13 Creative New Ways To Save More Money Every Day

spend less

I’ve picked up a lot of money-saving tips over the years, many during the time when all four of our kids were little and I was at home with them while Dave worked to support all six of us. From that experience, I realized that a lot of of money-saving tips cover the same things: cut back on monthly subscriptions, buy groceries when they’re on sale, buy things secondhand when possible, etc.

But when you really need to save money (or even if you just really want to in order to achieve a specific goal), those basic measures will only take you so far. But as I’ve found out, there are plenty of “out of the box” ways to spend less money and save even more, and it’s those sort of tips that we’ll be focusing on in today’s post!

Whether you’re struggling to keep up with monthly expenses, saving up for a major purchase, or hoping to take a dream vacation in the future, these simple tips will help you get creative with how you save and get you one step closer to achieving your financial goals.

13 Creative Ways To Spend Less And Save More

spend less

1. Get More Sleep

Having a regular, reasonable bed time will lower your monthly expenses. You’ll spend less on electricity, cut down on late-night snacking and drinking, and you’ll enjoy all the health benefits that come along with getting enough sleep. It’s a win-win-win!

spend less

2. Take “Navy Showers”

This technique was invented by the Navy to save precious water rations, and it uses just 11 gallons of water instead of the typical 60 gallons used during a typical shower. Turn the water on just long enough to get yourself wet, then turn it off, soap up, and only turn the water back on when you’re ready to rinse.

spend less

3. Potty Train Your Cat

It may sound ridiculous, but training your cat to use the toilet instead of a litter box can save you a lot of money. According to PetEducation.com, you can save up to $1,650 in litter costs over your cat’s lifetime. And apparently teaching your cat to use the toilet is a very doable process. Who knew?

spend less

4. Put Something Back Every Time You Shop

If you find yourself with a cart full of stuff at your favorite store (much like I do every time I shop at TJ Maxx), put one item back on the shelf before you head to the checkout stand. Every little bit adds up, and it may save you some buyer’s remorse too.

spend less

5. Paint Your Roof White

Did you know that around 16% of all electricity consumed in the U.S. is used for air conditioning? You can reduce your own A/C costs and save money by doing one simple project: painting your roof white.

Covering a black tar roof with solar-reflective white paint will immediately help reduce temperatures inside and out. On a 90°F day, a black roof can reach a sizzling 180°F, while a white roof will stay relatively cool at 100°F. This can reduce your cooling costs by 40%!

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6. Unplug Everything

Many of our modern gizmos and gadgets are “energy vampires,” meaning they continue to consume energy even when they’re turned off or aren’t currently in use. So even when you’re not streaming your favorite shows on your TV or charging your cell phone, your electronics like your TV, streaming devices, and phone charger are still using energy and ultimately costing you money!

The easiest way to spend less on energy vampires is to unplug things whenever you’re not using them. (Surge protectors can make this easier because you can quickly cut power to several things at once.)

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7. Cut Your Hair Short

Water, shampoo, conditioner, and even the energy needed to power your hair dryer all cost money. A simple way to spend less on these things is to just have less hair! Get your hair cut short and start saving on hair-related expenses instantly.

spend less

8. Use Professionals-In-Training

If you’re in need of a massage or a haircut, odds are good you can find a student or trainee who can provide the service for a fraction of the cost of a fully trained professional. Check out local cosmetology schools, dental schools, massage schools, and other schools and training programs to see if their students offer discounted services.

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9. Get Rid Of Grey Charges

If you don’t regularly check your credit card and bank account statements, you should really start. “Grey charges” consist of small fees, subscriptions, renewals, and other charges that many of us don’t notice, and they can cost you hundreds of dollars each year!

Grey charges can become even more of a money drain if they happen across several of your accounts. The best way to address them is to inspect your statements carefully, and when you identify a grey charge you want to get rid of, call the customer service line of the company responsible.

spend less

10. Save It For Later

When you’re browsing online and come across something that you feel compelled to buy right that second, save the item by pinning it to one of your Pinterest boards, bookmarking the tab in your browser, or whatever method you use to keep track of things online.

After 30 days, or however long you deem suitable, revisit the item. If you still want it, go ahead and buy it, because you can feel fairly confident at that point that you won’t experience buyer’s remorse. But don’t be surprised if you end up deciding you don’t actually want the thing as much as you thought you did a month ago!

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11. Get Inspired to Save

Delaying instant gratification can be difficult, but it’s a lot easier when you’re properly motivated! To keep yourself inspired to spend less and save more, make an inspiration board that captures the motivation behind your decision to save money (a vacation, your kid’s college fund, retirement, etc.), then hang it up in a place you’ll see it often to keep yourself inspired and motivated.

spend less

12. Drink More Water

The simple act of drinking more tap water throughout the day instead of sodas, energy drinks, or coffee drinks can save you a surprising amount of money. Plus, drinking more water will also improve your health, which can help keep your health care costs down too!

spend less

13. Slow Down While Driving

According to the Department of Energy, the fuel economy of the average vehicle starts dropping rapidly above 50 mph. In fact, for each 5 mph you go over that speed, that’s like paying an extra 20 cents per gallon for gas!

That additional cost can add up over time, so stick to the speed limit to keep that cash in your pocket. And avoid excessive accelerating and heavy breaking too, which can both make your car less fuel efficient.

What are your favorite creative ways to save money?

Read This Next

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


Bright Ideas

  • All OK suggestions, but evidently you don’t follow #7!!!!!!
    My husband and I have not had haircuts for over a year due to the pandemic and now that we have had our second dose of vaccine can hardly wait for haircuts.

  • I used to spend a lot of money on greens. I’d buy a bag, use some of it and had to throw the rest if I didn’the use it right away. So i bought two planters, and started growing my own greens. Now I pick only what I need. The chards come in many colors so they are very decorative. I save a lot of money this way!

  • Even being on a fixed income, I’ve found a way to save. If you shop at any stores that give rewards, (such as Target gives 5% cash back when you use your red card), look at your receipt to see how much you saved. Then take that amount and squirrel it away. It may only be $2-3, but over time it adds up. I then use this money as my “mad money”. To spend on non-necessities ie. going to estate sales, antique shops, any guilty pleasures. This way, I’m not using monthly expense money and still able to give myself a treat. You’d be surprised at how fast the small savings add up.

  • These are absolutely great ideas and suggestions. I will have to re-train myself to look at my budget a little different due to the fact that I’m on a fixed income (and I mean squeaky tight “fixed” income). I have trouble making some of my payments without sometimes rolling something non-urgent to the next month. But, I think I see ways that some of the ideas you’ve taught today can be implemented into my finances and possibly help me to no longer have to do that. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and brilliance with all of us. It’s greatly appreciated. God bless darlin.

  • Can we talk vacations? We live frugally. When your husband is an accountant it comes naturally. Another way we save that isn’t on the list is by using our reward credit card for all purchases. Obviously, the trick to having any credit card is to not spend more than you can afford to pay off when the bill is due. We never, ever, carry a balance. It is paid in full each month. No exceptions.

    We use a Best Western Rewards MasterCard. All of our spending earns rewards for free nights at any Best Western. The points do not expire & can be rolled over from year to year. When we go on vacation we can choose any Best Western & never pay an extra penny for a hotel room. This makes saving for vacations super easy since we know the room will be covered by the points our spending has earned & it didn’t cost us anything extra to get free rooms.

