuts half price after certain times of the day especially when only a few lines up it’s talking about planning in advance, “is this a need or a want?”

    Because donuts are a need. Every time.

    • Kristl says:

      Technically, donuts are a want, but let’s not get to technical when they’re half price! The Budget Diet girl is all about living the good life for less, and donuts are the good life!

  11. Thanks so much for all the info:). I do many if these already but you have ones I never thought of or have forgotten to do:). Excellent!!

    • Kristl says:

      A little frugal living “refresher” is good every now & then!

  12. Bonnie says:

    Even sports lovers can lose their cable bill. Just buy the online deals offered by streaming service for NFL or NHL Centre Ice, here are two articles with more information:

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks so much for sharing the information on streaming services for sports! That seems to be the biggest objection in most households to ditching cable.

  13. michelle rice says:
    • Kristl says:

      Thanks so much for letting my readers know!

  14. In regards to auto insurance, you gotta shop around and be weary! My auto insurance covered by Hartford went from $1024 to $1440 for two cars. When I called Hartford, I was told my State forced the rise. I went to an independent insurance firm that deals with many companies. They got me a better coverage policy with Safeco for half the price. In addition, I switched my home owners as well and saved on that, as well.
    For the record, we drive less than 6,000 a year on the two cars and never had an accident or summons in 40 years. I would say Hartford lost a good client.

  15. Patrick says:

    Just saw this link on Twitter- there are some great suggestions here, especially ones I can use at uni. Thanks :-)

  16. This is such a great resource! I call in often on our bills, and do research to cut things down, and have shaved off hundreds of dollars each month. The one that killed me though was our phone bill. I shaved off features we weren’t using, etc., but the stupid extra taxes and fees they have on everything there, put it to $10 more. That one really got me! All of that effort for more money/month. I’d say stick to your grandfathered-in contract on your phone, because any new stuff has new hidden taxes and fees everywhere.

    • Kristl says:

      Those taxes and fees seem to go up & up & up! Word to the wise…when you are offered a new “cheaper” rate, make sure that includes all those taxes and fees.

  17. i make a point of calling all my service providers once a year, from utilities, to phone to credit cards to make sure i’m getting the best deal. sometimes I wind up with a cost reduction and sometimes with the same fees but an extra service. it’s worth it!

    • Kristl says:

      Good job! If you don’t call…you may see your rates go up after your contract ends, especially cable.

  18. Those are really great tips on how to cut costs. I do shop at different places just to save a few dimes as the prices are different at different stores.

  19. Amy says:

    There are so many great ideas here I can’t take them in all at once. I have bookmarked it so I can refer back to it again and again. Thanks so much for this useful information!

  20. Wow, this is a huge list of great ideas. Mystery shopping can help you save money on oil changes, food, and even entertainment. It is a bit of work but it pays to do the shops.

    I also noticed that someone mentioned a beauty school for high end hair services like perms and coloring. There is no need to worry about the students messing up, they are supervised by staff and the staff verifies that they are mixing the solutions properly.

    I also started using coupons and have learned how to save $ on household items and food.

    • Kristl says:

      Once you incorporate some of these money saving tips in your life…they’ll just become habits!

  21. Lots of really great tips! Thank you!

  22. Really good ideas. I’m already using most of them, but I could definitely stand to plan my errands better. Christmas always increases our electricity bill. It was almost twice as high, due to leaving the lights on at night! I think I’m gonna unplug my phone charger now…

  23. Pepper Tan says:

    With so many ways to cut our spending, we shouldn’t have any more excuses not to. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Pepper Tan says:

    Who would’ve thought that there were so many ways to cut your spending? Thanks for sharing those tips. It’s never easy, but with determination and discipline, we’ll all get there.

  25. Barb W. says:

    Wow! This is an amazing list! I’m bookmarking for future reference. Maybe tackle a section a week. One of my favorites is the rain barrel solution, we use these and it’s a great way to conserve water as well as save money.

    • Kristl says:

      Imagine the savings if you tried just one new money saving tip a month! Every little bit adds up!

  26. Michele says:

    so much great info! bookmarking this page so I can refer to it often! thanks

  27. Francine says:

    If you want to go out for a nice meal but hate spending a fortune, try visiting a local culinary school. They usually serve lunch or dinner for a third of what it would cost at a fancy restaurant. Make sure you check with the school first so you can check out the menu and make a reservation. These places fill up fast because they have limited seating and it’s all through word if mouth! The culinary schools offer the restaurant service as part of the curriculum and need customers to serve so it’s a win wing if everyone. You get a gourmet meal for a very low price and the students get experience cooking for the public!

    • Kristl says:

      Love this idea for a cheap date night! Thanks for sharing and being the first addition to the 2014 list.

  28. Amy says:

    I have a few ways my family saves money

    1. I cut my hair, my husbands hair, and my daughters hair myself, haircuts are so over priced! I also have many beauty school drop out friends that still know how to color like a pro, I buy the supplies from Sally and make it a girls night, coloring my hair has never been cheaper or more fun!

    2. Ditch cable! I personally have never had cable in my life. I think it it way too over priced and over rated. Instead get netflix and or hulu for a huge selection of shows and movies. Hulu even has new shows avalible the next day, which is convientent for my family because we rarely have time to watch shows at the times they actually air. And plus even if you buy netflix and Hulu it is still a fraction of the price that cable is! For you sports fans, make it a night out, if you want to watch the game have a guys night at a friends house or go to a local bar to catch the show.

    3. Moms with babies, sign up online for free formula samples and coupons to cut formula costs

    4. Make your own baby wipes with a roll of paper towels, 1 cup of water, 1 tsp baby oil, and 1 tsp body wash. They are softer, smell better, contain less chemicals, and save you a ton!

    5. For military families, if you live on base everything you could possibly need is in walking distance, walk everywhere or ditch the second car to save on gas and insurance

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding some great money saving tips to the list! Love the “recipe” for baby wipes!

  29. Melinda says:

    When I was saving to go to Haiti, I showered every other day. My long curly hair takes a lot of shampoo and conditioner. By cutting back on washing etc I didn’t have to buy as much of those items. It’s small but it adds up. I have made it a point to stay home. The kids are in school and it’s easy to want to escape and go do something but not only does it waste my gas but I end up buying something most times I’m out. We got rid of cable and only have Netflix. The kids still get their favorite shows but have to watch older ones. We watch our couple of favorite shows online. Easy. We were wasting too much money with a DVR to record our shows when we can just get online and watch them when we want. I also used the clothesline this summer. I wish we could do that more than 2 months a year but it rains too much for it.

    • Kristl says:

      I’m always impressed with families that give up cable or satellite. My husband loves sports, so he insists we keep cable.

  30. Julie says:

    ok, i didnt read trough every comment yet, but here are a few that may not have been mentioned- check for the hair schools- they offer deals on haircuts and are usually good. Also check for different places in your area that may offer discounted or free hair cuts for back to school.
    Go to local free events- i went to a “back to school” rodeo today and got probably $50+ worth of free books for the kids, as well as school supplies and some prizes to put away for them. AND they had fun.
    Look for local co-op groups.
    remember that walmart price matches- i use an app on my phone called grocery smarts (though i am sure there are others similar as well as websites) that tells me what the deals are for stores in my area each week, as well as telling me about some coupons. i like knowing when milk is on sale.
    you said do trading stuff- but also remember you can do trades for random helpful things like diapers even.
    if you qualify, sign up for wic.
    check with your local health department and other such places, here, you can buy a carseat for $25.
    ask about buying floor models of things and sometimes you can get discounts on them (especially if a non important piece is missing- like a toy on an exersaucer, or if it is a little dirty)
    always check around for deals on more expensive items before buying at the store- amazon and ebay can have awesome deals.
    make sure to also give your car a regular tune up, it will help with the miles per gallon same with being a good driver (not going too fast, not stopping and starting super fast/hard, etc)
    add water to your juice- instead of buying the “light” versions of juice, buy the regular and dilute it half water half juice. your diet and your wallet will thank you. (plus if you read the ingredients and nutrition info,, that is exactly what they do!)
    dont shop for groceries when you are super hungry- you will likely end up buying more than you need.
    invest in a deep freezer if you have a larger family- you can buy in bulk when sales are great, and then freeze to use as needed.
    make cake and fancy breads from scratch.
    wash clothes with cold water whenever possible. for small kids, use a plastic tub in the bathtub so you are using less water.
    teach our kids to only use as many squares of toiletpaper as necessary- different brands may be different (for us it is usually 3-4 squares— this helps cut on wastefulness)
    make your own baby wipes
    cloth diaper
    ok i am sure i could think of a few more but i will stop here. you already had a lot and a lot of great resources i didnt know about! :) i will have to check all the websites out! thanks!

  31. neb says:

    Everyone here seems to really love using exclamation points.

    • Kristl says:

      You’re the first one to point that out, and you’re right…I do love exclamation points!

  32. Elizabeth says:

    If you live near or around someone who has a farm and sells their fruit/ vegetables to certain places in which they have contracts: There are certain ones they can’t “sell” I grew up near tomato farms. They will get rid of what they can’t sell to the distributor very cheaply. You sometimes can get a truck load. I guess they would call these “seconds”. Nothing really wrong with them. They’re either a little too ripe, maybe have a bad spot, or just really funny shaped. Call ahead and they will usually let you know when they have some. With the tomatoes, we would can whole stewed tomatoes, can homemade Rotel, salsa, and tomato juice. You could do this with any fruit or vegetable.

    Mulch for your garden: Many tree trimming services (mostly privately owned) will clean up their messes as they go. They usually throw it all in a mulching machine so they save room and don’t have to carry an extra huge truck. They sell this cheap, and sometimes free. They’ll come dump it!

    Fire starters for camping or your fire place: save those wine corks. Throw them in a mason jar of alcohol. Even cheap rubbing alcohol will do. Throw one in and it helps get it started. Or, use lint from the dryer. Melt the left over candle wax at the bottom of the candle that neve burns down. Put the lint in a cheap ice cube tray. Pour the melted wax on top of it. For a last minute fire burner you can dip the lint (or a cotton ball) in petroleum jelly or Vaseline-but that’s not really the cheaper option.

    Save a few good boxes if you have something shipped. Break it down and it won’t take up room. I always try to keep a couple small ones on hand. If I need to ship something, I’m not stuck paying ten timws the price the box is worth at a shipping store to mail my item. I save sales papers for random things. So I wrinkle them up and use them as filler.

    Re-use Manila envelopes. You can cover up the label with another mail label or place tape over a piece of paper and reuse to mail something.

    Don’t buy disposable anything. It doesn’t save you money and it doesn’t save you that much time. Disposable razors are the worst. My husband and I each have a really good razor. We purposely use the same kind so we don’t have 10 different types of refills laying around. We are less likely to run out and it is cheaper and better than disposables. Sometimes I sneak his razor because its closer and he gets mad. ;-).

    Prepackaged foods are rediculously expensive. I mean, snack packs of baby carrots? Buy a big bag if you just can’t clean and cut up a big thing of carrots and just divide them into the cheapest snack pack ziplock bags you can find. Yogurt is so much cheaper in a bigger container. We buy a big container and as soon as I get home I make up several single serve containers for the boys’ lunch. I do the same for chips. I most of the time don’t even use a disposable bag, I put them in a reuseable container for their lunch.

    If you’re redecorating on a budget, paint light fixtures, door knobs, etc. Krylon and rustoleum both sell metal finish paints. Black is always a good option if you want to use a cheaper paint. I wouldn’t recommend the $1 store brand or the cheapest brand. The mediocre 2.50-3.00 is a good mid grade choice. The cheaper ones don’t have as much paint in them, and is also a paint of lessee quality, which makes it more prone to clogging and uneven spraying.

    This is old school, but if you have a small yard and are physically able, you can save so much money with a rotary mower. No gas!

    I cut up Christmas card fronts and use them as labels for gifts the following Christmas (when I don’t just write it on the gift). If you want bling, there’s always glitter. Punch with a whole punch and its ready to go!

    • Kristl says:

      You’re on a roll! Thanks for more great money saving tips!

  33. Elizabeth says:

    My husbands grandmother had 3 boys. She would buy a gallon of milk, pour half in another gallon jug. She would then mix a gallon of powdered milk, and add it equally and mix with the two. She said it cut down on costs and the boys couldn’t tell it had the powdered milk in it. I guess you could do the same with a half gallon and make it a gallon. Or if it has too much of the powdered milk taste, just add less powdered milk ratio. I haven’t tried this, but I’ve seriously thought about it. I might would have to add a little at a time so the boys don’t notice. ;-).

    I host a scentcy party twice a year for a friend that sells. It helps her business, plus I get most of muck scent blocks for free! If I get more than I need, I use them as a stocking stuffer for my mom and sil.

    If you need to dr-clutter, you can donate all types of scraps (yarn, magazines, paper, fabric, boxes, etc) to preschools or art programs. Some of them that are 501c can give you a tax write off sheet.

    If you’re planning an outing (zoo, theme park, etc). See if another family or friends want to go. You can usually get a group discount rate and just split the costs!

    Take your kids to the park and for a picnic. Sometimes we get so caught up in the things that cost so much money that we don’t appreciate some of the things that are right in front of us (and usually end up being now fun with more family time). Museums are usually free or fairly cheap as well. Let the kids help plan the picnic and let them help prepare it.

    • Kristl says:

      The milk “trick” is a new one for me, but it’s worth a try!

  34. Elizabeth says:

    I also buy onions and bell peppers when they are discounted Might be and onion in the bag, but they’re usually marked half off. I chop and freeze for recipes. I do it all at once, and then it also cuts down on my prep time on other recipes.

    • Kristl says:

      Whenever I’m chopping an onion for a recipe, I freeze what I don’t need, but I’ve never thought about chopping an entire bag! Frozen chopped onions and bell pepper are such a time saver!

  35. Elizabeth says:

    I do interior design. I’m in and out of the house throughout the day. My scheduled is busy, but not as hectic as some. My boys are in every sport offered, which adds the “hectic” to my Schedule. I found myself spending too much money on skin care, body care, and hair care. I also started trying to go natural after experiencing some health problems. My sister in law sold Jordan’s essentials. I tried it and loved it. It’s all good for the body, natural, and all very concentrated-so it actually is cheaper than things I bought at the store. And of course, if you’re a distributor, you get a nice discount for yourself and for gifts. Check out my site If you have parties, you get some of the things you use daily for free. They seem expensive, but they last so much longer. It also brings in extra income. Everyone needs that “little extra” each month! It’s a Christian based company, with a very supportive group of women involved. It also has an insurance option Which is only about $30 per month.

    My husband stars dental school this summer. We’re cutting back on everything. We found a cheap Internet wifi package with AT&T for around $30. We have to have it for him to study, so there was no way getting around it. But if saved us money in the long run. We did away with cable/satellite and bought roku, which was mentioned earlier. That automatically knocks off $30-$100 monthly depending on the package.

    Not sure if it has been mentioned, but dental schools offer dental work very cheaply. Basically just the price of supplies. These guys are on their 3-4 year of dental school with a dentist looking over their shoulder and double checking every move, so you will be in good hands.

    Some friends in the neighborhood each take a day a week and watch the kids for about half the day, sometimes longer if needed, so the other moms can go run errands, go to dr appointments, etc. some things need to be done without dragging the kids along, and his saves all the families in the neighborhood money (and sometimes a little sanity). If you make a monthly schedule, you can make appointments ahead of time to make sure you have help!

    I only use Ben Moore paints. It costs more than some, but takes less coats and if you use the aura, you can sometimes skip the priming. But the money saving thing- and I’m sure other paint stores do this as well- people bring back paint if it didn’t match like they thought. And sometimes it just was mixed incorrectly. They usually keep it in the back, but if you go in and ask for mis-mixed paints, you can get them for $5-10 a gallon. You may not always find the color you’re looking for (but most of the time there is plenty to choose from), but its worth a try before you pay full price.

    If you are not going to use discounted paint, it is worth buying a sample or even the smallest option available. Paint one or two poster boards and hang them in different areas in the room. Leave them up for a full24 hours. You will be able to see how the paint looks in the lighting of your room/home at all times of the day. And you will also know if it will work for you. No matter how much you like a color, it will never look the same in your lighting. Lighting is EVERYTHING! This can save you $100’s of $$, and save you from being unhappy with a paint job if you can’t afford to re-paint.

    When I fluff my clothes after they’ve mostly dried hanging up, I make sure to fluff the loads back to back. The drier is already heated up and it saves on the energy costs. I’m also guilty sometimes of forgetting my clothes in the dryer and having to re-fluff them. Keep an eye on the laundry. I’m sure that runs up my electricity bill.

    Dimmer switches in the main areas of the house are a good idea.

    Mirrors across from windows in a room not only make a room look bigger, but they also reflect light, requiring less lights to be on.

    If you paint te ceilings, don’t use flat paint. Use at least a satin finish. It will reflect a little more light than the flat paint.

    When needing things printed, such as wedding invitations, etc. or programs for some type of event, you can get them cheaper by contacting the local high school or community college. Especially high schools. They usually have some type of cadd or computer training course and they will do it for free (as a group project for a grade) or for a small fee, basically just to cover supplies. Giving them a little extra would be nice to help them with supplies for the class and still be 1/4 of what your cost would be. Before they print, you get to go in and look and help make any changes. In the past, I just kind of drew out what I wanted and handed it to them. Maybe print out a sheet of paper with a similar font of writing you might light, etc.

    The same goes for small or even large building projects. Things like picnic tables, patio furniture, etc. Shop classes/welding classes will
    Build these things as projects. You basically pay for the supplies and a little extra. They get a grade for it.

    Home economics classes-some schools still offer this class, but not many. If you provide the fabric, they will make simple things. A friend of mine wanted to save money on paper towels-napkins, so she decided to use washable ones. She found some cute discounted fabric and had them sew them for her. For their trouble, she donated a few things to their class after asking tr teacher of things they needed (funds for these programs have been cut tremendously). She ended up donating flour, sugar, and some fresh eggs she got from her chickens! She also donated a few mixing bowls she was planning to throw in a yard sale. Helped everyone involved. She went back later and had them make her am apron to match, then in October worked out a deal with the teacher and had them make several of her Christmas gifts

    The last 3 suggestions help you save money, help out the school, and also give these kids a little experience! It’s a win-win!

