Blog , Finance

The Top 10 Brilliant Money Saving Tips

Posted on Friday, September 22, 2023
by AMAC, Jeff Szymanski
top 10 brilliant money saving tips

The very definition of the word “brilliant” is clever, skilled, or showing great intelligence.  Brilliant types “think outside the box” with their creative and unique ways of looking at things.  The top 10 brilliant money saving tips that follow are by design a bit unorthodox, but the entries will allow people to keep more of their hard-earned funds for themselves.

1. Drink More Tap Water

Water is free, and thus there’s little need to pay for anything else except perhaps one’s morning coffee to wake up.  It’s hard to remember but single use plastic water bottle sales only took off in the 1980s.  It was unheard of and would have been considered absurd to pay for water before then.  Skip the juices and sodas in addition to bottled water.  Your wallet, your body, and the environment will all be healthier for it.

2. A Night In With Friends

“Let’s go grab a drink.”  Sounds fair enough until one becomes two, and before you know it, you and your friends or colleagues are ordering appetizers or meals.  Why not enjoy a “night in” and enjoy each other’s company?  Share stories instead of enriching the local bars or restaurants.

3. Pare Back Subscriptions

You sign up and forget about them.  Bingo.  That’s the brilliance as to why companies want to be inside your checking account automatically each month.  You’ll little notice small deductions and consider it a hassle to cancel.  Even Amazon Prime’s $14.99 per month or $139 a year fee would be better off in your own bank account.  Shipping is already free on Amazon when you hit $35.  It’s easy for any of us to hit that figure on things we buy anyway, and the goods arrive just a day or two later than with Prime.  Reclaim your $139.

4. Make Your Own Presents

Even if you aren’t creative, a master chef, or an artist, you can gift a beautiful photograph for anyone, either of scenery or of you and that person.  A frame can be had for a couple bucks.  Or make a box of brownies or heat up any 10 minute appetizer. It beats overpaying for an impersonal gift.  We all like to eat, and we all like to see ourselves in pictures.  Well, most of us do.

5. Trim the Smaller Purchases

It’s the lottery ticket, the pack of gum, or bag of chips that do us all in.  Add up those small things each week and you’ve got a month then year of wasted money.  Skip these tiny add-ons for a while.

6. Conserve Energy

Replace all bulbs with efficient LED ones.  Yes, there’s an initial outlay for the purchases, but they pay for themselves handsomely over time.  Zap those energy vampires by unplugging power cords when not in use, and opt for ceiling and portable fans rather than air conditioning on all but the most extreme summer days.

7. Use The 48-Hour Rule

You pick up an item you want.  Now put it back down.  Think on it for 48 hours rather than succumb to the impulse.  If you lose sleep because you didn’t buy it, maybe it really was essential.  Most items will soon be forgotten, however, and look at what you’ve saved.

8. Stash Away Unexpected Funds

Got a raise?  Was there money in that birthday or Christmas card?  Did you pick up extra time or an additional shift at work?  Put it all in a high yield savings account.  After all, it was unexpected, and you were intending to live fine without the sudden “windfall.”

9. Cut the Small Treats

It’s not about depriving yourself.  It’s just that coffee can be made at home for a fraction of the price at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.  That smoothie?  Opt for a banana or apple instead.  Increase the times between pet grooming, your own haircuts, and those manicures and pedicures.  No need to eliminate; it’s just about cutting back to save money.

10. Save that Gift Bag or Wrapping Paper

Ah the stuff we tear apart and throw away in this country.  Commit to keeping those beautiful gift or wine bags, and take care when opening presents.  Yes, the paper can be used again.

These are the top 10 brilliant money saving tips.  To see a list of 250 ways to save, check out this Frugal Confessions article.


Jeff Szymanski works in political communications for AMAC Action and previously taught high school economics, history, psychology, and sociology.  He writes frequently on money issues and Social Security’s ill financial health.

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11 months ago

Water is free??? Funny how I get a monthly invoice from my community utilities charging me for water usage. Maybe this article should have said water is significantly cheaper per ounce vs. other liquid beverages….but it is not free.

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