    Another great way to save on vacations is to get a room with a kitchenette & hit the grocery store. Best Western offers free breakfast. We don’t like how we feel if we eat out daily, so we fix some simple meals in the room & plan one or two nice meals out. We plan our meals before we leave home & take any staples we have already at home so we only have to buy the fresh stuff when we get to our destination.

    If amusement parks are your thing check out the ticket prices for multiple days & see if they have an expiration date. Disney parks no longer offer the No Expiration Option, but some other parks might have a similar option available. Disney does still honor those tickets that were purchased with the No Expiration Option attached though. We bought 10 days for four when the kids were small. The per day price drops substantially the more days that are bought. Using the No Expiration Option we used half the days on that first trip, put the tickets in a safe place when we got home & took them back years later using the other half of the days. The second trip only cost us gas & food since our rewards paid for our hotel stay.

  • I get cash every week from the teller, and put $20 aside as in-home savings. This isn’t a replacement for a real savings account, but it’s handy to have some cash at home. I also save every $5 bill I get, and bundle them once I’ve got $100.
    When shopping for groceries etc. I prefer generics. Quality is important, not the brand name. When an item is faulty/rotten/damaged I will take it back to the store. Walmart has a 100% guarantee on their fresh food, and even though some associates aren’t happy to refund, I will argue if necessary. On more than one occasion have I brought back fruit/vegetables that looked perfect on the outside, but were spoiled when cut.

      • Peggy, thanks for replying. My local Walmart isn’t happy about returns, either, but the return rules are clearly stated in the customer service area. I’d check the official rules, and if necessary, argue w. the store manager/regional manager. A customer shouldn’t have to carry the loss of defective merchandise, and Walmart is absolutely notorious for selling bad stuff!

  • I’ve heard that when we donate our hair to Wigs For Kids as an example, they SELL the hair to cancer patients! Be sure to check the organization before donating. And let me add, I havent donated to Goodwill for decades—just google to see how they use free donations!

    • My SIL is a cosmetologist & she told me after my daughter donated her hair to Locks of Love at another salon that she stopped collecting at her salon because she found out the children had to write essays describing why they thought they deserved a wig from Locks of Love. I’d think facing the devastation of their disease & all of it’s side effects would be more than enough reason to lovingly give a wig, made from hair the organization received for free, to those children.

      • Have her look into donating hair to Wigs for Kids. I have been donating to them for a few years from my salon because I have issues with Locks of Love also.

      • I’m really enjoying all these wonderful ideas. However, I have a different issue with the programs that take donated hair to make wigs for cancer patients. I friend of mine , who was a hair stylist, told me that up to 80% of all hair that’s donated to any of these places is actually discarded as unusable. Its either too damaged due to being over processed, or it’s too grey, or it’s simply too damaged for other reasons. Now, this may be untrue, but it sounds logical.

  • It is not a good idea to toilet train a cat!! Because you cannot see changes in their waste, you may not be aware of any health concerns, internal or external along with many other reasons(stress, fear, confusion, etc). Please do not post something like this without first educating yourself. I have located a website to include but you can also question any veterinary.
    Is Toilet Training Your Cat a Good Idea?

    • This is true. There is a lot of good verifiable information out there substantiating this. Ask your veterinarian about toilet training your cat. It’s not healthy for them.

  • There are some good ideas here, but I’m surprised by the manicure suggestion. I guess I grew up in a time when manicures and pedicures at a shop were only for the rich and famous. I’ve never had either. I wonder how much money I’ve saved over the years? I can take care of my hands at home myself. I also haven’t been to a hair salon in over 40 years- I cut my own hair, and used to cut my children’s hair, plus I buzz my DH’s hair, too. Hmmmmm, more savings. I’ve been asked who my hairdresser is, so I guess it doesn’t look like I cut my own.
    Frugality means living with 1 purse and 3 or 4 pairs of shoes. (GASP!) I know. I don’t have to empty my purse contents to switch purses- my black one does me fine all year round. I don’t have to spend time trying on shoes to see which goes best with my outfit– my black shoes go with everything.
    I applaud your sharing ideas for saving money and energy. If we all did our best to cut down and conserve, re-cycle, and reduce waste as much as possible, we would all save time, money, and energy. Yay!

    • Being frugal doesn’t mean 1 purse and 4 pairs of shoes. Nor does it mean no manicures. Being frugal means different things to different people.
      Frugal means, in the literal sense, sparing with regard to food/money or simple, plain and costing little.
      You can have 2 purses and 5 pairs of shoes and still be frugal. Those in the public eye (office workers for instance) may need several pairs of shoes to wear to work. You can get inexpensive manicures.
      On the flip side, 4 pairs of shoes is, to me, extreme. I own two pais of shoes and, until about 2 weeks ago, no purse. Why have a purse when you have pockets?
      Kudos for cutting everyones hair, but not everyone can do so or feel comfortable doing so. Some also like a particular cut and can’t achieve it alone. This doesn’t make them less frugal, just more practical for their situation.
      Let’s be honest, if we were all “frugal” we wouldn’t have computers, cell phones, new cars, name brands or shopping malls.
      We would all live in tiny self-contained homes with solar power, rain catchers and our own garden.
      So instead of saying what everyone should do according to your particular set of standards, how about we let people decide for themselves what frgality means to them.

      • I didn’t write that anyone should do any of the things I do—I only wrote about what I did. Please read the post before accusing me of saying something I didn’t.

    • Maybe they ask you who your hair dresser is because they think you should change to someone else. I think it is great that you are happy about all the saving that you do but we all have different talents and we each know what is important for our own self esteem.

  • The idea of donating your hair is good but remember “Locks of Love” charges for the wigs they make, “Wigs for Kids” doesn’t. If you/your family age going through cancer treatment, the last thing you need is another expense.

    • My sister-in-law is a cosmetologist. She said the children that try to get wigs from Locks of Love have to write an essay basically about why they think they’re deserving of receiving the wig, as if being a cancer victim, or whatever other conditions that cause hair loss, isn’t enough.

  • Another way to save is to use less of everything—for toothpaste all you need is a pea-sized amount. We watch commercials and think we need a brushful and we don’t. Same thing with shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, cleaning products and so on. We squirt it on and the excess is going down the drain along with our money. Also knock the thermostat back a few degrees in winter and hand out sweaters. Save hundreds if you live in a cold climate.

    • Even watering down your shampoo will help save you some money. And putting your dishwashing liquid into a soap pump decanter. So when you go to wash dishes by hand you are using about 2 to 3 pumps as opposed to just squirting it out of a bottle, not knowing how much you are using and wasting.

  • I order so many necessities through Amazon Prime, but it’s soooo easy to fill my cart with impulse products. So, like the Pin-It idea, I save these to a wishlist and go back a few days or a week later. The majority of the time I no longer want them which saves me money and doesn’t add to the “stuff” I already have.

    • I do the same, except I go through my Amazon cart & click the Save for Later link on the items I don’t plan to purchase immediately. It is so easy to overspend on Prime that we need to think before checking out there. lol

  • Many stores have rewards for downloading and using their apps ie Target 5% cash back when using their credit card. Just check your receipt to see how much you’ve saved on a shopping trip. I then take that amount and squirrel it away. Sometimes irs only $2-3 but it adds up. This is my mad money. I use to go to estate sales or antique stores. Or use it save up for Christmas gifts.

  • If I avoid the temptation to eat out during the work week, I transfer the money I would’ve spent at a restaurant from checking to savings. If the money is available in checking to spend on a restaurant meal, then it’s available to move to savings, and it adds up FAST. I’ve been doing this for about 10 years now and when I first started doing it, I was awful about hitting a drive thru for lunch and dinner almost every day. I was spending $8 on average for each meal, round that up to $10 and it becomes $20 a day, $100 for meals Mon-Fri. It became a “game” to see how much I can transfer to savings at the end of the week. Groceries are included in my budget so eating out isn’t taking grocery money away. For me, this is a quick, easy way to save money fast.

