45 Creative Ways To Save Money (You Need To Know)

Last Updated on 28th December 2020 by Emma

Saving money doesn’t have to be monotonous or boring, there are plenty of creative ways to save money that are fun, challenging or just slightly weird.

When you’re in it for the long haul, saving money can get a bit same old, same old, with everyone telling that you should:

  • Save 10% of your earnings
  • Automate your savings
  • Bring your own coffee
  • Pack your own lunch
  • Clip coupons

All good solid saving money advice, but meh, a little boring if you’ve been doing all of them for a long time already. This is where creative ways to save money can help.

Saving money is saving money, but finding more interesting, fun ways to achieve your savings goals will help you to achieve them faster without being bored out of your mind!

Being inventive in how you save money also cuts the risk of boredom making you give up on your savings goals and start spending.

black grey and yellow striped sock with coins in and around it to signify creative ways to save money
Funny ways to save money – in your socks!

Why you need to get creative in how you save money

Boredom makes us do things to liven our lives up a bit. Get bored with how you save money and you run the risk of spending more just to add a little interest into your finances.

There’s nothing like a large credit card bill to make you sit up and notice what is going on with your money.

But it’s a much better idea to not overspend and instead enjoy the process of saving money every month.

Savings trackers can help, anything visual makes an impact on how we see our progress.

If you are starting a 52 week money challenge then head over to that post as there are 10 printable trackers you can download as a visual reminder of your progress.

Finding different ways to save money helps you to squeeze a few extra dollars out of your budget.

The more creative you are with how you save money the more likely you are to not only achieve your savings goals but smash right through them.

Related post: How To Save 10K in A Year, And Some!

45 Creative Ways To Save Money

When I followed all the usual advice on realistic ways to save money it paid dividends and I made those savings.

But it wasn’t enough.

We were still living paycheck to paycheck with nothing left over, no emergency fund or sinking funds to keep us safe. So I knew I had to be more creative in finding ways to save money.

I have tried every one of these different ways to save money, indeed I still do most of them. Because I find most of them fun and they’re more of habit now.

Each of these creative ways to save money will save you some money. Maybe only a few dollars but small savings add up into large savings.

Switching off lights when you leave the room will save you a tiny amount each day. But over a whole year you might save $10.

Multiply $10 by every savings trick you try and you are looking at hundreds saved every year and most likely thousands.

It is more about the little things you do to save money, not the big things.

older man and woman siting on floor cross legged holding bundles of money bills
Save money bit by bit

unusual ways to save money on your utility bills

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Unless you are living off-grid (kudos if you are!) then you will have energy and water bills that can really add up to a few hundred every month if you are not careful.

I can’t help you get your energy savings down to zero but these more creative ways to save some money on these bills will certainly help.

1. Take a cold and short shower

Save water and energy when you take a cold shower. I do this daily even when there is snow on the ground. It’s an extremely energetic way to start your day.

This might be on the more extreme side of money saving but it’s creative and different even if slightly too much for many people!

2. Layer up

Instead of turning up the heat put another layer on. There’s nothing wrong with wearing 3 layers inside your house. Heck, there’s nowt wrong with wearing a hat and mittens if you so choose!

3. Take a water bottle to bed

Keep your bedroom heating down low or off and stay warm through extra blankets and a water bottle.

4. Wash according to the weather

Hanging your clothes outside is free, unlike using your dryer which can eat electricity. Check the weather forecast (or look out of the window) and wash when it looks fine or windy.

5. Cut phantom power

Phantom power is where a small trickle of electricity still runs to items like phone chargers and devices on stand by.

Using a power strip will also protect your from power surges so well worth the small investment. This is the power strip we have.

6. Increase your light bulb life

Energy efficient bulbs use far less electricity and last far long than traditional bulbs. These are the energy efficient bulbs we prefer.

7. Wash clothes on a cold wash

There is no need to be washing everything at 60, most detergents and clothes are now designed to be washed at 40 or even 30.

Many machines have a short wash that is also energy saving that you can use for lightly soiled clothes. My new machine has a 20 minute option as well as the normal 3 hour wash.

Guess which program is my go to?!

8. Winterproof your home

Follow all the tips in my post about how to keep your house warm in winter to reduce your heating costs.

financial desktop with red calculator, pink piggy bank wearing glassed and some dollar bills
Dig deep to find those savings

Ways To Save Money On A Tight Budget

1. Turn it into a game

There’s nothing like a game to keep you motivated. Find the fun in your money saving tricks and you’ll want to continue them and take them to the next level.

2. Challenge yourself to save money

We all work better when we have targets to achieve. So set yourself a target to achieve a certain amount within a set time period.

Track your progress by updating your totals so far and keeping them somewhere visible like on your fridge or family noticeboard.

3. Save into a hard to access account

So you are not tempted during a weak moment to dip into your savings. Save with another bank or in an account that has limited access, with no debit card.

