With how the economy did in 2023, it’s never a bad idea to find ways to cut costs. In this article, we’ll go through 4 easy ways to save money in Canada. The focus of this post is to give you simple solutions that won’t force you to compromise on your quality of life. If you even follow a couple of these steps, you’ll be on the right track to having better finances fast.
The best place to start is with the small things, like what you eat and what you drink. It may not seem like much, but getting your groceries in order adds up really quickly!
Cooking your own meals is one of the best ways to save money on a day to day basis. The main reason is that when you buy food from a restaurant, you’re paying for your food, but also the service. Forbes finds that eating out can cost anywhere from 3 to 5 times as much as cooking for yourself. And with the rising cost of groceries, that number is more important than ever.
According to StatCan, the main reason 40% of Canadians eat out is for convenience. They either don’t have time to cook or don’t know how to. If you’re one of those people, you shouldn’t worry! Meal-prepping is a great way to save time and money. You can prepare meals for the week during the weekend when you have plenty of time!
While it’s unlikely that saying no to Starbucks will make you a millionaire, you can definitely cut down on unnecessary spending. Since Canadians are some of the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, there’s definitely a few cents to be saved here and there.
The best thing to do is to buy your own coffee and avoid going to Tim Hortons or Starbucks as much as possible. CNET finds that making coffee at home is about three times cheaper than buying your coffee from Starbucks.
Groceries have been a big talking point for Canadians this year. With how high prices have soared, it’s more important to watch how you’re spending your money on groceries than ever before.
Remember that whole bunch of cilantro you bought to test out a new recipe? Most of it went bad in the fridge and you had to throw it out… Canadian households waste between 80 and 140 kilograms of food per year. Wasting food is already bad, but that’s dollars down the drain too!
Buying perishable foods in smaller quantities, so that you don’t end up throwing some (or most) of it out, is a great way to avoid paying for food you’ll never end up eating. Smaller packages are more expensive by weight than bigger ones, but if you throw out half of the bigger package, you won’t be saving any money.
The opposite goes for non-perishable food. Think beans, pasta, canned food, spices, salt. Since these don’t go bad, it’s best to save by buying in bulk. The best thing about buying in bulk is that once you buy something, you won’t have to worry about running out for a while!
A big part of our wasted money comes from our buying habits. We’re too quick to replace an item when repairing it would be just fine. Or we’re fixated on buying new rather than checking out used options.
Adopting buying habits that are geared towards saving money is a great way to reduce excessive spending without really compromising on the quality of your purchases.
Efficiency matters. For larger purchases like cars or appliances, consider long-term savings in fuel or power efficiency over the initial cost. It might be tempting to go for the cheaper choice, but more efficient models could save money down the line.
A fuel efficient car will cost you between 50 and 200% less in fuel than an inefficient car would. Given how much Canadians spend per year on gas, you could easily save hundreds per year just by choosing a more efficient vehicle.
You can use this tool to calculate your vehicle’s fuel consumption (as well as many other things), courtesy of the CAA.
The best way to spend money on things is to only have to spend money on them once. Buying items that will last you a lifetime, without needing to be repaired or replaced, will basically pay for themselves.
When buying things like household items and clothing, a long term approach is the way to go. Higher quality items might have a higher upfront cost, but they’re usually very much worth it.
If you’re unsure where to start, you can check out the Reddit BuyItForLife community that focuses on smart long term purchases.
Buying used doesn't only apply to cars. Many everyday items, from books to furniture, can be found in good condition at thrift stores or online platforms like Kijiji. It’s a great way to save money while reducing environmental waste.
In a throwaway culture, learning to repair your stuff, whether it's clothing, tech, or household items, is a green and budget-friendly choice.
There are countless online tutorials to help you get started on basic repairs. Basic repairs are much easier than you think and they can save you the cost of a full replacement!
Remember to take advantage of coupons and flyers. Sign up for free services like Honey, a browser extension that finds and applies coupon codes at checkout with a single click.
Owning a home is expensive. Mortgages, property taxes, renovations and maintenance… It’s a lot of regular spending. But your home doesn’t have to be a money sink. It has the potential to be a source of income or savings if used wisely.
Paying down your mortgage faster reduces the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of your loan. Simplifying your financial life as you approach retirement could also help you save money in the long run.
Things can get quiet around the house as you get older, especially if your kids have moved out. If you have empty rooms available, you could always look into renting them out to a student. It’s a bit of extra income and it’s not a big commitment.
Utilities can take up a large portion of your monthly budget. You can cut costs by using energy and water more efficiently. Simple steps like turning off lights, not letting water run, and unplugging devices not in use, can contribute to lowering your bills.
The Government of Canada has a great guide you can follow to help reduce your energy bill. It’s both a great savings tool and a way to be more environmentally responsible.
Finally, taking a comprehensive look at your financial health can make a massive difference to your savings.
Opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for your child can assist in managing future education costs. The government of Canada contributes to some extent to your RESP, making it an excellent option for long-term savings.
It may seem obvious, but it’s crucial. Always make sure to pay off your credit card bills on time to avoid interest charges. If possible, pay in full to avoid spiralling into debt.
Finally, make sure you're taking full advantage of the tax benefits and grants offered by all levels of government in Canada. Speak with a financial advisor or use reputable online resources to identify further savings potential in this area.
You can check if you qualify for any benefits here.
Consider setting up automatic transfers to your savings account. Over time, this "out of sight, out of mind" tactic can result in a robust savings account without you even noticing. It's an excellent way to save without significant budgetary adjustments in your daily life.
Following these gentle steps can help ground you financially and take you closer to your money-saving goals in Canada.
Finding ways to save money is hard, but not impossible! With this post, we gave you some easy guidelines to follow if you want to save some extra cash on the side.
Remember that even following one step is great. You don’t need to do everything we mentioned here (and there are many more ways to save money than discussed in this post!). What’s important is getting started and slowly learning to manage your finances better.
At Insurance Supermarket, we’re all about making smart financial choices.
Changing your coffee drinking habit saves you about $30 a month, and that might seem small. But just that one bit of saving could be enough to get you a life insurance plan!
With our vast array of policy choices, we can guarantee we have the right kind of life insurance for you.