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25 Simple & Sustainable Ways To Save $5 Every Day

save $5

I love to share tips and ideas that can help people save money, because regardless of your financial situation, who wouldn’t want a bit of extra cash in their pocket? And when you’re able to save money here and there, you can afford to spend a bit more on the things you really care about, like date nights, family activities or trips, etc.

Related: 7 Unexpected Ways To Save Money At Your Local Library

And while today’s post is full of money-saving tips, they all center around a very specific goal: saving just $5. While it might not sound like a lot, that money can really add up over time—see the power of saving $5 for yourself below.

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Why Should I Save $5?

If you saved $5 every day for one month, you would have $150. With that money, you could…

  • Buy a new outfit or handbag.
  • Get your hair and nails done.
  • Buy an Instant Pot with all the bells and whistles.

If you saved $5 every day for six months, you would have $900. With that money, you could…

  • Buy plane tickets for 2 to New York City.
  • Plan a fun weekend vacation.
  • Buy furniture for a bedroom makeover.

If you saved $5 every day for one year, you would have $1,825. With that money, you could…

  • Put a down payment on a car.
  • Fund an emergency account.
  • Finally buy that plane ticket to Europe!

So while $5 may sound unimpressive at first, those dollars definitely add up over time into something substantial. So now that you know why you should start hanging onto those Lincolns, here’s a big ol’ list of ways to do it.

Related: 11 Practical Ways To Save Money When Times Are Tough

25 Easy Ways To Save $5 Every Day

save $5

1. Avoid An ATM Fee

Making a withdrawal from an ATM that isn’t managed by your bank can easily cost you a $3 fee from the ATM company and another $3 from your bank—that’s $6 down the drain! Instead, use the ATM at your bank’s nearest branch or get cash back at the checkout stand after grocery shopping.

2. Use Discounted Gift Cards

If you have places you shop at frequently and reliably, you can save money by buying discounted gift cards for that retailer and using them like cash. For example, if you shop at Walgreens frequently, you could buy a $50 Walgreens gift card for $45, transfer the extra $5 into your savings account, then just use the gift card like cash until it runs out.

Check out sites like Raise.com to find discounted gift cards, and there are often good deals on gift cards at warehouse stores like Costco.

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3. Embrace Free And Low-Cost Entertainment

Pull out those board games, lawn games, puzzles, and other fun stuff out of your closets and enjoy them for free! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average family spends $2,482 on entertainment like admission prices, toys, and movies. That’s nearly $7 per day, and it’s $7 you could easily save on any given day.

4. Complete Store Surveys

If there’s a survey listed on the bottom of your store receipt, there’s probably also some sort of freebie or reward you can get for filling it out. It’s likely worth at least $5, and it’ll only take a few minutes of your time.

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5. Skip Your Beverage Of Choice

If you normally grab a soda, bottled water, or coffee drink on your way to work, skip it once in a while. That’s an easy $5 saved, and if you replace it with some extra water that day, it’s probably good for your health too.

Related: Stop Throwing Your Money Away On These 20 Things

6. Use Free Transportation

Being willing to walk, ride your bike, or take public transportation to your destination can save you some serious cash, depending on your driving habits and gas prices in your area.

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7. Get Those Discounted Refills

If you’re a frequent movie-goer, the theater’s refillable drink cups and popcorn tubs may be worth the investment. The refills are usually less expensive, which could save you plenty of money if you love movie theater popcorn as much as I do!

8. Get Cash Back

You can use cash back shopping services like Rakuten to get a percentage of your purchase back on things you were already planning on buying. I wrote a whole post about how to use Rakuten to save money that you can read at the link below.

Read More: My Favorite Hack For Saving Even More On Black Friday

9. Make Multiple Casseroles

The next time you’re making an easy casserole, make double, triple, or quadruple the amount you normally make. Freeze the others so you can use them the next time you need to get dinner on the table fast. Instead of spending money on fast food, you’ll have a homemade dinner on the table in no time.

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10. Consolidate Your Errands

Consolidate your errands into one or two longer outings per week. You’ll spend less on gas, and probably less on food and snacks that you may have bought during shorter errand runs.

