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  • Writer's pictureHaley Keller

85 Ways To Reduce Spending

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Spending money is so easy and making big cuts to spending can feel really difficult and overwhelming. So let's think small! Every little way you can cut expenses and make minor shifts to your lifestyle will add up to huge impacts on your personal finances. If you spend less, you can save more (higher savings rate) and also need less money saved up (lower annual expenses).

Here is a long list to spark ideas of how you can reduce spending and increase savings.


  1. Pick a different grocery store or join a warehouse club

  2. Batch cook your meals

  3. Pair recipes each week that share ingredients

  4. Buy food in bulk

  5. Brew your own coffee

  6. Switch to generic brands

  7. Eat through all of your food before buying more

  8. Make a list before heading to a store, and stick to it

  9. Eat a meal before heading to the store so you don’t shop hungry

  10. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables instead of fresh

  11. Check price tags to compare unit cost of items

  12. Eat out less often

  13. Eat at home before going out for drinks

  14. Bring your lunch to work

  15. Grow your own food

  16. Pick up take-out food instead of paying delivery fees

  17. Eat half of a restaurant meal and take home left-overs

  18. Use a refillable bottle for water instead of purchasing bottled water

  19. Coupon shopping

  20. Use cash-back and receipt scanning apps, like iBotta


  1. Travel during off-peak seasons

  2. Use price alert tools

  3. Pick weekday flight departure and return dates

  4. Bring your own snacks and food

  5. Book rooms with refrigerators and/or kitchens and eat some meals in your room

  6. Use a travel rewards credit card and use accrued miles to pay for flights and hotels

  7. Find free things to do that you haven’t tried in your own town


  1. Buy a used car

  2. Sell a secondary car that isn’t frequently driven

  3. Drive a fuel-efficient car

  4. Carpool

  5. Keep car tires properly inflated

  6. Perform routine maintenance on your vehicle

  7. Take transit, walk, or ride a bike instead of driving

  8. Check your insurance policy and drop unnecessary coverage to decrease rates

  9. Refinance your car loan to a lower rate


  1. Shop your insurance rates every year

  2. Downgrade health coverage to a cheaper plan

  3. Fill prescriptions online

  4. Switch from full to term life insurance

  5. Reuse frames when getting new glasses


  1. Exercise at home

  2. Find free programs and classes

  3. Learn one new skill a month that you currently pay for (changing oil, cutting hair, etc)

  4. Attempt to repair damaged items before replacing

  5. Shop at thrift stores

  6. Create a “capsule wardrobe”

  7. Abstain from shopping (except food) for one month a year

  8. Make your own gifts

  9. Look into corporate discounts already provided by your work

  10. Find Groupons or discounts for activities


  1. Refinance your mortgage to a lower rate

  2. Move into a smaller living space

  3. Move to a less expensive location

  4. Airbnb or rent out a room in your house

  5. Check consumer reports and compare prices before purchasing appliances

  6. Watch YouTube for ways to fix appliances or do home repairs on your own

  7. Improve your insulation and air seal windows and doors

  8. Replace your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs

  9. Adjust your thermostat by a few degrees

  10. Get a smart thermostat or pre-program yours for different times of the day

  11. Lower the temp on your hot water heater or get a tankless hot water heater

  12. Get new, water-efficient toilets


  1. Call your phone, cable, and/or internet company to get a better rate

  2. Share internet with your neighbors

  3. Switch from cable to a more affordable streaming service

  4. Look into smaller phone carriers that use the larger networks, like Mint Mobile or GoogleFi

  5. Share subscriptions with family or friends

  6. Cancel any subscriptions or memberships you might have forgotten about or no longer use

  7. Stop streaming services when not using, and bring back when you want them again

  8. Check rate increases and better rate options annually


  1. Borrow or rent instead of buying for one-time projects

  2. Try to buy used or refurbished first, like through Craigslist, OfferUp, ThredUP, Facebook Marketplace, Buy Nothing, etc

  3. Buy a slightly older model of electronics, appliances, vehicles, etc

  4. Shop off-season

  5. Wait to buy until upcoming sales like Black Friday

  6. Leave items in online cart at least 72hrs before purchasing (or at least 24hrs) to stop impulse buying

  7. Choose a day of the week to be your purchase day, and save items in online carts until that day

  8. Use your gift cards

  9. Disconnect from consumer marketing (unsubscribe from email & mail ads)

  10. Eliminate stored credit cards on online shopping websites

  11. Refinance your student loans to a lower rate

  12. Plan activities with friends and family that don’t center around spending money

  13. Get 2nd opinions or quotes

  14. Look for bundle discounts on insurance (eg. auto + home)

Do you have other ideas to add to this list?

Email them to me:


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