  • If you save coins, you can use them when you check out of self-serve line at WalMart…no fee to use coins…I’ve gotten rid of BAGS of pennies this way

  • After saving coins for a few years we took them to the bank to convert into paper money. Bank wanted 5% to count the change. Hubby took coins to a bank where we did not have an account and they converted it for free. We now save only paper money.

    • Wow, that bank has some nerve to charge their customers money to count change!? You were right to go to another bank! It’s totally unacceptable for a bank to treat their customers so shabbily.

    • I agree. Keeping my hair short wouldn’t save money. I’d be in the shop every/month. With my hair medium long I go every 2 months.Its still expensive to get it cut. It’s $25-30 for a ladies cut where I live. I’ve also been doing the shower trick for years.

  • Here in UK we have £2 coins as soon as they became currency I and my late partner vowed not to use them. Helped by a 3 year old we knew announcing they were 2 millions. Who could spend 2 millions :~) we saved them for something for us that we could not justify spending on normally.
    Since he’s died I have continued the habit and it is a great way to have a treat and to save for it.
    Soon they are going to change our £1 coin from round to 6 sided, when they do I won’t spend the new shape it will get saved. Some days that’s going to be expensive when I get several in change but it will be worth it.
    I just pretend they are invisible until I can get them out of my purse and into the savings pot.

  • best money I never spent was going to beauty school. My high school paid for my tuition and supplies for beauty school (considered vocational school) but that was back in 1975.( I don’t think that they do that anymore ) I, not only cut my husands hair, but my childrens, grandkids and friends. Definitely, well worth my time and I did work as a cosmetologist for about 2 years after graduating…………………….

  • I cut the hubby’s and our boys hair myself. My hair grows fast so that means monthly trims for it to be short so letting it grow is cheaper for me. It’s below my waist now and only needs washing three times a week in summer unless I get hot and sweaty. In winter, I only wash it when it needs it and I use baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

      • We also dye our hair at home. I’m not paying the salon price until I get more gray. Saves lots of money. Used to do the home perms. I can have a salon one last 1- 1 1/2 years. It’s expensive but will save me money in the long run.

  • I agree about the short hair being expensive because more haircuts are needed to keep it in shape. Also, if I unplug the cable box and TV, it takes them nearly 20 minutes to boot up so I can watch TV. Not worth it.

  • Short hair requires more trips to keep the haircut up and always looks bad unless you use a lot of products and the short hair leaves no wiggle room for repairs when the stylists screw up. I have had my guy trim my hair for me for a number of years. Does a great job, price is right: FREE and no making an appointment, driving and then wasting a morning or afternoon at the salon. I have him color my hair with henna now that I have silver streaks. Low cost under $40 and results are better than you can get from the harsh salon dyes that not only destroy your hair, but contain carcinogens. I tried a perm once 20 years ago, it fried my hair and it just frizzed despite having it done at the salon. Perms destroy your hair and they went out in the 1980’s. I don’t see anyone under 70 wearing one these days. Needless to say they are a waste of money.

  • Ok. I let the yellow go mellow but when I was training my cat, he fell in!!! :-)

    Ya can’t go mellow if you have to leave the lid up for the cat. It’s too heavy for him to lift!

    I’m just so funny….. :-)

  • Shopping at the local farmer’s market for your produce can save you a lot of money over shopping at most chain grocery stores. Aldi may have the lowest weekly prices on their sale produce – shop for everything else at the farmer’s market. Scan all the produce stalls first to see who has the best product at the lowest price and shop at several farmer’s stalls. Of course, shop seasonally for the best deals.

    • I wish that were true in my area. The local farmers market is very high compared to the grocery store. I do shop there sometimes anyway to support the local farmers and buy fresher produce.

      • Same here – but if you go right st the end it’s cheaper. Less selection though. Also, we have a thing here called Bountiful Baskets. You go online and choose baskets – regular or organic, and they usually have other choices like bread, etc. They tell you what kinds of stuff will be in it. On pickup day you go to the site (mine is a nearby park) and bring your own bags. They have it all divided into laundry baskets and you pack it into your bags. It’s a fantastic deal. You can save even more by showing up early to help sort — you get to divvy up the leftovers with the other helpers.

  • Good ideas. I would never do the if it’s yellow let it mellow. It s
    nasty. I’ve been doing the shower trick for years. I rinse the shampoo and conditioner- so the soap doesn’t get in my eyes and then suds up. I agree short hair isn’t cheaper. That $25 monthly is expensive. I wear my hair long in a style that gets trimmed every 2 months. We dye our own hair. I can get a perm to last for a year and a half in my hair. And if you have the microfiber towels that will speed up air drying time.

  • Thanks to the internet and the hair-cutting diagrams available free of charge, my daughters and I have been able to cut our own hair in any style we desire, long or short. The diagrams are very easy to understand and follow, and the only expense we have occurred is the purchase of the highest quality cutting shears we could afford. My daughters and sons all now consider hair cutting shears and electric shears (for men’s cuts) standard tools to own before going out on their own. Even though we are also able to give each other perms or colorings, we have decided the convenience of having these done at a salon far outweighs the savings of diy-ing. Though the savings are considerable, we rarely receive perms and never get coloring done so both have been relegated to the once in a while extra special treat category. Sometimes the savings of time and hassle are of greater value than financial savings. One note I would like to add about the home perms is that if you have extra long hair and are considering giving yourself a perm, please make sure there is someone else there to help you out should you get in a bind and not have long enough arms to reach the end of your hair to roll up in the curler. Experience truly is one of the best teachers:)

    • Some of us are not good at this task. When I used to paint my own nails it always looked like a 5 year old did it. And I was always filing my nails because they were thin and ragged all the time. Now I spend $12 to $15 a month to have the job done professionally and it is well worth it to me. They look great and I get many compliments. I also feel as though I am helping the pros out as I know they could use the money.

  • Great ideas….the only thing about short hair is keeping it maintained. When I stopped working, I had to forgo my trendy short cut because the $40 a month cut plus tip was too much. Grew my hair long and now only get a trim every 3 months and save quite a bit. There’s no is no way I am spending $40 a month on products or water to wash my long hair.

  • Following through on warranties saves money on replacing small appliances, electronics, tools, even cookware. I keep a file for receipts for items that include warranties so I can easily access and verify purchases. I also use credit cards that double manufacturers warranty. One of my credit card companies also guarantees price matching for qualifying purchases. Key is KEEP RECEIPTS!

  • When you get a receipt that says at the bottom “today you saved x amount”, actually take that amount and put it into savings. Unless you do that, you really didn’t save that amount, you just did not spend that amount.

  • I “steal” all the change hubby takes out of his pockets and leaves laying around. I pit it in a cookie jar. To be fair I contribute too ;) It didn’t take long to fill up my first juice jug. It’s probably not that much but it makes me feel happy.

  • I think you should re-read this, “According to the Department of Energy, you pay about 20 cents more per gallon for each 5 mph you go over 60. Over time, that’s a lot of extra fuel, and cash!” Where I live, the price per gallon of gas does not go down when you drive slower.

      • “…20 cents more PER GALLON….” Gas price per gallon doesn’t change because you drive fast. That’s why I suggested she re-read this (two years ago!)

