How to Save Up Money: Tips for Living on $30000 or Less

How to Save Up Money

Tips for Living on $30000 or Less

How to Save Up Money

It can be hard at first to live on just a small amount of money, but when you end up making it a way of life, it gets a lot easier. It actually allows me the chance to volunteer with a nonprofit organization and lets me be able to send out letters and care packages to soldiers. I use free samples and coupons to get things for care packages. And since a lot of people don’t like to do the hard work part of volunteering, I ask for stamp donations from my friends and family who like to give, but just want to leave it at a simple act. 🙂 If you would ever like to promote a website that isn’t coupon related you can always promote our nonprofit. 🙂 If people want to put their coupons to use for a good cause, it’s a great way to do it!

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How to Save Up Money Tips for Living on $30000 or Less


  • Coupons – I only get 1 newspaper through a Sunday subscription and sometimes buy more if there are a lot of really good coups otherwise, the coupons I know I will use a lot of, I only buy those on Ebay to maximize my money
  • Groupon, Living Social,, etc are all great ways to find local deals
  • is great to use when traveling to certain major cities.
  • has the books that can be used in your local areas. If one is not available in you area though there, you may have a local one provided through a local school, etc.


  • Check websites once a month or more often to places you take your kids to see if they are running any deals or have any free events
    • NC has for events in the area and many are free or cheap
    • We have a lot of free concerts in parks and things like that when it is warm
    • Local farms sometimes have a grand opening with discounts when they open for the season
    • Our Greensboro Children’s Museum does a deal on Fridays from 5-8 PM where you can get admission for $4 a person instead of $8 and something called First Fridays for $2 from 5-8 PM instead of $8
    • Many places that offer year round passes offer about a half off discount on a family pass from Memorial to Labor Day. This is good if you would only mainly go in the summer time
    • An increasing number of places have drastically reduced rates for people that home school as well, don’t be afraid to ask. This oftentimes requires proof, but if you home school then it shouldn’t be an issue
    • Places like Lowes’ and Home Depot have kids days every so often and is something free for the kids!
  • Invest in co ops and such to get fresh vegetables throughout the summer. You can also Save on Fruits and Vegetables by knowing when they are in season.


  • Pick your own, May – strawberries, June /July – blueberries/blackberries, July/August – peaches/apples, etc. (Grapes, pumpkin, etc are also other pyo) Go pick your own at the farms and you know that you are getting only good pieces instead of getting a container mixed with good and bad. Pick a lot and freeze the rest in individual snack bags and then put them all in a big freezer bag. This cuts down on prices in the months when these items are out of season
  • You can freeze almost anything. So if you have something about to expire, look up online how to freeze it. We waste a lot of money each year on bad food.  I have found you can even freeze things like eggs, milk, and bread! Here are some Crockpot Freezer Meals that you should try.

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    • If you have fruit or yogurt that is about to expire, make some smoothies and freeze them for a quick snack for your children and yourself later. Tupperware cups with the flat lids are great for this.
    • Buy Tupperware! It may cost more upfront, but it lasts long, has a lifetime warranty on most things, and saves on constantly using baggies! Baggies, tinfoil, etc add up.
    • Buy a Brita water bottle or Camelback bottle with a filter. These are cheaper than buying lots of bottled water and you can fill them up at a water fountain, water faucet, etc.

  • Buy clothes off season, at yard sales, at Goodwills, or just swap with someone else to refresh your styles
    • Off season at Wal-Mart you can get clothes like $1-$3 most of the time
    • Don’t be afraid to talk people down at yard sales. Many will work with you to get rid of stuff. Or wait until closer to the end of the yard sale. Most people will make a deal instead of having to get rid of it themselves.
    • Swap with people you know, or create a local community swap to find lots of people to swap items with
  • Craiglist – find cheap deals and post your own.
    • Most of the time you can talk people down just a bit
    • Mark your asking price up a bit. If you want $10 for an item, ask 12-15 so that when someone asks if you will take $10, then you can say sure thing!


