25 Hacks To Cut Your Everyday Spending

By Danielle Bilbruck

There are a million articles out there from personal finance experts on how to cut your spending, reduce your bills, or save money, and they’ve all got value. Often, however, the advice is coming from one person whose situation may or may not mirror your own. At Calculate My Wealth, we wanted to get your input on everyday hacks you use to curb your spending, and we have compiled them into a nice list here!

  1. ” Meal planning. Neurotic, to the snack, meal planning. And gas coupons.” – Danielle, Fargo, ND
  2. “I NEVER go shopping without a list. I also add up my grocery bill as I shop so that there isn’t a shock at checkout. And when I lived in the States, I made sure to go shopping on the day the grocery offered a 10% off entire bill for military.” – Micah, Ayase-shi, Japan

  3. “I buy off brand items almost exclusively. I do almost all of my clothing shopping at thrift stores. I use coupons and discounts wherever available. I utilize the dent discount at grocery stores. I have learned it is cheaper to can your own condiments and side items like pickles, salsa, and sauces rather than buy them from the grocery store.” – Tiffaney, Perley, MN

  4. “I go to a lot of baseball games and I always bring my own hot dogs and peanuts and soda.” – Andy, Los Angeles, CA

  5. I enter tons of competitions, and either I’m insanely lucky or not many other people do the same, since I win quite a few free tickets/records etc.” – Dave, Denver, CO

  6. “I own a home, and with that, comes all of the problems of maintaining and improving on it. To keep things on the cheaper side, I do a lot of the repairs and maintaining myself. It’s absurd how much a professional plumber will charge to replace something like your bath tub drain when you can do it yourself for a quarter of the cost, some time spent watching how-to videos, and some good old-fashioned elbow grease.” – William, Fargo, ND

  7. “I leave my debit card at home when I go to work. 7-11 right down the street = ~$10 spent on drinks and protein bars daily.” – Brad, Denver, CO
  8. I always bought new tennis shoes for the kids at the beginning of summer (1/2 size too big). I bought new summer clothes on clearance to start school, then slowly, bought Fall/Winter stuff after school started, and backpacks for the next year after school started.” – Debbie, St. Louis, MO

  9. “Only carry cash. Its a real eye-opener when there’s only a few $1 bills left and several days to go before my next installment of spending money. Makes you wiser quickly!” – Tess, Pennsylvania

  10. “Always ask gas stations if they give a cash discount/free coffee with a fill. Sunday paper coupons (as well as Sunday-only delivery, pays for itself with coupons and is always cheaper than buying the paper retail).” – Jake, Bismarck, ND

  11. “We have two bank accounts and split our respective direct deposits into each. Our main bank account has all of the auto-draw payments (utilities, mortgage, insurance, etc.) and receives the bulk of our paychecks, including our planned savings each month. We’re never allowed to spend from that account without consulting one another and making it an intentional decision. The second account is through Simple Bank, which allows you to put your cash into goals. Every pay day I spend two minutes putting my “cash” into goals like gas, lunches, clothes, gifts, etc. and use that card as my spending money for the pay period. Every quarter or so we revisit our budgets just to make sure they’re realistic and working. It’s been a really good system for us.” – Sasha, Little Rock, AR

  12. “Use Honey or Google for coupon codes every time you buy online.” – Mary, Denver, CO

  13. “I turned off one-click purchasing on sites like Amazon and use browser extensions like StayFocusd to block out e-commerce sites.” – Jeremy, Fargo, ND
  14. ACORNS. Love it. I’ve put away almost 5Gs in three years, just between round-ups and an aggressive mutual fund. Each year I drop a chunk into my IRA, too. Also: Check out an HSA. It’s basically a TRIPLE tax benefit!” – Dave, Denver, CO
  15. “I travel a lot so I carry beef jerky with me to avoid having to pay for and eat airport food.” – Beth, Washington D.C.

  16. “Two apps: Ibotta and Checkout 51 give you cash back for tons of items at the grocery store. Depending on if you plan ahead or not, you can really rack up a nice chunk of money over six months to a year, just to pay for an extra grocery trip or Christmas presents or whatever. Also, many grocery stores have additional coupons on their personal app that give you discounts on the spot.” – Dorothy, Los Angeles, CA

  17. “Go to the store with my spouse on holidays and pick out a card for each other, trade, and then put them back on the shelf and go out to dinner.” – Mike, Colorado Springs, CO

  18. “On my bank account I have something where every purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar and then put in my savings. That adds up. Like ‘Vacation Fund’ adds up.” – Randi, Rugby, ND

  19. “Capsule wardrobe! Basically, it’s a number of clothing items of your choosing that all go together and are ‘essentials.’ You have mostly classic clothing, with some seasonal or stylish stuff (if you so choose). You buy quality over quantity. Some people do 50 items, classic is 33, I’m down to like, 20. Not only saves money, but saves time and mental load.” – Claire, Westminster, CO

  20. “Use grocery bags for garbage and recycling. Buy whole milk and water it down for drinking/cereal, full strength as creamer. Walk or ride a bike instead of driving. Old socks are polishing cloth. Old shirts are cleaning towels. Old plastic containers are free tupperware. Factory-restore your old phone and maybe replace the battery to get like-new performance. Pick up rather than delivery. Indoor furniture is outdoor furniture once you put it outside.” – Graham, Denver, CO

  21. “Make my own window cleaner. Very easy. All with stuff I already have: vinegar, rubbing alcohol, corn starch, blue food coloring (optional). Pennies on the dollar. I have a friend who cooks (literally) their own laundry soap, which I hope to try. It’s a bit of work, but has been giving promising results and again, pennies on the dollar.” – Konroy, Yaounde, Cameroon

  22. “I walk into a store, go straight to the clearance rack, and if the clearance rack isn’t 50% off or more, I turn back around and walk out most of the time. Makes shopping a much quicker experience, too.” – Skylar, Nashville, TN

  23. “My couch. I think it’s magic. Every time I vacuum the crumbs (and there are always crumbs because kids), it gifts me with a multitude of loose change. It’s like it thanks me for cleaning it. If your couch is magic too, get a Magic Couch Thanking Jar and save it. It adds up fast, especially when you include the little thanks I get from my 12-year-old’s pants pockets each time I do laundry. I know that’s magic because she SWEARS she cleans out her pockets every time I do laundry…” – Trista, Devils Lake, ND

  24. “When we do road trips, we will pack a cooler with water and pop, get snacks in a reusuable shopping bag, and also have extra water and pop to refill the cooler depending on the length of trip. This cuts down on cost at gas stations. We only stay at the cheap but decent motels (Motel 6 is a good one). We will usually eat breakfast at a fast food place, snack on our snacks during the day, and then eat another meal about 5pm. This works for us while traveling.” – Tiffani, Lousiana

  25. “When going on a road trip I’ll pick one restaurant to frequent, like McDonalds, and refill my soda [at the same chain] each time I stop!” – Trieu, Prescott, AZ


So what do you think? Could you pick out one or two of these spend-hacks and start using them tomorrow? Tell us your spend-hacks and we might include them in a future article!