The internet may not be the first place you go when you’re looking for inspiration to save money, but believe it or not, there is a ton of free content online to offer you creative ways to save money that may not have crossed your mind before.
Hacks To Save Money
The original poster (OP) asked users online, “What’s a life hack that’s saved you a ton of money?” The community was quick to share their best money-saving tips. Here are some of the best.
1. Pretend You’re Broke
One user mentioned this unconventional tip, “Convincing myself I’m broke at pretty much all times. When you think you have close to zero dollars, you reconsider every single purchase you make in more of a survival mentality than a logical one.”
2. Make Your Own Meals
When someone mentioned cooking at home, another user added, “This! Plus, investing in a nice set of glass containers for meal prepping. Sure, the plastic ones are cheap and lightweight, but they do eventually stain, crack, and warp. The glass cleans easier and holds up to dishwashers. A lot of brands are also microwave-safe.”
3. Take a Beat
One user said, “When I stumble upon something I like and want to buy (clothes, appliances, tools) that I didn’t already need beforehand, I sit on it for at least a week before going back and buying. I can tell if it’s really something I want/need or if it was just a heat of the moment thing.”
“I put things in my Amazon cart and wait at least 24 hours. It’s kind of fun to go back later and see how much I really didn’t need,” another user chimed in.
4. Buy Kids’ Sizes
One woman shared, “I’m a woman who wears an adult size 6. I buy sneakers in kids’ sizes and save $30-$50.”
5. Pay Attention
One user shared simply, “Actually budgeting and paying attention to my finances.”
6. Shop Discount Grocers
“Look for discount or bent and dent grocery stores near you. You can save over 50% on things that you use every day. Just make sure to check the expiration dates,” suggested one comment.
7. Calculate Your Time
One user offered this simple trick, “Every time I want something frivolous, I question how long would I have to work to have it. Is it worth an hour of my time? 10 hours of my time? Would I be happy if I worked at my job and they told me this is what I’m getting instead of a paycheck for that amount of time? Most times, the answer is no.”
8. Sell Everything
Someone said, “Sell everything you no longer use. Don’t throw it away or let it collect dust. Just about everything is worth something to somebody.”
9. There’s a Video for That
One user responded with, “There is a YouTube video for everything. I have fixed my own and my wife’s vehicles myself countless times by just looking it up on YouTube,” and it was the most upvoted reply.
Many others chimed in, sharing the various things they’ve learned from YouTube and sharing some of their favorite helpful channels.
10. Not Your Typical Yardsale
Another user shared, “Only going to yard sales in the rich neighborhoods.” A lot of people agreed, and someone added, “Amen to this. Also, the goodwill next to the rich neighborhood has newer clothes from expensive brands.”
This is an especially great tip if you prefer shopping for higher-end items.
11. Get a Library Card
This user shared a great suggestion, “Use the library for books, CDs, DVDs, and now audiobooks.” People loved this idea.
Another person’s love of the library runs deep. He said, “IF I COULD UP IT THIS MORE TIMES I WOULD listen ppl go to your public library and get a library card!! Ask your librarians what services they provide, it’s always way more than you think!! Many have notaries working, tax forms and classes, access to huge online resources, local entertainment and museum passes, free tutoring, mine has a 3d printer! If yours has multiple branches, there could be sh*t you didn’t know about at the other ones!! Also, libraries often have manuals, collectors manuals, cookbooks, textbooks, etc etc! Often public libraries will have some sort of collaboration with local colleges, so you might have access to their libraries as well!! Also, ASK ABOUT SPECIAL COLLECTIONS!!! Many libraries have a cool thing that they just have for some reason; sometimes, these are local references, and sometimes they are cool museum pieces! Mine has a collection of local yearbooks going back to like the 1920s, and a collection of local art pieces!
12. Save on Drinks
“It’s easy to waste money when you’re swinging by the coffee shop each morning. Will kicking your Starbucks habit help you save a down payment on a house? Probably not, but if you’re short on spending money, it’ll definitely help,” one person noted.
Another added, “Re-fillable water bottles and taking your own coffee to work.” Someone added, “Double-walled travel coffee mugs – keep water cold & coffee hot.”
13. Head to a Different Aisle
People also loved this hack, “Buy spices from the Hispanic aisle at the store. 1/2 off compared to the English-labeled ones in the next aisle.”
A bunch of users replied with their own version of this tip. One person said, “Oh boy. If you really want to save money on spices, find your closest Indian grocery store. The markup in American grocery stores is flat-out ridiculous.”
And another added, “I do this in Chinese grocery stores…same thing. Always about 1/2 price.”
Inspired by this thread – photos for illustrative purposes only.