1. Shop at the Right Time of Year
Time home item purchases to get the cheapest prices. Think furniture in January/February, barbecues in fall, and holiday decor after Christmas. See Wise Bread's shopping calendar to find the best times to buy (and stay tuned for our monthly "What to Buy" feature, which runs on or around the first of every month).
2. Renegotiate Your Rent or Refinance Your Mortgage
Try negotiating a lower rent the next time your lease is up for renewal. For homeowners, investigate refinancing your mortgage if you can save a couple of percentage points on your interest rate.
3. Get a Sunday Paper Delivery
Sunday papers are full of coupons. The amount of savings gained from using these food and retailer coupons will far exceed the cost of the paper.
4. Collect Spare Change
Keep a jar to collect loose change. Don't forget to check old junk drawers and the couch for coins, too. Every few months you can dump the change in your supermarket's Coinstar machine to use towards groceries. You'll pay no fees if you convert your coins to a variety of gift cards, including Amazon gift cards, where you can take advantage of Prime and Subscribe and Save.
5. Switch to Cloth Napkins
You can get good-enough-for-everyday and still much nicer than paper, all-cotton table napkins at Amazon and elsewhere, in a variety of colors and patterns, for a couple of dollars each, and sometimes less. Since they're cotton instead of linen, just wash and fold, no ironing required!
6. Dollar Store Household Items
Get to know your local dollar stores. Buying household staples like tape, wrapping paper, soap, and other items will save you a bundle over the grocery store or pharmacy.
7. Relax for Less
Rather than pay for relaxation, find other cheaper ways to unwind. Try meditation, reading, napping, or an affordable hobby instead of old habits that cost more, like shopping online or mixing up expensive cocktails.
8. Grow Some Herbs
Herbs can easily be grown indoors on a small windowsill or outside in pots or gardens. They will help you save on buying expensive grocery store jars of seasonings, will taste fresher, and can be easily dried and stored.
9. View Coupons as Money
When you realize a $10 coupon for something you need is the same as someone giving you $10 in cash towards your purchase, you'll start to see the value of coupons and savings in a whole new way.
10. Close Closet Doors
Help keep your energy costs lower by closing closet doors so you aren't needlessly heating and cooling closet space.
11. Pay Your Bills Online
Not only will this save you stamps and checks, but the many email reminders and ease of paying online will help you never miss a bill and have to pay a late charge.
12. Use Supermarket Weekly Circulars
Don't just throw out that weekly grocery store circular. Give them a good look and plan to strategically shop the many deals they have, or stock up on deeply discounted items when bargains arise.
13. Entertain Over Brunch Instead of Dinner
Brunch items are often cheaper to prepare than dinner for guests (think French toast vs. expensive steaks). You'll also save on alcohol, as people are less likely to drink as much.
14. Make a Household Budget
It's time to sit down and do a budget to trim the fat, see where your hidden expenses are, and examine where your dollars are going. You can learn to build a budget in no time flat, or tune up one you currently have.
15. Make Your Own Cheap Wall Art
Affordable wall decor is at your fingertips when you transform some of your favorite photos into a collage of cool black and whites, frame beautiful fabric scraps, utilize your kid's artwork, or paint your own scenes.
16. Take Free Classes
Free or discounted continuing education classes in many subjects and hobbies can be found in certain communities with just a little searching. Instead of paying for a private tutor or a fancy school, consider looking for community options.
17. Organize and Use Your Pantry
Keeping a well-organized food pantry means you are less likely to buy things you don't need or let items go passed their expiration dates. Like a good episode of Food Network's "Chopped," you should also make sure to use all items in your pantry, too.
18. Always Check for Online Coupons and Discounts
Before you purchase anything online, hit up sites, like RetailMeNot and Froogle, to check for promo codes, free shipping, and where to find your item at the cheapest price.
19. Make Your Own Drapes
If you've ever seen how much curtains can go for these days, you'll understand why making your own is a huge saver. You don't even need to know how to sew if you follow some easy no-sew drape tutorials.
20. Use Free Designers and Advice
Take advantage of many retailers' in-house design teams. Furniture stores often offer free design consultants, paint stores always have some knowledgeable advice, and even certain clothing retailers have free stylists to help you shop.
21. Drink Discount Wines
Shop your local wine store for great promotions and sales. Most decent stores have a section of their favorite budget picks or advertise weekly promotions from new wineries.
22. Use Energy Efficient Lighting
Now that the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs are being phased-out, finding affordable CFL and LED bulb options is getting easier. The total lifetime savings from these energy-efficient bulbs will greatly out-weigh their initial investment and save on overall energy costs.
23. Be Your Own Barista
We all know how much coffee shops can cost, so brew your own at home and take a to-go mug with you in the morning. Invest in small hand-frothers, syrups, or just use cinnamon or other common flavorings to fancy things up.
24. Join Store Loyalty Programs
Supermarkets, pharmacies, and retailers all offer loyalty cards these days. The points and savings really add up. You can save almost 25% or more off purchases just by being part of the program.
25. Find Cheaper Gas
Before you head out to the pump, check gas price sites, like Gas Buddy, to locate the cheapest gas in town and plan accordingly.
26. Make Your Own Cleaners
There are so many ways to make your own cleaning products using things like vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and other common household items, all of which are cheaper than brand name cleaners.
27. Divide Landscaping Plants and Use Transplants
When planning your outdoor landscape, look to friends or relatives that have extra plants you can to transplant in your garden. Or divide your own larger plantings and spread them around the yard.
28. Rethink Your Cable
Cut back on premium channels or try the many alternative, cheaper online viewing options, such as Netflix and Hulu+, which you can access via your laptop or connected devices like Google Chromecast and Apple TV, among others.
29. Buy in Season or Frozen Veggies
Avoid pricey out-of-season fruits and vegetables or exotic fresh picks at your grocery store and instead buy local, in-season options. Frozen is also cheaper and just as full of nutrients.
30. Buy Generic
There are great savings to be had with certain generic brands in every supermarket. Often the generic options are just as good, if not better, than some of their pricier brand name counterparts. In fact, many store or "private label" brands are manufactured by the same companies that make the name brands.
Source: Wise Bread