29 Bucket List Goals That Can Actually Save You Money

There are plenty of ways to save money, but the trick for me was finding the ones that can also be motivating, healthy or just plain fun so it seems like I am not sacrificing too much. An easy way to do this is by turning your bucket list goals into saving techniques. For example, learning to cook doesn’t only save money on dining out, but could also lead to a romantic homemade dinner at home with your spouse.

Here are some of my common bucket list ideas that can actually help to put a little extra money in your bank account while still having fun and putting checkmarks next to your goals.

29 Goals That Save You Money

Potentially Save Money With These Goals

1. Attend a Random Free Seminar

For me, attending a random free seminar is like going to the world’s weirdest buffet—you never know what you’re going to get, but you might walk away with gaining some type of knowledge that will help save you money in the long run.

2. Bake a Loaf of Bread

Here’s a knead-to-know skill that pays for itself in the long run – baking bread. With a few simple ingredients and a bit of patience, you can whip up artisanal-level bread for a fraction of the cost of store-bought loaves. Plus, there’s something deeply satisfying about slicing into a warm, homemade loaf that no store-bought bread can match.

3. Be a Hair Model

Many student stylists are in need of mane models to practice their skills on. If you are adventurous with your hair, contact a local cosmetology school for a cheap cut.

Annette as hair model

4. Buy a Cute Outfit at a Second Hand Store

Yep, this was actually on my bucket list (and I succeeded!). Thrifting is a great way to find one-of-a-kind clothes, plus save some money. What’s more, there’s an undeniable thrill in the hunt, the possibility of stumbling upon a one-of-a-kind gem that nobody else will have. Now that’s a win for me!

5. Catch, Cook & Eat a Fish

By catching, cooking, and eating a fish, you can skip the cost of the grocery store and treat yourself to the freshest seafood imaginable. The satisfaction of eating a meal you worked for is unmatched, and hey, fishing stories are always the best kind of bragging rights.

Annette catch a fish

6. Create Your Own Beauty Product

Homemade facials, deodorants and shampoos can be made using products found in your kitchen cabinet for a fraction of the cost as purchasing them at the store. You can check out the video of me making a homemade beauty product (a billion years ago!) and see Brit + Co’s 15 Homemade Beauty Products for inspiration.

7. Create Your Own Cocktail

Forgo the pricey cocktails at the trendy bars and start creating your own adult beverages at home. This would be even more fun by throwing a BYOB cocktail creation party and getting to sample all your friends’ libations.

If you’re not the best at creating drinkable concoctions, you can check these 10 tips on how to make a great cocktail. Or base your drink after one of the 100 Classic Cocktails.

Create Your Own Cocktail

8. Drink only water for a week

Committing to drinking only water for a week might sound like a tall glass to swallow, but trust me, the benefits are worth it. Expect a glowing complexion thanks to increased hydration, sharper mental focus as your brain gets the H2O it craves, and a surprising boost in energy levels. Plus, your wallet will be happy too – no more overpriced lattes or fancy bottled water to drain your funds.

9. Eat at a Food Truck

If you have a hankering to go out to eat, trendy wheeled eateries and food truck events are popping up all over the world. Their popularity has spread far from the city of Portland, where they are uber popular, so you can get your fix almost anywhere. These pint sized restaurants provide an inexpensive and social alternative to fine dining.

Food Truck

10. Go a Week Without Makeup

For some, going anywhere without a stitch of makeup for a week is a challenge. At 20 bucks a pop for many makeup products, even a week without using them will save you a little money, plus you’ll be saving lots of time. I took the “Go a Week Without Makeup” challenge while in Costa Rica, and it certainly was liberating.

Go a Week Without Makeup

11. Go Clamming

Clamming isn’t just a fun outdoor activity—it’s a budget-friendly way to score some tasty seafood while enjoying nature’s playground. Picture yourself knee-deep in the sand, hunting for buried treasure like a modern-day pirate. Not only will you walk away with a bucket full of clams, but you’ll also save a bundle compared to buying them at the store.

TIP: Check your state’s regulations first for information on bag limits, size requirements, and any special permitting needs.

12. Go Oyster Hunting

Another shellfish adventure you can try is oyster hunting. This maritime pursuit is a budget-friendly way to satisfy your seafood cravings while enjoying some quality time in nature. Armed with a shucking knife and a love for the ocean, you’ll uncover a world of flavor just waiting to be explored — all without draining your wallet dry.

TIP: Just like clamming, be sure to check your state’s regulations regarding oyster hunting.

Go Oyster Hunting

13. Hunt for Wild Mushrooms

Looking for wild mushrooms is like going on an adventure where you could be rewarded with a tasty treat. But, it’s important to be careful and know what you’re doing! Learn about which mushrooms are not dangerous to eat, and if you’re not sure, it’s better to err on the side of caution just to be safe.

Hunt for Wild Mushrooms

14. Knit a Scarf

Why buy a scarf when you can knit one yourself? It’s the ultimate DIY project that’ll save you money and earn you major creativity points. With just a few basic stitches, you can create a masterpiece that’s as unique as you are. Plus, knitting is a great way to relax and unwind after a long day—consider it therapy for your wallet and your soul!