  • the plan going around to save 1 penny today, 2 tomorrow etc until the end of the year you put in $3.65 …not a big deal, right? BUT at the end of the year you will have saved $668.

  • To save money I do a pantry challenge with Jessica on good cheap eats, she walks us thru it every January and July so whatever meat is lost in the bottom of my freezer gets used because we only eat from the pantry and freezer so I minimum the grocery store I can save more than 1/2 that months grocery expenses. $500-$600 twice a year.

  • What does the “if it’s yellow, it’s mellow” mean? The pict looks like there are two flush handles, is that what the article is to suggest? But then it says to shut the lid if the yellow bothers you. So is the point to NOT flush if it’s just “yellow”? Either way, you should always put the lid down to flush to help contain the mist caused by flushing. *Think about public restrooms with high pressure self flushing toilets. The higher pressure creates more mist and it’s all contained in a little stall that your standing in! Now you’ve inhailed it and are covered in it!! Talk about DISGUSTING!!

    • The saying goes, “If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown send it down.” That means if it’s just urine don’t flush each time. If it’s more go ahead & flush. I can’t do it. Instead we replaced our toilets with ones that use less water & have a dual flush button. One flush uses less water. If it’s yellow that flush only uses half the water in the tank to flush it out. If it’s more the button in the middle of the large one uses the full tank of water to flush it out.

  • A note about donating hair… it won’t be accepted if it is dyed, or more than 25% gray. But you can save by giving up salon products and buying drugstore brands.
    Don’t keep your hair too short…what you save, you will spend in upkeep!

  • I have a tin for 20p another for 50p & £2.00 coins. Also a old huge whiskey jar for 1, 2, 5 & 10p coins. We get our petrol from a garage that gives you points. I get £2.00 of saving stamps at our local shop. All this totalled over £300 this year.
    Because our wages get paid into bank account a few days earlier in December it makes January’s paid day seem ages away. So this money helps a lot. For example we have managed to fill the car with petrol and stock up on meat & fish for the month.

  • I never spend my change. I put it into piggy banks I have all over the house. It is amazing how fast it adds up. If I run out of cash before the end of the month I have some stashed in those banks. If I do not need to use it it goes into the bank savings. I find I can save several hundred extra dollars this way. Also, if you do not have change you are less likely to impulse buy as who wants to break a twenty just for some little thing you do not need?!

    • When making a purchase with cash, siphon off every $5 bill you receive in change to a “$5 fund”. You won’t really miss the them once you are in the happy groove of seeing those fives stack up!

      For example, the purpose could be Giving, Entertainment, Investment, or even Self-Insurance for your iPhone, so you can drop the monthly insurance fee.

      What can you invest in with a pile of five dollar bills? Go to your local gold and silver dealer, buy a few ounces of silver bullion or a Morgan Silver dollar or two and stash it away until prices go up, then sell.

  • Great post with good ideas and advice. I especially like the photos to add interest. Now to just put some of these 29 tips into action. Lol – really I will try!

  • Love the site Jillie ! Found you on Pinterest and immediately signed up for emails ! Every little bit counts when you’re trying to save money and I think these ideas are great ! I to am tired of the same ole same ole ones we tend to see over and over !!!!

  • Save the cost of a ticket for an expired license plate.

    IL no longer mails a renewal notice for a new license tag. The change was not advertised.

    Online, I contacted the Secretary of State office and got on their email reminder list.

    IL plates expire the last day of the month that is on the sticker.

    I got my tag online, but remembering is the concern

  • I found that having short hair has been both a huge time & money saver. I have to wash my hair even day due to a medication that makes me sweat profusely. A huge bottle of Suave Morocco Oil shampoo cost about $5 & last me about 3 months. When I had long hair I would go through 3 bottles a month!

  • While cutting hair short may save on products but the upkeep of getting it cut more often costs more. My short hair needs a haircut at least every 8 weeks, when I had longer hair I could go 4 to 6 months without one.

    Finishing a year early for college is wonderful on paper, having a nervous breakdown trying to juggle it all may not be worth it.

  • […] At the risk of sounding like broken records, you’ll often find us saying that there are lots of ways to save money that might not even cross your mind. Jillee from One Good Thing believes this too. From getting a good night’s sleep to potty training your cat, you can find savings everywhere you look. Here’s 29 of them. […]

  • I have been looking through money saving blogs and While some of these are good ideas, Potty training a cat is not a good idea. It is not natural to a cat to do this. If you can not afford car litter then I would not recommend getting a cat.

  • I don’t think “cutting” your hair is a good option for saving money.

    If one can spend on designer stuff, if one can spend on eating out, if one can have pets , if one can go for a holiday why cannot one have long hair?

    Having a hobby, having a pet, throwing a party, going out to eat, going on a holiday everything costs money. lots of money.

    Caring for long hair does not cost that much. and one cannot save so much with this tip.

    The idea itself is not so great.

    And people for whom long hair is a religious thing will get offended.

  • […] doesn’t like saving a little money here and there? I know I do. Besides the obvious ways like not eating out as much, or downgrading […]

  • I’ve got one for ya that is actually saving the money! On the day before payday or the day of, I make sure everything is subtracted out of the checkbook. I’ll even check it online just to make sure a receipt didn’t go astray. (Can you tell my sweet husband just lays them down wherever?) Then I see a total. Let’s say I’ve got $52 leftover from the previous payday. Now, I add in the deposit. Take that $52 and transfer into your savings account! We also have work automatically deposit $50 into the savings. I think we started out with $10 or $20. Now, I’ve got $102 in just two weeks. Multiply that times 26 (approx.) paydays in a year and $2,652. Sometimes we only have about $14, but hey, every little bits does add up.

    I’m also crazy about a “bill paying schedule”. I don’t call it a budget…when we were young and broke and trying to pay off our tens of thousands in debit; in my head, it implied that we had extra money to work with. I have a calendar and I use the notes section to make out the schedule. It’s kind of like a check register. Payday total at top, what bills and how much each will be or their rounded up approx. is subtracted along the way. Then I can see what we’ll have to work with for groceries, gas, etc. Also, this helps me figure out about how much next years fluctuating bills will be (gas, water and electric). I write down the actual amounts due and I don’t have to dig through a file cabinet to get that total for the next year’s “budget”.

    I’ve got great ideas for using credit cards in a SMART way. We’re saving our miles as we speak to go somewhere far away for our 20th anniversary and I’m not going into debit to do it either. How to give your kids a new paid off car…so you are the only owner and they get it slightly used. How to increase your 401k and it won’t hurt a bit! Maybe I need a blog. LOL!

    • I put everything on my credit car: gasoline, food, doctor, etc. and toss the receipts. I have the credit card paid automatically by my checking account each month. I go on vacation and not worry about missing a bill. I get my credit card statement and check for irregularities once a month. At the end of the year, Feb. 1, I go online to my credit card bank and get a spread sheet of all purchases grouped together. For example, there is a heading for health, which could be a tax deduction. I just drag, click and get a total. Then print so I have documentation for the tax man.

      I just carry enough cash to cover tips and maybe an emergency.

      I have two cards, but only carry one in case the one I have gets lost or it gets hacked.

      I’ve had my cards hacked 4 times. They were hacked from the banks (millions of cards), not me. I get a new card free with over night mail if it is their fault. I don’t even have to report it to my personal bank as the bank automatically accepts my new card with a new number.

      Balancing the check book is a snap as there is most often only one charge….my credit card.

      Of course all my income is automatic deposit.

