21 Ways to Maximize Your Money & Save Even More in 2021

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hand with $100 bills fanned out in hand save more money 2021 easy tips

Save money fast in 2021 with our easy tips! 

Whether you’re looking for short-term deals or long-term savings solutions, we know both strategies work best when they’re used together! Plus, we know basically everyone is looking forward to a fresh start in 2021 so let’s kick it off together with these effective and fast ways to save money!

1. Start planning your family’s meals.

pantry challenge meal plan

Meal planning is a great way to save money and you’ll likely be wasting a lot less food. We have a FREE 5-day meal plan you can print HERE. Plus, if you already know your meals ahead of time, you won’t be inclined to order takeout on a whim!

To save the most on food, plan your shopping trips around grocery store flyers & coupons to score great deals. You can also opt to buy generic brands instead of pricey name brands – there’s a chance they’re actually the same anyway!

If you’re still commuting to the office, make sure to bring your own coffee and lunch too because the Starbucks drive-thru definitely adds up! I’ve also been using these reusable wraps for all my kids’ lunches for over a year and absolutely love them!

Did you start a ketogenic lifestyle in the New Year?

If you don’t already know, we have a sister site, Hip2Keto, where we share delicious & attainable recipes, favorite products, and even exclusive dining guides and easy keto meal plans!

groceries on the kitchen counter save more money 2021 easy tips

With the rise of the pandemic, there are also tons of options for ordering all your food online and opting for a seamless grocery pick-up at your convenience. This not only keeps you and your family safer, but it’s also a way you could potentially save more money & time.

By using a grocery delivery option like ShiptInstacart, or Peapod, you’ll have an easy way to stay away from those tempting & unnecessary goodies you might scoop up if you were shopping in the store!

Hip Tip: You also might not even have to leave home after you read how Taylor shops her own pantry and you could also be using a recipe generator app to help you get an amazing meal on the table when you didn’t even think you had anything to begin with!

2. Start a piggy bank or money jug.

Money jar printable tags

This year, start saving your pennies, literally! Small bills and coins can really make a change. 😉 We recommend using a piggy bank or a small neck jar (that way you won’t be as tempted to take the money back out) and we’ve even got the perfect free printables if you want to keep them labeled and looking pretty.

3. Declutter your home.

organized pantry with food containers and spices save more money 2021 easy tips

Spend some time to clean out the pantry, all those unused toys, clothes you don’t wear, and knick-knacks that are making your house feel claustrophobic.

Need some help? We have a FREE 4-week declutter challenge with a printable to help you every step of the way. If you’re needing some ideas on how to get organized, we recently shared some super unique products for your bathroom, pantry, and kitchen that you’ve probably never thought of!

4. Bring out your inner domestic side.

Cleaning Fridge

Mend those holey clothes you’ve been staring at all month rather than toss them out. Cook weekly meals instead of choosing to eat out. And even if you have help from occasional cleaning crews like some of us here at Hip2Save, you can space out their visits to alleviate service costs.

Clean around the house when you can, and even put the kids to work to have a few extra helping hands. You’ve got this!

5. Cancel unused subscriptions & memberships.

hand holding phone with apple app subscription cancelation on screen save more money 2021 easy tips

Don’t waste money on luxuries you’re not even using! While so many great monthly memberships are worth every penny, they’re not worth your hard-earned money if you’re not benefiting from them. Most memberships are hassle-free with a cancel-at-any-time policy, so say “bye-bye” to membership fees and start saving now!

A quick & easy way to get started saving on monthly subscriptions is to go into your phone to find out what apps are charging you unnecessary monthly fees. You might be amazed how quickly apps add up and chances are you aren’t even using half of them. Plus, canceling your monthly subscription on any Apple device is as easy as the touch of a button so there’s no reason not to do it NOW!

