Jars of money with seedlings sprouting from the tops with text overlay: 15 Painless Ways to Save Money

15 Painless Ways To Save Money

Have you ever had those times where it seemed events conspired to spend your money for you before you even had it in your hand?

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As you may know from my post In Case You Were Wondering, we’ve been dealing with a very ill dog for the past few months. He’s doing much better now, but between his doctor’s visits, medication, and special food, he’s costing us an arm and a leg.

My husband says the little guy and his brother are going to have to go out and find jobs….

.Seriously, though, part of wellness is Financial Wellness, and part of the formula for financial wellness is being able to successfully manage your expenses.

Having a “cushion” in our budget is really important when those unexpected expenses pop up, but many times, people just don’t see where they have any “wiggle room” in their budget to build up that cushion. To help with that, I decided to check out some really easy, practically painless ways to save money.

15 (Almost) Painless Ways to Save Money

  • Make a budget. We have to tell our money where to go. If we don’t plan how we’re going to spend it, our hard-earned money has a way of disappearing before our eyes.
  • Use cash. You may not want to use cash for everything, but it can be helpful to use it for things like eating out, groceries, etc.. When you have to actually pull out that cash, it can make you think about whether you really need what you’re buying.
  • Save your change. If you do use cash, empty your pockets (or purse) and put the change in your bank (or jar). As your piggy bank gets full, take the change to the bank and put it in your savings account.
  • Track your spending. Know where your money is going –  those small amounts we spend daily add up over time.
  • Eat at home. Cooking your own meals can save you lots of money. You can feed a family of four at home for the price of a restaurant meal. Taking your lunch to work can also add up to big savings. Just think — the average price of a lunch out is around $10. That’s around $200 a month if you eat out every workday! If you’re not a big cook, many grocery stores now offer meal kits that include everything you need for a meal. All you have to do is take it home and follow the directions.
  • Make a meal plan. This can help you know what you need to buy when you go to the grocery store and keep you from making unnecessary purchases.
  • Make a grocery list and stick to it. Using your meal plan, construct your grocery list to make sure you pick up everything you need. Be sure to check your pantry and fridge as you make your list so you don’t buy duplicates.
  • Sign up for store loyalty cards. Many grocery store loyalty cards allow you to go online and download digital coupons to your card. One of the stores we shop at, Kroger, also sends us paper coupons based on our purchases, so they’re always coupons we will use. In addition, we get fuel points, which give us ten cents off per gallon for each 100 points we’ve earned. These little savings can really add up over time.
  • Avoid using shopping trips as entertainment. Many people enjoy going out for a day of shopping and people-watching at the mall, but if you’re trying to save money, this can be dangerous for your wallet. It’s too easy to see something that you absolutely must have or that sale that’s just too good to pass up.
  • Master the 30-day rule. According to The Simple Dollar, “avoiding instant gratification is one of the most important rules of personal finance, and waiting 30 days to decide on a purchase is an excellent way to implement that rule.”
  • Find free entertainment. Community calendars are a great resource for this. Many communities offer free or reduced-price activities each month, and with a little planning you can fill up your calendar with lots of fun activities that don’t cost anything.
  • Double-check your subscriptions. Are you using all those subscriptions you’re paying for each month? Often, we pay for things we don’t even use because we signed up for them and then just forgot about them. Are there any you find you don’t really need anymore?
  • Drink more water. We all know water is good for our health, but it’s also good for our wallet. If you’re drinking water, you’re not drinking that expensive coffee drink or over-priced glass of iced tea at your favorite restaurant.
  • Give store brands a try. Many store brands are just as good as the name brands, but it may take a little trial and error to know which ones are comparable.
  • Make savings automatic. Pay yourself before you even see your paycheck. When you make it automatic, you don’t have the chance to miss the money you’re putting into your savings.

I’m sure many of these suggestions aren’t really anything new, but they’re some that I’ve found most helpful over the years. Some of the resources for money-saving ideas I found are listed below. If you’re interested in more ideas, I’d encourage you to check them out.

What are some of your top tips for saving money? Please share!



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Jars of money with seedlings growing from the tops with text overlay: 15 Painless Ways to Save Money





  1. Great reminders! Sarah and I are apart so often when we get a chance to run errands together it sometimes turns into an entertainment trip. I understand how that can get costly. Making that list helps :).

    1. Thanks so much Tim! When you have busy schedules you have to take the time when you can get it, don’t you? Just being aware that it can be a trap helps, I think. The list definitely helps, but when I have company on my shopping trip, stuff just shows up in my cart.😂 Blessings to you both!

  2. Great ideas here.

    We paid out my car 2 years early using loose change we put into a money box. A year later we paid off hubbies car 18 months early. Not having those monthly loan payments are fantastic. Any loose change now will help to keep the cars safe and regularly serviced.