15. Learn to Cook

With online cooking websites and YouTube videos, learning to cook is easier than ever before. Plus, if you spend just $10 a day on dining out, it would equal roughly $300 per month. Cooking at home can cut this expense in half affording you a plane ticket anywhere in the world in under a year. Now that’s incentive! 

If you’re a complete novices, here are a couple websites to help you:

16. Make a Handmade Gift

Upcycle old jars for personalized planters, decorate plain notebooks with fabric scraps, or whip up a batch of bath bombs with natural ingredients. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be giving new life to pre-loved items.

17. Make Cheese

Cheese: glorious, melty, and oh-so-expensive at the supermarket. But what if I told you that you could create your own (gourmet) cheeses for a fraction of the cost? A gallon of milk can transform into a batch of ricotta, leaving you with whey for smoothies and pancakes (double the bang for your buck!). 

While it may initially require some investment in equipment and might involve a few failed attempts, once you get the hang of it, cheesemaking is a skill that will pay dividends in the long run.

18. Make Fresh Pasta

Say arrivederci to store-bought pasta and buongiorno to homemade goodness! Making fresh pasta is a budget-friendly way to channel your inner Italian nonna and impress your dinner guests. With just a few simple ingredients like flour, eggs, and a dash of patience, you can whip up restaurant-quality pasta that’ll have everyone asking for seconds. 

19. Make Ice Cream

Whipping up a batch of homemade ice cream can cost a lot less than the store-bought versions. Plus, you get to control the sugar content – hello, guilt-free indulgence!

20. Make Jam

Store-bought jams often pack more sugar than fruit, and with a hefty price tag. But what if you could create jars of delicious, all-natural jam for a fraction of the cost? Making your own jam is easier than you think, and it lets you control the sweetness and ingredients. I make a mean kumquat-thyme jam with fruit picked right from our tree. It makes enough for the entire year!

21. Plan a Clothing Swap

Instead of expensive apparel shopping at a boutique, plan a clothing swap with your friends. You can each bring ten lightly used items from your closet and take home a new wardrobe from theirs.

22. Read a Classic

When was the last time you read a classic that was on your high school required reading list? You can download many of them for free on Amazon in their Kindle Store or go to your local thrift store to check the dollar bin.

TIP: If you’re not sure which one to read, check out my Classic Books Bucket List: 25 of the Best Must-Read Novels.

23, Refinish a Piece of Furniture

Whether you’re sanding down an old coffee table to reveal its natural beauty or giving a tired dresser a fresh coat of stain, refinishing furniture is an affordable way to elevate your décor and unleash your inner interior designer. 

24. Run in a Charity Race

Cancel the expensive gym membership and get your friends together to do some outdoor training for a charity run. You will be getting into shape for free, while enjoying the fresh air and bonding with pals. You can go to the Running in the USA website that lists upcoming races nationwide. 

25. Sew Something You Can Wear

Channel your inner fashion icon – but on a budget! Sewing your own clothes lets you create unique pieces that reflect your personal style, all without breaking the bank. Fabric is often cheaper by the yard than buying pre-made garments, and you get the satisfaction of wearing something nobody else will have. 

26. Sleep in a Hostel

Forget expensive luxury hotels—hostels are where budget travelers and social butterflies collide. Bunk up with fellow adventurers from around the globe, swap travel stories over breakfast, and save a lot of money. 

27. Start an Herb Garden

Buying those tiny little packets of herbs at the grocery store can get expensive. Instead find a cheap (or free) container and make your own herb garden. You don’t need a lot of space and the vessel can be anything from a wooden crate to a mason jar to an old tire.

Here’s a few sites that can help you out:

28. Throw a Theme Party Potluck

Instead of going out to a pricey dinner with your best friends, plan a potluck party at your home. You could even make it destination themed where each guest brings one traditional dish or drink from that country. Use one of our many Food Bucket Lists to design the menu!

29. Walk 10,000 Steps a Day

It has been said that walking 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) a day is recommended for optimal health, but it can also save bunches of money on filling your gas tank or taking the bus. Instead of hopping on public transportation or in your car, hoof it to your destination whenever possible.

Walk 10,000 Steps a Day

Do you have any goals on your bucket list that will save you money?

Pursuing bucket list goals that also have the potential to save you money offers a win-win scenario. Whether it’s mastering a new skill, exploring the great outdoors, or starting a journey towards a minimalist lifestyle, incorporating these budget-friendly bucket list goals can lead to a more financially fulfilling life.

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8 thoughts on “29 Bucket List Goals That Can Actually Save You Money”

  1. If you already have your list, take this opportunity to review it. See if there are new items you want to add-on. If so, add them in. Check if all the items listed are still relevant. If not, remove them.

  2. I find your bucketlist site interesting. I also take down notes about how making a bucketlist can improve my life. Thank you. I’m really hoping to fulfill my bucketlist also. ??


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Annette White the Owner of Bucket List Journey
Hey Bucket Listers!
I'm Annette.

I’m a goal obsessed mid-lifer, traveler, experience collector, fear crusher, digital marketer and author with big bucket list dreams. Let's Connect!

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