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5 not so extreme ways to save money

Updated on February 13, 2012

Save Money

5 easy ways to save money on your household expenses
5 easy ways to save money on your household expenses

5 ways to keep household expenses low

Save money around the House

If you are anything like me, you may have noticed that the dollar doesn't go quite as far as it used to. I often read articles about extreme ways to save money, and while they are interesting, I find that I rarely apply these practices. In fact, I think when I do try to do some of these extreme money saving tips, I end up burning out and going back to my old ways. While I know I could save money by going around and picking up bottles out of the trash for the ten cent deposit. I don't necessarily feel that this is the best use of my time.

I hope that you will find my list simple and to the point, and most of all, easy enough to continue doing on a regular basis.

1. Save money by starting a Family Plan for your cell phones

There are lots of good family out there that can save you money. Even if you don't have a "family", you can start a shared plan with any of the larger providers out there. Ask your family and close friends when their current contracts are up and ask them if they would be interested in joining your plan if it could save them some money. Generally the greater number of people under the plan, the more savings, but you can start these plans with 2 or 3 people in most cases. This is a really nice way to decrease your monthly household expenses he only caveat here would be to make sure that the people you choose under your family plan are responsible enough to pay your bill (beware the phone freeloaders out there).

2. Save money by calling your cable company:

If you don't have Cable, good for you. You are already saving quite a bit of money right there. However, for those of us who relax after work by laying on the couch and enjoying the mindless entertainment produced on our television screens, there is still an opportunity to save money. You could easily call up the cable company and downgrade your current programming package. By giving up a couple of channels that you probably don't even watch a lot, you can save hundreds of dollars over the course of the year. If you are unwilling to give up your premium subscription channels, you can still save money by calling the cable company. Take 5 minutes looking through the mail, paper, or internet and find a competitor's advertisement. Then call your current cable company and let them know that you saw this ad for cheaper service and you are thinking about switching unless they would be willing to beat or match that offer. It may take some time (10-20 minutes) to get the answer you want, but if you can save $10 to $30 bucks a month, it will be well worth your time.

3. Save money by keeping up your family's personal hygiene

Medical debt is one of the largest causes of bankruptcy in the United States. Make sure you and your family are taking the time to do the simple things that cause disease. Take regular showers, brush your teeth at least twice a day, wash your hands after using the restroom, preparing food, touching unclean items, and before you eat. Also be sure that you are keeping your home clean to minimize any germs that like to hide out in the bathroom, floors, sheets and pillow cases. Finally, be sure that you are keeping up with your medical and dental appointments, because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

4. Save money by using the library

It may be nice to have a large collection of books or movies around the house, but how often are you really using them? I find that they tend to take up more space, and clutter areas that I would rather have neat. Instead of wasting your hard-earned money on books and movies, get a library card. Your public library has tons of great books, videos, and audio tapes/CD's, and best of all they are free. If you don't have a great library nearby, you can also keep household expenses low by using a service like Netflix to get videos at a lower price then buying them.

5. Save money with programmable thermostats

Most people leave their homes to go to work. Why pay to heat or cool your house while you are gone? Also, why bother heating your house to 72 degrees (Farenheit) while you and your family are sleeping. If you can make an initial investment to get a programmable thermostat, and maybe a couple of thick blankets for cold nights, you can save yourself quite a bit on utilities over the course of a year. Set the thermostat to go to your desired temperature about 15-30 minutes before you wake up, and set to shut off once everyone has left for the day. Set it back to the desired temperature again about 15-30 minutes before you arrive home. Finally, set the temperature to a slightly less comfortable level while you sleep (generally in the winter i set mine for 60 degrees)

There are many other ways to save yourself and your family a lot of money, but these are 5 quick and easy ideas that anyone should be able to follow.

Hopefully, this saves you some money on your household expenses for the year!


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    • MeanGreen profile image

      MeanGreen 6 years ago

      I love the library... always fun, i never can get the books or videos back on time though!

    • Crazy Mags profile image

      Crazy Mags 6 years ago

      I like the point about the library. Book stores became so big for a while that people just seemed to forget about them... including me. Since I have had a child, I have a new and enthusiastic appreciation for libraries and we are big library supporters.

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 6 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      In today's trying times, most of us could uses a few extra bucks at the end of the month. I have found that you can save quite a bit, by price shopping all your services. For example your insurance, dry cleaners, electric, phone, etc. Good writing voted up and useful.

    • MeanGreen profile image

      MeanGreen 6 years ago

      Ahh... still very cool. I enjoy reading online, and have been thinking about buying more books through Amazon, on my iphone, and through the other various sites that sell digital books. At the same time, I am pretty frugal with my spending and ussually just hit the library (like I wrote about in this hub) so I will have to look into the free classic ebooks you mentioned.

      I think it would be really cool if there was some sort of online library that was totally free (totally supported by advertisements... similar to the free versions of tv and movie you can find on sites like Hulu).

    • bankscottage profile image

      bankscottage 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Not sure since I don't personally do it. I believe it is only on the same account. Sort of like a book on a shelf in your home, everyone in your family could read it, but your neighbor couldn't just come in and pick it up.

    • MeanGreen profile image

      MeanGreen 6 years ago

      Is this sharing available even if there are multiple accounts, or is this only if you all share an account?

    • bankscottage profile image

      bankscottage 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      My daughter-in-law loves to read and she always she is always on a waiting list for books.

      There are some opportunities to save money with eBooks. There are many classics available as eBooks for free. If you family has one account on Amazon, any eBook you purchase can be downloaded to any device using the same account. Everyone doesn't have to purchase their own copy of the eBook