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24 Killer Moves to Level Up Your Money Game

The post-COVID world has seen a rise in two things. On one hand, prices for basic amenities have gone up with inflation. On the other hand, people have started to embrace minimalism. 

In this article, we’ll combine the two to give you 25 tips to save you bucks.  

Plan Your Meals 

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According to the University of Wisconsin, meal planning can help you save $1,600 a year on groceries. So, plan your meals at the beginning of the week to save time and money. It will also keep you from buying unnecessary groceries or unhealthy food items. 

Cook at Home 

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Even though it’s called “fine dining,” eating out is unhealthy and expensive. Instead, buy ingredients every week and cook at home. The total cost of ingredients and the number of meals you can make from them is less than what the restaurants charge for their service. 

According to an article on CNET, Pamela shares that cooking your takeout staples at home amounted to about a 50% savings over ordering those same items as carryout and a shocking 75% savings if you get them delivered (this includes driver tips and delivery charges). 

Buy in Bulk

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Retailers offer discounts when you buy in bulk, thus saving you money. According to a 2024 LendingTree analysis, buying in bulk could save shoppers 27% on average- which can be huge when you do this strategically for the entire year. 

However, buying in bulk isn’t recommended if you lack the required storage space or rarely use the products.

Tip: When you buy in bulk, always check the expiry date. 

Mark Leftovers to Eat 

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A HelloFresh research tells us that 32% of Americans forget about leftovers once they are out of sight. However, eating left overs reduces food wastage and saves you money and time. 

It’s vital that you mark the leftover boxes properly and keep them within eyesight.

Grow Your Food 

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If you are passionate about gardening, you can grow food, especially herbs, microgreens, lemons, peppers, and tomatoes. It will help you cut your grocery bills and eat fresh foods.

You can also use the kitchen waste to make compost for the garden. It doubles up on savings and reduces waste.

Compare Prices

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When shopping at a store, compare the in-store product prices with online prices. You can then select the best deal without compromising on quality. If you’re unsure how to compare the prices, use online price comparison tools

Besides this, you can also use apps like BuyHatke or DealSpottr to find the best prices for a deal on Amazon. It showcases the minimum amount it has been sold for and if the sale item they show is “actually” on sale.

Buy Used Items 

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The most cost-effective way to save money? Buying used items. Americans can now begin to understand this. As many as 57% of consumers have purchased second-hand items, and 43% have sold used items. Many of them cite the reasons as saving money.

You can visit the flea market to buy used electronics, books, and furniture. 

Borrow or Rent

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One simple tip for resourceful living is to borrow or rent things you don’t always need. Be it power tools or party supplies, borrow from your friends and give them back when they aren’t required. 

You can also rent out baby items, clothes, shoes, etc, instead of buying them.

Share Expenses with Roommates 

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If you are living alone, think about getting a roommate and sharing your expenses. That way, you won’t have to bear the brunt of the rising prices. Moreover, you can chip in as a team to buy the best items – from Netflix subscriptions to that couch you’ve always wanted. 

Creative DIY Projects

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Why buy things when you can assemble and make them yourself? DIY projects are a brilliant way to save money and lovely stress busters. Turn to do-it-yourself projects and bring out the inner artist in you.

Use Public Transportation 

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Walk, bike, or take public transportation whenever possible. It saves you money on gas and parking fees and may even beat the traffic.

In fact, according to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Transit Savings Report, people who use public transit instead of driving their vehicle can save an average of $13,000 annually, or $1,100 a month.

Maintain Vehicles 

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Irregular check-ups lead to breakdowns, and breakdowns are expensive. Make sure you do the minimum required to maintain vehicles. You can find some of the best tips here.

Consider Downsizing 

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To save up more, choose a smaller, fuel-efficient car. A compact vehicle also reduces your environmental footprint while reducing overall expenses.

Similarly, if you live in a house that is too extravagant for you, downsize it to a smaller home. Invest the savings into a rental property.

Compare Car Insurance 

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When you renew your car insurance policy, reach out to different insurers. It helps you choose the ones who will give you the most cost-effective deals.  

Negotiate Everything

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If you live in a rented apartment, negotiate the rent with your landlord per the market rates. Tenants who are good negotiators often get the apartments at a much lower rent than others. 

Similarly, if you are buying anything offline, ask for discounts.

Create Energy-Efficient Homes

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You can always make your home energy-efficient. Weatherize windows and doors, use LED light bulbs, and install a programmable thermostat. Switching to prepaid energy plans also saves money.   

Refinance Mortgage

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A simple way to cut down on expenses is to refinance your mortgage. Keep an eye on interest rates and check available options before you refinance. This can help you reduce monthly payments. 

Rent Out Space

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If you’ve got extra room or a rarely-used garage space, rent them out. When you rent out, you generate additional income to help offset maintenance costs. 

Try Free Activities 

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Sightseeing doesn’t have to be expensive. There are various free activities to spend time with. You can visit the library, explore lesser-known places in a city, or even take part in volunteer work. 

Host Game Nights 

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A game night or a potluck is a cost-effective way to have fun with friends. Enjoy a wholesome evening with your friends instead of a wild night.  

Use Rewards

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When you buy a product, don’t pay the total amount. Check on offers and redeemable coupons. If you have a credit card, you may occasionally get free flights. 

Cancel Unused Subscriptions

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There are always a few subscriptions that we take out but hardly need. Cancel them and lower your monthly expenses. 

Keep Tabs on Expenses

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Remember to cap your expenses at a particular amount. Be it groceries, entertainment, or dining out, spend only up to the allocated amount for the month.

Be a Good Neighbor

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Choose a give-and-take policy with your neighbors. Do something for them for free, and ask them to return the favor. You can mow their lawn so that they fix your leaky taps.