    We make as many gifts on our own as we can. I find old decorative frames and make cork boards (sometimes using fabric scraps or burlap), make busy door hangers, etc. sometimes I sell these items.

    Wrapping paper- the dollar tree sells rolls of the scotch brand shipping paper (I always called it paper sack paper) for $1. They have some that are decorative and some that are plain. If we buy the plain, the kids decorate it for Christmas on the presents depending who it is for. It’s more personalized, helps the kids get involved, and way cheaper than wrapping paper. it also helps occupy the kids while uou sneak off tp wrap their presents. They change up the colors for each person and we use ribbon or a now to match their art work. Even when i wrap a special gift, I personalize it with a special bible verse, quote, or write their name really pretty!

    Pillows-if you change every couple of years (as far as throw pillows), the cheaper option is to have removeable covers made (zippered, buttoned, velcrowed-whichever you prefer). These can be removed and replaced by season or whenever you get a whim to change up. The can be stored for later use! A heavier fabric to match your decor in the fall and winter and lighter fabrics in the warmer months! It’s much cheaper than buying the full pillow, and we all know storage space is usually limited. You don’t have to stuff the pillows in a box, so you save on storage room!

    Fabric for all of these can be bought cheaply! Many of the high end fabric stores that carry samples and only do special orders give away or sell their discontinued fabric samples. Sometimes even of they’re discontinued by the manufacturer, another company may have sold it. So if you like it a lot, you can search it online and get it fairly cheap. Samples are all different sizes. Sometimes if you want two throw pillows, you can manage to do so if you put a solid fabric on back that matches the print on top. You can also use these samples for the napkins listed above. I’ve used them when recovering smaller seats and even on decorative cork boards or jewelry holders. They are also great to use when learning to sew. You don’t waste the expensive and nice fabric!

    Black out curtains. Even with blinds, black or curtains help with your energy bill tremendously. Most blinds have small cracks and especially if they’re not custom fitted blinds, the will have blank spots on the sides. They cost a little more up front, but pay for themselves in sometimes less than a year!

    Rugs- if you don’t want to pay for a custom rug, you can get a more economical rug at a carpet store. It’s cheaper for them to purchase custom orders when they buy a certain amount of it. Most customers will go ahead and pay the difference for them and pay for the whole role because its that much cheaper. They have no invention of keeping it, they just wanted to save the money. You’d be surprised how much this happens. The carpet company will keep this and sell Sometimes enough in one piece for a small room. Or you can have them fold and seam it around carpet padding and you have a rug. Good quality carpet and a nice padding!

    Walmart offers a replacement warranty on certain things like bicycles. You can choose between a one year or two year. We always get the 1 year. Something is bound to happen to it with our daredevils. It doesn’t matter of its your fault or not, they will replace it. It’s usually closer to the year mark, and close to the time for getting the next size of bike. So for the $10 we paid for the plan (say the bike we had was $80), and upgrading to the next size (if it was $95), plus another $9 for the warranty, we would get the next size bike for him for basically less than $25.

    Everyone is alway looking for ways to earn extra money as well. I’ve given piano and guitar lessons. You can easily make an extra $1-300 month just doing one of these. I also have a history/English degree, so I’ve made money editing papers for college students and tutoring high school and college students.

    It never hurts to trade or barter! I’ve swapped design work for a years worth of free hair cuts for my family of four. Sometimes we came after hours, but all it cost Both of us is just our time. I’ve swapped tutoring and editing (only for people I knew well and also knew their families) for babysitting. I’ve hand me downed kids clothes for a 30 min massage with a clients friend. We have raked leaved for an elderly neighbor (well, ok we cheated and used a blower) and got her yard cleaned up so she wouldn’t over work herself. In return (without us asking), she made a very nice and delicious birthday cake for both our boys each of those years. A custom birthday cake costs good money. It saved us money and our boys also learned its nice to help out someone who is elderly and lives alone.

    Rain barrels help with the water bill when watering plants and small gardens. You can find many different dyi ones ok Pinterest.

    Keep aloe Vera plants. They help with burns, etc and they isuallu work just as well or Better than the stuff you pay $5-$10 for.

    Culinary schools also sometimes will do small catering or specialty cakes for a cheaper price than some bakeries or restaurants.

    College orchestras or high school orchestras are good (more so college knes$ for weddings, parties, etc. they usually accept small donations for their gas and help with some of their expenses throughout the year. But the donation plus maybe feeding them will be chunk change compared to what you would pay for some small orchestras. Most colleges have a jazz band as well. Some of them are required to give a certain amount of free concerts each year. These are also good for fundraisers, etc.

    Most sororities and fraternities have to have so many volunteer hours per year. If you need volunteers, hit them up. There usually a good bit of fun as well!

    Some churches offer a day each week for a Mommy day. For either free or sometimes for just $5 to help with their lunch, church members can drop off their kiddo/kiddos to go run errands. Or if you just need time to yourself or want to clean the house without any extra “help” lol.

    I buy in bulk when I buy meat. And I check the discount bin at the grocery. If you cook or freeze quickly its good! I take an afternoon and make a few meals and freeze them. If I buy a bulk of hamburger meet I cook taco meat, a thing of meat loaf, and maybe go ahead and cook some for spaghetti sauce. If I’m feeling spunky ill go ahead and make the spaghetti sauce and freeze it. It saves money and I use these things when our schedule is hectic.

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…you have so many wonderful ideas! My favorites are your frugal decorating ideas!

  36. Cindy says:

    Actually I just saw on Pinterest that you can take a ball of aluminum foil and place it in you dryer and it will stop static and save money on fabric softener sheets. I was curious so I placed a load of wet towels in with 2 balls of foil and was shocked. My towels dried in little less time than normal (think the hard foil ball keeps the fluffed) there was no static and they were soft. Plus I get to reuse the foil for the next load. Been doing this for 1 mth now and have already saved $15 by cutting out fabric softener use.

    • Kristl says:

      Does the aluminum foil ball make a lot of noise in the dryer, and does it scratch up the inside of the dryer? If not, I’m sold!

  37. Michele says:

    1…We had to buy a new washer so we bought an HE in a brand that we like and that offered a rebate in May, when we had to buy it. It uses less water and detergent!
    2…We use window AC units to cool in summer and we are careful to close all the heating vents so cold air doesn’t sink into the ductwork for our furnace. No use cooling those. 😉
    3…I make my own baking mixes, spice mixes, homemade vanilla extract, pizza dough for the freezer, hot rolls for the freezer. I also shop the day old bread rack when I can.
    4…I had a yard sale and then sent the extras to Goodwill.
    5…My husband and I love Seattle’s Best coffee. To stretch it we halve a bag of it between two containers of Folger’s or Maxwell House.
    6…We compost things like used coffee grounds and filters…newspaper…some cardboard…odds and ends/spoiled veggies…eggshells…fruit peels/rinds, etc….among other things. We started a simple ‘heap’ last year and this spring we didn’t have to buy 1 bag of potting soil! Cha ching!
    7…We turned our water heater down a few degrees and it saves on the electric bill!
    8…We paid off our vehicles and plan to drive them as long as they are safe and reasonable so we can save money toward a big down payment on our next vehicle….which I hope is a certified pre-owned. We have had GREAT luck with two vehicles purchased certified pre-owned.

    We do several other things too. I started a ‘group’ on Facebook for people who are interested in saving money, time, and natural resources! It’s wonderful learning new ways to live frugally!

    • Kristl says:

      Would you share your baking mix recipe? I’d love to post it, and of course…give you credit! Thanks!

  38. What a great list! Congrats, your post was one chosen to be featured for Mom Tested, Family Approved’s Everything Frugal link-up!

  39. Valerie says:

    Thanks for such a great article–awesome tips! FYI, Plastic Jungle no longer buys/sells discounted gift cards. I’m on their email list and received an email from them the other day that they’re changing their business model.

    • Kristl says:

      I’m going to miss Plastic Jungle!

  40. I love these tips and are the perfect tips I’m looking for my EVERYTHING FRUGAL linkup! Please come and linkup TODAY… (the last day)

  41. Lisa says:


    Here’s what I do:

    1. Boil rotisserie chicken carcasses and “off cut” vegetables frozen in ziplocks instead of throwing away to create chicken stock or soup
    2. Occasionally opt to leave your eco grocery bags at home and use the plastic store bags for bathroom garbage’s, emptying kitty litter, etc. (ONLY IF THEY ARE FREE of course)
    3. Dollar Store dishtowels and cloths are great in lieu of paper towels.
    4. Reuse Glass Jars of all kinds instead of buying Tupperware
    5. Learn how to cook if you don’t know how!!! HUGE $ SAVER.
    6. Share your blessings with Neighbors because it takes a village i.e. tools, skills, food items, time

    • Kristl says:

      Out of the hundreds of comments on this post, nobody has mentioned “learn to cook.” It’s such a simple way to save money! Eating out is expensive, and packaged/prepared foods are up there too!

  42. Sandy Sipes says:

    I tried to make sure not to repeat, but I think I have a few new ones…
    1. If you’re on budget with your utility make sure you aren’t overpaying & racking up a huge credit – at one point we had a $600 credit! When I called they switched me from annual review to quarterly and used that credit to pay the next 3 months of my bills with them!
    2. There’s a new power strip you can purchase to help with phantom electrical use!
    3. Try beauty schools for all kinds of treatments (I love Aveda – your hair appointment includes a massage & facial – no tipping allowed!)
    4. Look for low cost shot clinics – I save a TON on my dogs shots, a vet gives them & it’s also a local fundraiser! WIN, WIN :)
    5. Buy off tint paint – mess ups – they are like $5 for a gallon at stores such as Sherwin Williams! Awesome paint at a great price!
    6. Watch for your TV provider to offer free trials of movie channels & DVR your heart out! Great way to watch good shows commercial free…
    7.New wave window shopping – for us IMPULSE buyers – I look at shopping like an alcoholic going to a bar…its very dangerous for me & my family, but my friends love to shop! So I’ve started taking pictures of things I want rather than purchasing them. It gives me the same thrill of the find and then I can really think about it and I rarely go back to purchase!
    8. Check out the knock-offs on pinterest – if you can’t have enough pottery barn, try looking at these sites that give suggestions on where to find very similar items at a fraction of the cost
    9. Use a box or bag of candy instead of a card – we started buying the $1 boxes & taping them to the gifts for my son’s friends. I write “Happy Birthday” To:/From: on the box with a sharpie and the kids LOVE it! Much less expensive or time consuming than most card options
    10. NETWORK! Talk to others about what you are looking for, thinking about doing, etc. Chances are you know someone who knows someone and can help out a local business AND save money! The internet is awesome with it’s infinite resources, but don’t dismiss those things that are right at hand!
    11. Ask about a cash discount – with credit card fees eating up a lot of small business profits many businesses will reward you for paying without plastic.
    12. Be a hostess – if you have friends that love to have home parties, don’t feel obligated to purchase – many times it’s more helpful to the person throwing the party & the Consultant conducting it to BOOK off the party. Then you might be able to earn the item you have your eye on for free rather than purchasing it!

    Hope someone benefits from these ideas! I know I have! Thank you for your inspiration to try some new things too!

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…12 amazing ideas! The one’s I’ll be using right away…candy card and pinterest knock-off boards. I do wish I had an Aveda beauty school nearby!

  43. Ashley says:

    I recently found that if you put a ball of aluminum foil in the dryer it will eliminate the static and one little ball lasts at least a year! I have been doing so ever since! :)

    • Kristl says:

      That’s a new one for me! Thanks for sharing!

  44. Sue says:

    We invested in a Robo-Cut (the unit with its own vacuum was $159.00 in 2010. We wore out our first one!) and my hubby and I give each other haircuts, and have been doing it for several years. We don’t remember what it is like to go to a hair stylist-and would likely balk at paying for the service now. Besides, it is a wonderful labor of love.

    • Kristl says:

      That one makes me nervous! My husband’s hair would be easy since he’s basically bald, but I don’t know if I’d trust him to cut my super thick, long hair with layers! Kudos to you!

  45. Christina says:

    Here are a few more that may or may not have been mentioned!

    1) for college savings

    2) Rental textbooks… there are search engines for textbook rentals that compare the price of the textbooks, inlcuding shipping.

    3) Excellent option for gift-giving instead of cheap toys or unnecessary items. Can be used to encourage extended family to contribute to a family vacation rental for a reunion vacation!

    4) We love cooking, especially homemade pizza. You can easily bake multiple crusts ahead of time and freeze them. They are easy to thaw, top and pop in the oven for a fast meal. Better for you and tastier than the frozen ones or “hot-n-ready” style.

    5) We watch for “family memberships” to places like the Aquarium of the Pacific. This permitted us to have a family membership including free admission for a year for less than/equal to the cost of admission for a day (a family of 6). Excellent value!

    6) Check your employer for discounts to outside services/vendors (i.e. AMEX travel, Tickets at Work, etc).

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…great additions! Thanks so much!

  46. Krista says:

    Check out for eye glasses – they have so many choice for men, women, and kids! I believe they are in Japan, so it may take a little while for your glasses to arrive (mine take about 2 weeks), but it’s so worth it – and you won’t have the same frames as anyone else. 😉

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding another resource to this huge list of savings!

  47. Keegan says:

    A lot of places will give you a discount for using ‘their’ cards. Target has a debit that gives 5% back and hooks up directly to your account so you never have to open another account, worry about interest rates like on a credit card. Also, I’ve noticed a number of gas stations will give you another $.05 off a gallon for using their CC or GIFT CARD. So I just have a gift card that I set my monthly fuel budget and load that on the card and save! Again, no credit card, limited budget ( You can always load more if needed) and automatically paying less then everybody else. And lets just face it, fuel costs are getting ridicules!

    • Kristl says:

      It sounds like you have a good system for keeping all your cards straight! I’m afraid most people aren’t disciplined enough in their budgeting to have multiple cards even though the savings will pay off!

  48. Chrissy says:

    For at home birthdays for my kids, we didnt buy a cake. Seeing how kids never seem to actually eat it. What i did was make cupcakes. Then make different color froating out of vanilla and set up sations. I would collect different toppings and make a station of those as well. The kids would decorate their ” own birthday cake” and i would take pics of the kids with their cake. Have little contests with prizes too. It was always a hit and cost about $6-$8 for everything instead of $10-$20 for a big cake

    • Kristl says:

      That’s a money saver, party activity and time saver! My specialty is parties on a budget, so take a look at all my creative party ideas!

  49. B says:

    I didn’t read all the comments so I’m not sure if someone else mentioned this already but there is a website couprecoup that you can buy people groupon and livingsocial discounts for an even more discounted price because they didn’t use them.

    • Kristl says:

      That’s a new one for me, and it’s certainly worth checking out! Thanks!

  50. Annie says:

    I save my bar soap scraps. I either “glue” them to the new bar with water or save and put several in a knee high nylon to use…great for camping also.

    • Kristl says:

      I can’t believe I didn’t think of that…my mother used to do that!

  51. Shirley Steiniger says:

    Thanks for the wonderful ideas! The only one I have to comment on is the one about “The Grocery Game” if you decide to try that one, please look closely at it. I tried it and found it didn’t really help at all! I checked it against my local store flyers (and I’m glad I did) it was missing some really great prices on meat items! I would have missed out on some savings if I had bought an item at one store and went to the other store and found out it was 30 cents a pound cheaper! I canceled my subscription and just go to the stores website and make my list from there. Your other ideas are great though and I feel that I could use several of them.

    • Kristl says:

      The Grocery Game isn’t for everyone…I a believer in finding what works best for you! Good job!

  52. Dakota says:

    I would love to say you have helped me alot! But I guess I am doing pretty well for a family of myself and 3 children and $730/month. I am going to check out the recipes for cleaning though 😉

    • Kristl says:

      It sounds like you’ve proudly earned a bargain queen tiara, and I hope you’ll share some of your frugal living tips with my readers!

  53. Kim says:

    Be careful when changing insurance. Often you lose your discount for longevity with the company and the new company starts low and goes up. Also, compare coverage. Cheap is not always better. You may wind up paying for things that were covered elsewhere.

    • Kristl says:

      Good points! There’s lots of research to be done when changing insurance!

  54. jesica says:

    Giant eagle accepts any other stores coupons and allows stacking as well

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding another money saving tip to this giant list!

  55. Marina says:

    I have pinned your ideas and taking notes! I have 3 boys and between them and my husband we have to shop for food multiple times a week! A great idea for those of you that don’t already know (I am not sure if somebody already mentioned it but I didn’t see it in your post) if you have a smart phone the Viggle app is a MUST!!! This app allows you to earn points by tapping an icon that listens to your tv, you check in and earn points. This is a PERFECT app for people who’s tv is always on anyways because you can redeem those points for little rewards for yourself without having to pay for it (Example: you can redeem points for giftcards like Starbucks, Old Navy, Sephora, etc.) I am one of those that leaves my tv on for my dogs when I leave so before I head out I find the longest movie playing, check in on Viggle and earn 100+ points while I’m not even home. If your tv is on, you might as well earn something free; afterall, you DO pay a fortune for cable anyways!

    • Kristl says:

      I a new “Viggler” myself, and I just wrote an article about it a few weeks ago! Would you believe that my college age son claims he bought all his Christmas presents with Viggle points!

  56. NancyDoll says:

    Many of the tips that are mentioned are things that I personally do, or have heard of. Some I don’t do, because I’m single, and I work full-time, so I don’t have a lot of extra time or they aren’t practical for a single person, such as major couponing or major stockpiling of food. Yes, I do have a freezer, and yes, I do shop meat sales and vacuum seal meats into more convenient packages for a single person when I buy in bulk.

    In fact, when I made my most recent trip from Indianapolis to Texas last October, I took a large cooler and my vacuum sealer with me, and took advantage of the great prices (compared to central Indiana) on steaks. I bought meat at about HALF the cost of steaks in Indy, sealed and froze it, and brought it home for my freezer.

    One of the things I would like to mention is this. If you are diabetic (as I am) and would like to make your own jam/jelly, check into using pectin that doesn’t require you to use large amounts of sugar. When I lived in Texas, a friend of mine and I used to make jam every summer using Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which allows you to add as much or as little sugar as you wish. You can even use fructose or sugar substitutes if you like. We made all our jams with minimal sugar so that we could taste the fruits they were made with, instead of merely tasting all the sugar!

    • Kristl says:

      Good to hear from another homesick Texan! Don’t you miss HEB – great selection and great prices! We moved to South Florida last summer, and I’m still in shock over the high grocery prices!

