10 Money-Saving Tips to Help You Stash $10,000!

by Jason on February 22, 2010


Who doesn’t love to save a little extra cash each month?

Finding money saving tips to trim the fat and pocket some coin each month isn’t easy, but it is simple.

The question is, “Will you do what it takes – and if so, what will you do with the extra savings that you find each month?”

Saving the extra cash is critical because let’s face it, the average American spends more than they make!

Most people find other ways to spend their money rather than socking it away into an emergency fund or long-term savings.

But, just imagine if you got on board with these money saving tips  – how much better financial shape would you be in?

You’d feel better about yourself and your future and you’d be in a position to do things you really want to do with your money.

So here’s what we’re going to do:

  • The Goal: Save $10,000
  • By When: This time next year
  • How: By implementing 10 money-saving tips

The Plan to Save $10,000

For the next couple weeks we’re going to look at one money saving tip each day.

On Thursdays we’re going to hear Personal Finance bloggers’ and hopefully some readers’ ideas and experiences on how they’ve saved money!

When all is said and done and you’ve implemented each of these 10 tips, you’ll have saved over $10,000 this next year!  I hope I see tons of people putting their money away especially with these great cd rates!

Of course, not everyone will be able to save 10 G’s, but even if you don’t save quite that much, saving a couple thousand bucks will be worth it!!

So, are you ready to check out these money saving tips and come along for the ride?

Let’s save some money!!

Tip #1: Cut Back on Going Out to Eat

Let’s be real here.  We probably all spend a little too much on going out to eat.  It’s hard to walk out of  a chain restaurant and not drop $30-$40 on a meal if you get an appetizer, two entrees and a couple drinks!

How often do you do that per month or even per week?  As you’re well aware, this can add up pretty quickly.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in their 2008 Consumer Expenditures press release - they cite the average 2.5 unit household spend approximately $2,698 on food away from home!

That works out to be roughly $225 a month on going out to eat!!

Let that sink in a minute.  $225.

Now, I love going out to eat – who doesn’t right?  It’s fun, it’s easy and there is some pretty good food out there.  But hear me out for a second -

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What if, instead of going out three, four or five times a month you cut that back by two!  Only two!

I’m not asking you to give up eating out completely – that’s just silly and you and I both know YOU WON”T DO IT!  It won’t be a goal you can commit to for a long period of time.

But, giving up two meals is a goal that you can reach!  Give it a shot next month and see what happens.

What should you do instead?  Well, invite some good friends over, grill out or cook a good meal and enjoy conversation at home rather than in a restaurant.

Or, why not invite a few couples over and each have them bring something.  You can do dinner theme’s so everyone brings something that goes together.

Start rotating houses every month and have a good time with great friends eating good food and saving some good money.

You’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have by doing this and you’ll feel good about yourself that you saved some money!!

Estimated Savings: $40-$100 per month

Share your thoughts below on how much you’ve saved by cutting back on eating out!

Check Out All The Tips From Our Series

Tip #1: Cut Back on Going Out to Eat

Tip #2: Evaluate Your Entertainment

Tip #3: Cut Your Cable

Tip #4: Turn Your Heat Down

Tip #5: Negotiate Your Cell Phone Plan

Tip #6: Get Rid of Your Land Line

Tip #7: Slash Your Grocery Bill by Cutting Out Junk Food!

Tip #8: Use Coupons, For Everything!

Tip #9: Negotiate Your Home and Auto Insurance

Tip #10: Start Packing Lunches!

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin@OutOfYourRut February 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

$2698 is an average, and it seems really low. I live in Atlanta, a place where nearly half of all meals are consumed outside the home, and I’d be willing to bet many, many households could bank the whole $10,000 just by going cold turkey on eating out.

Getting together with friends to eat at home is an excellent suggestion. So many people recoil at the idea of having people over for dinner, but breaking bread is a millenia-old tradition of bonding with friends and family. If we had more commeraderie of that sort, we might not have such a need to spend money keeping ourselves entertained. Spending money is often a sustitute for intimacy in a society where people often don’t even know their neighbors.

