how to save money fastI’ve written about my saving strategies and frugal living before, but I’ve decided to write an updated post in a numbered list format on how to save money and the various ways to save money on a day to day basis.  This post was inspired by similar posts on other blogs like CashMoneyLife.

Included below are 25 28 ways that I save money:

  1. I use a points or a cash back based credit card that gives me the best return for my spending.  Here’s a post and picture of what’s in my wallet.
  2. I arrange my banking so that I don’t pay any fees and use a discount brokerage that minimizes my trading expenses.  The current favorite of Million Dollar Journey readers for a low cost, no frills discount brokerage is Questrade (I have a TFSA and RRSP with them).
  3. When buying consumer items, I try to separate my “needs” and my “wants”.
  4. When I find something that I “need”, I do comparison shopping or wait until it goes on sale.  If I find the item online, I check Ebates or Great Canadian Rebates or for additional cash back opportunities.
  5. I try to watch movies at home (or use Netflix) instead of going to the movie theatre.  However, since we enjoy the theatre, we still visit the movies on occasion.  Here is how to maximize Scene points.
  6. When making a big purchase, like a mortgage or a vehicle, I negotiate and shop around for the best rate.  This will save you thousands in the long run.
  7. I drive with gas efficiency in mind.
  8. In addition to reducing trading fees, I keep our ETF/mutual fund management expense ratios (MER) as low as possible by using indexed ETFs/mutual funds.
  9. I try to save energy around the house with CFL’s, programmable thermostats and proper insulation.
  10. We do laundry once / week (we do more now because of kids, but try to be as efficient as possible).
  11. I brown bag my lunch to work.
  12. I prepare my lunches in bulk and store them in individual plastic/glass containers.
  13. I cook at home whenever possible.
  14. I perk my own coffee (or drink the coffee at work).
  15. This is more of a healthy lifestyle choice, but I don’t smoke, do drugs, and minimize drinking.
  16. I use basic cable instead of the fancy cable packages.
  17. I combine my cable/internet/telephone with the same provider to take advantage of the discounts available.
  18. I use term insurance instead of universal life or whole life insurance.
  19. As with anything else, I shop around for my insurance products.
  20. I pay a higher deductible on insurance products to reduce the premiums.
  21. I buy with quality in mind in the expectation that it will last a long time.
  22. To please my reading habit, I go to the library (or get publishers to send me free books for review) :)
  23. I make my deposits into my high interest rate savings account and RRSP automatically on a bi-weekly basis.  Basically when I get my paycheck.
  24. When purchasing a home, I save for a large down payment to reduce mortgage insurance fees (CMHC).
  25. I buy clothes when they wear out, not when they go out of style.
  26. I track my spending/budget with Excel or (recommend not connecting your bank account, only credit cards).
  27. When my income increases, I aim to keep lifestyle inflation at bay.  Basically, I bank my raises.
  28. To save money on car rentals, I watch the fluctuating prices on Expedia and when a low price shows up, I bid slightly lower on Priceline.

What are some ways that you save money? Do you follow the frugal living lifestyle?

If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free weekly money tips newsletter below (we will never spam you).


  1. The Financial Blogger on December 3, 2007 at 9:02 am

    I try to stop my dishwasher once the rinse stage is over. I do not need the machine to dry dishes, you can simply open the door and wait 30 minutes.

    I take the bus and the metro to go to work. I save about 250$ a month like that!

    BTW, forget about #3 when you have kid. We do laundry everyday and it is not enough ;-)

  2. Patrick on December 3, 2007 at 9:02 am

    Great tips! I like having publishers send me free books to review as well. Of course, I always give them away afterward. ;)

  3. canadian dollars on December 3, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Funny. #11 reads like you don’t do drugs (too much)! hehe

  4. Telly on December 3, 2007 at 10:53 am

    FT, Just wondering why you need any life insurance when you don’t have any children and your rate of savings is so high? Do either you or your wife make significantly more than the other does?

    My husband and I have basic (1.5 times salary) term insurance with our companies but have never added anything beyond that. Of course, if we had children we would definitely add some.

  5. Frugal Geek on December 3, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Make mortgage lump sum payments every time you feel you can do it (even as little as $100). On early stages it will save double.

  6. FrugalTrader on December 3, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    CD: maybe I do mean that. ;) (joking of course)

    Telly: We have life insurance basically to cover debts like our mortgages.

    Patrick: The trick is to get the publisher to send you 2 copies of the book in exchange for the review.

  7. lulugal11 on December 3, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    I use solar lights at night in my apartment. They are for areas where I do not need too much lighting, like when I get up to use the bathroom at night. The lights charge during the day and they give lots of light at night.

    If you have children you can use them as night lights and this saves money.

  8. ThickenMyWallet on December 3, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    As an expansion on number 9, I never buy anything on first sight (other then the necessities). I go home and think about it before I buy.

  9. Smart Spending on December 3, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Tricks of the car-selling trade…

    Beware the car salesman who acts as if he’s on your side. In fact, beware all car salespeople. Million Dollar Journey alerts us to an article called “Confessions of a car salesman” at, a Web site that’s an excellent resource if you’re …

  10. mjw2005 on December 3, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    If you buy mutual funds (and I know some of you don’t like them) only buy high quality, low MER, no load funds…this will save you thousands over the years in management fees…

  11. Mike on December 3, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    I don’t carry cash. I find when I don’t have money in my pocket I’m less likely to by anything on impulse.

  12. nobleea on December 3, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I do the majority of the points you listed.

    I also never carry cash around – definitely saves the impulse purchase and forces you to use the CC – which gets you more loyalty points (not carrying a balance, obviously).

    I turn the car off at longer lights and train crossings. If you take the same route to work everyday, it should take 2 weeks or so to figure out how long certain red lights are. For new cars, any pause longer than 10secs is wasting gas to idle. For older cars, it can be as high as 30 secs (most lights are longer than this). And yes, starters can handle the extra starts – in Germany, the law says you have to shut off your car at red lights and when not moving.

  13. augustabound on December 3, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    As TFB said, I stop the dishwasher short of the dry cycle. I also use the light wash mode. Our dishwasher’s regular mode is a 2 wash and 3 rinse. The light wash is 1 and 2.
    Mike, I agree, cash in the wallet quickly finds it’s way into cash registers.
    I get my books from the library like you mentioned, buy as for number 12……..blasphemy! lol
    We both like some of the “premium” channels, A and E, discovery and of course the Golf channel.

    I never gave solar lights much thought lulugal, thanks for that one.

  14. ~Dawn on December 3, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    I have linked to your list and if you could be so kind as to change your link to me to –
    Thank you

  15. Gates VP on December 3, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    Hey FT, I like the comments about not carrying cash, but I find them funny b/c I do the exact opposite and so does my fiancé.

    I find that spending money on the CC is too easy, instead I just pull out cash for the period (week or two) as my “allowance” and then just “let it ride”. The rest of my expenses are basically preset, all of the bills except rent come in on the CC, and we really haven’t made any significant purchases in the last few months.

    In our case, the logic ends up simply being the opposite: it’s too easy to generate a CC balance that you can’t pay down, so budget for essentials on the CC and pay for the rest in cash.

    And oddly, cash doesn’t burn a hole in my pocket, it’s quite the opposite, I tend to get the “delayed gratification” thing with cash. If I have cash, I’ll look ahead in the week and ask myself if there isn’t something that I want more later on :)

    So for readers out there… it can definitely work both ways, just “know thyself” first.

  16. Mike on December 3, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Interesting view on carrying cash. Like you say, “know thyself”. My issue with the ‘allowance’ model is that every day the cash is in your pocket is a day it is not compounding interest.

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  18. Blain Reinkensmeyer on December 4, 2007 at 1:40 am

    Stumbled, awesome post FT!

  19. Telly on December 4, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    My husband and I follow the same principle on cash as Gates does.

    Mike, you make a good point about compounding interest but for us, the money would be in a non-interest bearing chequing account anyway.

  20. thrifty momma on December 4, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Here are a way of the ways I have saved:

    1. I keep an eye on the local classifieds for sale and for free sections. I got a huge organizational unit for my toddler’s room with just a few scratches on it, painted it a beautiful blue to remind him of the sky, and it was better than anything I could have spent hundreds on.

    2. We had to leave the vehicle we had just paid off when we moved across the country, so this year we picked up a thousand dollar vehicle in a moving. It is dependable, and has enough room in it to pick up furniture I’ve found in the classifieds. With the money we are saving on payments we are able to set up house.

    3. I love to decorate and try to get the best bang for the buck with most things, but paint colours are one of the best tricks. Cultivate good taste and be creative and you will never be bored, and be able to live in high style on a very small budget. One of my friends used to shop yard sales every weekend and her apartment was so beautiful and unique. Her rule was to never pay more than five dollars for anything. For some this could backfire. It’s not a deal if you buy things you don’t want, need or really love. One lady I knew used to collect multiples of things that were never used.

