Finance Self Improvement

10 Creative Money-Saving Ideas You Probably Haven’t Heard

Dann Albright 22-02-2017

You’ve heard the same frugal ideas over and over. Keep a budget The Online Budget Battle: Mint vs. You Need a Budget (YNAB) When it comes to online budgeting and expense tracking, there are plenty of solutions, but two of the biggest names in the business are Mint and You Need a Budget (YNAB). Read More so you don’t overspend. Buy store brand instead of name brand. Shop at thrift stores 3 Cool Online Thrift Stores to Save Yourself a Fortune Luckily, there are not only great online shopping deals nowadays, but online thrift stores too. Here are three terrific options for finding a hidden gem or just saving some of your hard-earned cash. Read More . Cut coupons.


But there are many more ideas out there!

I went on a search for creative ideas to save money, and came across a bunch that you probably haven’t thought of. Here are 10 of my favorites.

1. Don’t Empty Your Bladder

10 Creative Money-Saving Ideas You Probably Haven't Heard crossed legs e1487389007589
Image Credit: Farknot Architect via Shutterstock

This is one of the stranger ideas out there, but it has scientific backing. Researchers found that subjects who drank a lot of water and then sat for 45 minutes made better long-term decisions than those who didn’t. It’s called the “spillover effect” and they surmised that people controlling their bladders could also exercise control over their desires and actions.

It’s weird, but if you fill up on water before going shopping or out to a restaurant, there’s a chance that you’ll make better decisions. Just don’t go overboard, or you’ll have a spillover effect of a different kind.


2. Take a Picture

Being frugal isn’t always about spending less — it’s about using your resources more efficiently. And sometimes that means knowing what to sell. If you’re holding onto something purely for sentimental reasons, take a picture of it and sell it 11 Critical Tips on How to Sell More on eBay eBay is one of the top online shopping sites. You may be a seasoned seller on eBay, or you may have just started with your eBay seller career, these tips can help boost your profits. Read More . You almost certainly don’t use it anyway, and you can look back on the photo and reminisce just as well as you can look at the object itself and enjoy those memories.

I’ve even heard of people taking photos of things they don’t own so they can look at and enjoy them. I’m not sure that photographing something would make me less likely to buy it, but it seems worth a shot!

3. Don’t Coupon

Sure, cutting coupons can save you a lot of money if you’re disciplined. But they can also make you buy more — advertisers know this. If you grab a coupon for a great deal on catfish nuggets but you wouldn’t have bought them without the coupon, you’re actually spending more money, not less.

If you’re a regular coupon cutter, try going a week without cutting any coupons and compare your grocery bill. Or, at the very least, make an effort to spend less time doing it Forget Extreme Couponing! How to Save With Minimal Effort Extreme couponing is crazy, but you don't have to make a full-time job out of clipping coupons to save big. Here are practical tips on how to make saving with coupons easy. Read More . You might be surprised to find that you saved time by not clipping and didn’t spend much more money. Is clipping coupons worth the trade-off? Now you’ll know.


4. Put Two Things Back on the Shelf

10 Creative Money-Saving Ideas You Probably Haven't Heard grocery shopping e1487389132779
Image Credit: mangostock via Shutterstock

Danielle at The Frugal Navy Wife puts all of the groceries on her list in the main basket of her grocery cart. Then she puts any impulse or forgotten purchases in the child seat area. When she’s done shopping, she makes herself put two things back, or more if she can. She reports saving $100 every month on groceries with this strategy.

You might not save that much — she’s shopping for a family of six, after all — but the idea is a good one. It’s easy to grab things at the grocery store without thinking about it. Putting two items back at the end lets you correct any impulsive shopping mistakes you made before you put them on your credit card.

5. Get Everything From the Library

Okay, so you probably can’t get everything from the library, but there are a lot of things you might not expect Save Money on Tech by Taking Advantage of Your Local Library If you're like most people, you probably haven't set foot in a library for years. Here are awesome library services that will bring you back to save money on tech. Read More . One redditor mentioned that her local library allows members to use a Lynda subscription. That’s a big money saver! In addition to paper books, you can get comics, magazine issues, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and Kindle books at many libraries.


Go to your local library and ask about what they have to offer. You might be surprised at just how many things you can get for free. Many also offer passes to local attractions like zoos, museums, and art shows. If you can’t get these sorts of passes for free, there’s a good chance you can get a discount on them.

