15 Ways to Cut Expenses

15 ways to cut your expensesAlright it is time to cut some expenses!  I encourage you to take a long, hard look at all your expenses and ask yourself, “Do I really have to have this?”  Often times you will find that you really don’t and that giving it up for a short while (whatever it is) is well worth getting more of your debt paid off!

1. Car Insurance

Believe me, if you haven’t shopped around for car insurance in a couple years, it is worth your while. I really was sure that I had the lowest rates I could get (after all I run a website about personal finance), but then I checked out Geico and found that I could save $330 a year for the same coverage. I was so blown away that they could save me $330 that I didn’t shop anywhere else.

Six months later my old insurance broker called trying to get me back and she had found another insurance company who was $200 cheaper than Geico. And again it was for the same coverage. So just to repeat – I thought I was paying a good rate, but by shopping around I was able to knock over $500 off my car insurance bill. (Start by getting quotes here)

2. Save money on gas

While everyone wants gas prices to go down, you can cut your monthly gas bill by taking some pro-active steps. Check out these 75 gas saving tips, grab a few of them and start working them into your driving. And for some more advanced techniques you can learn how to hypermile as well.

Save money on your phones

3. Cell Phones

Grab your most recent cell phone bills and look at them to see what you are actually paying for.

  • Are you paying for internet service that you are not using?
  • Are you paying for 1000 minutes a month, when you are only averaging about 350?
  • Are you paying for text messages that you are not using?

Before you call your cell phone company, check other Cellular companies to see how their rates compare. If it is still worth your while to stay with your current provider, then call them up and talk to them about the changes that you can make.

4. Home phone lines

Ask yourself a tough question, “Do I really need a land line? Would it be possible to use my cell phone for all calls?”

If the answer is no, you may want to look into Skype or Magicjack. I have used both and have saved a ton of money from it.

If you have a land line solely for the purpose of having a DSL internet connection, I would recommend calling the phone company to adjust your phone plan. I was not using my land line at all and was paying $25 for it. I called them and got the plan lowered to a pay-per-call plan which only costs me $7 a month.

If you can get by without a land line, call and cancel it. This will probably save you $20 or more a month just by making a phone call.

5. Save on the Internet

I am not suggesting that you get dial-up. That is just cruel and unusual punishment 😉 . But, if you are paying for the premium package, should you consider one of the slower packages? Many people won’t notice a difference in how fast the web pages load.

Again, it may be worthwhile looking at the options available for high-speed internet service. I saved about $20 a month switching from one company to another.

Save money on Food

This is one of the easiest fixes for most people. I know I am saving hundreds of dollars a month by not doing what I used to do with my food purchases.

6. Make going out to dinner something special

Not only will you save yourself a lot of money, but it will be more fun when you do go out. Have you noticed that when you do something all the time, it just isn’t as fun anymore? This is a great way to “add fun” and save money.

A couple going out to dinner just two times in a week could easily spend $300 a month. If they knock it down to just one time a week that is $150 savings.

7. Make it yourself

You really can cook. I don’t care if people told you that you were a bad cook, don’t listen to them. You aren’t bad and it is not that hard. There are tons of meals that you can make that require little more than an ability to set a timer and read directions. Start at Allrecipes.com; they have lots of cool features that I won’t get into here – just check it out.

8. Bring your lunch

This is one of those rubber-meets-the-road sacrifices. But it pays off handsomely. If you are paying $10 to go out to lunch each day, you are spending $200 a month. If you bring your lunch 3 days a week, you should easily be able to save $100 a month.

9. Eat what you have

Buy food that you are going to eat and eat what you have. I cut my grocery bill by 50% from my wasteful years by eating the food I had and not wasting any. I could not believe how much money I was wasting by letting food spoil. Just putting a little bit of thought into your grocery list each week will be an easy way to save money.

10. Clip coupons

Most of the food we buy doesn’t have coupons, so this has never been too much help for me. But, there are some people who take pride in buying a grocery cart full of food for $25 and 100 coupons. Even if you aren’t a pro, beginners can save $50 a month without much difficulty.

11. Drink water

I saved myself $30 a month just by quitting my Pepsi addiction. A Starbucks addict could probably save $100 a month by switching to water.