    4. I look for quality that will last. I’d rather have one thing that will last 20 years that I adore (eg. we waited a year to get a really good mattress) than something I don’t like that will be broken in two.

    5. I tend to look for classic pieces of clothes and often in black, or white that are easy to mix and match and that won’t go out of style. I’ve stopped doing the value village things there, as I found I tended to not wear many of the “deals” I was picking up. They say most people only wear ten percent of their wardrobe so why bother to buy 90 percent you won’t wear?

    6. I try to get things than will pay for themselves. Right now I’m thinking an electric fireplace will not only be cosy but balance the heat in the house. We tend to spend the most time in the coolest room. I picked up a high end dishwasher that works perfectly at less than half price in a moving sale… they say you could spend four years of your life hand washing dishes… that’s four years that I could put to much more productive use, and work on my at home business. Just heard the stat that a fully loaded dishwasher is more cost effective than hand washing and I think I believe it. I try to run it only every second or third day, and it keeps clutter down in the meantime. It’s a more zen space to be productive in.

    7. I’ve made christmas gifts. Last year it was free planners from, and this year it will be handmade photo/scrap books full of pictures of the children for grandmothers and aunties. Other years I’ve done paintings, or painted little boxes. The year I bottled grape jelly made from the concord grapes in our garden backfired in terms of savings because they cost so much to ship, but it was a lesson learnt.

    8. I save a fortune in my contacts by ordering from, less than half of the costs from an eye doctor and I don’t have to pay for an annual eye exam. They ship to the door free of cost for bulk orders. I keep an eye out for companies that will ship for free, and there are a few.

    9. I comparison shop, wait for sales and read many reviews, so I don’t waste money on something that will disappoint or not measure up.

    10. I prefer hand me downs when it comes to baby’s and toddlers clothing. Little ones grow so fast they barely have a chance to wear things out, and it is much healthier without all the toxins from dies and chemicals in new fabrics.

    11. I love clean air and life, so I have never smoked and we grow plants to help clean the air. I read a review and found out one of the honeywell hepa air cleaner was the best value for money… so I grabbed one the weekend it went on sale for the baby’s room.

    12. I nursed my children. It saved thousands in formula, and if you believe the studies also in short and long term medical costs… there has barely been a sniffle. Plus I got to cuddle my baby a lot.

    13. My blogger husband gets a lot of books and office supplies to review. He even put up a wish list and the books have been arriving at our door almost twice a week for over a year. Although I have to wonder when people send things things like wobble headed dolls….

    14. I’m sure there are places we could do better… and things we have to work on. I’m going to get more small towels to save on wash. (It is hard to keep it down with children, but I try my best and keep thinking it could add up to the cost of their college fund.) I’ll also feel better about turning down the heat as they get older… I try to think of needs over wants (this can be a matter for debate in a marriage), but if something silly like a beautiful throw pillow (i.e. comfy art) give joy, inspiration and energy every time you look at it then it may be good value for money. This is when I remind my husband how much we saved getting slipcovers instead of new furniture (-: .

  21. Gates VP on December 4, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Yeah Mike, I’m with Telly here, having $200 “not generating interest” for two weeks doesn’t seem really severe to me. I figure I sock away $3 to $5 in change every time I pull out $200, which should make up for the lost 15 cents of interest :)

  22. Mike on December 5, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Hey Gates and Telly, I realize that the interest is not much money but every bit counts. The most important thing is to do what works for you. I find that I spend less when I buy everything on my credit card (and acumualte rewards) while my money is generating passive income. At the end of the month I have a bit of interest and a bunch of reward points. If you buy more on your CC then with cash then it is not a good plan for you.

  23. Gates VP on December 5, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    Hey FT, when you write the book, this will need to a “Point / Counterpoint” style of page with a left / right split.

    Why you want to buy everything in cash.
    With a big brown border around the page.

    Why you want to buy everything on credit card.
    With a big green border around the page.

    Man, only 198 pages left :)

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  30. WhoaNelly on December 23, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Most of the things you do is pretty standard. But I have to say a few of your items caused me to cringe. Notably things like brown bagging your lunch, not going to movies, and not getting any “fancy” cable. There are certain little pleasures in life that are CHEAP. These are some of them. If I ever got into a position where I didn’t go out and enjoy a night at the movies just to save money I hope someone would hit me over the head. Life is short, enjoy it. Enjoying life and smart budgeting can easily go hand in hand, no need to live like a miser.

  31. just learnin' on December 30, 2007 at 7:01 am

    Don’t be so tough WhoaNelly. Sometimes cuddling on the couch to watch a movie is better. We hardly ever go out to dinner, because my hubbie is a better cook than we can find in most of the restaurants around. And sometimes brown bagging can just taste better. (-: There’s something to be said for saving everyday and splurging once in a blue moon.

  32. This and That on January 3, 2008 at 11:40 pm

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  33. Leading Edge Boomer on January 4, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Well I am already retired so I have plenty of time to take my time doing shopping, to research products and cross-shop to get the best value. Not everyone with a job and family can do this to the same extent due to time constraints.
    A friend and I sometimes go the movies, at St Laurent Shopping Center in Ottawa where movies are $3 before six pm.
    I use a half hour of my day entering online contests and doing surveys. I have not won anything big YET but win a number of small prizes. Examples in 2007 are— $200 in Loblaw gift cerificates, a $50 Petro-can card, two tickets to an Ottawa Senators game ($260)and several other small amounts of money or merchandise .

  34. FrugalTrader on January 4, 2008 at 11:58 am

    LEB, if you don’t mind sharing, which are your favorite online contest sites?

  35. Slackerwealth on January 14, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Do you ever splurge? If not, how do you keep your discipline. I bring my lunch to work everyday, but about once a month I surprise myself with a very expensive restaurant visit. It’s like I’m saving money for the restaurant and not my self.

  36. FrugalTrader on January 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    About discipline, we consider the frugal methods listed above as more a life style than a temporary solution. But with that said, yes, we do splurge every now and again. We like to go out to eat in a nice restaurant once a month and my wife likes to buy new clothes whenever she needs it (or what she considers a need) :).

  37. George on February 9, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    A good money-saving technique that was featured on CBC’s MarketPlace this week is to cancel any “credit insurance” that you might have via your bank – this insurance is sometimes called “mortgage insurance” or “balance protection”.

    As MarketPlace noted, the banks love selling these “insurance” packages, because there is very little chance that they will ever pay out, and even if something bad happens, there’s a good chance that they won’t pay out then either. Save your money, get a good standard term life insurance policy, and avoid padding the bank’s profits.

    These policies are remarkably common – if you have a mortgage or a line of credit through a major bank, the chances are quite good that you have this insurance unless you specifically declined it.

    Cancelling this insurance when we switched our mortgage saved us $16 per month. Not huge cash, but enough to pay for a few lunches.

  38. nobleea on February 9, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    the thing about bank insurance policies is they only pay the bank and they only pay the amount outstanding. if you compare it to term insurance of comparable monthly payments, you’d be much further ahead with term.

    mortgage insurance for high LTV mortgages are mandatory i think. and you never get that money back.

    does anyone have disability insurance on your mortgage? i know there is some payments through work, but it’s not very much.

  39. George on February 9, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Noblea: I think you’re confusing CMHC mortgage insurance with “mortgage life insurance”. The former is mandatory, the latter is not. The former protects the bank if you default on the mortgage, while the latter (in theory) pays off the mortgage if you die during the mortgage term.

    As a rule, you’re better going through an independent insurance broker to get life/disability insurance rather than going for the “convenience” of getting it through a bank. There’s no sense paying extra for the “convenience” if you’re paying more for a substandard product.

  40. Term Life Online on February 10, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I agree with you on #15 about using term life insurance instead of whole life or universal.

    In the right situation, term life insurance may be more affordable, and provide a greater amount of protection.

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  42. Kevin A on March 12, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Just read through everyone’s comments and I have only a few things to add.

    You can save a fortune on groceries! Watch the adds and only go to 1 or 2 different stores when they are on the way somewhere else. No extra trips. For true sale items buy extra (not just 1 weeks worth). Always buy the larger box or bag. Cut back on pop buy punch or coolaid especially if you have kids!

    If you are not in a contract get the monitoring centre $9.99/ mo. vs $20 or $25 for others.

    If you have or need a cell phone but don’t use it much go with pay as you go not a contract/ plan. You may pay $100 for the phone upfront but in the longterm (usually 3 year contract) you will save a bundle paying only $10 a month with Rogers or Fido.

