Blog, Finance, Save Money

100+ Smart Ways to Save Money in 2018

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If you have a small income, saving money may seem impossible. How can you save some money when you can’t seem to make room in your budget to save? With all the expenses during the holidays and lots of upcoming bills to pay, chances are, you’re already racking your brain on how to deal with your tight budget. And all the more so on how to start saving you don’t have money for!

I get you.

But, we don’t have to have a big income to be able to set aside some dollars. No matter how much your income is, there are countless ways to set aside a small chunk of your money for your future. In time, you will realize that every penny you save per day have grown into hundreds or thousands.

Let’s Save Money Together!

One of my main goals this year is to be able to save some money as a stay-at-home mom and finally move forward financially from having a pretty much empty personal savings account (Yes, I don’t have shame confessing that online!). I’ve always had this love and hate relationship with saving money which is why I’ve never gone far ahead in terms of my finances.

So to improve my finances this year, I’ve put together this list of 100+ great ways to save money. If you’re up for this challenge, go ahead and print out the tips below and let’s do this challenge together!

Before you start, set up to three financial goals to save money for. Here are some examples of financial goals you may want to achieve this year using this money saving checklist:

  1. Emergency Fund
  2. Personal Loan
  3. Mortgage
  4. Student Loan
  5. Family Vacation
  6. Personal Savings
  7. Child Education
  8. Investment or Small Business
  9. House Renovation or Maintenance
  10. Car or House Down payment
  11. Dental Emergency
  12. Charity

Set an amount per financial goal you want to achieve in the next 12 months and start using the tips below to achieve your goals!


  1. Brown bag your lunch. If you are a stay-at-home mom like me, make your husband’s lunch at home to save at least $2.50 per day. In a year, you could easily save a $500 emergency fund.
  2. Go generic.
  3. Use Ibotta app to save money on groceries without using any coupon. Apart from the cashback you earn from products you buy at your local store such as Walmart, Sam’s Club or Costco, just redeeming a receipt (a proof that you went to the store) will earn you $0.25 per receipt. Some products such as Colgate gives you a cashback of $2 each and it’s super easy to use. Sign up through my link to receive $10 FREE. I earned $16 in my first month using Ibotta.
  4. Buy fresh in-season produce. Preferably, at the local farmer’s market.
  5. Start an herb garden. A small herb garden with 4-6 herbs that you always use can help you save at least $10 per week. Try tomatoes, onions/ spring onions, chives, cilantro, rosemary or parsley. They are easy to grow and don’t require a lot of garden space.
  6. Stretch your ground beef with oatmeal or beans.
  7. Try frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones. They are as healthy, cheaper and last long.
  8. Try $5 Meal Plan ( $5 meals that serve the entire family). This helps you save time and money. Try the FREE 15-day trial through my link. The subscription is only $5 per month and is definitely so much worth the value you are getting from the service. This meal planning service sends you a list of recipes and a shopping list every week.
  9. Turn leftovers into snacks or lunch.
  10. Brew your own coffee , store in a thermos and bring it to work instead of buying from a coffee shop.
  11. Ditch the commercial smoothies by getting your own juicer and making your smoothies and juices right at home.
  12. Avoid convenience food and use a crock pot/ slow cooker instead to save time and money.  This is the best deal for busy families!


  1. Use Ebates when shopping online to earn cashback on your purchases. Sign up through this link to receive a free $10. 
  2. Make use of rewards cards. Every store has at least one.
  3. Create a shopping list and stick to it.
  4. Purchase products second-hand like clothes, sports gear and toys.
  5. Shop by unit price.
  6. Sign up for Victoria Secret Mailing List for free panties.
  7. Shop with your tummy full and avoid the temptation of buying unnecessary edibles.
  8. Shop on sales. Analyze the sale cycles in your favorite stores or of your favorite products to get items on discount.
  9. Shop in garage sales, thrift and consignment shops.
  10. Accept hand-me-downs. Your kids will love old “new” toys nonetheless.
  11. Look for deals online to get discounts on haircuts and treatments; waxing, facials etc.
  12. Rent, don’t buy, items that you’ll only use once (such as formal wear and power tools).
  13. Time your shopping. Lingering more than necessary put you at risk of spending more.
  14. Schedule grocery shopping twice a month to save on gas and time.
  15. Shop for clothes that you can easily mix and match. This helps minimize spending for your closet.
  16. Use the smaller shopping cart. Large shopping carts take time to fill and the void can make you buy impulsively.
  17. Learn the art of negotiation. Perform market research before making a deal for a new car and try to bring down its price.
  18. Buy frequently used products and staples in larger packs or bulks.
  19. Delay major purchases by at least 48 hours. You may not want to buy the item after all.
  20. Double check your pantry and fridge before you go shopping to avoid redundancy of ingredients.


  1. Pay attention to preventive maintenance not only in terms of house or car but health as well.
  2. Do your nailcare or haircut yourself. Watch Youtube videos for tutorials. This will save you at least $15 per haircut and per nailcare.
  3. Make your own skin products from natural ingredients such as coconut oil and olive oil instead of buying expensive skin products that are made of the same ingredients.
  4. Reduce or quit smoking or alcohol drinking.
  5. Dye your hair yourself.
  6. Take your bike to work or when running errands.
  7. Check-ups and medications can dent your finances considerably.
  8. DIY your own spa. You can create scrubs and masks for cheap with a few basic kitchen ingredients.
  9. Practice the 40 hanger rule. Have only 40 clothes in your closet and only replace them when they are worn out.
  10. Practice the basics of Minimalism at least in terms of home decorations, clothes, furniture and hobbies equipment.
  11. Practice the one in, one out rule. Only purchase an item, like a pair of shoes, when the old ones are worn out.