  57. Amom says:

    I have a large family (6) and when you add in friends, kids and extended family birthdays and holidays get to be overwhelming. So i shop from Dec 26 to Dec 24 for birthdays and holidays and all the odds and ends in between. Anything purchased is a sale item (at least 50% the ticket price) or clearance. Everyone jokes but by the time school starts in September I’m usually done holiday shopping for that coming year! It’s become my reward to myself every year!

  58. Brittany says:

    For the people getting bottled water all the time invest in a brita water bottle. Purifies your water and it the perfect size. $8.88 at walmart. Filter is good for 2 months!

    • Kristl says:

      Brita bottles are great for college students too!

  59. Amy says:

    Use junk mail for printing coupons. And make homemade play dough, fingerpaints, etc

    • Kristl says:

      Junk mail for coupons…genius!

  60. Kami says:

    1. Bundle. We bundle our phone, internet, and satellite bill and save $25 a month just because we bundled the bill.
    2. Price Match. Save time and money from running around to several different grocery stores for their specials for the week by price matching. This allows you to still get the specials and saves you time and money from running from store to store. Just check with your favorite grocery store to see if they price match first. (You can try to do this with other big ticket items at other retail stores too on things like TVs, etc.)
    3. Plan your meals around your weekly grocery store specials.
    4. Don’t throw the tissue paper away that you get in your gift bags and boxes. I have a whole tote of tissue paper of all different colors organized by color that is reused in all of the gifts that I give. I have not purchased tissue paper in years. (Same goes for those bows and gift bags! Keep them and resuse them.)
    5. Instead of sending in a bill or paying it online. Have an automatic withdrawal set up from your checking or savings account. You save time from having to write out the check and then sending it in or logging in online to pay your bill.
    6. Change your lightbulbs to the energy saving ones. Also, your electric company may offer rebates for doing so. (ours does) Also, our electric company offers rebates when you purchase an energy saving appliance!
    7. If you use credit cards and pay them off monthly, using a credit card that offers cash back or other perks towards expensive items can really add up. When we purchased a new car recently, we had enough rewards cash earned to take $3,000 off from our purchase price!!

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding more ways to save! I’m going to contact my electric company right away to see if they offer rebates for energy saving lightbulbs…great idea!

  61. Courtney says:

    See if your state has a Bountiful Baskets options. So much produce and food for $15 only. Lasts a long time, great variety!

    • Kristl says:

      After 378 comments, you’re the first one to share the information on Bountiful Baskets…thanks!

  62. Miss K says:

    Not sure if it has been mentioned but get your dental work done at a nearby dental school. You can get xrays, cleanings, fillings, etc done. I’m a hygienist, and when we were in school, it was $25 for a child cleaning and $35 for adult. That’s a huge savings!! Not sure how much crowns or fillings are at a dental school, but they have to be cheaper than from a practice. And even though its a student doing it, I guarantee it will be the best cleaning or filling you’ll ever get – its for a grade!!

    • Kristl says:

      Great idea! A visit to the dentist has become so, so expensive! Thanks!

  63. Lisa says:

    Check out the app SnipSnap! I cannot believe the money I’ve saved because of it! And I’ve been able to purchase items that I wouldn’t normally be able to get or afford.

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…I just checked out Snip Snap, very cool! Thanks for sharing!

  64. Linda says:

    Check out your local VoTech’s school salon. I get a cut and high light (long hair) plus a toner for $30 rather than the $125. I used to pay years ago. I am careful to discuss with the student and the teacher what I want and have not been disappointed in the three years I’ve been going. Our school has an evening program that attracts older students as well as a day program for those in high school. AS a result, they offer both day and evening hours.

    • Kristl says:

      Haircuts and color have become so expensive, and I’m glad you’ve come up with a solution! Thanks for sharing!

  65. Linda says:

    I use the large velour powder puffs for my compact. I got tired of paying $3.00 each when they became full of powder so I tried washing them out. Worked perfectly. Just never had thought to do it. (And, they were always hard to find anyway.)

  66. Hi all and thank you so much for spending all the time putting together this wonderful informative and helpful list of money saving ideas. I currently live in Australia but hoping to move to Florida at end of year. So being the one who likes knowledge and be organised and save money I checking out everything I can to help. This is fantastic. I have 5 children from 22 to 8 years old so have learnt how to get more for my money ( how i describe it) not frugal. I love getting Ralph Lauren Quilts at our Op shops for $7 less 30% on saving days knowing the person who brought it paid nearly $400 dollars, great savings, thank u to the kind people who donate I love u all. I have 10 awesome covers now for about $70 Im wrapped and spoilt. Another thing I save money on is school lunches we have rubbish free days at school so I buy bulk packets of snacks not individually wrapped so get more for money and less rubbish. Make my own cakes and snacks when I can as well. Look forward to reading more of your site and learning heaps. If anyone has any great tips or websites for saving money and finding a part time job in florida please leave a comment…thanks to all

    • Kristl says:

      We moved to South Florida about a year ago, and we were shocked by the HIGH insurance rates! Unfortunately, there are not a lot of choices, so it’s tough to find a deal.

  67. Linda says:

    I am in love with my Apple TV! I dropped cable three years ago and subscribed to blockbuster for about $18. I recently dropped blockbuster, invested in an Apple TV box for $99. and started a subscription with Netflex for $7.99 (streaming) a month. WE couldn’t be happier. It was easy to set up – one cable – and easy to use. You do need wi-fi and internet, but a great alternative to expensive cable plans. What a deal!

    • Kristl says:

      My college age son is a huge fan of Apple TV, but I have to admit I’m a bit intimidated when it comes to techie stuff!

  68. Linda says:

    What helped me the most is using a sophisticated “envelope” system. Basically, you work on getting one month ahead on all monthly bills. I “hold” that money in my checking account – when the bill comes in the following month, I “add it back” and pay it. For food, allowances, christmas, vacations, and insurances, I work one year ahead. This system eliminates the stress of the “big bill” when it comes due and gives you a reality check when you see what is really available at the end of the month when you see what is left in your checking account after “holding” all of the budgeted amounts. The hardest part is setting it up since you will need to hold one month in advance. I used a tax refund to set the system up when I first started. I am trying to convince my daughter to use it. I wish I had when I was younger.

    • Kristl says:

      You’re absolutely right…the envelope system is still one of the best budgeting tools out there!

  69. Carrie says:

    Don’t spend $5 bills. Save them up instead of spending them.

    • Kristl says:

      It’s like the old-fashioned coin jar adjusted for inflation!

  70. Stacey T says:

    I’m not sure if it has been mentioned, but I hang dry all of my laundry!
    Except towels and bedding that have to go in the dryer.
    I started doing this when my first apartment had coin machines and I still do it.

    • Kristl says:

      Hang drying is a huge savings, and it also keeps your house cooler & quieter!

  71. Merry says:

    Another painless way to save…some banks have debit card savings programs where they will deposit $1.00 into a dedicated savings account every time you swipe your debit card. You don’t notice the few dollars a day that may come out of your checking account but you’ll be surprised at how it adds up over a year. We use the savings for Christmas gifts!

    • Kristl says:

      What a wonderful and painless way to save for Christmas!

  72. Taylor says:

    Great list! Lots of things I have not considered. I didn’t read all of the comments but one thing that I accidentally noticed I was doing was taking home all of the free soaps, shampoos, and lotions from hotels rooms that I’ve stayed in over the year through vacationing and traveling for work and while cleaning out my bathroom I found that I have enough product to last for several months. So those tiny bottles of shampoo and lotion really add up.

    • Kristl says:

      Those little samples also come in handy when you’re flying and trying to save money by bringing a carry-on bag. Have you ever priced those travel sized shampoos at the store…yikes!

  73. Diane says:

    My hubby and I have had great success for discounted and guaranteed eyewear and contacts.

  74. Dee Johnson says:

    I like to do I only buy products we will use. You can get a payout on an amazon gift card. I also participate in Winn-Dixie’s fuel perks and usually only spend .83 cents per 20 gallons (I try to do this twice a month, once for my van and once for my husbands car). One of my sons and I have to eat gluten free, so I bake a lot from scratch for the whole family (gluten free). I once found some gf flours on clearance at Winn-Dixie and stocked up (along with gf pasta). I’m also looking into sprouting seeds. They are really nutritious and you don’t have to buy the specialty seeds, most regular ones will sprout. I’m hoping I can substitute sprouts for lettuce in some recipes (like tacos). I haven’t done it yet, but am hoping we will like it. Thanks for a great list!

    • Kristl says:

      It seems that more and more people are on a gluten free diet, and it seems like the prices of gluten free foods keep going up & up! Baking gluten free foods from scratch is a wonderful idea, and I bet a lot of people just aren’t sure how. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!

  75. Anita says:

    It would be fun to have a purse swap (or clothes, jewelry or household items) with a group of your friends from work or church. Just have everyone bring an item or two to swap. Have a cookie & a cup of coffee & make it fun. Nobody buys anything, but everyone goes home with something new.

    • Kristl says:

      I’ve actually done an accessory swap with neighbors and also with a church group…it’s great frugal fun, and we all see to have lots of accessories that we get tired of!

  76. Jacy says:

    I volunteer to wash the lost and found at the end of the school year. Keep what I need for my kids for the next year and donate the rest. I haven’t bought coats, hat, gloves, sweatshirts, or boots in years. And I am helping the school out.

    • Kristl says:

      I’m always amazed how large those lost and found piles are, and what a wonderful way to help out your wallet and the school!

  77. Rachel says:

    I didn’t read through all the comments, but cloth diapers and wipes are DEFINITELY a money saver. You spend about $500 on the initial cost of diapers (but you can also buy them cheaper if you buy them used on Craigslist or eBay) but then you can wash and re-use until the kids are potty trained. It’s a no-brainer for me! If anyone has any questions about it, add me on Facebook: Rachel Dersham :)

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for offering to help folks learn about cloth diapers…once people take the time to understand the process, I think they’ll give it a try, and then they’ll be hooked on the savings!

  78. Brenda says:

    Buy shirts at the Goodwill clearance store or your local recycle store when they have quarter day. You can score a whole set of buttons for a quarter if you sew. They are usually several dollars a set for buttons at a store and you can find every shape,color and size. Also use the material to remake pot holders, Christmas ornaments, pocketbooks. The pocketbooks are especially cute out of a pair of jeans. Better yet, use what your family grows out of.

    • Kristl says:

      Goodwill is such a bargain that it’s easy to forget that they have sales too! Good to know about quarter day!

  79. Karen says:

    Good tips…here are some more. (1) Instead of using dryer sheets, just throw a new tennis ball in the dryer. (2) If using any type of facial pad/cleanser/toner, cut in half. (3) Turn water heater down and put a water heater blanket on unit. (4) Do not throw away unused food/produce…many can be freezed, even bananas and onions! (5) Only use half of recommended amount of laundry soap…not only will you save money, it is better for your clothes.

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…thanks for adding 5 more tips to this list! We’ll be at 100 soon! Since you like to freeze bananas, you’ll love my Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe – look for it in my recipe index found on the left side of this page. Enjoy!

  80. Patti says:

    Along the lines of cutting dryer sheets……cut face washing clothes – face wash, makeup remover, etc….They’re way too big and expensive!
    I cut my own hair using the Crea clip. You can check it out on youtube. Awesome and super easy (and fast!)

    • Kristl says:

      I’ll have to check out the Crea clip!

  81. Marla says:

    I cut and color my own hair. I get more compliments than I did when I paid to have it done professionally. And it’s a HUGE savings.

    • Kristl says:

      I do color my own hair, and it’s so easy…seems crazy why salons charge so much! Kudos to you for cutting your own hair, I better not try that with my super thick hair. Thankfully, I keep it long, so 3 haircuts a year is sufficient.

  82. nancy says:

    Our city’s hazardous waste department keeps all of the paint and cleaning products that people bring in on shelves for anyone to take. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars on paint by grabbing half used cans that other people have gotten rid of. It’s perfect for those repurposing projects.

    • Kristl says:

      What a great way to test out paint colors too!

  83. Justine says:

    I will definitely being trying more of these this year!

    For the home Birthdays we actually keep them just with us and take the kids to a special place or event that we wouldn’t normally go to. Our kids are young enough that they are enjoying the family time plus we don’t have to worry about feeding 50 people!

    • Kristl says:

      It sounds like you’ve started a great birthday tradition with your children that saves both money and sanity!

  84. Melinda says:

    I’m new to the homemade laundry detergent and have a question that I just don’t understand the answer to. I just made a batch of the most basic powder (to see if we like it): 1 bar Fels, 1 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. You can also make liquid from this exact recipe, only adding the water. How is it that by adding water that you more than quadruple the amount of loads you can get per batch?? I understand that there is obviously more “volume”, but the actual “recipe” is the same, so how does water increase the amount of loads? If anyone has an answer, I’d love to hear it! Thanks!

    • Kristl says:

      hmmm…I’m stumped!

  85. Amanda says:

    These are all great tips but I want to share the BEST tip that I received! Try shopping through Lyoness America! Its the best site because it actually gives you cash back on your purchases through a rewards card. Plus, its free to sign up for it. The only downside is that someone has to recommend you! *wink wink* to get the card.

    Try it. There’s nothing better than free!

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for the information about Lyoness America. Is it similar to Ebates?

  86. Cody says:

    Thanks for the great tips. I’ll definitely put these to use in 2013!

  87. Laura says:

    My job was eliminated at the end of June, so I have had to cut back a lot, but I really haven’t missed anything that I had to cut out.

    Stopping by from VoiceBoks!

  88. Gina says:

    Nice list. I always read these things and find that I am already doing most of the suggestions… but there were a few extra’s in yours. Thanks!

  89. Pamela R says:

    a SUPER list and I do maybe about 20% of them—I’ll be adding a few more in this year for sure–making small changes in my life that I can easily obtain is my New Years goal–making my own cleaners is on the list and I love the ideal of looking for a massage therapy school!—I’ve honestly just went to the mall and sat in the chairs at Brook stone for 5-10 minutes LOL

  90. LAmomma says:

    I didn’t read all the comments for time’s sake, so I apologize if this is repeated… but here’s a SUPER easy tip to save a few more dollars and most importantly, the planet. Take reusable bags with you to the store. Most places will give you 5 cents for each bag you bring. They hold up better too!

    • Kristl says:

      You’re the first one to mention the reusable bags, and it’s such an easy way to go green and save some green! Happy New Year!

  91. Ashley says:

    I found an article about some pilot lights turning on and off. This site reccommends that they be turned off during the summer, but explains that turning it off can cause rust and will need to be inspected yearly. It may not always be cost effective to turn them off.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing the article…I’ve removed that tip.

  92. Ashley says:

    Can I just say that the pilot light isn’t always the best idea. My grandpa used to do this for my great grandmother every year, and every year it required special maintenance. It can actually cost you money sometimes. Check with the manufacturer or a manitenance man that knows his stuff to double check. When we called the manufacturer of her furnace, they informed my grandpa that this model was meant to have the pilot light on constantly.

  93. Michelle says:

    I’m showing my age, but get the 3 volumes of the Tightwad Gazette at the library. Amy D. covers all these ideas, lots more and then some. She even calculates savings for you.

    After raising 4 kids, I found buying clothes/ shoes ahead is not a good idea. Growth is not constant, and even my elementary school kids became fashion conscious very early. Can’t help it if they go to a non-uniform public school. Buying something and then not using it is a waste.

    Rotate your food stock pile-again if it goes bad, it is a waste of money. Learned this the hard way more than once.

    If your hourly rate of pay is worth more than the money saving activity, you better like the activity or you are not only losing money, you are stressing yourself out with more chores. If you like the activity it doubles as entertainment. I like baking so even though not cost effective, I do it anyway for the fun.

    Invest in yourself-take the time to finish the degree or training even if it means less time to make laundry detergent now. Your future hourly rate will make up for it. Make sure your daughters (and sons, but boys have always been pushed to “achieve”) can support themselves. They will never have to settle for a questionable relationship because of financial dependence on a man.

    This is the hard earned wisdom of an “elder”!

    • Kristl says:

      Love your wisdom…especially the suggestion about calculating your hourly rate!

  94. Lasairiona says:

    Thanks for all your tips :)

    One small point, may offer a variety of ‘cheaper’ options, but please make it clear to your readers to read the fine print, I just double checked our zip code and while it brought up a number of places a lot cheaper than ours (which I pointed out to my hubby in excitement!) when you read the fine print, they often charge double for the first x amount of energy used.

    E.g. our rate is 8.5c, cheapest rate that came up was 5.3c. Our bill last month was $55 as opposed for the $64 that the ‘cheaper’ company would have sent us…

    Otherwise I love this blog and am already planning to hit up Kroger tomorrow night for some chicken! 😀

    • Kristl says:

      That fine print will get you every time! I’m glad your husband caught it!

  95. I make a gallon jug of my own sweet tea recipe that saves a ton of $$ around here. I buy a gallon jug of water from the store and make it into tea, when empty, I wash & reuse the jug over & over until it just doesn’t look good to use anymore (you can use a small amount of bleach & dish soap & rinsed very well to sanitize it). My husband bought one of those glass tea bottles that you get at the convenience stores and he reuses that over & over to fill with the tea. You can wash them in the dishwasher with no problems. Over time the lids will begin to rust and you should replace then, or Gatorade bottles & lids that are all plastic & still wash well in the dishwasher.

    In addition to be so much cheaper than store bought, my tea has less calories and is healthier. My husband takes a bottle to work with him every day.

    • Kristl says:

      I’m always shocked that people will pay the crazy price for pre made sweet tea…maybe they’ve never tried to make it themselves!

  96. Mousehouse62 says:

    Zenni Optical online is a great place to get your eye glasses for a cheaper price. Make sure to have your eye doctor measure each eye and write down exactly what strength you will need and pop on over to Zenni! Happy Looking!

  97. Nikki says:

    Here’s my #1 tip to save money: DON’T HAVE KIDS. You will save a bundle.

  98. Victoria says:

    if you work for a hotel (all the big chain hotel brands) you can get employee rate when you travel. Having worked in all the major brands, its only 29-59, avg 39 bucks a night! thats even if you work one day a week with most brands!

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…that’s a nice job perk! Thanks for sharing.

