If you want to save money, you can’t keep doing the same things you’ve always done. You have to either eliminate spending or swap out certain expenses and habits with less expensive ones.
It can be difficult to completely eliminate things from your daily like that you enjoy and are used to. If you can lower those daily expenses, though, you can start to save a bundle of money.
Don’t underestimate how much you can save by making small changes. Just saving $5 per week will give you an extra $260 per year.
Below are 17 “swaps” you can make to save money. In bold, you’ll can see approximately how much money you’ll save by making each swap.
17 Money Saving Swaps
1. Coffee Shop Coffee ⇒ Coffee at Home
If you get coffee from a shop once or twice a week, you could easily save $30+ per month!
For a really good cup of coffee, we make it at home with a stainless steel pour over coffee dripper. It’s so good, we accidentally become coffee snobs 🙂
If you usually get coffee with friends, have them over for coffee or just meet up and go for a walk to chat instead.
2. Takeout Pizza ⇒ Frozen or Homemade Pizza
Save $10-15 each time!
Frozen pizza is just as quick and easy as takeout. Save takeout for an occasional treat to save money.
We love making homemade pizza. It’s less expensive than takeout and is a lot of fun. We like experimenting with different recipes and topping combinations. We make a fabulous chicken-ranch pizza 🙂
3. New Clothing ⇒ Thrift Store or Consignment Clothing
Save up to 90%.
I’ve had really good luck with consignment stores. There’s not as much to dig through to find quality pieces as there is in thrift stores.
4. Name Brand Food ⇒ Aldi or Store Brand Food
Save 25-50% on your groceries!
Grocery spending is one of our highest budget categories each month, so even saving 10% makes a huge difference.
I absolutely adore Aldi! Almost everything we’ve tried from there has been good. We actually prefer their brand over a lot of name brands.
If you don’t have an Aldi nearby, try your local store brand.
Don’t forget to use Ibotta to save on fruits, veggies, and store brands. It’s so easy.
If you sign up with my referral link, you will get $10 added to your account when you scan a receipt for your first rebate. I’ve created a tutorial for exactly how I save money on fruits, veggies, and non-name brand foods.
Related Post: Meal Planning Just Got 5x Easier!
5. Going Out to Eat with Friends ⇒ Dinner & Hangout at Home
Save at least $20 each time.
Invite friends to hang out at your house. You can spend less on feeding everyone at home than you would on just eating out yourself.
Even better: Just have everyone bring a dish or snacks for the group, potluck style.
Related Post: The Huge Financial Benefit of Staying Home
6. Dinner & a Movie ⇒ Rotisserie Chicken Dinner & Redbox Rental
Pick up a rotisserie chicken, some microwaveable side dishes, and a rental movie and you’ll spend way less than going out to dinner ($30) and a movie at the theater ($20).
Related Post: Frugal Date Ideas for $20, $10, & FREE
7. Store Bought Candles ⇒ Homemade Candles
Save $10 per candle.
I love nice soy candles but they’re expensive. Then I learned how to make my own! I can make soy candles for around $2.86 per candle.
8. Men’s Barber Shop Haircut ⇒ Haircut at Home
Save $20 each time.
I’ve been cutting Austin’s hair for years. A decent set of clippers and some Youtube videos and you’re all set to save a good chunk of money over time.
9. Shopping for Fun ⇒ Any other hobby!
Basically, unlimited savings.
Yes, other hobbies can cost money, but shopping as a hobby will always cost you money.
If you make do with what you have right now, you can probably get hours of enjoyment out of your hobbies without purchasing anything for a long time.
10. Gym Membership ⇒ Home Gym
Save up to $50 per month.
11. Store Bought Cleaners ⇒ Homemade Cleaners
I’m just guessing, but I think you’ll save at around 75%.
Homemade cleaners cost pennies! I use two natural cleaning recipes for almost our whole house.
12. Cable ⇒ Netflix & TV Antenna
Save $90 per month.
There is more than enough to watch on Netflix. An antenna can pick up local channels for news, current TV shows, and some sports.
13. Paper Towels & Napkins ⇒ Microfiber Cloths and Cloth Napkins
Save $80+ per year.
The cost of disposables adds up. We rarely use paper towels anymore.
14. Fast Food When You’re Out ⇒ Bring Snacks and Water Bottle When You Leave the House.
Save $5 per person each time. This adds up WAY more than you would think!
It takes two minutes to fill up a water bottle and throw some snacks in a bag before you leave the house and it can save you a great deal of money.
Shopping trips always take longer than planned and everyone ends up hungry and cranky. It’s just what happens. Packing a fews things will keep you from stopping at the drive through.
15. Bought Lunch ⇒ Sack Lunch
Save at least $5 per lunch. I’d actually say $5 is a very conservative estimate.
I used to work with people who went out to eat every day for lunch. That’s at least $100 per month, probably more.
It’s not hard at all to make a delicious sack lunch for work or school. Tip #1 is to always make it the night before and assume you won’t have time in the morning, because you probably wont.
Related Post: How to Pack a Fabulous Lunch
16. Purchased Books, Movies, Magazines ⇒ Library!
Save hundreds per year.
Use. Your. Library.
We use our library to download ebooks and audiobooks constantly. We don’t even have to go there. Our library card gives us access to it all. Most libraries have services like this now. Take a look!
17. Dinner Date ⇒ Lunch Date
Save $10+ every time.
A lot of restaurants have a less expensive lunch menu with many of the same meals available. There might be smaller servings, but it’s always still more than enough. Don’t forget to check Groupon for an extra discount on restaurants in your area. We did this recently and saved 50%.
Movie theaters have cheaper matinee prices. Around here, matinee prices work for any movie that starts before 6pm. There is even an early bird discount for shows that start before 1pm.