Update: also be sure to check out my post 15 More Tip to Save Money Painlessly!
If you’re anything like me you’re always thinking of ways to save money. It is so surprising how the “little” expenditures really add up! Taking a look at our spending habits and making adjustments is something we all should do on a regular basis. So here are my 15 Tips to Save Money… Painlessly! These are the little tweaks you can make to your spending to cut back without feeling too much of a pinch.


1. Get quotes for insurance to see if you can save money with another company.
2. Ditch the home phone
3. Dry clean at home. We use Dryel for most of our dry clean only garments and this has drastically cut back our dry cleaning bill.
4. If you shop at Target, be sure to use Cartwheel and a Red Card debit card. In the past year I have saved more than $200 between my Red Card (debit card, not credit), Cartwheel coupons, and the 5% discount coupons I get for filling prescriptions at the Target pharmacy. Cartwheel is now super easy to use with the new barcode scanner. When I am finished with my shopping I pull my cart aside and scan everything in the cart looking for Cartwheel discounts.

Health and Beauty:

1. Check out E.L.F. cosmetics. Most products cost $1.00-$5.00, so they’re a great bargain! I’ve found that I like their nail polish, makeup brushes, and lip gloss. Each of those items is $1.00 and therefore a considerable savings over other products. Major bonus: they do not test their products on animals.
2. Cancel your gym membership and workout at home.
3. Price compare your prescriptions. This past summer I was taking a daily prescription medication that was costing me $20 a month. I checked with several local pharmacies and found that I could get the same medication for $4.00 at Target. Check around and see if you are getting the best price on your prescriptions and if you are not, then switch pharmacies!


1. No more cans of soda! Although we should stop drinking soda altogether, if you’re not ready for that step then at least stop throwing money away on individual serving size bottles and cans. A 2-liter is the best value per ounce, so use a cup and save the cash.
2. Snack cheaper. Forego the expensive bags of chips in favor of popcorn. Trade trips out for ice cream for make-your-own sundaes at home. Do homemade bagel pizzas instead of stocking the freezer with personal pizzas and pizza bites.
3. Practice portion control and just eat a little less. Your waist line AND bank account will thank you.
4. Try take-and-bake pizza instead of delivery. My family really likes the take-and-bake pizzas in the refrigerated section at Aldi. They usually cost $5.00 or $6.00 each which is much cheaper than delivery! Better yet, make your own homemade pizza. It’s actually fun!
5. Here is a big one for me, because I’m always looking for an excuse to eat out: make a list of the easiest meals you can whip up in minutes and always keep the ingredients on hand for those meals. Mine are simple: creamy spaghetti (I’ll share the recipe sometime) with garlic bread and green beans, hot dogs and fries, or tuna casserole. Not the fanciest meals, but I can make them super fast when I’m not at all in the mood to cook! Better than fast food, for sure.


1. Consider switching TV providers. We did some price comparing and found another provider to be cheaper. We’ve switched and are saving about $20 a month. Be careful not to get sucked in to the initial price deals. Check the regular monthly price (what you’ll be paying once your special deal ends) and make sure it fits in your budget.
2. Only go to movie matinees. Our local theater offers a special Tuesday deal for movies before 6:00 PM. The ticket price is $6.00 per person, a popcorn and soda combo is $3.00, and candy is $3.00. MUCH cheaper than the regular prices!
3. Get a Redbox movie, make your own popcorn, buy some bags of candy, and have your own family movie night at home. Fun!
Sit down and look at your spending for last month. Make a list of areas where you spent too much and work to cut back in the next month. Cancel unused memberships, research some new recipes to get excited about eating at home again, and stay home a little more to save gas. Most of all, assess your priorities and think of ways to spend less while enjoying your family more.

28 Comments on 15 Tips to Save Money Painlessly

  1. brandi warren
    April 3, 2014 at 4:23 am (4 years ago)

    Great tips for a stay at home like me. Thanks!

  2. Jeanne Melanson
    April 3, 2014 at 4:47 am (4 years ago)

    Great tips, Carissa. I actually follow a lot of these. I do like to eat out, though, but I've cut down considerably. Thank you for putting this list together for us! I appreciate you!

    • Carissa Shaw
      April 3, 2014 at 11:46 pm (4 years ago)

      I love to eat out too! It's really the one luxury that I feel like I NEED.

  3. Ashley - Be Wonderfully You
    April 3, 2014 at 4:57 am (4 years ago)

    These are some great tips!
    I really should cancel my home phone, I always mean to but never end up doing… 😛 procrastination maybe lol

    • Carissa Shaw
      April 3, 2014 at 11:48 pm (4 years ago)

      I can't even remember what it was like to have a home phone :-0 So crazy how this world has evolved over the past decade or two!

  4. Michelle
    April 3, 2014 at 6:44 am (4 years ago)

    These are all such great ideas!!! I have so many friends who could benefit from some or all of the above, but getting them to see the big picture is a little harder!