      • Joe, this is a great idea. How do you keep track of what you have charged so you don’t have any BIG surprises? When it was just me (before I married) I – not being a spender – would keep track in my head and would know approx. what my credit card balance was. With a husband, I have a hard time keeping track of his charges.
        I also would love to quote you on my biog http://moneymattermeasurers.com. May I?

  • My partner and I stumbled over here from a different web address and thought I might check things out.

    I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to exploring your web page repeatedly.

  • You can Navy Shower w/o feeling rushed. Just purchase a shower sprayer that hooks to your shower head and uses an on/off button. This way you can keep the water on, but only hose yourself with it when you need to (taking time in between to do the rest of your business). I bought a cheap one for like $10-20 at a hardware store. You unscrew the shower head, screw the sprayer attachment part on, then screw the shower head on the attachment part. There’s a little spot on the side of the attachment part where you can hook the shower sprayer. When it’s not hooked in, the shower head works as normal. When it’s hooked in, the shower head diverts all water to the sprayer. And, the sprayer is trigger action. So, I get in, hose down, fill a plastic cup with some water, then do the following…

    1) brush teeth w/ small sip of mineral oil if not too nasty or I’ll dab the toothbrush in a little salt or baking soda if teeth are really nasty. If it’s mineral oil I’ll swallow it at the end. (acts as a laxative and keeps me regular). If it’s salt I’ll spit-n-rinse using some water from the cup.
    (afterwards I sip the water to spit-n-rinse)

    2) shave … Beard has softened after brushing, but to condition the skin I put a little mineral oil on my hand and rub it into the beard. Doesn’t take much. I use the rest of the water in the cup to rinse the razor without having to run more water.

    3) hair cut (as needed). I used to use some Wahl clippers to cut my own hair. Got tired of hefting them out and standing outside or on a plastic floor covering (*cough* shower curtain *cough*) to keep hair from going all over. I shave with a safety razor that uses saftey razor blades. So, one day I tried holding a fresh safety in the wahl clipper adapter guards and tried cutting my hair. Turns out it was a great haircut. I do the top dry, since it’s long (#6 or #7). Then after wetting down I’ll use a #1 on the sides and back. I use a #2 to blend around crown. This gives a nice, high-n-tight, military-style hair cut. All the hair ends up in the shower and down the drain when rinse occurs. I’ll rinse down and run the hair down the drain if I do this, b/c a hair cut is long enough for my skin to dry out making the rest difficult. So, another good rinse.

    4) shampoo’ing … I do this after a hair cut and about every other day … 1 tsp salt or baking soda in some water … swirl around and pour over hair. I let that sit the rest of the time. Saline solutions break down dead skin while leaving natural oils behind. If my hair is a bit oily I’ll just brush it before the shower with a little toilet paper to remove excess oil.

    5) body wash = dirt. Yes, dirt. It’s a natural exfoliant, odor-neutralizer, it’s free, abundant, recyclable, and good for the environment because it IS the environment (that humans evolved in). I gather some, run it through an old blender I have that I use just for grinding up dirt for bathing/showering, and keep a bit in a tuperware so it’ll stay dry in the shower until I need it. I rub it on dry, b/c it exfoliates better that way. The mud in it conditions the skin while exfoliating. I don’t use much… usually 1 tsp for just pits and crotch or 1 tbsp for whole body… it doesn’t take much. Your shower will look a mess afterwards (which is why the shower sprayer is so good).

    6) Rinse! All the salt & dirt water goes down the drain while rinsing off. Rinse off the walls of the shower & shower curtain, too.

    7) hair conditioner … only if I “shampoo’ed” … I have an old plastic juice container I load up with the peels of about 2-3 lemons + 1 tsp vinegar and fill to the top with water. It sits in the shower all week. The vinegar helps draw the oils and organics from the lemon peels and it gets in the water. The slight acidity counters the (base) salt in the hair and the lemon oils are wonderful for the scalp. I pour about 1/2 cup full of it, then fill the rest of the cup with hot water from the sprayer (otherwise it can get cold pouring it right on you, especially in winter). Pour that over head. Let it sit for a few seconds, rub all over. Doesn’t take long.

    8) Final rinse (hair mostly).

    9) When shower is done, I push in the little toggle thingy, an water drains out… I let that fill up the lemon hair conditioner bottle.

    This all sounds nuts, but my skin is softer & my hair is healthier than it’s ever been. I used to have seborrheaic dermatitis. It was so bad it caused a rash on my face that was embarrassing. I saw a dermatologist, and his solution was for me to put steroid cream on it for the rest of my life when it flared up. I didn’t like that answer. I got online and found out that shampoo & soap were over-drying my skin. Then body oil would form under the dead, dry skin the soap caused, and natural bacteria & yeast on the skin would eat the oil and cause irritation under the dead skin… the dead skin would flake off and I’d get this itchy rash underneath.

    First time I tried baking soda, a lot of dead skin sloughed off my face and scalp. It was insane. But, after the shower I had fresh, clean skin glowing through. I got rid of the harsh shampoos, and did that from the on. I switched to salt, b/c it’s cheaper and does the same thing (the saline action is what does the work, which can come from anything salty… like salt or baking soda… salt is cheaper).

    Next, since I have a bit of an anthropological experimental nature in me, I decided to experiment with using dirt in the shower in place of soap. Modern tribes in Africa and South America use dirt and mud as cleansers and styling agents. I tried it on body and hair, and while it worked great on the body it didn’t work so good on my hair. But, I stuck with it as “body wash” ever since.

    As a bonus, I never have to clean my shower. I don’t get soap scum, b/c I don’t use soap. I don’t get mildew, b/c the residual saline from the salt / baking soda prevents bacteria from growing in the shower. I also barely have to clean my sink, b/c I do all my business in the shower (no shave or toothpaste nastiness in the sink). Guests comment on how amazing my bathroom looks. When I started dating my current gf, she was amazed that my bathroom was cleaner than hers. She also became a convert to my salt + dirt body care program when she realized how soft it made her skin and hair. Her hair started a bit frizzy from all the junk she was putting in it. Now it’s beautiful, lustrous and natural.

    • Wow, some of that stuff does sound weird, but I’m sure it does work. I’ve recently been converting to a natural lifestyle and I am fascinated by what I’ve learned! I use water method on my hair now and had to let it grow out so it would be easier to manage. I brush with a commercial sensitive toothpaste (bc I can’t seem to find a natural one that works for sensitive teeth) but use only 1/2 a peasize amt and it works just as well as covering the whole brush. I can make a tube last over 6 mos now! Also, drink Bragg’s acv mixture 2-3 times daily for energy and for me, it works as an appetite suppressant. Making soap and cleaning products is fun and healthy and saves so much money. I stopped working last July and we live on one salary now and don’t spend as much as we did with 2 salaries. Amazing. This site has valuable info!! Also, if you haven’t tried Jillee’s deodorant, you should. So much better for you than commercial antiperspirant and it works!

  • What about not using your dryer and hanging your clothes outside to dry? Dryers use so much power and actually aren’t good for your clothes. There’s nothing better than clean, crisp sun-kissed sheets straight from the line!

  • […] via 29 Creative Ways To Spend Less and Save More | One Good Thing by Jillee. […]

  • Even your posture and stance can be customized, you can realize the stooped and
    wizened wizard you always wanted (for you or your pawn).
    Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the death and amazing legacy of Damanhur’s founder Falco and on urban homesteading and self-sufficiency on very small urban farm.
    You can still pre-order the game as a holiday gift, which I’m sure
    will be much appreciated.

