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55 Realistic Ways to Save Money in Canada for 2023


Fact Checked

Most Canadians are facing financial pressures in managing their day-to-day finances and debts. According to Statistics Canada, nearly three-quarters of Canadians have outstanding debts or used loans at some point over the past year.

Utilizing money-saving tips is one way to minimize the impact of financial pressures. As long as you’re consistent with your efforts, there’s a chance you can attain financial independence even if you’re a minimum-wage earner or have a tight budget.

Key Takeaways

  • To save money fast, consider bartering, shopping at thrift stores, doing a money challenge, decluttering, and eating out less.
  • If you have a low income, you can save by creating a budget, renting out unused space, unsubscribing from marketing emails, and quitting an expensive habit.
  • Other money-saving tips worth trying include recycling old clothes, building an emergency fund, couponing, cutting your gym membership, paying with cash, etc.

Clever Ways to Save Money

Here are some clever ways to save money in Canada, including some fun and unusual strategies.

1. Barter

Reach out to individuals who might be in need of your service or valuables. For instance, you can offer a friend working at a salon to watch over her kids in exchange for a free haircut. This might be an unusual way to save money, but it works!

2. Start a Money-Saving Hobby

Learn new skills to help you save money long-term. For example, instead of paying for takeout food, learn how to cook different meals at home. If you know how to sew, you can save money from buying new clothes as you can replace buttons and repair holes in your old clothes.

3. Try the $5 Trick

One clever way to save money is to keep every $5 bill you receive. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save from these $5 bills at the end of the year.

4. Shop at Thrift Stores

Instead of buying clothes from designer stores and malls, shop at thrift stores. Thrift stores are one of the best sources of surprisingly cheap but high-quality clothes. You can even find designer and brand-new items with tags from these stores.

5. Try a Money Saving Challenge

Participating in a money-saving challenge is one of the best ways to save money for the future, as it offers motivation. Tell yourself not to spend money on anything except for your necessities for a week. If you succeed, reward yourself by buying a $20 item.

Become a Budgeter and Improve Your Finances

Living paycheck to paycheck? Use these printable budget planners to get your finances back on track. They will help you understand how your income is spent and make it easier to allocate funds to pay off debt, save, and invest. These planners take the chore out of budgeting and make it so much fun!

Here’s what you get:

  • 7 beautiful printables, including:
  • Bi-weekly and monthly budget planners
  • Financial goals trackers
  • Debt snowball tracker
  • 70/20/10 budget planner
  • 50/30/20 budget planner
  • Financial habits tracker
  • Sample templates

Visit our shop to get your copies.

6. Declutter

Decluttering is an easy way to save money. Check the valuables around your house and sell things you no longer use or need. You can put the money you’ll earn into your savings account or use it to pay existing debts.

Related: Make money by selling used textbooks.

7. Night In over Night Out

Choose to spend more time at home rather than having night outs in town. Invite your friends over to your house and have each of them bring a meal to share. You can also let them bring their favourite board games or movies.

8. Drink More Water

Get yourself a tumbler, fill it with water, and bring it everywhere. This is a brilliant way to save money, as you don’t have to buy bottled water whenever you’re thirsty.

How to Save Money Fast on a Low Income

You may be able to save money even on a low income with some out-of-the-box thinking.

9. Avoid Impulse Purchases

Create a rule for yourself that every time you want to buy something, wait for 30 days. If you still want the item after 30 days and it’s within your budget, buy it. This money-saving tip ensures that you’ll only buy items you need or want.

10. Unsubscribe From Marketing Emails

Getting emails about sales from your favourite clothing store will likely encourage you to shop. Don’t fall into this trap by unsubscribing from marketing emails ASAP.

11. Rent Out Your Space

Do you have a spare bedroom at home? Rent out your space, so you can save money fast, even on a low income. Advertise your space on Airbnb and collect fees from tenants who want to stay in your place.

12. Cut Back on Housing Expenses

Your housing expenses shouldn’t be more than 30% of your gross monthly income. So if you’re earning $5,000 a month and spend more than $1,500 on housing, consider downsizing by changing locations or renting out rooms.

13. Downgrade Your Technology

You don’t need the latest smartphone, the fastest PC or laptop, or the biggest flat-screen TV to live a happy life. An effective money-saving tip is to downgrade your technology and avoid buying the latest models.

14. Keep a Budget

One of the easiest ways to save money is to keep a budget. Record your income and expenses to avoid overspending.

Discover these best budgeting apps to help you save money effectively.

15. Join Free Events

To entertain yourself and keep your bank account happy, look for free events in your area. Many communities hold concerts and nature walk for free. Local libraries often hold free events for children and invite guest speakers to talk, too.