    • Carissa Shaw
      April 3, 2014 at 11:48 pm (4 years ago)

      I think people don't pay attention to these "little" things because they don't realize how much it adds up.

  5. Petro Neagu
    April 3, 2014 at 11:40 am (4 years ago)

    Wonderful tips. Thanks for the reminder, I keep falling off the wagon 🙂

  6. Meredith Elizabeth
    April 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm (4 years ago)

    We use Netflix instead of cable. My husband cuts his and the boys' hair. We do lunch dates on his Mondays off when the kids are in school to save money on babysitting (1 child versus 3). I used to write a blog called "frugal does a body good" on blogspot. Nice post with some new ideas that I can use! =)

    • Carissa Shaw
      April 3, 2014 at 11:50 pm (4 years ago)

      Great tips! We've talked about getting rid of TV altogether. Right now we have the lowest possible package at $25 a month, but if things ever got super tight we'd cancel it for sure.

  7. Anna Elise
    April 3, 2014 at 3:34 pm (4 years ago)

    Great tips!! I love ELF products! They are pretty good quality for such a low price! I have reviewed their mascara on my blog! It was $3! Crazy!!


    • Carissa Shaw
      April 3, 2014 at 11:50 pm (4 years ago)

      I haven't tried their mascara yet, but now I will. Thanks!

  8. Michelle
    April 3, 2014 at 5:15 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks for the great money-saving tips! As a new preemie mom, I ended up resigning from my position to take care of my baby, and I'm always looking for ways to save my pennies! We have already enacted some of your tips. In fact, we just tried Cartwheel for the first time last night during our trip to Target. We also don't go to the movies and rely solely on Redbox for new flicks!

    • Carissa Shaw
      April 3, 2014 at 11:53 pm (4 years ago)

      Congratulation on your new baby!
      Loveeeee Cartwheel! Today we combined a Cartwheel 10% off coupon, a Target coupon, a 5% off pharmacy reward coupon, and Red Card discount to get a $180 car seat for $122. I was pretty happy with that 🙂

  9. Jennifer B
    April 3, 2014 at 5:31 pm (4 years ago)

    Love these tips, Carissa! I always use my Target Debit Card, but I just recently discovered Cartwheel! What an awesome app. Also, we get movies for free so that's a huge help and we make popcorn at home to sneak in. Looks like you covered a number of things on my list. 🙂

    • Carissa Shaw
      April 3, 2014 at 11:56 pm (4 years ago)

      Tee hee hee 🙂 I sneak food in to the movies too but I was afraid to list that in this post! Actually, one time my husband and I smuggled a footlong sub, a 6 inch sub, 2 bags of chips, and 2 large sodas into a theater :-0 We put the subs up the sleeves of my husbands coat and I somehow carried the sodas in my coat and the chips in my purse. Shameful! Haha!

  10. ChiChi Loves
    April 4, 2014 at 11:38 am (4 years ago)

    These are some great tips. I especially like the idea of switching to another cable company or even getting rid of cable all together. You can stream tv from your computer and connect with hdmi cable. If you don't reside in a wooded area, it's also amazing how many free hd quality channels you can get by resorting to the using some good old rabbit ears antenna.

  11. Jennifer Ludwigsen
    April 5, 2014 at 12:24 pm (4 years ago)

    These are awesome ideas! I love the food staples idea – I am always the first to say GAH I don't feel like cooking, let's order a pizza! It would be so nice to have my favorite meal on-hand and ready to roll. Healthier, cheaper, and still delicious!

  12. Rachel
    April 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm (4 years ago)

    I do enjoy eating out, but it can be a big money drain so I try to make sure we don't run out of groceries (which will tempt us to eat out) and also make sure that the groceries/meals/leftovers are ones that my husband and I will really enjoy. If I'm eating my favorite homemade foods, I'm not nearly so tempted to eat out!

  13. Tamara Willis
    April 8, 2014 at 4:26 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing these great tips! I am always looking for extra ways to cut expenses. I have not used Cartwheel yet.
    Pinning. Thanks for linking up at the Bloggers Brags Weekly Pinterest Party

  14. Carie Spence
    April 14, 2014 at 5:20 pm (4 years ago)

    Great tips! I use carwheel all the time but didn't know you could scan the items to find if there is a deal so thanks for that!

  15. Tanya @ Moms Small Victories
    April 18, 2014 at 3:00 am (4 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing with #smallvictoriessunday. We do many of these but I have been slacking off with checking Cartwheel before I shop.

  16. Kevin@reception halls in long island
    June 18, 2014 at 7:07 am (4 years ago)

    Fantastic ideas!! Begin a savings can be daunting, but there I have found easy ways to trim spending from our budget. I think in a world where there is always a new gadget to buy or candy to try, saving money isn't easy. Thanks

  17. CS
    December 9, 2014 at 12:37 am (3 years ago)


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