12. Save on your energy bills

A lot of energy-saving tips require you to buy something in order to save money in the long run. While I am all for that, the purpose of these tips is to give you more cash in your hand now so that you can pay down your debt.

That being said you can check out these 10 ways to conserve energy and save money and these winter energy saving tips.

13. Pay your bills on time!

This is obvious, but some people (like myself) need the obvious restated sometimes. 😉 Late bills often incur a fee that is nothing but a waste of your precious money.

If you find yourself forgetting to pay your bills on time, set up a free Google calendar and you can put reminders of when each bill needs to be paid. You can even set it up to email you to remind you to pay it on the correct date. While this is a shorter term fix, I prefer to set up a schedule of bill payments in order to make bill paying easier.

14. Save at the bank

Grab your recent bank statements and examine them for ambiguous fees. If you see any and don’t know what they are, call your bank and ask them to explain it. I worked at a bank for years and I know how good they can be at coming up with creative names for their fees.

If you find out that you are paying fees for your basic banking needs, I recommend switching. There is no reason you should be paying fees for falling below a minimum balance or anything else. It is your money. Take it somewhere where you have control over the money, not the bank.

Most credit unions will not have many (or all) of the fees that bigger banks may have. I currently use Capital One 360 as a savings account.

15. Save on purchases

If you are working on getting out of debt, you should be thinking long and hard about any sizeable purchases. But, if you must, then make sure you are getting the best price in the world on the item. The internet has taken comparison shopping to a whole new level.

Yea, there are a million places you can buy things online, but I have found that I almost always find the best price at one of these three places:

Craigslist and FreeCycle.org are also good tools for finding some bargains on used items.

Other tips to cut your expenses

  • Buy greeting cards in bulk at the Dollar store or the party store. This will help you to save a lot of money and you won’t have to make an extra trip every time you need one.
  • If you are an avid reader and spend a lot on books, trying using the library again. Remember the library? Another option is to buy them from Amazon used. I have a couple books on my Amazon wish list that cost less than a nickel for a used copy. And here are 5 ways to save money on books.
  • If you have an emergency fund built up, you may want to look at increasing your deductibles to save money.

This article is part of our FREE 3-week email course to help you save hundreds of dollars, get out of debt, & better organize and manage your finances. Get the rest of the lessons here.

Please share some of the ways you have cut your expenses in the comments below!

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  1. Anni

    I did a little experiment once. It was about that time to go grocery shopping and I had very little money and didn’t feel like putting together a menu, etc. I decided to see how long we (my 7 year old son and I) on just what we had left in the house. It was pretty extreme. I made a casserole out of a can of tuna, potato chip crumbs in the bottom of the bag, and a cream sauce made out of powdered milk. My son loved it! The powdered milk made everything possible. I was able to use it for biscuits, pancakes, etc. We were able to go an additional 2 weeks without shopping! (I lost some weight too).

  2. Marilyn Mulligan

    When I make a cash purchase, I try to figure out how I can get quarters in change! I save these up! It’s amazing how fast they accumulate; effortless saving! I roll up the quarters in a coin “sock” and deposit the $10 in the bank~~or save for a future purchase of something I want. Also, try to send in an extra $10 or $20 each month when you send in your car payment! The balance due comes down fast!

  3. FinancialBondage

    I thought I was paying too much with state farm. I shopped around, their prices was the lowest. No one could beat it. Go figure.

    • lora

      yeah we’re with progressive. They beat the rest by 50%. Now when we talk to USAA every time they ask to sell us car insurance – yet they cost double. When we tell them that – they are shocked. It’s interesting that rates are so varied.

  4. Shirley

    I agree with a lot of the tips and advice in this article, but I wanted to comment on the part where you suggested using Vonage. You mentioned that you had not used it- I wanted to let you know that my family signed up with Vonage about three years ago, and while the price is great we have a had a lot of problems with our service. Our conversations are often fuzzy, and they disconnect quite frequently.

    Instead I suggest trying a different voice-over-internet service, but a great thing to use instead of a land line is Skype.