    Definately change to CFC light bulbs. One room that is often forgotten is the bathroom where most of us have 4 to 6 bulbs each 40-60 watts each! If you have kids they tend to leave the lights on (often).

    Another little trick is to turn your central air unit off at the fuse box (in the winter). This can save over $25.00 over the course of the winter and you won’t even notice.
    Just don’t forget to turn it back on.

    Use timers for outdoor lights – works for both security and convenience. That way you do not forget to turn them off in the day like my neighbor often does. Works very well for Christmas lights too. Why have them on at 2:00 in the morning when no one will see them or care anyway.

    Get rid of your bar fridge. It really is a power hog and oftentimes is mostly empty anyways. If you have a party get some ice chests/ coolers and ice. Use you coldroom in the winter (works great too).

    Get rid of your gas guzzler! I had a van prior to the price of gas hitting the $100 barrel mark and switched to a small sub-compact car (wagon) and I have no regrets.
    You may fill up with the same frequency but I would rather fill my tank with $45 than $65-85 or more for many large vans and trucks. My wife bought a new car last year and was considering an SUV before her new job. Well this was before the price spiked again and she NOW drives alot now for her job. Needless to say I carefully steered her into a smaller vehicle than she originally wanted but now she thanks me every day!

    Take advantage of bundling if you are happy with your provider and don’t feel the need to switch. You can save up to 15% a month.

    Use Air Miles or Scene Card programs and save up to go to the movies – why pay extra?

    Use gas credit cards like Petro Canada Petro points and save 2 cents/litre as long as you are paying it off every month.

    Hopefully my suggetions may help someone out there.

    Kevin A

  43. […] Since I am new to the blogging world, I thought I would start off by posting ways in which my wife and I save money. This post was inspired by a similar post on Million Dollar Journey. […]

  44. Term Insurance Pro on March 24, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    I like number 15. Most people don’t realize how inexpensive term insurance can be these days. The prices have consistently gone done for the last few decades, and chances are they will continue to do so. This is because of the competitive landscape among the different life insurance companies, and also because life expectancy continues to increase. If you want to quickly see how much term insurance would cost for you, I suggest using a term insurance comparison site like They show all of the top life insurance companies side by side. It’s interesting how much prices can vary from company to company.

  45. ccg on March 25, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I bought my first house a 8 months ago and I’m also supporting my girlfriend in her 6th year of university and I’m only 23… so as you can imaigne money is tight.

    These are a few things that work for me:

    Buy when things are on sale or clearance. Seasonal items can often be bought at a fraction of the cost at the end of the season. A lot of items can be bought at a dollar or bargin store cheaper then at walmart or other big stores. Some items I regulrarly buy sell for $3-5 at for exameple at walmart but can be bought for $1 and sometimes its better quaility. We seem to have good dollar and bargin stores in Ont. Cananada, not to sure how it is in the states though. When shopping for food I go early in the day and get all my fruits and produce that have been marked down. Also the local grocery stores puts 30-60% off the meat the day before or the day it expires. I get what I can and freeze it for the future, I’ve yet to have a bad meal from it. Also I look at my recepit when I get home and look at the items that cost the most, and try and find them cheaper or else where nex round. I sell things I am never going to use again on local classifieds. I also purchase many items from classifieds at a fraction of the retail cost. I use CFL and LED lights around the house. You can get LED night lights at walmart that only use 0.3W and will light up a bathroom, hallway, stairwell, or a kids bedroom nicely during the night and they turn off during the day with a sensor. Also unplug things like cell phone chargers, power adapeters etc that are not being used. They consume energy even when things are not plugged into them. If you don’t commute and don’t have to get gas every few days, only get it when its low. Switch your bbq from propane to natural gas if you can. I’m sure I am forgetting tons of things I do and don’t eve think about, I’ll post again as I think of them.

  46. Karen on April 4, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Re: #25 Okay, so how do you bank so that you have zero banking fees? We pay $14. per month (which is now going down to $11.) for a basic chequing account. Perhaps I misread or misunderstood, but I know of no bank which will handle your money without getting something in the process. I mean, that is their business, right?

    • FrugalTrader on April 4, 2008 at 1:13 pm

      Karen, as others have mentioned, you can avoid banking fees (with most banks) if you keep a minimum balance. Like George said, banking fees are icing on the cake for banks. They make their money through lending and their investment divisions.

    • Alexandre C on January 21, 2019 at 10:33 pm

      You can save fees on banking by using banks that charge ZERO fees. Banks such as Tangerine (formerly ING) or Simplii (formerly PC Bank). I managed to negotiate 2.5% interest on my wife’s savings account and 3.0% on my own. We also park money in 3.1%, 1 year GICs. I invest money in LOW cost ways such as using Wealthsimple and using QuestTrade to buy ultra-low cost ETFs.

      I *refuse* to pay fees for using a bank. They’re making enough from the money I have in my savings accounts (that’s where I hold my spending cash).

      On pay day, 40% of my income is diverted to investments; so if my wife’s. We spend every penny of the rest; vacation, new couch, replace the broken TV etc. Mind you, I spent a year shopping for the couch. I managed to find the PERFECT couch for $900.00. It was in the basement corner, behind a support beam, discounted for sale 3 times over. It was exactly what we were looking for to boot! That 1 year of shopping saved me over $2000.00. I also managed to negotiate the delivery from 60.00 to 40.00 ( I live to far for free delivery).

      Anyhow… What I really wanted to say was that you CAN bank 100% free of fees. I recommend Tangerine. I also use their cashback credit card and get 2% cash back on most things I buy, .5% on the rest. It makes me an extra 260.00 a year. :)

  47. George on April 4, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Karen: Banks make money primarily by borrowing money from people and lending it out to other people. They pay lower rates of interest on the money borrowed, and charge higher rates of interest on the money lent out. The difference in the interest rates provides the bank with quite a bit of revenue.

    Money borrowed by banks = chequing and savings accounts.
    Money lent by banks = loans, mortgages, lines of credit

    The money banks earn from service charges and fees are just gravy for the banks, and some banks have figured out how to cut their costs and charge no fees. A couple of examples are ING and PC Financial, but there are others.

    There are some drawbacks to these accounts (they may have fewer features, or have fewer ATM machines in their networks), but the main advantage is that they don’t charge monthly fees. They also tend to pay more interest than the “big bank” accounts.

  48. Gates VP on April 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Hey Karen;

    Pretty much every major Canadian bank account will give you free banking if you keep some average/minimum amount in each account. Typically for a chequing account, keeping ~$1000 in the account will get you free banking.

    Honestly, making money off of fees is just one part of the banking business. They make tons of money off of providing loans using the money you give them. If I had to pick one, I would say that making money off loans is really their business and bank fees are a “just because”.

    If you live in the US (like I’m doing right now), free checking accounts are everywhere: Bank of America, WaMu and tons of others.

  49. JR on April 6, 2008 at 11:26 am

    never give to charity, since charity begins at home.

    ways to beat paying any user fees.

    always try to get back any taxes that you’ve paid during the year

    still trying to master getting all of the running expenses of the home (heat, hydro, property taxes) back 100%

    Life insurance discussed on here, should have its own article discussion thread, there are things you can do for those that like the idea of life insurance, whole (paid up), term, universal life etc.

    cheap reliable, non gas guslers vehicles, with only third party insurance.

    dont eat out, no take out either, brown bag lunches

    Energy savings in the home, hydro and timers, thermostat timers, recycle water for toilets and clothes washing

  50. DM on April 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    I don’t know about all of the things that have been mentioned (like life insurance or mortgages) cuz I’m not old enough to move out, but here’s a few of the things my family does:

    -wash laundry in cold water; if it’s nice outside, hang clothes out to dry. handwash small things (like undies) and hang them over a towel rack. this will cut down on what you’re throwing into the washing machine.
    -don’t flush the toilet every time you pee (but make sure you do before company comes over!)
    -drink tap water instead of buying bottles
    -wear sweaters instead of turning up the heat
    -canned fruit makes a great snack in the winter, and it’s cheaper than buying fresh fruit
    -when you make something like soup or rice, make extra. put enough for one persons meal into a container, and put it in the freezer. this is great for my sister and i, because if we’re going to work or something and mom won’t have dinner ready, we just grab a container and microwave it. this is way cheaper than it would be to turn on the stove and make the same meal.
    -clip coupons!
    -if you’re going to a movie, go on a cheap night (like toonie tuesdays). don’t buy food from the concession either – pack some! large purses are GREAT for this! ;)
    -my mom and I are huge fans of tea, and we go through alot of it. to save on tea bags, we use one for two cups. (if this doesn’t work, use two used ones together. example, use tea bag A for one cup. later use tea bag B. they’ve each been used once. now instead of using a third tea bag for a third cup, put tea bag A and B together – sometimes it needs to steep for a while).
    -hand-me-downs are VERY popular in my family. not just my immediate family either. my cousins and my sister and i routinely go through our closets and take out what we don’t wear. everything gets rotated through all of us – take what you want, and then pass the bag onto someone else. this way it’s like getting new clothes without spending money.
    -unplug things (like lamps or a stereo) when they are not being used.
    -only turn a light on if you really need it. i don’t even turn the kitchen or bathroom light on if i get up in the night, because i know my house well enough.
    -wear jeans and sweaters a couple days before throwing them in the laundry.
    -shop in thrift stores! some people are against this, but at least take a look. sometimes you can find something really nice for really cheap.

