How to Save Money » Frugal Living

5 Money Saving Tips for Thrifty Canadians

When times are tough, plenty of people complain about the high cost of living. Few families, however, are willing to think outside the box and do what it takes to cut costs and positively impact their bottom line. For Canadians, saving money can be a challenge. With savvy saving and shopping, however, thrifty Canadians can free up resources and get ahead.

1. Get to Know Your Neighbours

While the Canadian dollar is strong; there are still more money-saving opportunities for Canadian shoppers who love cross-border shopping. If you live near the border or travel to the United States on a regular basis, it can pay big to make use of the resources available to the US market. While prices at online shops are the same for both American and Canadian shoppers, shipping can be a killer for Canadians. For just a small fee, you can rent a post office box and have your packages delivered to a US address for much less than delivery to your door.
Couponing is another area where Americans have the advantage; many manufacturers’ coupons are limited to the US market. Canadians, however, can take advantage of these targeted deals by planning a large, carefully executed shopping trip to a US grocery store with a generous coupon policy. Coupons can be ordered via online marketplaces such as eBay.

2. Invest the Extra

It has been said that most people automatically adjust their standard of living to match any increase in income. However, if you never see the extra, you never miss it. Create a standard budget that matches your everyday living expenses. If you receive an unexpected income boost, put this directly into savings, or use it to pay off debts such as your mortgage or credit cards. Over time, this sacrifice makes a huge impact on your bottom line.

3. Downsize and Save

Downsizing has always been a smart money-saving strategy. With wildly fluctuating housing markets, choosing a smaller home or apartment adds up to big savings, especially in a buyer’s market. Smaller homes are also generally less expensive to heat, cool and maintain. If you have a large home that you are locked into, consider renting a portion to a couple or small family, or look into house-sharing arrangements. Use the money that you free up toward other financial priorities, such as creating an emergency fund or reducing debt.

4. Cutting Costs with Kids

Statisticians can really get going about how much it costs to raise a child. For thrifty Canadians, however, kids don’t have to break the bank. There are dozens of strategies smart parents use to keep costs down. Though health care isn’t a huge problem for Canadian families, you can’t enjoy the benefits if you aren’t using the system. Keep your kids healthy with regular check-ups. For those things that you do have to put out cash for, look for frugal alternatives. Clothes from consignment shops, for example, are impossible to differentiate from brand new apparel. It also makes sense to look around your community and find free activities that are family friendly. By thinking outside the box, you’ll probably find you can save big on all kinds of expenses generated by having children.

5. Tips for Travel

Chances are good that you are among the 75 per cent of Canadians who regularly drive a personal vehicle. This leads to expenses such as fuel, maintenance and insurance. While most people cannot completely do away with driving, you can cut costs. For almost all drivers, it doesn’t pay to own a new car. Cars depreciate faster than any other asset, so buy a good-quality used car with the best gas mileage possible. When you do have to drive, consolidate trips as much as you can or carpool. In addition, keep your car well maintained to ensure that all systems are operating as efficiently as possible. It’s especially important to have a complete tune-up before cold weather hits.


  1. Paul Salmon

    I have three kids and many of their clothes have been bought at the second-hand store. When kids are young, they don’t care about labels or where their clothes came from, and you can easily find clothes for cheap at the thrift shops and save a lot of money.

    Invest any extra income you have is a great tip. Whether you pay down debt or save for the short- or long-term, it is important to not go over your budget, but to save some each month for savings/debt.

  2. Rachel Levington

    I’ve watched the show on TV about extreme coupon users that leave the store actually having more money than they came in with and even sometimes leave the store with free groceries. Now, I don’t know if we’re all able to invest the same amount of time these extreme coupon experts spend to make this happen, but using some coupons could definitely help save some money to put into your savings or put towards your debt spend down.

  3. Mag

    The bankers normally say that you have to save 10% of your income monthly and your strong minimum to have for extraordinary situation should be about 6 monthly salaries of yours. I’m very agree with this stuff but being a young female tending to shopping I have only 3 saved salary till now. But I’m working on it currently.
    And one more thing about travel – I love travelling and I do it by myself – ordering flights, planning a trip and so on. So my idea is to book tickets as early as it’s only possible to save on it, to be signed to newsletters about good promotional prices. One more thing is about saving money on insurance while travelling. I don’t mean to ignore insurance at all – no way. But you can have some insurance policies on your credit card so it’s better to use it this way or at least to check this point before travelling.

  4. Michael

    Yes i have read it somewhere that you can save lot of money while purchasing goods. First of all you can avoid the purchasing those good which are already present, you can look for various discounts, sales and coupons. Preventing goods wastage will certainly save your money

  5. Virata Gamany

    Different appraoches for everyone. Some would say cut up your cards.. but is that really practical in an age that we are going digital and are avoiding cash

  6. Virata Gamany

    Oh and I should add downsizing is great. I never get why people need all that space when there’s only 1 or 2 of them… There’s too much of this artificial race to hoard new products and one up your neighbours

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