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Ways to Save Money in Retirement

Updated on August 20, 2016
Austinstar profile image

L. Cargill, B.A., Sam Houston University, Huntsville, TX., has been writing cool and interesting articles for the internet world since 1995.

How to Save Money by Being Homeless

Being Homeless is a Great Way to Save Money! But only if you live in Hawaii or some other paradise.
Being Homeless is a Great Way to Save Money! But only if you live in Hawaii or some other paradise. | Source

Plans For Retirement

Oh sure, everyone plans for retirement these days, but once you actually do retire, you will have to have some backup plans to save money. That fixed income thing is a real challenge when the price of everything isn't fixed at your retirement rate.

There are many ways to save money during your retirement. Some of these tricks can even be attempted when you are not yet retired. So put on your thinking cap and let's explore ways to save and ways to earn money during your hard earned non-working days.

I'm going to get real creative and suggest things you may not like. Some of these money saving tricks are even gross, but heck, you have to do what you have to do. Hopefully, you will be inspired to leave a comment or two about your own creative ways to save money.

Save Those Coins!

gold coins
gold coins | Source

Ways to Save Money Around the Home

Being homeless might not be too bad if you live somewhere like Hawaii. In fact, there are about 6,000 homeless people enjoying the beach bum life for around $3.00 a day. That's what it costs for a bed with three free meals a day at the Sumner Homeless Men's Shelter in downtown Honolulu. This seems to be especially popular for homeless single men.

If you can't or won't get a ticket to go be homeless in paradise, there are still some interesting ways to save money around the home:

  1. Sell your big house and buy or rent a little one. Very few retired people actually need a five bedroom, 3.5 bath McMansion with a two or three car garage.
  2. Sell all but one of your vehicles. Switch to a scooter if all you do is make short trips This will result in a huge savings!
  3. Evaluate all of your insurance policies and get rid of the ones you don't need and shop for really cheap ones available for retired people. Raise your deductible on the remaining policies to get some really decent savings!
  4. Call all of your utility companies and ask for retirement discounts. The telephone companies are going to really want to keep your business even if it means only getting $10 a month for a 'pay as you go' cell phone service. Cable companies sometimes offer really steep discounts if you threaten to quit them and just get the old free air wave broadcasts. Electricity and water companies are not so quick to offer discounts, but your state may offer help to pay these bills if you are now in a low income group.
  5. eBay is going to be your friend. You can rustle up quite a bit of cash by selling all those dust catchers, old jewelry and collectible items you've been packing away for years.
  6. Develop a hobby that you can make online money with. Lots of home made items are in demand. Check out Etsy and similar sites.

Savings Totals

Savings Method
Potential Savings Over Time
Sell house, buy small one
(or more)
Sell all but one car
(or more)
Evaluate Insurance
$5,000 per year
Discount Utilities
$1,000 per year
eBay, Etsy, online income
$1,000 per year

Money Savings Tips in the Kitchen

The kitchen is the most expensive place in your home. Groceries, appliances, cooking, utility costs and kitchen furniture will eat up a lot of your retirement funds. Follow these tips to save money in the most used room in the house.

  1. Learn to use coupons. There are so many coupon clubs on the internet now that you should never have to pay full price for anything. These little pieces of paper can add up to real savings.
  2. Buy cheap groceries. The store brands are just as good and sometimes better than more expensive name brands.
  3. Buy cheap cuts of meat and learn to use a slow cooker. This alone will save you a ton of money. Make more stews and soups and freeze the leftovers to save even more. You can cook almost anything in a slow cooker
  4. If you have to replace a kitchen appliance, make sure you look for "seconds" and energy savers. I paid $700 dollars less for a new energy saving refrigerator just because it had a small dent in one of the handles. No one notices that dent, but I noticed the savings!
  5. Repair your kitchen furniture instead of buying new stuff. Just because one of the legs is scraped or wobbly doesn't mean you have to throw it out.
  6. Go through your kitchen cabinets and find everything you haven't used for a year or more and either sell it or donate it to charity. You never have to cook fancy stuff again when you are retired.
  7. Stay in and cook a good meal instead of going out to dinner or lunch. You can splurge on a steak once in a while if you cook it instead of going out to a steak house.
  8. Cleaning supplies must go! Buy one all around appliance cleaner spray and get rid of the others. You will probably save enough to hire a cleaning service once every six months or so.

