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How to Cut Expenses: 67 Different Ways to Save Money

Don't spend more than you have to on any purchase. Read the list to find clever ways to cut expenses.

Are your expenses growing? Have you busted your budget? Are you spending more than you’re making?

It’s time to cut expenses.

As the cost of goods continues to rise, we must find more clever ways to save money by cutting costs.

Here is a list of how you can save money by lowering how much you spend on things you need and want.

  1. Create a Budget: Start by tracking your expenses and income. A budget will help you understand where your money is going and where you can make adjustments.
  2. Track Your Expenses Regularly: Keep track of your spending and review your expenses regularly to identify areas where you can cut back or save money.
  3. Prioritize Spending: Differentiate between needs and wants. Focus on covering your essential expenses first, such as housing, utilities, groceries, and transportation, before spending on non-essential items.
  4. Plan Ahead: Before heading to the store, make a shopping list based on what you need. Check your pantry, fridge, and household supplies to avoid buying duplicates.
  5. Avoid Impulse Purchases: Stick to your shopping list and avoid making impulse purchases. If you see something you want but don’t need, wait a day or two before buying it to see if you still want it.
  6. Pause Before Purchasing: Before making a purchase, consider whether the item is a necessity or a want and whether it will truly bring you satisfaction and value.
  7. Reduce Utility Bills: Lower your energy costs by being mindful of electricity and water usage. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use, invest in energy-efficient appliances, and consider weatherproofing your home to save on heating and cooling.
  8. Cut Down on Subscriptions and Memberships: Evaluate your subscriptions and memberships to services like streaming platforms, gym memberships, or magazines. Cancel those you don’t use frequently or can do without.
  9. Meal Planning and Cooking at Home: Eating out can be expensive. Plan your meals ahead of time, make a shopping list, and cook at home as much as possible. This can significantly reduce your food expenses.
  10. Shop Smart: Look for sales, use coupons, buy generic brands, and consider purchasing items in bulk. Also, try to avoid impulse purchases by making a shopping list and sticking to it.
  11. Reduce Transportation Costs: Use public transportation, carpool, bike, or walk whenever possible to save on gas and transportation expenses. If you have a choice, consider downsizing to a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
  12. Review Insurance Policies: Shop around for better insurance rates for your car, home, health, or life insurance. You may find cheaper options with similar coverage.
  13. Minimize Credit Card Debt: Pay off your credit card balances in full each month to avoid high-interest charges. If you have outstanding balances, focus on paying them down as quickly as possible to reduce interest expenses.
  14. DIY and Repairs: Learn basic DIY skills for household repairs and maintenance tasks. This can save you money on hiring professionals for simple fixes.
  15. Negotiate Bills: Don’t hesitate to negotiate with service providers such as cable companies, internet providers, or insurance companies for better rates or discounts.
  16. Save on Entertainment: Look for free or low-cost entertainment options such as parks, museums with free admission days, community events, or borrowing books and movies from the library.
  17. Look for Sales and Discounts: Check store flyers, websites, and apps for sales and promotions. Many stores offer weekly specials and discounts on certain items.
  18. Use Coupons: Clip coupons from newspapers, magazines, or online coupon websites. Many stores also have their own apps or loyalty programs that offer digital coupons.
  19. Buy Generic Brands: Consider purchasing generic or store-brand products instead of name brands. They are often less expensive and can be of comparable quality.
  20. Compare Prices: Don’t assume that the largest package or the first item you see is the best deal. Compare prices per unit or per ounce to determine the best value.
  21. Consider Bulk Purchases: Buying items in bulk can often save you money in the long run, especially for non-perishable goods like rice, pasta, canned goods, and cleaning supplies.
  22. Shop Seasonally: Purchase fruits and vegetables that are in season, as they tend to be less expensive and fresher. You can also buy in bulk and freeze or preserve seasonal produce for later use.
  23. Use Cashback and Reward Programs: Take advantage of cashback and reward programs offered by credit cards, loyalty programs, and cashback apps. This can help you save money or earn rewards on your purchases.
  24. Shop Online Wisely: Compare prices from different online retailers before making a purchase. Look for free shipping offers and consider using cashback websites (like Rakuten) or browser extensions to earn rewards on your online purchases.
  25. Avoid Shopping When Hungry: Shopping on an empty stomach can lead to impulse purchases and overspending. Eat a meal or snack before heading to the store to help curb your appetite.
  26. Plan Meals Around Sales: Take advantage of sales by planning your meals based on discounted items. Look for recipes that incorporate sale items to save even more money.
  27. Buy in Bulk With Others: Consider joining a bulk-buying club or co-op with friends or family members to split the cost of bulk purchases and take advantage of volume discounts.
  28. Use Cash Instead of Cards: Studies show that people tend to spend less when paying with cash compared to credit or debit cards. Consider using cash for your purchases to help you stick to your budget.
  29. Shop at Discount Stores or Outlet Malls: Explore discount stores, outlet malls, or thrift stores for discounted prices on clothing, household items, and other goods.
  30. Check for Price Matching Policies: Some retailers offer price matching policies where they will match or beat the prices of their competitors. Keep an eye out for these policies to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  31. Sign Up for Rewards Programs: Join loyalty programs offered by your favorite stores to earn points, discounts, and exclusive offers on your purchases.
  32. Time Your Purchases: Certain items go on sale at specific times of the year, such as clothing at the end of a season or electronics during holiday sales events. Timing your purchases can help you score the best deals.
  33. Practice Patience: If you can wait, consider holding off on making a purchase until prices drop or until you find a better deal. Use price tracking tools or browser extensions to monitor price changes over time.