Here are the easy steps to cancel your monthly subscriptions on any Apple device:

  • Go to your Settings
  • Tap your name at the top
  • Tap Subscriptions
  • Look under Active subscriptions & click on any you aren’t using
  • Then click Cancel Subscription if you wish to cancel

6. Start saying “No”.

don't walk light

We don’t have to devote ourselves to every commitment in life just because a friend asked us to do something. And yes, that even includes declining that weekly Zoom happy hour with friends if you find it to be more of a hassle than an enjoyment.

Constantly saying “Yes” to things you might not always want to do can result in more money spending, emotional stress, and tirelessly running around. Be content with saying “no” when it feels right and enjoy the peace of just staying home and doing something for YOU.

7. Reduce, reuse, and recycle.

woman holding blue swedish dishcloth and paper towels save more money 2021 easy tips

Get the most use out of something by reusing instead of tossing it away. In fact, I shared a bunch of products you should ditch ASAP and replace with some serious money-saving reusable products (you’ll save close to 40K in the long-haul).

Also, try to buy gently-used items when you can rather than buying them new. I’ve found so many great deals on Facebook Marketplace when I would have normally spent a fortune ordering it brand new online! Not only is this more cost-effective, but it also benefits our environment big time.

Hip Tip: Check out these fun hacks for 16 clever ways to get organized with trash!

8. Get rid of debt.

Using a Calculator to Get rid of debt

A little too obvious, maybe? Everyone wants to pay down debt, but sometimes you just don’t know how or where to even start! We already know that Collin’s triumph against $40K in debt is impressive, but we’re here to help YOU!

Need a place to start? Check out our FREE 10-Week Financial Boot Camp! For 10 weeks we’ll help you to beef up your savings, develop healthier habits, and kick debt to the curb once and for all! Many Hip2Save readers swear by it!

9. Download some helpful budgeting apps.

digit app review — rainy day account transactions save more money 2021 easy tips

You can download budgeting apps like Digit that saves your money for you behind the scenes. After connecting your bank account, the app assesses how much money it can transfer into savings based on your spending habits to ensure it never transfers more than you can afford – my Hip sidekick, Emily, is a huge fan!

Here’s an investing app I’ve been using this past year:

hand holding phone with acorns app savings on screen

This past year, I’ve started investing a small portion of my money into an account called Acorns (I’ve actually made over $100 already!). The app is simple to use and easily rounds up all of your purchases into an investment or savings account of your choice. There’s truly never been an easier way to save money and invest in your future, so if this sounds right up your alley too make sure to read my full review and how to get easily get started HERE!

10. Grow a garden.

gardening fresh tomatoes in a bowl save more money 2021 easy tips

With a little help from blogs, YouTube, and your local garden center, you can achieve a green thumb! Any knowledgeable gardener can help guide you to the perfect beginner seeds for your area so you can fill a garden with yummy fruits and vegetables.

Growing your own crops will help save you money during harvest season and save trips to the grocery store. And even if you can’t eat them all, you could sell them to locals, set them out for free to help a neighbor, or swap your crops with your other friends with gardens.

11. Carpool when you can.

save more money 2019 easy tips – coworkers car pooling smiling at the camera

Gas is expensive so if you’re lucky enough to live nearby to a coworker (or you and your hubby work close together!) you could both save money and share the ride to work. Just make sure if you’re traveling with a friend to bring your mask along so you’re not taking any unnecessary risks.

Hip Tip: Are you in the market for a new car? See how Angela saved money and time by buying her brand new car from her couch while wearing pajamas. 😱

12. Cut down or get rid of your cable.

direct tv remote on top of cash money

Either get rid of your cable altogether (I recently did) or take some time to call your cable company and save $780 with one quick 10-minute phone call like one of my Hip sidekicks did!

More often than not, if you ask to cancel or tell them you’re switching to one of their competitors, they’ll likely offer you a better deal than what you’re already paying. At the very least, they’ll be able to find you a more suitable package that fits your budget.

Hip Tip: Thinking of ditching the cable altogether?! We have ways you can even watch some of your favorite programs for cheap or FREE without it!

