How to Save Money » Frugal Living

5 ways to easily save $50 this month

Whether you’re looking to pay off your debt, or are simply looking to grow your savings, cutting back on your expenses is one of the best ways to do these things.

There are many ways that you can easily save $50 (or more) every month, but here are a few that I think are easy to do and easy to continue.

1. Have a “no spend” month.

A “no spend” month means exactly what you think it does – you can not spend any month all month long. Of course, this does not apply to things that MUST be paid for every month, such as mortgage, utilities, or car insurance. I am talking about all of those variable expenses that you have each month.

Clothing, food, entertainment – those are all variable expenses, and those are the areas you should look try to cut back on. For your “no spend” month, set a goal to not spend a single cent on anything that is not absolutely necessary.

If your current grocery budget is $400 per month, try cutting that back to $200 or less, and then living off the items you have in your stockpile as much as possible. If you don’t have a stockpile, check out my article on how to build a grocery stockpile. We try to do this at least once per year. It really helps us save money, and it also encourages us to use up items in our stockpile that are about to expire.

2. Cook at home.

Cooking your meals at home is one way to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each year.

Not only will you save a bundle of cash by eating at home, but you will also be able to control exactly what goes into your food. This is huge for me because many restaurants add lots of salt to their dishes and I am prone to kidney stones, so I can only consume a very small amount of salt in my meals. Cooking from home really helps this issue.

3. Shop around.

Get into the habit of shopping around for everything. Not just groceries, but things like your car insurance, cable bill – even your hydro and gas bill can be negotiated.

Check your bills every month and make sure that there are no errors. If you feel that you are paying too much for a service, call up the company and ask them if they have any discounts available. Let them know that you are on a tight budget and need to lower your bills, and they will almost always give you some type of discount.

Keep in mind that some companies are just not willing to budge on the price of their services, so you need to be prepared to walk away. When you’re speaking to the company, have a back-up plan (such as a different, cheaper company you can switch to), in case you get the dreaded “sorry, I can’t help you“.

4. Shop once per week, or less.

Set a goal to only go grocery shopping once per week (or less, if you can). Avoiding sporadic trips to the grocery store each week will save you a considerable amount of money every year (not to mention all the time you will save as well!).

Never enter a single store without a list. Shopping without a list will almost always lead to impulse purchases. That’s money down the drain that you really didn’t need to spend.

5. Watch TV online.

If you don’t mind sitting in front of your computer, watching TV online is another way that you can easily save money. Cable companies charge anywhere from $30-$80 per month for cable TV (and there are some cable TV plans that cost more than that). When almost all of the TV shows you could ever want to watch are already online, for free, why would you ever pay to watch them?

Here are just a few websites that offer free TV shows:

CTV Online
Global TV
Discovery Channel
City TV

Click here for a complete list of free TV networks in Canada.

Think about all of the areas in your life that you could easily cut back on. Do you have many unused items in your home? Try to sell your stuff. Do you actually read all of the magazines that are delivered to your home each month? If not, cancel some subscriptions.

Maybe you realized that your home is way too large for your needs. If so, take a big step and downsize. This will save you a LOT of money every year.

If you put just 1 of the 5 ideas above into place for saving money, you will be able to save around $600 per year. 2 ideas could save you $1200 per year.

Trim as much as you can from your budget and you are well on your way to financial freedom.

What’s one way that you save $50 (or more) per month?


  1. LInda S

    My goal right now it to cut out on our grocery bill by:
    *shopping around
    *price matching
    *using coupons.
    *Bake more
    *Eat out only once a month

  2. Wendi

    Raise my house insurance deductible to $2000. Raise my Car insurance deductible to $1000.
    By raising the deductible you are signalling to your insurance company that you are not going to make a claim unless you think it’s worth more then $2000 for your house or $1000 for your car.

  3. Michelle

    Good post Cassie!

    We do not pay for cable tv and save atleast $30 – $40 a month on that..

    I borrow DVDs from the local library and we use an antenna to receive free to air TV channels like CBC, CTV, CityTV, Global, CHCH, OMNI, etc. as well as a few channels broadcast from Buffalo.

    With the switch from analog to digital broadcast the channels are now broadcast in high definition which means crystal clear images.

    We use coupons, price match, shop around for best prices of produce etc.. and the savings add up at the end of the month..