16. Quit an Expensive Habit

Quitting an expensive habit isn’t an easy way to save money each month, but it can add more cash to your savings account fast. Consider if you drink a lot (either soda or beer) or regularly buy lottery tickets and how much these cost you.

Use your goal of saving money to encourage yourself to quit an expensive habit.

Brilliant Money-Saving Tips for 2023

17. Take Care of Your Health

Prioritizing your health is a brilliant way of saving money. Healthcare is expensive, so take care of your health by sticking to a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly.

18. Keep an Emergency Fund

Having an emergency fund helps you pay for unexpected expenses, like medical bills and car repairs. This will prevent you from acquiring debt once an emergency arises.

Improve Finances This Year (Save up to $10,000 Easily)!

Finding it challenging to build an emergency fund and grow your savings? These savings planners make it easy. Pick a challenge and a financial goal, and start putting money aside on a schedule. These planners make it easy to track your progress and stay accountable. From saving $200, $500, $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, and even $10,000, you will see real progress if you get started!

Here’s what you get:

  • 13 beautiful printables, including:
  • Five 100-day challenges (various amounts)
  • Savings trackers
  • 26- and 52-week challenges (various amounts)
  • 30-day savings planners
  • Sample templates

Visit our shop to get your copies.

19. Get Creative with Gifts

You can save money by giving affordable gifts, like books or making DIY crafts. Preparing meals, baking cakes, and making digital art can show how much you appreciate the recipient without spending a lot of money.

20. Try a Staycation

Just because you want to save money doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of experiencing the best things in life. One brilliant way to save money is to try a staycation instead of going on a flight. Staycations are way cheaper but still enable you to recharge.

21. Pay Off Debts

Don’t let your debts prevent you from achieving your financial goals — prioritize paying them first. Paying off debts early improves your credit score, increases your financial security, reduces stress in your life, and allows you to spend on things you enjoy.

22. Cut Down on Small Treats

Identify everyday extravagances and cut them down to save more. For instance, skip ordering appetizers when eating out. Instead of buying a smoothie from shops, make one at home.

23. Give Yourself a Weekly Allowance

Another brilliant money-saving tip is to give yourself a weekly allowance, just like when your parents gave you an allowance when you were a kid. This helps you track your spending, break spending habits, manage your finances, and budget better.

24. Make Your Own Coffee

Making coffee at home instead of grabbing your favourite iced coffee every day can help you save a lot of money. Invest in a high-quality coffee maker and make your cup of Joe before leaving for work. Coffee makers are worth the cost, especially if you’re a heavy coffee drinker.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

25. Go Prepaid

Using prepaid cell phone plans is a great way to save money on a tight budget. These plans often charge you $0.10 a minute.

26. Shop Online

Online shops offer coupons, discounts, and promo codes, making online shopping a brilliant way to save money. Some shops even offer discounted or free delivery. 

Related: Earn cash back using this app while shopping.

27. Pack Lunch

Choose to pack lunch every day instead of eating out. Aside from helping you save money, packing lunch allows you to prepare meals based on your diet restrictions.

28. Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning products are expensive and often use tons of chemicals. Your home will be cleaner and safer if you make your own cleaning supplies by mixing water, vinegar, and essential oils.

29. Ignore Sales

Buying items on sale doesn’t save you money — it causes you to spend more, especially if you buy an item you don’t need. Just because chocolates are two for $15 doesn’t mean that you should add them to your cart every time you shop.

30. Find a Part-Time Job

If your schedule allows, find a part-time job you can do during weekends or holidays. Working as a pet walker, house sitter, or tutor during weekends and holidays is a great way to save money on a tight budget.

31. Use Budgeting Apps

Saving money for the future can become easier when you use budgeting apps. These apps help you track your progress and help you avoid making financial mistakes. You can also set these apps to send you alerts whenever unusual transactions occur in your account.

32. Recycle Old Clothes

If you have old clothes at home, hand them to fashion retailers to earn a discount. Some brands will give $5 off if you spend at least $25 after dropping off a bag of old clothes.

image showing saving money icon

Ways to Save Money Each Month

33. Ditch Your Gym Membership

There are plenty of alternatives to paying for a gym membership. To save money each month and stay healthy, run, bike, walk, or hike around your neighbourhood.

34. Reduce Your Car Use

Driving a car is convenient but maintaining one is expensive. Limit your car use and opt to cycle to work. If you and your partner work at the same office, cycling together can be a fun way to save money as a couple.

35. Start Couponing

Couponing is a simple yet effective way of saving money, as it helps you stick to your budget. With coupons, you can get your favourite brand of cereal at a discount, which helps stretch your monthly budget.

36. Avoid Using Credit Cards

While it might seem convenient, using credit cards only increases your monthly payments in the future. Paying with credit cards all the time can mean higher interest rates and might even hurt your credit score if you don’t repay it on time.