13. Switch banks or open a new account.

Bank Checks

Check out other banks nearby to see if they’re offering promotions to switch, such as prize drawings or tempting cash incentives. Just be sure to check the conditions of the bank first, like monthly checking account fees or minimum balance requirements (you don’t want to end up paying more than you are at your current bank).

14. Take advantage of freebies.

man sitting at table smiling holding a sandwich in basket

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Check out all of these places that offer freebies & incentives when you join their loyalty program! While restaurants like Red Robin, IHOP, and Famous Dave’s offer free meals for your birthday, they also give you freebies just for signing up to receive their emails! Once you’re in, you’ll get email notifications with promotions throughout the year.

krispy kreme glazen dozen donuts in box on wood table

And if there’s one good thing to come out of this pandemic, some places have even upped their freebies to make them more tempting than ever! For example, Krispy Kreme is now giving everyone a FREE dozen donuts on your birthday when it used to be just one (plus, you get a free donut just for signing up too)!

Even sweeter… there are many other places offering loyalty perks that are straight-up FREE, so if you’re not looking to spend a dime, we’ve got ya covered.

15. Switch to autopay.

woman with auto pay verizon screen on computer

Want a quick and straightforward way to save money every month? Many of your monthly bills come with a discount when you switch to automatic payments – I’m saving 30 bucks every month by doing this with my Verizon account! Auto Pay can even be conveniently set up on the billing website via your computer or mobile device.

Hip Tip: Companies like T-Mobile also give their customers the opportunity to win free stuff every week!

16. Use the 30-day rule.

woman pointing to clear acrylic calendar on wall

Get rid of the urge to splurge and wait 30 days to buy higher ticket items. If it’s not a necessity, chances are after the 30 days are up, you’ll realize you really don’t need to buy it after all! Take some shopping advice and techniques on minimalism from our Hip2Save Sidekick, Michelle:

“After watching a documentary on Minimalism I decided to rethink the way I was buying. My house is stuffed with ‘stuff’ and I have so many clothes, it’s ridiculous. I actually started a fun challenge with myself to wear all of my clothes. When I hang up laundry, I put it on one side of my closet and the non-worn items stay on the other side. When I get dressed in the morning I force myself to choose at least one item from the non-worn side!

After putting a halt to buying stuff for a while, I can’t believe how much time not shopping has freed up! I don’t shop for fun and I have a default ‘NO!’ when it comes to buying new things. If I truly need something, then I force myself to get rid of a similar item.”

17. Spend cash, don’t swipe plastic.

envelopes sitting on counter with money inside

Using cash rather than a card makes you more mindful of your spending. Obviously, this only works for purchases made in person, but that still accounts for much of your discretionary spending.

Check out all of these cash envelope systems you can scoop up on Amazon!

A great tip for online spending to avoid the convenience of ordering from your couch is to delete your saved credit card information from your favorite food delivery and shopping websites. This will likely make those 2 AM insomnia purchases less frequent, because who wants to get out of bed to grab their card when they’re half asleep?! 🙋‍♀️

18. Stay in, not out!

save more money 2019 easy tips – lina cooking dinner

We’re all staying inside much more than normal with the pandemic and many closures, but as places start opening back up, spending more money outside your home will become more tempting than ever.

Be mindful of staying in not just to be safer, but to also spend less money. Plus, it goes without saying, cooking for your family at home is much cheaper than a dinner out. When the weather warms up pack your lunch or dinner and head out for a hike and fresh air while you spend time together.

Hip Tip: Here’s a bunch of ways we’re enjoying family time at home while social distancing.

19. Travel with flexibility.

save more money 2019 easy tips – travel american airlines airplane

While many people have limited travel during the pandemic, many are using the opportunity to enjoy some cheap getaways! Even better, if you can be flexible with your dates, you’ll find that hotels and airlines will offer drastically different prices depending on the day of the week you plan to fly. Additionally, prices vary week to week and season to season. Traveling off-peak could end up saving you hundreds of dollars!

