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Category: Earning & Managing Money

30 Super Easy Ways to Save Money

Want some easy ways to save money? Here are 30 easy ways to save money submitted by my Facebook followers. How many of these do you currently do?

30 Super Easy Ways to Save Money

1. Set up auto deposit to a bank that is hard to access.

Susan suggested: “Auto deposit to a bank you don’t have easy access to. I use our local credit union that is only open 9-3. While I’m working.”

Rachel says: “This is how I saved enough money to buy my first home outright. Lived on one check and sent the next 2 to a bank I didn’t have easy access too. (I had an account at a credit union 3 hours away so it was definitely a job to get the money out.)”

Kim says: “I automatically have money transferred into a savings account before I even see it from my check.”

2. Ask some questions before making a purchase.

Kelley says: “I ask myself more than once before making a purchase, ‘Do I really need this and will this make me happier a year from now?’ Pretty much stops me in my tracks most of the time!”

3. Take advantage of free family fun!

Lacy suggested: “We like to do outdoors activities and nature adventures as a family instead of dining out and shopping as ‘something to do’ as our family time.”

4. Cook and eat at home.

Hope says: “Cooking all our meals at home and making my own coffee drinks is enabling me to stay home.”

Moni also said: “Cooking homemade food and eating at home saves us a lot of money. My hubby also saves a ton of money each week bringing lunches and eating breakfast before he goes to work in the morning. Also coffee! Brewing our own saves as much as not getting food out!”

5. Shop at thrift stores.

Rachel says: “Shop at salvage stores and thrift stores.”

6. Record every purchase.

Shannon says: “Recording every purchase (yes, even things like a vending purchase!) in our budget spreadsheets helps us track categorized expenses and make sure we are staying within budget.”

7. Cancel your catalogs and unsubscribe from emails.

Jennifer says: “Limiting my exposure to beautiful things by canceling all the pretty catalogs and email blasts from the same stores is an easy way to save money.”

8. Cut your cable.

Rachel says: “Cut off your cable! Wish I had done it months ago!”

Laura also said: “We just did this, too! It’s saving us $65/month.”

9. Set a goal.

Tammy says: “When I have a goal set (usually travel), I can save money very easily. I have no problem not spending unnecessarily. No goal = I buy things I DO NOT need.”

10. Do it yourself!

Rachael says: “Easy ways we save money: Making my own DIY face/skin/cleaning products, canning, freezing, gardening, making our own wine, cutting my daughter’s hair, and doing handmade/homemade Christmas/birthday gifts!”

11. Only buy groceries on sale with coupons.

Valeria says: “Only buy groceries when on sale, using coupons and app rebates. Plus, purchase enough to get you to the next sale of that item.”

12. Order groceries online.

Edith says: “I save money by ordering groceries online. It keeps me out of the store and eliminates impulse shopping. I make my list at home, do the order, and pick it up outside the store.”

13. Stock up when an item is on sale.

Keiva says: “I use coupons with sales to buy more than we need at the time so it’s available to us when it’s not on sale. Also, stock up on sale items. This week, our grocery has Mott’s Apple juice 64oz. for $1. I’ll buy 40. With 6 kids, it goes quickly! They also have Peter Pan PB for $1, so I’ll buy about 20. I’ll be set for the next 6 months!”

14. Get rid of expensive habits.

Tiffany says: “Get rid of habits that cost money. I gave up coffee and tea a long time ago. Started saving me $15 to $25 a week. I stopped buying books unless they are $1 or less and just reserve books at a library.”

15. Cut your hair at home.

Barbie says: “Doing my husband’s and sons’ haircuts myself. My husband and older son only take about 10 minutes a piece. My younger son takes twice as long because he fidgets. I still figure I save on time by not going to a barber shop, and I save $60-ish every round of haircuts. My boys think going to a barber shop is quite the treat!”

16. Don’t buy it if you don’t need it!

Tosha says: “Remembering that just because it’s posted on MSM or another blog doesn’t mean I need to buy it! If I don’t need it and I buy it because it’s on sale, I’ve spent money I didn’t need to spend.”

17. Stay out of Target.

Sandra says: “Staying out of Target and buying necessities on Amazon is an easy way to save money.”

18. Don’t shop without a list.

Oghma: “I don’t go inside a store until I have a list. Also, don’t shop just one item and then feel like you need to buy other things so the trip is ‘worth it’.”

19. Use a wood burning fireplace.

Holly says: “We bought a wood burning fireplace insert to save money. We’ve gotten firewood free but when we’ve bought it, the wood was still 1/3 the price of natural gas. Also, when we had a natural gas outage, we had no power but we still had heat.”