  99. Jody says:

    Also, I will buy the 1 ltr bottles of soft drinks at the dollar store for a dollar (save the bottle and caps, of course) then when the 2ltr bottles of soda go on sale Ill grab those up like we are saving up for the next depression. I will freeze a few ice cube trays full of each soda(so when the “ice” is used in said drinks it wont get watered down like regular ice does!!…Also works for coffee creamer, lemonade, apple juice, EVEN MILK! pretty much any drink that may or may not require ice!!) When frozen I will bust them up into little pieces that will fit easily in the mouth of the 1 ltr bottle. When u drink that one, rinse out w/hot water and/or rice and salt, let dry and refill ur cokes!! ur good to go!!

    • Kristl says:

      Clever idea for ice cubes…especially in the hot summertime!

  100. Jody says:

    In my home town Krispy Kreme sells their yummy doughnuts(any kind left in the display case ONE dozen for ONE DOLLAR (after midnight) Oh the savings!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kristl says:

      My waistline will probably be wishing I didn’t learn that little tidbit about Krispy Kreme!

  101. melanie says:

    Loved this list – thanks. Here’s my version:

    And PLEASE link your resources to open in a separate window so we don’t have to keep cutting and pasting and heading back to your original post. Thanks!

  102. Carrie says:

    I by almost everything we use when it is on sale/clearance. Especially when I can combine with a coupon! I saw the comments about the Just Between Friends sale; this is also a great way to sell un-used or outgrown children’s clothes, toys and equipment. You can make more than at a garage sale plus you don’t have to organize and spend a weekend haggling with people. Unfortunately for us, most of the groupon and other similar sites coupons are not valid in our area.

    • Kristl says:

      That’s a simple rule to remember…never pay full price!

  103. baishengli says:

    Most of this I do, as a single mom and teacher there is no room in the budget for anything but frugal. I would add, have a programmable thermostats to lower the temp when you are gone. Set it low (or high in summer) and you can always adjustfor comfort knowing the temperature will revert soon on its own.
    Also, I put the word out that I love hand me downs. This year I got my boys wardrobes in full from hand me downs! People give them to me, and I took what I wanted and sent the rest on.
    Finally, I got a Target credit card. Saves 5% and free shipping on any amount. I watch the clearance and then buy.I have gotten boys trousers for 2.50 and nice shoes for 8 dollars. I never carry a balance on credit cards, so that wasn’t a worry.

    Finally, I got a Target credit card. Saves 5% and free shipping g on any amount. I watch.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing your money saving tips!

  104. Gmammie says:

    Instead of ordering a soda when dinning out, just order water with lemon. Usually no charge. Also sign up for freebies online. There are a lot of useful ones out there.

  105. Casherie says:

    Many have suggested skipping the soda pop, here’s how I save on soda:

    -buy cans instead of bottles when they are on sale. I stash them in places I tend to go, relatives homes, work, my husbands office so that I am not tempted to buy an expensive drink at the gas station.

    -I don’t drink soda at restaurants, unless it is a part of the “lunch special.”

    -On road trips, I carry a refillable mug. Refills are about $.85-.99 each so it may only save you a quarter or so. Fountain drinks are almost always cheaper then a bottle of soda.

    -at home I usually drink from a 2 liter or cans, based on what was on sale.

    Hope those help! I’m not about to kick my diet Pepsi addiction!

    • Kristl says:

      You’ve just proven that you can have your soda and be frugal too! Thanks!

  106. Wendy says:

    If you live in Canada, bank with Presidents Choice Financial and have NO MORE BANK FEES. You can collect grocery points with the PC Financial debit card, and you can use your card unlimited times with no fees.

  107. vona says:

    If you are doing any remodeling or dyi for your home try the Habitat store. They have lots of perfectly good items for a lot less and the money you spend goes for a good cause.

  108. Sarah says:

    Our office sells contact lenses for less than 1800contacts. Check with your eye doctor and you will probably be surprised. We have access to rebates the online companies do not plus we have a representative from each company to help troubleshoot any problem you may have. Also, online glasses are known to have approximately a 70% return rate. There is no one to help fit you with the proper size and shape or adjust them to your face. There are many other measurements that go into the lens other than your rx to make sure your glasses are comfortable and you see the best possibly through them. Don’t forget that you’re also supporting a local small business.

  109. Melissa says:

    Have we gone over gleaning and foraging yet? In the south the pickings are awesome right now. Free pecans, lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits. So much canning this time of year so little cost. The pecans are easy to have professionally cracked at markets. They charge .30c or so a pound. Makes it worth gleaning 20 lbs when cost $6 to have then all cracked. I admit there is still some work involved before that nut meat gets into ones mouth. But, still best buy out there! Also if you have chickens they love the plethera of acorns on the ground. Grap several bag up of the ground to off setting your feed bill. You do have to crush these with a hammer before giving to them. Their beaks cannot break them. I have a old jean bag I put some acorns in and wack away with a hammer then dump out for the girls to enjoy.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding some great new tips! I’ve always been a city dweller, so I’m not an expert on canning or chickens.

  110. Christie says:

    I look through and wasn’t very impressed. These are websites where I shop for great hair products, vitamins and supplements at reasonable prices. You’ll need to compare prices before you buy, because some things are a better deal on one site and some on the other. – free shipping on purchases above $25 – free shipping on purchases above $50 – free shipping on purchases of over $100 and their prices are the lowest on many thing, but compare!

    Another thing I’d like to share is to turn off your heating/cooling when you are not in. This will save much, and no-one really needs air conditioning going while you are out. When you switch them on again, turn on fans for the first few minutes to cool yourselves.

    Don’t buy soda or other similar drinks. Just cut a fruit of your choice into a jug – an apple, or a peach or half mango, add some mint leaves and a couple slices lemon, and sugar to taste (I use stevia instead), fill with cold water and let chill in the fridge overnight, and you’ll have wonderful, refreshing drinks that cost next to nothing, are healthy and natural. I refill several times before replacing the fruit.

    • Kristl says:

      Love your refreshing drink idea, and thanks for sharing more resources for health and beauty items.

  111. THANK YOU for the tip about the combo-pills! I had no idea they could be prescribed separately, but I just got my MD to make the change and I paid $24 for a 3-month supply of the Lotrel components. Considering I’m seriously underemployed, this was like a $50-$60/month raise! Thanks again!

    • Kristl says:

      Love, love, love when I help someone save money! It makes my day…thanks for sharing!

  112. Melissa says:

    OK- Chiming in again….. My advise, is to really look outside the box. Look at everything you own and get your head in and out of it. Ask yourself what on earth you could use it for, what else you can do with it. Find multipal reasons for absoutly everything. Google search it. Type in your ideas then switch to images. See what others are saying. Seeing helps us think differently.
    EXAMPLE: a pasta maker. Obvious pasta! Not so obvious….shell peas, bean, cotton. Really out there….cut scrapbooking paper. Got it? So come up with something and try to find multiple uses… It may surprise us all what we can do to come up with a money saving tip.

    • Kristl says:

      You are a true savings queen! I love pulling treasures out of my china cabinet and using them to decorate…a pewter pitcher becomes a vase, a serving tray gathers TV remotes, etc.

  113. Julie says:

    This is the most ridiculous article ever. I’ve been doing these – common sense – things since the day I was married 25 years ago. Who would have ever thought this list was something new to consider? I just don’t get this world. You people are all crazy!

    • Kristl says:

      Believe me, everyone does not have common sense!

  114. Erica says:

    We do the budget billing with our electric company. It’s been great n knowing that basically the bill doesn’t change and months where it was less like now, the extra is still there for the winter months.
    We plan our meals for 3 weeks out & grocery shop every 2 weeks. We also use cash so I’m forced to look for good deals. I don’t buy/use most of the coupons out there so that’s no good for us. We mostly cook from scratch.

    I make our detergent, use vinegar as a fabric softener, & wool dryer balls. They help wit h the static, softness, & cut down on dryer time. We also line dry as much as possible which I’ve seen a difference in the electri bill.

    We cloth diaper with only occasional having to buy disposables, like a long road trip.

    • Kristl says:

      I’m nearing 300 comments on this article, and kudos to you for coming up with some new ideas! Thanks!

  115. Melissa says:

    If you’re already a frugal person, this probably isn’t an issue, but thought I’d mention it anyway….stop taking clothes to the dry cleaners. I have found tha (with a few exceptions) pretty much all clothes can be washed, regardless of what the tag says. I wash everything, but line dry the “dry clean only” stuff. I have never had any issues. Some fabrics wrinkle more, but if you leave the in your bathroom while taking a hot shower, that should help a lot. Just make sure to wash in cold so you don’t risk shrinkage.
    If you’re used to having clothes dry cleaned, this can be a huge savings.

    • Kristl says:

      I’ve never thought about throwing something in the wash that says dry clean only, but why not! I’m glad you’ve had good luck with your experiment! My money saving theory is to avoid buying dry clean only outfits!

  116. Christy says:

    I know at least one other person has mentioned this, but I would say steer away from 1-800-Pet-Meds. I understand that medication can be expensive and the idea is good, but this particular company has been found selling expired medication and fraudulent products. It’s possible they’ve cleaned up their act by now, but I wouldn’t ever trust them for my pet’s medication. There are other companies that do the same thing, just do a google search. Also, I would add pet insurance is an excellent and underused resource. It costs money up front, like it does for people, but in the case of an emergency, injury, or chronic illness, it can be a lifesaver. I used to be a vet tech, and I can’t even TELL you how many people didn’t have the money for vet care in those situations. The owners either end up paying on credit, which is bad, or even worse, the animal ends up suffering needlessly or euthanized for a treatable condition. It’s heartbreaking. So there’s my soapbox for the day. :-)

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing the info. on Pet Meds, and the tip about pet insurance…it’s always nice to get advice from experts!

  117. dianne johns says:

    I didn’t have time to read all of the comments, so I apologize if this is a duplicate. Did you know that Bed Bath and Beyond honors all of their expired coupons? You can walk into their store with 10 expired coupons and use them to buy 10 items if you want.

    • Kristl says:

      Good to know!

  118. Trish says:

    One more thing, ck your local area for Facebook onlne yard sale sites. We have one in Southern Md and I’ve bought all my granddaughters clothes for the next 2 years for less than $100. She’s 2!! Usually the quality of the items are better than what you find at yardsales. It’s also convenient for swaps of toys or clothing. I bought all her Christmas presents this way!! And good stuff like Little Tykes and Fisher Price.

  119. Trish says:

    Love the ideas, most of them I already use. I’ve been cable free since January, saved $150/month. Stream Netflix through the Wii. Playon.TV has great TV options, they have a 7 day trial period. Saving coins is a great idea, I religiouly put all my coins in a large jar in the kitchen, affectionately calling it my “cruise” money. I did this for almost 5 years. Recently cashed out the jar for a whopping $574!! I was so excited. Started the next jar already! Another cost saving thing I do is turn the heat pump/AC completely off when the weather is consistantly cooler. The electric bill for my 3000 sqft home was less than $100!! Unplugging my electrics, I’ve just started doing. It was hard to get into the habit of unplugging the toaster and hairdryer. But now I’m a fanatic!! Thanks again for the helpful tips, please keep them coming!

    • Kristl says:

      Your lifestyle is a true testament to living the good life on a budget! Good job! Thanks for sharing the information about the online yard sales…sounds fun!

  120. Lo says:

    I don’t usually do the grocery shopping (my wife is much more organized than me) but I’ve stuck with a few tricks when I do. You’re right about the clearance section. I usually check that first.
    I also bring competitors ads (to any store I go to) and after I’ve gotten everything I need (right before going to the register) I’ll ask for a manager, tell them I’d prefer to give them my business (usually it’s at a place that is own and/or run my local people) and ask the manager to match or beat their competitor’s prices. After they’ve agreed, be sure to ask them to personally tell the cashier that you are going to use so that they don’t have to be called back out when you’re in line. I’ve rarely been told that they won’t work with me on price.
    This also works well if they don’t have the exact product that the ad shows. (Ad shows deal for store brand but they only have name brand in stock. Sometimes I have to use a calculator to break it down to unit price, but they almost always work with me without a problem. And they generally enjoy bartering!)
    Contrary to what some believe, this is both legal and allowable.

  121. Carolyn says:

    I would like to suggest a local church fellowship. My family spends many evenings enjoying free social activities, such as fish frys, bowling, movie nights, guidance on budgeting, concerts, counseling, so on. Different groups share things like free babysitting, manicures, cooking classes, exercise programs, even free transportation and shopping trips. We have the clothes exchange, and awesome yard sales. Great fellowship, check on and help those that need assistance, like Dr visits, grocery shopping. Also many people have talents they share freely, carpentry, sewing, canning, yard work, automotive repair, home repair. Most church groups love people and are willing to help. Most important it is all through the love of God and our savior Jesus Christ.

    • Kristl says:

      Silly me…I never thought of my church life as frugal, but so much of our social calendar revolves around church activities…I guess it’s frugal and faith-filled!

  122. Charity says:

    Check with your local grocery stores, I love Kroger but I know I have stopped at Meijer after 8:30pm and all deli lunchmeat that is presliced from that day are half off after a certain time, what a deal!

    • Kristl says:

      I’ve got to check that out! My son would much prefer the deli meat than the packaged stuff, but my frugal side just can’t justify it!

  123. Sharon says:

    Hello all!
    I quickly glanced through many of the ideas and comments, so if this is a repeat, I apologize!
    One tip I have and that I know alot of folks do, is save your spare change in a jar or something. When I shop and actually have cash, I will pay only with bills, then take the change and put it in my jar. I have saved alot of money for things I want, and I find a picture of what I am saving for on the jar.

    • Kristl says:

      It really is amazing how quickly it adds up! Lately, I’ve heard of people saving all their $1 bills in a jar…I guess it’s the coin jar version of inflation! Love your idea of putting a picture of what you want on the jar…we all need a little money saving motivation!

  124. Jen says:

    Great tips! Lemme add a few more:
    1) check with the city or county for a weatherization program
    If you live in an older home, they usually send
    A couple of contractors to evaluate your home, we ended up getting a new furnace free

    2) bill pay your utilities through your grocery store, they only charge 1.00 per bill

    3)consider going through a local Internet/ phone company digital voice saves more money than century link plus get a wireless router, everything in my house is wireless We have no cell phones
    4)kids: send em outside! Boy Scouts are free, look into 4h in your area, cheaper than sports programs! Shop yard sales and buy 2-3 sizes ahead, jeans are gender neutral and great hand me downs. Cutoff shorts in the summer, use the bottoms for a rag rug (pinterest). Home Depot had a free kids workshop once a month, check your local store for details
    4) food: homemade is great, save time, freeze! Chop up potatoes, make mixes, divide up meat, get those whole uncooked chickens for about 4.00 each, crockpot, shred, you got two meals! Bean and cheese burritos are cheap, if you have one in you area, Mexican markets are cheap. The coupon thing in my opinion is a waste of my time, buy generic it’s cheaper than couponing.

    • Kristl says:

      Both of my boys were in Scouts, and it’s an amazing program! Where else can a boy affordably learn to Whitewater Raft, learn survival skills, learn to cook and learn responsibility!

      Mexican Markets…what a wonderful idea! I’ll have to give that one a try.

  125. Lindsey says:

    My husband and I are couponers and also do many of the other tips on the site. However, we do some things that haven’t been listed.
    1. Plan ahead for big purchases. We did this with my master’s degree, which we were able to pay cash for (we have loans from my husband, and we didn’t want to repeat that!). We also do this for things like new laptops. We put a bit aside each paycheck in our account with the online bank SmartyPig, and they give extra back if you turn them in for giftcards when your goal is met, so we get even more for our money. We also use Black Friday as a chance to get the big things we need. For example, we needed new pans a couple years ago, and we were able to buy them for more than 50% off on Black Friday, saved even more using a gift card we were able to buy online, and ordered them online to avoid the lines.
    2. We save money/earn more money using iphone apps that help us earn money (yes, I know not having an iphone would save money, but neither of us want to go without it). We use shopkicks, fieldagent, checkpoints, ipoll, and jingit to scan things and do tasks while out running errands. Sometimes we’ll even go on “dates” to scan things. It’s fun time together; we treat it like a scavenger hunt, and unlike other dates, we actually earn money. We also use Viggle to get points while we watch tv (this will work on any mobile device with a mic, so ipads and some ipods work, too). So far this year we’ve made over $600 between the two of us, which we’ve used to buy an iphone and otterbox, pay for part of a laptop, and now we’re saving for some extra Christmas money. This saves us quite a bit of money for just a few minutes extra work each time we’re out.

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…thanks for sharing the list of money making apps! I’ll have to check those out, and I promise to write an article about them. Planning ahead is such an easy way to save money, and I’m glad you’re seeing the benefits.

  126. I do most of my shopping on line – and has the option of buying USED books for a very low cost. I love it.

    • Kristl says:

      If you do most of your shopping online, I hope you’re using Ebates to earn cash back on your purchases!

  127. Julie says:

    Instead of spending hundreds on having your hair colored at the salon, try eSalon. Customized hair color for a fraction of the price! Looks great!

    • Kristl says:

      I just checked out their site…very cool! When I first switched to doing at home color, I was overwhelmed by all the choices at Target. Thankfully, a salesperson at Sally picked just the right color.

  128. Katrina says:

    I wanted to add that you can also learn to can your own veggies as they are in season. You don’t have to have a garden to can. Buy the fresh in season veggies or fruit. There are tons of websites that can help. There is also probably a senior citizen in your neighborhood who can teach you & would love the company. Organize a “canning day” at your local senior center. It’s a really great way to learn to do something that is a dying art & will also save you lots of money each year while giving a senior citizen some much appreciated company. There is nothing like the taste of your own veggie soup in the winter. Or your own jam on a pbj. (:

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks so much for your money saving ideas on canning! I’m guilty of believing that gardening & canning go hand in hand, but you’ve opened my eyes…thanks! Love, love, love your idea of working with a senior citizens center! Guess what I’ll be putting on my to-do list in 2013???

  129. Cindy Rains says:

    I read a lot, but not all of the comments so if this is a repeat, I apologize. My husband and I have been Bank of America cardholders for YEARS but just learned this a month or so ago. They have a customer award program where the first full weekend of every month, with your card and an ID, you get a free general admission into zoos, museums, etc. They have a list on their site. We plan to kep this in mind when we plan out next vacation.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding to the list!

