One of the most common things people want to know is how to save money each month. I seriously hear this all the time! It doesn’t matter if you’re on Baby Step 1 or Baby Step 7, people love saving on their monthly expenses. That’s because no matter how much money you make or how padded your emergency fund is, saving on the basics feels like giving yourself a raise!
So, let’s learn how to do just that. Are you ready? Here are 14 ways to save money every month.
How to Save Money Each Month: 14 Tips
1. Shop seasonal produce.
You can eat healthy and still save money on your grocery budget each month. Just shop seasonally when it comes to those fruits and veggies. Why? Well, in-season produce is easier to supply in a large quantity—which means a lower cost to you. It all comes down to that supply and demand concept you (maybe?) learned in high school economics class.
Practically speaking, that means you’re buying apricots and asparagus in the spring, blackberries and blueberries in the summer, and parsnips and pears in the fall and winter. Oh, and apples, bananas, carrots and celery all year long!1
2. Cook at home.
Trust me, I get it. Restaurants are one of my favorite things—eating out and ordering in, I love it all! But, you guys, if you’re trying to get more money in your budget each month, this is a surefire way to do it: Cook at home!
The average American household spends nearly $3,030 each year eating out.2 That’s about $250 a month when you do the math. Think about it: So the average household could save up to $250 by cutting back on this (fun but not necessary) budget line.
3. Meal plan like a boss.
Coming into the kitchen exhausted after a long day of work and knowing you still have to cook is the worst. But you can avoid that feeling—and save money each month—if you have a good plan in place, aka a meal plan!
That’s when you plan out all the food you need for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks before heading to the grocery store. It’ll keep you on track as you shop—and keep you from wasting food that seemed like a good idea in the grocery aisle but ends up getting moldy in the back of the fridge. Waste less. Save more. Yes, please.
4. Pack your lunch.
Stop eating out at work every day. Instead, pack a cheap lunch with food from home. You’ll save money every month and save precious lunch break minutes by skipping all the time spent going to and from a restaurant.
5. Stop buying bottled water.
Invest in a reusable water bottle, people. Stop buying disposable bottle of water after disposable bottle of water. You’re just filling up the trash with that plastic and draining your budget!
Yes, you’ve got the one-time purchase of a quality reusable water bottle, but if you find yourself buying bottled water regularly, you’ll make your money back (and then some) in no time. I mean it. Our office building has free water bottle filling stations, and I even see them when I travel now. This is a quick way to save money each month.
6. Cut the cable.
Get that cable bill out of your monthly budget. Switch to a more cost-effective streaming service like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video instead. Or put up with some ads and go with a free streaming service like Peacock, Freevee or Vudu.
Start budgeting with EveryDollar today!
Just make sure you limit how many of these you sign up for. Otherwise you might look up one day and realized you’re spending twice as much as you were on cable because you kept thinking for sure you’d finish this series you started bingeing and lost interest in. Not that this has happened to me or anything. (Okay, yes. Yes, it has.)
7. Check your tax withholdings.
Hey, if you’re getting a huge refund every year, that’s like loaning the government money—and gaining no interest. Adjust your tax withholdings, get more of your money back each month, and put that cash toward what you want.
8. Do your own yardwork.
If you’re really wondering how to save money on home expenses every month, don’t hire out for yardwork. Instead, DIY those tasks, from mowing your grass to raking your leaves to picking up your own pet’s poop.
I’m not making up that last one. There are people who pay someone else to come scoop their pet’s poop. In their own yards. I mean, I guess if you’re wanting a unique side hustle, you could start charging others for this service, but don’t pay for it yourself.
9. Do your own cleaning.
I know, I know this one’s a chore. But if you really want to save money each month (and burn some calories while you’re at it), consider doing all the cleaning yourself, even if it’s just for a season while you’re getting gazelle intense on your financial goals.
10. Get a roommate.
11. Do touch the thermostat.
Dads everywhere are yelling, “Nooo!” But hear me out. This is a good reason to touch the thermostat! If you’ll be gone part of the day to work or haul the kids from one activity to the next, adjust the thermostat. Don’t heat or cool an empty home to the max comfort level. That’s a waste! This simple tip can help you save on your heating or cooling bill. Every. Single. Month.
12. Just say no to too many kids' activities.
Speaking of hauling the kids from one activity to the next, it’s okay—in fact, it’s important—to say no to a super packed schedule. Having free time to read, play and hang out as a family is good for your kids and for you. Plus, if you’ll stop stuffing multiple kids’ sports, dance practices, viola lessons, and improv comedy classes for toddlers into the budget, you’ll start saving serious money.
13. Do a coverage checkup.
I can’t stress it enough: Having all the right types of insurance in place is one of the most important parts of personal finance! It helps you protect yourself, your family and your finances.
But here’s the deal—knowing what’s “right” isn’t easy. You don’t want to overpay (which you might be doing!). And you don’t want to underinsure. Each of those will cost you. After all this article isn’t about spending more—it's about saving more, right? So take our quick and easy coverage checkup to see what you’ve got right and what steps to take next.
14. Get rid of all your debt.
Debt steals from today’s income to pay for the past. If you really want to save money each month, get those debt payments out of your life.
Seriously, look at your budget right now. How much would it free up if you didn’t have car payments, student loans, and credit card balances to juggle each month? What could you be doing with that money instead? Literally anything. So, take back your income, and pay off your debt!
Budget Your Way to Save More Money Every Month
You’ve got these tips on how to save money each month. Now put them into action!
But first, budget. Because if you don’t tell all that extra money you’re saving where to go, you’ll spend it accidentally. And that gets you nowhere!
Also, guess what: When the average person starts budgeting with EveryDollar (the app my family uses each month), they find an extra $332 that first budget. That’s an extra $332 you can give a job each month—going to savings, paying off debt, helping with inflation. Maybe I should have led with this tip . . .
Here’s the deal—next month will be here whether you use these tips and start budgeting or not. You can have extra money in your pocket or you can be exactly where you are right now. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking the extra money. (P.S. You should too.)