  34. Avoid Brand Loyalty: Don’t be loyal to specific brands if cheaper alternatives offer the same quality. Experiment with different brands to find the best value for your money.
  35. DIY Whenever Possible: Instead of buying pre-packaged or processed foods, consider making your own meals and snacks from scratch. Not only is it often cheaper, but it can also be healthier.
  36. Repurpose and Reuse: Before buying something new, consider whether you can repurpose or reuse items you already own. Get creative and find new uses for old items to save money and reduce waste.
  37. Negotiate Prices: Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices, especially for big-ticket items or when buying in bulk. You may be able to score discounts or better deals by simply asking.
  38. Utilize Cashback Apps: Install cashback apps on your smartphone that offer rebates on purchases made at participating retailers. Scan receipts or link your accounts to earn cashback on eligible purchases. Look at Fetch Rewards and Ibotta.
  39. Take Advantage of Price Drop Refunds: Some retailers offer price drop refunds if the price of an item you purchased drops shortly after your purchase. Keep an eye on price changes and request a refund if applicable.
  40. Consider Second-Hand and Thrift Shopping: Explore thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces for gently used items at significantly lower prices than buying new.
  41. Attend Swap Events: Attend clothing swaps or community swap events where you can exchange items you no longer need for items you do need, all without spending any money.
  42. Invest in Quality for Long-Term Savings: While it may seem counterintuitive, investing in high-quality, durable items upfront can save you money in the long run by reducing the frequency of replacements and repairs.
  43. Practice the 30-Day Rule for Non-Essential Purchases: Before making a non-essential purchase, wait 30 days. If after the waiting period you still want or need the item, consider purchasing it. This helps prevent impulse buys.
  44. Take Advantage of Student, Senior, or Military Discounts: If eligible, inquire about discounts for students, seniors, or military personnel at stores, restaurants, and other establishments.
  45. Shop Off-Season for Big Savings: Purchase seasonal items during the off-season when prices are typically lower. This includes clothing, holiday decorations, and outdoor gear.
  46. Opt for Refurbished Electronics: Consider purchasing refurbished electronics instead of brand new items. Refurbished products are often significantly cheaper and still function like new after being inspected and repaired.
  47. Maximize Credit Card Rewards: Use a rewards credit card for your purchases to earn points, miles, or cashback on your spending. Just make sure to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.
  48. Avoid Convenience Stores: Whenever possible, avoid shopping at convenience stores where prices are typically higher. Plan ahead and purchase items at grocery stores or other retailers instead.
  49. Consider Renting Instead of Buying: For items you only need temporarily, consider renting instead of buying. This can be cost-effective for things like tools, equipment, or formal attire.
  50. DIY Gifts and Crafts: Instead of buying gifts for special occasions, consider making homemade gifts or crafts. Not only can this save you money, but it can also add a personal touch to your gifts.
  51. Take Advantage of Free Trials and Samples: Before committing to a purchase, look for free trials or samples of products or services. This allows you to try before you buy and avoid wasting money on items that may not meet your needs.
  52. Use Price Comparison Websites and Apps: Utilize price comparison websites and apps to compare prices across different retailers and find the best deals on the items you need.
  53. Shop at Warehouse Clubs: Consider joining a warehouse club like Costco or Sam’s Club to access bulk discounts on a wide range of products, from groceries to household items.
  54. Shop at Farmer’s Markets: Purchase fresh produce and locally sourced goods at farmer’s markets, where prices are often lower than at traditional grocery stores.
  55. Shop at Dollar Stores: Explore dollar stores for everyday essentials and household items at deeply discounted prices. Just be mindful of quality and check expiration dates on food items.
  56. Participate in Customer Loyalty Programs: Sign up for customer loyalty programs at your favorite stores to earn rewards points, discounts, and exclusive offers on future purchases.
  57. Consider Generic Medications: Save money on prescription medications by opting for generic versions whenever possible. They are often much cheaper than brand-name drugs and contain the same active ingredients.
  58. Buy Pre-Owned Vehicles: Consider purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle instead of a brand new one to save money on depreciation and upfront costs.
  59. Opt for No-Name Brands: Don’t overlook store or no-name brands when shopping for groceries and household items. They are often priced lower than well-known brands and can offer comparable quality.
  60. Shop Online Auctions and Marketplaces: Explore online auction sites and marketplaces to find deals on a wide range of products, including electronics, clothing, and collectibles.
  61. Repurpose Packaging Materials: Save money on shipping supplies by repurposing packaging materials like boxes, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts from previous shipments.
  62. Take Advantage of Price Guarantees: Some retailers offer price guarantees that refund the difference if you find the same item at a lower price elsewhere within a specified timeframe. Keep receipts and monitor prices to take advantage of these guarantees.
  63. Shop After Holidays for Clearance Sales: Take advantage of post-holiday clearance sales to stock up on seasonal items like decorations, wrapping paper, and themed merchandise at heavily discounted prices.
  64. Shop with Discount Gift Cards: Purchase discounted gift cards from reputable websites or through promotions to save money on your purchases. Use these gift cards to pay for items at your favorite stores or restaurants.
  65. Take Advantage of Tax-Free Shopping Days: Take advantage of tax-free shopping days or weekends in your area where certain items are exempt from sales tax. Plan your purchases accordingly to maximize savings.
  66. Borrow Instead of Buying: Consider borrowing items you only need temporarily, such as tools, equipment, or specialty appliances, from friends, family, or neighbors instead of purchasing them outright.
  67. Participate in Cashback Shopping Portals: Use cashback shopping portals (Like Rakuten) that partner with retailers to offer cashback rewards on purchases made through their platform. Shop through the portal to earn cashback on your online purchases.