20. Use Rakuten to earn cash back.

Michele says: “We save money by using eBates when online shopping (now known as Rakuten). In the years I’ve been using it, I’ve gotten almost $1,000 back. They send you a check every three months. I never order anything without checking to see if the website is on eBates first.”

21. Get a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year.

Melisa says: “We have a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year mortgage. Yes, monthly payment is higher, but not double. Plus, it’s going to save us $112,000 in interest on a $290,000 home.”

22. Use your local library.

Patricia says: “We utilize every aspect of our local library. DVDs, audiobooks, reading programs with prizes, free events for kids, game night, kid computer games, online library for ebooks, etc.”

23. Pack food before you leave.

Bethany says: “We save money by packing lunch/dinner if we go out, bringing coffee along for the ride, and eating before we leave!”

24. Don’t buy beverages!

Robin says: “We don’t drink pop and we don’t buy beverages when we are out and about. Bottled water is also a no-no. I can fill a bottle at home real cheap.”

25. Watch the prices as they are scanned.

Beverly says: “I watch the prices as items are scanned in at the register. I save often by catching an accidental higher price being scanned in. Also, 2 main stores I shop at offer a price scan policy. If it scans in wrong, you get one free if it’s under $10. Or, you get $10 off if it’s over $10.”

26. Don’t buy things the same day.

Betsy says: “I take pictures of things I like at stores like Target and don’t buy them the same day. Sometimes I do this and then find something similar at the thrift stores.”

27. Plan your menu based upon what you already have.

Elizabeth says: “When I’m meal planning, I shop my pantry and freezer first and try to utilize what I have and not let things go to waste.”

28. Don’t shop just to kill time.

Andrea says: “Don’t go shopping just to fill time. If I go wandering because I’m bored, I will find things to buy. I’m trying to simplify and save money for adventures instead of ‘stuff’ for my little one and me.”

29. Ditch your clothes dryer.

Tricia says: “I save money by hanging all my clothes to dry instead of using a dryer.”

30. Don’t buy it just because you want it.

Jennifer says: “I’m learning to be an adult and understand that I don’t HAVE TO buy everything I want.”

What are some of your favorite super easy ways to save money?

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Sign up with EF Education First to work from home as an ESL teacher!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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8 Ways to Get Books for Free (or Almost-Free)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Do you love reading but also want to make sure you don’t break your budget with book purchases? 😉 Reading doesn’t have to cost very much money at all, I promise! This post covers my top tips on how to get FREE books!

8 ways to get free books

Marlena emailed in and asked the following question:

I’m motivated by all the books that you read! I’ve made me a list of (just) TEN books for this year for myself. My library only carries two on my list. I can’t afford to go out and buy all these books. (I doubt you do the same). How can I find all the books I want to read on my tight stay-at-home-mom budget? Thanks for ALL you do! -Marlena

Way to go on making reading a priority, Marlena! I promise that you won’t regret it.

How to Get Free Books

I’m constantly on the lookout for new book ideas to add to my crazily-long list of Books I Want to Read. Since I read so voraciously, I’ve had to come up with some creative ways to feed my reading addiction without running us out of house and home.

Not all of my ideas may work for everyone, but here’s a list of eight tips I’ve used to get books for free or almost free throughout the years:

1. Earn Free Books from MyReaderRewards

My Reader Rewards Club is a site that gives you the opportunity to earn free books and audio by filling out surveys, referring friends, and more.

It’s very easy to earn a free book — without even having to refer a friend!

Free Books from MyReaderRewards

My Reader Rewards Club offers Christian books from Tyndale, including Nonfiction books, Fiction books, Parenting books, Kid’s books, Audiobooks, Ministry Resources, and more! They even have Adventures in Odyssey audios and books!

Our family has gotten a number of free books from them over the past few years and I have loved being able to get brand-new books completely free!

Read more on how to easily earn books with MyReaderRewards.

2. Download Free Audiobooks from Libby

It’s no secret that I absolutely love books. And I try to invest at least a little bit of time in reading every single day.

But on really full days, fitting in reading time can be a challenge. Which is why I’m so grateful for audiobooks! They are the perfect solution to making reading a priority — even if you aren’t able to physically sit down and read a book.

Psst! Do you struggle with finding time to read? Read this post, plus check out these practical tips on how to find more time to read each day!

However, if you buy audiobooks online, they are often quite expensive — typically more than you’d pay for the paperback or hardback copy. Which is why I’m a fan of finding ways to listen to FREE audiobooks.