  5. Minda

    I’m a college student and books are a big expense for me. After spending almost $1000 for text books at the university book store my freshmen year and then selling back the ones I didn’t need for only $30, a friend pointed me to http://www.gettextbooks.com. It isn’t just for textbook, you can search any ISBN, title or author and it will find the best price online including shipping. If you do have current textbooks that you no longer need you can use the buyback search to find sites that are willing to pay for you used book.

    • Ria


      Although you have a great idea with gettextbooks.com, the site truly must have a problem. You can search for books to purchase, however, you cannot sign up to sell them.
      Every time a person enters their information, it keeps taking them back to the original sign in/create an account screen.
      Just to be sure, I had several people attempt signing up for an account as we are all book hoarders. Everyone had the same problem.
      Possibly you have the secret to get past that.

  6. Linda

    Hi all. Just wanted to comment on the Vonage comments. I guess they have improved on their service, because I’ve had them for nearly a year, and I have had no negative issues with them at all, and I love the email voice mail.

  7. Bernadette

    As a mother of three little ones I have learned that kids are always hungry and so when I have errands to run or a long day out of the house I pack snacks and a sack lunch. (We usually find a nice place to eat luch like a near by park) This way we eat what we already have, it’s healthy and saves us money for a planned fun time out!:)

  8. Matyas

    How about switching the cell phone that comes with a contract (-$70/mo) to a pay-as-you-go cellphone (+$60/5 mo, for ex. TracFone intro package, 140 min, 5 months) for emergencies only (car phone), keeeping the landline (+$45/mo), slashing the Internet (-$50/mo – you can get access at a library or wireless access in places like Starbucks/libraries/etc.) ? The savings would add up to around $60/mo, 720/year.
    Be careful with saving on food. You should invest in your health by eating the beast quality food that you can afford. Otherwise you’ll end up giving your “savings” to the doctors, no doubt.(see Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions” cookbook for further information)

  9. Lizzy

    These are AWESOME ideas! I personally used your #3 and did some research in regards to my cell phone. The bill I used to get at the end of each month used to be way way way overcharged and had a bunch of hidden fees. I made the switch months ago to prepaid and no longer use a contracted service. I pay $45 a month (flat rate) on the Straight Talk service and get unlimited text/call/data… ZERO hidden fees! You had such a smart idea to look into different company rates because this switch has been saving me a boatload!

  10. Gabriela Beltran

    These are all great suggestions. Thanks to everyone for sharing them!

    We cancelled DirecTV and got Netflix instead. We get a free trial month and then we’ll be paying $10 a month with no contracts. We were paying $58 with DirecTV and had to agree to a two year contract. I love that we can use it in any room in our house since we can use our computer, iPod, Wii or XBox 360. Now we too are looking into canceling our phone service with Verizon and going prepaid with Straight Talk. We are also thinking of going from three cell phones to one.

  11. RoadOutOfDebt

    I would advice a trip to stores around your home. I noticed that sometimes there are huge differences on prices for the same products, so visit in advance to find out which store is more convenient could save you some money.

  12. K Gibson

    My husband was laid off 2 days ago but was offered a different position with a $20,000.00+ pay cut per year. I switched my insurance from Liberty Mutual with coverage of 20/40 and $1000 deductible to Progressive with coverage of 100/300 and $500 deductible with over $1000 per year savings. Every dime counts when you have to readjust your finances.

  13. This site did really help me a lot, I am just a new visitor of the site but few hours reading blogs, i did really learn a lot. Bless us all!

  14. Jonathan K

    I have to admit I skipped the first one even with the clear note NOT to skip it. But good news!

    This week we saved $500 a year by getting a new quote and switching to a new car insurance provider! We have the same coverage and deductable as well as insurance through a recognized national provider! This is a great suggestion to do every 6 months or so.

    It was sad to tell my current auto agent but $42 a month is amazing savings! And remember to ask for discounts and try again in 6 months! Thanks again Bob!

  15. Em Kazuma

    Great article! On the cell phone bit–we got tired of all the little fees we got charged with that ended up pushing an $80/month plan close to the hundred dollar mark, so a friend told us about the prepaid phones you can buy that give you unlimited text, calls and web access for $45/month. We’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and will never go back to a contract phone. There are some limitations (esp if you make lots of international calls) but our family members just buy phone cards. It still saves lots of money in the end!

