Our Best Money-Saving Advice from 2018

updated Jun 8, 2019
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We’re going to go out on a limb and assume that, right about now, your wallet is begging for mercy. Are we on the money (pun intended)?

It makes sense: The brutal combination of non-stop gift-buying, holiday merriment, and run-of-the-mill end-of-year expenditures really add up! We’ve been worried this might happen, though, and have been dishing out lots of good money-saving advice all year long.

With New Year’s resolutions looming just around the corner, we thought we’d take a look back at our best budget advice. Here are our 10 best tips to help you now and all through 2019.

(Image credit: Roman Tiraspolsky)

1. Shop for snacks in surprising places.

Did you know that you can score awesome deals on snacks at places like Big Lots, T.J.Maxx, and HomeGoods? Put on your bargain-hunting pants and take a break from your normal grocery shopping routine. It’ll definitely pay off — especially if you’re packing up lunch boxes for yourself or your kiddos.

More on Grocery Shopping at T.J.Maxx and HomeGoods

2. Spend a little bit of money now on lunch containers you can trust.

It doesn’t help anyone if you pack a soup and it leaks all over your bag (then you have no lunch and possibly need to get a new laptop!). Stock up on our favorite lunch containers.

(Image credit: Julie Clopper)

3. Be smarter when it comes to your shopping on your favorite websites.

Believe it or not, sites like Target and Amazon have all sorts of things hidden in plain sight that’ll help you save money. For example: Have you heard of Target Restock or Amazon Warehouse? You need to read these stories below.

More About Online Shopping

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4. Buy a Costco rotisserie chicken or two.

Okay, you know how some experts (us included!) have said to go meatless for a few days to save money? Well on other days, get a Costco rotisserie chicken (or two) for $4.99. You’ll be surprised at how far one rotisserie chicken can go. Some ideas: 10 Ways to Use a Rotisserie Chicken to Make Dinner Tonight

More on Costco’s Rotisserie Chicken

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5. Simplify unnecessarily complicated recipes.

Is there a recipe that you can’t wait to try, but for some reason it has an absurdly long recipe list? Simplify it! For example, there’s no reason you need nine ingredients to make fancy tomato toast. We promise this tomato toast is just as tasty (if not tastier). If possible, apply this philosophy to other recipes, too.

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6. Think before you use a coupon.

Have you ever used a coupon just for the sake of it? Perhaps you loaded up on four boxes of cereal just because you had a coupon — and you don’t even typically eat cereal? Instead of taking advantage of every deal that comes your way, be super intentional about which deals are right for you. Then you’ll actually save money instead of spending more.

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7. Buy store the brand when it makes sense.

Store brands are typically way cheaper than the brand-name versions, by almost half in some cases. While buying one brand versus another may only save you pennies at a time (sometimes dollars, though), over the long term that’s going to add up.

(Image credit: Guille Faingold/Stocksy)

8. Download the Ibotta app.

Here’s an easy way to save that you might not know about: The Ibotta app helps to streamline the process of earning cash back for shopping at stores you likely already frequent. This includes major grocery retailers like Costco, Kroger, Meijer, Publix, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Stop & Shop, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and more. Just download the app, choose offers before you shop, upload a photo of your receipt when you’re done, and then redeem. You’ll get cash back within 48 hours.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

9. Plan out your weekly menu so you don’t have to make multiple trips to the store.

Limiting the number of times you shop per week will also limit the number of dollars you spend — it’s proven science! We’ve got you covered in the meal-planning department. Join our secret Meal Plan Club Facebook group and check out our Next Week’s Meal Plan series for tips on how to get started.

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10. Order the lunch special if you want takeout for dinner.

Most restaurants offer super good deals to draw in the crowds during the day. To save money for those lazy nights you absolutely have to order in, pick up the lunch special and reheat it for dinner. It’s easy! You just have to think ahead!

How are you planning to save money in 2019? Leave your brilliant tips in the comments below!