11. Use Savings Extensions

Install a money-saving extension like Honey on your internet browser. When you buy something online, Honey can automatically test known discount and coupon codes for you before you checkout, potentially getting you a discount or even free shipping. It’s great for shopping on Amazon too, because it will show you if the price listed is the best one on the site.

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12. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated

It pays to keep your car’s tires properly inflated. If your tires are just 2 PSI below the recommended amount, you can sacrifice 1% of the gas mileage you normally get. Most people’s tires are 5-10 PSI under the recommended level, so it’s very possible that just by inflating your tires properly, you could increase your gas mileage by 5% and keep more money in your pocket.

13. Take Advantage Of Weekly Discounts

Know what weekly discounts are offered by the businesses in your area and make sure to take advantage of them. A theater chain has Discount Tuesdays with $5 admission, and a lot of taco joints offer discounts on Tuesdays too (Taco Tuesdays, anyone?)

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14. Use Digital Coupons

Before heading out to a store, check out their website or mobile app to see if there are any digital coupons you can use. This is especially applicable for crafts stores, which almost always have digital coupons that can save you quite a bit.

15. Sign Up For Emails Or Download Apps

Look around at local restaurants to see if they offer any freebies for signing up for their email list or download their mobile app. You can often score free appetizers or desserts just for signing up.

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16. Try Generics And Store Brands

Try the generic or store brand version of items you buy regularly. A lot of them are just as good as the name brand items, and making those little switches is a surefire money saver.

17. Look Through Your Junk Mail

Check your junk mail or Sunday paper for coupons and discounts you can use at local stores. Throwing away a coupon mailer can be like turning down free money! If I handed you a $5 bill, would you take it and crumple it up and throw it away?

save $5

18. Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions

I’m not exactly an unbiased source on this one, but the fact of the matter is that you can easily save $5 by making a cleaner instead of buying one at the store. Get the recipes for a number of my favorite homemade cleaning solutions here.

19. Plan Your Meals Around Sales

Consult your grocery store’s weekly ad while making your shopping list. Planning your meals around what’s on sale can save you a lot of money!

Related: 10 Ways to Make Grocery Shopping Less Terrible 

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20. Eat Less Meat

You can really save on your grocery bill when you start planning more vegetarian meals during the week. In almost every case, fruits, vegetables, and protein-backed staples like beans offer a better value for your money! For inspiration, check out one of my go-to meatless meals at the link below.

Related: Vegetarian Burrito Bowls For Meatless Mondays

21. Buy Generic Prescriptions

Many common generic drugs cost just $4 for a 30-day supply at Costco, Kmart, Target, Walmart, and others. And some stores offer their own discount programs for generic and brand-name drugs.

Related: 20 Of The Very Best Homemade Cleaners You Can Make

save $5

22. Use Your Food Scraps

Saving the tops and ends of all your veggies, you can quickly build up enough material to make a delicious homemade vegetable broth! Read more about that below.

Related: How To Make Homemade Chicken (Or Veggie) Stock The Lazy Way

23. Use Smart Power Strips

Connect your entertainment center or home office equipment to a smart power strip, which will kill the power to all the connected devices when a specific device is turned off. (For instance, you could turn off your TV, and the power strip would also turn off your sound system, your gaming consoles, etc.) This simple step can cut down on energy costs quite a bit.

save $5

24. Obey The Speed Limit

Not only is speeding less efficient in terms of gasoline use, but it can also get you an expensive speeding ticket. So stick to the speed limit, get more mileage from the gas you buy, and keep that speeding ticket money in your pocket.

25. Save Money Automatically

Apps like Digit and Guac can help you save money automatically by analyzing your spending and transferring small amounts to a separate savings account regularly. Not only is it nice to not have to think about it, but it’s fun to watch the total in that account grow!

What are your favorite ways to save a few dollars?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • Good ideas! Unfortunately for #1, Kroger now charges $.75 for every cash back on your purchase (as of January, 2024). I just found this out a few days ago, when I needed $20, so that extra cost me $20.75.
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  • I’ve used Honey for a couple of years and love it! It doesn’t work on every site, but it does work on the ones I frequent. If they can’t find a coupon code, most times you’ll earn cash back. Once your cash back has reached a certain point, you can cash out via Paypal or get a gift card.