  • When it comes to food and other items, know when to buy them.
  • People in the military can also get special coupons, enter special contests, etc.
  • For children’s birthdays, request clothes and also request gift cards for fun places to visit such as movie theather, gift cards to the zoo, etc
  • Buy family passes to places like the zoo that offers a donation paper to file on your taxes!
  • Sign up to receive texts from places
    • Sonic gives good deals
    • Target gives good deals
    • 7-11 and other gas stations
    • Redbox randomly offers 1 free rental a month
    • Dollar General often sends $5 off a $25 purchase
  • Never pay for a magazine – you can always get them free
    • If you do pay only like $1-$2
  • Get gift cards free


  • Buy holiday stuff for the next year when it goes on sale the day after.
  • For cheaper phone bill we have a family plan with my brother and sister in law  since it is only $10 extra a line. We can split the bill in half and cheaper for both
  • Buy gifts throughout the year to stock up for birthdays and holidays when you can find them really cheap. This includes cards. This way you are never caught off guard and have to pay full price for something!
  • Have a yard sale at least once a year. Take leftovers to somewhere like Goodwill and get a tax write off or if you don’t feel like hauling, leave it outside and post on Craiglist for first come first serve pick up.
  • When I get cards like birthday cards, etc, if no one wrote on the left side, I tear the back part off and reuse the top part. It is more like a postcard, but that is the best way to recycle it!
  • If you have a lot of canned food cans or soda cans, take them to a local recycling center for a little extra money
  • A lot of hospice care places actually collect the drink tabs to use to buy needed equipment just as schools use boxtops for education and campbell’s soup labels


  • When at the grocery store, do a quick once around before or during shopping to look for Peelie coupons. If it is something I’ll use, I buy it
  • We have a couple of grocery stores in our area that offer food at half price or less when they are very close to their expiration date. This includes a lot of veggies, breads, refrigeration section stuff, etc. We shop every few days and it is worth it since the stores are only a mile or two away. It’s a better way to eat healthier as well.
  • Sign up for as many freebies as possible. Even when companies are not offering freebies, you can still write them on their websites contact section and ask for either samples or coupons. Some companies offer them like twice a year. Some say no, but a lot do say yes, so it doesn’t hurt to ask!
  • Cook all of your food for one week on one night. This helps with energy bills and saves you time.  I do this with breakfast foods, too like eggs, sausage, bacon, etc. Even grits can be reheated by adding a small amount of water and reheating. If you have leftovers you don’t think you will be able to eat before it goes bad, freeze it for later. Freeze dishes to heat up later if you need to cook something before it goes bad. Having frozen food that can be quickly heated up also saves from wanting to go after fast food – and healthier.
  • Sign up for credit cards to places like JCPenny and Belk. Use them and then pay them right off. Most of the time you can get coupons for an extra 20% off just by using your card with the coupon. Also, places like this have quarterly sales that make items super cheap. Buy cheap, pay off the card before you get interest, and build your credit! During certain times you can stock up on linens and home goods this way.
  • Carpool when you can. Even with couponing go with friends. Help each other find deals.


  • Trade services. If you know how to cut hair, trade it with someone who knows how to fix cars. Cut their hair for free and they can give you a free oil change or something.
  • Kick cable. If you want to watch some shows, get Netflix or Hulu. If you want to save money split the Netflix bill. You can stream on 2 different devices at the same time, so each to share with another family. Rent movies for free at your local library if offered. Ask for movies for birthdays/holidays. Utilize Redbox and the deals you can get through text and email. A lot of shows you can watch over the internet on the websites or through things like
  • Don’t buy books new. Check them out at the library, hit up a used book store, or look at yard sales, thrift stores, and Goodwills. Even better, swap books with people or donate your old books to places like nursing homes, local shelters, etc.
  • Don’t buy video games new. Buy used at Game Stop, a local video game store, or online.
  • If you are low income, places like the YMCA will try to help give you a discount to use their facilities. There is no harm in asking for financial aid on something that would cost you way too much!
  • Find other families that have kids and swap babysitting nights. This allows you time with your significant other without having to pay for a sitter.
  • Be smart, be aware, and always compare!
  • Sign up for all of the birthday stuff! We always eat for free and make it a long day thing. With Jersey mikes doing a free sub  coupon through email and with Firehouse Subs you just go in and show them your license. It makes for a whole full meal! My hubs and I get both and split them! There are so many other ones as well, but those two are our favorites.  Here are some Birthday Freebies that you should check out.
  • Use the sites like, checkout51, and Ibotta to get money back for buying certain items.

Thanks to Amanda G. for these awesome How to Save Up Money tips!

For more How to Save Up Money Tips for Living on $30000 or Less also read these:

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Living on 30000 or Less: Raising a Large Family
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