  16. Felix Saint

    I bought Ooma about 10 months ago. Ooma lets you make (almost) free U.S. local and long distance calls using the Internet, with outstanding voice quality. No computer or headset required, just use your existing phone or Ooma handset. It was easy to hook up and I did it in about 30 minutes. I have a refurbished Ooma Scout, that costs $100. My previous land line was costing $35/month, so it paid for itself in 3 months. The only charge is tax and FCC fees, which amount to about $3 a month.

    • Bethany

      We bought an older version (but new in the box) of an Ooma from Amazon. This version has no yearly tax or FCC fees. We have had it for several years and have had NO phone bill! They keep trying to get us to upgrade to a new version, but there is really no reason to.

  17. Denis

    Hi, I wanted to say I gave up my land-line phone, and I use Google Voice along with my Gmail email. It does require a headset that attaches to the coputer… It works as a VoIP phone. (Voice over Internet Protocol = VoIP). I like it for those times i just KNOW I will be using a lot of cell minutes, like calling companies and being put on hold for extended periods of time, etc. You get your own phone number, and if someone calls that number, it calls your cell phone number. It is completely free in the USA, and if you want to call outside the country, they do require that $10.00 be deposited to hold against any bill. I hope this information is helpful to help save some hard earned cash!

  18. Asking yourself whether you ACTUALLY NEED it is the best advice for anyone in debt. You first have to control your spending before you can begin to conquer debt.

  19. Scott Veirs

    Posted on Facebook with link to your site:

    Thanks to Bob here at CPF, I had an idea about groceries. Are you one of those that just keep stacking stuff in your freezer and never cycling through everything you have?

    Try to inventory your freezers (maybe even cabinets) and keep with you when shopping so you can look back to see if you already have this before you pick it up.

    We get home frequently to find we don’t have room and have to go through and pull stuff out. OR sort your freezer by date of purchase and be sure to use oldest items first.

  20. Ali Manning

    Great common sense tips which always need repeating! Repeating these many of these steps at least once a year is a great habit to get into.

  21. kathleen

    I’m going to have to buckle down some idle afternoon and take a look at auto insurance.

  22. lora

    Freezer list is great! Once a month I try to open my freezer up and inventory – then I build my menu based on things that haven’t been used. I clip the inventory to the fridge and try to refer to it when starting meals so I can be intentional. It’s also been good for keeping my husband aware of what we have in the freezer – but I do have to mark things if I have them already alocated.

  23. Steph

    Re books….I highly recommend Paperback Swap! (http://www.paperbackswap.com) The only cost for a book is postage. Here is how it works. You post a virtual bookshelf of at least 10 books and you get (I think) 3 free “credits”. A credit is a book. However, if you request a book on tape, that is 2 credits, I believe. Anyway, other members request books from your bookshelf and you mail them. Each time you mail a book, you earn another credit. There is a forum for those of you who would like to have general questions answered (or discuss books or anything else, for that matter!) as well as an extensive section of help and FAQ’s. I have been a member for 5 years and I love it! The site also has two sister sites: swapacd and swapadvd. I don’t belong to those so I can’t tell you exactly how they work except I do know it is the same credit principle. I highly recommend them and, if you need more info, email me and I’ll try to answer your questions. Between PBS (paperback swap), the library and used books stores like Half Price Books, I have saved hundreds of dollars. Also, re the library, I request newer books from our county library system. Yes, I do have to wait on brand-new books but I rarely save my books. So why buy them? I am an avid reader so this is important to me.

  24. Shona

    Another way to cut expenses is to only purchase new clothing when you aren’t able to get any good clothing items used at Goodwill or even yard sales. Many times, people sell or even give away clothing they no longer want.

    Also, invest in a sewing machine and learn to sew. This way, you can save a lot of money, especially if you can learn to make underwear, because the prices that shops charge for it is horrendous – and to think that 99% of the time, scrap fabric is used to make it!

  25. Thomas Charlie

    Unfortunately this 15 ways still require willpower which is the biggest necessity. The best way to stop unnecessary spending is to create a budget and stick to it. Over time you end getting used to the changes and it all becomes second nature.

