25 Ways to Save $5 This Week

by Mikey Rox on 23 January 2013 9 comments
Photo: dennis

If you've been sliding on your New Year’s resolution to save more money, let this post help you get back on track.

Don’t beat yourself up about not sending X amount of dollars a month to your savings account because you overspent, didn’t make enough, or just plain forgot. Instead, remember that by keeping the goal small and manageable, you’re more likely to reach it. These tips on how to cut $5 out of your budget every week will allow you to send that extra cash to savings. It’s not a lofty goal, and it’s one spread out over the entire year, so you don’t burden yourself with the pressure of coming up with the extra savings all at once.

If you’re a real go-getter, double up on these ideas in one week and send $10. Either way, time to start saving today. Here’s how. (See also: 37 Savings Changes You Can Make Today)

1. Skip the Starbucks

Cut out at least one trip to the coffee shop this week and set aside however much your favorite drink normally costs.

2. Roll Loose Change

If you’ve been saving change in a jar, roll at least $5 and stash it away.

3. Start Carpooling

If you have a coworker who lives nearby, suggest that you carpool to work. Given current gas prices, you’ll probably save more than $5 in unused gas, so maybe you can put a little extra into your savings this week. Be sure to return the favor of chauffer service to your coworker next week.

4. Stay in This Weekend

I know it’s tough, but one weekend a year in won’t kill you. Think of the money (and morning headache) you’ll save.

5. Sell Something Online

Find something of value that you no longer need, and list it on eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist for an influx of quick cash.

6. Take Your Lunch to Work

Many of us do this already, but even if you eat out for lunch just once a week you’re spending money that you could be saving. Bring your lunch all five days and put that $5 savings away for a rainy day.

7. Just Say No to Takeout and Delivery

On a night that you normally order delivery, opt instead to make a frugal homemade meal to save at least $5.

8. Work an Extra Hour

If you get paid by the hour, stay one hour longer this week. You’ll reach your savings goal for the week plus have a little extra money left over.

9. Quit Smoking for a Day or Two

If you’re a smoker, try to cut out one pack of cigarettes by not smoking for a day or two. With cigarettes at least $5 a pack in most of the country, you’ll meet your goal and be a little healthier for it.

10. Take a Trip to the Recycling Center

If you have bottles, cans, or scrap metal in abundance, take it to the local recycling center to cash it in.

11. Avoid "On Demand" Movies

Most of these movies are in the area of $5. Buying one less this week (or none at all) will keep your wallet full.

12. Stay Away From Office Snacks

Steer clear of the vending machines in your office this week to stay on the straight and narrow path to savings.

13. Clip Coupons

If you have to pick up groceries this week, scour the coupon circulars for discounts you can use to save money at the market.

14. Use Online Discounts

Before you make an online purchase, search for a discount code like free shipping or a percentage off before you click on the buy button.

15. Return a Christmas Gift

Did you receive something you don’t really need or want this holiday season? If you have a receipt, return it for cold, hard cash.

16. Bike Around Town

Put your car in park and bike to nearby destinations instead of driving. Do this for a week and you’ll definitely save at least $5 worth of gas.

17. Turn Down the Heat

If you’ve got the heat on full blast, turn it off this week and bundle up in extra layers when you’re hanging out at home.

18. Pick Up a One-Off Side Gig

Offer to walk a friend’s dogs or clean someone’s apartment for a little extra cash, a portion of which you send to savings.

19. Scratch an Item Off Your Grocery List

Milk, for instance, is getting expensive. To save $5 this week, look at your grocery list to see what you can live without for the next seven days.

20. Visit the Pawn Shop

Have something in which a pawnbroker may be interested? Stop by your local pawnshop and try to unload your goods for a satisfying fee.

21. Set Up Shop on the Street

Offering snacks and drinks to motorist in busy areas — think bottled water, chips, and candy — can make you a pocketful of cash in just a couple hours. You might make enough to meet your savings goals for the next few weeks.

22. Go Scavenging

Just walking around town can yield you extra cash. On your trek, you’re likely to find loose change, discarded items that you can sell, and lots of recyclables that you can collect to exchange for cash.

23. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards

There are plenty of sites that will buy your old gift cards, like CardCash.com and GiftCardGranny.com, to name a couple. You won’t get face value for them, but these sites pay up to 92% of the original value. Should be enough to meet your savings goal for at least a couple weeks.

24. Refrain From Drinking Alcohol

It costs $5 for a beer most places these days, so even one less drink this week will help you meet your goal. Go the entire week without imbibing and you’ll save a lot more.

25. See a Matinee Movie

You don’t have to eliminate fun entirely to save $5. But if you want to see a movie, try to see the matinee show (usually before noon) to save on your ticket.

Have even more ways to save $5 this week? Let me know your suggestion in the comments below.

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Guest's picture
JJ Wong

Each steps and tips seems tiny, but the compound effect of saving up extra $5 is huge. With the right attitude & commitment towards saving, we could grow our money more and faster.

For a better living, or merely as backup fund.

Guest's picture
Jerry Watts

Lots of good ideas, although cutting out basic elements from life - like milk - isn't smart. If you're already saving money by not eating out, at least eat well at home. If you're going to cut out items from a grocery list, remove processed foods that would be better to make yourself.

Guest's picture
Sam

I saved $5 on a StraightTalk 30-Day PrePaid Unlimited Airtime Refill. Normal price is $45, picked it up for $39.99. Not a lot but every bit helps and it all adds up when combined with the ideas you listed on this post. bit.ly/UXkh6u

Guest's picture
viv

Some great ideas. Learning and cultivating a habit of saving is something that one should harness at an early stage. I have been retrenched since 2008 and it ai'nt been a walk in the park, especially when you worked and spent lavishly.

Guest's picture

How about making $5 and having a garage sale:) Use square to make it easy for people to pay cash or card!

Guest's picture

Really good and easily manageable ideas. Taking your lunch to work, saying no to take out, making your own coffee in the morning, all of these easy things can save you money in both the short-term and long term. Also, if you think about it, its pretty easily assumed that all of us have something(s) that could be easily sold to a second hand shop and make money out of thin air.

Guest's picture

These are some great ideas for cutting frivolous spending out of your weekly schedule and to also make your life a little bit healthier! Cutting Starbucks, alcohol, takeout, and smoking are physically and mentally beneficial! This also provides a reasonable savings budget to where you don't have to drastically alter your lifestyle.

Guest's picture
Jeremy Levi

Mikey,
Thanks for mentioning CardCash.com. Utilize our buy side and save an average of 15% on your daily expenses. Will help everyone save $5 or more this week.

Guest's picture

Already saved $5.00 today by starting the 52 weeks savings challenge and eating breakfast at home today. I'm also starting to bring leftovers from home to work to save extra. Great tips!