I’m always looking for money saving tips, tricks and hacks to save our family money.
There have been times when our family income has taken a hit, or when we’ve wanted to save money for a house or something else big. I’m sharing some of the money saving tips we do as a family. In fact some of them, we’ve been doing for years and it’s probably saved us thousands! Keep reading if you want to find out how to save money fast.
We save money shopping in stores and online and we’ve found ways to save money, stop splurging and buying things we just don’t need.
Here are my 21 money saving tips and hacks (including affiliate links):
21 Money Saving Tips and Hacks
1. Negotiate your finances
It doesn’t matter if been with your insurance company, TV subscription or your mobile phone provider for months or years. It’s always worth giving them a call so see if they can give you a better deal. Sometimes just a hint of you cancelling your account is enough for them to send a big discount your way! You don’t need to be a master negotiator, simply ask them for a better deal.
2. Know when not to shop
It’s never a good idea to shop for food when you’re hungry, is it? If you’re like me, you’ll end up loading your cart with all the things you don’t need and that are probably not good for you. The same goes for when you’re sad, stressed or tired as you’re more susceptible to making wrong shopping decisions.
3. Use promo codes
Before making a purchase online, I always Google the store name and “promo code” or “coupon”. Lots of sites collect discount codes for stores that are available for you to use too. Whether it’s an online grocery shop, a furniture purchase or a Friday night takeaway – always search for a code before you complete your order!
You should also check out Honey – one of my favourite money saving tips! Click here to add the Honey extension right now and it will do the hard work of searching for coupons for you!
4. Meal Prep
My money saving tips extend to the kitchen too! Preparing your family’s meals in advance is so worthwhile for many reasons. If you put some time aside on a Sunday, or weekday evening, you can prepare the whole week’s meals in one go. Then pop them into the fridge or freezer until you need them.
You’ll save time cooking during the week and you’ll waste less ingredients that might have gone off in the fridge. You’ll also be less tempted to order takeaways on those evenings that you’re too tired to cook. Money saving everywhere!
5. Debit, not credit
Try, when you can, to not use credit cards or store cards to make purchases. Whilst it isn’t always possible for families to do this, in the long run it’s always the better option. If you can, only buy what you can afford.
6. Look for quality
Whilst you might not want to splurge on every purchase you do make, don’t always buy cheap. Cheap works well for many things but for some, you’ll end up replacing the item many times if it’s poor quality. Invest in items that will go the distance but still fit your budget.
7. Find a Savings plan that works for you
For me, I do the 52 Week Savings Challenge every year – click here for your free version. It allows me to save small amounts over the year that end up with a total saving of $1378 by the end of December! I’ve hardly noticed the amounts leaving my bank account weekly but I have a big saving to go towards something special or necessary. It’s also a really positive way to start the year although you can start at any time. Have a savings goal and plan that you will stick to.
8. Cancel subscriptions
Do you really need the magazine subscription you’ve had for years? Or that club membership? Some subscriptions just are not relevant to your life right now and you can live without them. Work out how much you would save over the year if you cancelled your subscription. Could that saved money be used for something you need more? Cancelling unwanted subscriptions is a quick way to save money.
9. Reuse, don’t throw away
Look for products that can be reused instead of always buying new. From nappies to food packaging, there are many ways you can reuse the same products over and over again. This also limits the amount of things you have to buy, clearing out more space in your cupboards and saving you time when you have less choice.
10. Reset your social life
If you’re spending a lot each month on socialising, find ways to reign it in. Whether it’s expensive play dates, trips to the movies or nights out with friends, try and find a cheaper option. Perhaps you can host a play date at your place and alternate with other families. Or invite friends round in the evening for a themed night where everyone brings a dish, game or movie with them to spread the cost. It’s one of the easiest money saving tips where you don’t have to cut out the fun.
11. Shop second hand
I’ve bought and sold heaps of things on Gumtree. Before I buy any new furniture item, I always search on Gumtree and eBay to see if anyone is selling the same item for less. Often the item is brand new and just an unwanted purchase for someone else – you could save hundreds this way! To make a little more money, consider selling some of the things you no longer need. Selling your second hand clothes, toys and furniture is a great way to make some extra cash. Plus you’ll appreciate the extra room in your garage, loft or wardrobes!
12. Don’t check your Cart out straight away
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve starting shopping online but decided not completed the purchase because I’m busy. Then the next day I’ve been emailed a big discount code to entice me too do it! Of course still don’t be tempted to buy things you actually don’t need, always clear your cart of those. However it’s worth testing this out by logging in to your account at the online store you’re shopping at and adding the item you want to your basket. Then wait a day or so and see if you get an email with a discount. Let me know if you have success with this too!
13. Take advantage of price matching
So many stores offer price matching these days. So before you make a purchase in store or online, check to see if another store is selling the item for less. If so, go back to your original store to see if they will beat the price! Just check the terms and conditions that each store offers to make sure it meets them.
14. Don’t miss out on Sale prices
Have you ever bought something and then been devastated when it goes on sale a day or two later? Well many stores will honour the sale price for you! If this happens, contact the store’s Customer Service department and let them know that you’ve bought something just before it went on sale. Hopefully they will refund you the difference!
15. Sign up for loyalty discounts
So many online stores offer a discount to members. You’ll either be sent a discount code to use on your first purchase or you’ll get ongoing discounts every times you order. Just because you signed up to their mailing list! However, read the next point.
16. Unsubscribe from mailing lists
Yes, I know this kind of contradicts my last point. However if you’re tempted by weekly emails promising new stock, sales or savings, I would recommend unsubscribing from store newsletters after you’ve taken advantage of your first discount. That goes for online stores and even takeaway food places. Have you noticed they email you their offer late Friday afternoon just to tempt you to treat yourself? So hard to resist – so just unsubscribe.
17. Buy in bulk
If you have the room in your house, there are so many items you can buy in bulk and make big savings. From toothpaste to coffee to toilet rolls and nappies. If you see an item you regularly use with an exceptional offer, buy it in bulk and make savings down the track. I buy a lot of things in bulk at Woolworths and on Amazon.
18. Swap skills!
Do you have someone in your social circle with the skills that you usually pay someone else for? How about swapping those skills for something you can do for them in return? Perhaps you can do some kids pick ups and drop offs in return for a hairdresser friend cutting your hair? Or can you help someone with their taxes in return for them finishing that DIY job at home? Think about the skills you have and those of your friends. I bet they’d love the idea too!
19. Monitor your bank account
Check your bank account daily, or at least a few times per week. Perhaps you’ll notice a subscription you’ve forgotten to cancel or an insurance policy that you no longer need. You might even spot some fraudulent transactions that are becoming increasingly common. While you’re saving money, make sure you’re not spending money where you shouldn’t be.
20. Get cashback on your purchases
I’m a big fan of cashback sites and for years I’ve made so much money back on my online purchases. At the moment, I’m using Cashback Club (Australia), Ebates (US) and Quidco (UK). These links are referral links meaning if you sign up, I will get a “thank you” commission from them but it doesn’t affect the cashback you receive.
21. Simplify your life
Whether you need to cut back on expensive hobbies or sell the things you own that you no longer need, there will be plenty of ways you can cut back. Can you forgo that second or third coffee? Or sell the clothes still hanging in your wardrobe with their tags on? Have your kids outgrown toys that could be loved more by another family?
Having a simplified life and surroundings can often have a big impact on your wallet too.
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What are your best money saving tips or hacks?