  26. NE

    Nice try but these tips are all too obvious to be really useful. I dont even have a car or TV and only buy second hand anyway. All I lack is willpower to save on food and riding a bike instead of taking a bus if I go into town. I really found the comments to be helpful though – nice tricks and insights and useful web adresses for books and such! Ta!

  27. Allison

    Another way to save is to use a Nook from Barnes and Noble. They allow your to loan/borrow books from anyone your may know. So, give the gift that “gives” back. But remember, once you “borrow” a book from someone you have 30 days to read it. So, make sure you have the time!

    Also, two things I WILL not change:
    1. Switching to Progressive or Geico (sp?) – One of our best friends works for a large body shop in our area. Coverage is NOT the same! While they MAY have the same “replacement” policies, they require body shops to use 2nd hand or off-vehicle replacement parts. Believe me, or him actually, not worth it!!

    2. Switching home phone to Vonage. For us, it wasn’t any cheaper and most home alarm companies will no longer guarantee response if you don’t have a true “landline”. If you don’t have a home alarm just drop your home phone. If you don’t always want to be at someone’s beck and call? Well, thats what that free caller ID feature is for on your cell phone 🙂

  28. JDRobison

    Just today I was thinking about getting rid of my diet soda addiction. I don’t keep diet soda in my apartment, so unfortunately I usually end up getting a diet soda on the way to wherever I am going. I have absolutely no doubt that I could save my wife and myself $1,500 a year by cutting out snacks and sodas. I really am going to begin working on getting rid of my diet soda addiction this week.

    • Amy

      I have the same problem. I find I do best cutting back if I buy 2 liters because it is the best price per ounce and I limit myself to one a day. Good luck.


    Indeed it will save me money in all aspects of things in association with money.
    Thanks you A lot.

  30. Esther

    I save money by not withdrawing money from the bank until I need it. I also make sure that I buy groceries from the open air market instead of the supermarket as they are fresh and much cheaper.

  31. Theresa

    Just checked into more affordable insurance for our vehicles – but was concerned about the rating for “more affordable”…. turns out we got the best rated insurance for much less!
    Stopped eating out some time ago – saved loads- amazing what you spend eating out!
    Cancelled our Comcast & now working on our land line / internet/ cell phone bills- any recommendations?
    We also checked into Vonage – most of the complaints we saw was that they required a cc and people were unable to stop the billing even when they stopped the service- anyone have that problem?

  32. raoul

    I’m just loving this site. I like the advices, also the ones in the comments section. Starting tomorrow I will start to try them out in my country. I know not all of them will work, but it’s worth a shot. It’s all about willpower.

  33. Nancy

    Great ideas. Just got rid of my “landline” 2 weeks ago. It’s quite the adjustment after all these years!

  34. Erin Bradley

    I use my Kindle and borrow books from the library. It is seamless and easy. And I have actually read more books than ever! Thanks for the tips.

  35. Heather

    My husband and I went with Ooma over Vonage…Same idea, but WAY better. The upfront cost was a couple hundred dollars, but now we have NO phone bill!

  36. Heather

    We also canceled cable, bought a Roku and only less than 20/month for Netflix and HuluPlus…don’t miss cable at all!!!

  37. Nate Fancher

    Great ideas. We went back and forth on the internet thing. Unfortunately it’s hard to find competitive ISP pricing. Time Warner is really the only reliable provider where we are. And it’s imperative that we have fast internet for my work. It will be great when prices drop when more people can compete.

  38. Paul

    You wouldn’t think you would need to do this…….
    Over a year ago, I received a utility bill that was about $45.00 more than I was use to getting. ( I live alone so I cut costs every way I can and know about what my bill will be every month) So I called the utility company and asked why it was so much more. They said they didn’t know and could not adjust the bill. (They just did not care)
    So, from that point on I went out everyday and checked my meter reading and wrote it down. The first month was tricky because I wasnt sure what day it would be read. They always change the amount of days they read the meter. Sometimes it is 30 days in the cycle other times it is 26 etc. After the first month, I had an exact account of the last day read to the next months reading. The bill was wrong again. This time I had proof of the “ACTUAL” start and end read dates. I called them up and told them this. They looked into it a little more and replaced the meter. No charge to me. Have not had a problem since.
    If your having a problem with your bill not seeming right, this is worth doing for a month. A pain, but worth it. If I would have let it go, it could have cost me over $500.00 a year!