  • Hi, skip the nails, cook at home and use the sun instead of dryer. With home made detergent and shampoo I hope to improve my financial situation. Carpooling please I am from Europe and when I see one person in almost every car it’s make me sad

  • I have two more tiny ways I save money:
    Once a week I clean out my purse and toss all the coins into a container. When it’s full, I take it to the bank or one of the coin machines in the grocery store and I’m constantly amazed at how much money I’ve accumulated. Whenever I’m on line at the store, I DO NOT give them the exact amount. I want them to give me change that I can add to my coin container each week. This has a side benefit: I don’t hold up the line by counting coins to get the exact change.
    Another method concerns dollar bills. Every bill has a circle in the left side of the bill, with a letter in it. Every time I get a bill with a “savings” letter, I put it in a side pocket of my purse. Once a week I put these dollars in a container. My “savings” letters are initials of my daughter and her family. These dollars add up so quickly!
    Both the coins and dollars are deposited into a special savings account which I use for Christmas gifts, charitable donations and the occasional emergency.
    These are painless ways of saving!

  • I have long hair and trim it myself.I cut the boys hair and my husbands.I went shampoo free( make your own and rinse with AC vinegar)and make my own laundry detergent. We use the little ones bath water to flush the toilet and my hubby’s old work t shirts for cleaning rags.I love the no grate detergent recipe.

    • I miss being able to hang laundry out. Living in a condo now means following HOA rules and that means no laundry outside ever. Using a dryer does save me time and electricity because I hardly ever iron anymore.

  • One of the most ‘interesting’ ways I’ve saved money lately is to purchase a Diva cup. If you don’t know what that is, do yourself a favor and research it. Personal hygiene products can represent a HUGE expenditure, and this $30 investment will end up saving me literally hundreds of dollars over the course of my lifetime.

    Also–I recently jumped on the bandwagon of ditching cable and switching to a Roku, with an Amazon Prime subscription. I also called my Internet provider and negotiated a lower monthly fee. In one year’s time, I am saving over $1200 on television watching.

    I LOVE your site, and by using so many of your tips, I am proud to say that I am no longer living paycheck to paycheck, AND have been able to purchase some beautiful new furniture with my savings! Thanks, Jillee! :-D

  • I have a bit of a problem with the put one thing back idea. Your money saving efforts should not cost someone else effort, only you. The cashier should not have to restock your “money saving return”, YOU SHOULD.

    • I’m a cashier as well but in a grocery store and I say “Please, Give it to ME!” Nothing worse then finding $25.00 worth of sliced deli meat stuck in a magazine rack 3hrs too late. Give it to your cashier they will be grateful to put it back!
      As a grocery cashier I have some other tips …
      Save Your Back … ask first before you put heavy items on the conveyor belt your cashier might not even need them. Also shop heavy first and put those items in the highest basket on your cart. Reduce the amount of distance you have to lift and reduce the strain to your most important muscles! Bonus your less likely to squish your bread!

      Checkout 51 is a new app out in Canada that gives you coupons after you shop… just buy the item (if you need it!) and scan the receipt they’ll send you a cheque when you get to $20.

      Don’t build towers on the conveyor belt! It really slows the cashier down (we look over the groceries to try and put like items together and what we can’t see ends up a scattered mess…if you ever got home and found your butter packed with your canned goods that could be one of the reasons why!) also belts move jerkily and your towers of stuff ends on the floor. Please be patient and let the conveyor belt give you more room.

      Which leads me to my next tip don’t choose your line by what’s on the belt but by 1. How many people in line (evaluate if a large group is together) and 2. Who’s the cashier (is she/he reasonably fast?) 3. The customer (does she/he seem lucid and organized). We can scan on average 20 items an minute. Thats 100 items in 5mins! The longest part of most transactions is processing the payment!
      The stuff on the belt doesn’t matter because the bigger the order the more likely someone will help me pack which really speeds us up.
      Don’t shop on autopilot! Read the signs and the expiry dates, don’t be brand loyal, and always bring a list. If you forget your reusable bags don’t sweat it… grocery store bags are very useful and It’s better than buying something headed straight to the landfill anyway.

      Outside of the grocery store drop your cable! Check tutorials out on youtube on how to cut the cord. Bonus no commercials to tempt u. If you wear glasses check out Zenni Optical. ($40 for Photochromic (no name Transitions) Glasses)

  • In my garden this year, I’m using empty, rinsed 2 liter pop bottles. Before inserting in the ground, punch holes along the sides and bottom. Then fill with water. This is supposed to water the root system and save water from evaporating. After filling with water,barely screw on the lid to avoid evaporation as well. It’s also great if you’re going to be gone for a few days and don’t have anyone to water your garden. You’ll want to stagger the bottles when burying them……………….I have a raised garden (small) 6’by 4′ and I hope this works…………..best of luck to all…..

    • Stacey, I’ve been doing this and it has worked very well for me. In addition to conserving water, that takes much less time than watering plants or trees every day.

  • I have been going to thrift stores a lot more lately.
    I also keep repeating to myself: reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose. This helps me think about what I already have at home that I could use, instead of buying something new.
    I do stock up on favorite products when they are on sale.
    Buy generic.
    Borrow from friends.

  • 29 Creative Ways To Spend Less and Save More | One Good Thing … | Saving Money says:

    […] Read this article: 29 Creative Ways To Spend Less and Save More | One Good Thing … […]

  • My current favorite ways to save money are 1) composting all vegetable peels, eggs shells, etc and 2) taking my re-cycling and trash to the recycling center myself.
    The compost goes into my garden and helps quite a bit. Egg shells and banana skins get mashed together and put under the roses bushes.
    Trash pick up in my area costs about $60/quarter and even with gas at $3.65/gal, I am saving money.
    Once a week I take a weeks worth of newspapers to the local thrift store to use as wrapping paper.
    It all adds up!

  • The online equivalent of putting items back at checkout: Stores I frequent online, I shop, add things to the cart that I like, but I don’t buy them then. I wait for notification of sales, then go back and look in my cart. I am then able to remove a LOT of items from the cart then still get a savings on what’s left in the cart. Of course, there are a few online stores where the cart disappears every time you log off-those stores I don’t shop as often.

  • Our big money saver is the way we cool our house. Practically everyone in our area has the AC running already (hot, S. California). The nights are about 60 degrees. We open our windows up at night and have a big fan that pulls in the night air. By 10 am we close everything up and cruise through our day nice & cool. When I put dinner on, it begins to heat up so I turn the fan the other way and draw the hot air out. By the time dinner is on the table we have passed the peak heat of the day and can enjoy the breezy evening. By sun down the fan in turned around and drawing cool air back into the house. The fan runs on low and costs only pennies per day.

    Something else to save big money DIY projects and MYO convenience foods/mixes and of course cleaning products (OGT has scads of how-to’s & recipes). Also You Tube has everything imaginable for DIY repairs/maintenance/salvaging.

    More ways you can save on college: 1. Double major so you walk away with multiple degrees. My 4 years gave me 2 degrees and 7 certifications. 2. Check text books from libraries, share with someone or buy used. Also the latest edition of the book may not be needed (talk to the instructor). 3. If living off campus, cluster your classes together to cut travel expenses. 4. The hardest thing to do that will save you the most–don’t switch majors–choose something of interest that you are good at; get a general degree in that area. 5. If you start at a 2 yr college make sure your credits/degree transfers to your 4 yr college. 6. Pack your meals and snacks and drinks.

