20 Ways to Save Money When You Don't Have Much to Save

Updated on April 25, 2020
revmjm profile image

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.

various coins in a glass jar
various coins in a glass jar

Everybody wants to save money. The best way is to not spend more than you make, but there are other ways to save. Most of them are creative, and you will wish you had known about them long before now.

Listed below are 20 ways that anyone can use to save money.

1. Put Loose Change in a Jar

You will be surprised to see how quickly you will accumulate money when you drop your loose change in a jar. It adds up fast and you won't miss not having it in your purse or pocket.

Try using a bill every time you purchase something, so you will get change back. Then drop the loose change in your designated jar. Do the same thing with pennies and other coins you find on the ground.

2. Your Bank Can Save For You

Some banks have a service that will put a dollar into your savings account every time you use your debit card no matter how small the purchase is. Even if you buy a pack of gum, a dollar goes into your savings.

Some banks have a cookie jar service attached to your checking account, and they do actually call it a cookie jar. Whenever you write a check or use your debit card for an odd amount, the bank rounds the amount to the next dollar and put the money into your savings account. For instance, if you write a check for $35.12, then 88 cents goes into your cookie jar.

Before you know it, you have accumulated enough for a treat for yourself. You can leave it there as long as you like and let it accumulate. If you ever need it to pay a bill or to use it for something else, you can transfer it to your checking account for immediate use.

Money Jar
Money Jar

3. Change Your Spending Habits

You can save money by changing your spending habits. Take your lunch to work some days. Don't go to Starbucks every day. Instead, brew your own coffee.

All clothes don't need to go to the dry cleaners. Check the label, and you will discover that you can wash some of your clothes yourself.

4. Save Money While Shopping

Shop for used items from yard sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops. You can buy almost any item that has been gently used. This includes clothes and household items.

5. Save Money When Eating Out

You do not have to give up the pleasure of eating out. However, you can limit the time you and your family do so. You don't have to be locked into the number of times because there will be special occasions when you will do it more and times when you will do it less.

When you go out, you can limit the amount of money you spend by ordering specials or items from the dollar menu. Order smaller servings and share appetizers at restaurants.

Pack snacks and meals you can easily eat when you go on road trips with your family. You will save time and money if you have your own food. Stop at a park to eat your food and stretch your legs.

6. Save at the Grocery Store

Buy in bulk especially for those items that are on sale and you know you use them all the time. So, stock up on items when there is a sale.

Buy generic brands instead of paying high prices for name brands. Often the ingredients are the same. Only the packaging is different.

You can save a lot of money by buying generic products. There might be extra savings if you shop on special days designated by the store. Don't forget to use coupons and Groupon.

7. Make Your Own Household Products

You will save a lot of money if you make your own household products. There are plenty of instructions online to show you how to make some products that you often use. It would be fun making the products as well as saving you some money.

8. Use All Products from Their Containers

It is not unusual for some people, especially children, to throw away tubes, bottles, and cans before they are completely empty. Some people do not squeeze containers to get all of its content before tossing the container. Remind people in your household not to throw away containers until they are completely empty.

9. Fire Your Household Help

Fire people you have been paying to help you around your house and yard. Do you really need a full-time gardener and cut your own grass and shovel snow? Not only will you save money but you will get exercise by doing it yourself.

Fire the maid and clean your own house. If you don't want to get rid of the maid completely, cut back on the hours.

Instead of taking your car to the carwash, wash it yourself. Learn to fix things around the house. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials to show you easy ways to fix things like unstopping a clogged sink or toilet.

a young woman reading books at a library
a young woman reading books at a library

10. Use Library Card

Get a free library card from the public library and use it to borrow books, videos, and magazines.

Instead of purchasing a favorite novel or video, use your library card to save money.

11. Send Greeting Cards Online

Greeting cards are expensive, especially if you buy them from the grocery store. They are much cheaper at the dollar store. Better yet, send greeting cards online.

12. Use Correct Postage

You would be surprised to know how much extra money the Postal Service makes from people who don't know what the correct postage is. They usually put two first class stamps on a two-ounce letter. The second ounce is less than the rate for the first ounce. You are giving the Postal Service more money than is necessary.

Another tip is to purchase forever stamps that you can use no matter how high the postage gets.

Mail-order pharmacies will save you money for your long-term medications. Some online pharmacies charge much less than your local pharmacy.
Mail-order pharmacies will save you money for your long-term medications. Some online pharmacies charge much less than your local pharmacy. | Source

13. Don't Pay Full Price for Medicine

There are several ways to save on medicines. Ask your pharmacy which generic brand has the same ingredients as an expensive brand.

Mail-order pharmacies will save you money for your long-term medications. Some online pharmacies charge much less than your local pharmacy.

When your doctor gives you a prescription, ask if there are samples.

14. Switch Cell Phone and Cable Plans

Review your cell phone plan and see where you can decrease the cost. For example, do you need to pay extra for insurance? If you have a cell phone that you use most of the time, you could get rid of your landline and save a ton of money that way.

Also, review your cable and internet bill. You might be able to bundle cable, telephone, and internet: If you bundle your services, you could save as much as $40 each month.

a pile of magazines
a pile of magazines

15. Cancel Subscriptions and Unused Club Memberships

Cancel magazine subscriptions and save money by reading them online or at the public library.

Also, cancel unused club memberships. There is no need to pay high fees to belong to a gym or country club if you are not using those services.

16. Change Your Life Insurance

If you have an expensive whole life policy, consider switching to term life. You can choose a cheaper term insurance policy and use the extra money for something else.

Universal and whole-life policies are much more expensive than term life.

17. Rent Space in Your House

If you have extra space in your house, rent it out. If you live near a tourist area, doing so could bring in a lot of extra money.

Just make sure you investigate to find out about the risks. Be willing to take the necessary steps to protect your family and your possessions. Some people find it is not worth it, but others do rent out their extra space.

surge protector
surge protector

18. Use Surge Protectors

Make sure you use surge protectors for your electrical devices. Even then, you should unplug electronics when they are not in use to avoid paying extra for phantom energy use.

19. Free Entertainment

You can still be entertained and have fun without breaking the bank. Most museums and national parks have days when admission is free or discounted.

Find out about free entertainment in your own community. Ask about discounts when purchasing tickets for concerts, movies, and theme parks.

a woman on the beach laying on a chair under an umbrella
a woman on the beach laying on a chair under an umbrella

20. Save on Vacations

You do not have to give up going on vacation to save money. Consider taking your vacation off-season. You can save money on your flight, hotel, and car rental.

You might not get bargains at peak times when everyone else is going on vacation. You could save if you take your vacation early in May or late in September.


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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      16 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Kay, thanks for reading and adding more ways to save money. Those are helpful tips.

    • profile image

      Kay Reds 

      16 months ago

      Yes, use coupons also grab some grocery rebates at refundsweepers plus pay your bills with bill pay online from your checkbook instead of buying postage stamps.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      23 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Sarah, I use most of those tips. I like what my bank does. It rounds off payments to the nearest dollar and puts the change in a cookie jar. In an emergency, I have used it to pay a bill.

    • Sebraun profile image


      23 months ago from Europe

      Some good advice there! I am always surprised how quickly small change accumulates!


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