1. Avoid Impulsive Spending

Stick to your grocery listResearch from the University of Pennsylvania shows that people who can avoid impulse spending can save up to 23% on their grocery bills. So create a grocery list and stick to it if you want to save some money. According to Statistics Canada reports, most Canadians spend on food, and a family of four could save over $2,600 by following this tip.

Don’t shop with plastic: According to a study by Dunn & Bradstreet, people who shop with credit cards pay 12% to 18% more than those who shop with cash. The study further revealed that people spend almost twice as much on vending machines when they use a credit card rather than cash. McDonald’s has also found that their average customer spends $7 on food when they use a credit card compared to $4.50 when they only use cash (a 56% increase in spending). Shopping with $40 in your wallet is different from shopping with a $10,000 credit limit on a piece of plastic. Try shopping with only cash or your debit card if you want to save some money. This one tip alone can save the average Canadian household well over $3,000 a year if they are used to putting everything on credit.

2. Stockpile Groceries and then Skip a Grocery Shop

You can save almost 25% on the groceries you buy each year if you stock up when they are on sale and then skip one grocery shop every month. When you miss a grocery shop, you live off what you stockpiled. If you can’t do this monthly, try once every couple of months. It will still save you a lot of money. You can stockpile all kinds of non-perishable food, and you can freeze bread and meat when you find them on sale.

3. Price Matching

Many Canadians don’t know that you can price match in Canada. This means you shop at your favourite grocery store, but you check the grocery store flyers in advance and then take the flyers to prove to the cashier that a competitor is advertising a lower price. If your favourite grocery store matches competitors’ advertised prices, you can get those same low prices without wasting gas driving all over town. You can usually save at least ten percent on your groceries by shopping at a grocery store that price matches competitors’ flyers. This would save a family of four over $1,100 per year.

4. Take a Lunch to Work and Save $1,800

Most of us don’t realize how much we spend on simple things like buying lunch daily rather than bringing one prepared at home. Many people save a lot of money by always making more dinner than they need and then taking some of the leftovers to work the next day for lunch. If this doesn’t appeal to you, you can make something else. Whatever you do, it should be much cheaper than buying lunch daily. If you buy lunch for $7 every working day of the year, you will spend over $1,800. You can decide how much of this you want to put back in your pocket or look for another place to save.

5. Buy a Quality Used Vehicle Rather than a New One

Since new cars lose so much value once you drive them off the lot, it now makes more sense than ever to consider buying a quality used car rather than a new one. Dave Ramsey, a personal finance radio host, drove this point home by telling his listeners, “A new $28,000 car will lose about $17,000 of value in the first four years you own it. You could toss a $100 bill out the car window once a week to get the same result.”

Buying a used car rather than a new one can save you tens of thousands of dollars in some cases. So you should be able to save thousands of dollars and still get a great vehicle that may even still be under warranty. 

6. Pay Off Your Credit Cards

If you carry a credit card balance of $5,000 at 19% interest, you pay almost $1,000 a year to your credit card company in interest. An easy way to save a thousand dollars a year would be to pay this debt off. Your savings could be huge if you carry more credit card debt than this. Most people don’t think about how much interest they pay on their credit cards, and they rarely think about how many years they have been carrying their credit card debts. If you have owed around $5,000 on your credit cards for five years and have been paying 19% interest, you will have almost paid the same amount in interest as you owe on your credit cards. This isn’t a wise financial decision.