37. Find Cheaper Auto Insurance

Compare rates from different auto insurers to save money each month. There are now websites that allow you to compare several insurers simultaneously.

38. Don’t Splurge on Payday

It’s common for people to splurge after getting paid — don’t be one of them. Don’t let your income burn a hole in your wallet, as this will prevent you from saving money for the future. Instead, always ask yourself if you really need to buy.

Ways to Save Money at Home

Save on Groceries

39. Plan Meals

Decide what you’re going to prepare for the family for the entire week. This money-saving tip helps you budget better and reduces the amount of time spent shopping.

40. Don’t Shop Hungry

Avoid shopping when you’re hungry as you’ll end up buying too much food. Hunger drives people to purchase more food, as well as buy non-food items.

41. Buy in Bulk

Buying items in bulk is one way to save money at home, as it’s cheaper than buying in smaller amounts. Just make sure to check the expiry dates of the items.

42. Buy Produce In-Season

Another clever way to save money on groceries is to choose fruits and vegetables in season. You can save more if you buy fresh produce grown close to home.

43. Use Frozen Veg

Buying frozen vegetables is one of our top 10 brilliant money-saving tips. Frozen vegetables are more affordable than fresh fruits and vegetables and last longer.

44. Care For Herbs

Store herbs with stems submerged in water inside your fridge. This simple hack extends the lifespan of the herbs and keeps the leaves in tip-top condition.

45. Grow a Garden

If you have sufficient space around your home, consider growing a garden. Many fruits and vegetables are easy to grow, perfect for beginners or those who don’t have a green thumb.

46. Compare Grocery Prices

Visiting different grocery stores to compare prices is an excellent way to save money. If you want to get the best deals, you might even have to commit to shopping at several stores regularly.

Save on Utilities

47. Update Old Appliances

Using older appliances can consume up to 66% more energy than newer models. Save money on your utility bills by investing in newer, more energy-efficient appliances.

48. Change Old Lights

Switch incandescent lights around your home with LED bulbs. LED bulbs only use about 10 to 15 watts, while incandescent light bulbs use about 60 watts of electricity.

49. Replace Your Showerhead

Another way to save money at home is to swap out your old showerhead with a newer model. This will cut down wastewater without compromising your shower experience.

50. Have Your HVAC Serviced

Hire a professional to check your HVAC system regularly. This ensures the efficiency of your HVAC system at home and prevents minor issues from causing higher utility bills. 

51. Repair Leaks

Once you notice leaks at home, whether it’s in the faucet, dishwasher, or toilet, have professionals repair them immediately. The average leak in the household can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted annually.

52. Install Solar Panels

If you’re looking for a brilliant way to save money long-term, invest in solar panels. Using solar panels to power your home could save you as much as 90% or more on your utility bills.

Save on Entertainment

53. Unsubscribe From Services

Check on your subscriptions and cut those you haven’t used for at least a month. Paying for video streaming services, dating apps, and meal kits can dent your budget.

54. Go Outside

Spending time outside is a great way to entertain yourself and the entire family. You can organize a scavenger hunt, play with chalk, or enjoy a treasure hunt with the kids!

55. Visit Parks and Recreation Centers

To save money at home and still have fun, visit parks and recreation centers. These places offer plenty of options for entertainment, like basketball courts, tennis courts, skate parks, and playgrounds. You can also visit nearby parks to hike, camp, or have picnics.

Consistency Counts When Saving Money

Saving money doesn’t require you to make drastic changes in your lifestyle. As mentioned, you just need to be consistent to reap the rewards from your efforts.


What is the 50-30-20 rule for saving money?

After taxes, you should divide your monthly income into 50% for essential needs, 30% for wants, and 20% for paying debts or emergency funds.

What is the 70-30-10 rule on money?

Under this rule, 70% of your monthly income goes to living expenses, 20% goes to paying debts or savings if you don’t have debts, and 10% goes to your “fun bucket” or things that you want.

How can I save $1,000 a month?

You can save $1,000 a month if you consistently make a weekly menu, buy in bulk, use generic products, and pay off credit card debts early. Finding a carpool to save on gas and selling items you don’t need also help.

What is the fastest way to save $10,000?

Creating and sticking to a realistic budget can help you save $10,000 fast.

What are some unusual ways to save money?

Some unusual but effective ways to save money are cutting cable, cooking more meals at home, and unsubscribing from emails. You can also try the 30-day no-spend challenge, where you only spend money on essentials like rent, utilities, and groceries.

What’s the 30-30-30-10 rule?

This rule suggests that 30% of your income should go to housing, 30% to necessities, 30% to your financial goals, and 10% goes to wants.

Related: 100 Ways To Save Money Fast.

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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances. You can read his full author bio.

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