Savings Totals

Savings Method
Potential Savings Over Time
$50 per week, $2,600 per year
Cheaper Groceries
$30 per week, $1,500 per year
Cheap cuts of meat
$10 per week, $520 per year
Replace an appliance
$700 per year
Sell old cookware on eBay
Cook a steak at home
$40 per month, $480 per year
Use simple cleaning supplies
$10 per week, $520 per year
Approximate savings:

Where to Save Money

Develop the mindset of saving money wherever you go or DON'T go. By now you know how much money you spend at your favorite restaurants. So, go to Chili's or Bob's Seafood instead of Longhorn Steak House. You get the social engagement without the high prices. The food is just as good, so why not check out some cheaper local places rather than the big chains?

  1. Drop your gym memberships. Only keep up club dues to places you truly enjoy and frequent. If you play golf every day, it makes sense. If you belong to a gym and never actually go, why are you giving them money?
  2. Vacations are really expensive. Instead of "going" somewhere to vacation, look up the great things to see and do in your own location. The Texas Hill country has wineries, bed and breakfasts, lake home rentals, hunting leases, theme parks, caves and many other things to enjoy. Look around where you live and figure out, "Where do tourists like to go around here?" Plan a 'home' vacation once in a while and save big bucks.
  3. Check out local thrift stores and pawn shops. If you have a shopping habit, these places will really shock you with bargains. Learn the fine art of haggling and save even more.

Savings Totals

Savings Method
Potential Savings
Drop Gym dues
$360 per year
Stay at home vacation
$5,000 per yearly vacation
Use local bargain stores
$1,000 per year

How Can I Save Money?

Ok, this is the part I warned you against. Some of these methods are gross, but will really save you money in the long run.

  1. Practice water conservation. "If it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down." (see quiz below) Guess which movie this was quoted from! Not only should you only flush about half the time, you should also invest in a low flow toilet.
  2. Practice more water conservation. When you are retired, you don't really have to shower every day. Well, you do if not doing so makes you feel really gross. But try skipping a day once in a while. You will save on water, soap and shampoo!
  3. Practice even more water conservation. Now that you are retired, you do not have to wash your clothes as often. This saves on water, detergent, electricity and wear and tear on the clothes. Get a clothes line and hang the wash out to dry. It's good for you and your clothes. Bonus savings - no more dry cleaning bills.
  4. Save on utilities. Turn off the lights! Dress up in old clothes when it's cold instead of turning up the thermostat. If it's hot, well, get rid of most everything you wear.
  5. Quit your bad habits. Smoking is one of the most expensive habits you can have. Not only will you be much healthier when you quit smoking, you will save about $2,000 a year! More if you count not getting lung cancer as a monetary benefit.
  6. Clean out your closet and stop buying expensive clothes. You don't need office attire anymore. You don't need your wedding dress anymore. You don't need those clothes you are never going to fit into again. Sell them on eBay or give them away.

Savings Totals

Savings Method
Potential Savings
Water conservation #1
$100 per year
Water conservation #2
$100 per year
Cut back on utilities
$500 per year
Quit smoking
$2,000 per year
Cut clothing budget
$1,000 per year

Basic Rules for Saving Money

*****Don't spend it!*****

Decide on the things you actually need and save for the things you really want so you can pay cash for those.

Learn to distinguish between wants and needs. Learn to budget for "nice to haves".

Never buy things on credit unless it is a true emergency and then pay it back immediately!

Savings During Retirement

Post this reminder of how much money you can save!
Post this reminder of how much money you can save! | Source

© 2012 Lela

Comments - What are your money saving secrets?

Submit a Comment
  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    ketchup soup may be a dish we'll all be eating some day.