  130. Lisa says:

    As far as saving money drying clothes outside, I have allergies so that is not an option for me (and our neighborhood does not allow it). My solution was to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond and invest in a heavy duty wood curtain rod that is meant to be mounted between two walls (has metal holders that screw into each wall). This is so it can hold alot of heavy wet laundry. We cut this to size so it fit into our laundry room. We sometimes “fluff” our clothes barely just to shape them and then they air dry in our laundry room. We never ever fully dry them, and I am sure this has saved us a ton of money.

    • Kristl says:

      That’s a clever way around the outdoor clothesline!

  131. Sharon says:

    1) you can enter your zip code and it will send you daily deals in your area, from restaurants to haircuts, family activities, just about everything you can imagine. I recently saved $1000.00 when I chose to get braces for myself. They also have savings for vacations.
    2) I work in the medical field and many people do not realize that most of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers have patient assistance programs where you can get many prescriptions at no or very low cost. Yes, there are guidelines, make sure to read the fine print. Many of those I deal with are lower income and do not have insurance, this can be life saving for some.

  132. Danette says:

    A great way to see exactly where your money is going…sign up for, it tracks all of your spending, investments and even helps you create budgets. It was a real eye opener for me when I could see all of my accounts in one spot. Also, with the app version on your mobile device, you can check a budget category right in the moment that you are planning on spending, which could in turn help sway your decision to spend in the first place.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing your positive experience with! The app sounds amazing!

  133. Cynthia says:

    Don’t forget Craig’s list! I found a great sofa for $80 and I sold mine that I was tired of for $50. Also, just finished lots of DIY at my house. Found replacement lavatory faucets for $50 ea normally retailing for $368 ea.
    Also love prices at Aldi but produce isn’t always as fresh as some of the larger grocers but most of the other grocers will price match so I just take my ad elsewhere.
    After having a major medical expense last year, my insurance covered most of it but I still had huge medical bills. Most of the providers gave me a nice discount if I was going to pay the entire balance right away. I couldn’t do that with one of them but they did provide me with a monthly, interest free payment plan.
    Sorry you had to leave Texas. Sure hope they have Blue Bell ice cream in Florida!

    • Kristl says:

      I love Craig’s List, and I’ve used it a bunch lately for both buying & selling stuff for our new home. Thankfully, I’ve never had a bad experience, but I know that’s why some folks are afraid to use it.

  134. Terry Hopkins says:

    I agree with several people about pet meds online. I also found that there was not that much of a savings. I have a wonderful vet, I want to support him however I can. He is honest with me and I will support him and his office as long as I live in the area. I am not sure about Canada either for my husband and myself. I know what I am getting and what it looks like, not sure if I would have the same quality for our personal scrips. Regarding making your own buns, bread, sauces, pasta, etc. Homemade is always better in my book, just wish I had the time to do it every week. I do get to make these things once in a while and it is sooooo much better that anything store bought. Using whole foods is just good for all of us. Liked the tips.

    • Kristl says:

      So, so true about homemade! Many folks think they can’t afford to eat “whole foods,” but packaged-prepared foods cost so much more! One of my favorite things to do on a rainy day is bake breads, sauces, etc. to freeze.

  135. Cassi says:

    Don’t use 1800petmeds. If something happens to your pet. ie they sent you the wrong medication in the right bottle. There is nothing you can do. They are a warehouse and do not have the authorization to sell the medication. they work around it when you bring send them a prescription but it is not binding.

  136. Gina bucci says:

    Amy’s Ice Cream gives military discounts, saved $1 just by asking :) !

    • Kristl says:

      Love, love, love Amy’s Ice Cream! We moved from Texas to Florida this summer, and Amy’s is one of the things I really miss along with good Tex-Mex food!

  137. Woody says:

    one little thing… using a discount gift card is more expensive than NOT using one, ie. if you wouldn’t buy anything at all, getting a discount which you have to use to save doesn’t save, it spends

    • Kristl says:

      I advocate buying discounted gift cards to places you normally shop. In my case, we buy dog food from Petsmart, so I always have a Petsmart discounted gift card which saves me 13%!

  138. Carrie says:

    Thanks for the list! Hopefully this can help me save more than what I have been doing. But I have two tips (my apologies if they are repeated I read a lot of the comments but not everything):

    1) I am a huge fan of reading and I have my own mini library because I love to own my books. (I know libraries are cheaper & even the kindle and e-books but I can’t resist owning the actual book!) Anyway, out of all the book stores, I have found Book-A-Million to be the best because they sell cheap books at great rates $2-$6. And if you have a membership you save an additional 20-30%.

    Also I recently learned about this: library sales. You can bring a bag and fill it for $5!! (Great for my collection!!! And to use for gifts, ect.) You just go to this website, enter in your area and it will give you a huge list of everything. I got lucky and they are having one near me this weekend. And they list wether the sale is really big, the prices, what they have, the deals for each day, and the times and locations.

    2) I have a small Shih-tzu dog. For anyone who doesn’t know, their fur just grows and grows. I was spending around $50-$60 (tip included) every time I would have to take him to get groomed. I would wait as long as possible but it was really every 2 months (3 if I was lucky). I invested about $30 at a pet store to buy a grooming kit that included a DVD on how to groom your dog and I have been giving him haircuts ever since for the past 3 years. He never looks as perfect as he does coming from the groomers but over time I have improved a lot and who cares if its not perfect? His hair always grows back and I will take imperfection any day to save $300-$400 a year in grooming costs!

    Hope my tips help give some people a couple more options as well! =]

    • Kristl says:

      The grooming kit sounds like a great idea, and I love that it includes an instructional DVD!

  139. Kathy says:

    Actually Costco is now carrying over 100 pet medications. They’re less expensive than even 1800PetMeds.

    Great site!!

    • Kristl says:

      Guess what I’ll be adding to my Costco shopping list???

  140. Hillary says:

    Thank you so much everyone for the tips! I’m 22 and have been really struggling with saving and controlling my spending. Huge impulse shopper. I plan on applying a lot of these tips to my life ASAP!

    I definitely will be planting a garden this coming spring for my vegetables and canning like crazy. (It’s become a new addiction)
    I’ve been cutting out buying meat since I hunt and have friends who raise livestock. We process our own too which cuts out money from butcher fees.

    I keep every glass jar. (Pasta sauce, pickles, jellies, baby food..ect.) i have friends/family members save them for me too. I use them to store left over food, spices, coins, and a lot of random things instead of buying food storage tupperwear, canning mason jars, boxes, and any other containers.

    My friends and I get together once a year with bags of clothes and we take what we want. It’s like getting a new wardrobe for free!

    Other than that I’m not very frugal. As to why this site is so helpful! Again thank you!

  141. Madeline says:

    You can buy coupons on and they send them out right away so you get them in a couple of days. If you search the ads online the day they come out you get the coupons in before the sale ends so you can stock up on the good deals. Always try to couple a coupon with a sale so it is even more savings! 😀

    • Kristl says:

      Great idea! When there’s a really good deal, it’s nice to have lots of coupons.

  142. Dana says:

    My Netflix and Hulu subscriptions come to about $16/month. I stream through my PS3 downstairs, and my ROKU upstairs. I also purchased a Leaf antenna for around $30 and now get 16 local channels, clear as a bell on my HDTV.

    I second Zenni Optical website for glasses. I get mine about $15/pair. You can have a pair for every outfit!

    Check your internet speed and determine if you can lower it a little. I did so and have no problems playing online games or streaming Netflix/Hulu.

    I changed my cell plan and saved $20/month. For some reason I thought I needed unlimited texts, but looking at the history on Verizon I saw that I wasn’t even using as much as the cheapest plan offered.

    I order my toilet paper and dog food through Amazon subscription. You just have to keep a close eye on the price, because sometimes they will up the price without notifying you. You can have things delivered for free, at a lower price than a one-time purchase. They are delivered as often as you specify. I have also signed up for a subscription at the lower price + free shipping, then canceled after, with no repercussions.

    Been having a lot of fun with spray paint. :) I found an ugly beige chandelier at a flea market for like $3. Spraypainted it aqua and now it is hanging in my dining room! Also spraypainted an old metal magazine rack aqua. It is pretty nice now.

    • Kristl says:

      Isn’t spray paint wonderful!!!

      I’m learning about more and more things that you can buy on Amazon for less…thanks for sharing!

  143. Susan says:

    As simple as it sounds, my parents {who are eastern european and the best savers I know!} always told us that little money = big money. I enjoyed this post…it is hard to make $ and easy to spend. This is a great reminder!

    • Kristl says:

      It’s hard to make money and easy to spend…I like that!

  144. Wow so many great frugal tips. I didn’t know that you could shop for electricy in TX. Another reason to think of leaving California

  145. Great tips! And guess who just happens to need a new grille? Good to know fall is the time to check it out. Just around the corner….

  146. Krystl… great post!! Fabulous ideas… so nice to know that I do all this already… I’M SAVING SO MUCH MONEY!! 😉 Grace, peace and blessings, Carla

  147. Jennifer H says:

    what a fabulous list of ideas!! Thanx

  148. Pamela says:

    Awesome tips, some of these we already do and have saved alot!

  149. Kendra says:

    Ways i save
    1. I do not spend coins. they all get saved then placed into savings.
    2. Return bottles and cans. I just did 5 bags and got $25 dollars back! Then it all goes to savings
    3. Save 20 out of every check hubby and I recieve from work. (So far this year it has been about $1,440!)
    4. Keep the heat down in the winter. Set to 68 degrees. Blankets, sweatshirts and hot cocoa were made for a reason!
    5. I DO NOT run air conditioners during the meters peak hours. Running them during the off hours saves about 20% for us anyway.
    6. I compare prices through three local grocery store fliers. Find which suits my needs best.
    7 Shop at Save-A-Lot food stores. discount food store. i bought 3.25 lbs of hamburg, and 2.5 lbs of chicken and only spent $17. It’s not the greatest meat out there, but it tastes just fine.
    8. Cook enough food for our meal. When we have leftovers, we eat more to make sure it doesn’t go bad. Our cabinets and frige stay fuller for almost a week longer by not cooking so much. -Kids only have one snack a day.
    9. Arbonne. Products for beauty, health, and wellness. i spend about 110 dollars on shampoo, body wash, and conditioner a year. compaired to using garnier fructic, dove, or herbal essences, and spending 160 to 180 a year. – I used almost a bottle a month, a bottle from Arbonne lasts about 5 months. I save almost 500 dollars a year using Arbonne products.(toothpaste, deoderant, perfume, lotions, makeup, bug spray, vitamins, tanning lotions, mens products, kids products, and weightloss products.) They are ($55 dollars for 3 bottles) because the are botanical based. Healthy products with ABSOLUTLY no chemicals in any of them.
    (For more information e-mail [email protected], or call 207-233-5494)
    10. We use netflix and gamefly instead of using cable or buying video games that will only interest the kids for a month. I spend 30 dollars a month for unlimited games, and movies a month (one at home at a time) and unlimited t.V. shows streamed thru internet or games console, and unlimited computer play thru gamefly.
    11. We have one night a week, where its game night. The T.V. does not get turned on. The Radio does not get turned on. It cuts out that little bit of energy that saves a little bit!

    Our reasons for saving? Last year i took my son to the doctors. His feet turn in sometimes alternating, but one is always in. it was affecting his running and sports, so i took him to the doctor. comes to find out its a hip problem. If i doesn’t straighten out in another year or two we will be looking at hip surgery. -he is only 6 right now- With minimal insurance any saving is most helpful!

    I want to thank this site and all the comments for the discounts, and savings idea. Its really appreciated! I’m definitly going to have to reduce some of that aweful “Phantom” energy!

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding so many wonderful tips to this list! Another fun way to save that’s similar to your coin savings…save all your $1 bills – those will really add up quickly!

  150. Brooke says:

    Great list. I had a good ordering experience from, but not great at all when I sent in a bag of items. I wouldn’t do it again. If you’re looking to make money on your used children’s clothing, you’re better of selling it on Craigslist.

    • Kristl says:

      Great to hear feedback from someone that’s used I think with most anything, you make more money selling it on your own, but is nice for those that don’t want to mess with it!

  151. Elena says:

    I use to do my meal planning. Getting recipes is free. They have a huge amount of recipes. I use their meal planning features (~$15/year). It also makes my grocery list that I can edit. I’m a working mom and it turned 3 hours of meal planning into a quicker 30 minutes.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing the information on! Meal planning is the key to saving money, and it sounds like you’ve discovered the secret to meal planning for working moms!

  152. April says:

    We use to track our spending. It’s free, and very user-friendly. It will also give you tips on ways to save based on your spending habits.

    • Kristl says:

      Love that gives you savings tips based on your spending habits…very cool!

  153. Katie says:

    JcPenny Salons are doing free kids haircuts for the month of August. They are for kids in grades K-6. I took my 3 kids for back-to-school cuts and they gave me 3 free coupons to come back again. I hope they do it again next year.

    • Kristl says:

      I just heard that this morning…how wonderful!

  154. Shayna says:

    I think the best contact lens site is My toric lenses are generally $60/box but through them, I was able to get two boxes plus 2 day shipping for $85.

  155. Cathy says:

    Save money on books by going to the library, or if you have a iPad, have the books come to your iPad (download the OverDrive app for free)!
    Most libraries carry the daily paper and a selection of magazines. Some library’s also have a book shelf with books for sale for 50 cents or a dollar.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing the info. on the free OverDrive app!

  156. Fran says:

    Try also! I have accounts at both Mr Rebates and Ebates. I check both to see which site has the best rebate – and Mr Rebates deals with more stores than Ebates. A tip I picked up from Real Simple magazine :)

    • Kristl says:

      Everyone should be using Ebates or MrRebates…especially with the Christmas season coming!

  157. Andrea says:

    My husband (who knows how to do this stuff) went in the basement this summer and noticed how hot it was. He saw that the pilot light to the furnace was running. Who needs hot air when it’s 100 degrees outside. He shut if off properly (please do this the right way… don’t let gas seep into your house). We have saved $90 on every bill this summer. Then he just needs to light it again in time for our cold winter.

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…who would think that the little pilot light would cost that much! Smart thinking!

  158. Great starter tips! How about some “advanced savings ideas” for those of us who grew up doing these things, and added the paperless billing, auto bill payments (save on stamps and late fees), and anything internet related as they became available?

    • Kristl says:

      I’m in the process of updating this article because thanks to reader comments…we have over 100 ways to save! I’ll make sure to add an internet section. Thanks!

  159. Stacey says:

    Don’t forget about the public library!

  160. Hellscreamgold says:

    “Michele– Coin Star charges a ~10% commission! Instead, take your change to the bank, and get ALL your money turned to paper. ”

    Not if you have the system give you a gift card instead. You get full face value if you get an Amazon gift card instead of a cash voucher.

    • Kristl says:

      The Coin Star vouchers or gift cards are a wonderful way to avoid the 10% commission. I know the Coin Star machine in Kroger gives Kroger gift cards, so I’ll use it right away!

  161. Chelsea says:

    I have alot of christmas frugal ideas!
    My husband works in an office where they throw out tons of paper so I have him bring it home and have the kids decorate it for wrapping paper. Haven’t bought wrapping paper for years and its less waste.
    You can buy super cheap books used on amazon and find books for every person on your list based on interests.

    Ask around for used halloween costumes from friends with older children and put together a dress up box.

    • Kristl says:

      You made me think of a few more resources! If you have a Half Price Book Store in your town, you’ll find both new and used books for…half price! Also, try Goodwill and thrift stores to add to the costume dress up box! Thanks for adding some great ideas!

  162. Suzieb says:

    Buy a clothes steamer! You not only save on drycleaning but all you laundry costs. Just steam those jeans, pants sweaters, etc. and it freshens your clothes for another wear. My husband steams his suits, we cut our drycleaning by 50 percent. Also I wash everything except whites and towels in cold water and hang alot of my clothes, saves money and wear and tear on your clothes.

    • Kristl says:

      I might need to try that! We just moved to an area where the dry cleaning rates are double what we used to pay…YIKES!

  163. Great list for ideas. I’d also recommend the following:

    1. Have themed movie nights by getting new and old movies from the library because they are FREE!!
    2. Get a template excel budget spreadsheet and budget up to 12 months.
    3. Use fans and space heaters to conserve energy for only the rooms you are using.
    4. Have potluck dinners with friends to save money, time and still be with the people you love!

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding to the list! I think we have over 100 ways to save! We’ve just moved to a new city, and our library has an entire floor of movies!

  164. Jaimie says:

    I completely agree with all the 1-800-PETMEDS comments. I am a vet with my own practice. I am usually cheaper than them on everything. People do not realize how much overhead a veterinary practice has. As an examle, our blood machines alone cost more than $25,000 plus the costs of the chemicals required for each sample. This is just one small example. We are expected to have x-ray equipment, laboratory equipment, anesthesia equipment, dental equipment and intruments, ultrasounds, etc. These are just the larger categories…Our pharmacy helps to keep the overall cost for services as low as possible. I am able to spread costs across several areas so that office visits and other routine services remain affordable. I also can educate my clients about their medications and help decide which ones will be the safest and most effective for their pets. I am also the one they will call at 2 am when their pet is sick or injured….NOT Petmeds.
    When you ask why we sign off on these scripts, it’s simply the fact we are somewhat forced to. The client thinks you just want the money for yourself and are not being fair if you decline the prescription. So, I make an effort to contact the client and explain the risks from purchasing the medications from that source. Many people are not educated about no manufacturer guarantees, undisclosed sources of the medications, or that many of these companies are doing things illegally. Some have been caught shipping products from other companies (i.e. Australian labeled products in the USA) or switching the original prescription to another product without authorization from the prescriber. Most of my clients were appreciative of our efforts to explain why we don’t recommend using these sources, but others wished to continue their purchases…that is fine, but buyer beware. Most vets are NOT out to rip you off. We are not rich. We simply are trying to make a living doing something we love to do.

    • Kristl says:

      It’s nice to hear from a vet on this subject!

  165. Victoria says:

    I agree with the other comments about 100PetMeds. You may be getting a better price, but you hurt small businesses, don’t have the product guarantee, and some websites (I don’t know about 100PetMeds) acquire some of those medications illegally. In fact, Veterinarians can lose their license by selling to those websites. That’s because medication can only be sold to a licensed Vet, which those websites are not.

    • Kristl says:

      Veterinarians have to send the prescriptions to 1800PetMeds, so why would they do it if they didn’t approve of the meds?