  4. teachermum

    I doubt it would add up to $50, but avoid waste. I cringe when I find no one has eaten the fruit, or a leftover got shoved to the back of the fridge, etc. A meal plan would definitely help in that area but I try and make sure to use bits of leftovers in next-day lunches or at the very least toss them in a baggie and freeze them. Eventually when you clean out the freezer you have the makings of a very interesting and very tasty soup/stew! Random crisp is a great way to use up bits and pieces of not so pretty fruit and berries. Way better than plain old apple crisp! Speaking of apples, the not so fresh ones still make great applesauce…

    Eating out is expensive, even just fast food, but if you do have fast food in your budget, skip the drinks. We never grab drinks and it saves us at least $8 a trip for our family of 4.

  5. Jennifer

    We don’t have cable, and our cell-phone only has a VERY basic plan, so it’s only about $10/month, which means we don’t use it (not convenient, but it works). We also get our movies from the library. We’re undecided if we’re gonna pick up a digital converter box for our tv, but regardless, we can still watch shows online. We also live completely on cash– I was the nickel & dime spender in our house, so it lets me keep track of finances easier. Couponing has enabled us to cut ALL our variable expenses down to just $80/wk. Makes you get creative with entertainment, etc, but until we’re debt-free (possibly next year??) this is just the way it is!

  6. Betty

    all great ideas. I also use to save & roll coins (like pennies, dimes, nickels, loonies & twonies; save the quarters for the laundry) & put them in my tax free savings account. Now that some TD Canada trust branches have coin sorters (no charge unlike some grocery store machines), I just keep loose change in a coffee can & when it gets a bit heavy I bring it into the bank & dump it into the machine. Machine calculates how much you dumped (it takes american coins as well), & gives you a receipt of how much it was. Then you take it to a teller & do what you want with it (deposit it in your account(s), save it for a future vacation, cash it in, etc.). Savings seem to accumulate quickly (especially those loonies & twonies!!)

  7. Yvonne Brooks

    I cancelled my satelite long ago and enjoy It’s run right through my WII, onto the TV. I also watch many movies and cable internet sites through my internet connections and just plug in with an HDMI cord I purchased at Walmart for less than $20. Nice to have no commercials too!

    Just make sure if you do this, you watch your bandwith on your internet bills and ensure you have enough coverage, I added a huge amount of bandwidith to my account for only $5 a month but now, I no longer worry about extra costs and goodbye to cable bills! I hear you will be able to have a phone through the internet soon too. I’m in a rural area, so that will take time for us but every little bit helps.

  8. Brianne

    Cloth diapers! We switched our son to cloth diapers when he was 6 months old and it cost us about $200 for our start up of getting cloth diapers(about 40 for mostly full time wear), wet bags (to store when when out), diaper cream, and laundry soap (Purex free is great for cloth). We have already saved approximately $400 on diapers and tons of waste not going into the landfills! And it’s not as gross as I thought it would be before I tried it πŸ™‚
    Some cloth diapers are really expensive but we found a great company that sells the diapers for only $7-$10 which is about half the cost of other brands and they work great too! Check out Comfy Rumps if you are in need of cloth diapers.

    We also do a lot of cooking and baking at home because it saves money, and it tastes better! Old bananas thrown into the freezer make great banana bread when you are ready to make it!!

  9. Gena

    My Monthly Savings:
    1. Down to one car = $70 monthly savings on car insurance
    2. Cable/Internet – called to negotiate = $50 monthly savings (bill is still high, but I have free PVR and 2 boxes. Will reconsider these in Dec when contract is up)
    3. Long Distance – switched companies = $10 monthly savings
    4. Mortgage – best decision EVER – mortgage agent advised me to get a VRM currently = $350 monthly savings. I have saved THOUSANDS in the past 3 years on my mortgage!
    5. Use coupons and mail in rebates – using advice from this site! = $300 monthly savings
    6. Signed up for Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum card – $80 monthly savings (by the end of the year, I will have redeemed for $1000 worth of items, which is $80/mth!)

    Total monthly savings = $860 !!!

  10. Jessica

    I have been hanging my laundry to dry and I use vinegar as a rinse instead of fabric softener. It cleans the front loader– which always stinks if I don’t run vinegar through it! It also leaves my clothes smelling fresh (not like vinegar). I recently switched to Koodoo and now save $50/month on my cell phone plan for the exact same Roger’s plan. I also have a challenge with my boyfriend. We each take $20 out of the bank for the week. If we do NOT spend the money, then on the weekend we take $20 and treat ourselves to something (a movie, cheap pizza, etc) and take the other $20 and put it away for a special occasion. If we spend a single penny of our money, then we do not go out and all the money left goes to our special occasion. Trying our best to not be the person who ruins our weekly $20 date night is a great challenge!

