Ways to Save Money

Crush Your 2016 Resolutions: 23 Strategies to Help You Save Money and Meet Your Goals

January 12, 2016
by Susan Shain
Contributor

Whatever your New Year’s resolutions are, you’re a Penny Hoarder.

No matter the resolution, you’d probably like to spend less money accomplishing it, right?

To help, we’ve rounded up some tips and tricks for saving money on the most common New Year’s resolutions.

Whether you want to eat healthier or travel more, here are 23 ways to do it more cheaply.

Quit Smoking

We don’t need to tell you how much money you’ll save by quitting smoking — you already know.

Instead, here’s how to save money while quitting smoking.

1. Get Free or Discounted Smoking Cessation Aids

If you want to try the patch or gum, look online for coupons before making your purchase.

Many state-supported health campaigns also provide free smoking cessation aids, as well as other resources and support.

Find a full list of coupons and state campaigns here.

2. Join a Free Support Group

If you want to quit cold turkey, it might be smart to join a free support group.

Try in-person groups like Nicotine Anonymous, or apps and virtual forums like quitSTART and The EX Plan.

3. Enroll in a Class With a Money-Back Guarantee

Have you heard of Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking seminar?

Friends of mine have had success with this class. It guarantees you’ll quit smoking — or get a full refund.

You do have to pay $450 upfront, but you’ll quickly make the money back if and when you stop buying cigarettes. And, if you sign up at least one month ahead of time, you can often get a $50 early bird discount.

4. Get Paid to Quit

It might sound crazy, but you can actually get paid to quit smoking.

Sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, WebQuit doesn’t only provide support and resources — it’ll pay you $105 to take surveys while you quit.

Lose Weight

Losing weight helps you feel better — both physically and mentally. It could also lead to reduced medical costs down the road.

Here’s how to save money while losing weight:

5. Find Free Ways to Exercise

You don’t need to the gym to get your sweat on. (Though we do know of a way to get into 24 Hour Fitness for free!)

Even if you live somewhere cold, you can exercise with high-quality home workout YouTube channels, or these 11 cheap or free winter workouts.

6. Do a Discounted Downward Dog

Yoga is my favorite way to exercise. Not only is it a fantastic workout, it also helps me clear my mind.

The only problem? It can be expensive. If you want to find yoga on the cheap, here are 10 creative ways to enjoy free or low-cost classes, and where to find the best free online yoga classes.

Or, if you really love yoga, become a yoga teacher.

7. Try Classpass or Groupon

There are always discounts for local gyms and fitness studios on Groupon.

Or, if you live in a major metropolitan area, try Classpass. It lets you work out at several different studios each month.

8. Get Paid to Exercise

There are few better motivators than money.

Here are 17 creative ways to get paid to work out — plus a guaranteed way to earn big bucks just for losing weight.

Travel More

Want to travel more this year, but afraid it’s going to cost too much?

9. Save on Flights, Lodging and More

Rather than list all the ways you can travel on a budget, I’ll direct you to my comprehensive post: 16 Ways to Save on Travel in 2016.

Eat Healthier

Eating healthier comes with myriad benefits.

Not only will you feel and look better, but you’ll also save money by eating out less frequently.

10. Hack Grocery Coupons and Apps

People often complain coupons are only for processed food.

But The Penny Hoarder founder and resident couponing expert Kyle Taylor knows lots of secrets for finding discounts on healthy food. Check out how he got almost $50 in groceries for under $5.

Or, read about how these couponing moms still manage to eat healthy:

11. Get Paid to Watch Cooking Shows

A commonly cited reason for eating out all the time? “I don’t know how to cook.”

It’ll no longer be a valid excuse after you get paid to watch cooking shows. (Yes, really!)

12. Find Organics on the Cheap

Eating local and organic doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of money.

From sponsoring a farm animal to joining a CSA, these two posts should give you some smart ideas:

7 Ways to Fit Organics Into Your Grocery Budget

How One Writer Eats Local, Organic Food for Just $300 a Month

13. Subscribe to Budget Food Blogs

With all the cooking blogs out there, you have no reason not to try cheap and healthy recipes this year.

Some of my favorites are $5 Dinners and Budget Bytes.

You’ll also learn some fun cooking techniques here at The Penny Hoarder, like how to make a month’s worth of freezer meals for less than $300.

14. Get Cookbooks From the Library

Though recipes abound on the internet, sometimes you just want to leaf through a cookbook…

But you don’t want to invest in one without trying it first.

My solution? Check them out of the library — a free way to learn lots of new recipes!

Get Organized

Want to finally get on top of everything this year? Getting organized can undoubtedly save you money.

Here’s how to do so without spending a closetful of cash:

15. Buy Discounted Organizers

One of the easiest ways to clear clutter is to buy physical organizers: folders, plastic tubs and the like.

They don’t have to be expensive, though. You can often find used ones at garage sales and thrift stores.

Or, purchase clearance items at retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond and Overstock. Both offer coupons when you sign up for their email lists.

16. Grab a Tax Break

Getting rid of all your extra stuff?

Be sure to record what you donate to the thrift store. This time next year, you’ll get a nice little tax write-off.

Spend More Time With Family

Spending time with loved ones doesn’t have to be costly. There are plenty of ways to get in some QT — without spending a dime.

Even better, we’ve got a whole list of ways you can earn money while spending time with family!

17. Participate in Hundreds of Free Activities

Whether you have kids or not, here are some free activities sure to please:

18. Exercise Together

Why not kill two birds with one stone? If you want to get in shape and spend more time with your family, try working out together.

Whether it’s a walk, hike or round of pickup soccer, getting in shape with your family is free and fun.

19. Get Netflix for Free

What’s better than a family movie night?

Instead of paying for a costly cable subscription, subscribe to Netflix. You’ll have thousands of movies at your fingertips.

Best of all, we’ve figured out how to get Netflix for free!

20. Buy Board Games

Board games rock because once you collect a few, they’ll provide entertainment for years to come.

Walmart and Target often have sales on board games. But be sure to visit Ebates first — you can get 1-5% cash back on all your purchases.

Plus, if you get really good, you could even earn money playing in Monopoly tournaments!

Learn Something New

Smart Penny Hoarders know learning something new can often lead to extra money in your pocket.

Here’s how to boost your brainpower on a budget:

21. Check Your Community College

I’m amazed by how many courses my local community college offers.

You might think they only have academic courses, but they often have offerings as wide-ranging as belly dancing and cake decorating.

And if you’re a resident, they’re often really affordable.

22. Take a Free Online Course

Thanks to the internet, you can learn anything from nutrition to computer programming — and many courses are available for free.

OpenCulture and Coursera are two of my go-to sites for finding free classes.

23. Barter Your Skills

Just because we live in a cash economy doesn’t mean you can’t barter.

If you know someone with a skill you’d like to learn, think about what you could offer them in return. Do you know how to speak Spanish? Can you brew beer?

Find a skill to trade and learn something new — without spending a dime.

The beginning of the year is a great time to improve your life and your finances. With these tips, those two goals don’t have to be mutually exclusive!

Your Turn: What’s your New Year’s resolution? How do you plan to save money on it?

Disclosure: We don’t hesitate to pick pennies off the sidewalk when we spot them. But the affiliate links in this post help our earnings grow even quicker. Plus, it’s a lot cleaner than sidewalk money.

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.

by Susan Shain
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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