    I’m sure there’s more but that’s all I’ve got right now. Hope these help somebody!

  51. jumpnlake on May 8, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    With regards to #12 & 14, have you ever heard of FTA (free to air)? For an initial investment of a couple hundred dollars for the receiver… plus you need regular access to internet for updated codes… you can get ALL the channnels for free. Including all the PayPerView movies.

    We got ours, for our Bll Exprssvu satellite, last summer and love it. We set up the new receiver, downloaded the codes from the internet and unplugged the old receiver from Bell. Then we cancelled our subscription and Voila! we still had all the same channels plus the rest of them. The one downside is that it gets blocked on average about twice a month, for anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. But that has been forcing us to find other things to do; like reading, actually talking to each other, catching up on housework, or getting out of the house and visiting people. It’s forced us to give up on being “hooked” on favourite tv shows. Although it was nice timing with the big writers strike this winter. It’s still up and running enough to get our fill, including watching all the new releases which saves us from the need/want to rent movies.

    This is my first “comment” on a money blog. I’ve been lurking for awhile… ever since stumbling over Canadian Capitalist when I was surfing for info on RESPs. His was by far the best advice out there that I could find. Much better, obviously, than any of the institutions selling their own stuff. You guys are definitely needed–plus, it must feel pretty good being able to talk about how well you are doing financially (thanks to hard work and a bit of thought)… without actually bragging about it to friends and family.

  52. George on May 8, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    jumpnlake: I’m not sure that piracy of satellite signals is a legitimate way to save money. It’s like saying you can save money on food if you just steal your food from the grocery store.

    I’ve got Bell as my satellite provider, and the sheer number of pirates out there is one reason that the bills are so high. Those of us who pay for the service we receive have to pay more to subsidize pirates who get their service for “free”.

  53. camaro on May 22, 2008 at 4:12 am

    All great ideas …
    have any of you ever thought that if all society was so cheap…
    that the entire economy would break down, Everyone would be out of work because no one would buy anything until it was almost being given away. Think about it…I think these are strategies that keep people down and a slave to the almighty dollar, and that is a sad reality

    Here is another thought, Why would anybody want to live life putting a 5 dollar bill where a 20 dollar bill should go?

    Here is another thought… time is more valuable than money.
    And here is the proof..everyone knows how much money they have, no one knows how much time they have!

    And because of that- if you spend all your time saving a buck your returns will always be dismal.
    Why don’t all of you use the same time and creativity to make more money, you will all find that this strategy is a much better return on your time invested. and here’s the proof for that thought…If you have a great shopper, ask your self how much can a guy save in a month?
    500$? on all his consumables. But what if the same guy spends his time creating new and better ways to make extra money his returns are infinite, and over a lifetime the differences in lifestyle are enormous. ….Think about it :)

  54. Komodo Dragon on May 31, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    These are some awesome tips! I will try to save money by doing some of them. I always try the brown bag for lunch idea, but it seems as if there is no time to pack my lunch :(

  55. FinanciallyEnhanced on June 29, 2008 at 10:09 am

    There are some great ways to save. Very helpful if your struggling to pay off debts. Every little bit counts =]

    I also have a post with 25 ways to save money:

  56. Bobby on July 21, 2008 at 4:05 am

    You wear clothes out? I guess you do not have any fashion sense? You must live in a small town. Thats a sad way to live. But everything seems do-able other than the wear clothes out thing.

  57. George on July 22, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Bobby: What’s wrong with wearing out your clothes? It’s possible to wear clothing that’s functional, durable, and good looking. Some styles are timeless, and avoid the need to keep current with whatever “fashions” other people tell you that you should wear.

    Letting yourself get wrapped up in “fashions” and having the “latest styles” is just another way of letting corporations control the way you think. Take a look at this Wikipedia article for some further explanations:

    I work in an office where I need to wear a sport coat in more formal settings once in a while. I’m still wearing the same sport coat that I bought for my GRADE 9 GRADUATION (I’m over 30, so that was over 15 years ago). It’s clean, looks sharp, fits me well, and actually garners compliments from people. Why would I want to throw it out to buy the latest style, when it suits my needs perfectly and will do so for many years to come?

  58. vanoku on August 3, 2008 at 4:20 am

    I’ve recently started saving money and I’m loving it. We are trying to pay off some debt within the next year and we’re only in the first month of our budget. So far it’s working great. I like the wearing out your clothes. I can’t remember the last time I bought an outfit (by choice) and if I do buy something, it’s not going to be more than $20.00. I buy offseason. I have a small child and I always buy offseason and end up buying nice sweatshirts for him for $1.99 during summer.

    Food budget – I take out $100 every Friday and do weekly shopping. Usually I spend $80 and leave $20 for later on (if we run out of milk or eggs) This budget is for 3 people.

    During summer, I wash my clothes in the washer, but I try to dry it on my balcony as much as I can. I also do laundry once per week.

    I take a bus to work and walk A LOT. Walking 10 km has become nothing and a great way to lose all my baby weight, and then some!!

    My husband takes our car to work (acura – really good on gas) and I have allocated $33/week for gas. Once he runs out, he car pools.. :) So far, he hasn’t run out.

    Last but not least, we have to have fun.. Every paycheque, we give each other an X amount of dollars that’s ours to do whatever. I mean, he’s a golfer, I gotta keep him happy. I’m finding we’re sticking to our budget better this way. Once we run out of that, it’s over.. wait till payday…

    We both have life insurance through work and I just purchased my own term insurance. We also contribute to our RRSP through work and have our employers match..

    One note about parents – I take my son’s Child Tax and Universal Tax benefits (approx $200/month) and I’ve been putting it away to an RESP. He’s 17 months old now, so it’s starting to be a nice sum and I’m planning to do that until he’s 18. He better be a lawyer! :)

    These are some of the things I can think of.

  59. […] sheet. The higher your positive balance, the faster the debt will be paid off. For the most of us, saving money is easier than finding ways to make more money. We did both – we lived frugally and I got a second […]

  60. keith koch on August 12, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    After reading your blog about Microsoft money, I went on their website only to discover that there are about 5 different versions of the software. What version do you use?

    • FrugalTrader on August 12, 2008 at 8:02 pm

      I’m using an older version. MS Money 2006 Canadian Edition.

  61. Jessica on August 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    My husband and I have been trying to be more efficient by, writing down everything we buy whether it be cash, cc or checking. By doing this we have been able to track so much better and have been able to save a lot by watching what is coming out and in. We also have local cable instead of satelitte, which saves us about $50-$60 a month. I also carpool to work with my aunt and my dad which saves all of us a lot of money, I am paying $50 a month to ride with them. These are just a few things we have noticed that have saved us a lot. :)

  62. Natali on August 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Very educational! It’s always interesting how other people are saving money and the different ways you can implement it in your own situation. I really liked the bit about using a points/cashback based credit card that gives the best return for spending. That will be my goal this week: Pay off the credit card that has the least amount of cashback opportunities and start using the one that does. Thanks!

  63. Lana on September 3, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    We do our grocery shopping at a local discount grocer where you bag and box your own groceries. The items are MUCH cheaper than at regular grocery stores and the selection is just as good. We only buy items on sale and freeze the meat and freezables, so that we have a variety of food each week. We spend between $80-$135 a week, but that is including diapers for 2 small children.

  64. Is it a Recession? | Million Dollar Journey on October 1, 2008 at 8:00 am

    […] Be Frugal. Practice frugality to raise cash to buy companies/ETF’s that are under valued.  Here are a few ways to save money. […]

  65. Saving Money Tips on October 24, 2008 at 4:23 am

    As an extra tip to include with this post:

    My financee and I carry around a small pocket sized notebook. When we make any purchase we track it in book and then on every single payday we go through the book and discuss our purchase and figure out what was a want vs needs, and what was a necessity. That way, in the coming weeks you begin to really think before you purchase something.

    I would also suggest that you track the amount of money you have saved, and out that saved money into your savings, investments, pay bills.

  66. Carl on November 4, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    I definitely like number 7 on your list. Over time, every single choice you make can effectively make you money.

