We’ve compiled a list of the best practical money saving ideas. Start with the tips below and then proceed to our ten step checklist to save money.

  • Get car insurance quotes and make sure that you have health insurance.
  • Clip coupons at Coupons.com, SmartSource and PrintableGroceryCoupons.net.
  • Buy generic everything. Many generics are exactly the same as brand names.
  • Get a mortgage refinance quote to see if you pay too much for home payments.
  • Get free offers here.
  • Buy in bulk and get rewards cards at the supermarket.
  • Insulate your home and use fans and ventilation instead of AC.
  • Walk or take the bus and sell your car.
  • Create a budget.
  • Use Skype.com if you talk on the phone a lot, especially internationally.
  • Travel cheap. Stay at hostels, Couch Surf or Air BnB.
  • Use an online savings account that pays better interest, like ING Direct.
  • Pack lunch and bring coffee to work.
  • Have a drink at home before going to the bar.
  • Get a rewards credit or debit card.
  • Invest your money. Vanguard or Scottrade is a good place to start.
  • Get a credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com, the government sponsored credit reporting website.
  • Ask for a discount on large purchases like a refrigerator or washing machine.
  • Take advantage of federal tax credits for energy efficiency with Energy Star.
  • Use the library. They have plenty of books, CD’s and DVDs. You can also request that the library buy certain books.
  • Make saving a game. Set goals and give yourself a reward if you reach them.
  • Don’t follow your impulse. If you feel the urge to buy something, wait a few days and see if you still want it.
  • At the grocery store look down. Items below eye level are often cheaper.
  • Print a grocery list and stick to it.
  • Take up hobbies that don’t cost money.
  • Set the thermostat when you’re not home to save energy.
  • Use open source software. It’s free and usually as good. For example use Open Office instead of Microsoft Word or Excel.
  • Quit smoking. This calculator shows you how much you could save.
  • Buy a quality used car instead of new. A new car is worth thousands less as soon as it leaves the lot.
  • Food Bank. If you cannot afford food, find a food bank that gives out bags of groceries.
  • Get rid of credit card debt. A $20 shirt could actually cost $200 with fees and interest if you don’t pay your credit card bill right away.
  • Donate and have yard sales for the stuff that you don’t use.
  • Watch for fees. Fees are everywhere; bank fees, atm fees, cash checking fees, late fees. These can add up over time.
  • Group discounts. Try to get a bargain on everything and ask if you can get a discount, especially if you have a large group.
  • Instead of buying things new, get them used or for free on Craig’s List.
  • Lotto and Gambling. Generally, people lose money on the lotto and especially gambling. If you quit or limit this, you will save money.
  • Proceed to the 10 step money saving checklist