    • We purchased stainless steel cups from Starbucks (one for me, one for hubby, and one for my sons to share – they’re still pretty young) about two years ago. They were $19.99, and seriously one of the best purchases we’ve ever made. We drink a LOT of iced tea year round, but especially in the summer, and were spending $2-5 a DAY on it out and about. Now that we have reusable cups, we make our tea at home and bring a jug of it with us when we go out for the day. Then all we need while we’re out is ice, and if you have your own cup, a lot of places will give you ice for free – especially Starbucks, since the cups are from there. A lot of restaurants are even okay with you bringing the cup in since you’re buying food. And if they’re not, you can still use the cup to put your “to go” refill in. Then you’re not saving only but money, but the environment too!

      • Don’t know why this ended up as a reply. I meant it to be its own comment…

  • I have not quite worked round to this, but a good principle to save money is to PAY CASH. If you have to run off to the bank machine and actually handle real money, you may rethink that particular purchase. Of course you have to balance that against the convenience of being able to snap up a good bargain, especially if the item is on sale.

  • Yes to starting at a community college! I did it and it worked out great! Also, having your own garden is a great way to save money and eat healthy!

  • Another great way to save money on college is to send your kids to a community college for the first two years. The savings is HUGE and then they can transfer to a university. Their bachelor’s degree will be from the university, but without paying full price for four years. So many parents and kids want the prestige of getting into a prestigious school, but I can’t see spending all that money to impress people. Also, the big universities give too much temptation to “party” instead of studying.

  • Think twice about the “if it is yellow let it mellow” statement in flushing toilets. There are better ways to save water — and we are all concerned about water here in the extreme drought area. Look up “urine salts” and see what happens when you don’t flush —- and how hard it is to clean out of a toilet trap.

    • Not only that–urine etches the toilet bowl if left unflushed overnight, and once etched, can never be cleaned again. Ask me now I know…

    • Exactly … Savings goes out the window when you have to replace an impossible to clean etched toilet. I was wondering when someone would mention this. Thanks!

    • Here in northern Arkansas, I am near several lakes – Bull Shoals, Norfork, etc., I learned that my doing the “yellow” thing was harming the lakes! By cutting down on the water from houses entering the lakes, the lake levels go down even more in the summer heat which permit harmful algae to grow. I had no idea. I do save “sink” water to water my plants and get some savings there. I do love this site for all of the good information that I am able to use.

  • All these ideas are great. The only one I have a issue with is the going vegetarian one. Anyone who decides that they want to live a vegetarian lifestyle deseves a lot of credit. And we all need to eat more veggies (me). But the reasons for it you gave are some what bogus. If you are quoting the AMA, you need to check the research. The AMA says that meat is bad because of a one time research of some guy in the 60’s. The research he did wasn’t done correctly, and every test to prove what he said since has proved just the opposite. But for some reason the medical profession has taken hold of this idea and won’t let it go. Considering meat as more of a side dish for most meals, instead if the main focus may be what we need to think about. And wether it is organic or not.

    • And the push for soy…bad idea. If we fermented the soy and ate it in the amounts as they do in the Far East, then yes, it is okay…but the amounts it is consumed here and the fact that it is not fermented…bad health decision. It screws up our hormones BIG time. And no just us, our families also.

      I happen to love milk, raw milk and almond milk is great on cereal. I was quite surprised. Makes a great smoothie also.

  • Loved this post. I think maybe I’ll try the sailor shower! Also I’ve been taking my own polish for years to save money and I like a certain type of polish. My saving money tip that we use is paying cash for groceries and our “blow” money by doing that any coin change goes into our counting jar and then we use that to purchase gift cards for vacation spending money! Right now we have a $40 gift card for Disney and $35 waiting to be cashed in! It gets everyone involved in saving, even my two year old likes to put change in the jar!

    • For all you girls who like to have a relaxing manicure once in awhile as a treat to yourselves, did you know you can bring your own nail polish to the salon with you and they’ll be happy to use that. It saves them money and you get to use the brand and color of polish you prefer. I also bring my favorite top coat with me, no problem.

    • I do the same thing (spending cash, saving coins) and also live in Canada with the $1 and $2 coins. Hubby and I started this when we found out I was pregnant with our first son and by the time I was 7 months, we had enough saved to buy an entire new bed room set (crib, dresser, and change table) for him. Cha-Ching!

  • These are all things I have tried, but I will say that over the last 18 months OGT has been my lifesaver. Up until October 2012, I was working 2 jobs. There was week in there that I decided to back to work for a company I enjoyed working for. Three days later, I lost the part time job I had held for 5 yrs. It was part time, but represented 30% to 40% of my income. Because I had been saving half my take home pay for years by being frugal, several months before what would have been a terrible loss of income, I had bought the land under my trailer home and I already owned the home. I sat 100% debt free. I had not tried to live on one paycheck in 10 yrs, could I do it? About that time I had found OGT. With the time I was not going to be spending at a second job, I would have time to delve into more money saving ideas from OGT, and I did. About that time too I started making crockpot freezer meals, picking only those that are gluten free and contain loads of veggies. I simplified cleaning and cooking (not to mention cleaning up after cooking) and found myself with more free time, plus I was still living on half my take home pay.

    Fast forward to my tax forms from my employer for 2013. I saw the huge drop in income, felt a stab about being lazy and that I should have worked harder. Then, I looked around and realized that I didn’t want for a thing, hadn’t gone hungry and didn’t have any sensation that I was deprived. The first thing I ticked off in my mind was my gratitude for Jillee and OGT. Not only had I saved money, I had done a lot of things more easily and I felt better about the way I live.

    I’m exactly to the day one year older than dear Jillee. I’m going to semi-retire before we have another birthday. Frugality bought me time to pursue my art and my writing, so I can publish another book next year. Thank you, but that doesn’t cover it!

    • Thank you Lynne! How inspiring. I make an excellent salary (I am almost embarrassed yet oh-so grateful to God for this wonderful job), but save just about zilch. I spend everything I make. I try putting a good portion into savings when my paycheck is deposited, but it seems I always have to transfer it back to pay bills. Jillee’s site, as well as others, have really encouraged me in my spending when I go to the store. I already HATE shopping at the evil Wal-Mart, but where I live they are just about the only choice, so the less money I give them the better. I have vowed to buy American wherever I can, so will be doing much more online shopping. Items will definitely cost more, but worth it in the long run if we would all start doing it. Another bonus – you can actually save money shopping online because you won’t be as likely to buy the impulse items that you stack up on your cart. I found this to be the case when I was an Amway distributor 20 years ago.

      You are so fortunate to be debt-free. It’s my goal. I might just print off your post and read it whenever I need inspiration! Don’t feel lazy – how awesome that you have free time due to being debt-free!

    • Oh my gosh Lynne!! Thank you so much for your comment! It makes me feel so good to know that I helped you in a small way :) You sound like an amazing woman!

  • My car has a gauge to give me average miles per gallon. Over 11 years, I’m wondering if it really work well because of the wild readings. I’ve not found anyone on the net that has commented on their gauge. But, just by my own estimating, it seems to be correct. My mileage has been as low as 9mpg on city gasoline in a cold winter. Then as high as 32mpg on rural out of state gasoline in the summer. I’m told by the dealership that the difference is due to the different formulations in urban, rural and the seasons. I agree. Next, cheaper gasoline means lower mileage, so it makes no sense to go out of my way to save a few cents per gallon of fuel. I took several 60 mile trips from Chicago to Wisconsin. On the way north with city gasoline my miles per gallon was 18. A 1/2 tank fill in Wisconsin coming back was immediately 24mpg on the same route. (25% difference) I’ve noticed higher miles per gallon every time I fill the tank outside the city. Basically, the further away I’m from the city for a fill the more mpg, even if it is to another county. The price per gallon is always less outside the city.