4. Grow your own food

For one packet of seeds you can have a bumper crop of home grown tomatoes. Multiply that across other vegetables and you have some good savings along with a creative way to do so.

Nothing more creative that creating the very food that ends up on your plate is there?

Related post: 21 benefits of having an allotment and growing your own

5. Shop alone

You might be super focused on finding new and creative ways to save money but family and friends might not be so driven. Don’t let others derail your plans.

6. Do the sniff test!

The sniff test is about checking if your clothing is actually dirty or you are just presuming it is because you’ve worn something once or twice.

If it looks clean and passes the sniff test then don’t wash it, wear it again until it fails the test.

7. Barter your services

Bartering with others is a great way to save money on a tight budget because no money need change hands. You provide them with something they need and in return you get something you need.

8. Save reward points

For a free Christmas. It’s very easy to use reward points you gain over the year as you earn them.

But if you save them up until December then you can use them for a free or very low cost Christmas instead.

Think free groceries, free gifts, free fun.

9. DIY your gifts

Not only will you save money, you’ll be gifting someone something very special. When your budget is tight, focus on recycled gift ideas to really bring down the cost.

10. Drive hypermiling style

And reduce your fuel consumption. It’s a very different way of driving and takes getting used to but other hypermilers say you could save up to 60% of your fuel costs.

11. Save a certain bill or coin

This is a fun way to save start saving money. Some people choose a low denomination bill/note while others save all their change.

For me, I’ve found it fun to save every £2 coin in the past. The only frustrating thing with saving a specific coin or note is that you can go a few weeks without getting one in your change.

Especially if you are not spending much money in the first place!

12. Work out how many hours you must work to pay for something

This idea comes from Your Money Or Your Life, one of my all time favorite books.

When you know how much you really earn (after tax, deductions and work related costs) then buying something that means you must work for 5 hours to pay for it takes on a whole different level of thought.

book cover of your money or your life

For more help in starting to save money download your FREE money saving mini bundle

Creative Ways To Save Money On Personal Care

1. Look after yourself

Being healthy will save you money, through lower medical bills, less time off work, fewer prescriptions to pay for.

Ensure you get enough sleep, wash your hands to keep the bugs away, eat a healthy diet. Don’t smoke, drink alcohol in moderation and get regular exercise.

2. Cut your own hair

Use YouTube tutorials to get the hang of it or ask your partner/a friend to do it for you. I’ve been cutting my own hair for a very (very) long time. All I use are these specialist hairdresser scissors.

And Mr2p has done his own hair for just as long as me. He uses these clippers and they’re still going strong after 10 years!

3. Don’t buy dry clean only clothes

Specialist cleaning costs money you don’t need to spend.

4. Use soap bars

Instead of body wash use soap bars and not only do you save money, you are using less plastic.

You can get through a (plastic) bottle of body wash way more quickly than one soap bar and the soap is much cheaper.

5. Cut alcohol down or out

It might be your weekend treat but with all the government taxes loaded onto alcohol the cost racks up pretty quickly.

Here in the UK a cheap bottle of wine is £5 ($6.50) and a decent one more like £7 ($9). Most of which is government taxes.

6. Drink water

Not only is it good for your health, it’s a handy, creative way to save money. We use a refillable water bottle like this one which saves us ever having to buy water when we are out and about.

7. Repair your own clothes

This will make them last that much longer. A button missing or a broken zip is no reason to thrown an item away.

You can learn how to do these tasks from a local sewing class or find a tutorial on YouTube.

8. Stop buying clothes

Wear the ones you already have instead. I bet if you challenged yourself you could go without buying clothes for at least 6 months or more.

Especially if you follow the tip above and do your own repairs.

grocery store receipts to signify brilliant ways to save money
Scrutinize your receipts to find more smart ways to save money

Tips For Saving Money At Home

1. Use alternative solutions to wrap presents

Use newspaper, magazine pages, last years used wrapping paper (carefully folded and stored). Or you could make present bags for immediate family and reuse these time and again.

2. Make one trip

Instead of many and reduce both fuel costs and wear and tear on your vehicle. Combining your journeys will also likely save you time.

3. Make your own furniture from recycled goods

Furniture is extremely expensive to buy, especially items that you want to stand the test of time.

Making your own allows you to have the right measurements for your home and at a fraction of the new price. Alternatively, buy second hand from thrift stores, garage sales or online.

4. Review your grocery trolley

Before you go through the checkout review what you’ve put in your trolley. Unless you are a bit of a machine, impulse buys are going to find their way into your trolley and increase your spending.

Check your trolley contents against your shopping list and remove those impulse buys.

Related post: 7 Meal Planning Strategies All Beginners Should Know

5. Set yourself a pantry challenge

And use up everything you have stored. You could extend this to include your fridge and freezer.

