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.
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.
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.
25 Easy Ways To Save $5 Every Day
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?