    1. Thank you Chrissy! Wow, that’s amazing that you were able to pay off your car early with your loose change!!! That’s a great idea to earmark it for repairs too. Thanks for the idea! Blessings to you!

  3. another wonderfully helpful post Terri. Financial peace, Personal finance and saving money and working on being debt free is a huge passion of mine. As you know, being chronically ill requires a lot of money so we have to watch our money so closely.
    i am so very sorry about your doggies………hope they are feeling better soon so they can start paying back mom and dad 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Wendi! I remember that financial wellness is a passion of yours. Do I remember correctly that you wrote a book about it? If so, please feel free to leave a link if folks want to check it out. Blessings to you sweet friend!

      1. No problem at all dear friend. I hope people will go check out your books. I already purchased mine.😊

      2. awwww…………that is so very sweet of you Terri! I am deeply humbled. I hope you find it as least partially useful…….it was a great learning experience and I pray it will get better with each attempt. Bless you!

      3. I’m sure it will be a great resource….You may even find yourself quoted in some of my blog posts. 😊💕

    1. I hadn’t heard of the 30 day rule until I started researching, but I love it. I’m going to adopt it as well, especially for large purchases. I’ve had my eye on a new grill, but I’m holding off until the price goes down…. 😁 I’m hoping as we get closer to the end of summer the grills will start getting cheaper.

      1. They will! But don’t miss out on having the things that make your life enjoyable. My dad always had a rule when we went to a restaurant that I try to follow to this day. He always encouraged us to order something new and different, something that my mom wouldn’t make for us at home. So now I order what I wouldn’t make at home, it makes eating out special (but rare, we hardly ever do). So I was just on the site Hollar. I buy all my office ‘supplies’ from there. It’s hit or miss, they sell new stuff, but overstocked stuff. They had a cute little nail polish set with a hard case, $4. Today Only! Well, I wanted the case for computer accessories; power cords, ear buds, etc. Cases are spendy! But 30 day rule… and I found some plastic pencil cases I already had that’ll work just as well! Because it would’ve NOT just been $4. I would’ve spent enough to get free shipping! It works Terri! Thank you! Great post!😊💜🎉🎉🎉

      2. Thanks so much for sharing that Kim! I think your Dad’s rule is a great one. I tend to do that also; I usually cook pretty healthy so when I go out, I don’t worry too much about whether something’s healthy or not, I just order what sounds good. I figure every once in a while doesn’t hurt.😊 I also agree with not missing out on things that make life enjoyable. Life is just too short to deprive ourselves of all the things we enjoy, but it sure doesn’t hurt to be judicious with how we use our resources. It’s good to hear you were able to re-purpose those pencil cases. Hugs!

  4. Aww I’m so glad he’s starting to pick up and that’s doing better, that must be such a relief ♥ Furbabies definitely can cost an arm and a leg though!
    I’m pretty good with saving money because I’m such a ‘tight arse’ apparently. I’m frugal-minded in the sense that I was bought up to earn money through hard work and never use credit and never buy something I can’t afford. As I’ve grown older, then gone through losing my job and all that malarky, I’ve realised their black & white views on it don’t apply so much but the basic principles are there and stay with me. Losing my job has also increased the financial strain so I’m even more aware trying to save money where I can. The 30 day rule is an interesting one, and a great one to apply when it’s more of a ‘want’ rather than ‘need’ purchase. If you’re indecisive like me then you can manage the 30 day rule pretty easily 😆
    Great tips, Terri! xx

    1. Thanks so much Caz! I think being frugal is a fabulous attribute! When my son was really young, any time he got some money in his pocket he wanted to spend it, but now that he’s grown he’s really frugal and exceptionally responsible with his money. He definitely applies the 30-day rule — me, not so much. Usually I just decide I want something and if I can afford it, I go ahead and buy it. The only problem is that sometimes, that thing I thought I needed (wanted) so badly ends up sitting somewhere barely used until I donate it somewhere. I hope you’re doing well sweet friend. Hugs!

  5. Brilliant post! I am a strong believer in saving money! I am actually pretty cheap. I always check prices at different grocery stores before I go shopping because some have better deals. Some think I am crazy for going to 2 or 3 different places, but I end up saving. All the stores are close, so it’s not like I am spending extra in gas!!

    1. Thank you so much Alyssa! Checking prices before you shop is a great idea! My Mom does what you do – she checks the sales, then makes the rounds of the grocery stores. I’m sure you save a lot of money that way. Do you also plan your meals around what’s on sale in the circulars? Hope you’re doing well sweet friend! Hugs!

      1. I honestly do not plan meals around what is on sale, but I do go to several stores to get the best price! I have always been a bargain shopper!!