The aim of a pantry challenge is to use everything up (you have already spent money on these items after all) and have zero waste.

Related post: Why You Should Eat Your Pantry Stockpile

6. Pay for grocery delivery service

(Or pick up). Yes really! I’m encouraging you to spend money as a sneaky thing to do to save money!.

The money you spend on this service will be more than saved by the impulse buys and treats that don’t go into your online basket.

7. Shop after the holidays

For the next one. There are certain things I always buy after Christmas ready for the following festive period. And you can save 50% or more when you do this.

8. Re-use your grey water

Re-use your grey water to reduce your water costs and help the environment.

9. Pay annual insurances in full

And you negate the monthly interest that is added on to monthly payments.

10. Ditch paper towels

Opt for reusable cloths instead. I have ones like these  (love the bright colors!) but you can also buy them super cheap from your local grocery store.

woman in grocery store with shopping basket on her arm and checking a list
Save money at the grocery store

11. Buy generic

And dump the premium you have to pay for branded goods. Even better if you buy value brands, you can save over 300% on many grocery products this way.

12. Buy seasonal

And eat seasonal. Seasonal produce is always cheaper than those that are flown half way round the world or forced to ripeness in large glasshouses.

And the taste makes all the difference. Here in the UK, June is strawberry season but you can buy them year round. Out of season strawberries have very little taste and cost you more.

13. Cut out the fizz

Stop buying flavored soda and fizzy water and replace with a free glass of water from your home. More money saved and less plastic used.

14. Eat frozen vegetables

Frozen vegetables are flash frozen within a few hours of being picked so can often have more nutrients in them that fresh produce that has been hanging around for days or even weeks.

15. Go vegetarian for a night or two

Meals made with meat are usually more expensive than vegetarian meals so drop the meat for a night or two and challenge yourself to create a yummy veggie meal.

16. Make your own homemade cleaning products

Make the exact cleaning products you need and no more and gain back all that space in your cleaning cupboard, never mind the money you will save.

If making your own products sounds scary then do what I did for many years and use a concentrated cleaner. You save money and only need an empty spray bottle to make up your diluted solution.

I recommend a concentrated cleaner like this one.

17. Buy only grocery clearance items

And build your meals around them. This could be straightforward or a very creative way to save money depending on what clearance items are available.

smashed pink piggy bank with coins spilling out next to a hammer to signify brilliant ways to save money
Find more unusual ways to save money than your standard piggy bank

101 Creative Ways To Save Money

There are way more than 101 ways to save money but these ones are more on the side of creative money saving tricks rather than boring mainstream ideas.

To continually save money you need to find ways that float your boat, that you are happy and willing to do time and again.

I think I’ve got you covered on the creative side but how about these posts for more inspiration:

Save $500 A Month When You Stop Buying These Things

How To Successfully Live On One Income (With 30+ Helpful Tips)

How To Cut Monthly Expenses: 35 Ways To Save Money

For more help in starting to save money download your FREE money saving mini bundle

pinterest image for creative ways to save money
pinterest image for creative ways to save money

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About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

5 thoughts on “45 Creative Ways To Save Money (You Need To Know)”

  1. I am playing a little game with myself. I was supposed to go grocery shopping a week ago Saturday. But things popped up and I didn’t go. A friend stopped by and was going to the store and asked if I needed anything on Wednesday, I said yes a quart of milk. I gave her the money and I had milk, now I didn’t need to go to the store for a few more days. Yesterday I had to do a fast dash for 1 item and they had Roast Beef on sale, I looked and they were great, so I bought 2 of the smallest ones. One ( the bigger one ) I will cut in half and make stew meat of it, the other side I will make into steaks, The other whole one will be cooked as a roast and give me a lot of meat sandwiches, and such. The roasts were half the price they usually are. I got the other one item I was asked to bring to a potluck dinner, and left. I can now put off going to the store for another week or two. I am trying to buy 90% of my groceries for 50% or more off on loss leader sales. So far it has been working. Not always what I wanted but as I build up my freezer and cupboard I have a wide variety to choose from, my grocery bill has dropped a large amount and I’m having fun. Oh, my total bill at the store was $27.73 usually one roast alone is near that amount …….. and I don’t buy it .

    Reply
    • Hi Pat. Not only did you get a bargain but you exercised a huge amount of self control in getting just that beef and your one other item – very impressive! And I don’t blame you in not buying a beef roast if it’s near $27 – that’s a huge amount. I like your idea of aiming for 90% of groceries at 50% of their usual cost. I might just try that – I do like a challenge and a fun one at that. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  2. I should also add today is Sunday. So I’ve made it well over a week and have fresh meat for the next month with so much beef. At Christmas I picked up two turkeys and plan to cook one near Valentines and invite 3 neighbours to a full turkey dinner ( I already have everything I need to put on a great dinner). That will still leave me lots of turkey for sandwiches, soup and stir frys.

    Reply

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