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10 Ways to Cut Spending and Save Money

Updated on October 1, 2008
shawna.wilson profile image

Shawna is a working wife and mom with a passion for achieving financial freedom. Her family is on track to be completely debt free by 2018!

Small changes here and there can add up to dollars in your pocket.
Small changes here and there can add up to dollars in your pocket.

With the economy the way it is today, cost of living seems to increase more and more each day. I'm always looking for new ways to cut spending and increase savings. The following tips won't save you thousands, but they might help you make ends meet if you're on a tight budget. Use these ideas to help you save a little extra each month. Then use the money you save to pay down debt or increase your savings.

  1. Cut your kids' or spouse's hair. A hair cutting kit will pay for itself after one haircut. Some even come with instructional DVDs. This can save you $15 or more per month, depending on the size of your family.
  2. Make your own cards. When birthdays and holidays roll around, pull out all those scrap booking supplies! Making cards is a quick and simple project that even the kids will enjoy. Not a scrap booker? Print a card on the computer. It will save you up to $5 each time.
  3. Floss your teeth everyday. Flossing prevents dental cavities, which can take a big bite out of your wallet. On top of that, recent studies have linked overall physical health to oral health. If you floss everyday, you will add an average of five years to your lifespan!
  4. Participate in product reward programs. There are many manufacturers out there that offer rewards for buying their products. My Coke Rewards, Pampers Gifts to Grow, La Victoria Rewards, and NatureMade Wellness Rewards are some examples. With these programs, you enter codes from product packages to earn points. When your balance grows, points can be redeemed for items in the reward catalog. Click here for more information about these and other great programs.
  5. Make your own baby food. Sure, those little jars are nice, but you pay a high price for convenience. One banana makes at least three servings of baby food at about a third of the cost of one jar. All you need is a blender or a mini food processor to puree the cooked veggies and fruits. Freeze the puree in an ice cube tray for easy serving. You'll save money and feel good about feeding your child fresh, preservative free foods.
  6. Examine your tax exemptions. Do you get a big tax refund every year? Think about increasing your exemptions so the money you used to get as a return is given to you throughout the year as part of your paycheck instead. Better to earn interest on the money during the year than give the government an interest free loan, right? Contact your employer's human resources department to make changes.
  7. Use the library. Libraries offer so much more than just books. Free classes are offered for children and adults. DVDs, even new releases, can be checked out at the library. Think about dropping your monthly DVD rental plan and using the library instead. This will save $10-$50 per month.
  8. Use the food you buy. Throwing away spoiled food is like tossing dollar bills into the trash can. I use the web to search for recipes that use ingredients I have in my refrigerator. If that head of cabbage is only going to last a few more days, I look for a great cole slaw recipe. If the date on the milk jug is approaching, I'll make milk shakes for the kids. I do whatever I can to avoid throwing away food.
  9. Don't buy bottled water. Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle. Not only will you save money each month, you will also help the environment.
  10. Shop around for better insurance premiums. I did this last year and was amazed at the savings. By changing my auto policy from State Farm to Geico, I saved over $700 per year! The gecko was right! I also changed our life and home owner's policies, saving over $400 per year. For the amount of time it took to get quotes and fill out paper work, the savings was well worth it.

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    • shawna.wilson profile imageAUTHOR

      shawna.wilson 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      RGraf-That's a great idea! I've never considered making dog food. I'll look into it!

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      We are beginning to make our own own pet food, too.

    • shawna.wilson profile imageAUTHOR

      shawna.wilson 

      10 years ago from Arizona

      Rochelle-Thanks for your comment. Homemade babyfood is great because I know exactly what ingredients go into it when I make it. No preservatives or other who-knows-what like the kind in the jars!

      Karen-I will have to check out mypoints.com. Thanks for the tip!

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 

      10 years ago from United States

      Good advice, mypoints.com also has a good rewards system. I've been a member for around six years now.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      10 years ago from California Gold Country

      Great suggestions!

      When my babies were small we never thought of making our own babyfood-- of course, it was cheaper then.

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