  67. […] thing that stood out most about this book is that it goes against common financial wisdom.  Think living frugally or maximizing a 401k (or RRSP) is a means to wealth?  The author certainly […]

  68. LL on November 27, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    I don’t go out of my way to get reward points, but if I’m going to buy something anyway, I try to maximize the points I get. For example, if I am making a purchase on, I click through or

    Redeeming points for gift cards during the holiday season (or other gift giving events) is a good money saver for me, or even to redeem gift cards for myself for everyday necessities, or I can redeem gift cards at other retailers to splurge guilty-free :)

  69. Term Insurance Pro on December 1, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks for this article. I had already commented on term life insurance, but since I just bought a house and I’m trying to save money, I decided it was time to incorporate some of the other money saving suggestions you have on here.

    I had to buy a refrigerator and I also decided to get a t.v. (since I didn’t have one yet). I took your advice on number 21 and made sure to shop around. I definitely found great deals on both by spending a little extra time looking for sales and other deals.

  70. Noah on December 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Don’t forget about saving on the cost of gym memberships; they’re usually at least $30/month and an ongoing expense no less! Making it 1. more enjoyable to exercise at home and 2. obtaining some free gym equipment can help you stay fit and save money.

    Making exercise fun is your own personal challenge, but here are a few ways to get the equipment gratis:

  71. […] those of you who have read my older posts on ways to save money, you may have noticed that I like to keep my material items for the long term.  Whether it’s […]

  72. Tesla on December 19, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Hey , here’s a way I’ve been cutting down on bills …check this thing out .. I saw it on ctv news … you can make free long distance calls to Canada and the US .. it’s a little usb device with a phone jack and you talk over your internet connection … I bought it actually works… I cancelled my phone service with shaw .. which was around $100 or so a month … this only cost $39 CAD and it’s good for a whole year .. after that it’s only $19 … I got mine at …Enjoy :)

  73. […] Wasting 9 Easy Ways to Save Money On Investment Costs 22 Money Maximizing Moves You Can Do Today 25 Ways To Save Money 12 Daily Activities to Save Mother Earth… and Money 5 Simple Ways I Save Money 30 Money Saving […]

  74. mark robinson on January 5, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    some ways that i save money: i make extra money by selling my hockey cards on ebay, i pick bottles and cans in the spring and summer, i dont own a vehicle so i save alot of money by not having to pay for insurance, gasoline, etc., i pick up any money i find on the ground(even a penny), i take transit when i am in the city instead of cabs, i split the rent by having a roommate(this saves me $375.00 a month), and i use my metal detector in the spring and summer to find all the lost change people have lost at parks, campsites, etc.

  75. mmx20115 on January 5, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    One way that I found can save money, and this is more of an augmented budgeting tactic is to utilize money management software with your online banking. Set the parameters to show that your balance is less than it really is. You may ask how this saves you money. Banks are in the business of generating profit ho hum….. The majority of these profits are derived from service charges, fees, and overdraft charges. I did find one figure that pegged it as high as $50,000,000,000 annually. One of the sneakiest tactics is posting debits from your account beginning with the highest amount first and working backwards to the least then posting your credits last. If you are at or near your account limit you will incur NSF fees ranging from $20 to $59 at Windsor Family Credit Union. I have even heard of progressive increases as high as $80 YIKES! We all know it is our responsibility to maintain sufficient funds in our accounts. In todays economy it is easy to fall behind. I for one have learned this lesson recently. With my wife on maternity and losing 50% of my own self-employed income on top of that, these are trying times. The banks won’t help you, you must help yourself and educate yourself. Try using this technique to avoid feeding the service fee beast. Keep in mind, your bank will probably charge you to use that feature as well. But it beats the alternative.

  76. Bernz on January 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    These are great tips…here’s another great one..
    Don’t eat out as much as you use too. This one is really big for me.

  77. Tanya on February 3, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    You pay $100 for a phone with shaw?! We pay $86 for phone, internet and basic cable from shaw… it is 4 cents a minute, which is practically free. I haven’t paid over 2 bucks for a call yet!

  78. easy ways to save money on February 9, 2009 at 1:17 am

    nice post
    Everyone can save money in small and seemingly insignificant areas if you know how and where to do it.
    These are all great ideas
    Great tips! I’ll be coming back to learn more about saving money!

  79. sherry on February 12, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Here is how I save money and time. I go to a website called
    to create what the site calls “eyeballs” to monitor price drops in items that I want. I can make several eyeballs for different online sites. Great thing was I was able to do a price match and get an additional 10% off from a store that didn’t have the item on sale but has a price match policy (bestbuy ;0)
    It beats the hassle of checking back at websites every week to see if something has gone on sale. Time is money.
    The site I think also offers a suggestion for price adjustments.

    I also go to a coupon site. There must be other ones out there but i only get the coupons that apply to products that i already buy. Try not to have coupons for things you normally don’t buy as this might make you end up buying.

    I bring a re-usable grocery bag so I don’t get charged the 5 cents per bag.

    I lower my thermostat when I cook or if I use the oven, I leave the oven door open after I’m finished to enjoy the warmth.

    I bought a Wii fit instead of paying for a gym membership. Best investment I have done in a long time considering my investments in the market kind of disappeared.

    i buy non brand name electronics that are have the same parts as brand name electronics. we bought a 47″ insignia LDC HD tv and the parts i was told was still made by one of the brand name korean or japanese companies. I don’t remember now so I don’t want to say something wrong here. But do your research and you will save big.

  80. […] writing about delaying gratification to save money,  it got me thinking about another saving strategy that we use on a day to day basis which helps on those instant gratification urges while […]

  81. Gordon Biddy on March 5, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Great savings ideas, but the question not being asked is: what do you do with the money you save?

    If you simply spend it elsewhere, you’re no further ahead:

    There are ways to save without skimping on the things that enrich our lives:

  82. Horlic on March 31, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I request my landlord to lower down the rental.

    (When I find something that I “need”, then I do comparison shopping or wait until it goes on sale). I will bargain till I get good deals.

    I will buy in bulk when the “need” item on sales.

    I will make us of coupon that available.

  83. TS on April 5, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Horlic that is smart of you to negotiate with your landlord for a lower rate. Things like that are something so many people seem to miss. They find ways to save a few bucks here and there but don’t do much for the bigger expenses. I have found that you can lower rates on many of your bills just by calling and asking (and threatening to leave their service). I have lowered the bills for my cable/internet and cell phone recently just by calling and saying it was too expensive for me now and I was getting better offers from competitors. I also did it with my car insurance, rent, gym membership and my parents cable/phone (which I take care of) a few months ago. All of these savings together are close to $1k per month.

  84. Horlic on April 6, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Thank TS…
    Hehe… Thank to share more on the negotiation tips.
    Hmm… I will suggest you to write an article to share more about the tips of negotiation “negotiate to the max”. For me, I will use same trick as well (threatening to leave their service) but I will use it as a last option. I will first tell them that I’ve been a loyal customer, prompt payment (If you are) and therefore I request this and that. I will suggest you to talk to Manager or the decision maker as sometimes the customer services officer or sales executive they don’t have such authorities to make decision.

  85. […] Savers – The opposite is true for savers (like myself), cash/spending power will decrease during times of high […]

  86. Victor on April 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Great tips!

    I have posted a free book online (that I wrote) containing just over 101 ‘green’ tips. Just about all of those tips have the added benefit of saving you money too (at least in the long run). Check it out:

  87. JW on April 21, 2009 at 4:36 am

    One more tip: Borrow movies from your public library!
    Do a search on your library’s catalogue (usually available online.) You’d be surprised what blockbusters they’d have. I’ve saved alot of money this way.

    Some caveats to this though:
    1. They won’t have new releases (usually they won’t have movies less than 2 years old)
    2. The condition of the DVDs might not be the best.
    3. If it’s a popular movie, chances are it will be already checked out and you’d be put on a “hold” list.

  88. JW on April 21, 2009 at 4:49 am

    And to #47-Karen, I’ve been with PC Financial for about 12 years and I absolutely love them. no service fees, ever (unless you do something silly like bouncing a cheque.) and you can use the CIBC network + PC Financial network of ATMS as many times as you want for FREE.

    The only caveat is that there are no tellers, so you have to do all your banking by ATM, phone, or internet. If you’re okay with this, PCF is the way to go.

  89. […] 6, 2009 · No Comments I came across this article on saving money and started reading it with high hopes that it will point me towards prosperity and alleviate my […]

  90. […] the Extra CarAvoid Whole Life InsuranceRent Less ApartmentAvoid the high cost of owning a petHow to Save Money – 25 Ways I Save Money – Million Dollar Journey shares 25 ways he saves money. His tips include:Don’t smoke, do drugs, […]

  91. Bankruptcy Saskatoon on May 29, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Great post! It is so important for people to think about all the points you have mentioned above. Small things like a cup of Starbucks coffee every morning can add up to about $80 a month. This is a huge sum which can be easily saved if you just start making your own coffee at home!

