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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Any finance guru will tell you that you need to have a least $1,000 in an emergency fund. This emergency fund means that when the tire blows out, washing machine stops working, or someone breaks an arm, you are good. No credit card is needed to cover those expenses.

When money is really tight though, it can be hard to save any amount. Whether you want to put your $1,000 in an emergency fund or save for other things, here are 10 ways you can save $1,000 this year. Some are obvious and that’s okay. Sometimes the most obvious things can make the biggest impact. Every little bit counts.

Before we dive into this, we have to remember the difference between needs and wants. If you can put it on a list and wait 30 days to ponder if you really want to buy it, it’s officially a want.

Here are 10 ways to save $1,000 this year:

1. Ditch Cable

This can sound scary to some of you, but ditching cable doesn’t mean you won’t ever get to watch TV. There are a lot of different services you can stream online. You could try Amazon Prime which is $99 for a year, Netflix which starts at $7.99 per month, or Hulu Plus which is $7.99 per month. There are also services like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue that allow you to watch select live channels at much lower rates than cable.

Even better, head to your local library. You can get TV show series and movies for FREE (as long as you return them on time).

2. Consider Downgrading Your Phone

I know, I know. How is it possible to get along without a smartphone these days? It is possible and you can still get a non-fancy, less expensive phone. If you are no longer under contract, consider the downgrade.

Still under contract? As long as you stay with the same provider, you should be able to downgrade your service. You’ll have to talk to your service provider to discuss the details of this.

3. Increase Insurance Deductibles

A deductible is basically the amount of monetary risk you agree to retain. If you increase the deductible on your policy, then less monetary risk is transferred to your insurance company, which means that you will pay lower premiums to your company for insurance. Increasing your deductible is a good way to save money on premium payments while still making sure that you are covered in the event of a loss.

Even if you aren’t brave enough to increase your deductible, call around yearly to make sure you are getting the best deal.

4. Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

If you have drafty windows, grab a window sealing kit. They are around $12 and make a huge difference. You measure your window, attach double sided tape, cut the plastic, and attach the plastic to the window. Pull your curtains shut and you will never know it is there until you see your lower power bill.

Here are some additional ways to save on heating and energy costs.

5. Skip the Drive-Thru

As a mama of 5, I know how convenient the drive-thru can be. Those little stops quickly add up though. By meal planning and packing lunches, you will save a significant amount of money.

Make it a goal of eating out less this year. You can check out my Learn to Coupon page to find out more about saving at the grocery store.

6. Don’t Give In!

I know every spot in my Target that typically has a stash of clearance items. It may be 90% off, but if you don’t need it or it doesn’t fit in the budget, you still spent too much. It is wise to purchase gifts and items you will need when they are great prices, but if you don’t have cash or a specific purpose for something in mind, don’t buy it.

Pull out your bank statements from the last 3 months and add up all of the frivolous purchases. You’ll most likely be amazed at how much your $5 purchases add up.

7. Go Thrifting

You can head to thrift stores to find great deals on clothes that you could also find in the mall for a lot more. And think beyond just clothing. You will also find amazing deals on kitchen supplies, decorations, furniture, and more.

8. Take a Staycation

Lodging and travel expenses are typically the most expensive part of a vacation, so enjoy a staycation instead this year. Plan fun things for your family to do in your city. Here are some fun tips on planning a staycation.

9. Skip the Expensive Salon

Let’s face it: a lot of salons are super expensive. And if you’re heading to yours regularly to get your hair touched up, it can add up really quickly. Consider using your own hair dye. We often see it go on sale at stores.

You can also grab a pair of clippers for less than $20 and easily cut the hair of the males in your house yourself. If you’re nervous, you can watch some tutorials on YouTube first. Plus, if you mess up, no one will be able to tell after 2 weeks anyway. I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair for 12 years and I can’t imagine how much money that’s saved through the years (he cuts mine, too, so be brave).

10. Sell Some Things

I bet you have at least 10 things worth selling at your house right now. These could be baby items, furniture, decorations, kitchen items, and more. It may only be worth $5, but the money will add up. It also works great to sell things like baby clothes in a bundle.

You can post them in local Facebook groups or Craigslist and have interested buyers e-mail you. You can then do front porch pick-up and have them put the money in a designated spot or meet somewhere like a grocery store. Be sure to use wisdom during this process. If you ever feel unsafe or anything seems off, stop working with that individual.

You could also consider having a yard sale! Here are some of my tips on how to do so.

Remember: the money you’re saving is going into your savings account. Try not to be tempted to use it like it were free money.

How are you planning to save $1,000 this year?

See more frugal living tips.

    • Jenn

      We found a fun way to save! Save $1 for the first week, Week 2 save $2, Week 3 save $3. All the way through the 52 weeks of the year. At the end of the year you have $1300!!

    • Rachael Hutchens Nichols

      If your husband is a huge sports fan like mine and losing live sports is NOT an option really exciting news is that Dish TV is planning on launching a streaming live TV option that includes ESPN and ESPN 2 among a few other good channels (like Disney) for only $20 a month. We plan on coupling that with Netflix (which we already have) and ditching our insanely high cable bill as soon as it becomes available. YAY!


    • Mamaberry

      The trick is that even though you are ‘saving’ money from your monthly expenses, it’s not actually ‘savings’ unless you put that money aside! It’s just being frugal. Do this for example:

      If you cut cable (this family with 4 kids did that YEARS ago), then write a check to yourself every month and viola! Or, set up a second checking account (free of charges of course – maybe one that gives you $300 for opening a new account – hey that’s 30% of your saving goal) and transfer the cable bill payment to that account automatically every month.