    • John Frainee

      Yikes that’s scary to think the meter could be wrong! Thanks for the tip Paul!

    • Dawn

      This was a great post! Made me remember the year I put in new windows and insulation in my drafty old house. I was so expecting to reap the benefit of lower heat bills in the winter. I also got very frustrated with the gas company and started reading my own meter and calling in the meter reads. Of course, it was about the time that gas prices were going up! So, I did use much less gas, but because the cost per unit had increased, I still had high bills! I actually started wearing a scarf and hat when I was home because I could leave the heat down even lower.

      Good luck on your continued financial success! You are obviously diligent and will certainly remain financially successful

  39. picaaso

    Nice tips! I also learn some new things that how many you can save on toilet papers by using a bidet.

    cheap fairy tricks are great I am have cut down my lots of expenses which I did not know. My phone bill was 30% down in 10 minutes of chat using cheap fairy tricks.

    my cable bill is $60 off now just by telling them I am gonna switch to directtv.

    livecheap360 by cheap fairy helped me a lot with your tips.


  40. Bonnie

    Actually I’m not terribly in debt, I just want to be able to get organized with the bills that I do have. I do like the money saving tips that are listed in your emails. Many of them I do, others I need to practice. Thanks

  41. Kathryn

    I am on day two of the “Getting Started Course” and I am finding all of the information provided very helpful. While many of the tips mentioned are actually quite simple, it’s comforting to take it one step at a time and start at the beginning. I think the most difficult aspect of the whole “getting on a budget” is actually sitting down and putting all of my family’s bills in front of me, facing the hard facts and trying to come up with a plan to get out of this predicament. I am simply glad to be getting started and can’t wait to see where my family’s financial situation is one year from now. Thanks for all of the helpful information and tips! PLEASE keep ’em coming!

  42. jo bruns

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I have put many of these into practice already in an effort to cut expenses. Dropping the landline was a big help. Even with having DSL I didn’t need a landline, just asked them to hardwire it. Saved over $60 a month. To help with groceries, I planted a garden for fresh produce (which is always so expensive at the grocery store). I save change at the end of each day and make a deposit into the bank account at least monthly. I still haven’t given up my diet soda habit but I can buy soda and bring it to work and refrigerate it there and save megabucks on the soda machine! Will have to investigate insurance companies. The thing is I’ve had loyalty to this company since my dad was an agent with them til his death. So that’s a hard one for me. I have changed coverage amounts and deductible amounts, though, and have saved on premiums.

  43. Rebecca

    My mother taught me that the only way you can save money is not to spend it…great, great advice!In rder to save, you must get to the bottom of why you spend…so much of what we do is emotionally based. Examining our inner issues will allow us to discover why we do what we do.

  44. Kathi

    My biggest problem is not charging again after I have paid some of my debt down. When I get low on cash I don’t want to spend it so I then charge $20 here and $20 there and it adds up before I know it and then all that hard work I’ve done is void.

    • Mollie

      When we did the money make over. For one year we cancelled our trash pick up service. This was $15 a month. $180 a year. My husband had an option of taking it to work with him. He got permission to put it in their big dumpster. And he had a truck so he did not mind. We also turned off our back yard pole light. It is still off, it costs $8.00 a month, $120 savings. We also went from paying the same company, cable, phone, and internet into a bundle plan that let us have more channels, high speed internet for less money. I went from mailing out my bills, 5x $.44 cents to paying them for free online through my bank. A savings of $26 dollars a year. This does not seem very much month to month, but all of the little charges add up to a lot.

  45. Denise Harney

    Awesome article. I always go through my cabinets, frig, and the freezer before making a grocery list. I use what I already have to plan out meals for the week and put on my list exactly what else I need to make the meals on the list. This way I am only buying what I need to make the meals while using what I already have. With a family of 5- this cuts my grocery bill in half- saving me around 100.00 a week plus. If I go to the store with a list, I always spend a lot less money.