Isn’t it amazing how social norms and spending are so closely linked???

Ted February 22, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Ugh, I can’t believe how much we have spent on eating out in the past. I worked at a job where it was normal to have 3-4 lunches out with folks (for networking, planning with community members, or fundraising). These were not covered by the company so- lets just say- eating out was my friend for a while and I got hooked. Since cutting it out, I feel healthier annnnnnd we are saving more cash.

Thanks for the post.

Bible Money Matters February 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm

We eat out way too much – it’s one of our biggest expenditures that we don’t “NEED” to spend. Problem is neither one of us likes to cook, and it ends up being the easy solution to just go out.

Last year we cut back on the amount we were eating out and saved hundreds of dollars – so it definitely makes an impact!

Jason February 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Ted, it’s amazing how fast the pounds and the costs add up! Glad to hear you’ve cut back – it feels good to be healthier and to save a few coins each money.

Jason February 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Pete, yeah that’s hard when neither one likes to cook. Maybe a few cooking lessons will inspire you! It might be worth the cost to save money monthly! :)

TheDebtHawk.com February 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Great series Jason. I just submitted my best tip to you.

With regards to eating out, my wife and I have dramatically cut back the number of times a month we eat out per month for dinner. But, I eat out every day for lunch.

Single Guy Money February 22, 2010 at 9:03 pm

This is the biggest red flag in my budget. I eat out wayyy to much and I don’t cook. Maybe one day I’ll learn to cook an I’m sure it will help save a boatload of money. It will also help my health because most of the options I choose when I eat out are not the healthiest things to eat.

Joe February 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Great Info Here. We have cut back our eating out too. The way i can really save is by bringing a lunch to work. But there is no way im waking up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to make a lunch :)

Evolution Of Wealth February 22, 2010 at 10:16 pm

I think $30-$40 is on the low end with entree, app and drinks. Around me you’d spend about $14 per entree, an app would cost about $8 and adult drinks are going to be $4 each for beers and $5 or $6 depending on what your drinking. Easily $50-$60.
.-= Evolution Of Wealth´s last blog ..Why Your Finanical Planner is Like a Buffet =-.

Kevin@OutOfYourRut February 23, 2010 at 7:51 am

$2698 sounds really low! I live in Atlanta where nearly half of all meals are consumed outside the home and I’d be willing to bet it’s 2-3 times higher.

We’ve cut back on eating out pretty drastically in the past few years, but it DOES require more time and effort, and that’s a hurdle to jump over. We also bought some cookbooks, which is a solid investment if you want to cut back on eating out. The food at home has to be compelling otherwise bad habits will resurface.
.-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..Good Retirement Planning Should Include a Low Cost/Debt Free Lifestyle =-.

Jason @ One Money Design February 23, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I’m excited for this savings journey! Yes, eating out is a tough area for us to manage wisely each month. We love it and it’s just easy after a long week. But, I think we can commit to a couple of times per month! Looking forward to some more great ideas.

Lillie February 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm

One of the best ways to offset some of the expenses of eating out is to look for coupons from the restaurants that feature a buy-one, get one or the half-off meal. Many of the restaurants are providing these coupons through direct mail. Also, another option may be to sign up on the restaurants’ websites. They have Birthday Clubs and also offer discounts at certain times. An investment in an Entertainment book is also an option. You may have to spend at least $20 for it, but it’s worth the investment. Yes, you guessed it, I love to dine out occasionally, but I think the process out and dine cheaply.
.-= Lillie´s last blog ..What everyone should know on how to avoid a tax audit. =-.

Jason February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Thanks Debt Hawk – Good job on cutting back the family meals, but ouch on the eating out every day!! :)

Jason February 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Single Guy – Yeah, you might need to find some healthy alternatives than the bad stuff that’s out there. I think this area is probably a red flag in a lot of people’s budgets!! Unless you are tracking it – the average person spends a lot on going out to eat and doesn’t realize it.

