10 Ways to Save Money You’ll Never Notice

Now that you’ve been tracking your spending, are there ways you can cut your spending and save money?  Here’s a list of 10 ways to save money without having to make difficult to commit to life changes.

Save Money

When you have your monthly, weekly even daily spending habits spelled out for you in receipts, you can see exactly where your money goes.  If you are like me, you start to wonder if there are easy ways to maybe spend less without having to give up the things you’re used to.  I had already rocked the boat enough by taking over the spending and cutting out most of the soda and junk food.  I didn’t need to make any further drastic cuts.  I started looking for ways to save money in ways Sam and Zoe wouldn’t notice.

10 Ways to Save Money You’ll Never Notice

1. Save a penny a day. At the first of the year, there are always articles about how to save money. One that is always popular is the 52 Week Challenge, where you save $1.00 the first week, $2.00 the second week through the end of the year.  Sam and I thought we’d try something a little different.  The Penny a Day Challenge.  Where you save a penny on the first day, 2 pennies on the 2nd day.  We’ve been at it since the beginning of the year, using pocket change.  Today, March 23rd, we will put in 83 cents and we will have saved almost $35 and we haven’t missed any of it.

2. Change Jar.  This one is very similar to the penny a day challenge.  The only difference is, there isn’t a set amount every day.  This is where you put all your change at the end of the day in a jar.  The change in your pocket, in the bottom of your purse, change you’re not going to spend time digging for at the store.  Put it in a jar.  You won’t think about missing it, until one day you see there’s quite a bit of coin in the jar.

3. Direct Deposit.  If your company offers direct deposit, specify a specific amount to be directly deposited into a savings account.  It goes directly from your company into your savings account.  It’s easy because you don’t have to do anything.

4. 401K Matching.  If your company offers to match your 401K contributions, why wouldn’t you take them up on that?  It’s free money!  Some companies only match up to 5% or up to the first $1000 but that’s MATCH so that means 10% is being contributed, or up to $2000 towards your 401K.  Once you reach that threshold, and the company stops contributing, you’ve already adjusted to living with your contribution being taken from your check.  You’ve got a good start, it only makes sense to continue it.

5. Meal Planning and making lists. I noted in my Meal Planning Week 2 A Recap, making a list and sticking to it saved us up to $80 our first week.  This week I took into account the sales the different stores were having, and made my list accordingly.

6. Use the local library.  Our library not only has an amazing amount of books, they offer a huge selection of movies, and television series on DVDs and a wide variety of music on CD.  You can use their printers for a small fee which is significantly less than the cost of a printer or even ink.  Some libraries offer free photography classes, or computer classes, and reading programs for kids during the summer.

7. Timed showers.  Sometimes long hot showers are necessary to relax, but not every time.  Keeping showers short, saves on hot water.  We have set a 15 minute time limit on showers.  It means the hot water heater works less to heat water, it also saves water so I am saving on two bills by setting a timer for showers.

8. Turn off lights and television  I have to be honest, Sam and Zoe were in a bad habit of leaving lights and televisions on around the clock.  They would go to bed with the living room and kitchen all lit up and the television on even though everyone was in bed asleep.  We are all making a concerted effort to turn off lights and televisions when we leave a room.

9. Video games. We all have our games we like.  I am a huge fan of all the Lego games.  Anyway, some games you can play over and over again, even if you’ve beat it already.  Some games don’t have ‘replay value”.  We take those games that we won’t play again, and trade them towards games we will play more often.  We have several places around us that take games in on trade.  We buy pre-owned games to save money as well.

10. Don’t Give Up.  Make little changes, and keep at it.  These won’t make huge changes all at once, but over time you will start to see the savings.

Since I have started tracking our spending, I have started making most of these changes.  I am not expecting huge changes but overtime I do hope to see that we are spending less and saving more.

What ways do you save money?

Remember you can get my posts delivered via email, read me in your favorite reader, or sign up for my weekly newsletter.  You can also Follow Welcome to My Life, Part 2 on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

About Becky

While control is an illusion, organization helps to manage the chaos of our lives. Becky was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2007. She has found that when her life and home are organized her bipolar mind is less manic. She shares her attempts at managing the chaos of living with her fiance and tweenage step-daughter, while trying to be a good parent to her mostly grown children who live 2 hours away.