  166. Leslie says:

    Redbox is another cheap family night. Rent a movie for less than $2 and pop your own popcorn that’s probably healthier than the movie theatre too!

    • Kristl says:

      Love Redbox! By the way, search for Redbox coupon or promo codes on the internet…they frequently offer codes for free rentals!

  167. Kathy says:

    I know for sure Lowe’s military discount is given year around.

    • Kristl says:


  168. Tara says:

    Does anyone know if the military discounts linked to in this article are just for Memorial Day or are they good year round?

    • Kristl says:

      Sorry! I know they’re good for Memorial Day, but not sure about the rest of the year. Try an internet search for military discounts…good luck!

  169. Jessica says:

    Beware of buying pet medicine from 1-800- Petmeds. The company will not guarantee any of the products sold on that site, which means you could spend $50 on flea and tick prevention that doesnt even work! It sounds good to pay $50 instead of say $75 at the veterinarian office but if the product is expired or ineffective you’ve wasted $50 and your animal is still at risk. Any product sold at a vets office will be 100% guaranteed (meaning if your dog brings fleas into the home the company – Advantix etc- will even pay for an exterminator!) Just a heads-up… i had no idea that these products were not guarenteed and even purchased heartworm meds that came in Japanese packaging with Japanese instructions!

    But thanks for all the other tips lady!

    • Kristl says:

      I wonder if that applies to certain meds on pet meds? The packaging, the brand & the instructions are identical on the heart worm & flea prevention I buy, and we haven’t had any problems.

  170. Debora says:

    If anyone here has school-age kids, you know how much money goes quickly down the drain by having to buy gifts for every birthday party your kids attend! Not to mention that, if you are the one giving the party, you’re likely to become overloaded with dozens of cheap plastic toys that will clutter the house and break at the first opportunity. So, in order to keep the gifts meaningful and my bank account unharmed, I take used clothes to consignment stores and trade them for cool new toys or gifts. Also, because I tend to leave everything to the last minute and end up having to buy a gift (and wrapping paper/gift bag, which costs almost as much as the gift itself) on my way to the party, I made a commitment to buy good childrens’ books on sale, wrap them and keep a stack in the closet. That way, I always have the gift ready and never really have to worry about whether it’s a girl’s or a boy’s gift.

    • Kristl says:

      I’m a huge fan of having a stash of children’s birthday gifts in the closet, and you’re a step ahead by having them wrapped! Another inexpensive gift is a gift with an activity…like a children’s cookbook with an invitation to come bake chocolate chip cookies! I’ve seen children’s cookbooks for just a few dollars at Half Price Books and stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.

  171. Shanno says:

    Box stores and online shopping is not always cheaper!
    In small towns shopping local makes a huge difference in the community. Did you know that many drug companies will not cover adverse reactions to vaccines if not purchased through a vet. Clinic? Be careful about recommending cost cutting when it comes to discounted and online pharmacies… There may be unintended consequences of trying to save an extra buck.

  172. Missy C says:

    Kristl, you mentioned in a response not giving up cable because of sports, we had the same concern. So we made an investment in a good (& big) off air antena that we were able to put in our attic & that was about the cost of 1 1/2 months of cable and then we were able to get all of our local stations in HD “off air”. After that we discovered that many of our fave college teams could be streamed through ESPN or Fox sports) while they were happening, we’ve even hooked the computer up to the TV and watched it that way before. Beyond those options we found a good local sports bar with good food prices so that on “big” games we will go there and then we get a night out & the social aspect of watching sports at the same time. We live in DFW, TX and when the Rangers made the playoffs my husband who’s from St Louis just thought it was a blast to wear his Cardinals gear out to watch the series. It definitely made it more fun than watching it at home.
    And with the cost of basic service around here overall we are saving $1000 year at least.
    Another option, we finally got rid of our cell phones. We have a VoiP line in the house for my business and it’s linked to the home address so we could use it in addition to our cell phones. We tested the idea by 1st telling everyone we were doing it then unplugging the phone for 3 months and seeing if we could live with out it. It saves us about $600/year and the best part…my house is SO much quieter. It’s amazing how nice no ringing is!

    • Kristl says:

      I’m so impressed! You’re the Budget Diet girl of the day!!!!

  173. Katie says: offers a free cashback program. you can also earn 1/2% on referrals to the site.
    I save so much on my online shopping – there is a shop buddy attached to the site as well that scans the web for coupons and applies them to your cart – they are soon adding a one stop shopping cart.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding another great cashback resource!

  174. Monika says:

    since we’re on pinterest, look up homemade laundry detergents, homemade liquid soaps, homemade cleaning products. There is a huge savings making your own.
    for instance, I made the homemade laundry detergent, cost roughly $20 in materials, I use one, yes, one tablespoon of detergent for a full load, it comes out clean and fresh.

    • Kristl says:

      Pinterest is such a wonderful resource! Thanks for letting everyone know that they can find exact recipes for homemade cleaning products.

  175. Amy says:

    For a coupon stacking site, I would never pay for it! I’m sorry, but if you do a little digging through google you can find many free sites! I also follow them through facebook so I get the latest updates in my news feed :) I mostly follow and frugalcouponliving, also slickhousewives and happyhomemakercindy.
    Also my husband and I have lived without cable for 4 years now! We have netflix and recently also signed up for Hulu plus to get recent shows. We pay $16/month instead of $60+!
    Also shop around for your internet! It is not always cheaper to bundle!
    I also hang dry majority of my clothes, however a warning is to be prepared and make sure you have plenty of hanging space if you tend to do all of your laundry in one day. It takes up more space than you think! But it is worth it! My clothes stay so much nicer, especially if you do splurge on special pieces or certain outfits, I always hang dry anything I don’t want to fade or shrink. :)

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing some great money saving tips! I’m a fan of The Grocery Game simply because they do the “work” for you. So many people want to save money at the grocery, but they don’t want to take the time to do the research like you.

  176. Lorelei says:

    You’ve provided some good money saving tips, but I have to admit that I found the large number of spelling/grammar errors in this article to be alarming and very distracting… :(

    • Kristl says:

      So sorry! Please feel free to point out the errors, and I’ll be happy to correct them.

  177. Jessica says:

    another tip that my family has used on family trips in our state:

    our local library offers family passes for certain places in our state and it can get a family of 4 into a place for free or at a discounted price. Sometimes they aren’t available because you have to sign them out like a library book and wait for them to come back. But if you can get hold of one, go for it and save money.

    • Kristl says:

      Libraries are full of treasures…thanks for sharing! Our local library offers free yoga classes!

  178. Katie says:

    We do a lot of our grocery shopping at Aldi’s, and they have some amazingly low prices. They don’t have everything, but they’re super cheap.

  179. Rebecca says:


    Another thing to keep in mind is how much we spend on feminine hygiene products.

    I switched to the Diva Cup (a menstrual cup) a couple months ago and love it! Easy to clean, doesn’t produce waste, doesn’t take up space in your drawer, reasonably priced (especially considering they last for 10 years), doesn’t leave paper fibers like tampons. You DON’T HAVE TO CHANGE IT AS OFTEN and there is no risk of TSS. You can measure your flow over a given amount of time if you wish. You’re also not using anything that is bleached which is good for your body and the environment. There are many different brands to choose from but I found this particular one worked well for me.

    It’s weird to get used to at first but it’s definitely a time and money saver!

    • Kristl says:

      I’ve heard of the Diva Cup, but I truly never really thought about the savings! Thanks!

  180. Melissa says:

    OK- So I just checked back in with this awesome post. It seems as though people are also doing free activities. Have ya’ll hear about Geocaching? Letterboxing? They are super fun free family activities. Basically a treasure hunt. It is a world wide phenomenon. There are free things in and all around us. Free is my lifestyle. I love it and do not feel poor.
    Thanks for the nice response Kristl.


    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for another great addition to the list! Free fun abounds!

  181. Stephanie says:

    You can get sports live from the internet. I believe the website is (or something like that ) any way its 50.00 one time fee and then as long as you have internet you can get over 1600 channels unlimited. Its kinda hard to navigate and some channels are in foriegns languages, BUT we never have a problem watching our dear Dallas Cowboys play, and we watch it live. So between that and hulu and netflix (for on demand suff) we dont have a cable bill. Now to figure out how to get free internet. :)

    • Kristl says:

      The expense of all our electronic gadgets really adds up, and you really have to pay attention to it! When we first got married (24 years ago), our only “electronic” expense was a $14 cable bill! Thanks for sharing the sports tip!

  182. Toni says:

    P.S. I worked for Goodwill, at one of their childcare centers…so I received an employee discount at the store in addition to shopping second hand. I look back and see we were very blessed.

    • Kristl says:

      I’ll bet you got first dibs on the best stuff!

  183. Toni says:

    I have enjoyed reading all the comments in addition to all the “ah-ha!” ideas too. I also became a SAHM after working for close to 20 years.
    I remember when I worked, I was still frugal, Once A Month Cooking, saved so much in fast food costs. We had two days of big cooking, and then ate amazing meals the rest of the month. My husband and I worked alternating schedules, so when he woke up he would start dinner by getting it out of the fridge and begin the cooking process. I had all three kids with me, they attended the schools I worked at for free…(frugal goes along way) most childcare centers can’t offer employees benefits so they usually offer them care at reduced or even free rates. So even though I had a limited salary range working in Childcare, the perks of working there with your own children, were Priceless. By having a good education you will be in high demand at quality centers(which is where you want your children if you have to work any ways, right?)

    • Kristl says:

      In my working days, I never tried once a month cooking, but I did cook a bunch on the weekends!

  184. Tina says:

    Don’t forget your local library. You can check out books, movies, ebooks, and use the computers for free. Also most library’s have a book sale rack that you can buy used library materials.

    • Kristl says:

      Love the library! Our library even offers FREE fitness classes…yoga & zumba!

  185. Jo says:

    Grocery shop at Aldi and cut your grocery bill in half. Shop at Goodwill and yardsales. I’ve decorated my whole house by fixing up used items.

    • Kristl says:

      The treasures at Goodwill and yard sales are amazing, but you have to be patient! We live in an instant gratification society, and shopping for treasures takes time! Good job!

  186. @lix says:

    really cool to see the different ways to save, thank you !!!! ah…totally agree with the laddy that gave the name for Frugal Divas!!! =) love it

    • Kristl says:

      Enjoy the savings and check back often for more great money saving tips!

  187. Lori says:

    We cut our home phone line and bought an OOMA box, it costs us about $4/month and works great! I big cost up front to buy the box, but overall savings has made it well worth it.

    • Kristl says:

      Tell me more…I’m not familiar with an OOMA box, and I’m sure The Budget Diet readers would love to learn about it! Thanks!

  188. Anna says: is good for all type of deals. More on the wants than on the needs but still. I’ve bought shoes for my daughter for $5 a pair from target. Usually a size bigger and 2-3 pairs, diff color. Lots of times I’ve found deals for clothes from monks, darters, crazy 8…. And but that’s a deal a day. Still good for some stuff.

    • Kristl says: sounds like a wonderful site…thanks!

  189. Melissa says:

    Two good ideas I do!
    Hyper- mile- ing. Hybermileing. Slow acceleration saves a ton of gas, as well as letting the weight of your car take you to red lights, etc. My van has a miles per gallon currently setting. I tried this and watched it go from 11.5 to 13.7 miles to the gallon. I have learned how to get an extra 2.2 miles to the gallon when I drive that thing. I usually drive my more effective car but to watch it, I tested this in the van with a meter to watch my savings. I apply this in all my cars. I have heard that you can Google search hypermileing on Google and find out more. (I must add I live in a FLAT part of the country)
    #2 Dumpster diving. This is a personal choice. Check out privately owned stores. Talk to them and see if you can get their produce out the front door witch is set for the dumpster, if not get it out of the dumpster. I have save so much money doing this. Things like bags of oranges are amazing. One bad orange get’s the bag thrown out! Throw the bad one out and eat the rest. Clean everything. Never get into a dumpster!!! I use long BBQ tongs.
    Just some ideas.

    • Kristl says:

      You’ve earned your “Savings Queen” name!

  190. Nichole says:

    I really didn’t see anything that would save me money on your list. We don’t do dry cleaning, we buy budget gas with gift cards to save 3 to 5 cents a gallon, we already coupon and use sale ads – also check to see if your store has store coupons so you can double up your savings, we budget EVERYTHING, everything that is not desinated for a bill or a living expense goes into a CD – we saved 5,000 dollars last year doing this. We also don’t do vacations, we have our parents baby sit to avoid costs, and we make a lot of things ourselves. It actually costs us more to recycle, unfortunately – but I repurpose items like plastic butter containers into tupperware and other items. A clothing swap would be nice to do, but no one has boys in our surroundings so that’s a little hard. I buy my son’s items on the clearance rack after the season to save big. My son’s summer wardrobe cost a total of 47.00 and tax. I purchase gift cards on ebay, you save BIG doing that. We do menus as well to avoid temptation on buying stuff that looks good to eat – and eat something before heading to the store. We buy soda only when they do their monthly buy 10 for $10 get the 11th free and buy $60 worth of soda to supply the whole month or longer until the next sale. The list goes on and on. There is always a way to save money, but it’s only up to you on how you want to save it.

    • Kristl says:

      It sounds like you could be writing this blog! Thanks for sharing how you’ve been able to incorporate some of these savings tips in real life.

  191. Kaitlinn says:

    A great way to save on little gifts for like birhtday parties & what not is they also do discounts on different things, they do things from birthdays to weddings to just about anything you’d be looking for or at least anything I’ve looked for! Thet also do BULK buying for most of their stuff so you can save a TON on gift baskets!! :-) Happy bargain shopping, I’ve got some work to do with this list…..& my husband because he does most of this stuff, lol!!

    • Kristl says:

      Start by just trying to accomplish a few of the ideas on the list…the little things really will add up!

  192. Marie says:

    A friend’s father was remodeling a room. He purchased gift cards at Kroger’s and used them to pay for his supplies at Lowe’s. Because of his purchase he saved $2 a gallon on fuel at Kroger’s! Yay!

    • Kristl says:

      That’s a saavy shopper!

  193. Charlotte says:

    target, walmart, and i think walgreens all have lists of generic drugs you can get for $4 per month supply. some “optional” drugs like birth control pills are $9, and there is less choice, but that is the cheapest price i have found for sprintec or trisprintec.

    my credit union in NC (NCSECU) has a coin counting machine in most of their branches…you just dump in your coins like you would a coinstar, and you can then get your cash right from the bank teller.

    and i have seen plenty of craigslist listings for free plants that people have thinned out, especially plants like irises.

    • Kristl says:

      Free plants on Craiglist…I’ve got to check that out! The Budget Diet girl loves FREE!

  194. Candace says:

    Beauty College !! I love going to my local beauty college! They ladies are wonderful. They have a rewards program and refer a friend! Because I kept going back for my scheduled appoinments for a trim/facial wax after so many visits over a period of time I received a free visit. Plus every time i got my nails done… i was given the OPI nail polish I used for FREE!!! Be prepared to have extra time when going. You usually have to wait for an instructer to give the final go ahead for everything they do.

    • Kristl says:

      It’s great to hear that you’ve had good luck with a beauty college! The price is right, but I know folks are afraid that they might come out with blue hair!

  195. Janet says:

    Great tips! I read the one about rotisserie chicken and needed to do my weekly shopping and it was 8pm so I decided to go do my shopping. Sure enough, the Kroger rotisserie chickens were half price. I bought two and pulled off the meat and froze it in one cup portions when I got home. I use cooked chicken for lots of different dishes, so this is a good way for me to have some cooked meat on hand.

    • Kristl says:

      I’m thrilled that you discovered the rotisserie chicken money saving tip! Please “share the wealth” with your friends and family by sending them this list. Thanks!

  196. Great tips. I just repinned this pin. I love to get more money saving ideas. I read recently that unplugging your electric items not in use can also cut down on your electric bill. I did it and it worked! Yay. I also use Shaklee cleaning products which are cheaper because they don’t sell you water – you add it yourself to your window cleaner, all purpose cleaner, degreaser, etc. And they really work too. Great for the environment. Keep up the good work.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for the repin, and thanks for adding to the list of great money saving tips!

  197. Anna says:

    Save your veggie scraps to make a broth at the end of the week and freeze for soups later. This is much more tasty and healthier. Plus you save about $4 per quart, and you don’t accumulate extra trash from empty store containers.

    I save onion, garlic, and carrot peels, the bottoms of celery and broccoli, the insides of bell peppers, stems of herbs, or anything else you were going to throw away… (Beware of strong greens, which can make your broth bitter.) Cover with water. Add some salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne, and any other spices you like. We usually use parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme 😉 Boil for about an hour. Just till it has a full flavor. Strain. Freeze in quart containers.

    • Kristl says:

      Now that’s frugal living! Thanks for sharing.

  198. Shannon says:

    Make your own laundry detergent. I bought the ingredients for under $10; 1 bar of Fels Naptha from Wal-Mart-$.97, 1 box of Borax $3.50, one box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda $3.87 and a few gallons of hot water. Simple and very effective. It took me just over an hour to “cook” and it made 5 gallons of detergent, AND I can make a few more buckets with the same boxes of ingredients. Also, I use vinegar as a fabric softener. Sooo much cheaper than sheets or bars and perfect for those who cant tolerate scented products. If you normally buy 1 box of Tide a month, which costs like $20 here, this could save you a couple hundred dollars a year. Totally worth it!

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing the laundry detergent recipe!

  199. Brittany says:

    You can also ask you eye doctor about any deals on contacts. I explained to my doctor that I hated to spend so much on contacts. He hooked me up with a coupon, a big discount for buying a year supply, and he ordered from a smaller, cheaper company that he approved. All I had to do was ask, and he took care of it. (He also stocked me up on samples of solution!) Cheapest contacts I ever paid for! You may also consider switching your medications to a store like Walmart. They have many prescriptions for just $4. They are constantly adding new medications to that list. Loved your tips!

    • Kristl says:

      So true! Sometimes we’re embarrassed to ask for a cheaper option, but it’s well worth it. Also, whenever your doctor is writing a prescription, make sure to ask about money saving options.

  200. Rachel says:

    Love this list of tips!