Jason February 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Joe – try packing your lunch the night before! ;) What we do is right after we are done eating we pack up the leftovers in ready-to-go contatiners so we can just grab lunches in the morning without worrying about making them.

Jason February 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm

EOW – you might be right, $30-$40 may be on the low end depending on what region you are in. Couple meals at $60 each and we’re talking $120 a month right there alone! Well on our way to the $10,000!

Jason February 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Kevin, it adds up pretty fast in a major metropolis like ATL I would imagine. You’re right, cutting back isn’t just super easy since it does require time and effort to get meals in place. Cookbooks are a good investment!

I’m blessed to have a wife who likes to cook (and is mighty good at it too!). We love grilling out in the summer too, so although we love going out to eat as much as the next person, we really get into making good food at home too!

Jason February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Jason – Thanks for joining in on the journey. Just like anything else we have to set realistic goals. I think cutting back one or two times a month is pretty realistic and could help build some good momentum for the $10G goal!

Jason February 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Lillie, thanks for bringing the coupons and Entertainment book up!! My wife and I use our Entertainment book constantly and save well over the $20 it costs to purchase!! I like you’re idea of signing up for restaurants email lists etc. to receive coupons! Thanks!!

Freddie February 26, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Here’s one that I’ve done that has worked wonders. I got rid of my home phone and bought a prepaid cell phone. I bought it at Walmart (called the Straight Talk plan) and spend $45 a month for unlimited talk, data, and text. I moved my landline number to my cell phone so now it’s like I have a mobile home phone and I only pay ONE cheap bill! Thanks TracFone and Verizon (it’s on the Verizon network!! = great service)

Jason March 1, 2010 at 9:51 am

Freddie, Great idea!! I’ll probably use this in my next post on getting rid of land lines!!

Taylor Larsson March 7, 2010 at 4:13 pm

i love your blog always read it but do you think you could post more health news

Guy G. April 28, 2010 at 5:22 am

Hey,

Reducing the meals on the town portion of our budget has been pretty easy for us. We just really love to cook at home, and that seems to do it for us.

Also, being two relatively light weights, we’ll often forgo the appetizer and even split an entre. Depends where we go of course, as the portions aren’t usually as large in a finer dining restaurant than they are at let’s say Montana’s for instance.

Thanks for sharing,
Guy

Jason April 28, 2010 at 7:09 am

Guy – great job on knocking down that part of your budget! It’s true, meals at restaurants are typically huge and can be split! Thanks for checkin’ in!!

Jill July 30, 2012 at 4:02 am

OK, so, stop eating out, well, I haven’t eaten out since a birthday meal when I was 8, so there, that’s done. I don’t buy clothing for myself, just my kids. I sold all my books, don’t use a cell phone, have minimal insurance, always do packed lunches, don’t buy junk food. I don’t buy birthday or christmas presents for myself or husband, just the children. I don’t have a car myself, I walk everywhere. I don’t smoke or drink, or partake of any drug, so no expensive habits, I don’t ever go out socially, I even refused surgery because I can’t afford it, so I will be left with significant burn scars. But all this and my monthly expenses are STILL more than my monthly income. So, where exactly can I afford to pinch the pennies? I’d like to see you come up with a savings plan for that!

Travis October 16, 2012 at 3:09 am

I must say since i have cut back on eating out i have saved alot. I was going out often and im only 21 now im saving 500 dollars on average a month towards savings versus none, all of it wasnt because i cut back on fast food and dine in but it was a chain reaction which has led me to save in other areas. I live in Atlanta as well and there are so many great southern restaurants, big chains and great mom and pop places hard to avoid.

Maggie@SquarePennies January 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm

These are such good tips! Cutting back to eating out just 3 or 4 times a month would be an even better goal. Cutting back on buying junk food at the grocery store might be even more difficult, but making your own snacks with healthy ingredients can be done! It’s one of my big goals to cook more healthy stuff. Not only do you save money, but you save on medicine and you have more energy! Lots of great benefits there. I’m always on a quest for healthy recipes that are easy and don’t cost an arm & a leg.

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