  • Another way we like to save is to use our AARP card at Denney’s and get a 15% discount. Make it even better by taking the grandkids on Tuesday and Thursday they eat for free. 2 children per adult. Yes you can use both at the same time.

  • My absolute favorite money saving tip is to check GoodRX.com before going to your pharmacy. It is free and the pharmacist CAN over ride your insurance for the lower price. I have literally saved hundreds.

  • I learned some good things here, today, but was surprised that you didn’t include embracing your senior discounts. Here in Utah, Savers has Senior Tuesdays, Taco Bell will give you either a senior discount or a senior drink, and Golden Corral gives a discount after 1:00pm. I ask everyone if they offer a senior discount, and it really does add up!

    • Here in SC, Golden Corral gives you that discount if you’re a senior as soon as they open, until closing. Great way to save a dollar (which is their discount) if you go there, but unfortunately it’s offset by their prices now being almost $10 per person. We usually get water, instead of paying $1.79 per soda or tea.

  • I love GoodRX.com for saving money on prescriptions. It is free, works with my insurance and I saved over $1,000.00 a year on one prescription. I usually think those things are just a scam but you just go to the website, put in your prescription information, drug name, dosage,etc and it will show you the cheapest place to fill it with a coupon they can scan at the store. I did not even give CVS the coupon and they pulled it up and gave me the price!

    • Good Rx is a decent way to save some money, especially on expensive drugs, however my local Walgreens always tells me that they can’t use it or that it’s not working. (Hmmm…wonder if they just don’t want to bother helping those who are on expensive medicines!).

  • We have done these things for a long time. We also compost, save dryer lint in toilet rolls to use as fire starters, and use vinegar for a lot of disinfecting and as a rinse in our washer. We have very few cleaning supplies. They are really not needed. As retirees, this has just become a way of life.

    • Amen to that! Due to being allergic to cleaning chemicals, I have learned to use vinegar, Isopropyl Alcohol (“rubbing alcohol”), soap nuts boiled in water (recipe can be found on the Web or You Tube) and other things that will not cause me to have a reaction.
      No one should breathe those fumes coming from those “innocent” cleaning products. They are dangerous to your health and of your family, including pets.
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  • Most grocery store receipts tell you how much you have saved on that transaction, from sales and coupons. That amount could go straight into savings, too.

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  • Use your public library for print books and dvds and download electronic books, movies, and audiobooks by using your library card. Some also check out museum passes.

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  • At the top of this post, I saw a picture of the Instant Pot (which I’m a new mother of) sitting on a shelf with sides. Is that possibly one of the Ikea storage carts you spoke about in another post? Does it hold all the accessories you suggested buying? Because I just unloaded 3 boxes from Amazon with all of them in it, and my kitchen table is full?!?!?!?!?

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  • We bought an Intermatic timer for $57.00 that my hubby installed on our hot water tank (it actually hangs on the wall above the tank). You can program it to the times of day your hot water heater (ours is electric) runs. I think it paid for itself in about 2 months time. We have ours programmed to only run the hot water heater in the morning hours and evening hours. It keeps the hot water heater off all night and during the mid day. A true money saver!

    • I’ve heard from my family and friends who have served foreign missions in South America – this how their water heaters work. You get up and set the heater and wait for it to get hot. Leave it set for a certain amount of time to allows for showers, laundry etc.

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  • I bring my own lunch to work. I work for a grocery store, but buying stuff for lunch especially from the Deli can cost $ 4, 5,, or if you buy something at work..I keep,a supply of the cheap: frozen entrees at home for work. I do frequently use leftover from dinner from the previous night.. I also used to spend $4 monthly on the Downy Wrinkle releaser spray. I ve been using Jillees version since it was posted. That’s another great way to save money.. Great ideas.

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  • I recently signed up with Ibotta and Checkout 51 which give you cash back for grocery items. In less than 3 months I’ve earned over $100. With Ibotta you can link your store savings card and with Checkout 51 use your phone’s camera to snap a picture of your receipt and generally within the hour your account has been credited.

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