5 Money Saving Swaps When You Need To Make Cuts

When you want to get frugal, money saving swaps are the perfect way to do so without sacrificing the things you love.

Saving money is the aim of the game with swapping what you normally buy with something cheaper or a little different.

When you are trying to be frugal, you want to make your money go as far as it can, so changing what you buy makes perfect sense.

You might want to get more frugal because you are determined to pay off your debts, or maybe your income has just dropped and you really need to make ends meet.

It doesn’t matter whether you want or need to be frugal, you absolutely can save money when you swap things about a bit.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that being frugal and saving money is about deprivation, doing without and basically having no fun!

So not true!

$1 button in red on old fashioned cash register

Being Frugal

Being frugal isn’t about giving things up, it’s about being more aware of where you spend your money and focusing your spending on the things that really matter to you.

Fact alert – according to research by Barclays Bank, two thirds of millennials admit they don’t save enough, or even anything at all.

If what matters to you is getting on the housing ladder, or paying off student loans and other debt then making some small ‘swaprifices’ can move you from spender to saver.

Side note: don’t you just love that word – swaprifices?!

My definition of a swaprifice: a money saving swap that allows you to be frugal without sacrificing all your enjoyment.

When you are just beginning to get frugal you can get overwhelmed with all the different tips and tricks that you read about.

And just because you need to get frugal, you certainly don’t want to give up all your fun and life.

Saving money without sacrificing the things you love can seem hard.

If you can find money saving swaps that don’t require you to sacrifice everything then you can save for the things you want too.

They would be worth having wouldn’t they?

Related reading:

The Best Books On Frugal Living You Need To Read

How To Be Frugal Without Being Cheap

Frugal Living For Beginners: How To Get Started

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

Pinterest image for money saving swaps

(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more here)

5 Easy Money Saving Swaps

One way to help you acclimatize to new money swaps is not to forgo what you normally have completely but to reduce how often you buy.

So if you usually buy something 5 times a week, swap and save by reducing it to once a week.

You are still saving money but you are not sacrificing your enjoyment of that thing, just reducing how often you pay out.

The huge gain you get is the savings you will build up as a result of spending less money.

1. Name Brand For Generic Brand

Your grocery bill is often the go to place when you want to save money or splash the cash.

It’s so easy to throw extra things into your trolley as a treat, but the costs soon mount up.

Generic brands are often at least 50% cheaper than the name brand. For instance in my local grocery store:

  • Heinz baked beans = 85p
  • Asda Walmart generic brand baked beans = 29p
  • Asda Walmart value brand baked beans = 22p

If you buy the value brand instead of Heinz that’s a massive 386% saving on just one can (63p)!

Even if you only dropped down to the generic store brand you would still save 293% (56p).

Replicate that swap and save process across more of your trolley items and watch the savings mount up.

This is my number one tip for anyone trying to save money and be more frugal.

Focus on your grocery list and where you shop as you have so much flex in how much you could spend.

You could save £100/$120 or more every month switching to generic brands. That’s £1200/ $1440 a year!

Related reading:

10 Simple Reasons Your Grocery Bill Is So High & How To Cut It

18 Things We Cut From Our Food Shopping List To Save Big Money

white coffee cups and open glass jar on it's side with sugar lumps strewn across the table

2. Cafe Coffee For Home Brewed

Buying coffee on the go is so easy, you can do it in your sleep.

But add up how much you spend every month on coffee and think what you could do with the money instead.

With a basic Starbucks coffee costing £3.50 ($5) or more, your daily coffee habit will cost you £75 ($100) a month.

And that’s just for one coffee a day on a work day.

Swap that for a home brewed coffee in a hot drinks flask 4 times out of 5 and you could save $80 a month, or $960 a year.

3. Contract Phone For Low Priced Plan

Mobile/cell phone contracts can cost a tidy sum each month.

Here in the UK the latest IPhone contract can set you back £50 a month or more. And the tendency is to upgrade when your contract expires.

Keep your existing phone and opt for a monthly plan that doesn’t include a ‘free’ phone (it’s not free).

Here in the UK they tend to be called SIM only deals and can be from as little as £4 a month.

Even if you really do need a new phone, it works out cheaper to buy the handset and plan separately.

Especially when you are not buying the latest models (hint, hint).

Savings £50 – £4 = £46 per month and a decent £552 a year.

the word money on wooden blocks in grey and black - money saving swaps

4. New Clothes Vs Gently Used

Vintage is very much in yet some people still turn up their noses at the idea of buying clothing that has been previously worn.

I like to put it this way. Once you have worn something once, it is no longer new, it’s used.

Wash it well and what is the difference between your used item and a washed, used item in the vintage/thrift/charity shop?

Nothing, except the price you paid for it.

The savings on buying used versus new clothing is significant.

If you usually spend $/£100 a month on clothes, you could save most of that with the money saving swap to vintage or used clothing items.

You could be saving $/£1000 a year or more.

Related reading: 

Why You Should Create Your Own Work Uniform – Saving You Time And Money

How to stop spending money on clothes: 10 Simple Tips for Success

5. Body Wash For Soap Bars

A nice bottle of shower gel or body wash can easily set you back $3 and if you are anything like my daughter that won’t last you very long, perhaps 3 weeks?

3 bars of store brand soap costs me 65p (85 cents) and they last at least 6 months.

Savings for 6 month supply

  • 9 bottles of shower gel at £2 each = £18
  • 1 packet of 3 soap bars at 65p

Saving £17.35/ $23 or £34.70 / $46 for the year.

It’s a small saving but a saving nonetheless. And helps you build your frugal muscles.

white pumpkin on beige tea towel

Money Saving Swaps Without The Sacrifice

These money saving swaps help you save money without the sacrifice.

Many money saving swaps can be made without sacrificing anything at all. Others require you to think a little differently or do a little differently.

Like not automatically renewing your cell phone plan or your utility bills or car insurance.

If you can get the same thing (or nearly) for less money, why spend more?

Being frugal is often about the small things and being willing to do something or buy something you may not have previously considered doing.

Be brave, be bold, be frugal!


Frugal Foundations Framework

For more help on your successful frugal journey I have created a free course to help. A 5 day course that holds your hand while you build your frugal foundations.

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

Pinterest image for money saving swaps

Last Updated on 16th May 2022 by Emma

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.

6 thoughts on “5 Money Saving Swaps When You Need To Make Cuts”

  1. Speaking of wrapped sandwiches, we used inexpensive small plastic containers, one for a sandwich and one for fruit or dessert (or sometimes both). BPA plastic, or glass (which is heavy), or aluminum could also be used, and they all are sold in “lunch-sized” containers, and for us, it was less expensive because they were washed and used every day.

    • Hiya Pat! Lunch sized containers are very useful, especially if you already have them. When we are out walking we find the beeswax wraps really helpful as we can have a number of snacks/sandwiches not taking up too much space in our rucksacks.


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.