6. Stay Healthy

10 Creative Money-Saving Ideas You Probably Haven't Heard healthy feet e1487389236165
Image Credit: Daxiao Productions via Shutterstock

Being sick is expensive (at least in the United States). You’ll probably miss work, which could mean that you’re not getting paid. You’ll buy lots of cold medicine and ginger ale. If you get your kids or your spouse sick, you could be facing extra expenses.

It doesn’t sound like much, but it can make a difference. If everyone took just a bit better care of themselves, we’d all probably find that we end up saving money.


7. Decide Before You Look at the Price

Yes and Yes shared this great tip: before you look at the price tag of an item, decide how much you’d be willing to pay for it. You’ll probably find that the things you’ve bought in the past suddenly seem like they were way too expensive. It’s far too easy to convince yourself that something is worth $50 when it’s really probably a stretch at $20.

An important part of this strategy is to stick with your decision. If you said $8 and the price is $9, don’t buy it. It’s too easy to start increasing the range you’re willing to spend.

8. Don’t Pay for Haircuts

Christine at The Mostly Simple Life has been cutting her husband’s hair for years. With some practice, she’s even gotten pretty good at it. You can get a complete hair cutting kit on Amazon for $20, which is the cost of a single cheap men’s haircut. That means every time you bust it out, you’re saving $15 or $20. That’s a great return!

Obviously this is going to be easier with men’s than women’s haircuts. And if you want anything more than a trim, it’s going to take some practice. (But if you experience ASMR What Is ASMR? 10 YouTube Videos That Will Give You Shivers ASMR is defined as a pleasurable feeling triggered by certain kinds of unique stimuli. Use these YouTube videos to see if you have ASMR! Read More from hair cutting videos, the time spent learning will definitely be worth it.)

9. Get Discounted Gift Cards

10 Creative Money-Saving Ideas You Probably Haven't Heard gczen e1487389312162

If you tend to shop regularly at the same stores, you can save money by getting discounted gift cards. There are plenty of sites The 7 Best Sites to Sell Unwanted Gift Cards Lumbered with unwanted gift cards you don't want? Here are the best sites where you can sell unwanted gift cards to other people. Read More where people post gift cards that you can buy for cash, and you can usually save a couple bucks on each one. It doesn’t seem like much, but if you start doing this regularly, there’s a good chance the savings will add up after a while.

It’s a good idea to use a reputable site for this sort of transaction. You might be able to find gift cards on eBay or Craigslist, but there’s no telling if the card is legitimate. At the very least, meet the seller at a store where you can check the balance.

10. Think of Everything in Hours of Work

This is probably something you’ve done before, but making a habit of it can help you quantify just how much you’re spending on a purchase This Tool Shows Online Prices as Number of Hours You Need to Work If you're addicted to shopping online, here's a trick that might actually help: viewing dollar prices as how many hours you need to work to afford said items. Read More . If you make $25 an hour, and you’re thinking about buying a $50 article of clothing, ask yourself if it’s worth two hours of work. That’s a quarter of a standard work day. Is it still a good deal?

This one is very subjective, but many people find that it helps them get a better idea of what they’re spending. Working a full two hours for an article of clothing that you’re going to wear dozens of times might seem like a great deal. If it’s something you’ll only wear once a year, it may not be.

Your Favorite Creative Frugal Ideas

These ten money-saving ideas stand out from the rest. Some are creative, some are interesting, and some are downright strange. But they’ll all help you in the never-ending quest to be more frugal How to Be Frugal While Still Enjoying Tech & Gadgets Just because you're being frugal doesn't mean you can't enjoy tech! Here are some tips on how to not break the bank with tech purchases. Read More and efficient with your money. They might not make a thousand-dollar difference right away, but little changes add up to big ones over time.

What are your favorite creative frugal ideas? Share your best tips and tricks in the comments below!

Image Credits: prasit2512/Shutterstock

Related topics: Discount Coupon, Save Money.

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  1. Antony_Sims
    July 25, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Many ideas are simply obvious to me personally, but some also need not be forgotten

  2. Sue Griffiths
    February 23, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Never do the grocery shopping hungry. You will inevitably buy more.

    Utilise the off peak energy hours to use your dishwasher, dryer and Washing machine. Your power bill will reduce.

    • Dann Albright
      March 9, 2017 at 1:16 am

      Not shopping while hungry is DEFINITELY a good idea. I've often wondered about the off-peak energy usage idea. Do you know how universal that is?

      • Sue Griffiths
        March 9, 2017 at 7:53 am

        No idea, but worth checking your power bill.