    My husband, mom and I have saved on Christmas wrapping every year by forgoing the Christmas patterns, buying larger rolls of a flat color paper and large spools of ribbon. The paper and ribbon cost much less than the fancy stuff and we don’t buy tags because my mom uses a sharpie to write the names on in a decorative manner. This has worked fantastically for years.

    • Kristl says:

      Great idea and so simple! Thanks for sharing!

  201. Anon says:

    Believe it or not, my electric company in Indianapolis, IN actually CHARGES you extra if you pay your bill online! I thought that was soooo ludicrous in this day and age! They charge you $4.95 to process an online payment! I have to stick with the stamp on this one!

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…I’ve discovered the opposite lately with lots of incentives to pay your bill online. At least you read the fine print, so you don’t have to pay that crazy fee!

  202. Nancy says:

    Lots of great tips here, but do you work?
    I work 50+ hours a week and have two kids under 9.
    I barely have time to plan meals and cut coupons,
    let alone make soap or laundry detergent!
    The last birthday party we had at home cost $150–
    I found a retired art teacher that had a kiln.
    He let the kids paint pottery and baked it for us at
    $10 per child … Built in party favors and I’ll I had to provide was cake!

    • Kristl says:

      Love the pottery party, and built-in party favors are always a time saver. You are absolutely right…it’s tough to work full time and be frugal, but I hope you found a few things on this list that will help you save a little! I’m a stay at home mom with 3 teens, and I spend about 20 hours a week working on my blog. When I quit working nearly 15 years ago, I decided that if I wasn’t making money that I could certainly figure out how to save money. In my mind, a stay at home mom does have the time to plan meals and cut coupons. Thanks for visiting The Budget Diet!

  203. Fuzzy says:

    1800 Pet Meds is NOT a reputable place to buy medication for pets. They are known for selling counterfeit, expired, or even RECALLED products! I’ve also heard that they sometimes purchase their products from countries with no safety or purity regulations for veterinary medications. My vet actually price matches all “pet pharmacy” services (discount programs, websites, etc) to protect her client’s pets…even if it means she charges the wholesale price and doesn’t make a profit. I’m sure she’s not the ONLY honest veterinarian with the best interest of her patients at heart! It might be worthwhile to ask your own vet for ways to save money on your pet’s meds, rather than ordering through an unlicensed veterinary pharmacy…

  204. Dianne says:

    When i get dollars, I have a special place for the dollars that have my itinials on it.. so there fore I save all the dollas that have a d or c on them…Also i save 5 dollar bills with d on them… I have a box in a drawer that I just drop the bills into.

    Also, did you know a water bottle will hold 100.00 of dimes, I mean who cannot put dime into a bottle. Its a slow process but mines half full, but I will get there.

    • Kristl says:

      It’s like the old-fashioned penny jar just inflated for today’s economy!

  205. Krystena says:

    I work in a pharmacy here in the US and while drugs from canada can indeed be cheaper you really need to do your research before ordering. Canada does not have the type of regulations that we do on drugs and in fact people have ordered drugs from canada and have taken them believing they were one thing and come to find out it was a whole other drug. Yeah $141 savings is a good thing but only if you’re getting the right drug.

  206. sandy says:

    fun activity for the kids this summer.
    go to and sign them up. no strings attached. 2 free games of bowling everyday. this is not available in all areas but check it out. the only thing you pay for is the shoe rentals.
    also,check local theaters for free or very low cost kids shows through the summer. i know that Rave theaters, MJR, and Good Rich Quality theaters.

  207. Kate says:

    I know this might not be helpful for most people, but if you live in the Twin Cities, MN area, a local thrift store offers FREE personal shopping appointments where you show up and there are outfits, tops, bottoms, jackets, shoes, etc. already waiting for you to try on. It is absolutely amazing. I have found the cutest outfits with brand names like Gap, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, etc. for super cheap. You can buy as little or as much as you want. The personal shopper gets paid by appointment, not commission, so there’s no incentive for her to encourage you to buy things you don’t like/want.

    Here’s the website:

    If you’re not in the Twin Cities, maybe check with your local thrift stores to see if other places do something like this.

    • Kristl says:

      Free personal shopping at a thrift store…how fun! Personal shopping would really help people that hate to “dig” for the treasures – maybe it’s a trend that we’ll see around the country!

  208. Libellule says:

    (Of course some people may already know this)—> I learned this easy trick with dishes- instead of drying dishes with paper towels try instead, air drying! Set the dishes on a hand towel, (or with a larger amount of dishes use a bath towel) to dry and voila you just saved some trees!
    Thanks for all the wonderful tips! These help so much 😀

  209. Christy says:

    Thank you so much for the helpful tips! I was able to save $1445 a year on one of my RX!!!!! I will start working on other tips ASAP!

    • Kristl says:

      I always say the little things add up, but in your case that’s one big thing! I hope you can find a few more helpful money saving tips!

  210. Cassi says:

    If you have a baby, make your own baby food and use cloth diapers! Here’s my page on cloth info to get started! The savings is phenomenal! –

    I also make all my own cleaning products, shampoo, detergents, etc. I add a Downy ball of a vinegar/baking soda/water mixture and put a few drops of lavender oil in with it to use as fabric softener. Eco Friendly Family blog has great tips on those things, along with Pinterest.

    I’m not good at coupons, but when I do go to Sam’s, I share an account with my Grandma. Neither of us go there often, so when we do, we often split the things we buy since they come in bulk – but again, you have to watch what you buy there because some things are cheaper there and some are not.

    Freezer cooking! A group of 4 of us have been getting together every few months and we each bring 3 recipes that we make 4 of each and share. So we each go home with 12 different recipes! It makes buying in bulk a very easy thing to do. And if you don’t have people around you to share with, freezer meals keep for a few months!

    • Kristl says:

      Love the idea of sharing a Sam’s membership with someone! I’ve debated cancelling my Costco membership because our new house doesn’t have as much storage space.

  211. Nikki says:

    If you have a Once Upon A Child in your area, sign up for their emails. You’ll get to know about clearance events. Our store has $1 events- $1 for every clearance item, even winter coats!
    Also check out consignment sales. We have a bunch in our area that hosts BIG sales 2-3 times per year, usually in community center gyms. My fav is ‘Just Between Friends’. They are national! Half price day is awesome (half price on garage sale prices…yes please!)

    • Kristl says:

      Consignment shops and sales are THE BEST for children’s clothes! Thanks for sharing the information on ‘Just Between Friends.’

  212. Erin says:

    I love my highlights, but can’t afford $250+ costs every few months. A few years ago, I started going to salon schools like Avon and Paul Mitchell. The students take a little longer, but are generally really well trained, aiming to please, and really listen to what you! I would try one out near you for a trim or hair cut and if you like it- go wide for hair services 75% off!! I save over $1000 a year this way!

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…that’s a huge savings! FYI…Massage Therapy schools offer really inexpensive massages, and you’re not allowed to tip!

  213. Bridget says:

    We have roku too. It is great.
    We also have our garbage come every other week instead of every week.
    That saves us $20 per month.
    As far as the dryer sheets – everyone should STOP using them. They are really bad for your dryer and they make your towels lose their absorbancy.
    I also take advantage of the library. We rent all of our movies there and I can even check out books onto my kindle. I never buy books! Ever. Just put them on reserve and when the come in – that’s when I read them.
    I started using vinegar. I throw a splash in my wash and it makes my running clothes smell better. I also use it to make my own homemade cleaning products. Vinegar is great!
    I also pop my own popcorn for movies. Why pay all that money at the snack bar. I pop a bag and shove it in my purse and then I have my own free snack at the movies. I also bring my own water so I have a drink.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing some great frugal living tips! I hope you’ve discovered a few more ways to save on The Budget Diet!

  214. Sam says:

    Thanks so much for all these tips! I will definitely check a lot of them out. I just want to warn people to please be careful with getting medications for their pets from 1800petmeds. I have worked at a vets office for over 6yrs and I cant tell you how many times we have had sick animals come in because the “same exact meds” were made in another country, where drug conversions are different and not appropriate for the pet. Also, I have heard from more than one drug rep that the companies will not guarantee medications bought from online websites because most of the time they aren’t actually getting the same medication

  215. Christa says:

    Make your own laundry soap. I spend about $3 for 8 months worth. And it works wonders on stains.

    • Kristl says:

      Do you have a laundry soap recipe to share? Thanks!

  216. Angela says:

    Go to your local public library to check out books, audiobooks, programs, movies, storytime and much more for free!

    • Kristl says:

      We’ve recently moved, and our new library even offers FREE yoga classes and Zumba classes!

  217. Wendy says:

    We just purchased Roku, a device that streams Netflix, Hulu, and hundreds of other paid and free services to your TV. The device is $69, and we are seriously considering dumping satellite service now! The content available there is insane!

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…$69 is less than a 1 month cable or satellite bill! Good job!

  218. Katherine says:

    Under go green… Ditch the disposable. Switch from paper towels to more rags, from paper napkins to cloth, kleenex to handkerchiefs. Ditch your tampons for a Diva Cup or your pads for glad rags. The pads and cup carry some upfront costs, but you will save hundreds in the long run.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding earth friendly & budget friendly tips to this list!

  219. Nicole says:

    Eating healthy is a great way to save money, especially if you keep it simple. I can’t say enough about cooking from scratch and having a master menu of things you regularly eat! I have a large family and if I bought everything in a package our grocery bill would almost double! Not to mention those products are loaded with trash! I can’t even pronounce half the ingredients on the packages, let alone know what it is! Cooking from scratch can take longer but once you find out how inexpensive, easy, and how few ingredients it takes to make something like spaghetti sauce, you’ll never be able to buy it again with a clean frugal conscience! The master menu helps keep things simple so you can buy things you eat on a regular basis in bulk or stock up when it’s on sale and so you know what to make! I don’t do the super coupon thing or shop sales anymore because I end up with stuff we don’t eat or don’t want to put it in my body. Of course I buy it if it’s something we normally eat or would eat if it were on sale, that’s how I add variety!
    We like to eat organic when possible and I have found that some produce is not much more then a sprayed product. And it tastes better!
    If you like to buy organic and natural, you should try looking into a local food co-op where you buy in bulk at the cost to the store. Sometimes people in the co-op will split cases of products and you still get the savings without having too much of something you can’t finish. See if you have an Azure Standard drop near you.
    Look into buying farm fresh eggs. I get mine from a family for $2.00 a dozen for organic free range farm fresh eggs, delivered! Walmart sells them for around $4 a doz. I put a plug in for Costco for their amazing selection and prices on organics, as well. We moved and don’t have one close anymore :(
    I am frugal in every area of my life and we’re on a food budget, but I make sure I can have quality food by planning and research! What you put into your body will affect your health and overall quality of life, so it’s better to spend a little bit more on healthy food then in Dr.’s bills! Medical expenses will far outweigh a little splurge on organic apples! Remember everything has a price, cheap and convenient food costs more than you think! I have to remind my frugal mind of that when I’m temped to buy junk to save time or cents!
    Sorry, have to add one more thing, there are times in life when one cannot afford anything but Top Ramean, so eat the Top Ramean with a grateful heart, because life is about living for God not for food or anything else!

    • Kristl says:

      It’s so nice to hear from someone that eats well on a budget. So many people think that it’s expensive to eat healthy, but as you point out cooking from scratch is the key.

  220. Annie says:

    We got rid of our cable too! I have to have Internet for school, but our saving are over five hundred dollars a year. HuluPlus and Netflix cost about $25 per month together, so that’s awesome! And we love sports, but we always have friends throwing a watch party or we use it as an excuse to visit our parents! If neither are an option, we treat ourselves to a meal at a sports bar or Buffalo Wild Wings and watch that way. Definitely worth the savings!!!

    • Kristl says:

      I like that suggestion for the sports, but I may have to convince my husband and teenage boys first!

  221. JFlynn says:

    Thanks for all the great tips! I’m recently getting into the DIY stuff so I’m excited to start make our home more homey! We have two great flea markets right down the road from us that I am so excited to go to. You have tons of great tips on here! One thing I think is important to mention about using 1800petmeds is that I would speak with your vet before doing this. I ordered heartworm pills for my pups from there and my vet approved the order when they called but the next time I went in she told me that they could not “guarantee” the medications ordered off the web. In other words, if I continued ordering from the site and giving my dogs the heartworm medication properly, if they somehow ended up with heartworm, the vet would not cover it. (And if you order from the vet, they would treat your dog’s heartworm for free through the guaranteed meds). Just thought that was pretty interesting. I’m not sure if all vets do this or not, so I would speak with them about it. I take my dogs to Banfield, the vet inside of Petsmart. Thanks again for all the tips!

    • Kristl says:

      Interesting comments from your vet about 1800PETMEDS, but it seems like if you order the exact same product that it would be the same. I could certainly understand if you opted for a different product. Thanks for sharing and happy shopping at the Flea Market! By the way, almost anything can be painted, so use your imagination when shopping!

  222. Kel says:

    Michele– Coin Star charges a ~10% commission! Instead, take your change to the bank, and get ALL your money turned to paper.

    Other tips: adjust your thermostat a bit! We like it at 74 in the summer, but have it set to 76. That way, if we are out it is cooling a bit less, and if we’re in and want it cooler, we just set it temporarily, letting the overall higher temp save us a bit of money. Same in the winter- set it a little on the cold side, nd adjust if needed.

    Sometimes I line dry the laundry and then toss it in the dryer for a “freshen up” fifteen minute cycle. That way the clothes are soft and wrinkle free, but taking less time in the dryer.

    Remember to adjust your thermostat, turn down the water heater, etc. before you go on vacation.

    Always google “[store] coupon code” before you make an online purchase. Recently saved $22 buying a chest freezer from Home Depot, and it took about thirty seconds to get the 10% off code.

    Huge budget savers for parents of babies– breastfeed (free! And healthier!) and use cloth diapers. Don’t buy baby food– waste of money. Either make your own if you want to feed purees, or just feed your baby table food starting at six months.

    • Kristl says:

      The Coin Star in our grocery now offers an option to get store credit at Kroger with no commission! Thanks for sharing the budget savers for babies…my children are all teenagers, so I’m a bit out of the loop in this category!

  223. kari b. says:

    The 55 vs. 65 mph tip is totally true in my ’09 VW golf. :)

    • Kristl says:

      It really is amazing, but the world is going so fast that you really have to make an effort to drive 55.

  224. Patty says:

    Re: Dryer Sheets. We do NOT use them at all. Instead we use a Downey ball with White vinegar in the rinse cycle. We also make our own homemade laundry soap as well. Can’t tell you how much my allergies have improved (oh yes, and we line dry A LOT of our stuff).

    But if you MUST use dryer sheets. Did you know you can also cut them into quarters, put one in your pocket and you have instant mosquito protection? Use liquid fabric softener??? Same thing on a paper towel in your pocket. (Just a bit tho, or you’ll have a HUGE MESS in your pockets).

    And plants? Hubby and I divided up our Hostas, Daisies, Lillies, and Buttercups and gave them our girls. Then we priced what we gave away. Almost $700 our daughters saved just by us giving them what we divided. Think next year I am going to post on Facebook “Free to good gardens”. Cleans mine out, helps others, and saves money.

    • Kristl says:

      I wonder if people post free (or really cheap) plants on Craigslist when they’re cleaning out their gardens?

  225. Caroline says:

    Another great tip is only drinking water at restaurants! Water is free and if you have a family of 5 that could be $10 just for drinks! If you go out 2 times a week thats $20 a week $80 a month and $1,040 a year!

    • Kristl says:

      So, so true! Drink prices are crazy at restaurants, and some don’t offer free refills.

  226. Angie says: is a great website to get rid of things, and to see what else other people have. Find one for your city/geographic area; if there isn’t one, start it! No charging or swapping is allowed- everything is straight out free. Also try to find clothes swap meets; again you can organize one if you can’t find one. If you’ve lost weight, gained weight, or are just bored with your clothes, pack ’em up and take ’em down to the swap meet and trade with other people or sell for a bit of cash. Some of these are geared towards one audience, for instance women’s business casual size 16 and up (seriously, have seen it advertised that specifically), which makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.

    Definitely do hair, nails, and massages at schools for cheap.

    Also check with your electric company about flex rates, that is, electricity is generally cheaper late at night or during the work day, and some companies will re-rate accordingly. If you can run the dishwasher after 10 p.m. or do all your computer stuff at a certain time, you can cut money off your bill (but you may have to sign up specifically for that program). Keep an eye on cell phone plans- while the contracts are great for loss protection, there are amazing no-contract plans out there. I pay $30/month for 1500 minutes and 500 text messages, which is almost half what I paid with a contract. Again, it doesn’t cover loss of the phone, but I’ve already saved enough over time to defray that cost if I break or lose it. Plus there’s no deposit, no credit check.

    Start cruising sites like pinterest (which I love) for ideas on crafts and DIY projects before spending money on brand-new items or professional services. I absolutely agree with checking youtube for videos on how to repair things yourself, or find a swap board online where you can trade something you do for someone else’s services (lawn work in exchange for plumbing services, for instance).

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding so many great tips to the list! I think we’re up to at least 100 ways to Cut Your Spending by $400 a Month!

  227. Chelsea says:

    My husband and I cut out the cable in our house and have saved about 70.00 a month. We have Netflix (8.00 a month) and use (free). Our orginal bill was 140.00 a month and we had cable, phone, and internet. We only kept the house phone because it would have cost more to get rid of it but eh. Totally annual savings= $840.00 (I am happy!!)

    • Kristl says:

      25 years ago when we first got married our cable bill was $15 a month…it’s shocking how much we pay now! I’m thrilled to hear that you’re satisfied with Netflix & Hulu…I just wish there were another option to watch sports since that’s what takes up most of the TV time in our house! Thanks for visiting The Budget Diet, and I hope I helped you save a little money!