  11. Leia

    I’ve started to save extra money each month just by price matching my groceries at No Frills (we don’t have a Walmart Supercentre yet – next spring). Love that No Frills is price matching – I still get my PC products! Just last week I saved $12 in price matching on a few basic items (cheese, pasta sauce, Goldfish, etc). I hadn’t really changed what I’m buying – just being savvy about price. I also saved an extra $10 with coupons. So if I can save $20-$25 a week on groceries (for the same items I bought before) – that’s a great savings for me!

  12. Erin's mom

    I stick to a shopping list and budget. I use coupons when they are cheaper than no name products. I price match. When I get home and go over the grocery bill I put the difference (total saved from price matching and coupons) into a jar. At the end of the month that is usually around 50 – 75$) and it goes toward our xmas fund/birthday fund. I’m also raising my children to understand that you only buy what you can afford and save up for it. We talk about wants versus needs. They will need new winter boots. I will price out a good quality pair. If they WANT the expensive ones, they will have to cover the difference. This has worked great and my kids automatically head for the clearance rack for school shopping. They’ve learned that its better to get 2 shirts for $5 each and have $10 to spend elsewhere than to get one shirt for $20.

  13. Krista

    We watch the U.S. channels online too. (extreme couponing show – the older episodes)

    It was great saying goodbye to our cable provider. In the last year, they have sent us offers to get us back. Never, I say. Lol.

  14. Cassie Howard

    You all have inspired me so much! Thank you for posting all of the ways you have saved money. I picked up a few new things to try out in our home. πŸ™‚

  15. tracey

    the 2 things we did was cancel cable!! and our bell landline
    we now use its a GREAT company. one $50 part and then FREE!!!!! we cut $160 in expenses–that went right into the kids RESP!!

  16. Nicole

    I save in many different ways:

    3. Shopping around and price matching when I have the opportunity.
    2. Using coupons and cook more often so that I don’t spend money out site on food.

    1. I just discovered this site called! It’s amazing… I am able to actually save over $50.00 a month. CardSwap buys and sells gift cards. The ones that I buy, I buy at a discounted price, which is great because whatever sale is going on at the store.. I have actually saved on top of that!!! I usually know what I need for the month and I know where I like to shop. So what I do is log onto their site every once and a while ( and check out what kind of discounted gift cards they have for sale.

    You guys should check it out!


  17. Cassie Howard

    tracey: Good for you, putting your savings to good use instead of spending it!

    Nicole: I love CardSwap… and there will be a giveaway from them soon. πŸ˜‰

  18. Josie

    I love signing up for LOYALTY CARDS!!
    It’s amazing how many of these cards are actually out there! If you shop at the store once, chances are, you may shop there again. Why not earn points for doing so!? Who know, it may eventually lead up to something for you!!

    I personally LOVE the Cineplex SCENE card!! I am with Scotia, so I have the SCENE Debit and VISA as well! I can’t remember that last time I actually PAID to go to the movies!! Between BOGO Free coupons on boxes of NESTEA (which I always stock up on, I love the stuff) and gift cards from birthdays and discounted Tuesdays … If I have ever paid for a movie, it was with a gift card that I received for a Birthday or something and I use them with the BOGO!!

    Also, CONTESTS ARE AN AMAZING WAY TO SAVE MONEY!! You never know if you’re going to be the winner or not! They’re fun to enter and it’s SOOO exciting when you do win!! Now, it’s not to say that you can save $50 a month with contests, depending on if you win or not, of course. Those prizes you win can save you a ton of money in December!! Just recently, I won 2 admission passes for Canadian National Exhibition! I try and go every year and winning those passes saved me $36!!

  19. Christa

    invest in a freezer so you can buy in bulk. Shop discount racks. Learn to manipulate everything. eg found 8 lbs of green beans on discount for $.75 a lbs ended up pickling most of them, pickled radishes too. found a bunch papaya on discount, so froze some for smoothies, made jam and canned some. internet is a wealth of recipes ideas

  20. nancy duncan

    just by bringing my own coffee to work instead of stopping at a coffee shop on my way saves me $40 per month! and of course i price match, coupon, etc

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