  46. Jim J.

    These are all great ideas! I’ll be using some. One thing that I have found to make a difference is my complete elimination of television (let’s be honest, is there really anything worth watching anymore, anyways?) Now and then, I’ll treat myself to a Redbox movie for a little over $1. If I need to know the news or watch some sports highlights, I have my computer… and all the better if I use my work computer! My productivity and IQ have definitely increased since eschewing the boob tube!
    Another thing I’ve done is to cook a lot of “stock” meals, i.e. soups, pastas, stir-fry dishes that will last for 3 days or longer. This has made a tremendous difference (along with making my own coffee) in my savings.
    For necessary large purchases, I find it best if I’m able to hold off until I have at least half of the total cost available for the down. I then try to pay as much (at least half) of the total remainder each month of the installment plan… saves a load on unnecessary interest. LOVE this site. Keep up the great work.

  47. Mara

    Great Article! I have already started to apply some of these strategies in my life. My biggest challenge is not the overspending but basically not making enough income. Even though I have 2 jobs, I’m still always in the red when it comes to my budget. Trust me, I have applied and applied for a stock full of jobs but nothing has panned through yet. But at the end of the day, my faith is in God and I trust and believe that he will ultimately bless me with a new position soon…

  48. Luz

    I agreed with Kathryn, The hard part for me is to put everything together and start the process of saving. We want to tithe and pay our bills on time. I love the lessons they are very simple and clear.

  49. Leo

    I’m loving the tips and comments on this website! I have already applied these tips to my spending and all of them really works. Since I had purchased my car brand new in 2011, it has been very hard to get a lower auto insurance rate. But now I can really shop around. I just changed my auto insurance from Travelers (3 years) to State Farm for more coverage d $54./mo. less and saving $600./year. My job gave me a nice raise two months ago, and I am still broke. I am planning to get back on track and live in surplus again. I am no longer wasting gas by driving around to just window shop. I cook breakfast and make my own coffee at home and I pack my lunch, drinks, instant coffee/creamer, fruits, and snacks. I am saving $12.00 a day and $46.00 per a week. I should be saving at least $400.00 a month if I follow my budget d think twice before I spend a dollar for no reason. It can be done with God’s wisdom.

  50. Shirleyann

    Great tips! I’ve been doing most of them for years. Let’s not forget about looking at our cable bills. Do we really need all of those premium channels? A lot of the shows are on Netflix or Hulu. If you are paying for channels that you don’t watch, take another look at the packages offered. You may be able to find one cheaper that suits your watching habits better. I saved $50 a month by changing my plan.

  51. Michael Kampff

    I agree with Shirleyann… cable bills are a huge expense and are becoming more and more unnecessary altogether because of online services like Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, Apple TV, etc. Not to mention TV also being a huge vice for many people…

    Just think of all God could do through us if we weren’t so infatuated with being entertained, and all God could do with our resources if they weren’t so devoted to the unnecessary and frivolous!

    I’m as guilty as anyone else – I could certainly be more financially disciplined. I commit to taking action, one step at a time, with the ideas here. I appreciate the post, and look forward to tomorrow’s!

    • Deitra

      I truly save big in this area…I don’t watch TV –lol.

  52. Ryan Merrill

    We used to have AT&T Cell Phones, but we were getting robbed on the data charges. We have been on Straight Talk for over a year or so now and we have saved I don’t even know how much… The phones may not be exactly like the big name providers, but $60 a month (or even 90 for 2 people on unlimited) is far better than the ridiculous rates we were paying under contract (still paying on those to this day… -_- )

  53. Marsha

    I am now retired but since my children were tiny, I have shopped “loss leaders”… these are the grocery items that are priced very low in the market circulars to get shoppers into the store. I clip, download coupons, then go through 3 or 4 market circulars prior to shopping. I plan my menus for 2 weeks according to what is on sale in the stores. I consistently “save” about 30% on my grocery bill. I buy the family size meats and portion them out and freeze them. I have also purchased a beef roast and cut off slices for quick “steaks” and stew meat. Save big or small, folks!

  54. Deitra

    Amazon has a free books section for their Kindle app. I have amassed over 4,000 books and I think I may have paid for about 8 of them. They have many different genres and I have run across some very good and useful books in gardening, canning, food storage, natural health, children’s educational help, history, biographies, and of course Christian Living.

