10 Simple Ways To Save Money That You Probably Haven’t Tried
By the time I graduated high school, I had close to $10,000 in the bank. Most of this was from saving money I made from my part-time, minimum-wage, retail job. Back then, money-saving apps didn’t exist and I knew nothing about tools, tips, and tricks that people used to save money.
We are lucky that we now have all of that and more at our fingertips.
If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and having a hard time building up your savings, maybe you aren’t doing the right things to build up those savings. I think I can help you take small steps to get there.
It could also be that you just don’t make enough money. Read our 8 recommendations on ways you can make real money without a ton of effort. Trust me, they are all super easy and bring an extra $400-$500+ a month for me.
I must say that I’ve tried A LOT of different things to save money. Therefore, I only recommend those that really work. Read my top 10 recommendations below that can save you $1,000+ a year!
Save money with downloadable apps.
If you go grocery shopping at all and aren’t using Ibotta, you are seriously missing out on FREE money. This really isn’t a gimmick; it’s the truth. In the 18 months I’ve had Ibotta, I’ve received $175 from it.
How it works is you select “coupons” for various grocery items through the app, then you purchase the items, and finally, you upload a receipt to get money in your account. I’ve redeemed coupons from $0.25 to $10 on things I ALREADY BUY. After you shop, you upload your shopping receipt, scan barcodes, and receive money into your account within 48 hours (oftentimes sooner).
Ibotta had a recent update that allows you to redeem multiple items from the same “coupon” which makes us love it even more. I can get 2 large tubs of formula for my son and receive $5 for each one ($10 total) each shopping trip. This one pays me for something I already do and it’s quick.
You can redeem your money for things like Amazon gift cards or send money directly to your PayPal account after you accrue a minimum of $20 (which doesn’t take long). Download Ibotta to start saving money today and you’ll receive $10 FREE in your account automatically!
Checkout51 is another grocery rebate app like Ibotta but it carries different products. Unlike Ibotta, Checkout51 will accept receipts from any store (some products are available only at certain stores, but not most). That means if Checkout51 has a coupon for floor cleaner and the local hardware store has it on sale, you can double your efforts by buying it on sale there and then redeeming it on Checkout51.
I’ve racked up $42 in the year I’ve been using it, so it’s a bit slower accumulation than Ibotta, but not negligible by any means. Download Checkout51 to start saving on your next grocery run!
SavingStar is our third grocery rebate app recommendation (can you tell we like saving money on groceries?!) This app oftentimes contains digital coupons on items that you will find physical coupons for, so you can easily stack them to save double!
While it doesn’t have as many coupon options as the other apps, we find this app has coupons for the bigger brands you’re more likely to buy anyway.
SavingStar also has the option of linking your account with store loyalty cards so you receive the rebate without uploading a receipt (win-win!) I’ve racked up $84 in the year I’ve been using SavingStar and you can, too, by downloading the app today!
You are missing out on serious savings at Target if you aren’t using Cartwheel on the Target app. Cartwheel allows you save up to 70% off very specific items for a limited time, but the selection of items on sale is definitely the largest and most diverse of all of the apps.
The best part? You can stack Cartwheel savings with coupons, so it’s like doubling the savings! The second best part about this app is that it takes the amount directly off your total before you pay, so you really are saving money.
In the past 3 years, I’ve saved $200 using Cartwheel. If you haven’t done so already, download the Target app today to start saving some serious money on things you already buy.
Walmart Savings Catcher
Walmart has always been good about allowing you to price-match with other stores in the area. Unfortunately, I never took the time to dig through all the ads to make the most of it. I was so excited when Walmart rolled out Savings Catcher a few years ago, because, with Savings Catcher, Walmart does the grunt work of price-matching for you.
It’s incredibly easy. You go to the Savings Catcher homepage, login, and enter your recent Walmart receipts. Or, if you have the Walmart app, you can just scan you receipts immediately after your trip. After a few days of processing, you’ll receive an email with notification on if Savings Catcher found a better price for you or not. That’s it. With just an extra minute after each shopping trip, the work of price-matching is complete for you.
Unfortunately, I’ve only made about $5 in the last two years of using this, but that’s because it’s so variable. If you buy products only carried at Walmart, obviously it won’t find a cheaper price. Likewise, if you live in rural areas, you might have no stores to compare against. Either way, it’s worth signing up and entering a few receipts to see if you find any better prices!
Save Money by Shopping In-Store and Online.