29 comments to 10 Ways to Save Money You’ll Never Notice

  • So many great tips here! I totally agree with the 401k matching! My husband and I always take advantage of that from our jobs!

    • Becky

      The 401K matching is something a lot of people don’t think about. And when you’re looking at the immediate numbers it doesn’t sound like a lot, but over time it adds up and it’s free money!

  • These are great! Meal planning is always a big one for us. Any week I need to stretch the money I plan out our meals and save a ton!

  • I keep wanting to put change aside, but I never use cash! I keep intending to, I just don’t. I do notice that meal planning makes a huge difference. This is a helpful list.

    • Becky

      Thank you!! We almost always need cash for something at school for Zoe so I make sure we have some on hand.

  • Coupons are my BFF. Hubby and I will actually cut them out and combine what we have when we go shopping. We have asked when the sales for meats go on (Wednesdays) it’s somethings a pain trying to check our list of what we need to see if we can match a coupon but in the long run it’s worth it. I am doing the Saving for 52 wks that’s how I plan on doing Christmas this year. Whatever is in there is what we will use and YOU BET I’ll be using sales and coupons Ha..

    • Becky

      I am just getting into coupons and I’ve got 3 apps on my phone that save money on groceries as well. I will be writing about those soon. My biggest problem at the moment is finding coupons to use. As soon as I can crack that code I will be golden! Thank you for stopping by!

  • I love these ideas! We let money leak away from us in so many small ways. It’s nice to find ways to have it leak back to us.

    • Becky

      Until I started tracking our spending I had no real idea how much money we were throwing away. I’ve been the “bad guy” around here, saying No and reminding them to turn off lights, but we’re saving money now where as before we weren’t.

  • This is a great list Becky! Meal planning and building lists around sales has saved us at least $20 a week. I know because I dealt with terrible morning sickness the last three months and stopped meal planning. Our grocery bill really suffered!

    • Becky

      Congratulations!! I was lucky with my girls, their dad had morning sickness for me.
      I am amazed at how much money I have been able to save by simply being mindful of our spending and making lists, and checking out the the ads. I’ve gone from $20+ a day to $70 a week or less!

  • Kim

    I am a big meal planner/grocery list maker – and I use coupons or if the stores have apps with savings options, I use those too. A little goes a long way! We also have a change jar – my kids both have one and love to put spare change in there. If they do want something, they have to use what’s in there (like a new toy or game). Great tips!

    • Becky

      Thank you! I am just getting into coupons and right now my biggest hurdle is finding them. Which shouldn’t be this hard, so I think I’m missing something!

  • Great ideas! Especially making lists and meal planning. When I go to the store without a list I end up with all kinds of extra things!

  • Great tips! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • These are fantastic tips, love them!!

  • Great ideas! I totally meal plan (and have sine I got married), but not to save money… if I didn’t I would have no idea what to make for dinner!! If you are into budgeting, Dave Ramesy has some awesome stuff we use. 🙂

    • Becky

      I am reading one of Dave Ramsey’s books right now and he has some great stuff that I am going to start using. Meal planning has made such a huge difference for me, saving money, and reducing stress. I used to get stabby when Sam would as “What’s for dinner?” now, nobody asks, because it’s already planned out.

  • These are wonderful tips. My husband was recently laid off and we implemented most of these tips right away.

    • Becky

      I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s job. These may not seem like a big deal but combined over time the savings can be tremendous. Good luck to your family.

  • Sheryl

    Sunday papers are a great place to find coupons, as well as on line.

    • Becky

      I am really surprised that the St.Louis Post Dispatch doesn’t have as many as you would think. We’ve bought a couple of Sunday papers and there was nothing. I’ll keep trying but I’m not going to waste $$ forever.

  • I drop my change in a big coffee can everyday, then I take the change to the bank and cash it in once a year. There is usually about $250 in there when I take it in. I always use the money for something that we all can enjoy. This year I am planning on taking the change bin in and using the money to buy a play-set for my kids.

    • Becky

      That’s perfect! We’re using our change to buy Christmas for everyone! Thank you for commenting!

  • […] Salad from Jordan’s Onion  Get More Sleep Naturally from Ruffles and Rain Boots 10 Ways to Save Money You’ll Never Notice from Welcome to My Life, Part 2 Meet your hosts! Jordan from Jordan’s […]