There are many ways to save money that are so time-consuming that all but the extremely thrifty people skip. But then there are those super easy ways to save money that take very little time that all of us should not ignore–yet we do.
Sure, some on this list of super easy and quick ways to save money will pay you back just a few cents at a time, but most are going to pay you back a few dollars and some as much as hundreds, perhaps even thousands of dollars. If you take the time to implement all ten, you could be looking at a hefty financial return for the short time you invest in them.
10 Easy Ways To Save Money You Shouldn’t Ignore But You Do
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1. Not Using Things To The Last Drop
Figuring out how to use things to the last drop is good for your wallet and the environment, whether it is swishing some water in the bottom of a bottle of liquid detergent to get enough to do one more load or investing in a set of spatulas in various sizes so you can use up the last of jarred food products no matter what the size of the jar.
2. Throwing Receipts Away Before Doing This
Rebate and cash back apps have made it so easy to turn receipts into cash. It takes just a few seconds to snap a picture and do the few things the app wants you to do to claim your rebate or cash back. I scan a single receipt into several of these apps and earn anywhere from a few pennies to a couple of dollars.
Here is a list of apps that offer a financial reward of some type for scanning in your qualifying receipts:
I have been using Ibotta for several years now and have earned dozens of gift cards. It is good for so much more than saving money on groceries; they work with all types of businesses, both brick and mortar and online. Go here to sign up for Ibotta.
Use my referral code RE9FU at sign-up and receive bonus points when you complete your first receipt.
Fetch Rewards allows you to earn 25 points from each receipt you scan. However, you earn even more points when the receipt has items on it that are a particular brand or part of their current promotions.
Open up the CoinOut app, hit scan, and snap a photo of your receipt. CoinOut will then reward you with a random amount of cents. I have earned as high as $0.08 for one receipt. Go here to sign up for CoinOut.
You can earn more Shopkick points by scanning your receipts, but I tend to stick to the point earning actions that don’t require buying a thing. Learn more about the shopkick app here.
Receipt Hog is simple to use and fun! You can upload almost any type of receipt and when you do, you receive either coins or spins. When you spin and get three in a row, you earn coins that you can cash out for gift cards. Go here to sign up for Receipt Hog and use my referral code YECT1667 during sign-up to start your account off with a few spins.
The Makenna app is for those of you who purchase organic and all-natural products.
Use my referral code TWNAVD during sign-up to earn 1,000 points (equals $1) once you upload your first receipt.
These are a few more apps that have started offering cash back, points, and rebates for receipts lately, including the Swagbucks App, which offers at least 2SB per receipt. The Dabbl App offers points for specific products. There is also the NCP recap app that I have yet to use.
3. Not Using These Programs When Buying Something Online
You have probably heard of cash back sites, but if you are like most, you forget to click over to the cash back website that you use and then click on through to the website you want to shop at so that you can earn those cash backs. But wait! You no longer have to do that thanks to browser tools. With browser tools, you take a minute or so once to install the browser tool for the cash back site, or sites, you want to use (I use several), and then the tool will pop-up when you are on a site that the company offers a cash back for.
Here are a few companies with browser tools that offer cash back:
I have the Swagbucks extension downloaded mainly to not miss out on Swag Code points, but I also use it for its cash back option when one isn’t available at Rakuten. Rakuten is my favorite browser extension for cash back, and I will let you know why in just a bit.
MyPoints is the first program I ever joined that offered cash backs for shopping online and I am still a member today, over a decade later. One Black Friday morning, I earned $75 in gift cards shopping at home in my PJs from MyPoints.
Rakuten is the cash back browser tool that I use the most often and here is why– I can stack it with a promo code. I have discovered many other cash back programs won’t allow you to do this.
Mr. Rebates comes in handy as it seems to offer cash back for some of the smaller sites that the other companies don’t offer.
TopCashBack’s no cash-out threshold makes it an excellent fit for those that don’t shop online often. Go here to sign up for TopCashBack.
Ibotta’s extension tool doesn’t give a percentage back at all the sites it works with; instead, it might offer cash back on certain items. I use the Ibotta cash back extension most often when I am creating my Walmart Grocery Pick-Up order. Once you have your Walmart account paired with your Ibotta account, applying cash back offers is relatively simple.
4. Not Performing One Of These At Least Once A Year
So if you saw the link to the post above and said, “What budget?” you need to make one. But you can still perform a spending tune-up without a budget by tracking every cent you spend for 3o days. Then review your log and evaluate if what you spent money on was worth the price.
For those of you with a budget, go through all your expenses and ask yourself, “are you getting your money’s worth out of that expense?” For instance, last time I did this with our budget, I was able to unsubscribe to three paid subscription services that we were not using as much as we once did. I also lowered a few more spending categories by doing a few price comparison searches online and finding cheaper options for things such as our cat and dog’s flea & tick medicine.
I spent three hours tops going through everything we spend money on, evaluating as to whether we still needed it or if we could reduce what we spend on it somehow and in the end that time ended up saving us roughly $150 a month. That works out to $50 an hour for my time spent, plus that three hours will keep on saving us money each month.
5. Not Using These When You Eat Out
Yes, certain budget gurus tell you not to set foot in a restaurant if you are working on reaching a financial goal, but I think that type of rule leads to deprivation binging.