  55. Katie

    One of the local food stores offers $50 gas gift cards for $40 with a $50 store purchase.

  56. Amy

    * Save the broth from your veggies and put in a container in the freezer and use it for veggie broth.
    * If you freeze your leftovers in disposable containers it will reduce wasted molded food. * When planning meals take your pound of meat, bag of veggies, bag of left over side and put all in a grocery bag so you know what meal it is.
    * Place the planned meal items that need to thaw in the fridge the night before and it will stay cooler in the fridge too as a result.
    * I also plan to try doing some of the cooking-for-the-week and make-ahead-meals and freeze them. The ones you can put in your slow cooker.
    * Also a little off subject but if you make sure to close your cabinets, clothsets and bathroom doors you don’t have to heat/cool that space.

  57. Randi

    2 things, on 9/11, the only way I found out about the trade center, was my brother called me , a land line, TV was out, cell phones were out. we had tickets to the Yankees and probably would have gone in, since we did not know. have land line, for just in case;
    also, the biggest way to save money, is have a small business to offset your- w-2 income. you can now, write off your phone, part of your home, vacations , eating out, and lots of stuff, you could never do as am employee. I am a tax account, by the way. I always encourage my clients to have a side business.

  58. Nana

    i use to have a slogan which i followed religiously.it was “save water drink beer” i have now changed it to “Save money drink water” thanks to this course! !!

  59. Cass

    This site is such a blessing.

    Two ways I have cut expenses lately:
    My husband and I decided to go down to one car because he can bike to work. We are going to sell the one that is paid in full and use all of the money to take one huge chunk out of our car loan. This is an awesome option because we will be saving on car insurance (so crazy expensive in our area), gas and car repairs. We equaled it up saving to $600 per month and hitting our debt with a $8,000 payment.

    I started making a months worth of freezer meals at the beginning of the month. The cooking day is rough but after that you are done cooking for 30 DAYS! I love it. It has worked well for us because I save money on “Oh I will just do fast food for dinner because I’m stressed and tired from work” temptation and I am able to prepare my meals around what is on sale and what I have in my kitchen already.

    Keep saving. Keep giving. 🙂

  60. Dawn Evanoff

    I learned a cool trick. The blades of your razors last a super lpng time if you diligently dry them after each use. Those expensive mebs razors……my husband used the same blade for months! Granted he is not one to be able to grow a bushy beard but it has saved us money. It all adds up.

  61. River

    Hi, everyone,
    Speaking to tip #1.
    Full disclosure: I am a financial professional myself, and I am currently working with a Property and Casualty Insurance broker to explore auto and homeowner’s insurance options for my family.

    Please be very careful with Geico and all the rest of the cheap, cheap, cheap insurance companies (this goes for life insurance as well). Geico reps are not P&C licensed. If you press them to lower your bill, they will. But they’ll cut corners and remove important clauses in your contract to do so. At the expense of your financial stability, they will grant you temporary satisfaction and a small amount of current financial relief. There are plenty of horror stories of liabilities that auto owners who thought they were covered, but, no.

    Just a word to the wise.

  62. Chris

    These are all great tips. It is always refreshing to hear ideas to save money and help balance a household budget. Thank you.

  63. Bev

    To curb small impulse buying: I ask myself, ” If this cost $100.00, would I still want it? Or, did the price over $100 kill the impulse? This puts logic in control instead of emotion.

  64. Kendra Schmitt

    I have 3 kids to take care of so I am always looking to save a dollar here and there. I have a tight budget that’s for sure. I completely agree with everything in this article! It really isn’t that bad cutting expenses. In my eyes I’m rich. My bills are paid, My kids are healthy and happy. The best part is my kids know that money isn’t easy and they know the value of money. That is so important for me to embed that in them. So they have a fighting chance when they are adults. Like this article stated if you do something all the time it isn’t fun anymore. So me and my kids go out to the movies and eat out about once a month. Saves money and it ensures the bills are paid and there is groceries in the house. Plus my kids get to reap the benefits of not being spoiled and knowing that it isn’t always going to be easy but we still go out and have fun time to time. I agree with all these great ideas to cut expenses because I do everyone of them already. Like I said it really isn’t that bad going without.

  65. lanokie

    Thank you JESUS