34 Ways You Spend Less Each Month

21 May
by Jenny, posted in Money Honey, Saving More, Spending Less   |  21 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I asked for your best advice on saving a several hundred dollars each month. Thank you so much to all of you that participated!  You had some great ideas for shaving dollars off your monthly expenses.

Below is a compilation of all 34 of the tips you shared. Enjoy!

  1. If you need two cars, keeping one beater car that’s completely paid off is a great way to eliminate a car payment and reduce monthly car insurance premiums. ~Marianne from darling blogs
  2. Speaking of car insurance, re-evaluating your auto insurance coverage is a fantastic way to trim expenses. Particularly if you’re a twenty-something, or have just made it past a milestone where previous accidents no longer count against you.  ~ Robert Wall from Untitled Minimalism
  3. Recruit the kids help by appointing them as “eco-rangers.” Praise them for conserving energy by turning the lights off, keeping TV time down, etc. ~ Kerri Rodenbaugh
  4. Consider trading in your car for one that gets better gas mileage. Especially if you have a longer commute to work each day. ~ Kerri Rodenbaugh
  5. Pay cash for purchases. On bigger purchases, offer to split the merchant fee by requesting a 2.5% discount since the merchant won’t have to pay the typical 5% credit card processing fee. Everybody wins! ~ Sarah Gillard
  6. Instead of buying prepackaged items for lunches and snacks, buy in bulk and separate food yourself. ~ Sarah Gillard
  7. Make your own cleaning supplies and detergents. ~ Sarah Gillard
  8. Do home repairs yourself, checking YouTube for instructional videos on things you aren’t sure how to fix. ~ Sarah Gillard
  9. Use your local library to rent books, movies and music. ~ Sarah Gillard
  10. Avoid all credit and pay for everything (even cars) outright. ~ Mike of Homeless on Wheels
  11. Avoid beverages out. Drinks like coffee are much cheaper made at home. ~ Mike of Homeless on Wheels
  12. Re-evaluate your communication needs. Consider dumping your landline and see if you can reduce your cellphone plan to ensure you aren’t paying for features you don’t need or use. Some of the best deals can be had with a prepaid monthly or pay-as-you-go cell plan. They aren’t the overpriced last resort for the credit challenged that they once were. ~ Mike of Homeless on Wheels
  13. If your schedule allows, consider parking one car for the summer and reducing your car insurance on the parked car to liability only. ~ Juanita
  14. Only eat out once each month. ~ Juanita
  15. Use a clothes line rather than an electric or gas-powered dryer during warmer months. ~ Juanita
  16. Concentrate on the small and seemingly insignificant things that add up over time. Patch or mend your clothes, use less water, batch-errand, etc. ~ Jo of Simply Being Mum
  17. Reduce your food budget by 50%. ~ Jo of Simply Being Mum
  18. Plant a vegetable garden. Can your own fruits and vegetables. ~ Annie
  19. Invest in a sewing machine and learn to make and/or repair your own clothes and linens. ~ Annie
  20. Cook in large batches so there is enough leftover to take to work and school for lunch. ~ Annie
  21. Cut back on — or cancel — you cable or satellite plan. ~Ellen
  22. Pay your bills online rather than mailing a check. ~ Ellen
  23. Cut back on the amount of soda or other non-water drinks your family consumes. ~ Ellen
  24. Switch to a paperless kitchen. ~ Catie
  25. Try to cut down on the A/C. Instead, open the windows at night when it’s cooler and then shut the windows and curtains during the hottest parts of the day to keep the cool air inside. ~ Catie
  26. Take public transit when possible and/or bike to and from work. ~ Catie
  27. When getting rid of things you no longer want or need, try to sell them first. ~ Catie
  28. Learn to cook from scratch. ~Catie
  29. Go meatless a few nights each week. ~Catie
  30. Wear clothes two or three times before washing if possible. ~Catie
  31. Learn to cut your own hair. ~Catie
  32. Save glass containers food comes in to reuse as storage containers and use plates instead of plastic wrap to cover bowls. ~Catie
  33. Try making your own personal care items (deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.). ~Catie
  34. Purchase birthday and holiday cards at the dollar store. ~Jaclyn

Wow! Thank you all so much for all of the great tips for spending less!

