15+ Ways You Can Save Money This Year

Are you one of the many Americans who made a resolution to save money this year? If you are it may be hard to determine where to start and figure out where the money for your savings will come from.

Here are 15+ ways you can save money this year and keep that financial resolution.

15 plus ways to save hundreds this year | arelaxedgal.com
(This information is not meant to be financial advice and is just for educational purposes. This post may include affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

1. Create a budget

Having a budget is probably one of the best first steps to saving money. If you know what you’re spending each month you can figure out what you can save each month and if you need to cut back in certain areas so you can save money.

Some great online tools for creating and tracking your budget are Personal Capital and Mint. If you prefer a more manual budgeting process try The Money Mantra™ Budget Template for Google Sheets from Beautiful Budget.

2. Get rid of debt

You're probably thinking yeah, yeah, yeah but it's true. Just think about how much in debt payments you're making and then think about how much you could have saved if you weren't making those payments.

Once I paid off my car I had several extra hundred dollars that I was keeping in my bank account which allowed me to have extra margin in my budget so I could save up to buy other things, had more money to invest, or just build up an extra cushion in my emergency fund. I share some times for paying off quickly in my post 7 Tips For Paying Off Your Debt Quicker.

3. Buy cleaning supplies at Dollar Tree

Shopping at Dollar Tree, even though things now cost more than a dollar now, is a great way to save money. I've found that I can save a lot by buying my cleaning supplies like bathroom and floor cleaners as well as sponges and indoor brooms at Dollar Tree. 

4. Take a cheaper vacation

Even when you’re trying to save money you don’t always have to skip the vacation. Just spending less on your vacation can save you money. Some ways to save money on your vacation are to stay with family or friends, find deals on all-inclusive trips, take a vacation with friends so you can split the cost, or even do a staycation where you stay at home but take day trips in your area.

5. Learn to DIY

DIYing is a great way to save money because there are so many ways you can do it. Some DIY projects you can do are refurbishing furniture, mending clothes, sewing your own clothes, and making your own cleaning supplies or beauty products.

My latest DIY projects have included refurbishing furniture I found at yard sales and making my own facial toner using products from my kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

6. Have a no spend month

A no spend month is basically taking a break from shopping and spending money for a month. Doing a no spend month allows you to see where you tend to spend the most money and cut back on those areas to save money.

I’ve done a no spend challenge a few times some years to cut back on my spending on non-essentials. Especially years when it looks like I'm going to overspend in some areas and want to help get my budget back on track. 

7. Eat out less and cook more at home

Eating out on a consistent basis is expensive. Believe me. I know because that is the category I tend to overspend on. To help with that I make sure to have food at home, especially food that is easy to make like frozen dinners, salads, frozen vegetables, and soups. 

My biggest reason for eating out is it's quick and I'm too tired to so cook. So having food around the house that doesn't take a look to cook helps out a lot with that.

8. Shop at discount stores

Doing more of your every day and necessity shopping at stores known for discounted merchandise like dollar stores, Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Aldi, and Walmart can save you tens of dollars per trip and ultimately hundreds over the course of a year.

9. Use cash

It seems that most people are less likely to overspend when using cash because they are actually seeing the money leave their hands. Additionally shopping with cash can help you avoid credit card fees that would result from overspending.

To shop with cash people tend to use the envelope system or as they are calling it nowadays envelope stuffing. The whole premise is to take envelopes and name them based on specific line items in your budget. You then put the cash amount you've budgeted for that line item in the envelope. Then throughout the month, anytime you need to spend money you take the cash from the corresponding envelope for that budget line item.

10. Use online rebates when shopping

We all need to buy groceries and fill up our gas tanks so why not get some money back for the purchase and save a little money. The great thing is there are multiple ways to get cashback or rebates on your purchases. Some of my favorite places to get shopping rebates are
  • Rakuten - get rebates on your online shopping at stores like Walmart, Kohls, Macy’s, and more.
  • Ibotta - an app to get rebates on your grocery shopping and even some online shopping at stores like Walmart and Target.
  • Checkout 51 - another app that provides rebates on your grocery purchases.

Save Hundreds of Dollars This Year | arelaxedgal.com

11. Set up automatic savings

Automate your savings by having a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited into your savings account. This is probably the easiest and most painless way to save.

I currently have it set up with my employer to have $75 from each paycheck deposited into my savings account. This way I don’t have to even have to think about it and I’m automatically saving money each month.

12. Sell old or unused items online

Just about everyone has some items in their closet, drawers or storage shed that they don’t use or can’t use anymore. If you’re one of those people why not sell those items online and make a little cash that you can put toward your savings.

I've used eBay and Facebook Marketplace to sell my old clothes and other household items that are in good shape but are no longer of any use to me.

13. Earn gift cards

While gift cards don’t directly impact your savings they can indirectly. If you use gift cards to purchase items versus your own money you’ll have more money to save.

The two places I earn gift cards from are Shopkick and Bing. Shopkick is a reward app that lets you earn Kicks (their version of rewards points) for doing things like visiting stores, purchasing products, scanning products, or watching videos. You can then redeem the kicks for rewards like gift cards to places like Papa John's or Walmart. You can sign up using my referral link.

Bing is the Microsoft search engine. They have a reward program where you can earn points for using the Bing search engine and redeem the points for rewards like gift cards to Walmart and Target.

14. Save on utilities

Cutting back on your monthly spending on things like utilities is a great way to find extra money to put toward your savings. The only way to cut back on your utility spending is to use less of the utilities by doing things like
  • Turning off the lights when not in a room
  • Using more energy-efficient bulbs
  • Unplugging items you’re not using
  • Washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot
  • Cutting out cable and streaming online using services like Hulu and Netflix

15. Shop less

This is pretty self-explanatory. The less you spend the more you can save. If you find that sales at your favorite stores tempt you to unsubscribe from the store’s emails, delete the app and stop visiting the store for a while.

16. Pay bills on time

When you pay your bills late it costs you more because of late fees and interest that are accrued on the late payments. The money that you’re paying for late fees and interest is money that could be put toward your savings.

17. Earn cashback with your credit card

Many if not most credit cards have a cashback program where you can earn cashback on specific purchases or all of your purchases including regular monthly expenses like your utilities or rent. 

The amount of cashback you tend to earn isn't life-changing and really tends to be pocket change especially after the promo period ends. This only works if you have a credit card that offers cashback, pay your balance in full each month, and don't need to pay a fee to use the credit card (some utilities may do this). If you tend to go crazy when you have a credit card and rack up a lot of charges that you can't pay off in one payment each month then this isn't something you should do. 

18. Shop with a list

Being disciplined with your shopping can save you a lot of money. I find that when I go to the store without a shopping list I tend to buy more than I would have if I had a list and stuck to it. Plus, having a shopping list is helpful when looking for the best deals and discounts available.

What are you doing to save money this year? Share your plans and tips in the comments below.


  1. Thank you for the tips. I need to order less takeaway. That would seriously save us money this year


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