I turned 29 this week. The biggest lesson I’ve learned about saving money is that it’s a discipline of the mind, not a discipline of the wallet. Where your attitude about debt, giving, stuff, and wealth goes, your account balance will follow.
For my birthday, I was invited to dine with my parents, only to find out my husband would be joining us since he took a half day at work to surprise me. Wiiiiiith a dozen roses. ::sigh:: More and more, I’m learning that all I want for Christmas and birthdays are experiences with the people I love.
I’m feeling very Ebeneezer-Scrooge-at-the-end-of-the-book-minus-all-the-stuff-that-happened-at-the-beginning about it all.
On that note, I’ve compiled a simple list of 29 tweaks you can make to save money this week. These tweaks will only be successful in the long run if you shift your thinking, rather than go through the motions for a week.
With that, let’s get started.
29 Financial Tweaks to Save You Money THIS WEEK
1. Cut out one premium coffee. It’s frigid in many places of the world right now, but trimming back one fancy latte each week adds up. The average cost is $3.25 and will save you $169 this year.
2. Consolidate your errand running. Not only will this save you a significant amount of gas, but I always spend more at the grocery store when I splinter my trips throughout the week versus making one big stop.
3. Don’t shop hungry. Seriously. I don’t know who taught me that, but it’s infuriatingly true. Especially when I was pregnant. Little Debbie had a reserved spot in my pantry for nine months.
4. Skip delivery on pizza night. The average cost of delivery pizza is $16.13 versus the average DiGiorno, which is $6.69. If you know pizza night is coming, add it to the shopping list and save yourself that extra $9.44 this week, which becomes $490.88 this year.
5. Clip some coupons. I saved $402.94 the first year I clipped coupons. I used the Sunday paper and coupon apps from my favorite grocery stores. Here’s how I got started.
6. Swap cable for Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon PrimeTV. Turns out people spend an average of $123 for monthly cable. Instead, they could choose one of the video streaming services that currently will cost them $8. That’s a total savings of $115 this month and $1,380 this year.
7. Shop for deep discounts on Amazon merchandise via SnagShout. If you agree to leave a review, you can score some MAJOR discounts on products via SnagShout. We bought a leather iPhone case for $5. It’s legit, as long as it’s stuff you’ll use.
Recommended Reading: How I Saved 91% On My Most Recent Amazon Purchase
8. Select “No-Rush” shipping on Amazon Prime purchases. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you probably LOVE that free two-day shipping. Next time, select “No-Rush” shipping and receive a few extra dollars back for future in-store purchases.
9. Sell your stuff on Facebook garage sales. Do you have some stuff to sell but can’t or don’t want to have a physical garage sale? Head to Facebook, search for garage sale groups in your area and dive in.
10. Join a Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook group. The first cousin to the garage sale group is the buy/sell/trade group. Do you have a product or service to trade? Don’t write it off until you’ve checked one of these groups.
11. Sell your stuff on your own social media channels. Facebook is the most popular for this, but go ahead and post your stuff on your own profile. I can’t tell you how many times I saw my friends’ stuff for sale and if I didn’t grab it, someone else gratefully did.
12. Start saving automatically. We save for a debt-free Christmas each year without lifting a finger. That’s because a set dollar amount automatically moves from our checking to Christmas savings account every payday. All year long. You can set this up via online banking or by checking with your financial institution.
13. Find out if your accounts can have a “round up” option. Every time I swipe my debit card, that transaction is rounded up to the nearest dollar in my account and the extra change gets put into our savings. For example, if I pay $30.01 at the pump for gas, then my account will automatically read $31.00 and $0.99 will be placed into my savings.
It’s like a forced piggy bank. 🙂
14. Negotiate a lower payoff amount on one bill. Many companies (not all) will settle for a lower payoff on an outstanding bill if you can pay it in full. I’ve negotiated medical bills this why by simply asking, “What discount is available if I pay this bill in full right now?” The worst they can say is “none” and then you’re none the worse for wear.
Note: If you negotiate a lower rate, ALWAYS get it in writing!
15. Substitute Redbox for your local library. It seems like every time I use Redbox, the price is a little higher. Then, there’s the inevitable 24-hour late fee that does nothing pleasant to our checking account. Your local library is bound to have a better selection, a longer checkout time, and it’s F-R-E-E.
16. Watch free movies and TV shows on Crackle. If Netflix doesn’t have it, you can always check Crackle, a website dedicated to streaming free movies and shows like Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
17. Buy off-season items. Recently, I went to my husband’s corporate holiday gala and saw a woman with a gorgeous red dress that went perfectly with her silver pumps. She told me later that the Christmas attire at Von Maur all got marked way down in January, so she was rockin’ an evening dress for which she happily paid $20.
18. Swap one convenience store purchase with something from home. If you make frequent visits to a gas station or vending machine, try stocking up on those items during your next grocery store trip.
20. Recreate your favorite restaurant meal at home. I love ordering shrimp and broccoli alfredo. Hubby loves steak and potatoes. There is nothing wrong with going out to eat, but you can also challenge yourself to spend less by staying home without missing all the fun.
21. Slice your meat portion in half. We’ve gotten into the habit of browning a pound of ground beef or ground turkey, then only using half for the meal. It works great for things like spaghetti, Hamburger Helper, or tacos.
22. Buy leaner meats. We buy a lot of ground turkey, chicken sausage, turkey bacon, and turkey franks to reduce some of the cost of red meats. I’m really growing to like them all.
23. Search for manager’s specials at the grocery store. If you keep an eye out, you’ll find a group of shelves, usually toward the back of the store, that holds the manager’s specials. These items might have a few dings on the packaging or an approaching expiration date, but you can score some deals if you’re looking.
24. Earn points using Bing as a search engine. Sign up to start earning points for every search. Accumulate enough points to earn gift cards like Amazon, or free products, like a photo album from Shutterfly.
25. Launch a 52-week money challenge. Save a little money each week, then end the year with big ‘ole pile of money in savings.
Recommended Reading: 3 Simple Ways to Take the 52-Week Money Challenge
26. Read blogs that will inspire and motivate you to save money. I love reading personal finance blogs because they’re so filled with passion and they’re so helpful. Subscribe to a few and you’ll see what I mean. I share 12 of my favorites here.
27. Check out more Piggy Bank Dreams money-saving tips. There is more where this came from. You can either scroll to the top and select “Frugal Tips” in the menu bar, or click here.
28. Get accountability. We’re back to the whole mindset of saving money. Don’t go it alone. I implore you.
29. Get started. What money-saving tips are you going to try this week? The most import piece to this whole puzzle is taking action.
Remember: Weigh the pros and cons. Why are you saving money? Hold to that. If any of these tweaks cramp your style, they don’t have to be forever.
Tell us one you’ll try this week in the comments below.