      Another idea – Wells Fargo offers a “Way to Save” account. For every transaction that goes through on your checking account, they automatically transfer one dollar to the ‘way to save’ account too! Even only one transaction a day (includes bill pay transactions) your savings =$365/yr!

      So, with opening a new account bonus and that transfer service you are already at $665 for the year! Add $100/mo cable bill and you have $1865 saved in one year without doing a thing! YAHOO!

      • hajat

        Where did you find a bank that gives you $300 for opening a checking account?

        • Mamaberry

          Chase sends out mailing ALL THE TIME to our area. There is another bank, but can’t remember who… will lyk if I figure it out…. But, you can open the account online so it’s not area specific. The stipulations are that you set up direct deposit and keep the account for a set period of time. Then they automatically deposit the cash into your account.

          If you have direct deposit at work, you can actually specify how much you want going to what bank/accounts through your employer. So, set up to direct deposit $100 – or whatever, even $20 – to the Chase account every pay period. Either consider this your savings account (hey, that’s more $$ set aside if you can manage that in your budget) But, if you don’t have the ‘extra’ $20 to set aside from your paycheck each pay week, use that $20 in that account to pay a bill on their auto bill pay service. No money lost from budget and $300 earned for paying bills you would have paid anyway ;)

        • Mamaberry

          Just pulled up the Chase website and it appears that the current offer is $150 on the checking and an additional $50 for a savings account. I haven’t ever seen the offer that low, but either way it’s ‘free’ money. It appears this deal ends on the 15th so maybe it will go up?

        • angel

          Capital one 360

        • Sandela

          Chase bank

    • Leah

      Pay yourself first! As soon as payday comes, take your set amount for savings out and put it in your savings account. You can always take money back from your savings if you get in a bind, but you will be surprised how quickly you adjust! Also make sure you are budgeting for ALL your yearly expenses. Look through last year and see what you spent on regular expenses and see where you can really cut back. I also like the 52 week plan mentioned in another comment. All these are ways I am trying to help our family save this year.

    • A

      Maybe you could open a saving account. And every week put how much money you saved in coupons. Like if you saved $10 that week, put $10 into the saving account. It should add up quickly.

      • Mamaberry

        Always loved this idea, but that’s the whole reason I use the coupons… don’t have that $$ in the budget to begin with! Nice tip for those who can though :)

    • kjshirley1

      My biggest savings this year will be from changing my cell phone service. Not by giving up my smart phone, but by giving up my contract plan and choosing a “pay as you go” plan. In our area, both Straight Talk and Boost Mobile offer great coverage with unlimited talk, text and 2.5 GB of data for $40 per month – less than 1/2 of my Verizon contract price! I did have to purchase a phone, but there were several Android smart phones available for less than $75. My contract service also had multiple monthly fees & charges totaling over $17. My fees now are less than $4 – only sales tax.

      • Janet

        You might check and see if Republic Wireless is available in your area. They use Sprint’s network, with Verizon as a talk and text only backup, but their plans run between 5-25 a month, and you can adjust your plan to your needs twice a month, prorated. Our whole family will be switching this year, and we have Straight Talk and tracfone. You have to buy their phones, but the savings is huge.

    • Brittany Smedley Mareno

      We have a Robocut (same as a Flowbee.) 2 boys and 1 man = $312/year in haircuts! And I donate mine, so I only get it cut once every year and a half. (Don’t buy in to the salon myth that healthy hair growth requires regular haircuts.) Big savings!

    • Allison

      This is a HUGE savings, but should be do-able for most who can create a budget. If you get paychecks every two weeks, budget each month for income from two paychecks (because that’s what you get 10 months out of the year). There will be two months you get three paychecks, so take that extra check and deposit directly into savings, since you haven’t budgeted for that money anyway. Once in the savings account, I use that money for any big expenses that only come up a few times a year – like vet bill, large car maintenance, car taxes, etc.

    • Colleen

      We made about $200 in a garage sale which we are saving for vacation. The small stuff we had picked up that week by Salvation Army, but we have sold a few of the larger items on either Letgo, 5Miles or Offerup. A lot of people are using these instead of Craiglist bc Craigslist has become a little seedy. Plus the apps are right are our non-downsizede (:/) phones. We meet people at the golf course near our house.

      • Madam Pince

        Craigslist has gotten people killed, so I can definitely understand selling via other platforms. Our county has a designated meet spot at the sheriff’s department that’s lit and video monitored 24/7 to prevent mayhem.

    • Madam Pince

      I’m an accountant and busy with tax season already, but I have a slew of stuff to sell after taking over my parents’ home. Hope to get to it in late April. I also have my hair cut at either Great Clips (two near me) or the Hair Cuttery. I recently cut back on my satellite service without any feeling of loss, and switched antivirus software, which reduced my phone/internet bill $50/month.

    • Carolyn

      We do alot of these things, cable internet only, i buy kids clothes at the goodwill store as they outgrow them so fast as do other kids and i can get like new pants for a couple dollars a pair. My Husband sets the thermostat at 62, I wear sweaters. Cut back on eating out, and we have venison in the freezer. My husband is the family barber, he cuts my children’s hair monthly and mine every 6-8 weeks. When the grays showed, he became my colorist as well (begrudgingly, he thought the grays were fine) with henna. I figure his wielding the shears and clippers, plus my hair color saves me over $2000 a year. He does great work and my best friend even asked him to cut her hair after she watched him cut mine. It was funny, he had just finished cutting mine and she said, “I’m next!”
      He said ok, have a seat, asked how she wanted it cut, he caped her and trimmed her hair. She was very happy with the results, and sends me texts that she needs a trim and is my husband available to cut her hair. So she gets to save money as well and i like having her visit.