The Most Unusual, But Super Effective Money-Saving ‘Hacks’

One thing people are obsessing over is ‘life hacks’, simple things that you can do that make life just a bit easier to do. These can either be substitutions but ultimately these are straightforward and simple things that save you time, money or energy in the process. They’re typically not habit changes, but rather make a shift in how you are doing various tasks.

There are all kinds of these hacks out there but the ones we want to focus on are the ones in the list below. That list comprises 25 types of hacks to make money saving just a little bit easier for you.

Even though these are subtle life changes, over time, you could be saving yourself a ton of money and you’re not really sacrificing anything for it. You’re still getting the same sort of results for things that you’re seeking but it’s more on how you are doing them.

Drinking Water Almost Exclusively

One of the most frugal things you can do is to have water on a constant basis. Water bills overall aren’t that high and it’s not like the price will skyrocket if you’re drinking more water. Furthermore the cost of being hydrated from other beverages is pricier aside from the fact they don’t really stave off dehydration for long.

You also get a good amount of health benefits from water too compared to other options. Beyond that, implementing water is easy to do. Whenever you’re thirsty, you simply grab yourself a glass of water and drink it down. You can even get a water bottle to help you stave off the urge of getting pop from a vending machine.

Another consideration is in restaurants, water is always free because the cost for the restaurant is minimal at most. Every time you dine out you could save yourself a little bit of change from simply sticking to water.

Get A Filter For Your Tap Or A Filtered Pitcher

Not everyone has access to well water and there is a big difference between the water that’s flowing to the city and other cleaner water sources. Sure, in a developed country they’re both drinkable but city water isn’t very good. Intolerable for some. In those cases, we’d suggest investing in a filter. You could also go another way and buy filtered pitchers.

The idea is to keep drinking water and naturally if you have better tasting water, you’ll keep coming back to that rather than drinking other things.

Calling The Auto Insurance Company

Another simple hack that can save a lot of money is calling your auto insurance company. It’s intimidating at first but it can pay dividends if you can get over that mental hurdle.

The focus of the call is to get a summary of your current auto insurance. To do this, pull out your recent insurance policy and check online to see other quotes from other auto insurers for that same type of insurance. Once you get some quotes – after asking a few questions, you can compare them to your current plan. If there are some offering you lower costs, the idea is to go back to your current insurance agency and see if they can lower your policy down to that price as you’d like to continue being their customer.

In most cases your current insurance company would be open to the idea. In fact, some might go below that price point for you as well. The whole process can take about an hour we’d say but it saves you so much money on the long-term it’s worth doing.

When Buying Common Items, Go Thrifty First

Whether it’s new clothes, a pot or a toaster, some people always go for the latest and greatest first. While there is nothing wrong with that, sometimes thrift stores could offer you something better or the same at half the price.

When it comes to small appliances it can be very hit or miss but things like clothes or simple cooking or dinner ware is in good condition and only costs a few dollars.

Naturally with thrift stores there is no guarantee that what you are looking for will be there but it’s a good stop to consider before spending hundreds of dollars on designer clothing or something.

Even if it’s not brand new, thrift stores only take exclusively good condition items so it’s not like you’ll run into the same problem in a few months.

Carpool Where You Can

While this pandemic does put a restriction on things, this is something you can do in the future to save money. If you’re commuting on a regular basis, it could be worth it to carpool with friends or a neighbor who is going to the same location generally speaking.

Even if it’s not every day, getting a day or two that works can save you money on a good bit of gas. Over the years you could save hundreds (both you and the driver) at the low cost of giving your driver a cup of coffee or some change for gas.

Having A Grocery List Before Shopping

If the fridge is bare and you need food, you’d think it’s time to stock up right? Yes, but you’ll want to make a list first.

The reason for that is that a list will allow you to focus on the things that matter as grocery stores are specifically designed to make you impulse buy. How many times have you gone into the grocery store to grab one thing and walk out with several extra items?

Regardless of whether the item is on sale or not, you’ll often save yourself a ton of money if you have a list and stick that list the entire time. You could also go several steps further with it by checking coupons in flyers – or in the store – as well as preparing a meal plan for the week in advance so you know what food you actually need.

Make Extras And Store It

On top of having a grocery list, if you do feel the urge to overspend then consider making extras and storing the extras for later? Maybe you’re getting ground beef and you find it on sale conveniently enough? You can stock up on extra raw supplies or cook it that week for a particular dish.

This saves money in two key ways. First if you’re buying a lot, you’ll often gravitate towards the larger portion of food. Generally speaking, that will save you money long term. The second thing is keeping it in the freezer preserves the food for a very long time and it’s easy to prepare these meals. All you need to do is warm it up.

One meal to consider in the future is soups. Soups demand several bulk ingredients forcing you to not throw out food at the end of the day. You can then store that soup for multiple dishes for the week and maybe next depending on your situation.

Have A New Email Address Exclusively For Reward Cards

Every big store has some kind of rewards program and all they require is your email.

The only problem is that they often send so many of these deals your inbox will get filled with spam and other junk you don’t need.

