5 Simple Ways To Save Money: You Probably Have Never Read This Hint Before!
Ok so it's actually more like 5 different categories, but who is counting? Without fail, I see tons of lists that tell people how to save money and there are some very useful hints and tricks, but often times the simple things are over looked. Just as a general piece of advice: always ask yourself "Is this a want or a need?", you would be surprised at how much you can actually talk yourself out of buying. My other general concepts tend to stray from the rest of the pack, but they have been working for me for quite awhile, and hopefully they will work for you as well!
Host Dinner Parties!
Plan a weekly feast! But wait how will this save you money you might ask? It's simple really, set aside at least one day a week and offer to have over friends and family for dinner. Often times dinner doesn't need to be a big elaborate meal, but if you think about it, doubling a recipe to feed a few more mouths, or adding an extra pork chop or two won't add a great deal to your budget. Remember to ask guests to bring their own drinks. (Huge savings since you aren't buying sodas for everyone) Pasta night are even a great success, and are even cheaper yet. Now make a game out of it…. Invite everyone over and encourage them to bring coupons with them to do a coupon swap. Your costs are only increased by a bit, but hopefully you'll have some coupons to trade which could lead to more savings. In addition if you misjudge the amount of food to prepare, you may just have landed lunch for the next day. If your idea catches on, you can rotate locations with friends, or they might just have meal night another day of the week you could participate in.
Grocery Bill Relief
Yes buying in bulk is a great money saver, but many people are afraid to take the plunge and drop down $30 or more dollars on an annual membership to Sams, Costco, or BJs. In our area we use Sams for cheaper gas which pays for itself over the course of the year, and be buy in bulk as well. A secret to this is "going in" with other families. Lets face it, that 50 lb bag of rice that you want to buy is a great deal, but not if you have to throw most of it away because it goes bad. In many instances we have bought food staples in bulk, and split the cost with a friend or relative. You still get the benefit of the "economies of scale" and you don't have to store food like crazy. We also tend to buy items by the case. For example pork loins and chicken breasts. What is already an awesome price is made even better with pricing by the case. It may seem like it's expensive, but again go in with fiends so you don't have an entire pig stuck in your freezer for months on end. Pork loins can be easily butchered at home to make roasts, and pork chops at a fraction of the price of individual cuts. Your doing the labor yourself so the savings gets passed along.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?
Aside from the obvious of subscribing to Netflix or Hulu, start your own list of movies or shows that you want to watch. You can call it your "Non-Net Flix List". Sounds like a strange idea but think about it, make a list of all the entertainment desires and rank them. If you have more than one person in the house make copies for the Mrs. to keep in her purse and one for your o keep in your wallet. Now start finding entertainment on the cheap! Now that you have your list, start checking out amazon.com for used videos. If there is a surplus of any particular item, sellers often times sell them for $.01. That's right a penny plus shipping. You can get a DVD shipped right to your door in some cases for $3.00 or less depending on the weight of the item. In some cases this is cheaper than actually renting the movie on demand through your cable provider, or even streaming options through various web resources. You also get the added bonus of actually owning them item as well as being able to resell it either online or at a yard sale. Of course you also have the automated kiosks like Blockbuster and RedBox, but be careful! If you don't return the movie the next day then you might wind up paying more than you would purchasing it or streaming it online.
- Free Online Based Budgeting Program & Phone Application from Mint.com
Using a free web service, you can view all of your accounts in one single place. Car loans, student loans, checking accounts, mortgages, almost anything. STOP going to each individual site. WIth Mint you'll get a clear snapshot of your entire financi
- Mint - Personal Finance, Budgeting, Money Management, Financial Management, Money Manager, Budget Pl
Manage your budget with easy to use personal finance tools and calculators. Track spending and monitor your online banking account. Free to get started.
Big Brother Style Tracking
Go high tech! I see so many people say to use cash only, that way when your budget is gone it's gone… Well I'm of the exact opposite mentality. My wife and I use Mint.com to track all of our expenses, which give a quick snapshot of all of your bank, credit, or other financial resources (just not cash). We have found that since we each get alerts regarding spending habits, we are more accountable for our purchases. It's almost the mentality of "I better not stop at McDonald's or the wife will get a text message!". Its just a deterrent to high spending, the more you are aware of your purchasing habits, the easier it will be to change them. Another eye opener is to actually calculate your purchases based on month and year. It's obviously much, much easier if you use electronic banking, but add up all of your tips to fast food joints over the past month, or even year and see how much it is. I bet you could probably buy a brand new flat screen TV or even paid an extra month's rent with that money. Shocking isn't it?
- SourceForge - Download, Develop and Publish Free Open Source Software
Free, secure and fast downloads from the largest Open Source applications and software directory - SourceForge.net
May The Source Be With You!
Ok so it's a corny reference, but in particular I mean SourceForge. This web group actually encourages the development of free software for a number of PC environments. Did you know that is a free alternative to Windows? How about a no cost productive suite like Microsoft Office? That's right SourceForge.net has everything from office software to games, to utilities that will help trim your computer budget. It's not like the old days of shareware, but instead software that is community developed, and available free of charge. If you can think of it, odds are there is a solution for it on SourceForge. It almost like having a free app store at your disposal.