      2. There are also farmer’s markets. We country people don’t have much to survive so a farmer’s market really bails us out. Plus, some have, if you are on food stamps, they can double the amount of the food stamps with the fruits and vegetables that you buy at the farmers market. Usually it is up to 20 dollars so you can get another 20 dollars of fruits and vegetables at participating farmer’s markets and Family Fare grocery stores I believe also participate in the double your food stamps deal by buying fruits and vegetables.

      3. Thanks so much for sharing this info Christine! I believe I remember hearing that our city’s Farmer’s Market offer that program with the SNAP cards also. It’s a wonderful program, especially for those who, like the folks who live in our downtown area, are in a “food desert.” Again, thanks for your comment, and for sharing this information about the Farmer’s Markets.

  6. Those are some good tips Terri. But unlike your other posts, I think I’m going to have a rough time with this one. Especially the one about making a budget and sticking to your grocery list. Guess I just need to be more disciplined, but I’m slowly working on it.

    1. Thanks for your comment Mark! You know, finances, like many other areas of wellness are very personal and unique to the individual. Each person has to find what works for them, and sometimes that just takes a little time to figure out. I found a bunch of great suggestions in the articles I read, but I knew I’d never follow some of them. I’m a firm believer in saving for the future and to cover unexpected expenses, but I don’t want us to feel we can’t enjoy life because we’re too busy squirreling all our money away.😊 For us, it was about finding a balance between the two. Hope you’re doing well, my friend! Blessings to you!

  7. Great post Terri! I would love to adopt the 30 day rule. I really do have trouble with certain types of purchases and could use a time-out to think about it. 😉

    1. Thanks so much Sierra! When I found that 30-day rule in one of the articles I read, I thought it was brilliant! Obviously, you can’t do that if you have an appliance go out that has to be replaced immediately, but I think it would be great for some of those “might be nice to have” items. If you try it, let me know how it works for you. Hugs!

  8. Sound advice. Not every rule applies every person, but most apply to all of us. We have found that buying something of a better quality (not necessarily the most expensive) costs less eventually if we use it and take care of it.

    1. Thanks so much for that tip George! Like you, we’ve found that buying better-quality items (especially appliances, our heating/cooling unit, etc.) ends up saving us money in the long run. You know that old saying, “You get what you pay for.” I used to hear that all the time from my parents and grandparents and I’ve found it to be pretty accurate. I hope you and Sandy are doing well. Blessings to you both!

  9. Sorry to hear about your pooch Terri, glad he is improving though!
    Great advice! Adding; don’t grocery shop when your hungry as more items mysteriously appear in your trolley. 😉
    Bless you,

    1. Thanks so much Jennifer, and thanks for that important tip about grocery shopping! Those extra items really do make their way in there when you’re hungry, don’t they? Blessings to you sweet friend!

    1. Thanks so much Brigid! I like the 30 Day Rule too – I had never heard of it until I started researching for this. You’re right about our furry friends… Our guys are like little furry kids to us. 😁 Hugs!

  10. Great tips Terri and even more from the large response you’ve stirred! I bought Simplywendi’s book and am happy to recommend it! It’s brimming with lots of insightful tips!

    1. Thanks so much Marie! I know Wendi will be happy you enjoyed her book. I love finding those treasures that help us with practical issues in our lives.

  11. Hmm, great point about drinking water. Even going for drinks after work, buying juices and coffees all the time can really add up. And if water is too boring, drink some tea. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Anna! You’re right; those drinks can add up quickly. Depending on where you are and what you drink, the beverages alone could add a huge amount to your check. Thanks for stopping by, and for following. I look forward to getting to know you!

  12. Terri, thank you so much for this. The timeliness of it for my hubby and I is perfect. I used to build up loyalty points to buy the “gadget of the month”. Our grocery store has gone to only give cards, etc. which don’t interest me so this last week I “blew” the points on food items such as butter, which I wouldn’t normally buy but was baking a cake. I don’t carry cash because it is much easier for me to spend and not realize it. So I have specific accounts for different budgets (grocery, pets, clothing, etc) and I transfer them into my chequing account as I need them. it works really well.

    1. I’m so glad you found this helpful Lydia! Thanks for sharing some great tips! It’s nice when you can use your loyalty points to buy things you wouldn’t normally buy, isn’t it? I like your virtual “envelope system.” We do that with some things, and with others, we actually use the paper envelope system. It really helps us stay on track and know where our money is going. Thanks so much for stopping by – hope you’re doing well!

  13. I am a saving master too! One of the major strategies I use is to find loopholes in transport system (like Bus fares) and Coupons offered by eateries. I have explained these further in one of my articles on ‘how to save money’. Would love to have your feedback!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. Thanks also for following – I look forward to getting to know you!

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