  • Kaili Bisson profile image

    Kaili Bisson 

    6 years ago from Canada

    Love your tips. And nevermind the hot sauce, my mother used to tell me about eating ketchup soup during the depression, so I'm going to start collecting all those little packets....

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    Thanks TT! I found another one this weekend. You can visit TacoHell and get all your hot sauce for free! That's going to save me about $20 per year!

  • TToombs08 profile image

    Terrye Toombs 

    6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

    lol you have some mighty fine money saving tips, Austinstar! Some I could live with...others...not so much. :) Voted up and more!

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    Awww, Christopher, you are worth quite a bit in body parts alone! But your intact personality is worth even more. If a cat loves you then you are worth a bundle!

  • christopheranton profile image

    Christopher Antony Meade 

    6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

    To answer your question, not a lot?

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    Exactly! In fact, I went to Fokk U to research some of these tips! Fabulous library they have there. Real books and everything. And here's another money saving tip - Use libraries instead of buying books!

    Congratulations on getting the answer right :-)

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    6 years ago from south Florida

    So many excellent savings tips, Lela. Congratulate me. I answered the quiz question correctly. You may have spelled it Fokkers instead of Fockers since you were thinking of Fokk U. Right?

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    OMG, I misspelled Fockers! It's Meet the Fockers, not Fokkers. Carp, so much for being a know it all.

    Right now, I would love to just pick up and move to Mexico. I could sell my double wide and go live in a hippie van. Unfortunately, the drive down there would probably kill me.

    Bob is like that, won't leave anything electric running. I'm glad we don't have to fool with gas.

    I'm still working on feeding the two of us (plus the animals) for less than 10 bux a day!

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    How can I fail a one question Quiz? LOL I did! Never saw that movie!

    Woman we are not gonna be saving money by not going on vacations! haha We have one in like 3 months? YAY!

    I do save every penny I can by not paying for junk I don't want to spend them on. Electric - I never have anything on - unless it is being used. No lights that run for 24/7 (just cameras!).

    I budget meals too by making sure I can use ingredients that have as much flavor without the price tags. I can make several meals for a family of 5 for under 10 bucks!

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    Gosh, Mo, I quite buying deodorant years ago! If you don't like the way I smell, well then, I guess you should stop breathing :-)

    My dentist says we don't need toothpaste either. Just brushing with water or a little baking soda will do the trick.

    I will add a recipe for laundry soap. You are right. It's easy to make!

    Christoper - Maybe the landlady should sell the house. How much are you worth?

    Josh - Actually, this hub went pretty fast since I'm really trying most of these suggestions myself. I'm in the apprentice program here at HP and it is really helping me write better and better hubs. You should go and sign up to get in the program. It's very thorough.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    This was great, Austin! We try lots of this stuff in our house, since we're sort of in the early retirement game. I'll add a couple that I've been doing for a long time!

    Don't throw your deodorant away until you've scraped out the last little bit with a Qtip. There are at least two more uses after you think you're done with it.

    Cut your toothpaste tubes open and scrape out what's on the inside before you throw them out. There's a lot in there that we can't squeeze out.

    Make your own laundry soap. There are lots of recipes to be found online. No fancy perfumey smells, but genuine cleaning power.

  • christopheranton profile image

    Christopher Antony Meade 

    6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

    Everything there is sensible but I don't think my landlady would like it if I sold the house.

    Great article. Voted up.

  • josh3418 profile image

    Joshua Zerbini 

    6 years ago from Pennsylvania


    This is a very useful hub! Very informative with great tips on how to save money! Thanks Austinstar, it looks like this hub took quite some time!

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    Thank you for stopping by and contributing to my retirement piggy bank via HubPages :-)

    Most of these I figured out on my own, but I did do a little research.


  • greeneryday profile image


    6 years ago from Some tropical country

    What an interesting yet challenging ways of saving money for retirement, I could not even think a more creative actions than what you have written in this hub. The idea of being homeless in Hawaii is really hilarious but I might give it a try if I don't have a family, so I would go for the other options. Thanks for writing such an inspiring and entertaining hub. Voted up for awesome!


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