What can get even more annoying is the fact some stores will sell your email to third parties who’ll send their own spam emails to you too.

To ensure that you still get the benefits of the rewards and not have your inbox filled with spam, simply have another email address for these particular programs. Make it something easy to remember and then make a Gmail account with it. Whenever you’re offered a reward program, simply use that email.

Beyond that, you should check in on it once in a while to make sure you’ve filled the bonus program requirements. Also if you’re ever planning to shop there, you might find some cool deals.

Placing Bulk Orders For Nonperishable Items

If you’re the type who goes through disposable razors, deodorant, or other products like that, instead of buying individual ones, why not buy larger bulk packs? In most situations the bulk packs will get you to save a lot of money when compared to buying items one at a time.

The other thing to note is seeing those particular items going on sale. If you see them, stock up on them as much as you can.

Use The Library For Books And Movies

While the pandemic does restrict this a lot, public libraries are still an invaluable source for knowledge and movies. While you won’t find any current year books in libraries, there is still plenty of reading material in there to keep you entertained.

Not only that but so often books are bought, read once and then never opened again.

Going to a library will save you tons of money as they might have a copy that you could borrow and then read and be done with it.

Have A Potluck Rather Than Dining Out

If you’re planning on going out for dinner with a few friends, consider next time hosting a potluck dinner instead. Every person is responsible for bringing an item and then you can prepare the main course yourself. Stick with something simple like some hearty soup or a simple casserole.

With everyone pitching something for the dinner there is bound to be plenty of leftovers for a meal or two and you’ll ultimately be spending far less than you would eating out.

Look For A New Cell Phone Carrier

If you’re getting close to the end of your cell phone contract, you’re at an ideal point where you could get a new phone and even a new carrier. In those cases it’s worth checking all your available options and getting the details of their offers. If there are some that are appealing, you can turn back to your current carrier (if you like them) and see if there are competing offers.

Similar to insurance companies, most will put some effort to offer lower prices or more features ensuring you’re getting more from them than from others.

Buying Neutral Colored Clothes

As unusual as it sounds it makes sense when you consider people’s wardrobes.

Wherever you go shopping for clothing, you’re typically looking for clothes that fill in the gap that your current wardrobe has. But instead of looking for that one particular item, we’d look to find clothing of neutral colors as these often pair with several items in one’s wardrobe.

If you’re looking to accent them with more color, you can do that with accessories like scarves, pins, or neckties.

This simple technique offers far more value than looking for something to complete one ensemble. With neutral colored clothes, you’re able to mix and match with a large wardrobe without having to get various garments for specific styles.

If you’re thinking of doing this, you want to make sure the quality is good. How you can do that is checking the stitching. Is it smooth and tight? How about the cloth?

Does it feel like it couldn’t tear easily in your hands alone? Clothes that have these characteristics ensure they’ll last longer than clothes with thin fabric and uneven stitching.

Change Ceiling Fans With The Seasons

This is another simple trick that can save a lot on the energy bills. What’s even better is there isn’t much you need to change. If you have ceiling fans, there are actually two kinds of settings the fan has. All these settings do is determine the direction that fans are spinning. That alone can make a huge difference than you might think.

Over the summer, the ceiling fans are more efficient when they’re running clockwise.

Why? Well due to the way it’s spinning, it’s pushing down air in the center of the room, giving it a “breeze” effect. As you might guess, if the fan is rotating counter-clockwise, it’s creating a “warming” effect since it’s pulling air up to the middle of the room and pushing warm air over the walls and ceiling.

All that you have to do to check this is stand under the fan during the fall. If the air is blowing down on you, flip the directional switch on the ceiling fan. You’ll want to do this during the spring as well.

By letting your fan work optimally, it reduces the need of running other power hungry appliances to do heating and cooling for you. This cuts down power usage a lot and therefore money.

Make Your Own Coffee

While it’s ideal to stick with water, we know some people can’t live without a cup of coffee. The thing is though is people are so dependent on coffee they don’t bother making it themselves and instead buy them at a coffee shop.

As convenient as that may be, it’s easy for people to spend well over a thousand dollars a year on coffee this way. It’s insane especially since you could be saving way more by making your own coffee in the morning.

It’s fast and very easy to do and best of all you can put it in a thermos and have it on the go.

Plant Some Trees After You’ve Moved In

Even if you don’t plan to live in that house for the rest of your life, there are a few good reasons to do this. One, it saves you money. Second, you earn money from it.

How you save money will come on a long-term basis. Once the tree grows big enough, it’ll start to provide you with shade. While this can take a while to reach that point, you could look into fast growing trees which will provide adequate shade in as little as ten years.

This shade will save you a ton of money since it’ll reduce cooling costs over the summer time.

On the flip side, you’ll make more money from this too. Any kind of improvement done to the yard boosts property value. Even trees. By having several trees in the yard or even one allows you to raise the price on the house just because it feels home-y and can even save someone power.

If you’ve just moved into a home and there aren’t a lot of trees, go ahead and plant a few.

