It is not all that difficult to save money. You will need to make some compromises, gain control over your spending and resist the temptation to spend money unnecessarily. Without eliminating the necessities of daily living and an occasional treat now and then, there are many things you can do to save money, all relatively painless.
10 ways to save money:
1. Save on groceries
Start with your monthly grocery bill. You can eat well, prepare nutritious meals and still cut back considerably on your grocery bill. Buy on sale as often as possible. Use in-store, newspaper and online coupons. If you have a large family, get a membership to a discount food warehouse and buy in bulk. Avoid buying items you don’t need just because they are on sale. Rather than buying expensive cuts of meat, buy chicken, ground meat and turkey to stretch your grocery dollars.
2. Use your leftovers
Avoid waste. Make good use of your leftovers and get the most out of your food purchases. Cook up a delicious turkey or meatloaf for Sunday dinner and then enjoy the leftovers in sandwiches or a hearty soup later in the week.
3. Brown-bag it
Use some of those leftovers for your lunch at work. Brown-bagging is an easy way to save money. Buying lunch at the cafeteria, the food truck or the local fast-food restaurant can get quite costly. Also avoid buying $4.00 mugs of coffee and make your own.
4. Reduce commuter expenses
If you commute a considerable distance to work, look into mass transit or car pooling. You will save a lot of money on gasoline and reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle. You will also get a chance to relax and socialize and actually enjoy the commute.
5. Decrease heating and electric bills
There are many things you can do to reduce your energy and electric bills. Turn lights off when leaving a room. Unplug appliances when not in use. Use a clothesline instead of a dryer. Have your heating system upgraded to maximum efficiency. Make sure your home is well-insulated. Check for leaks and drafts around the doors and windows. Don’t blast the heat in winter or the air conditioning in summer. Warm winter clothing and light summer clothing will help.
6. Ask about package deals
Contact your cell phone, landline, cable and internet providers. Ask about the most economical bundle that meets your needs. Ask them what they can do to lower your monthly bill. Many companies offer reduced plans to keep their customers from switching providers. It never hurts to ask.
7. Buy on sale
Take advantage of end-of-season sales for everything from clothing, sports equipment, major appliances and bedding to motor vehicles. Most stores have major sales at the end of each season to clear out and make room for new inventory. After-Christmas sales often give 75% off left-over holiday merchandise. Many stores have huge Presidents’ Day and July 4th sales on a variety of merchandise. Watch for sales and check the newspapers for store coupons.
8. Buy second-hand
Second-hand and gently used clothing, furniture and housewares come a lot cheaper than new merchandise. There has been a huge surge in the number of consignment shops, thrift shops and used furniture stores opening in many areas. With today’s tight economy, more and more people are turning to second-hand shopping as their first choice.
9. Don’t charge
Always pay by cash or check whenever possible. Avoid using your credit card unless you plan on paying the entire bill when it comes due. Minimum credit card payments and finance charges quickly add up and are such a waste of money. Also, limit yourself to one credit card only and use it sparingly.
10. Eliminate impulse shopping
If you can’t afford it and you don’t need it, don’t buy it. If you can’t resist the urge and you do buy a frivolous item, take it home and think about it for a few days. Don’t remove the price tag. Once the initial thrill of buying the item has passed, you may decide you don’t need it after all and you can return it to the store.
Saving money is not all that difficult to do. You will be surprised at how much you can save by cutting back here and there on your daily and monthly expenses. You can save a lot of money using coupons, avoiding waste, buying on sale and buying second-hand. With wise and thrifty spending, controlling the urge for impulse buying and cutting back on unnecessary expenses, you can easily save a substantial amount of money.