  92. […] are 8 frugal ideas we came up with to keep the kids busy this summer without going […]

  93. Bernz on June 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Here’s another great tip and I am sure you will all agree. Keep a positive mind. This works for me all the time. I noticed that I do make wiser decision regarding money matters, whether spending or investing when I am not under stress. In short, I tend to spend money on unnecessary things when I am under stress. Stay positive.

  94. […] had a huge influence in terms of my over all approach to money. Frugality and delayed gratification came directly from emulating them and following my upbringing. They were […]

  95. Budgeting Guru on June 25, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Good tips!! Another great way to save money is to budget and allow yourself an allotted amount of money for the week – that fits into your budget. Then, take that amount out of the bank and ONLY spend the cash you have in your wallet. This will allow you to see the worth of your money a lot easier.

  96. What do you do for fun when trying to save? | sina on September 12, 2009 at 5:37 am

    […] Read this for more:… […]

  97. Canada Deals on October 4, 2009 at 1:26 am

    We stopped wasting money on fast food and restaurants by learning how to cook more creatively at home. Saves us approx $100/month :)

  98. Gordon Biddy on October 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    These are my 15 top money saving (and wealth building) tips:

    Really simple, and they really work!

    Gordon Biddy

  99. Ten Ways That I Save Money By Being Frugal on October 15, 2009 at 9:33 am

    […] post was inspired by similar posts on FrugalForLife, Million Dollar Journey, and CashMoneyLife although they tackle 25 frugal tips to save you […]

  100. Bob on October 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    These ways to save money are common sense ideas. There’s no ground breaking, earth shattering revelations here. If you people don’t already know these things, you shouldn’t be allowed to have money as you’re too dumb. Anyone with half a brain already knows this stuff.

  101. Monique on October 28, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Love all the tips and love all the comments just as much!

  102. […] managing your food life is being organized. If you can make an effort to do this then you will save money and time.  As well, you’ll probably eat a little better, eat a wider variety of food, and […]

  103. Ed on November 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    always ask for discount before buying big ticket items, specially if they have a scratch or are demo. ask for the sale item, instead of buying full price new ones. shop on ebay and craiglist. if you can trade work for an item, do it.

  104. snotnosekidless on December 14, 2009 at 12:07 am

    I got a vasectomy so I wouldnt have the burden of children…Beat that savings plan!

  105. Geekdad on December 17, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Well written, of course you could always stay at home and cut out all your entertainment.. lol

  106. mrbizi on January 1, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Here’s how I saved a couple of thousand dollars this year – I stopped getting my 10-year old Volvo serviced at a Volvo dealership and instead now go to a private mechanic I was referred to to get my car serviced and repaired.

    I noticed that as my car had gotten older, the volvo dealers ( and I’ve been to more than a couple) would regularly find parts that needed to be replaced (citing safety issues). For the last few years I was spending around $2-3k in repairs alone (albeit still cheaper than buying a new car). I got fed up and started to ask around, and true enough my repair expenses went down significantly this year.

  107. […] 25 Ways I Save Money: Million Dollar Journey’s FrugalTrader shares 25 easy ways to save money in the short- and long-term. […]

  108. […] Saving and Frugality Some great money saving articles were submitted in this Carnival.  Frugality is the name of the game!  Besides these articles, here are some more ways to save money. […]

  109. […] I was not born organized. It doesn’t come naturally to me. Over time, I’ve had to learn systems to get and stay organized. I’ve read lots of books on the subject and work very hard at staying organized. There are still times when being disorganized has had a financial cost. Now, being organized is even more motivating to me, knowing it can save me time and money. […]

  110. poorunivkid on January 31, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    haha best way to furnish your house – kijiji/craigs list!! seriously folks, there are gold mines out there on these sites. it only takes a few moments of every day to review new ads.

    be warned – these places are also used by people trying to get your money. never pre-pay, and always take someone with you to pick up your items.

  111. on March 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Great tips. Some of them are common sense, but we can all use reminding from time to time, and this is a really useful list. Separating needs from wants is one of my favorites,

  112. 10 Best Ways To Save Money on April 29, 2010 at 4:20 am

    I have to say that the library is a great resource. In my county, if you are a member to one library, you can take things out from ANY library in the county…and on the Web site, you can search for DVDs that are available…let’s say you want to get two movies that you knew just came out, you could find out what libraries have them. I like to combine this with number 100 and ride my bike to the library for exercise.
    I am constantly amazed that you can come up with all these great ideas

  113. Kris on May 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    If you are a fan of Canadian Money Saver magazine, I have an article in the May edition called “Rules & Tools of the Frugal” which deals with money saving tips. Most libraries subscribe to it or you can buy it at any Chapters.

  114. Sensei on June 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Love the article, I tend to follow quite a few myself. To save more money, I tend to cut time going out, and spend it at home.

  115. bb on August 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    at Safeway, there is a machine by the register and the new releases are $1.79!

  116. Kelli on October 8, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Go to the library & rent movies , you might have to wait a little to get the latest
    ones but you couldn’t have possibly seen all the one year old ones either. It’s free big savings if you’re a movie watcher hands down.

    If you have high speed ( only ) stream movies off of youtube or It’s free and you get to see all the latest new movies.

    Drive to florida for vacation ( if you have a van ) turn it and use it into a camper.
    Take the seats out , and park in truck stops every night. It’s totally free providing you’re gone first thing in the morning and wow… you get to see Florida and enjoy the weather for peanuts. We bring our own dry groceries across the border ( cause you can’t bring dairy, meat , fruit and veggies ) .
    You can warm up your food in the truck stop microwave, and bring in your own
    cup to get hot water. ( well we do that lol ) and enjoy ourselves every year for more less the price of gas. Go on free walking tours , enjoy the beach, It’s great !!!

    Do not have a pet. Way toooooo expensive and holds you back too much.
    Get a plant . lol ….. you can never leave town for a week without having to get a sitter or someone to take the dog out every day. Just a big expense and a big responsiblity . (my opinion ) we just know so many people with dogs and we hear the complaints all the time.

    Happy $aving !!!

  117. Ashton on October 12, 2010 at 1:46 am

    I try every month to make sure my income is higher then whatever I spend. It’s very hard to do, but helps to build a quick emergency fund.

  118. HowToSave on October 31, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I like point 19, “I buy with quality in mind in the expectation that it will last a long time.” I’ve started to do this rather than just buying the cheapest thing. In the long run it works out better

  119. Cheap SSL on November 18, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Woah there are so many great tips here.
    I completely agree that sometimes living frugally can get to be a little overwhelming, not to mention embarrasing. So with that said I feel that there are some areas you just aren’t meant to be frugal in.

    I have been searching the internet for a few months now on how to be frugal and tight with your money but not showing it. I guess that you could say when it comes to my reputation, i’m not that proud of being a ‘tight artist’. Now while this article gives some standard tips on how to do things frugally… i would really like to see a post that shows how you can live frugally, but not seem like it to your family and friends. Theres got to be a way……. I know it….I just haven’t found it yet…..

  120. F C H on December 1, 2010 at 3:51 am

    I live off the grid. And I am very proud of being frugal and don’t care who knows it. But when I do go out or whatever, I will always pay my own way (not a bum). Credit cards are always paid off each month, if there is any balance at all. Don’t have satellite or cable tv. 2 channels over the air and internet connection is enough for know. Cell phone is the only phone. Usually brown bagging and definately NOT dependent upon Tim Hortons, I build my own coffee. Building my own very small house when I am not working. I work when there is work and play when work slows up. Very seldom take time off from work in busy times. I buy vehicles used, and always pay cash. I shop for used tires long before I need them. My vehicles don’t need all the bells and whistles, they just break down and are expensive to fix. A good running vehicle is by far more important than a real pretty looking one. I don’t have a girl friend and never will unless there is one out there that thinks kinda the same as myself when it comes to money and frugality.

  121. Monique on December 5, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    We save money by reading tons of books on the subject and following others who are doing the same as us.

  122. Yufayl on January 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Drinking IS a drug!

  123. Scott on January 30, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    One thing I do to earn additional interest is to charge everything I can to my CC, while keeping hardly any money in my chequing account, allowing me to keep it all in a savings account, and transfer as required. As long as you do not pay interest on the CC this works great.

