If you’re looking for ways to cut your daily spending, here are 25 Substitutions You Can Make to Save Money. You will be surprised by how much you can save when you make these small changes.
How many ways to save money do you waste on a daily basis? I’d be willing to wager that there are quite a few. One of the biggest ways to save in your everyday life is to make substitutions that replace an expensive product or service and replace it with one that is cheaper and more budget friendly. These 25 Substitutions You Can Make to Save Money today are all fairly painless and over time will save you hundreds…maybe even thousands!
25 Substitutions You Can Make to Save Money
Water for Soda or Coffee: Thirsty? Grab a glass of ice water instead of that bottle of soda or cup of coffee. It will be just as refreshing and much cheaper on your budget.
treaming Channels for Cable: These days, most major networks offer some form of streaming on their websites. Some are free and others will require a monthly subscription. By subscribing only to the ones you want to see and dropping the cable, you’ll save a ton of money each year. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video are also great options.
Prepaid for Phone Service: Gone are the days of expensive pre-paid phone services. They have been replaced with monthly pre-paid plans that rival your current cell phone contract. With plans as low as $15.00/mo with some companies, you’ll save a ton by making this substitution.
Longer Wearing Contacts: Contacts can be super expensive if you wear the kind that have to be replaced daily or weekly. To save, substitute your daily or weekly wears with the kind that only need to be replaced monthly. You’ll order less often and in the long run, you’ll save money.
Cloth for Paper: How many rolls of paper towels do you use in a week? At $1.00 per roll, that is adding up each year. Instead, substitute homemade cleaning rags that you’ve made yourself or buy a few unpaper towels. You’ll pay more out of pocket for them at first, but they will save you money over and over again. In fact, it will likely only take a week or two before they have paid for themselves.
Black Ink for Color: Color ink cartridges are expensive for most printer models, but blank ink is usually pretty cheap. Instead of printing everything in color, only print in black or greyscale. You will be surprised at how much you save just by making this one change. If you want to take it a step further, substitute your name brand cartridges for either an ink refill kit or pre-filled, refurbished cartridges.
Homemade Instead of Delivery: Craving pizza? Make your own instead of ordering delivery. You can make a large pepperoni pizza at home for less than $7.00. Why pay $15 or more?
Generic for Brand Name: One of the biggest ways to substitute to save money is by buying generic brands instead of brand name. 9 times out of 10 the quality is the same or better and the price difference is enough to add up to huge savings each year.
Apps Instead of Coupons: Coupons can save you big money. If you’re not careful they can also cost you big time. If you’re the type of shopper who will use a coupon simply because they have it, you will likely save more money by making the switch to using savings apps such as Ibotta and Checkout 51. You won’t have the coupon in your hand so you aren’t going to be using it simply because you have it.
Used Instead of New: The next time that you need to buy something, see if you can get the item used instead of new. You’ll save significantly if you do this with most of the items you buy. If you’re careful, you’ll get an item that is just as good in quality.
Single Cup Instead of 12 Cup: Do you make a pot of coffee each day? How much of it goes to waste? If it is more than 0 cups, you’re wasting money. Instead, swap out to a single cup coffee maker. Again, you’ll spend more in the long run, but the savings over time will add up.
Kool-Aid Instead of Gatorade: Like sports drinks? They can be expensive depending on which brand. Instead, swap out Kool-aid for a cheaper version that will hydrate you just as well.
Turkey Instead of Beef: If you use a lot of ground beef in your home, consider substituting ground turkey half (or all) of the time. Ground turkey is cheaper per pound so you will cut your grocery bill by quite a bit over the course of a year. In my area, it is $1.00 per pound (or more) cheaper. At 3lbs a week, that comes out to $48.00 in savings just from one small substitution.
Ground Chuck Instead of Ground Round (or Sirloin): Another beef substitution that you can make to save is swapping ground chuck for the more expensive forms of ground beef. The taste is close enough that you won’t even notice it, but the price difference can be as much as $1.00 per pound depending on your area.
Chicken Versus Steak: Speaking of meat, chicken and pork are usually the two cheapest meats that you can buy. Instead of eating red meat all of the time, swap them out with chicken or pork more often. If you really want to save, go meatless once a week. You might not think it would, but doing so will save you significantly. At $5.00 worth of meat for one meal, you would save $240 per year just by doing a Meatless Monday meal.
Block Cheese Versus Bagged: When you need shredded cheese, skip the pre-shredded and buy block cheese instead. Not only is block cheese usually cheaper per pound, but you’ll end up with more shreds by doing it yourself. More shreds equal less money spent.
Honey for Sugar: Real honey might seem as if it is more expensive than sugar and it is at first. However, sweetening your baked goods and other tasty dishes with honey is actually cheaper than using sugar. A bottle of honey typically will last you longer than a bag of sugar meaning that you save more money in the long run. Plus, it’s healthier which can save you on health care costs as well.
Homemade Instead of Prepackaged: This one is pretty general, but it can save you a huge amount if you do it often. Frozen meals and snacks and prepackaged boxed meals can take a huge chunk out of your grocery budget. Instead, slowly begin to substitute those items with a homemade version. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also feel better.
Bathe Instead of Shower: It might seem the opposite, but swapping out your shower for a nice, long bath can actually save you money. Showers can waste up to 3 gallons of water per minute. A bath, while it uses more water to fill the tub, nearly eliminates that waste. Swapping out just one shower per week can help you stop sending your money down the drain.
Comfortable Instead of Cool: For some families, their air conditioning is set on 72 degrees and stays there. In reality, that is much cooler than what you actually need and it is eating a significant chunk out of your power bill. By moving your thermostat up even a few degrees and swapping out cool for comfortable, you’ll save quite a bit of money each month.
Nightlights Instead of Ceiling Lights: When you go to bed each night, do you have a habit of leaving a light on somewhere in your home? If so, you’re running up your power bill needlessly. Instead of leaving those lights on, pick up a few nightlights and substitute them. You’ll save more money and you’ll still be able to see in the dark.
Box Fan Instead of Air Conditioning: Before (or after) the temperature really heats up, there is really no need to turn the a/c on. This would be during the spring warm up or the fall cool down. Instead, use fans strategically in your home to save money. Placing two fans at opposite ends of a room will circulate air and cool the room down just as well as the a/c unit.
Tower Heaters Instead of Heating Things Up: Like with your a/c unit, your furnace can be a budget killer as well. When the weather is just starting to turn cool, don’t turn the furnace on. Instead, put on a jacket and use tower heaters to warm up the cold spots in your home. Since the weather isn’t too cold, you shouldn’t need to run them all day and night which will save you money over kicking the furnace on early.
Redbox Instead of the Theater: Love going to the movies? Skip it next time and use Redbox instead. You’ll save a ton of money and still get to see the movies you want to. For popcorn and snacks, pop it at home and use popcorn boxes to create an authentic movie theater feel. Turn the lights down, snuggle down on the couch, and enjoy the savings!
Digital Instead of Paper: Still love your favorite magazines? They’re costing you more money than they need to. Instead of spending extra for paper subscriptions, substitute them with digital ones. You’ll save money and still get to read your favorites.