Try The Generic Brand First

Whenever you’re in a store choosing between a brand of a product, we’d encourage you to try out the store/generic brand of that item. Take it home and try it out. The reason we encourage this is that so often we associate the generic brands with lower quality products when in reality there’s probably not a big difference.

These days, generic brands have come a long way to the point now that they rarely let you down completely. At worst, you might be slightly disappointed about it, but more often than not you won’t notice a difference and may even prefer this.

So why do this? Well because it’s cheaper for a specific reason: marketing. More often than not you’re paying more for a branded product simply because it’s advertising in other spots. A store branded product doesn’t need to be marketed as you’ll see it when you’re in the actual store. With that in mind, it’s fair to say that the quality of the products isn’t too significant and you’ll save yourself some money in the process.

Make Spray Cleaners In Windex Bottles

It’s surprisingly easy to make your own cleaning spray. All you need to do is take an empty jar, add equal parts water and vinegar, and a few citrus peels from either an orange or a lemon. After that, put the lid on the jar and shake it a bit before leaving it to sit for a week. Afterwards strain the contents into a windex bottle that’s empty save for a few drops of dish soap. Strain out the peels with a funnel while emptying the contents.

After all that, you’ve got yourself a high quality cleaner for literally everything and all you’ve done is use items you would’ve used normally. It’s effective and it’s cheaper than getting your own cleaning supplies.

Remove Payment Info From E-Commerce Sites

Shopping online is another way to crush your savings as many people have an impulse for buying. They see something and don’t think twice about ordering it immediately.

While it’s convenient that information is filled out without you needing to, it really encourages this behavior which isn’t good.

If you’re looking to save money, do yourself a favor and remove billing information from sites you buy from. By doing this, you’re forced to fill it all out every time you place an order. This usually provides enough time to get you to think about whether you really need that product or not.

It’s a small change but it builds a good habit of being conscious about your spending.

You’ll often save money as you realize you don’t actually need that item in the end.

Use Automatic Transfers

Another easy and effortless saving trick is to start transferring money to other accounts you own. While you could do this manually, it’s better and easier to set up automatic payments where you’re moving money from one account to another seamlessly in the background.

You can set this up through telephone banking or you could do it all online. You could even time this on the days that you get paid too. After that, you can tap into your savings account at any time if you encounter any crisis.

Do Small Projects Yourself Before Asking For Help

When something breaks down, we often reflexively call someone else to fix it and don’t think much about it. It’s common as our minds usually gravitate towards the most extreme problems when something goes wrong and throw money at it to make it go away. A broken toilet? The bathroom is going to get flooded soon.

That line of thinking is dangerous and you’ll need to find a way to get over that. If something isn’t working or needs a minor repair there are tons of tutorials on YouTube and on blogs about small issues and how to fix them.

In most cases, the problem can be solved if you can manage a few basic instructions and set aside a little bit of your time. In some cases you might need to get other tools which are pretty cheap too.

This can save you hundreds of dollars and can pay more in the future. After all, other things are bound to break down eventually and if you’ve done a few small projects yourself, you’ll feel confident about fixing other things. Worst case scenario if you do make a mistake, you can always call a repairperson.

Clean Out The Closest And Sell Stuff

Every person is a hoarder to some extent. Maybe not to the extremes where it’s a serious problem to their health, but more often than not we have a build up of stuff in the home that you simply don’t use or wear any longer.

Times change of course and in light of that, one way you can save money is to go through those items and to sell them. On the surface, you’re making cold hard cash from it, but this can pay more on the long-term. For example, if you’re planning on moving, many moving companies charge based on weight or how many boxes you’ve got. This can cut costs considerably if you’ve sold a few hundred pounds worth of stuff or several boxes.

This can also save you money on insurance as well since this will lower premiums since there is less money the insurance company needs to pay out in the event that they have to.

You can save a lot of money just by checking to see what you haven’t used in a few months and selling it off on Craigslist or eBay.

Check Meetups

While a pandemic is raging on, getting the chance to meet and do social things is off the table. That said, it’s still a good idea to do this after this pandemic blows over.

The reason for this is the site Meetup offers plenty of social events and gatherings that can save you a lot of money compared to other options.

All that you need to do is go to the site and find groups that you’re interested in joining and meetup during the scheduled time.

There are all kinds of exciting things you can do through these events and it’s a good way for meeting other people. On top of that, you’ll save money in a big way since most events are free (or offer a small fee to join) and it beats spending a lot of money at bars or clubs.

Buy And Grow Easy To Maintain Vegetables Or Herbs

The last tip we have is to put some effort into growing a green thumb. As much as we think of gardening as a tough thing, it’s actually not. There are a lot of easy to maintain vegetables and herbs out there that require a bit of water and not much else.

All that you’ve got to do is find a nice spot for them – a back porch or a small part of your yard will do. So long as you don’t disturb the area (i.e. mow them over with a lawnmower by accident) you can have a nice source of various herbs and vegetables.

Seeds themselves are inexpensive but what’s also nice is some of these herbs and vegetables are able to grow back year after year. Take chives where they can grow back like this.