    • Price per gallon is not related to miles per gallon. If you are looking at a mpg number it is showing your mpg at that exact moment. It calculates how fast you are going, whether you are using gas to speed up or saving gas by coasting and is not meant for any info other than that exact second. The only certain way to know is to record your mileage when you fill up, subtract that from the milage when you fill up again and divide that number by the gallons needed to fill up.

  • I have a short hair cut now but it costs more money to mainstain than when I had longer hair. Frequent haircuts and an increased use of hair products for this style, mean it’s not a money saver for me.

    My kids saved thousands on tuition by earning college credits in high school and by taking 18 credits per semester so they could graduate in less than 4 years. It can be done!

  • Instead of rounding up or down, move the differences into a savings account, so you know where and how much you saved. And your checking account will balance with ease. That’s how I do it and I have been able to pay for a vacation with the savings. Now, I’m saving toward a trip to Hawaii.

    • There are checking accounts offered now at some banks that round your withdrawls up each time you use your debit card or pull cash from the ATM and transfer that small amount to your savings automatically. Check with your bank to see if they offer this type of account.

  • Oh! Kathy A. you are asking for trouble if you’re simply turning off the power strip….
    There is a huge difference between a power strip, used for convenience in plugging in multiple power cords, and a surge protector, which in addition to holding multiple power cords also protects your electrical gadgets from…..power surges! Those pesky electrical charges that can burn up your appliances, TVs, etc.

    A power strip is convenient, whereas a surge protector saves you money by protecting expensive electrical items from burn outs. Don’t turn it off. Simply unplug the strip from the outlet….one plug to remove multiple items…now they’re safe…and reducing phantom electric use.

  • With online banking I no longer use the check register (and yes I’m not sure that rounding up a deposit is a good thing) but what I do is transfer a set amount of funds over to savings the day my direct deposit comes in. Before I pay a bill or withdraw pocket money…something goes in savings.

  • Great ideas. I do my own nails. Mainly because my feet have ugly stuff on the soles. I would hate to gross anyone out. The saving flushes I wouldn’t recommend. We have one family member who does it overnigh’. Tuck stinks
    Up the bathroom big time.

  • I’m not trying to be annoying but I think you meant a deposit should be registered to $11000 or some other amount under. The actual. That aside, I really enjoyed reading your article and am going to start sleeping life-long many more things. Thanks!

  • An addition to the “unplug everything” idea: Use a power strip to plug in, then just turn off the power switch on the strip. I do this for tv’s, and all electronics, since everything seems to have a digital clock on them too. At night you can just go around and hit the switches off, instead of unplugging everything. This also helps with the idea of getting to bed at a regular time, besides taking less time than unplugging would, it also darkens the room you are sleeping in if you have a cable box in the bedroom that has a digital clock on it – allowing for better REM sleep!

    I’ve been flushing less for several years now, and save money by not cutting my hair – just trimming it myself when needed. Showering like a seaman is a lifelong habit – since both my dad and husband were in the Navy! But rounding on the checks and deposits, and the deposit to savings each time I use the ATM? Those I gotta try! Thanks, Jillee.

    • I used to work in a bank too. However, if you are good at keeping up with your checkbook, then rounding up on checks and rounding down on deposits should work. So if I deposit $81 and log in my check register a deposit of $80, and I write a check for$25.41 and write in my register $26, then at the end of the month the overage can be transferred to my savings….

      I do understand about Janet’s warning, you have to already be good at managing your check book for this to work.

  • This is very interesting. Many people think that a healthy lifestyle is more expensive, but as you can see, eating a vegetarian diet, popcorn, working out, getting enough sleep, drinking water, all of these things are great ways to stay healthy AND save money! Double duty!

  • This is a great list of easy money-savers. Many of them I have heard over the years, but this was a good reminder to start incorporating them into my life! And there were some new ones too!

  • Cutting my long hair short is not a money saver for me. With long hair I can leave it damp and put it up in a bun and it looks neat all day and takes 30 seconds. With my hair cut short I have to blowdry and style it costing electicity and product, also it would need frequent cuts. I only trim my hair 3 times a year now instead of every 6 weeks if it were short. So not a money saver here.

    • My thoughts exactly! While you do use more shampoo and water, long hair definitely saves you on haircuts! I’ll do a cheapo trim every once in awhile at Great Clips or something, but usually I even trim my own hair. So that tip wouldn’t work for me.

      I love Frugal Fridays! Lots of good ideas.

    • I’m with you! I only get my hair cut 3 times a year. I only wash my hair every 3 to 4 days using the hair dryer once or twice a week. Since I am washing my hair less my showers are shorter too…save…save. There is also no need for expensive hair products. Love my long hair.

      • I get my hair cut about every 2 years, when it grows long enough to donate to locks of love–Then I get a free cut at Great Clips and just pay for the tip! It’s a great way to save a lot of money, and you get to have fun with your new short hair style until it grows out. Also, I do love to take long hot showers, but I only shower twice a week–but I don’t sweat very much. ^_^ Love your posts Jillee, I’m excited to give your homemade Shout recipe a try.

      • Am looking for somebody who still cuts for charity. I heard that LoL had “issues”. Any ideas?

    • Agreed. I’ve had short hair for years and I get it cut every 5-6 weeks. Now I’m growing it out. I’m looking forward to fewer haircuts. Also, if you have gray hair, let it be! Coloring your hair is very expensive and why would anyone put those chemicals so close to their BRAIN! Gray/silver/white hair can be very chic. Look on Pinterest for inspiration.

    • I know. And it looks pretty too long hair on lots of people.

      Why do you want to save money? For our comfort and for looking nice and living well.

      If spending on make up is justified if spending on designer clothes is justified. if spending money on cans and cans of beer is justified if spending money on hard liquor is justified so is having long hair.

      Save money in some other way. Not cutting hair short.

      If you bother to have a cat or dog why not grow your own hair?

  • Love you blog! Was in banking for years. I highly recommend that you don’t round up or down anything in your checking book ledger. Put in the actual numbers. Way back when you may have been able to do that, what for I don’t know. But real world banking now means if you have a problem with your account and ask us to find an error, we’ll never balance it accurately. We’ll be guessing. And in the old days we’d do that balancing help for free. A lot of banks now charge for that service. You screw up your ledger you may be paying your bank in 15 minute increments to fix it. Following that round up/down advice is irresponsible and dangerous. In an extreme emergency when you must use a debit card or write a check you must know your actual balance or you could end up paying fees for overdrafts. Why risk it??

    • I’ve been doing the rounding up and down for YEARS! I always put down the ACTUAL amount in the withdrawal column and in the deposit column, so I can keep track in my bank statement. But then in the far right column, I add in LESS when I deposit $, and subtract MORE when I withdrawal. I’ve had as much as $500 extra in my account. Unfortunately, I always end up using it eventually, but this method sure saves on any overdrafts.
      For instance, if I write a check for $14.56, I put that down, but then subtract $15.
      If I deposit $76.40, I write that down, but then only add $70.

      • Actually, I wondered if she rounded down the deposit so that she would have MORE money in her account than what her deposit showed.

    • At Marathon Gas if you purchase a gift card of 50.00 you get 1. back. You can use your debit card etc. So for 4 fill-ups you get 1 gallon free, essentially. They raise this $1. back to $2. around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Over time you really can earn a free tank of gas.

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