Tips to Save Money on Everyday Things
Why save money?
The price of everyday things is rising rapidly. Inflation rate is too high. Frugal living has become an intricate part of many of our lives. You can check the current inflation rates here. It is currently about 5% as of Jun 2008. Saving money has never been more important than in current economic conditions.
Saving money can look hard especially for middle class people because they want to enjoy the finer things in life at the same time trying to save money for future. Once the monthly bills including mortgages, rent, utilities, credit card dues, car loan payments are paid, you are left with nothing to save. However, by planning carefully and being aware of certain things, it is not that hard to save money on everyday things.
In this hub, I am not going to talk about saving for retirement, college education, 401K, IRA, etc. I will give you tips that you can use to cut down on common daily and monthly expenses.
Some tips for saving money on everyday things
1. Shopping at departmental stores: Always check out the clearance section first. I have seen many things that I really like and items that I was shopping for in the clearance section for a fraction of the original cost. Kohls has regular clearance sale at the end of each season when new load arrives. It is a great time to load up and you will save money.
2. Planning: Think about what you may need to buy in advance and keep a list. Every time you go for shopping, look out for those things if they are on sale. For example, if you are pregnant, if you find a lot of baby clothing on sale at Kohls, load them up. I bet you will use it soon for your lovely baby. I have bought many such clothing for $1 or so in advance when they had a clearance sale and saved a ton of money. If you wait till you really need it, you will be paying a hefty price for the same clothes.
3. Gifts: Be thoughtful of upcoming gifts you may need to give your loved ones. If you know your friend is going to have a housewarming party or a baby shower soon, start shopping for gifts right away to save money. Last minute shopping is almost always expensive and you could easily avoid it by a little planning.
4. Visit deals sites like www.slickdeals.net and deals2buy.com for the best price before you shop for specific items. You will know what other people are saving money on.
5. Reusable items: People need a lot of batteries these days for toys and stuff. Buy rechargable batteries and it will save you money in the long run.
6. Grocery shopping: Do not go for grocery shopping when you are hungry or stressed. I guarantee you will buy much more than you need and consequently spend more. Do not forget to use coupons. Subscribe to sunday newspaper and you will lots of coupons you could use to save money.
7. Warehouse membership: I have found it economical to buy things in bulk from membership based retailers like Costco or Sam's Club. Quality items at cheap prices. You can't beat that. I love the organic eggs, organic chicken, soy milk from Costco.
8. Use your Public library: Do you know how much you pay to support the public library in your area? If not, it is actually, uh-lot. So, why not use it? You can rent books to latest movies by placing an advance request. Save money by not spending it expensive movie tickets.
9. Insurance: This is not set-it and forget-it kinda thing. You should keep shopping for the best and least expensive auto insurance, homeowners insurance every few months. Check out my hub on how to get cheap auto insurance without sacrificing coverage. You can save hundreds of dollars each year just by doing this step carefully. Also, check out how to get cheap auto insurance for new drivers.
10. Dollar stores and thrifty shops: You could save a lot of money by shopping at dollar stores whenever possible. Not all dollar stores sell crappy products. Be careful about quality, but you will find great deals there. Gift bags, gift cards, aluminium foils, fun toys for kids are some examples.
11. Haircuts: If possible, do your own haircuts. This could be tricky. Use your own discretion.
12. Make your own passport photos: It is ridiculous to spend about $10 for just a couple of photos at your nearest drugstore. Check out my detailed hub for step by step instructions to create your own passport photos. I have saved a lot of money for myself and for my friends by doing this.
13. Save money on gas: Try to consolidate your shopping trips. Think about how much you will spending on gas for each trip everytime you start your ignition and decide if the trip is worth it.
14. Bank accounts: Make sure your money is working for you by depositing in the correct type of bank accounts. Just have what you need for your monthly expenses in your checking account and shelve the rest in a high yield money market account or a Certificate of Deposit (CD).
15. Car care: If you go to your car dealer for maintenance, you will be paying way too much for the same service if done by a outside mechanic or better yet, you can save a lot of money if you can do it yourself. Do some research on the internet and you will find solutions for most of common maintenance like changing wiper, oil change, filter change, battery change, fluid flush, etc.
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