It's easy to let your spending get out of control with the high costs of living these days.  After taxes, housing costs, transportation, and food, there's usually not much left for all the other things you need.

Fortunately there are a number of ways to significantly reduce your expenses.  Here are some of the top resources we use to get stuff cheaper...

Rebates & Rewards

Ebates:  This is one of the best hidden secrets online.  If you're not familiar with Ebates, it's a simple concept - they give you a cash rebate of up to 25% on purchases at over 600 stores.  And if you use this link, you also get $10 back on your first purchase.

MyPoints:  This is similar to Ebates, but they pay you in points which get redeemed for Amazon gift cards (or other retailers).  They also provide points for other things like taking surveys, playing games, etc.  Get a $10 Amazon Card with your first purchase through our link.

Swagbucks:  Another service that pays you back in gift cards for doing things online like searching the web, playing games, and taking surveys.  Allison does all her online searches with Swagbucks and earns passive income this way.  And get a $5 Bonus if you sign up with our link.

Free Stuff

Nextdoor:  This social network connects you with other people in your neighborhood.  It's not only a great resource for learning about what's happening in your area, but also for getting and giving away stuff you no longer need.  We've used it to get everything from small furniture to cat food.

Freecycle:  This network was specifically created as a place to give away things so they can be reused and not thrown into landfill.  It's a great community and resource, and one that we've used it for many years.

Craigslist:  Everyone knows about Craigslist for buying and selling, but they also have a Free Stuff category.  We don't use it as much as Nextdoor or Freecycle, because those are smaller more intimate communities.  But Craigslist can give you access to a larger audience and selection of goods.  Just watch out for scams and sketchy posts.

Coupon Sites

RetailMeNot:  This is probably the largest coupon site on the Internet, with over 500,000 coupons on 50,000 online stores.  If there's a coupon available for a product, you're most likely going to find here.

Groupon:  We use Groupon mainly for things like restaurants, massages, and yoga classes.  It's a great way to try new places while paying a fraction of the regular cost.

Coupons.com:  This is a great place to look to get printable coupons for household goods like toiletries, cleaning supplies, snacks, pet food, etc.

LivingSocial:  This is another daily deal site like Groupon that offers big discounts on things like restaurants and health & fitness.  We use LivingSocial in addition to Groupon to broaden the selection of offers.

Notes / Disclaimers:

  1. The terms listed above are subject to change.  Always double-check the information on the company's website.
  2. Some of the links above are affiliate links.  If you sign up through one of the affiliate links we may get a small referral fee.  Please know, however, that we never base our recommendations on whether there is an affiliate offer.