Go ahead and eat out once in a while. Just be smart about it. One way to be smart about it is to sign up and use the restaurant’s reward program if they have one. In the smartphone age we live in, most restaurant reward programs are found in apps for that restaurant. These apps can save you money by offering you special reward members-only promos and points with each purchase that add up to free food.
Sometimes these apps offer you referral codes that increase your points each time a friend you share it with signs up, and they usually get something too! Here are my referral codes for the Restaurant apps I use that will also give you a little something for using them (thanks in advance to those of you that use them).
Use my referral code Victor9966 during sign-up in the app and start your account with 50 points.
Use my referral code VICTAV4562during sign-up in the app, and you should get a free treat (the app doesn’t say what).
Use my referral code VICTORIQ840, and you should get a free item (the app doesn’t say what).
Enter my referral code victoriah1164 when you sign up and you will get a free drink!
Sharing all these referral links reminds me of yet one more simple way to save money: share referral links for things you like with your friends so they can get in on a good thing too! Here is a list of companies that offer referral links and how to use them without being pushy.
6. Not Asking This Question Before You Buy Anything
This question is so simple, yet so powerful and saves my family hundreds of dollars each year and I am going to make you click the link to find out what that question is because I already wrote a post about it.
7. Not Doing This Before Buying An Item You Need For A One Time Event
Before you purchase those glass beverage containers with spigots to serve sweet tea and lemonade at your spouse’s 50th birthday party, hop on Facebook and ask your local friends if one of them might have one or two that you can borrow.
We have done this numerous times over the years for various items, and only once have we found no one we can borrow the item from. Of course, don’t do this if you are unwilling to return the favor or pay the owner the full price for a new one should the item break while in your care.
8. Not Using One Of These Even Though You Pay Off Your Credit Card Monthly
I am always a bit hesitant to share this money-saving tip without first saying that this tip is only for those of you who are not in credit card debt and always pay your credit card off in full every month. If that isn’t you, skip to tip nine.
If you use and pay your credit card in full each month, I hope you are using a point rewards card. We have been using the United Airmiles card by Chase for the last few years and have already earned enough points for several airfare tickets.
If you are looking for a points rewards credit card and the United Airmiles card by Chase sounds like a good fit, use my referral link and start your account with bonus reward miles.
If the United Airmiles card isn’t a good fit, there are plenty of other rewards credit cards out there, offering rewards of all different types. There is even one that rewards you with free Starbucks drinks! Take the time to research the ones out there and pick the one that works best for your family.
9. Not Filling In This Money-Saving Spot During The Online Check-Out Process
If the site you are shopping at online has a “promo code” line during checkout, it pays to take a minute or two to find a promo code.
I find Honey is the fastest way to do this. I have their browser tool downloaded into Chrome and it pops up during the checkout process, asking if I want it to find me a promo code. With one click, it begins applying different promo codes. Sometimes it doesn’t find one, but often it does! I have saved anywhere from $1 to $15 on one order and the savings are instant. Go here to sign up for Honey.
Another tool that you can use for coupons and promo codes is the Raise browser tool. This browser tool will also allow you to buy discounted gift card codes to apply to your purchases.
10. Not Doing This Instead Of Stepping Into The Store
Whenever you step into a store, there is a temptation to spend money on things that are not on your need list. This temptation seems to grow when you are in a big box department store. You can avoid this temptation by using free pick-up services like Walmart Curbside Grocery Pickup whenever offered and your order qualifies.
I order many dried goods and personal items at great prices through Amazon Subscribe and Save for Amazon Prime members. I also place an order through Boxed.com once every few months. Between the two, I no longer find it saves money to pay for a membership to either Sam’s Club or Costco.
Using these three programs has reduced my need to enter into any other grocery store besides my local Aldi and Ruler Foods and has reduced my unplanned purchases dramatically.
BIGGER Savings For Those Who Learn And Do The Thrifty Stack
What is the thrifty stack? Let me use the example of our recent lunch purchase to explain.
- Recently Moe’s sent me an email saying they had loaded a coupon to my Moe’s app that allowed me to purchase two entrees for the price of one. My husband and I decided to spend the coupon and get two burritos for $9.99 total. (Savings $9.99)
- We ordered the burritos through the app and earned 9 points towards another $10 reward.
- I remembered our credit card was offering a 10% cash back deal on Moe’s purchases, so I made sure the deal was activated and then paid with my credit card. (value- one dollar off our next credit card bill)
- After eating our burritos, I scanned the receipt into the CoinOut app and received two cents towards my next cash out.
- I scanned the receipt into Fetch Rewards and earned 705 points toward my next gift card.
- I scanned the receipt into Receipt Hog and earned two spins (sadly no points won) and a ticket into next month’s drawing.
- Since I paid with our United Airmiles credit card, that gives us 2 points per dollar for restaurants meaning I earned 19 Airmiles.
And that, my readers, is a Thrifty Stack! I put the ten quick money-saving tips above into action and made what should have been a roughly twenty-dollar meal into a meal that cost us right around $8!
I hope this post inspires you to implement these ten easy money-saving tips and reap the rewards!
3 More Posts That Will Help You Lower Your Expenses
- 52 Thrifty Tools Our Family Uses To Help Us Life A Life Of More For Less
- Fast And Simple Ways Busy People Can Save Money
- How To Nickel And Dime Your Way To A Debt Free Life
Do you want to save or earn money? Join my Thrifty People Of Snail Pace Transformations Facebook page, where I share tips for doing both.