University of Illinois Extension

Spend Smart, Save Smart Tips

Ten Tips for Wiser Spending

  • Drink tap water and pocket the $25.00/gallon monthly fee for bottled water delivery.
  • Shop your local farmer’s markets and prepare healthy meals at home to save money.
  • Survey your closets, see what clothes fit, and donate those you do not want to wear. Shop resale stores for bargains.
  • Cut transportation costs by using public services. Or, ride your bike when possible.
  • Consider needs vs. wants – ask yourself if you really need a daily latte, premium cable, or a weekly manicure.
  • Go to the local beauty/barber schools to get less expensive grooming treatments.
  • Visit your local library and check out movies and books and read current magazines.
  • Barter to get your children piano, karate, or dance lessons.
  • Purchase prepaid phones to keep your family in touch and save on cell phone bills.
  • Delay your purchase – when you want to buy something wait one week to see if you still think the purchase is really necessary.