  124. Cheapsk8 on February 13, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I’m seeing a lot of the same tips repeatedly, but there is one tip that can help you get some of life’s luxuries for the cost of your time.. barter!!!! I’m an esthetician and will barter a pedicure or something to get my kids’ hair cut, or their pictures taken or a massage for myself. My husband’s a mechanic and will fix cars for a case of beer (which is a luxury on a fixed income) or find a friend who is in the same boat as you and help each other out, This is great when it comes to child care, household chores, yard work, baking etc…

    As far as food goes, you can get a bunch of people together to split on the cost of huge bulk orders, but you can also get together and spend a day baking large batches of muffins, breads, and casseroles to freeze.

    you can also sprout your own sunflower sprouts all year round and have fresh greens high in antioxident and nutrient to eat for pennies.

  125. Cheapsk8 on February 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    The other thing I wanted to add was don’t hire a professional if you don’t have to. There are books, online videos and courses at home Depot for example on how to do stuff yourself for virtually free. You might pick up a new hobby down the road because of this. As much as I’d like a professional to come in and paint my house, or grout the tiles in my bathroom … i’m quite capable of doing myself (or making my husband do it!. lol)

    Oh and also buying floor models of larger ticket items can save you big bucks too.

  126. inspired by money on March 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Ways I save money……..
    1. Savings with ING, hard to beat the interest, and also no fees.

    2. Went down to one vehicle (I know, not for everyone…we have two teen kids and still can do it).

    3. Started a consulting business, so that so many things are now tax deductible.

    4. got a line of credit, bought property, fixed it up a bit, sold it for three times what we paid, then with the money bought a repossessed home under market value, fixed it with the same monies from first sale, (therefore no mortgage), Sold our primary home which produced a savings of over $100K (with no capital gains, as it was our primary residence), then moved into mortgage free home. Took the profit from sale of primary home and bought rental units. Can now retire and live off of rental units. (all this and I just turned 40 and if anyone can be inspired by this, I am also a female).

  127. inspired by money on March 11, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I also forgot………..
    more of my personal tips
    5. I never buy new vehicles, and when I get one we keep it till it is approximately 7-10 years old. Even buying one just a few years old saves thousands of dollars.

    6. I always make soup with the left over carcasses the day after having chicken or roasts. usually lasts a few meals, and helps with brown bagging lunches.

    7. do my own income taxes. Revenue Canada `s sites are very in-depth and informative once you get used to using them. I may hire an accountant as a consultant as needed (which of course is tax deductible due to tip 3), so as to not miss anything, but I find If I get “intimate“ with my taxes, I understand how to spend and save throughout the year. The more I teach myself, the less I need my accountant, as well.

    8. My family has at least one “meatless“ supper per week. Favorite being home made waffles with yogurt smothered in berries.

    9. Eat left overs (some people don`t. I once watched my friend start to dump enough left over spaghetti in the trash, enough for one more full meal. Of course I stopped her and made her put it into the fridge).

  128. JoeB on July 13, 2011 at 1:48 am

    I like a lot of these ideas but Microsoft Money? A bit old school, especially with free services like Mint around. Nonetheless, great post.

  129. Gates VP on July 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    @JoeB: the post is dated Dec 2009, so it’s over 18 months old. FT is a Canadian blogger and was unavailable for Canadians at the time. It took another year to arrive in Canada.

  130. BGV on July 27, 2011 at 11:25 am

    How do you avoid being called cheap?

    And does your friends and other significant people in your life know your financial situation?

    • FrugalTrader on July 27, 2011 at 6:54 pm

      @BGV, lol, who says I’m not called cheap? Surprisingly, I’m not called cheap very often, at least not to my face. :) Maybe it’s because I’m “cheap” with my self, but not with others. And no, not many people know about my financial situation.

  131. Jayboard on August 10, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Every day when I get in from work or where ever I empty the change in my pockets into a cookie tin. It usually takes about 6mos to fill and usually on average amounts to $250 – $300. I have been amassing all my rolled change at home because if it goes in the bank it will just disappear. I have saved about $2000 so far and is going to be used for any emergency that pops up. The bank teller won’t be too happy though when I go to cash it in.

    I drink alot of coffee and was spending about $3 a day but now I grind and make my own. A bag of beans is about $8 and will yeild about 3 avg tins of cofee which sells for around $6-$8 each. I’m saving about a$100 a month just in coffee.

  132. Grace Poole on August 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    There are several things I do to save money. My friends say that if you look up the word “frugal” in the dictionary it would have my picture over it. First spend less and send more if you are in debt. My kids and I have had lots of fun this summer doing free or inexpensive activities, I ALWAYS pack a picnic to avoid spending $50+ on eating out on outings. This adds up so quickly. We also use coupons or find outings in near by little towns at a fraction of the price. I also grow a garden, hang out my laundry, and in the winter use drying wracks (which I got for 50% off on sale). For kids items and cloths I check out yard sales and Thrift stores and even better when the Thrift store has 50% off sales. I run the dish washer and washing machine on “off peak” hours, usually after 10pm, I always make extra dinner and put it in the fridge so my husband and I can take lunch to work the next day. While not at home I turn up the temp for the A/C or turn the temp down to 17 or 18*c so I’m not paying for heat while I am not home.
    These are some of the ways I save. Having a meal plan is essential and I base it on sales in the fliers, I also take all my fliers and shop where I can price match and I use coupons in addition to price matching to get the lowest price.

  133. Dylan on September 6, 2011 at 4:43 am

    @12… Not true about Germany. They don’t make you turn off your car at stop lights. Where on earth did you hear that? But… To get a driver license, it costs between $1,500 and $3,000 and takes roughly a month. Consequently, people save a ton by riding bikes.

  134. Shiraz on October 26, 2011 at 1:27 am

    I do my laundry and run my dishwasher at off-peak times to save on my energy bills. It makes a big difference over the course of the year!

  135. Crystal on October 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Disconnect the cable and watch TV via online or though NetFlix, Cable $38 a month = $456 a year, Netflix $7.99 a month = 95.88 a year … total savings $448.01… plus you save on all the box rental fees!

  136. Brie on February 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    I love finding new ways to save money every day. I am constantly looking and trying different things in hopes that I cut my spending costs every month. I am working towards being a millionaire someday and hopefully my frugality and wise investing will help me achieve my goals one day.

  137. Scott on March 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    A few things we do:

    1) Look through the grocery store flyers, compare prices, and make a list for each individual store based on what is on sale that week.

    2) Pay all bills/expenses on a points credit card (Cineplex Scene VISA card). I have not paid for a movie in years.

    3) By cooking a little extra food at night, you have enough leftovers for lunch at work the next day, tasty and cheap.

    4) There are always gas stations that are 3-5 cents/liter cheaper, we always stop there while in the area.

  138. ObsessedFrugal10 on March 29, 2012 at 3:17 am

    I use a credit card that provides rewards (points accumulation) that I can apply toward reducing my mortgage. In 4 years, I have reduced the principal on my mortgage by about $3000 just by using the credit card. And by the way, I don’t pay annual fee on my credit card and I don’t carry any balance.

  139. jet on May 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    When traveling if distance between cheap gas is to far, to travel on a tank of gas bring some extra in a jery can so the expensive gas wont need to be purchased.

    sleep in your car instead of a hotel room.

    Always coast to a stop unless stopping on a hill to save breaks & gas.

    Never drive the speed limit if it is above 90kmh (extra wear on tires, more gas used, more stress on engine, any stones on road when flying up from tires will do more damage to paint & cause rust, more stress to front end from hitting seams in pavement

    When traveling down hill instead of using breaks or traveling @ a higher speed put vechile in a gear that reves engine higher then engine idle speed so the energy from gravity will cause the vechile to burn less gas then @ idol.

    Use electronic rust control so car will take 4 times longer to rust out instead of more expensive ways.

    Buying a used vechile is not always the best deal i.e., I bought a new 2005 plan jane sunfire with a 6000 dollar rebate & 1500 off from GM card. Which was cheaper then sunfires that were 2-3 years old @ the time.

    Dont try to buy a skill that cant be bought i.e., I use old skis that have been left over from ski swaps that no one bothered to pick up & I love the way they ski & many are amazed @ my skiing ability.

    Be an independent thinker, Never buy something that everyone else is buying just to be part of the herd. ( from buying labels on clothing to investments)

    If credit card has a fee as well as other banking fees & your a valuable customer to the bank or financial institution they will often pay it. ( prefure credit unions over banks)

    If money is sitting idol in brokerage acccount waiting for next set up. Do what the banks do lend it out for those buying stocks on margine. (one chicago) backed by the exchanged that has a AA credit rating

    Use consumer reports from library to compare quality of products & pricing

    View money as a median of exchange that represents life energy when using it.

  140. jet on May 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Men should change their hair style to brush cuts. Then a family member can easily cut thier hair with a trimmer set from Wallmart or Costco

    To cut down on dentist bills buy a phillips sonic tooth brush & a water flosser.