To save even more, try just packing a carry-on as Collin does so you don’t have to eat the cost of checking a bag. And if you need a rental car, Bryn shared an easy 5-minute hack that saved her close to $200! 😱

20. Get some financial relief.

woman wearing headphone looking at cell phone

Due to the economic hardship related to the Coronavirus pandemic, many businesses are offering financial assistance to customers. If you’re facing financial hardship and find yourself exhausting all our other ideas to save be sure to reach out to any of these companies to lessen your burden. That said, these are only temporary benefits, so make sure to take advantage of them while you can and don’t procrastinate!

Hip Tip: Still waiting on your second stimulus check? Find out more HERE.

21. Join our FREE Hip2Save newsletter!

Collin pointing and smiling at her mobile phone

We wouldn’t be true Hip2Savers if we didn’t fill you in on the best deals ever! So make sure to subscribe to our FREE Hip2Save Newsletter to get email updates on the latest and greatest deals, DIYs, recipes, coupons, freebies, money-saving tips, and so much more! Even better, we often host contests exclusively for our email subscribers!

Prefer texts? We love ’em too! Go ahead and text the word “HOT” to (775) 204-0125 to get alerted to all of the hottest deals & freebies!

Do all your online shopping with the best deals ever right here.

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 5 years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.

Join The Discussion

Comments 25

  1. Dansjen

    Thank you for the encouragement and motivation! I really needed this. : )

  2. Evie

    Verizon will not save me $30 for auto pay. They actually want me to pay $20 more or buy a phone that uses more broadband, so no thanks.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Darn! Thanks for the feedback, Evie! I wonder if that may vary by account.

    • ccmama03

      $5 discount for auto-pay in our area for Verizon

  3. jen2020

    Best way to earn money is buy investing. I have taught myself to trade during this pandemic and I regret not starting earlier.

    • YoungNana

      Jen2020, what app/ company are you using and are you just doing stocks? This is my goal for the year!

      • jen2020

        I started using Robinhood. They give you a free stock to start with. I initially started with around $300, just to understand how to trade. As I gained confidence, I invested a little more.

        • Mothball

          Hey all, investing is great…just be wary about who you invest with. Robinhood is in the center of a controversy right now with the whole GameStop debacle…worth looking into to make up your own opinion, but looks a bit sketchy. I invest with Fidelity (nope, have no allegiances) because they have $0 fee trades…you have to stay on top of your own investments, but I prefer that. Also another great way to make money (if you have the willpower) is to actually USE credit cards…but ONLY if you can pay them off ASAP. They can return up to about 5% (depending on card) in points, airfare, Amazon $, etc. if you can pay them totally off when they come due.

  4. Iris

    I am thinking of putting my Directv on hold for three months during the summer months. They say you can do up to twice a year for only a $7.00 a month. Has anyone else tried this? Was it an easy process? Figured it would say at least $240.00.

    • tqueenbee

      We got rid of cable many years ago. Now we have YouTube Tv, we pay wayyyyy less for all the same channels.

  5. Stella

    Don’t forget using your library for movies and books. Maybe swap with friends? I would also like to mention buying second hand especially for kids. They grow so fast! I watch for high end, name brands like North Face for myself. I have yet to wear out either my new or renewed clothes by them.

  6. Dan

    Love all of the ideas but I think #1 should be: Budget, budget and budget. Many of the above ideas will certainly help control your budget. Don’t start randomly investing in the market until you have your budget and debt under control. I highly recommend Financial Peace University or Total Money Makeover. The principals focus on behavior which is 90% of the battle. My family uses a dozen bank accounts thru direct Deposit and auto transfers as an “e:Envelope” system to make the budgeting a snap (Separate checking accounts for monthly expenses, food and entertainment and weekly “fun” money. Separate savings accounts for Emergencies [#1 – Have money for emergencies and you’ll have no more money emergencies], Travel, Annual or semi annual bills and expenses, Gifts, Clothes, “Kid classes,” replacement cars and even an account for “things we forgot to budget for.” Plus of course college and retirement accounts on auto-pilot.). If the account doesn’t have the money, it doesn’t happen – e.g. If we have $1,500 in our Travel account the vacation planned will not be a $2,000 vacation. In only half dozen years we eliminated all debt but the house and pay cash for EVERYTHING, from groceries to brand new cars, while annually assessing our accounts to use any money to pay down the mortgage. Hope this inspires someone and helps them turn on their inner miser.