Apps to Help You Cut Expenses

There are several shopping apps available that can help you cut costs and save money.

Here are some popular ones:

  1. Honey: Honey is a browser extension and mobile app that automatically finds and applies coupon codes at checkout when shopping online. It also offers cashback rewards at select retailers.
  2. Rakuten: Rakuten is a cashback website and app that allows you to earn cashback on your online purchases from thousands of retailers. Simply shop through the Rakuten portal to earn cashback on qualifying purchases.
  3. Ibotta: Ibotta is a cashback and rewards app that offers rebates on groceries, online purchases, and in-store shopping. Simply scan your receipts to earn cashback on eligible purchases.
  4. Capital One Shopping is a cashback portal and app that lets you shop at popular retailers and earn cash back on purchases, which can be redeemed for gift cards.
  5. RetailMeNot offers digital coupons, promo codes, and cashback at thousands of retailers. You can browse deals by category or search for discounts at specific stores.
  6. Flipp is a shopping app aggregating weekly flyers and deals from your favorite retailers. You can browse digital flyers, create shopping lists, and find discounts on groceries and household items.
  7. Shopkick: Shopkick rewards you for shopping both online and in-store. Earn “kicks” by scanning barcodes, making purchases, and submitting receipts, which can be redeemed for gift cards to popular retailers.

These shopping apps can help you save money and find the best deals on your purchases, whether you’re shopping online or in-store. Explore their features and offerings to maximize your savings.

Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and founder of phroogal.com and thesmilelifestyle.com. His purpose to help others live their best lives through experiential and purposeful living. Jason is also a certified yoga teacher and breathwork specialist and has traveled to over 40 countries.

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