  1. Make your own detergent and cleaning products.
  2. Cancel some subscriptions you don’t need.
  3. Sun dry clothes instead of using the dryer.
  4. Bring down thermostat temperature by five degrees during winter and then raise up temperature by five degrees during summer.
  5. Bundle up during winter and wear light clothing in the summer. This way, you can go easy on the thermostat.
  6. Replace old appliances with energy-star rated ones. Older appliances tend to consume more power.
  7. Invest in electric surge protectors to protect your electronics against surges and avoid costly replacements.
  8. Clean and maintain your filters regularly. Dirty filters not only contribute to polluted indoor air, but also cause your HVAC units to use more power.
  9. If you decide to do a little improvement on your house, spend on things that will add value to it.
  10. Consolidate phone plans.
  11. Prepare and cook meals in advance to save energy (and time).
  12. Cancel cable and use Netflix.
  13. Turn off the lights and plug out appliances when not in use.
  14. Clean your refrigerator and freezer regularly to keep them running efficiently and avoid wastes on electricity.
  15. Switch to reusable cloth napkins and kitchen towels.
  16. As light bulbs in your house burn out, replace them with LED lights. Use solar flood lights in your garden or yard instead.
  17. Insulate and winterize doors and windows to cut down on utility expenses.
  18. Wash your dishes manually if there’s just a few of them.
  19. Walk whenever and wherever you can to save on gas. It’s a great exercise too.
  20. If renting, move to a smaller and cheaper apartment.
  21. Mind your driving. Driving aggressively can increase fuel consumption.
  22. Use ingredients that are nearer the expiration date to keep them from turning into wastes.


Switch to free or cheap family activities such as going to the park, doing barbeque at home, going to the beach, camping or making a bonfire in your backyard.

  1. If your kids’ school fees are eating up a huge chunk of your budget, consider home schooling!
  2. When eating out, do not order drinks. Ask for free water instead to save at least $4 per drink. For a family of 4, this will help you save at least $16 per dinner in a restaurant.
  3. Designate a one “no spend” day a week.
  4. Create a spending limit on gifts. For gifts, give something that offer experience and meaning instead of luxury. DIY gifts are more meaningful and memorable than ones that are bought.
  5. Invite friends for a potluck and game night instead of dining out.
  6. Find free or cheap movies. You can also watch movies in the local park where tickets are significantly cheaper
  7. . Schedule baby-sitting swaps with friends and neighbors to cut down sitter costs at least a couple of times each month.
  8. Get together during brunch instead of dinner. Most restaurants have cheaper menus during brunch and you’re less likely to spend on wine and alcohol.
  9. Look for free community classes. If you’re interested to learn something or deepen your knowledge on baking, Zumba, crafting etc., you can take advantage on community lessons for free.
  10. Make dates simpler and less expensive. Volunteer at the charity, go hiking or date at home.
  11. Switch to cheaper hobbies.
  12. Adopt cheaper forms of relaxation such as napping and meditation. Retail therapy can get stressful afterwards.
  13. Take kids to restaurants or food chains where they may eat for free after purchasing an adult meal.
  14. Use the library. You can borrow books and DVD’s or simply work there where it’s less tempting to buy snacks and coffee.
  15. Create your own gifts and greeting cards.
  16. Let the holidays pass before buying. Chocolates are less expensive after Valentines.
  17. Buy gifts for your kids’ friends’ birthdays when they go on sale. Store the gifts until the birthday.
  18. Limit your spending on stuff which value quickly depreciates (unnecessary electronics/gadgets, clothes).
  19. Opt for free apps. You don’t need to pay for kids’ games.


  1. Use only the ATM of your bank or credit union. This will save you at least $2 per transaction.
  2. Get insurance. Untoward incidents will cost you more when they arise.
  3. Automate your bills and other monthly payments so they’re always paid on time. Late penalties can hurt the budget.
  4. Save money off interest charges by paying credit cards in full and in time.
  5. Shop for insurance policies every several months to see if other companies are offering lower premiums, then make the switch.
  6. Get Free debt counselling. Consumer Credit Counselling Services offer their service for free and can help you figure out your options and negotiate with creditors.
  7. Collect your spare change.
  8. Plan on how to “snowball” your debt and lower your interest.
  9. Freeze your credit cards.


  1. Check multiple sites for low airfare.
  2. Travel light to avoid hefty baggage fees.
  3. Avoid take out and fast-food chains whenever possible. Bring your own snacks when you travel or go on road trips. Airport food is expensive.
  4. Buy a large water bottle and bring it with you anywhere you go. It is also a great practice to teach your kids.


  1. Make money from duplicates (duplicate hobby equipment, electronics) or extra clothes by selling them on eBay or other sites.
  2. Make money by answering quick surveys, playing games or watching videos through Swagbucks. You can easily do this while having your morning coffee. Sign up through my link and receive $10 welcome bonus.


100. Get free samples. Some companies provide free samples to people who are willing to write a short review or share the product to others.

101. Take advantage of discounts – seniors, students, employee and veterans’ discount to name a few.

Over to you-do you have any other tips on how to save money in 2018?

Hi! My name is Jane, the mama behind this blog. I am blogging my journey to financial freedom and into meaningful living off a small and unstable freelancing income, $0 in personal savings and with less than a year old baby. Join me on this journey!


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