If you are an avid Target shopper, here’s another way to save money on your purchases. By signing up for the Target debit card, you save 5% on every purchase made with the card. Since it’s a debit card, you don’t have to worry about annual fees or interest charges – it comes directly out of your bank account!
Plus, you can save money on shipping at Target.com by using your card. All purchases made online with the card are 5% off and FREE shipping! That’s the best kind of shipping!
Returns are also SUPER EASY with the REDcard. You get an extended 30 days on your returns if your purchases are made with the card. If you’re like me, you hate keeping receipts, so you luckily don’t have to anymore! All purchases made with the REDcard can be returned without a receipt as well.
Lastly, and quite possibly the BEST thing about the Target debit card – is that you can use it on top of coupons and Cartwheel. So honestly, why wouldn’t you sign up?!
Ebates gives you cash back for shopping at their recommended stores. I’ve received anywhere from 1% to 40% cash back on my purchases through Ebates. The best part about Ebates is it has almost every site you probably already shop at.
I often receive Ebates for shopping online at Walgreens, Target, and Sam’s Club, to name a few. Another awesome thing about Ebates is that it also has coupon codes for the stores if any are available. That way, you don’t have to choose between cash back and using a coupon code – you can do both!
In the past 3 years, I’ve saved $225 through Ebates, so it’s some serious cash. For my honeymoon alone, I received $70 back for my purchases. So, it’s not uncommon to get $5 to $10 back on a single night hotel stay just by going through Ebates first.
By following our link, you get $10 automatically in your account. Join Ebates today to start earning cash back on your online purchases!
I seriously cannot say enough great things about shopping at DollarTree. I wish I kept track of the all of the money I save by shopping there instead of many of the big box retailers.
Some of our favorite items we buy at DollarTree to save money:
- Cards (some are even 2 for $1!)
- Craft supplies (yarn, twine, construction paper, etc.)
- Tissue paper and gift bags
Plus, they now offer FREE shipping for in-store pickup on most items. It’s never been easier to stock up for next event than shopping at DollarTree online.
Save money by being a loyal customer
I’ve saved SO much money by calling my internet provider each year to negotiate a lower rate. Since getting internet 4 years ago, I’ve never paid more than $32 a month (and no, I didn’t bundle it with a home phone or cable or whatever else!)
Here’s how: I signed up at an introductory rate with my internet provider for $19.99 + tax for a year. I then set a calendar reminder for 11 and a half months later to call the internet company again. By the time I called the following year, I had already received my next bill which said my rate would go up to $69.99 a month.
You should NEVER pay that. EVER.
When I first got connected with customer service, I asked if I could continue with my $19.99 bill. They told me no (which I expected), so I asked for the customer loyalty department. That’s the key right there.
The person transferred me immediately and within 10 minutes, I lowered my bill down to $24.99 a month for the next year. That’s a savings of $540 in a year!
As you may expect, I have a running calendar reminder every year around February to call again to negotiate a lower rate. I’ve never been told “no” by the customer loyalty department.
In summary, here’s how you can save up to $600 a year on your internet bill:
- Call your internet company to ask for a lower rate. If you aren’t automatically transferred, ask for the customer loyalty department
- Negotiate with customer loyalty to get the current rate for new customers (that’s the best deal I’ve been able to get)
- This will lock you into another year contract so you’ll keep the lower rate for an entire 12 months
- Set a calendar reminder for 11 and half months from today to call again (when you do call again, they may tell you to call back a week or two later depending on when your billing cycle falls in the month)
Save money for the future by investing wisely
One of the things that’s so easy to overlook is investing for the future. About a year ago, I was turned onto a newer investment company called WiseBanyan. They are a robo-investor, which means a robot controls your funds instead of paying for an advisor to do that work.
Since highly intelligent robotic algorithms control your funds instead of an overpaid advisor, you keep 100% of your profits. That’s right, Wisebanyan is 100% free for investing. Financial advisors can charge upwards of thousands of dollars a year, so Wisebanyan helps you save money on investing. For the more experienced investors, try the premium tools that are cheaper than anything else out there.
It’s super easy to sign up and you can choose the amount of risk you are willing to take with your account. It’s super easy to change your setting at any time as well. Plus, you can set up an automatic transfer from your bank to build your account even further.
What I love most about this free investing service is that it breaks everything down into very simple terms, so it’s great for people that are just getting started into investing. All accounts are secured by SIPC, so you also have the assurance that your funds will be protected*.
Sign up for Wisebanyan today to start investing in your future.
*As with any investing account, there’s always a risk with investing in the stock market, so do your research on this first.
What are some things you do to save money? Share them with us below!