Free Audiobooks on Libby

Back in 2016, I told you about 8 Ways to Get Audiobooks for FREE. If you haven’t read that post, you’ll want to go read it right now.

I talked specifically about the Overdrive and Hoopla apps in that post — apps that allow you to “check out” audiobooks for free from your local library. Most libraries have since switched over to the Libby app, an app that is much more user-friendly and less clunky to use. And I have become a huge fan of it.

I liked the Overdrive app and the Hoopla app, but I LOVE the Libby app! There are so many different audiobooks to choose from on it and they are all at my favorite price point: FREE!

Read more on how to listen to free Audiobooks with the Libby app.

Home Library

3. Check Out Free Books at the Library & Through Inter-Library Loan

Of course, no list of how to get free books would be complete without a mention of the library. I’ve checked out countless books from the library over the years; it’s an invaluable resource!

If you have a relatively small library that doesn’t have a great selection, check and see if they offer Inter-Library loan. Most libraries do, and this offers a much, much broader selection. You have to request the book and then wait for it to come in, but it’s free–which usually makes it worth a bit of a wait!

You can also suggest books for your library to purchase. They might not heed your suggestion, but it’s always worth a shot.

4. Borrow Free Books from Friends

I’m always swapping books with friends–and this is a great way to keep your reading materials varied! Just be sure that you keep track of what books you’ve borrowed and loaned out.

Also, it goes without saying, but return the books in the same condition they were loaned in. Otherwise, your friends might not be so excited to loan you books again. 😉

Crystal Paine reading

5. Download Free Ebooks

If you have any sort of mobile device — an iPhone, iPad, iTouch, or other mobile device — there are dozens upon dozens of free books you can download on a daily basis. We even post free eBook round-ups to make it easy for you!

You don’t need a Kindle tablet to read the free eBooks. Just download the FREE Kindle reader app to access your free eBooks on any mobile device or computer.

Tip: Most public libraries also offer free ebooks on their site that you can borrow and download to your device for a few weeks.

6. Check Thrift Stores, Used Book Sales, and Garage Sales

Thrift stores, used book sales, and garage sales can be a goldmine for book lovers. Best of all, they’ll often have fill-a-bag sales where you can fill as many books into a designated bag as you’re able to — all for a few dollars.

You can also find bargains on hot titles that you can swap/trade on PaperBackSwap, at a Little Free Library, or at your favorite local book store! This is an easy way to get titles you want for very little money out of pocket!

Pile of Books to Read

7. Sign Up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Station

Okay, so this one is for kids, but I still had to share it! If you have a child between the ages of 0 to 5 and your local area participates, you can sign up to get free children’s books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

We’ve never personally used this, but I’ve heard from others that they send nice, high-quality books really regularly.

There are participating communities within the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Republic of Ireland. Check to see if your area participates here.

8. Buy Used From Amazon or Barnes & Noble

When I do actually “buy” books, I use my Swagbucks credit to buy them. Swagbucks offers a great deal on Barnes & Noble and Amazon gift cards, so I often request those as rewards.

Not sure how to use Swagbucks? Read this post on how to earn Swagbucks gift cards.

However, I usually do not buy books brand-new, unless I’m buying them to support an author (which I’ve become pretty passionate about doing after releasing books myself!). Instead, I typically purchase the book used from Amazon or Barnes & Noble Marketplace. I’ve been amazed at how much money I’ve saved just by being willing to go with a book that has a little wear and tear on it!

In addition, Barnes and Noble sometimes runs free shipping deals or I’ll find a coupon code. Combining that with shopping through a cashback site, I can usually get a great deal on a book I really want – all for free because Swagbucks is covering the tab!

Pile of Books

Bonus Idea for Bloggers: Request Review Copies From the Publisher

If you’re a blogger or review books for another type of social media, you can fairly easily obtain free review copies from publishers. Just search for the publisher of a book (you can often find this on Amazon) and then find their website and look for contact information for review copies.

Most publishers state their review copy policy right on their website and many are extremely generous in their willingness to send review copies to bloggers. However, please don’t take advantage of this. Only request books you are truly interested in, and those that you truly plan to actually review on your blog.

Many publishers are also more than happy to do a giveaway along with your review and see this as extra exposure for them. So it never hurts to ask, if you’re sure you’ll like the book!

I no longer actively ask for review copies, but I do receive a few each week from various publishers who are hoping I’ll mention their book on my blog, social media, or podcast.

What are your favorite ways to get FREE or cheap books? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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Looking for more opportunities to make money from home? See my list of recommended survey companies here.