    Women should do thier own nails & never buy makeup. (average of 160,000 is spent for makeup by a woman in a life time)

    Day traders should never pay commisions to a third party even discount brokers but trade directly on the exchange when practical i.e., NADEX

    Follow owners manual for vechile maintance. (know what parts need greasing on your car & if someone does your oil changes make sure that they also lubricate these parts.

    Never buy cereal oats are cheaper

    Comparison shop on internet

    Have the passenger in your vechile get out & check time left on parking meters if there is more then one empty one to chose from.

    When entering grocery stores quickly scan for carts with money in them.

    Dont buy a gym membership if you can do a similar workout cheaper.

    Try to buy only assets ( that which puts money into your pocket & try to avoid buying liabilities ( that which takes money out of your pocket i.e an expensive car that is hard on gas & expensive to insure.)

    If purchasing a condo consider buying it cheaper by buying it before it is built ( warning is up to you to make sure how safe the company is)

    print out a copy of any GIC that are coming do & take it to differnt financial instututions for them to compete. Also check out rates from Globe & Mail but remember a credit union will often pay dividend on top of interest earned. Check history of there dividends for some what of a guide. For TFSA & RRSP see if they will pay transfer fees & if it is possible to remove transfer fees when the GICs mature. (in writing)

  141. Driller2012 on July 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Wow, people put a lot of effort into saving pennies. We try a few things like –
    -xmas lights on timers/minimal lights to start
    hunting – a moose fills the freezer with meat for a year
    -unplug appliances like microwaves when not in use
    extra money on the mortgage
    but work covers most things mentioned here:
    – cell phone
    – gym membership (includes squash)
    – medical, dental etc
    – company fishing trip – lots of halibut in the freezer
    – lunch once a month
    – xmas gift, so far we have received – 2 ipods, gps, shirts

    just remember if you get hit by a bus you don’t want to be the richest person in the graveyard. you only live once! Enjoy it!!

  142. Lou on August 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    We turn down the water heater, and when we need hot water, we have to run the water to get it hot, so I fill up the water jug with the cool water and water the house plants with it.
    We also try not too flush the toilet all day long and only when necessary. When cooking we always cook extra, enough to have another meal of leftovers.
    We use the oven on cool days and BBQ on hot days.
    I have been cutting my husbands hair for 35 years and treat myself to a $17.00 haicut about every two months.
    I never buy cookies & cakes, or buy prepared meals – almost everything is homemade.
    We try to save money by buying bulk pasta & canned goods, & drinks.

  143. minimize without any loss on August 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Definitely negotiate! specialty stores, appliances, furniture – if you buy it today, you pay less ;) the same goes for services and rent. telephone, cable, Internet.. though better to just get high-speed internet and VOIP / Netflix it to eliminate television and telephone bills altogether.

    for cellphone, the smartest thing to do is buy an unlocked (android) phone, then to go get a tablet sim which is internet only and costs 5-35$ per month (usually scaling). then with that phone you use Google Voice and one of many free sms apps

    I have a tablet sim in my phone and no internet/cable/telephone. When I am on the computer I use the internet from my phone (tethering)

    drive less
    eat less
    read a book – most of them are free online (even without pirating)
    also, order stuff online when the price and shipping is reasonable.

  144. Extreme Couponing Canada on August 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Great money saving tips.

    I also do a bunch of these like bagging lunch to work, making my own coffee and tea in the morning and putting it in a travel mug for the day.

    I also try to drive as little as possible and walk to work and the grocery store if I can. That also saves on gym memberships :)

    You can also save on your electricity bill by opening all blinds and curtains during the day for natural light!

  145. Marguerite on July 25, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I subscribe to cable during Nov., dec. Jan and Feb. only, the 4 months I spend more time inside in Eastern Cold Canada. I also have a prepaid cell phone, which I use for emergencies only, this costs me $100. a year – I stock up on non perishable food when they are on sale, I check the weekly specials for meat, fish, etc. I buy good quality clothes on sale, ideally 50% or more off.

  146. SST on July 28, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    A couple books for a hands-on approach to frugal home-life:

    Flight From the City (1933) — Ralph Borsodi
    (frugally free@)

    The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto (2010) — Kevin Carson
    (frugally free@)

    If you can find Borsodi’s ‘Prosperity and Security : a Study in Realistic Economics’, let me know.

  147. KathHudson on November 24, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    It is even possible to save money while traveling! The main trick is to use roaming simcards instead of your regular ones. I used TravelSim last time I was on trip and it was just great

  148. Campbell on May 24, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Great lovely things have been said above.Very informative ineed.
    I would love to add that buying a new cell phone every month or changing many of them in a year can definitely put a hold on your savings

  149. Ardeshir Mehta on September 17, 2014 at 9:56 pm


    You issued a couple of ideas.

    29. I don’t buy groceries and cleaning supplies UNLESS they’re on sale. (Except when I run out and HAVE to buy something, but that’s not often, because I buy more than enough and store it in the basement.)

    30. I buy my clothes at second-hand stores. (Overcoat: $15; Jacket: $10; dress pants: $7, dress shirts: $5. Can’t do much better than that. And not all of them are actually USED; my dress shirts, for example, look like they are brand new and somebody just didn’t like them!)

    31. I use Kijiji and eBay a lot.

    32. AND I shop at different dollar stores a LOT. Save B-I-G!!!

  150. Ardeshir Mehta on September 17, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    ERRATUM: In my previous post, the word “issued” should be “missed”.

  151. Mike Brock on September 22, 2014 at 8:18 am

    I stopped smoking and found I wasnt going into the stores that much so cut back on all the rubbish they managed to sell me at the tills, like chocolates, magazines and soft drinks….

  152. SLN on February 10, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I offset any expense with TFSA returns. A $50 phone expense is paid with after-tax income. Make use of the TFSA and use any tax-free returns or profits to off-set some of your expenses.

  153. James on May 28, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    One great thing we did to save money was use a company that helped us cut our costs for cell phones, internet, cable TV and landlines. They kept our services exactly as is with and with the same provider. They just got us better pricing. It was the ultimate win-win. If you are looking to save some money check them out at

  154. Andy on March 21, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Good tips. simple and to the point. For cable, it’s possible to replace it with a TV antenna for free HD channels and Netflix.

  155. Financial Canadian on July 8, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Of all the things you’ve outlined here, I think that by far the rule that I see broken the most is the concept of “banking your raises”. I work in finance and it’s very typical for new hires to have dramatic lifestyle increases upon being hired, regardless if they have boatloads of student debt or whatever their situation may be. Often it’s not the most prudent choice.


  156. Brett on November 19, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Reading the comments on this page has actually convinced me to stop worrying about saving every penny and just enjoy my life. Entering contests for 30 minutes a day, using a metal detector to look for dropped change??? I stumbled upon this page because I was looking for ways to save money with the news that I have twins on the way. But after reading these comments, I’m convinced that there is much more important things than saving a few bucks here and there. I would much rather spend an extra couple hours with my kids each day, and accept that it is just going to cost an extra $100-$200 a month. If I have to work an extra year before I am able to retire, then so be it. I guarantee my kids and wife will appreciate it in the long run.

  157. Daniel on June 1, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Just going through this with my 17 year old son in Ontario. Free tuition is for household income of under $50K which for most areas would be almost poverty level income. Plus that covers tuition only so the extra $10K per year has to come from somewhere (if the program they take is not available locally). For us, we are a two income family making reasonable incomes so we are above the $50K threshold. We do qualify for a $2000 grant through OSAP and most of the schools offer merit based scholarships of $2 – 3K per year assuming they keep their grades above 80%. My son has an 84% average so he is getting the $2K scholarship level.

  158. David on November 3, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    for colder Canadian climates: we use firewood as much as possible, insulated the flip out of your house, have your family on board (learning and helping out) and teach them what we are all sharing, affordable vehicles, learn how to fix your assets, learn how to build, don’t be afraid to try things and take the small loss if it doesn’t work out, discipline goes a long way (learn to say no to yourself and family), to stay far away from Credit cards or pay off when due or a day prior, check out Manulife products as well as others, self -educate (loads of books out there) &/ or go to some type of business management school, find something you really love to do that is a type of service/ product and start a small business ( we do this constantly ie, roast coffee on our BBQ, make hand man winter wreaths, prune trees … = tax deductions and added income) keep expenses low with profits high. gardening can be fun and offer exercise (at least get a few fruit trees and learn about xeriscaping. get away from a huge costly lawn if you don’t need/ want it. this will save you time and energy for years and offer you fresh organic foods), we are low income earners so for those who are * learn about how you can take advantage of Kids sport, RESP, CLB. my chink now is learning about investment incomes. I’ve always been a skilled labourer and fugal as we like to say but time is not on my side so much anymore so .. its time to start looking towards the future = compound investments (need to learn more about this one ! ) We try to have an eye on the future but not too much or you’ll miss what’s going on today and now.

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