  228. Michele says:

    I have been on a “going frugal” kick. I: started making my own cleaning products, bath products, etc. (pinterest is awesome for ideas, search DIY and find some of my stuff), called utility companies and debtors to get better deals, cancel stuff I didn’t use, and ask for better plans for repayment, started using my outside clothesline, had DH hang a clothesline on our deck (that can easily be taken down for cookouts, etc), hung a clothesline in my laundry room with 3M hooks and line, and dusted off my old drying rack…I asked each family member to “slightly” turn back the temp on showers to save on heating water…DH is heading to our water heater tomorrow to try to turn the temp down a bit too…placed plastic bottles filled with water in the back of toilet tanks (away from the “guts) for water displacement to save on water…I regrow green onions and romaine lettuce from their stems by placing stem end (with a couple of inches still attached) into glasses of water (replace water and rinse stems every other day or so)…I stockpile whatever is dirt cheap on sale or with coupons. SwagBucks is a good coupon source and you can earn “points” that you can turn in for paypal money or gift cards to stores and restaurants. We save pop cans and recycle. We save change and roll it (or coin star). We started a compost heap so we’ll have potting soil for next spring and DH is now building a rain barrel system to collect rain for watering plants and washing cars (again, pinterest). I make our hot dog/hamburger type buns homemade, homemade pasta sauce, taco sauce, meatballs (vacuum sealer, invaluable!! and coupons for $10 off FoodSaver brand at SwagBucks right now), seasoning blends (taco seasoning, etc), pizza dough for the freezer…etc. I LOVE finding new ways to save!

    • Kristl says:

      You’ve embraced frugal living full force…kudos! It really is a lifestyle change, and once you get in the frugal living habit it’s really hard to pay full price again.

  229. DB says:

    most things sound good here except for trying to order drugs from outside of the US. The FDA is extremely strict about what drugs are allowed to be imported into the United States, and Canada doesn’t share the same laws concerning the flow of drugs from manufacturer to consumer. If you aren’t careful, you can end up on the wrong side of the law on this issue as well. I am sure that other countries have high quality drug manufacturers, and I think that normal OTC meds are maybe fine, but if you have an Rx only drug, I’d stay inside the US borders.
    Db- Pharm.D

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing more info. on this!

  230. Liz says: for discounted gift cards to local restaurants.

  231. Tay says:

    1800CONTACTS will match the price if you find a competitor that is cheaper. On top of that, you can return a ripped contact and they’ll send you a replacement. AND if your prescription changes and you have an unopened box of contacts, they will take it back and either refund you the money or you can use it on your next order. Awesome company!

    Thanks for the tips – particularly the travel ones. :)

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…that’s great to know the 1800CONTACTS will exchange unopened boxes of contacts! Thanks for sharing!

  232. Lisa says:

    Here’s my recently discovered little secret. Ebay for clothing. I had a pair of jeans that I love but they were getting a little ratty. I couldn’t find a replacement for them so I tried ebay. Found that exact same pair, gently used (but I couldn’t tell) for $7.50. My BEST deal was a Coldwater Creek silk dress, never worn, tags still on it reading $139.00 . . . Got it for $20.90, and that included the S & H. Scored a Territory Ahead little black skirt, brand new, tags still on for $2.00. You may not find exactly what you’re looking for, and you may have to bid on it, but you can find quality, name brand items for next to nothing, especially if you’re not in a hurry. Just search using the name and your size, like J. Jill size 6 sweaters. Good Luck.

    • Kristl says:

      Great tips for buying clothing on Ebay! I agree…it’s much easier if you know your brand & size, so you can do a specific search.

  233. Logan says:

    I love the money saving ideas BUT- it’s not always best to save money by buying your pets medications from 1800-pet-meds or many of the other places listed above. I am a Licensed Veterinary Technician with a BS and working in this field the cost of care is always a hard thing that we have to deal with when it comes to the furry members of our households. Within the last week alone I’ve delt with at least 2 cases personally of people getting their pets flea/tick and heartworm meds from 1800-pet-meds, Dr. Fosters and Smith, etc. that haven’t been effective. In speaking with drug companies in the past and what a lot of people don’t realize is that online pharmacies (unless your vet is associated with them- VetSource, VetCentric are a couple I know of) don’t get their medications from the drug companies/manufacturers. It is believed that they get them from veterinary hospitals selling their overstock and getting a kickback for it- what this means is that the storage and transportation of these medications may not be to the standards of the manufacturers which could cause them to be less effective.

    Getting medications from Walmart, Costco, Target, etc.- these stores can be great for getting your pets medications through HOWEVER, there are things people need to keep in mind when buying from them. When purchasing things that are over the counter you as a consumer need to realize that right next to the Frontline Plus flea and tick prevention is often “Heartz”, “Seargents”, etc. which may have the same ingredients. Often times they are cheaper than the Frontline but, what you don’t know is that they are much more likely to cause your pet to have an allergic reaction that could be anything from severe itching to seizures (not that this can’t happen with other/better brands as well but that is totally determined by your pet). Also, you need to KNOW your cat or dogs weight and ONLY use the size that is appropriate for your pet without “splitting the tube onto two pets to save money” AND ONLY USE DOG MEDS ON DOGS AND CAT MEDS ON CATS (sounds dumb but a lot of people assume “it’ll be fine” and “only uses a little” but drug are different and you may actually kill your cat).

    Lastly, when getting the medication from the pharmacy at your local store/costco, etc. be weary of pharmacists or technicians there who want to offer you a different drug than what we as veterinary professionals prescribed. That is a HUGE no no and it’s kind of illegal. I had one client call me back and ask to be on a totally different medication for her dog’s athritis than what we prescribed (like everyone she was cost conscious which is great) because the pharmacist told her that her dog was using this other/cheaper medication that her vet prescribed to her dog and “it helped him so it should help out her dog as well”. I couldn’t believe it!!

    I’m not saying you don’t love your pets if you get meds online or over the counter or basically just not through a vet’s office but, a lot of people don’t realize these things and unfortunatly they sometimes end up back at the vet with a worse problem which is often hard to see- even for the staff. I wish people could understand that a lot of time the money you pay at a veterinarians office isn’t just for medication, treatments, or time- it’s for our knowledge. I have put a link below that talks a little about veterinary costs from a REPUTIBLE source called “Veterinary Information Network” or “VIN”- please take a look and thank you for reading :)

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for the information.

  234. Zoe says:

    The tip about the 55 speed thing is true for “older” cars, meaning those made in the 80’s or 90’s. If you happen to have a newer car, that most likely isn’t true. It’s true for the slightly older cars because that’s what the speed limit was on the interstate/highway at the time, but to accommodate with more modern speed limits, it’s most likely that a “new” car would be more efficient at a higher speed than 55.

    • Kristl says:

      My family actually put the 55 mph speed limit to the test on my 2006 sport utility, and the results were amazing!

  235. Sarah.M says:

    – I use a drying rack for kid’s clothes. They never shrink and last longer. By the time the next baby comes around, the clothes still look brand new because of less tumbling.
    -I buy all my toddler’s clothes a year or two in advance at the end of each season.
    -If I can find the right deals, I buy Christmas gifts (usually toys) during holiday sales such as 4th of July.
    -For feminine products, I use I bought 3 years worth of brand name tampons for $36 and got free shipping for spending over $25 at the time – I bought my sister, who is in college (on a budget), tampons for Christmas and she loved it! She said I saved her about $60. Note: isn’t always cheaper but if you find a particular brand you like and price compare you can save.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing the info. on…I’ll have to check it out!

  236. Christine says:

    Don’t forget to save on car insurance by shopping around, and the lowest rate you did have may not be the lowest now, so check up on it a few times a year. Also when buying a new car, go with an auto consultant, many people don’t know this, but they earn a small fee, but can get you thousands off on a new car in return. We used And always keep up on your car maintence to get the best gas mileage!

    • Kristl says:

      You’re absolutely right…at the very least, everyone should shop around for auto insurance rates once a year!

  237. Gaylin says:

    I agree with Cherish, I worked at vet clinic and our prices were actually cheaper than 1800PETMEDS. I would compare prices before you buy. Thank you for sharing this awesome list.

  238. Kristin says:

    I make my own laundry soap for really cheap, and add vinegar to the rinse so there is no need for fabric softener or bounce in the dryer! I also make my own body soap, and have gone No-poo for my hair, big savings there! Children don’t need fancy soaps and shampoos since they don’t sweat and stink like adults, I usually just use water on my girl in the shower and every once in a while I soap her down just to make me feel better! I make my own bisquick and other baking mixes! I make all my xmas gifts, the person touch is greatly appreciated! I do most of my clothing shopping at thrift shops, I also will see if something is cheaper for me to buy in the US since I am Canadian we pay more for many items then Americans! There is more but I will stop now!

    • Kristl says:

      I add vinegar to my towel loads every time to get rid of musty smells, I’ll have to try it for our clothes. The first time I did it, I was afraid they would smell like vinegar, but you’re right…they smell nice and fresh!

  239. Christa says:

    Another good eyeglasses webstie is, glasses were as low as $8 for a lower prescription when I ordered. Normally, with my extremely high prescription I can pay $400+ a pair of glasses, I got THREE pairs for $150 at zenni, and I get compliments ALL THE TIME on my frames :)

  240. heather says:

    for eye glasses the website is a great place to find glasses and an amazing price and my pair from there has held up for over 2 years. They have a good return policy as well, I bought a few different frames and was able to return the ones I didn’t like (I think free shipping)

    also zappos is a good website to buy shoes free shipping both ways and easy returns if things don’t fit.

    I love that I found this website as well as many others to help me save. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

    • Kristl says:

      I’m glad I helped you save a little money, and thanks for adding more money saving tips!

  241. Alma says:

    I buy my kids’ clothes off-season. I will buy winter coats every couple of years when they are on clearance and at a size or two larger than what the kids wear. We go to school year round so I generally wait until they go back to school in the fall (after everyone else has been in school for a month or so) to buy big items that go on clearance like lunchboxes and backpacks.

    All of my past splurges of cookbooks are going to good use; the kids and I will find a recipe that looks good and make it together.

    A huge money saver is talking the older kids into not having a huge birthday blowout, suggesting we save our money for a big trip to a nearby amusement park. Birthday parties at home can cost a lot too if you add in all of the food, booze (for the parents, lol) entertainment, and goodie bags. They complained intially but they understand that we can’t do EVERYTHING and we have to choose what we really want to spend our money on. We compromised on a slumber party with a couple of friends, cheap pizzas, and homemade birthday cake. This was so much easier and we went to Disneyland in April!

    Sorry for such a long comment but it is always nice to find other people who are trying to find ways to save money. :) Alma

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…thanks for adding some great tips to this list! I love the “budgeting” lessons you’re teaching your teens when it comes to birthday parties!

  242. I actually wanted to compose a brief note in order to say thanks to you for these pleasant tactics you are placing at this site. My incredibly long internet lookup has finally been recognized with incredibly good facts to write about with my neighbours. I would say that many of us readers actually are very lucky to exist in a notable site with many perfect people with useful plans. I feel pretty blessed to have discovered your web site and look forward to many more awesome minutes reading here. Thanks a lot once more for a lot of things.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for visiting The Budget Diet! I hope that I helped you save a little money, and I hope you’ll visit again soon!

  243. Nancy says:

    The tip about slowing down to 55 on the freeway only works if 55 is the speed limit. =) If you’re driving 55 in a 65 mph zone, you become a huge hazard! Saving a few pennies in gas costs is not worth endangering your life or that of someone else.

    • Kristl says:

      Good point, and more and more of our highways are now up to 75 mph!

  244. cbuns02 says:

    Thanks for the tips they are great and all the websites should help a ton.

    • Kristl says:

      Happy Saving & thanks for visiting The Budget Diet!

  245. Cathy says:

    Thanks for the tips! Here are some more to consider: shop in the “cut too much” section of the meat counter and freeze for later; shop the clearance section of the grocery for bargains, shop at the grocery or drug store for discounted candy and holiday decor after the holiday passes, invest in power strips and plug those phantom appliances/items in and turning off is a flip of a switch (anything that has blue lighting drains energy such as microwave, laptop power cords, etc.), use mason jars with lids to store left overs or salads- they stay fresh longer, catch your eye when scanning for options, and are reusable; use a baseball card holder to store coupons in a portable binder so you are more apt to use before it expires; take advantage of your local library for free computer usage, movie rentals, great books, and children’s story hours; wash your own car and pet!

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding lots of great tips…those clearance sections in the grocery are usually loaded with treasures!

  246. Alaine says:

    Cut dryer sheets in fourths. There is more than enough fabric softener to elimanite static in each dryer batch with just one quarter of a sheet. I use my sewing mat and cutter and can cut up a large box of dryer sheets in just a few minutes and it lasts me for months.

    • Kristl says:

      Very clever & very thrifty! Thanks for adding to the list of money saving tips!

  247. Awesome tips! Bookmarking this page for personal, future reference. :-)

    I just wanted to note that for those looking for a subscription coupon-matching site, SavingsAngel might be the better bargain. Our service is $5 a week, and you get unlimited access to the lists for every store we cover unlike other services that charge an additional fee if you shop at more than one store.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing the information on Savings Angel, and thanks for visiting The Budget Diet!

  248. Sherry says:

    I love most of this and do a lot of these things!
    However – the Costco shirts may say no-iron and be less expensive to purchase but they take ALOT of time and energy to iron and still look horrible! (I love Costco just not those %#@&*(& shirts!) I took me 3x as long to iron than the more expensive shirts – that do NOT need to be dry cleaned – I do them all at home 😉 Keep up the great tips.

    • Kristl says:

      Sorry you didn’t have any luck with the Costco shirts…I really never ironed my husband’s, and they looked perfect. I guess it may have something to do with different washers & dryers. Thanks for reading The Budget Diet and happy saving!

  249. Michelle says:

    Not cutting out anything, but I found that using cash helps me save. I used to swipe my debit card when I felt like it…when banks added the now reversed fees, I started taking out cash each week for gas, groceries, etc. Found that I stick to a better budget! Still doing it, and also only use the bills and save the change. Since Christmas, I’ve saved nearly $300 in change that I have earmarked for vacation spending and Christmas. I also round in my checkbook to add a little cash with each purchase/payment that I really don’t know is there. I’ve been doing that for a while, and total it at the end of the year and switch it over to savings. Thank you for the awesome list! I definitely will be using some of the sites for savings!

    • Kristl says:

      WOW…what a great tip, and isn’t it fun to watch your change add up! I recently heard of someone that saved all their $1 bills for a vacation fund!

  250. Stephanie Jeanette says:

    I wanted to say thank you for the tips. I’m going to invest in a drying rack or two wooden poles and some wire now that its summer time. Also awesome tip about discounted chicken after 7:30pm and phantom power. Plus with my daughters birthday coming up Party ideas are always welcomed with me being a first time mom. Really going to try and save money. Need all the helpful tips I can get. (: Take care.

    • Kristl says:

      I’m thrilled you discover some tips that you can incorporate in your lifestyle! Saving money is about changing habits, and supposedly, it takes 21 days to get into a new habit! Good luck!

  251. Cherish P. says:

    Hey! Great tips! However, my husband is a veterinarian and we strongly discourage the use of 1800 petmeds. Most people don’t understand that there is no product guarantee when meds are ordered through them. I know that we, as will many others vets, price match, plus you get product guarantee. It really hurts small businesses when people use these sorts of companies. I just wanted to put that out there. Thanks.

    • Kristl says:

      It’s good to know that some vets will price match…thanks for the tip!

  252. Donna A. says:

    Speaking of chicken at Kroger stores, I get my fried chicken at Dillons here in Wichita, Kansas (which is in the Kroger family of stores). I noticed the other day that they have a new sign up at their deli. Their fried chicken is guaranteed fresh AND available until 7 p.m. or it is FREE! I think I will start shopping later in the evening and try to score some free fried chicken and half price rotisserie chicken too =)

    • Kristl says:

      I’m sure each grocery store has a different policy, but it’s certainly worth checking out your area store…kudos to you for discovering their fried chicken policy!

  253. Karla says:

    Even better than the 1800petmeds is a website called I have been using them for years and they are so much cheaper than anything else I have found.

  254. Speaking of contacts, I Have terrible eyes and recently caved in & bought LASIK when it was on Groupon.. Buuuut before that, I used 1800Contacts and still paid a lot. I found coastal and seriously – they were a lifesaver for my family!!
    Plus they always always always are running free promos to get free frames with a purchase over a certain amount (usually my contacts would more than clear that required amount)! Plus they came with free lenses so if you dont have bad eyes like I used to, you’d get contacts and glasses for the price of glasses! They were amazing.
    Great list too, by the way :)

  255. chelsey says:

    I understand what you meant about the birthday parties… However, Build-A-Bear parties START at $60. That is with bday child & 5 of their friends. When you book a party, your bear builder will ask you how much you want to spend per child… starting at $10 with at least 6 children. You would probably spend nearly that just with party favors alone. At least they will have a bear to take home and you won’t have to put together favor bags. Yes, I have seen $300 parties, but not as often as you’re making it out to be. With the BABW parties, mom has basically NOTHING to do besides talk to the other parents. I think BABW parties are definitely the way to go if looking for a cheap birthday party that is a lot of fun.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for sharing the prices on a Build a Bear party…good to know!

  256. Lisa says:

    Target allows coupon stacking so I usually go through the ad on Sunday to see what is on sale and what I have both a target and a manufacturer coupon for. We are also looking at ditching our cable in favor of HuluPlus and Netflix. What we were normally spending on cable in a month, which with a 2 year old we were not getting to watch, we can get a year to both the other services.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding these great tips to the list!

  257. Katrina says:

    Be thankful for ALL you have! Saves a ton instead of shopping for MORE!

    • Kristl says:

      So true! Thanks for sharing!

  258. Lacey says:

    Don’t use!!! Instead check their prices (and and price match with 1800Contacts. That way you’re getting the cheapest price and a guarantee. They replace all torn, defective, bad contacts for FREE at any point!!! Plus amazing customer service.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for adding another resource for buying contacts!

  259. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much! This is a great article! I was just wondering, I live in Canada. Are those websites with savings only for the States? Or Canada also?

    • Kristl says:

      Well…since I have so many websites listed, it’s hard to give you a general answer! Most do work in both the US & Canada. Thanks for reading The Budget Diet!

  260. Lucy Maldonado says:

    Thanks, Kristl
    You always have great ideas.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks my frugal friend! Actually, I’ve come up with a new name for girls like us…frugal divas! A frugal diva has a great looking home and great looking clothes, and nobody would ever guess that many of our treasures came from garage sales and thrift stores!

  261. Combining clearnace items or store flyer items with a coupon can add up to some big savings on your grocery bill.

    • Kristl says:

      Thanks for the great addition to this list! I’d love to get to 100 ways to save!

  262. Kristl says:

    Thanks for recommending The Budget Diet! Happy Saving!

  263. Kristl says:

    Thanks for helping more folks save a little money!

  264. Kristl says:

    Thanks for sharing my article!

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