Many of these things I already do, but some of them are new to me. If you apply some of these tips to your life, you’ll no doubt be able to shave off a couple of hundred dollars in expenses each month.

Do you have a favorite tip for savings money that you don’t see listed here? Leave it in the comments section below!

Did you like this post? If so, please consider leaving a comment, and signing up to receive updates by email or RSS feed from Ex-Consumer. It’s completely free and I never spam! You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Related posts:

  1. How We Created an Extra $2,000 Each Month
  2. Emergency Fund Progress, Month 1
  3. 6 Ways to Get Through College Quick. And on the Cheap.
  4. 20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Entertain Yourself
  5. Spend More on the Things You Love

21 Responses to 34 Ways You Spend Less Each Month

  1. Some really good tips and some I did not think of. We have implemented most of these in our house.

    On the subject of making your own “home supplies,” even if you don’t make them from scratch, most store bought items can be cut with baking soda 50/50 and work as good, if not better.

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  3. Enjoyed that and it lifted me out the writing ditch! haven’t had my writing head on this week, so reading this gave me motivation to look for inspiration elsewhere. I’ve put out a call to my readers for some simple living tips – after all, I’m staring to struggle with what else I can do! But there must be more. I want to target general waste, as I kinda (not showing-off) have food-waste covered. :-)

    • Yes, Jo — you have food waste mastered! :)

      I’m going to swing over and leave a simple living test on your blog today. I had a great one last night, and now I forget what it was. Der. It will come back. ;)

  4. Ellen

    I agree whole-heartedly with #34. The dollar store/99 cent store is a great source for party and gift wrapping supplies. ALso one-use kitchen items (large aluminum roasting pans, deviled egg tray, disposable cups/plates/bowls). I know people who buy food items there but I’m leery of their produce & you really have to watch expiration dates on other items.

    • Thanks Ellen!

      I’m not sure I would trust food from a dollar store either, but for non-perishables that you need anyways, it might be a good bet.

      I love the idea of getting greeting cards there.

  5. Those are excellent tips, thank you!!

  6. Jennifer

    Be careful before you go dropping your car insurance like 13 suggests. Many states require you to have liability insurance coverage. Some do random checks and if you are found to not have the proper coverage you could end up losing your license for a few months and being forced to carry SR22 coverage for a year or 2 (happened to hubby) which would be far more expensive that anything you would save by dropping your coverage for the summer.

    • Thanks for the heads up Jennifer!

      • KW

        Jennifer is absolutely right. The minute you drop your car insurance coverage completely, for whatever reason, they will notify the state of Florida (where I live) and you WILL get a letter telling you to either prove you have insurance or turn in your license plate within X # of days. If you don’t, your driver’s license is likely to get suspended. :-\

  7. Profidia

    Convert everything to 12 Volt DC. Use LED bulbs (8% of the juice a regular bulb takes and they last 30 years.) Put a homemade wind generator on your roof…see youtube…make your own 4 foot square battery. Spend $120 for an instant propane hot water heater and turn the big one off.

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  9. My favorite is # 10 avoiding credit and paying for everything outright (with cash). We just did this with my wife’s car and it felt great!

    • Way to go Deacon!

      Not having car payments has been one of the biggest income boosters we’ve discovered too. We can easily cover all of our grocery costs with the same amount we used to spend on car payments. Yikes!

  10. Diana

    Just found your blog a few days ago and I really enjoy it! This post was great.. I love the library idea, you have an endless supply of movies, books and music, and you can just give it back when ur done and not have extra “stuff”.

    I’ve also recently started using a credit card that gives points.. i put groceries and gas on there, and pay it off in full every month, but use the points I rack up for diapers on amazon.

    Thanks again for your awesome blog!

    • Hi Diana! Welcome!

      Yes, the library is a such a wonderful resource!

      I also like the idea of using a credit card for the points — as long as the card is paid off every month. We do that as well. We cash out our extra points and put the money in a savings account for Christmas. :)

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