    • jen2020

      Agree Dan, budgeting is everything. However, I never use cash but always a credit card. I earn cash back and since I pay back my entire balance at the end of the month, it’s a win win for me. Also, I can closely monitor my spending everyday in my online account and don’t have to deal with coins!! However, I have realized that it’s not possible to become affluent without investing or entrepreneurship and I am happy that my returns are better than money sitting in the bank or CDs. The money I would spend in restaurants goes into investing now and I have acquired a new skill! But, I believe budgeting is not a one size fits all concept and everyone should budget according to their income, personality, family needs and spending habits.

      • Lc

        Can you share please how you invest? what app or tool do you use? thanks in advance🙏

    • AW

      Yes! Financial success starts with a comprehensive BUDGET!

  7. Susan

    For your item about decluttering….during the lock-down, I started selling unused items on Mercari.com. It has been great to de-clutter and also make some sales. If interested, email me and I’d be greatful if you would use my referral link. sjbeck2 @ mchsi. com

  8. Kelly

    I also suggest shopping insurance. We’ve been with Geico for years and have never had any problems…problems with Geico I mean…we have had to file 2 claims and 2 windshield replacement claims over the past 5 years…BUT, needing to add a new teenage driver to our plan was going to cost $100+ per month. So, I decided to call a local agency just to “see” and they gave us a higher coverage policy for way less money. I couldn’t believe it. So glad I called just to “see”. I would have kept paying had I not called to “see”.

  9. SavingsMama

    Great ideas! I’d like to add…use Little Library boxes near you. Of you’re not familiar, they’re basically an outdoor book selection in a little house and the idea is to bring a book and swap it out for one in there. Many of the boxes have also been stocked with non-perishable food items, sanitizers, cards to send, keychains etc. It’s a community effort and like everything, the more people put in the more people will get out.
    Please check with local churches and organizations and see if they need any donations. We have a church that does a back to school clothing giveaway, but is also considering something for summer to help families out.
    Definitely like the wait it out suggestion… usually, by the time 30 days comes around you realize you don’t need it or you find something way cheaper anyway 😉 Good Luck all!

  10. Julia

    Every time I use my debit card or checkbook, I always round it up a $1 or maybe $2. At the end of the year, I always have at least $1000 dollars more than what I thought I had, and some years, so much more. This always works out perfect for Christmas time!

    • nickyB

      I do a very similar thing. Every transaction is rounded up to end in a 5 or 0. If it’s $4.99 I at times round up to $10. I do this in my check book ledger. I always have a minimum of $1000 “buffer” in my checking account. Every pay period I transfer what is left in checking account over the $1000 into savings. Sometimes it’s $30 and sometimes it’s $300. Been doing this for over 25 years.

  11. Tammy

    We earn points on our credit card that we trade in for gift cards; usually a Target $100 card each time we have earned enough points to redeem for one. Once a year, I use that card to get household supplies to last us for one year. This past week, I bought toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, laundry machine cleaner, dish washer detergent, and liquid dish for a grand total of…43 cents out of pocket after using the credit card rewards Target card, getting a $10 card (for purchase of three laundry detergents), and using Carthwheel coupons. Thanks to Hip2Save I am able to save so much money!!!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Wow! You’re most welcome! That’s amazing, Tammy! GREAT job grabbing the savings! Thank YOU for the kind comment! 🤗

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      SWEET! You’re very welcome! Congrats to you on paying off your car! Thanks a TON for your sweet feedback! 🥰

  12. Leslie Moss

    ANother idea is to look at your mortgage, and refinance to a lower rate to save on your monthly payment. I am a wholesale mortgage loan officer. Call me if you have questions. Leslie 801-255-2559

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